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Lev Goldfarb: on 8/13/13 at 17:02pm UTC, wrote Thanks Walter! I will definitely reply in your essay forum.

Walter Smilga: on 8/13/13 at 16:31pm UTC, wrote Lev, I did not intend to anonymously post my comments, but somehow my...

Anonymous: on 8/13/13 at 16:16pm UTC, wrote Lev, I came across your essay only after the end of the competition....

Thomas Ray: on 8/7/13 at 17:21pm UTC, wrote Nice exchange, Lev and Paul. I too am in accord on the question of...

Paul Borrill: on 8/7/13 at 6:08am UTC, wrote Lev- there are certainly limitations -- see the comments on my web page...

Lev Goldfarb: on 8/5/13 at 23:34pm UTC, wrote Thanks, Hugh! I read your essay a while ago (and rated it then), and found...

Lev Goldfarb: on 8/5/13 at 22:59pm UTC, wrote Thanks, Paul! 1. "I like your approach to pictorial depictions (e.g. Fig...

eAmazigh HANNOU: on 8/5/13 at 22:43pm UTC, wrote Dear Lev, We are at the end of this essay contest. In conclusion, at the...


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FQXi FORUM
July 17, 2019

CATEGORY: It From Bit or Bit From It? Essay Contest (2013) [back]
TOPIC: After the Transition “from It to Bit”: Is This the Science Formerly Called Physics? by Lev Goldfarb [refresh]
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Author Lev Goldfarb wrote on May. 14, 2013 @ 14:24 GMT
Essay Abstract

The fathers of the Scientific Revolution intentionally excluded mind from the scientific agenda: they wanted to (and did) build science based on the much more familiar, spatial, considerations, while the mind, they agreed, is of non-spatial nature. It seems that behind the attraction of “it from bit” lies a long suppressed in science but deep seated and probably scientifically fruitful desire to see something ‘mental’ emerge as the principal element in the structure of the Universe. Yet it would be very naïve to hope that the integration of the ‘mental’ into a scientific view can be accomplished in the historically familiar, incremental, manner, for example, by simply bringing “bits” into the focus. The scientific common sense suggests: to achieve such extraordinary goal requires an extraordinary scientific step, which I propose is the replacement of our numeric ‘glasses’ with new, non-numeric, ‘glasses’. To this end, we have developed a fundamentally new—‘informational’, or structural—form of data representation, called “struct”, intended to capture previously inaccessible view of objects and processes. It might be considered as a far-reaching generalization of the underlying idea of causal sets (in quantum gravity). The struct promises not only to serve as the blueprint for all “its”, including space, but is supposed to elucidate the nature of the discovered in the last century ubiquitous discreteness. However, as never before in the history of science, the pragmatic question is this: Since it is the spatial considerations that for several millennia have fully guided the development of mathematics and physics, how many physicists are prepared to start the development of physics more or less anew, on top of such or similar informational structure (as opposed to the present ‘safe’ flirtations with the bits)?

Author Bio

Diploma in Mathematics (topology; St.-Petersburg University) and Ph.D. in Systems Design Engineering (pattern recognition; University of Waterloo). I worked as a professor in the Faculty of Computer Science, UNB, Canada, and served on the editorial boards of several journals. After an early retirement, I am writing a book, do research and consulting. Trained as a mathematician, I was especially influenced by Bourbaki view of mathematical structures. In my research in pattern recognition, I realized the inadequacy of the numeric formalisms, including the probabilistic models, and have been working on the development of a fundamentally new (ETS) formalism for structural representation.

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Paul Reed wrote on May. 15, 2013 @ 05:27 GMT
Lev

The issue is not the choice of representational device, per se, but how it is organised in order to properly correspond with physical existence as it occurs, and not how we think it does so.

There is nothing inherently wrong with considering ‘space’, because physical existence is a spatial phenomenon. The main problem has been the representation of time, which relates to the...

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 15, 2013 @ 11:32 GMT
Dear Paul,

Thanks for your interest!

1."There is nothing inherently wrong with considering ‘space’, because physical existence is a spatial phenomenon. The main problem has been the representation of time"

As you may have noticed, in ETS the concept time is embodied in the struct, and hence the precedence of the temporal side of 'reality' over the spatial one, which you should like.

2."That is, we are deeming existence on the basis of superficial physical attributes, which are then considered to change. A contradiction in itself. What exists at any given time is a physically existent state of whatever comprises it."

Paul, as you know, science cannot proceed reliably without some formal language to help it on its way. So what is this "a physically existent state" (from a formal point of view)?

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Paul Reed replied on May. 16, 2013 @ 04:26 GMT
Lev

Re 1: in which case a struct must be a sequence of physically existent states. And just what is this information which it is comprised of relate to in physical existence? The event would be the cause of the difference between successive states.

Re 2: we know there is existence and difference thereto. The only way this can occur is by sequence. In other words, physical...

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Paul Reed replied on May. 16, 2013 @ 04:33 GMT
Lev

You did no comment on Edwin's allusion to consciousness, sadly. Because I have been struggling with another underlying thread which is the concept of 'mental', but did not raise it.

Paul

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on May. 15, 2013 @ 16:20 GMT
Hi Lev,

Your best and clearest yet! (Fortune favors the bold, indeed. :-) )

I'm sure that your essay will spark a productive dialogue, and we have a long way to go before the close of the competition, so I will confine my comments for now to just one feature: the idea of instantiation.

I think this term well captures the identity between time and information. I used that same term to describe the form of equation that instantiates meaning without adding meaning, giving the example of Einstein's iconic equation E = mc^2. The constant adds no meaning to the form E = m. It only describes the limit of a continuum of change. By the same criterion, your transformative language instantiates meaning; in fact, I think that only one trained in the deep mathematics of continuous functions could have made this leap.

All best,

Tom

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 15, 2013 @ 18:59 GMT
Thank you Tom!

Good to hear from you. As you know, I have been thinking about these issues for a very long time (several decades). I did try to explain why now is not the time for small steps, why we *should* expect everything from "information" (there are no other big frontiers left).

But did you notice that I have some "well-wishers": within an hour or two from its posting it was rated 3, and today in the morning it was rated 1. I must have done something right to deserve such "honor". ;-))

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on May. 15, 2013 @ 19:04 GMT
Well, I can't vote yet, but you can be sure that when I can, it will be a good one! I think most just don't grasp your program.

Tom

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 15, 2013 @ 19:36 GMT
I did think that, despite one of your earlier suggestions, you will be contributing to this contest: the topic is too important to pass it. ;-)

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Joe Fisher wrote on May. 15, 2013 @ 16:36 GMT
Professor Goldfarb,

This is a terrific essay. As a realist, there is only one comment I would care to make about it. You are correct when you state that: “Since any (abstract piece of information about) object in the Universe belongs to some class(es) of similarly structured objects, be it a star, a molecule, or an organism. We postulate that such classes themselves are the basic units in the informational organization of Nature.” You fail to mention that each real snowflake, each real star, each real molecule, and each real organism is unique and can only occur once. The problem with all information and especially of all abstract mathematical information is that it is always perfectly identically structured. Real Nature is uniquely structured.

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 15, 2013 @ 19:22 GMT
Dear Joe,

Good to hear from you!

"You fail to mention that each real snowflake, each real star, each real molecule, and each real organism is unique and can only occur once."

Please note that, even though there was no space left, I did mentioned about the non-deterministic nature of the class generating system as well as its ability to interact with other classes "nearby": when it generates a new struct, it does so in a non-deterministic manner, and moreover during the generation/construction process other events from other generating systems may constructively intervene (and such events become a part of the strut being constructed). So both of these, in the case of non-trivial classes, guarantee that each class element is unique.

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Robert Bennett wrote on May. 15, 2013 @ 17:36 GMT
"Our billions of dollars worth of search engines do not 'understand' a single word in what they search."

Invoking the principle of sufficent reason: How can intelligence be a human artifact, when we don't even understand our own human intelligence?

"information can then be thought of as this invariant structure circulating through the communication channels."

invariant in...

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 15, 2013 @ 19:25 GMT
Robert, isn't that, basically, a part of what I am saying?

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on May. 15, 2013 @ 20:36 GMT
Lev,

I agree with your analysis of the historical aversion to consciousness as a relevant topic for physics, and the conflict that this presents when physics becomes focused on "information". I also agree with your position on the unacceptable ambiguity of information. I particularly like your characterization of the present trend as the "path of least resistance". Finally I fully agree that information cannot be separated from the concept of structure. In short your analysis of information largely agrees with my own. As for your ETS proposal, but I'm sure you know what you're facing trying to sell new ideas in this market, so good luck.

You do remark that "the formalism will stand or fall based on the quality of such interpretation, or predictions." I'm curious about the predictions that arise from ETS.

Also, you postulate that "classes themselves are the basic units in the informational organization of Nature." Do you have a means of deriving such classes algorithmically? I treat a similar problem in my essay, which I hope to submit "real soon now".

Good luck with your essay,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 15, 2013 @ 21:02 GMT
Hello Edwin,

Good to see you participating in this contest, and thanks for your positive analysis!

Forgive me for a somewhat pedantic form of my answer. ;-)

1. " I'm curious about the predictions that arise from ETS."

Probably the most immediate prediction is that concerning the nature of various particles as the stream of structured events, which should obviate the mysterious particle-wave duality.

2."Do you have a means of deriving such classes algorithmically?"

Of course, I do: you can find this in the endnote (v) and the reference there. But the definitions are fairly intricate and they are not short. ;-)

I also wait for your essay.

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on May. 15, 2013 @ 21:16 GMT
Thanks for the answers, the form is immaterial, like water under a bridge ;-) I did read your end notes yesterday, but not today as I was reviewing the essay and I forgot about (v) when I was writing the comment. I have not yet looked at the reference.

Best,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 15, 2013 @ 21:26 GMT
Edwin, I forgot to mention refer. 12 and 13 as containing preliminary non-physical examples of classes.

Cheers,

Lev

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Author Lev Goldfarb wrote on May. 16, 2013 @ 00:04 GMT
For fun, I will periodically show the record of the essay's scores in the order received. ;-)

So far we have: 3, 1, 10, 2.

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 19, 2013 @ 16:03 GMT
Update on the essay's community scores received so far:

3, 1, 10, 2, 6, 5, 5

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 20, 2013 @ 15:37 GMT
My dear ladies and gentlemen, the circus, or the show, must go on :-)) :

3, 1, 10, 2, 6, 5, 5, 1

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 24, 2013 @ 18:48 GMT
3, 1, 10, 2, 6, 5, 5, 1, 6, 2

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Anton Lorenz Vrba wrote on May. 19, 2013 @ 15:44 GMT
Lev, first my sincere condolences.

Now to your essay, you rightly point out the ambiguity in the word information. A "information overload" is nothing more than an observation overload, nature cannot be overloaded with information.

Your section 1 and 2, I can follow and can agree with but then I get lost in trying to understand your ETS concept, the beers and wine I had this Sunday lunch do not make it easier, so I will have to come back

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 19, 2013 @ 15:58 GMT
Thanks, Anton!

And the occasional "beers and wine" help to keep us sane in this, still quite 'primitive', society. ;-))

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Author Lev Goldfarb wrote on May. 20, 2013 @ 01:22 GMT
An interesting development: for 'obvious' (?) reasons, FQXi community page (http://fqxi.org/community) already for quite some time now has stopped displaying the accepted essays (from this contest), as it did for the first several weeks.

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Paul Reed replied on May. 20, 2013 @ 04:02 GMT
Lev

Given your comments in the thread which announced this essay competition, I could hazard a guess at what you are alluding to, but do you want to spell it out? I think those of us who took the time to write something, and those who then make an effort to generate proper debate need an 'insider's' view, and if necessary a change to the rules. I made a comment in response to your post, ie that very little in the way of debate would ensue, mostly 'nice essay, by the way in my essay...'. There is another fascinating correlation you can follow, which is ratio of posts to ratings.

Paul

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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster replied on May. 20, 2013 @ 21:26 GMT
Hello Lev -- There's nothing intentional happening, so if there's a bug, we should try to fix it. Can you explain more what you mean---what list exactly are you looking at?

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 20, 2013 @ 21:48 GMT
Brendan, I noticed that several weeks ago you stopped posting essay's heading (with parts of the abstracts) on your community page, and I wonder why.

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Lawrence B Crowell wrote on May. 21, 2013 @ 02:32 GMT
Lev,

Your essay is certainly food for thought. The connections between these I think call for a type of mathematics involving systems of differential forms. These differential forms compute quantum numbers or ∫_aω = ∫_vdω = n, where a is the boundary of v. The differential form is evaluated on a basis of elements. However, these elements could be more general, forming the connections in these circuit diagrams between these "primitives."

Cheers LC

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 21, 2013 @ 12:12 GMT
Hi Lawrence,

Good to see you participating in this contest also! And thanks for your interest.

However, Lawrence, you missed my important warning in the middle of p. 4 ;-) :

"Warning: The main difficulty for a scientifically mature reader is not to fall into the trap of the powerful habit of automatically interpreting the information presented (of necessity) in the pictorial form in a “familiar” way, independent of the main text.

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Lawrence B Crowell replied on May. 21, 2013 @ 13:47 GMT
This idea I spun off was nothing serious, but something that seems parallel. Your "cirucit diagrams" that connect this primitives appears similar to some representations of tensors and components of differential forms.

The one point where things seem most uncertain in your essay is with your discussion on quantum mechanics. Of course your presentation is rather brief, so I suppose there are some deeper elements to this.

Cheers LC

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 21, 2013 @ 14:12 GMT
Concerning the entanglement, the main point is this: the separation from and the precedence of the "informational" realm over the spatial one. The latter is the reason why the "signal" appears to be transferred instantaneously. It is transferred in the informational rather than in the spatial domain.

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T H Ray wrote on May. 22, 2013 @ 14:20 GMT
Lev, I think one or the other of the terms is superfluous, not both. When one treats time and information separately, one cannot obviate the spatial (spacetime) domain in favor of an independent information domain. If they (time and information) are the same phenomenon, then the bounded event space is identical to the information domain, and the results of a measure are without bound; i.e., changing events carry temporal information only to the limit of the information boundary. Isn't that in fact what you mean by instantiation?

Tom

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 22, 2013 @ 14:48 GMT
" Isn't that in fact what you mean by instantiation?"

Not quite, Tom.

'According' to the ETS, time is embedded (dissolved?} in the struct, and the instantiation of the struct 'realizes' the "information" contained in the struct. The analogy is this: the *abstract* notes and their performance.

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Paul Reed replied on May. 22, 2013 @ 17:14 GMT
Lev

Although the notion of spacetime is incorrect (because physical existence occurs in one spatial state at a time in sequence, timing being the calibration of the rate at which change occurs), I do think some context, ie spatial position and time of occurrence, is ultimately necessary.

This is because physical influence cannot ‘jump’ physical circumstance. That is, something...

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James Putnam wrote on May. 22, 2013 @ 19:29 GMT
Lev,

Regarding Fig. 6 and in the Conclusion "If this structure will be experimentally corroborated, ...": Are you offerring something that goes beyond a representation and suggests or introduces answers about properties that do not belong to theoretical physics? I recognize that theoretical physics is incapable of explaining the most important effects of the universe. What I am wondering is if you are proposing that your structural representation reveals new properties or offers new explanations, outside the purview of theoretical physics, for the causes of unexplained intelligent effects? I could be asking more questions, but I want to understand the purview of your system.

James Putnam

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Author Lev Goldfarb wrote on May. 22, 2013 @ 19:45 GMT
"Are you offerring something that goes beyond a representation and suggests or introduces answers about properties that do not belong to theoretical physics?"

Yes, James: that's the whole point.

"I am wondering is if you are proposing that your structural representation reveals new properties or offers new explanations, outside the purview of theoretical physics, for the causes of unexplained intelligent effects?"

Yes, James.

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James Putnam wrote on May. 22, 2013 @ 21:12 GMT
So fig. 6 depicts an event that casn be viewed both from the mechanical viewpoint and from your new structural viewpoint. What is it about the class that changed? What is it that goes beyond the mechanical viewpoint? It seems that the figure and your explanation could be interpreted as another mechanical explanation. I am certain you intended it to represent more than that. Are you introducing an intelligent property in fig. 6? This probably seems trivial; however, I am looking for the clear break with the mechanical perspective.

Is it your position that entanglement cannot be explained by mechanical means? I look at the figure and think that it could be depicting mechanical forces and their effects. I don't believe it is intending to do only that; but, your separation between mechanics and intelligence is not yet clear to me from that figure. Your use of the words 'interacting' and 'modifying' leave me wondering exactly what do they mean?

I have been interested in your work since I became aware of it. I do not doubt that we must go far beyond the mechanical perspective or the spatial perspective. I am looking to understand that clear break in your work. It appears to me that your structural representation could be applied without explaining the means of the 'interactions' and 'modifications'. It is probably my fault, but, I don't see the explanation of the means with regard to your presentation of fig. 6.

Here you make the point that, "...the vague appeals to “self-organization” and “top-down causation”, nothing short of a fundamentally new scientific language will do." I am asking what here goes beyond the language? I am not wondering if information is flowing around. I am wondering what is it that you are saying is making use of it? Is it an intelligent property that understands the meaning of the information?

I don't mean to be misrepresenting your work, just saying what it looks like to me. In this passage it it appears to me that you are conceding that the development of recognition, the intelligent use of information, could have evolved substantially on its own: "In fact, the proposed organization is supposed to explain why an organism endowed with the capability—inherent in the entire Universe—to construct the representations of some classes in its environment (e.g. of the class of snakes) is then able to recognize members of those classes not encountered previously (new snakes). It is most unlikely that such highly nontrivial informational capability could have evolved fully on its own, especially considering the independence of the structure of (evolving) classes in an organism’s environment." How much could have evolved on its own? Is it your position that you are adding the means by which recognition exists or are adding something new that is a catalyst that extends the means?

I will end my questions with these. Sorry for dragging it out. Thank you.

James Putnam

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 22, 2013 @ 22:03 GMT
"Is it your position that entanglement cannot be explained by mechanical means?"

More accurately: "by the spatial formalism".

James, I'm not quite sure what escapes you in Fig.6, but put simply, there is a conventional spatial realm and there is a fundamentally different, let's call it, for lack of a better word,"informational" realm. The later provides blueprints for the former.

As for the caption for fig. 6, "interaction" refers, for example, to the conventional measurement process, since it occurs in the spatial realm, while the dashed arrows shows the causal connections with the informational realm, where (i) stands for the basic causal connection between the particles' source and its "informational" counterpart. Keep in mind that according to my view of ETS, for each spatial process there exists its original ("informational") blueprint in the form of the corresponding struct.

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James Putnam replied on May. 22, 2013 @ 22:22 GMT
"James, I'm not quite sure what escapes you in Fig.6, but put simply, there is a conventional spatial realm and there is a fundamentally different, let's call it, for lack of a better word,"informational" realm. The later provides blueprints for the former. ..."

"Keep in mind that according to my view of ETS, for each spatial process there exists its original ("informational") blueprint in...

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 22, 2013 @ 22:42 GMT
"if you mean that it is the spatial process that produces the effects and that the blueprint is guiding it by hidden means? "

Yes, I do. Accordingly, even the DNA might be only the visible part of developmental process. In fact, there is the relevant process in developmental biology called the "morphogenetic field", which is not understood at all.

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Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on May. 30, 2013 @ 02:46 GMT
Lev

Congratulations for an exceptionally well-written paper in which you guided us to the new horizons of your ETS concepts. From the outset I realized that I can completely agree with some of your ideas, but of others I can say "he knows what he is talking about but I just do not want to go in that direction". Examples:

You said " how many physicists are prepared to start the...

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Author Lev Goldfarb wrote on May. 30, 2013 @ 14:10 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

Thanks for your interest!

1. "using classes seems an artificial top-down coarse approach to describe what in the end would be the most delicate operations of nature at the sub-atomic level."

Classes are proposed as the informational units of Universe organization and are not related to a "top-down coarse approach" at all.

2. "Is ETS a language invented for robot physicists? "

I'm not sue what you mean by this.

3. "I was intrigued by your enigmatic Figure 5 of a "schematic event-based version of the Huygens' view of light, which now removes the waveparticle mystery". How?"

Vladimir, I referred to the 'visual', or informal, Huygens' view of light

"In 1678, Huygens proposed that every point to which a luminous disturbance reaches becomes a source of a spherical wave" (Wiki)

and not to its analytical expression.

In other words, the spatial 'propagation' of the instantiated ETS events might be similar to the process of wave propagation as proposed by Huygens.

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 1, 2013 @ 00:18 GMT
Vladimir,

I forgot to comment on the following your point:

"using classes seems an artificial top-down coarse approach to describe what in the end would be the most delicate operations of nature at the sub-atomic level."

As you may know, it is physics that approached nature in a "top-down coarse approach" and eventually met with the substantial difficulties in QM, where one has to deal with the "bottom" side of reality.

The ETS struct is a suggested bottom-up approach to the representation of "reality". However, what gradually became clear to me--and independently, to some extent, to some physicists--is that the basis of such approach inevitably leads outside the conventional spatial framework.

Physicists are not yet comfortable to think and to talk in terms of new forms of data representation, but this will come once you started on the path leading outside the spatial forms of data representation.

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Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on May. 31, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT
Lev

From the brief description of informational classes in your essay I could not imagine how they can be used for example to describe the motion of a particle in a gravitational field - what kind of math would be used there?

Oh my reference to robot physicists was my attempt at a humorous expression of my bafflement about your scheme. An experience of space is a fundamental human sensation so the laws of our physics are geared to that. Humans are not necessary for the universe to function of course, and it seemed to me that if some mechanical artificial intelligence (robots) were to derive the laws of physics they might use a scheme such as the one you are advocating.

@"the spatial 'propagation' of the instantiated ETS events might be similar to the process of wave propagation as proposed by Huygens."

I now understand what you are saying but not how ETS events can describe the propagation of light.

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 31, 2013 @ 14:30 GMT
Vladimir,

1. "From the brief description of informational classes in your essay I could not imagine how they can be used for example to describe the motion of a particle in a gravitational field - what kind of math would be used there?"

As you can imagine, I can only speculate here. The "motion" of particle is represented by a struct, and the "gravitational field" is also captured by a very large struct, since the field emerged gradually during the formation of a particular object or objects, as for example, in the formation of Earth and Sun.

2. "An experience of space is a fundamental human sensation so the laws of our physics are geared to that."

As you might have guessed, the development of ETS formalism was mainly motivated by the desire to unlock the nature of our perceptual mechanism, which I suggest was driven by the proposed structural representation.

3. "I now understand what you are saying but not how ETS events can describe the propagation of light."

In order to properly address this question we need to discover (experimentally) the structure of the events associated with the propagation of light. We don't even know if there is one or several events involved, not talking about their structure. But my point is that if the structure of the corresponding events is something like that depicted in Fig.5, this would explain *very naturally* the mysterious "wave-particle duality".

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on May. 31, 2013 @ 14:54 GMT
By the way, I forgot to ask you if you looked at the only example I gave in the essay (in the endnote (iv) ). That is a must for getting at least some feeling for the formalism.

Cheers, Lev

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Vladimir F. Tamari replied on Jun. 6, 2013 @ 05:28 GMT
Lev

Thank you for the clarifications. I have looked again at the diagram E1 in section iv and indeed a temporal sequential struct explanation is different than the physical one, and clearer inasfar as the cause-effect chain is concerned. I think I am beginning to see where you are heading. Now if everything in the Universe is connected as a lattice or network at the vacuum level and in matter and energy, such structs become a natural outcome...

Sorry I have a one-track mind - I was thinking of my Beautiful Universe theory. I am too old to be diverted from the task of developing this model - but I wish you luck with your interesting work.

Vladimir

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jun. 4, 2013 @ 11:48 GMT
Lev,

Great to see you back, and with a nicely developed thesis which I think has great value and potential. It's particularly pleasing to see someone actually tacking 'measurement' directly and in a different, non numeric way. I'd really like to hear your views on my suggested division line (proposed by Dirac) between real physical nature and that of numerism.

I liked your; "let us...

view entire post


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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 6, 2013 @ 15:52 GMT
Peter,

Thanks! Good to hear from you!

I'll get back to you in your essay forum.

Cheers, Lev

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jun. 4, 2013 @ 12:14 GMT
Dear Lev,

Your essay strikes at the root of the foundation of today's physics. You say and I agree, "...in the physics of the last century, the most basic conceptual foundations of today’s physics are undoubtedly of spatial origin".

In your ETS representation,

- is a point a geometric fiction or a physically real object with extension, (monad)?

- can a line have...

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 4, 2013 @ 13:13 GMT
Dear Akinbo:

Thanks for your interest!

-----------------------------------------

"In your ETS representation,

- is a point a geometric fiction or a physically real object with extension, (monad)?

- can a line have length with zero breadth?

- can a surface having length and breadth but with a zero thickness still exist physically?

- can abstract objects, existing only in the Platonic realm form a part of a physically real object in this physical realm? (Noting that by Euclid's definitions, the extremities of physically real bodies are surfaces, and if lines physically exist, their extremities are points)."

-------------------------------------------

Please note that ETS says nothing about "Euclid's definitions" As to your last question, please see the concept of instantiation in the essay.

Best wishes, Lev

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jun. 4, 2013 @ 13:24 GMT
The hyperlinks didnt come out as expected. Accessible links to Euclid's definitions can be found at

http://aleph0.clarku.edu/~djoyce/java/elements/

http://farsid
e.ph.utexas.edu/euclid/Elements.pdf

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Akinbo Ojo replied on Jun. 6, 2013 @ 19:25 GMT
Dear Lev,

I have reread your essay. ETS has a lot of promise but there is still a lot of work to be done. For example, 'spatial' and 'space' appears 42 times but no where do we know whether the resulting geometry will be Euclidean or a modified form. How I wish you could harmonize your struct with the 'monad' of Leibniz & the Pythagoreans. Then, things will be simpler instead of learning a whole new theory all over. But as I said your theory is quite fundamental.

Good luck in the contest.

Akinbo

*You can check a simple, translated Leibniz monadology referenced in my paper, especially his first 8 paragraphs. Then for space, Check Sir Heath's book on Euclid's geometry, since Geometry is the science of the nature of space.

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 6, 2013 @ 20:08 GMT
Dear Akinbo,

I intentionally avoided the issue of the nature of space, since if the latter is secondary to the informational representation, we have to proceed with a *very great* caution.

As to the Leibniz's monads or Whitehead's "actual occasions", I feel that those may only confuse the reader.

My best wishes, Lev

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Paul Reed wrote on Jun. 9, 2013 @ 05:06 GMT
Lev

“Of course, we don't know what "awareness" means scientifically”

Yes we do. You are falling into the same trap as Edwin and many others, by not first differentiating the knowable from the not-knowable. We can only know (be aware) of what is manifest to us (hypothesis being in effect virtual sensing). In other words , physical existence is that form of existence which is all that is potentially knowable to us. Whether we can attain knowledge of all that is doubtful, but another issue, the point is that the potential was there. Whether there is an alternative is irrelevant, because we cannot know it. And knowing it, ie being aware of it, involves the receipt of physical input (supplemented by the hypothesising of input which could have been received had some identifiable physical issue not prevented that). The subsequent processing of this input received is irrelevant, as that is not physics. The utilisation of representational devices to express this knowledge is another matter.

Paul

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John C Maguire wrote on Jun. 11, 2013 @ 02:41 GMT
Lev,

Very interesting and definitely in sync w/ my entry in many ways. Forgive me if I'm completely misunderstanding, but would you agree that your proposal is something of an evolution/extension of qualitative analysis ushered in by chaos phase-space mapping?

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 11, 2013 @ 03:08 GMT
John,

My proposal is more transparent than you described it. I propose to replace the ubiquitous numeric form of data representation by the new structural one. Moreover, the nature of this structural, or informational, form of representation (see Fig. E1 in the essay) strongly suggests that it is of non-spatial origin and should be responsible for generating the corresponding spatial representations, or spatial 'reality'.

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 08:37 GMT
Hello, dear Lev!

Excellent essay, great ideas. I agree completely, «we need to look for fundamentally new formal tools not offered by the present mathematics.» Category "structure" (in Russian, "structure"), "structural memory" to the heart of the new physics. But you must also update the category of "space" and "time", link them to the "matter" and its unconditional states and thus to "seize" the structure of space, understand the nature of time. Good luck in the contest! With respect, Vladimir

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 12, 2013 @ 13:46 GMT
Thank you very much Vladimir! I'll get back to you in your essay forum.

Moi nailuchshie pozgelaniya, Lev

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Henry H. Lindner wrote on Jun. 15, 2013 @ 16:35 GMT
Lev,

The "desire to see something 'mental'...emerge as the principal element in the structure of the Universe" is as old as the theistic religions. See my paper to see how Bishop Berkeley hoped to accomplish just that as he placed physics on the path of merely describing the contents of the observer's consciousness, as if no physical Cosmos existed. That path led to Relativity and QM. The Cosmos was replaced by the observer's information.

You ask, "Which new non-spatial form(s) of 'data' presentation will reveal the recently invisible and allow us to understand adequately the formative processes in Nature?". We already have it, it is called "natural philosophy". It is the use of our full intellectual capabilities to reach beyond the "information" of your conscious experience and create theories about what the Cosmos is made of, what causes all its processes, and how it evolves its complex structures including ourselves.

Your ETS formalism may prove to be a useful tool of philosophy. It will still, like mathematics, require human philosophical intelligence to abstract from reality and produce the symbolic representation, and then again to apply the representation to any particular real situation.

Henry

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Author Lev Goldfarb wrote on Jun. 15, 2013 @ 17:03 GMT
Dear Henry,

Thanks for dropping in to my essay forum!

1. I don't think that the "desire to see something 'mental'...emerge as the principal element in the structure of the Universe" "led to Relativity and QM." The "mental' is not really the "principal element' in their structure.

2. "You ask, "Which new non-spatial form(s) of 'data' presentation will reveal the recently invisible and allow us to understand adequately the formative processes in Nature?". We already have it, it is called "natural philosophy".

I'm afraid, you are confusing "natural philosophy" with science: they are complementary but not identical.

3. "Your ETS formalism may prove to be a useful tool of philosophy. It will still, like mathematics, require human philosophical intelligence to abstract from reality and produce the symbolic representation, and then again to apply the representation to any particular real situation."

I certainly hope that ETS "may prove to be a useful tool of philosophy", but philosophy is not its main orientation. Also, the whole idea of ETS is to try to move away from "requiring human philosophical intelligence to abstract from reality and produce the symbolic representation".

Best wishes, Lev

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jun. 17, 2013 @ 10:21 GMT
Dear Lev

Your analysis is very good, but no specific conclusions and further develop so many questions. Do you think:

Information is defined as : The absorption and transmission the impact of material.

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1802

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 18, 2013 @ 17:05 GMT
Dear Hoang,

Please refer to section 2 in my essay, in which this question is addressed.

Thank you!

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Member Alexei Grinbaum wrote on Jun. 23, 2013 @ 13:43 GMT
Dear Lev Goldfarb,

Your diagrams look somewhat similiar to the ones that appear as pictorial representations of dagger-compact monoidal categories. Is there a connection between your ideas and the work of Bob Coecke on understanding fundamental physical structure in the language of category theory?

Best,

Alexei Grinbaum

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Author Lev Goldfarb wrote on Jun. 23, 2013 @ 14:39 GMT
Hi Alexei,

Thanks for dropping in!

I'm afraid, the answer to all your questions is "No".

I have looked earlier into the links with the category theory but have not found any of interest.

Please note that at the beginning of section 3 I have a warning:

"Warning: The main difficulty for a scientifically mature reader is not to fall into the trap of the powerful habit of automatically interpreting the information presented (of necessity) n the pictorial form in a "familiar" way, independent of the main text."

My main motivation in developing the formalism was to try to formalize the idea of *structural object representation*. This *very* gradually led me to the realization that one cannot rely on anything in the present mathematics to get some help. It appears that we have to start from the very beginning. ;-)

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Sreenath B N wrote on Jun. 24, 2013 @ 07:53 GMT
Dear Lev Goldfarb,

I have down loaded your essay and soon post my comments on it. Mean while, please, go through my essay and post your comments.

Regards and good luck in the contest.

Sreenath BN.

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1827

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Sreenath B N replied on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 07:31 GMT
Dear Lev,

You are right when you say that 'mind' is the primary source of knowledge but at the same time you cannot deny the 'objective' existence of both It and Bit. For, otherwise, this becomes just 'solipsism' and science being objective wants to avoid it at all costs. Although both It and Bit are objective, they have meaning if there is mind to comprehend them. This is just like the absolute view of space and time, and in themselves both have no meaning without reference to change. That is why relative view of space and time is preferred. I hope this point makes my stand clear. We can have more discussion on it, if you like.

I will post my comments on your essay soon.

best regards,

sreenath

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 20:04 GMT
Dear Sreenath,

You speak of "the 'objective' existence of both It and Bit." This is true, but the issue is the precedence among them. As you can see from my essay, I was gradually led to the view where the 'informational' defines the 'it' (or the 'spatial'). The logic of the new formalism has gradually led me to this tentative conclusion. This 'logic' does not come from conventional physical considerations but from the area of my expertise, pattern recognition or machine learning.

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Sreenath B N replied on Jun. 29, 2013 @ 02:30 GMT
Dear Lev,

Your essay is quite innovative and in which you try to comprehend reality (It) from information (Bit) through computer generated simulation. How far you succeed in this endeavor only time will tell. But, I have some problems regarding predicting scientific observations from your stand point. For example, according to QM, same kind of experiments (Bit) may give different results (Its) as it is the nature of reality in the quantum world; so every time you feed the same Bit as input, you are likely to get different It as output.

Secondly, in the classical world, It (reality) is having many facets and this corresponds to different Bits (information); so there is ‘no’ one to one correspondence between It and Bit as different Bits may point to the same It.

The above two views are, obviously, apposite in nature. Now the point is, how do you explain both on the same platform; i.e., on the basis of your ETS formalism and also ‘Struct’ concept?

I hope you succeed by finding an amicable solution to this problem.

Wishing you best of luck in the contest,

sreenath

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George Kirakosyan wrote on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 06:44 GMT
Dear Lev Goldfarb,

I am working on somewhat different direction than your work is. However I find in your essay some approaches close to me and have decided just to ask you to check my work. Particularly, there are some short description about of drama that become share of Einstein and other luminaries of physics.Dumayu Vi vladeete russkim?

I hope on your response.

ESSAY

Sincerely,

George

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 20:32 GMT
I have answered in your essay forum.

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 18:19 GMT
Lev,

If given the time and the wits to evaluate over 120 more entries, I have a month to try. My seemingly whimsical title, “It’s good to be the king,” is serious about our subject.

Jim

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M. V. Vasilyeva wrote on Jul. 5, 2013 @ 19:23 GMT
Lev,

after talking to you in Brendan's blog, I naturally wanted to read your essay again. I skimmed it in mid. June and was very impressed by it. Last night I welcomed the opportunity to escape the bustle of bbqs to read it carefully (happy holidays by the way!) I finished this morning and then read the comments here.

Oh how I understand your frustration! Without a doubt --and grumblings of the old guard notwithstanding-- yours is the most pertinent essay in this contest. Have you brought it to the attention of Prof. D'Ariano? I read his beautiful essay only once and have not had a chance to look at the posts there. He should be able to fully appreciate your revolutionary approach. Citing from memory, he too advocates the use of computers in order to advance our understanding of nature -- and not just as tools for data processing, but to actively adopt and build upon the algorhythms already developed in computer science.

If I may share my first _raw_ impression of your work, I wrote back in June in my notes, 'wow he wants to program the universe in C++!' After the initial shock I was struck by realization: indeed, why not employ the advanced methods already developed in computer science to analyse and structure information in physics. Suddenly, a new vista opened up and I could not help noticing how _sophisticated_ these methods are indeed in comparison to even the most advanced 'numerical' approaches used in physics today.

I have to run now but will return with more soon. By the way, your essay has the most.. true definition of information I've ever seen (by Arlychev):

"the information process can be defined as a free movement of an invariant structure in the material carriers of various nature, and the information can then be thought of as this invariant structure circulating through the communication channels"

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Jul. 5, 2013 @ 20:28 GMT
Hi Marina,

Based on your comment, I want to mention something right now (regarding the relations with CS) that might help you to see the ETS proposal in a more appropriate light.

As far as CS is concerned, I would suggest to view the proposed structure ("struct") not as motivated by the conventional CS considerations but rather the other way around: they could and should be viewed as the *universal* data structure and the development of a universal programming language should rely on it, since it is expected that all data should be represented in this form (numbers are just a very special case).

As you can read in the essay, the real expectation is that the Nature herself relies on such informational representations to store and process the "information". Moreover, another major hypothesis is that such representations serve as the blueprints for the familiar to us spatial instantiations (of those blueprints). In other words, this is consistent with the informational version of the Plato's and Aristotle's views.

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M. V. Vasilyeva replied on Jul. 6, 2013 @ 00:21 GMT
Well, I thought you may not take my allusion to C++ kindly. Sorry. But why hide from the fact that the origins of your proposal lies in it? I understand that you are concerned about how traditional physicist may receive your idea and do not want it to be trivialized as 'programming'. In your place, rather than trying to veil this fact or taking an apologetic stance for infringing with CS into the physics' territory, I would simply adopt the straightforward stance based on the fact that the future of physics lies with CS.

I tried to find that quote from Prof. D'Ariano but now think that I must have read it elsewhere. That day I also read his 2011 essay, where he says, "Recovering the whole Physics as emergent from the quantum information processing is a large program: we need to build up a complete dictionary that translates all physical notions into information-theoretic words." Isn't this where you come in?

The idea that algorithm is mightier than equation is certainly not new. D'Ariano speaks openly about the value in translating traditionally 'physical' terms into a computer-programming language. Your shyness in this regard only weakens your position.

The other weakness is that you propose that "structure of ETS events allows a uniform treatment of all events in Nature, including physical, chemical, biological, and mental events" -- and then fail to demonstrate it on one simple, well-understood, familiar example and go with poorly understood duality and entanglement instead -?

Then you pose several intriguing questions but then leave a reader disappointed:

"This brings up the key questions: How can we plan an experimental verification of the ETS formalism? And in particular, how do we approach the verification of the structure of (instantiated) events for photons, electrons, etc.?"

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M. V. Vasilyeva replied on Jul. 6, 2013 @ 00:26 GMT
oops! it appears that I used an 'illegal' character and the sys truncated the end. So:

".... electrons, etc.?" -- indeed, how?

"Finally, some of the other big questions are: How are the structs stored and retrieved in Nature, and what is the physical nature of instantiated events?" -- and?

"If this structure will be experimentally corroborated, the scenario captured in the title of the essay is not that outlandish." -- anything concrete yet?

I also could not help noticing your post to Akinbo above: "I intentionally avoided the issue of the nature of space, since if the latter is __secondary__ to the informational representation" (emphasis is mine). Space secondary to informational representation? I'm not talking about space here in simplistic terms of distances. I talk about spacetime as emergent as a result of processes underlying what we call reality.

In view of the above, I cannot give your very interesting and pertinent to this year contest idea the high rating it otherwise deserves. In my notes back in June I tentatively rated your essay as 8, thought to up it higher this morning, but now will stay with my first impression.



(I invite you to retaliate in my thread ;))

kstati, pochemu vy mne dali tol'ko chetverku?

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Author Lev Goldfarb wrote on Jul. 6, 2013 @ 14:24 GMT
Dear Marina,

Thank you for your feedback!

However, I'm afraid, you missperceived the proposed formalism; it has very little to do with CS as we understand it now.

By the way, the questions at the end of the essay are for theoretical and applied physicists, since they concern the very foundational concepts in physics.

I will also comment on your essay in the forum space for it.

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M. V. Vasilyeva replied on Jul. 6, 2013 @ 16:50 GMT
Lev,

your just reminded me that I forgot to address the main weakness in your essay. You wrote:

"By the way, the questions at the end of the essay are for theoretical and applied physicists, since they concern the very foundational concepts in physics."

Indeed. And how exactly, in practical terms, you propose to use the new language which is supposed to describe the processes which are not yet fully understood? -- Unless it has some dynamics of the type cellular automata built-in that would permit __ETS to emerge by itself__ (rather than being programmed based on an a priori knowledge). In other words, the presumed value in your idea, as I see it, is in this 'backward' approach with emerging ETS showing thus far unnoticed hidden structure governing seemingly simple or even disjoint events.

It seems it is precisely the implementation where your major problem lies. Does it?

It is as if you put a cart before the horse, like in your amazon review of an AI book where you lament that Mind is excluded, as if there is a working definition --or even a common opinion-- of what Mind is. How would a new language make the unknown better understood?

Gotta run. I wish you spectacular fireworks today :)

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Jul. 8, 2013 @ 19:15 GMT
Marina,

"It seems it is precisely the implementation where your major problem lies. Does it?"

What do you mean by this? ETS proposes a radically new form of data representation and its consistency with the (physical) reality has to be verified experimentally.

You probably mean "applications" rather than "implementations".

My area of expertise is related to CS "applications" and some of the reference paper try to address them. By the way, we are in the initial stages in the development of a fundamentally new kind of search engine.

Also, you cannot compare ETS to cellular automata, which do not at all propose a new way of collecting and processing data. So far we have hardly had such proposals as ETS.

Again, Marina, I'm suggesting that you are still missing (wrt ETS) something very basic.

However, thanks again for your feedback. ;-)

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M. V. Vasilyeva replied on Jul. 8, 2013 @ 21:12 GMT
You wrote: "ETS consistency with the (physical) reality has to be verified experimentally."

Why wouldn't you give an example of applying ETS to a something well understood?

And what do you mean by verified experimentally? Does ETS give specific predictions? What such an experiment would entail?

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Antony Ryan wrote on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 07:02 GMT
Dear Lev,

A nice challenge to conventional informational thinking. Great approach re-structs/ETS. Ubiquitous discreteness was even mentioned, which doesn't shy away from conventional claims, yet you challenge established thinking, which I believe is what the contest asks.

Please take a look at my essay if time permits.

Well done & all the best,

Antony

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JOSEPH E BRENNER wrote on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 09:10 GMT
Hello, Lev,

There is a potentially important relation between your ETS system and my Logic in Reality which sees processes as evolving through concatenations of actual and potential states. It is also a challenge to orthodox physics, but does not require going outside its laws. If you will look at my article, you will see there my critique of "geometry".

Best regards,

Joseph Brenner

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 15:09 GMT
Hi Joseph,

Thanks for visiting my essay forum!

Please note that I did leave several days earlier a post on your essay forum.

The fundamental difference between our positions is that you rely, more or less, on some conventional considerations to conclude "that energy-matter is ontologically prior to, that is, more fundamental than information as digital bits.".

As I suggested in my post on your essay forum, for me, both "information" and "energy" are too ambiguous to rely on them.

In my work, I have relied not on the considerations coming from physics but rather on the considerations coming from the reality of classes (of similar objects) in Nature--and hence the need to understand the informational mechanism that allows for their maintenance. I also relied on the centrality of pattern recognition processes which, in turn, must rely on the structure of the classes. So I believe that it is the pattern recognition processes and the structure of the ubiquitous classes that hold the clue to understanding the nature of information.

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George Kirakosyan wrote on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 13:10 GMT
Dear Lev,

I have read your essay one mor time

and I have rated it as one of best in the forum!

With best wishes,

George Kirakosyan

(see my early post above)

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 16:22 GMT
Thanks, George!

I will get back to you later.

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Don Limuti wrote on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 17:00 GMT
Hi Lev,

You just keep getting better and better. Your essay deserves a 10 just for the abstract and the conclusion alone. I will ask a question: How do you avoid "mind" when it comes to assigning a class. I though classes were context dependent?

I took a chance with my essay, which will drive most physicists crazy if they have no familiarity with the Bhagavad Gita. So, be forewarned if you do chose to look at it.

You are truly fearless, Best of luck!

Don Limuti

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Jul. 15, 2013 @ 14:53 GMT
Thanks, Don! I do appreciate it very much.

As to the "fearless", I hope that, besides, I'm also sober enough. God knows how much I try: my main energy is drained by the continuous and incessant questioning of my basic assumptions.

I'll get back to you in your essay forum.

Cheers,

--Lev

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Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Jul. 16, 2013 @ 01:29 GMT
Dear Lev, apologies if this does not apply to you. I have read and

rated your essay and about 50 others. If you have not read, or did not

rate "link:fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1756] my essay The

Cloud of Unknowing please consider doing so. With best wishes.

Vladimir

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Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Jul. 16, 2013 @ 01:43 GMT
Oops - here is the link!

my essay The Cloud of Unknowing

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john stephan selye wrote on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 15:41 GMT
Hello Lev -

I agree that the mind is not 'outside' anything, and that the ambiguity of information needs to be resolved. Your terminology is helpful - physics is engaged in 'formative processes' in modern times, and we need to revisit our assumptions across the board (and boldly!) if we want to define information usefully, and answer physics' persistent mysteries.

Your development of non-numerical terminology is probably a very important step in this direction.

I take a more descriptive and structural approach to developing a uniform treatment of the natural events of nature: I describe a cosmic paradigm of correlated energy vortices that include the evolving observer and naturally create a quantum/classical correlation. The evolving observer, I show, is the missing link in many of our quests. I think it is this that impels Physics' expansion into Bio- and Neuro-Physics - and that we must accept that we exist in a Species' Cosmos, and develop the necessary systems to interpret this fact usefully.

You might find in this a way of further unifying the formative and spatial realms you describe. Of course - like you - I expand the definitions of It and Bit far beyond those signified by Wheeler.

I found the text challenging, but engrossing; I have rated the essay, of course, and hope you'll soon have time to look at mine.

All the best in the competition,

John.

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Than Tin wrote on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 23:43 GMT
Dr. Goldfarb

Richard Feynman in his Nobel Acceptance Speech (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/19
65/feynman-lecture.html)

said: “It always seems odd to me that the fundamental laws of physics, when discovered, can appear in so many different forms that are not apparently identical at first, but with a little mathematical fiddling you can show the relationship. And example of this is the Schrodinger equation and the Heisenberg formulation of quantum mechanics. I don’t know why that is – it remains a mystery, but it was something I learned from experience. There is always another way to say the same thing that doesn’t look at all like the way you said it before. I don’t know what the reason for this is. I think it is somehow a representation of the simplicity of nature.”

I too believe in the simplicity of nature, and I am glad that Richard Feynman, a Nobel-winning famous physicist, also believe in the same thing I do, but I had come to my belief long before I knew about that particular statement.

The belief that “Nature is simple” is however being expressed differently in my essay “Analogical Engine” linked to http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1865 .

Specifically though, I said “Planck constant is the Mother of All Dualities” and I put it schematically as: wave-particle ~ quantum-classical ~ gene-protein ~ analogy- reasoning ~ linear-nonlinear ~ connected-notconnected ~ computable-notcomputable ~ mind-body ~ Bit-It ~ variation-selection ~ freedom-determinism … and so on.

Taken two at a time, it can be read as “what quantum is to classical” is similar to (~) “what wave is to particle.” You can choose any two from among the multitudes that can be found in our discourses.

I could have put Schrodinger wave ontology-Heisenberg particle ontology duality in the list had it comes to my mind!

Since “Nature is Analogical”, we are free to probe nature in so many different ways. And you have touched some corners of it.

Regards,

Than Tin

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Jul. 25, 2013 @ 14:42 GMT
Hi Lev,

It took perseverance, but I finally got through your essay. I think you are saying:

- It's an enormous transition to go from seeing reality as objects in spacetime to seeing reality as non-spatial information (i.e. a mental thing).

- The "bits" concept can't represent the true nature of information.

- The current representational formalisms of physics can't...

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Jul. 25, 2013 @ 15:15 GMT
Thanks, Lorraine, for your effort!

I would appreciate to hear about the more difficult points for you in the essay.

1. "information is subjective experience;"

According to ETS, there are two sides to "information", subjective and objective.

The subjective side is related to the fact that the way an agent represent an object depends on its arsenal of events and stored classes. While there is presumably an objective side, which could quite possibly be stored in Nature (on the basis of the actual events and all classes).

2. "the content of information is categories and category relationships e.g. particle mass and charge are categories of information; the numbers that are obtained when reality is measured are also a type of category relationship - they are "hidden information category self-relationships". "

This I don't understand.

Again, thanks for your input.

Best wishes,

--Lev

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Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 02:53 GMT
Hi Lev,

Re "According to ETS, there are two sides to "information", subjective and objective.": I contend that the "two sides" to information implies that information in reality already has a "subjective structure". I contend that information is not somewhat like points in a plane viewed from a platonic (i.e. objective) vantagepoint; information is somewhat like points in a plane viewed from a subjective vantagepoint. (I'm not claiming that information is actually like points in a plane) Information about the rest of reality (including "self") is subjective experience, but at the same time, the rest of reality "represents" information to the subject. That is, its the structure of information that allows the two sides of information.

In practice in the above schema, several categories of information would have to be interconnectd, with one category in effect able to "stand in for" or "represent" another category of information, for representeation to actually be effective e.g. symbolic visual information obtained from physical reality like the word "cat" might stand for other visual information obtained from physical reality like a photo of a cat. Its like a type of synesthesia.

I think some of the above is somewhat similar to what you are saying.

Re "the content of information...category self-relationships": For brevity, it would probably be easier for you to read sections 4 and 5 of my essay. You'll probably tell me its a lot of nonsense!

Cheers,

Lorraine

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john stephan selye wrote on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 14:41 GMT
Hello Lev - I'm sure you have many essays on your list, as I do. I left you a comment (above) and hope you'll have time to read my work soon. I very much look forward to your insights!

Best regards,

John

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 31, 2013 @ 12:00 GMT
Dear Lev,

We exchanged views on Jun 6. I don't know if you have found time to read my essay. But following additional insights gained from interacting with FQXi community members, I posted the judgement in the case of Atomistic Enterprises Inc. vs. Plato & Orsdelivered on Jul. 28, 2013 @ 11:39 GMT. You may enjoy it. Thanks,

Akinbo

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KoGuan Leo wrote on Aug. 2, 2013 @ 07:12 GMT
Dear Lev,

I wish I have read your essay earlier, it is just so wonderful. We are not only co-passengers of earth timeship but also co-mindsharing as well. It so wonderful to have "comrade in arms" wanderer so to speak just in jest!

You wrote: "However, as never before in the history of science, the pragmatic question is this: Since it is the spatial considerations that for several...

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 07:17 GMT
Hi Lev,

Thanks for a thought-provoking essay and your clear perspective. You wrote:

> Moreover, since 'information' is most likely our last scientific frontier, we have no choice but to demand from a candidate representational formalism, even in its initial form, the clarification of both the basic nature of the 'mental' in the Universe and the basic underlying structure of 'reality' itself.

I wholly agree with your call to address the presence of Mind in the world. The way I approach this is with what initially seems a step away from it: that is to say, embracing the simulation paradigm. In my essay Software Cosmos I explain how a simulated world might work, and show the evidence that the world we inhabit works that way.

I think that the implication of the physical world being a simulation is that the world must work as you describe in your essay. In my view, a computational cosmos leaves room for processes to be operative below the level of the physical. This is at variance to the conventional view that the physical is the "ground of being" and life and mind are (somehow) emergent.

Once you show that it is reasonable to model the cosmos with discrete computations (as I hope I do) then you can ask about lower layers of the architecture. These could operate according to the principles that you lay out in your work. I hope you get a chance to look at my essay, as I think it may be looking at the same idea for the cosmos from a different vantage. (Mine from above the "material reality" architectural layer, yours from below). Together, I think, they make a compelling argument.

Hugh

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Hugh Matlock replied on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 07:19 GMT
Must have gotten logged out there... this post is just to sign this thread.

Hugh

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 23:34 GMT
Thanks, Hugh!

I read your essay a while ago (and rated it then), and found that it covers much informational ground. Of course, we agree that "cosmos leaves room for processes to be operative below the level of the physical". Not only does it "leave room" for this but it appears to demand it. I came to this conclusion from a non-physical (related to the biological classification processes) perspective.

Best wishes and good luck in the contest!

--Lev

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Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet wrote on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 18:18 GMT
Hello Lev,

Your essay is quite original and I have rated it accordingly.

There are some striking similarities between your essay and my own work, in which I also use a process approach. I did publish a fundamentally new language for physics in my Annalen paper, but it applies only under a specific condition. There is also a link with mental causation, although that is only to be found in my PhD thesis.

Anyway, good luck with the contest!

Best regards,

Marcoen

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Paul Borrill wrote on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 21:48 GMT
Dear Lev - what an interesting essay.

I enjoyed your approach to finding new tools to describe and formalize physics, and gave it an excellent rating.

Your Seth Lloyd inspired comment about “are all bits truly equal” is an interesting point, and reminds me of Mermin’s contextuality.

It also made me think about Landauer’s principle which sets the lower bound for...

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Author Lev Goldfarb replied on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 22:59 GMT
Thanks, Paul!

1. "I like your approach to pictorial depictions (e.g. Fig 2) but am concerned that it may have some limitations. For example, you say that the two primitives are not temporally ordered, but it seems to me that they are: by the inputs and outputs to other common elements (primitives)."

By the (formal) definition, event1 "precedes" event2, if some initial links of event2 are the terminal links of event1 or of some other event which event1 "precedes".

2. "Also, your formalism (as it is at present) appears static, making it difficult to deal with evolution of links and primitives."

Please note that the struct evolves when new (relevant) events occur. So that the whole thing is evolving with time.

3. " In a nutshell, I would like to see you express the concept of reversibility and dynamic evolution more fully in your formalism."

Paul, the ETS formalism suggests that there is no such thing as reversibility: you cannot undo the events that have already occurred, even though some of the "parameters" may coinside.

Thanks, again!

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Paul Borrill replied on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 06:08 GMT
Lev- there are certainly limitations -- see the comments on my web page about the difficulty of expressing this pictorially (with other than Feynman Diagrams).

As for your essay (which I truly enjoyed):

"Paul, the ETS formalism suggests that there is no such thing as reversibility: you cannot undo the events that have already occurred, even though some of the "parameters" may coinside."

My point precisely ;-)

Kind regards, Paul

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 17:21 GMT
Nice exchange, Lev and Paul.

I too am in accord on the question of reversibility -- processes are time reversible, even though events are not.

It's why I like the concept of "struct" so much -- it appears to allow self organized time dependent structures, without obviating the evolution of other structs, at different rates.

All best,

Tom

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eAmazigh M. HANNOU wrote on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 22:43 GMT
Dear Lev,

We are at the end of this essay contest.

In conclusion, at the question to know if Information is more fundamental than Matter, there is a good reason to answer that Matter is made of an amazing mixture of eInfo and eEnergy, at the same time.

Matter is thus eInfo made with eEnergy rather than answer it is made with eEnergy and eInfo ; because eInfo is eEnergy, and the one does not go without the other one.

eEnergy and eInfo are the two basic Principles of the eUniverse. Nothing can exist if it is not eEnergy, and any object is eInfo, and therefore eEnergy.

And consequently our eReality is eInfo made with eEnergy. And the final verdict is : eReality is virtual, and virtuality is our fundamental eReality.

Good luck to the winners,

And see you soon, with good news on this topic, and the Theory of Everything.

Amazigh H.

I rated your essay.

Please visit My essay.

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 13, 2013 @ 16:16 GMT
Lev,

I came across your essay only after the end of the competition. Nevertheless, I want to tell you that I very much enjoyed reading your essay, because it meets many of my own thoughts. You are touching a couple of essential points. Let me comment only some of them.

On page 3 you quote Gell-Mann asking Seth Lloyd: "... But is there a mathematically precise way of quantificance of...

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Walter Smilga replied on Aug. 13, 2013 @ 16:31 GMT
Lev,

I did not intend to anonymously post my comments, but somehow my login was lost. My full name is Walter Smilga.

Walter

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Author Lev Goldfarb wrote on Aug. 13, 2013 @ 17:02 GMT
Thanks Walter!

I will definitely reply in your essay forum.

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