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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Neil Bates: on 8/8/13 at 2:37am UTC, wrote James, I thought your essay was rather clever in integrating the human...

Paul Borrill: on 8/7/13 at 20:28pm UTC, wrote Dear Jim, I have now finished reviewing all 180 essays for the contest...

Kyle Miller: on 8/7/13 at 3:12am UTC, wrote I was thinking at one point today about your conclusion and remembering...

James Hoover: on 8/6/13 at 16:32pm UTC, wrote I appreciate your remarks, Unnikrishnan.

James Hoover: on 8/6/13 at 16:31pm UTC, wrote Thanks, Kyle.

Kyle Miller: on 8/5/13 at 18:07pm UTC, wrote Your essay is refreshing because it is one of the few (that I have read)...

CS Unnikrishnan: on 8/3/13 at 11:50am UTC, wrote Dear James, Well written essay with focussed critique on several...

Israel Perez: on 8/2/13 at 6:29am UTC, wrote Dear James I read your essay and found it interesting and well structured....


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FQXi FORUM
October 24, 2019

CATEGORY: It From Bit or Bit From It? Essay Contest (2013) [back]
TOPIC: It's Good to be King by James Lee Hoover [refresh]
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Author James Lee Hoover wrote on Jun. 26, 2013 @ 17:27 GMT
Essay Abstract

Quantum information theory maintains that the source of being – humankind’s ultimate reality – is information. Accordingly, John Wheeler said that subatomic entities exist in a probabilistic limbo of one of many states, determined by one’s act of observation or measurement. “It from bit” advocates have this view of the micro world based upon a quantum world of probabilities and uncertainties, something they can’t see or understand, but which their consciousness forms. Though they use their subatomic view to explain our “tailor-made” seen world, too often, they support their concept with macro examples characterized with subatomic characteristics. An anthropomorphic view serves to bias their perception of the macro world toward a human-centered “observer-as-creator,” an extension of the age-old world of gods and kings.

Author Bio

James Hoover is recently retired from the Boeing Company in Huntington Beach, California, working as a systems engineer. His career in aerospace stretches back over twenty years and involves cost analysis, cost modeling and logistics research. In that span of years he has taught college courses in education, economics, computer science and English. Before the aerospace milestone, he taught high school. He recently published a science fiction novel called Extraordinary Visitors. His personal interests include studies in particle physics, cosmology and UFO engineering. He has advanced degrees in Economics and English.

Download Essay PDF File

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Michael Helland wrote on Jun. 26, 2013 @ 23:21 GMT
Hello.

I would just like to point out that one may happily explore realms of thought without necessarily being a 'believer' as you say.

Did our minds retroactively create the past universe?

Well, if it turns out the universe isn't expanding and there was no big bang, then it would go without saying that our minds entirely made up that universe.

You could say that there is no chance the big bang theory is wrong, but that would be more of an expression of belief than in the spirit of science.

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 15:32 GMT
Jim,

I am going to rate your essay an 8, for it is the clearest written essay on complexity so far published at the site. I believe the real Universe is unique, once. Nobody (including me) fully understands unique, once. But whether it is a macro galaxy or an invisible particle, it can only be unique, once. I know it sounds nuts, but unique is not relative. Nature only delivers whole unique units such as a whole unique elephant or a whole unique star. Why man concentrates on the repeatable commonality of mathematics to try to define a unique system beats me.

Joe

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 18:22 GMT
Thanks, Joe. In all fairness, I don't think either one of us is a mathematician. I know that I'm not. Therefore, it is hard for me to relate to its machinations.

Jim

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 16:56 GMT
James,

To second Michael, what if the Big Bang hypothesis is just one big creation myth and not a very good one at that?

Einstein said space is what we measure with a ruler. The cosmic ruler is lightyears. You would think that if space is what we measure with a ruler and the cosmic ruler is lightyears, then if space is expanding, the ruler would be stretched accordingly, but that's not in the cards. Presumably the speed of light is quite stable and those distant galaxies will eventually disappear. So what metric of space is the speed of light reflective of, one might wonder. That I find is not a question one is supposed to ask.

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 19:16 GMT
John,

If you ascribe to the anthropic principle, you might say that Hubble's measurement and observation, observing the red-shift in a macro world, made the universe expansion real and that further observations did as well. If you don't observation data gives credence to this hypothesis.

What is the point of suggesting the Big Bang is a creation myth? I don't follow.

Jim

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 21:03 GMT
James,

I understand the all too human tendency to concoct explanations out of limited information and then try to fit all subsequent information into that framework, until it eventually breaks down and a new framework starts. Punctuated equilibrium, as applied to the growth of knowledge.

Infinity is not a popular concept, because it reduces all premises to white noise, so being...

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Michael Helland replied on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 21:06 GMT
The point is that I think you would be suggesting that our minds creating the past including the big bang is absurd, but if the big bang and expanding universe are replaced by a different theory then it will be obvious that our minds do create the past.

You may say that our minds may have in that case created the fictious big bang, but not the 'true' past now supplied by the new theory, but too is but a theory.

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 00:32 GMT
Dear Hoover,

Thank you for presenting your nice essay. I saw the abstract and will post my comments soon.

I am requesting you to go through my essay also. And I take this opportunity to say, to come to reality and base your arguments on experimental results.

I failed mainly because I worked against the main stream. The main stream community people want magic from science...

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 04:48 GMT
Send to all of you

THE ADDITIONAL ARTICLES AND A SMALL TEST FOR MUTUAL BENEFIT

To change the atmosphere "abstract" of the competition and to demonstrate for the real preeminent possibility of the Absolute theory as well as to clarify the issues I mentioned in the essay and to avoid duplicate questions after receiving the opinion of you , I will add a reply to you :

1 . THE...

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Sreenath B N wrote on Jun. 29, 2013 @ 01:17 GMT
Dear James,

I have down loaded your essay and soon post my comments on it. Meanwhile, 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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Zoran Mijatovic wrote on Jun. 29, 2013 @ 06:04 GMT
Hello Mr. Hoover.

I found your essay of greater interest than most because I actually understood what you were saying, but, I think you have been led astray by brain science to a degree. As a software engineer working in the field of artificial intelligence, I find it preferable to speak of the material nature of memory, the mechanics of choice and the philosophy of experience, i.e. cognitive mechanics. Something started by philosophers and strengthened by theoretical biology, and something few have a firm grasp of. The current lack of focus in neurophysiology is reflected in the work of those trying to apply quantum mechanics to computing, none of them having any idea how memory is stored within neurons and experiences in neural networks. Between them they speculate about their speculations concerning insubstantial speculations, and then, in the end, find themselves speculating about particle-wave duality and an infinite number of secret qubit inclinations. Now, I am not saying that they can not superpose a number of Bytes within a single 8 bit register comprised of qubits, but they have no ideal how to do it let alone how to extract these sets of indications (heads/tails, true/false, 1/0) in either a sequential or random order. Something that can be done on a computer hard drive, something that requires up to 21 superpositions to eliminate data, and something that funds a who industry trying to destroy data instead of finding a way to use it. Anyway, those who throw money at such research in the hope someone will stumble across a clue, are the same who fund CERN's LHC and the Blue Brain Project. There is always an alternative, but you must ask the right questions and follow the right clues, and you must call a spade a spade; a bit is data, it is an indication, and it is not information until it is taken in hand by intuition.

Thank you for your essay, and good luck in the contest.

Regards.

Zoran.

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Sreenath B N wrote on Jun. 29, 2013 @ 08:54 GMT
Dear James,

I, like a classical physicist, believe in the objective reality of the physical world. But how to have a conception of it without reference to mind is the problem. Can you just imagine how it appears without mind? That is why I called both information and reality, empty and blind. This is just like the absolute concept of space and time in the Newtonian system as exposed by Einstein; what is space in itself and time in itself 'without reference' to something external to them (say, change). They have no 'meaning' in themselves.

By 'It', I mean 'reality' as it is evident from the title of the essay itself.

By 'consciousness', I mean it is an innate quality possessed by the mind as a result of billions of years of the evolution of Life. To know more about it, please, go through 'biology' section of my essay in which I have clearly described how mind, through the evolution of Life acquired this innate quality by interacting with the environment; there I have said how on parallel lines the relationship existing between the evolution of Life and the evolution of the knowledge of mind can be comprehended.

Thanks for your kind query and welcome more discussions. I will shortly post my comments on your essay.

Best regards,

Sreenath

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jun. 29, 2013 @ 21:33 GMT
Dear James

An essay is quite interesting and unique presentation, but somewhat lacking of specific in the concluded.

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

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Anonymous wrote on Jul. 1, 2013 @ 05:50 GMT
Jim,

Thank you for a superb essay. You've put much thought into the topic at hand with emphasis on the role of consciousness and its nature. I enjoyed your entire essay. Your discussion of the number of neurons (100 billion) and connections (1000 trillion) "channeling countless sub-atomic particles in a consciously assembled reality" was excellent! As was collapsing the electron into one...

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Author James Lee Hoover wrote on Jul. 1, 2013 @ 15:35 GMT
Edwin,

Perhaps it is greater to be appreciated than it is to be the King, and I detect real sincerity.

Thank you.

Jim

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jul. 1, 2013 @ 18:20 GMT
James,

After defrocking so many kings with no clothes I think you've earned yourself the job! I'm sure you won't listen to those peddling invisible unreal 'cover ups' of real physical problems. If you get bored with that career there are plenty more openings in my essay!

I enjoyed you nice clear writing style, with all the inforamtion coming across smoothly in one 'read through' without having to keep going back and decyphering things. That's certainly the sign of good writing to me. You already have a double word score bonus for your cool comment on mine so it looking good for numbers!

Conciousness does seem as slippery as 'time' to define. You do a good job of addressing it but I do have this inkling that it may be far older than we could ever imagine. That comes from a recycling re-ionization model of the universe that wants to emerge from the logic of the discrete field model I describe. In that case there would be infinitely many previous universes, and each oscillating ion would have been part of infinitely many previous conciousnesses. Perhaps that may even help explain deja vu and other 'psychic' effects!

Excellent job, well done.

Peter

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Jul. 1, 2013 @ 22:56 GMT
Peter,

I certainly cannot dispute what you say. I have done my duty and read Endless Universe and the Wraparound Universe. I would even bet if I were a gifted mathematician, I would support a braneworld model.

Jim

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 19:34 GMT
Hi James,

Not an essay to read once and throw away. I love the satire..."Step back from that mirror. Our presence is not that long and our shadow is not that large. We were not there when the universe was born. We are presently here to observe, reason, and speculate. What we see is real – not our own creation". Who can argue with you? Certainly, I wont.

However, having said that, if pushed to a corner and forced at pain of death by the king to admit that physical reality must be created from binary units, two mutually exclusive choices represented by 0 and 1, THE ONLY CHOICE I will murmur is existence/non-existence. The king must spare my life or prove my answer wrong! And I have managed to persuade a few essayists that this bit must also be listed among the available list of binary possibilities.

Again, for those who bring to the argument Qbits, which are bits that must be carried by a physical thing, e.g. photons, electrons, etc I have asked what physical thing can carry the non-existence information? One honest reply agrees that that is one bit that cannot be carried by any IT. I am also yet to imagine a super-position of existence/non-existence but I am still trying.

Certainly, good to be a king sitting on imaginary throne and wearing imaginary crown!

All the best and good luck.

Akinbo

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 23:03 GMT
Thank you, Akinbo. I appreciate objective reads. With my level of understanding, I rested my case, but given more knowledge, more understanding and more skills, who knows.

Jim

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Antony Ryan wrote on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 19:39 GMT
Jim,

Well written, good use of history and you've certainly told the reader a story. Flowed superbly too. The conclusion that we are not divine yet observers was nice.

You've covered a lot of ground in a very clear and concise way.

Great job!

Best wishes,

Antony

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 23:04 GMT
Thank you, Antony. I look forward to reading your essay.

Jim

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Antony Ryan replied on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 12:52 GMT
Hi James,

Thanks for your comments over on my page - I found this link which elaborates on the stress engineering concept you mention.

The maths here is relatively simple, which is always a good starting point for a good theory. I think that minimum energy states are important when we're transitioning from 3-dimensional space towards singularity, as they perhaps define certain "boundaries" or borders which are crossed.

Also this ties in nicely with the entropy aspect of the Fibonacci approach.

Thank you for highlighting another part of the ubiquitous nature of the Fibonacci sequence.

I agree with what you say and think you perhaps have hit on a way to perhaps test my theory.

Best wishes,

Antony

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 14:53 GMT
Antony,

You have the passion and spirit of a good researcher.

Jim

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Anonymous wrote on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 20:42 GMT
Dear James,

As you kindly asked me to tell you something about your essay, here are a few (preliminary) comments

1) Wheeler is not a prophet in the religious sense and it is not necessary to be a believer for becoming enthusiastic in quantum information theory, as I am. Certainly, Wheeler anticipated much of the subsequent progress coining the words "it from bit", or may be also in his mind "it from qubit". It is true that quantum theory questions the meaning of reality and we are now quite sure that a quantum state is created (not by the consciousness of the observer) but by the choice of the measurement apparatus. In my essay, I try to look at the roots of contextuality by introducing concepts close to the structure of the measurement space.

2) May be we have no other choice than to be anthropocentric, at least at some level in questions regardig the quantum world, the consciousness (which is not the same), the evolution of species and so on. The nature of knowledge itself is a deep problem for which I don't have answers. I understand that you are addressing these important questions. I don't.

You essay is well written and interesting.

I wish you success.

Michel

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Angel Garcés Doz wrote on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 20:45 GMT
interesting essay touches crucial questions of physics, still unanswered

Regards

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Jul. 4, 2013 @ 20:57 GMT
Thanks, Angel, I look forward to reading yours.

Jim

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William Amos Carine wrote on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 21:11 GMT
Jim,

This piece stricks a deep chord in anyone who trys to hear Pythagoras music. That which is unobserved still exists and nobody was really there to know how the Big Bang went down. I think it comes from some uncomprehensible conditions that man with limited reasoning is wont to know, but that is the hard way of seeking. The newly advancing understanding of the human brain and life is remarkable, as understanding the workings of such sources of awe brings great joy and relief to those wonderers. Yet, taken out of context for the benefit of argument where the emphasis on neuroscience to support new consious-creating ideas in physics is artificial and reminds one of eugenics and tiny pieces of Darwinian evolution being used to support strides for a master race. I am not saying cross discipline endeavors are bad, as everything stems from the same tree. But the idea that consciousness elevates us to some empowered state of enrichment, of changing nature itself or creating it, is uneccessarily being out of bound. This essay was exceptional in addressing the mental problems physicists simply do not like to talk about, yet whose bents control thinking more than any rational process.

Earnestly,

W. Amos Carine.

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 23:16 GMT
Amos,

You pose a plethora of profound questions. If you hear Pythagoras music, some say it is harmony and proportion, so your metaphor works on many levels and suggests a number of metaphysical questions.

I look forward to checking out your essay.

Jim.

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Domenico Oricchio wrote on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 23:20 GMT
In response to my post.

I reread your article (I scored and read all until today).

Take the time you need, if you're interested, but maybe it's better to read those with high scores: this year some essays deserve a good waste of time.

I think that some senses are quantum perception (like the sense of smell).

I am undecided of a quantum brain (that you treat).

I am thinking that the brain work with chemical reaction, the chemical reaction are proved in the alcohol reaction in the space (low temperature, low pressure and tunneling), so I suppose that quantum chemical process must be present in the brain (not extreme environment, and little distance of the neurons), but the problem is the entity of the process (if it used to calculate, or if it used to change the behaviour like the evolution, to adapt to the environment?).

I am thinking that we cannot declare descovered theory, but some therists can try hypotheses to be tested (sometime theories walk before the experiments).

I think that a computer may contain an human brain, but without senses and interaction with the environment is a jail for philosophers.

I am thinking that if the brain is a quantum computer, then can be possible to see the quantum fluctuation working, with living insects brain.

I thought that the space-time exist if there are gravity, or interaction particles (curvatures): the presence of the observer is not required, only the measuring apparatus can be necessary (probable interaction with the conscious observer).

When I reread you essay, I can say that almost each essay deserve to be read.

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David M Reid wrote on Jul. 4, 2013 @ 08:10 GMT
Hi, James

Your essay appears to be a well-balanced survey of attitudes towards information and reality. The title seems to refer to the latter portion of the essay, about the anthropic attitude. In general the essay tends to avoid taking a definite position with respect to these attitudes, except to occasionally point out some of their weaknesses, which are further explained in your sources. (For example, I checked one of your sources concerning Penrose; your article only said that his ideas were controversial, whereby your source clearly indicated that Penrose made a botch of his interpretation of Gödel's theorem. [That fallacy is now known as the 'Lucas-Penrose' fallacy.]) If my impression is off the mark, I would welcome being corrected.

David

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basudeba mishra wrote on Jul. 4, 2013 @ 12:47 GMT
Dear Sir,

Your essay is a good analysis of various prevailing thoughts – most of them fiction than science. But we liked it for your style and depth. Till date we have not come across a precise definition of “what” an electron is – Bohr’s description of an enigma notwithstanding. In our essay, we have attempted to do just that. You are recommended to go through it.

In one...

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Jul. 5, 2013 @ 21:30 GMT
basudeba,

Look forward to looking at your essay.

Jim

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Andrej Rehak wrote on Jul. 4, 2013 @ 15:33 GMT
Dear James

Nice collection and overview of presumptions about the truth of the universe. Though, “Plank length” over “Planck time” measure unaltered speed of light. It would be nice to hear an argument, what is the difference in perception of duration of time and propagation of space inside “our” system and, for example, the system of the “Primordial soup”? There are fairytales about kings and there are fairytales about the universe. The King is naked and the universe doesn’t wear a crown :).

Regards

Andrej

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Jul. 4, 2013 @ 20:55 GMT
Thanks, Andrej. Good metaphor about kings and crowns. I will check out your essay.

Jim

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde wrote on Jul. 4, 2013 @ 16:25 GMT
Dear James,

Your essay is one of the few that I printed out, it is usefull information and adds to my own perceptions of reality.

Your perception is what i call one of the "infinite" life lines that are available in Total Simultaneity (see also "The Consciousness Connection, a Metaphysical Concept" http://vixra.org/abs/1211.0019). Behind the Planck length and time I "created" this Total simultaneity with our non-causal part of consciousness that is "entangled with its causal part. It is our consciousness that is defining not only the future but also its history. So the BB is just one of the possible "life-lines" in TS. Humanity is creating through research and thinking the origin of its "reality" or "existance". Each day we are "finding" more details through microscopes and sattelites , but also these microscopes and satelites are results of the past researches of our causal part of consciousness. Each "history" is a life line of probability points of the what I call Eternal Nows, that efectually are already in our past in the causal universe.

So I see no problem in the macro and micro observation of our realities, the deeper we go the deeper we think we are consciouss, the higher we go the hogher we think that we ra consciouss. The BB is just one of the many solutions we THINK that are a real history.

I introducesd the word "Creality" because the word Illusion is negative, but my perception is that everything is CREALITY.

best regards and thanks for your thoughts (Crealities)

Wilhelmus

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde replied on Jul. 4, 2013 @ 16:29 GMT
PS I hope you can also rate my attribution "THE QUEST FOR THE PRIMAL SEQUENCE"

topic 1810.

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Jul. 4, 2013 @ 20:58 GMT
Done, Wilhelmus. Thanks for your kind comments.

Jim

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Stephen James Anastasi wrote on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 02:33 GMT
Hello James

Nice essay. I thought the idea of retroactive control of the universe was interesting. I guess, if the laws of physics actually don't have a preferred direction in time, then this might hold a grain of truth. Think of the lotteries I can retroactively win!

Hope you like my essay.

Stephen Anastasi

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Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 00:10 GMT
Dear James

Wheeler's many fans are here in force among this contest' contributors. The more reason to admire your courageous and well-reasoned debunking of the Anthropic Principle and its descendants. Your beautifully-written analysis makes the right points.

My own objections to the Anthropic Principle appears in my own essay "The Cloud of Unknowing..." as follows:

" Nowadays we have almost lost our confidence in the reality of Reality. We accept the observer-centered world of Relativity Theory and the Copenhagen Interpretation without batting an eyelid. We seriously consider ideas such as the Anthropic Principle that the Universe was created just so, to enable us human beings to come into being. We ask if IT is from BIT - i.e. whether the Universe grew out of BITs such as those we regularly manipulate in our computers and devices to email jokes and play Tetris. It is time we stopped being too clever for our own good and make a concerted effort to rid physics of its current bedeviling philosophy: The lack of confidence in the absolute existence of physical Reality in which we live and breathe."

...and pinch and squeeze, one might add, after seeing the "Good to be the King" clip on YouTube!

With best wishes

Vladimir

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Jayakar Johnson Joseph wrote on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 11:01 GMT
Dear James,

As the wave particle duality has constrains on describing the nature of observational information continuum, we may assume a generic spiral propagation of string-matter segments, in that the Quantum foam devised by John Wheeler is in analogy with the tetrahedral-brane ascribed in this scenario. Thus cosmic connectivity of the biological systems is descriptive on this in accordance with anthropic principle.

With Best wishes,

Jayakar

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George Kirakosyan wrote on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 04:54 GMT
Dear Lee,

Thanks for your post and attention to my work! I think you did not read it carefully and fully, but no problem here! We cannot study every work in details in this short and tensioned time! Moreover, our works directed to a definitely different targets and are written in different styles! However, I want tell you honestly that you have offered nice written review article which is interesting to read.(I suggest you to check recent observation of authors R. Penrouse & V. Gurzadyan - about possibility of Cyclic Universe. You can it find in arxive.org)

I am going to rate your work as a ,,good,,(8)only. You see as right for you!

Best wishes,

George

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 21:53 GMT
Thank you, George, for you kind words. Many essays require more than one read and research, especially for non-physics professionals like me. I will revisit your essay and comment further.

Jim

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Sreenath B N wrote on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 14:40 GMT
Dear James,

Yours is one of the few best essays written in this essay contest and I hardly find words to describe your elegantly written essay with so much of wit and logical consistency. I completely agree with what you have said in your essay, especially misinterpretation of the experimental results of the quantum world. Your denouement of AP and SAP must be welcome by all rationalists. You have, like me, made it quite clear that mental activities cannot be described in terms of quantum physics; but, on the other hand, according to me, quantum physics can be described in terms of our neurological activities. You have rightly emphasized that It is more basic than Bit when we consider the birth and evolution of the universe, and that Bit comes only after the universe existed and I quite rightly agree with you in this respect. This misunderstanding arises as a result of misapplication of quantum physics to explain the facts of the macro (classical) world where its tenacity is questionable. Quantum physics must be restricted to the quantum world. I, once again, congratulate you for producing such a beautifully written essay. I would like to rate your essay with maximum points and also I would like to know whether you have rated mine. Please inform me at, bnsreenath@yahoo.co.in

All the best,

Sreenath

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 21:49 GMT
Sreenath,

You leave very kind comments. As you know, most of us spend a great deal of thought and time on our essays and an objective evaluation is most appreciated, more than anything else, since our concepts and words are a personal extension of ourselves.

Hope you enjoy this contest in all ways.

Have contacted you thru email as you requested.

Jim

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KoGuan Leo wrote on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 22:44 GMT
Dear Jim, I reread your outstanding but human essay. I rated hight your essay before. I did reply to your post in my section. You wrote beautifully: Yes, there seem to be a lot of coincidences regarding the character and the make-up of our universe, but long after we disappear from the scene, matter will still transition with quantum events and the atoms in stars will radiate photons. While we’re still here, it would be nice to be god-like on our own Olympus, throwing thunderbolts of consciousness and assembling a beautiful world in our own images. With great relish, Mel Brooks said in History of the World, Part I, “It’s good to be the King,” historically a position many thought inherited through divine right. But it was only a satirical movie, and we are not divine." I beg to differ with you that KQID genuinely found that we are indeed divine being as Tianming Ren(people) descended directly and in fact our Ancestor FAPAMA Qbit lives as us in this world as the great Carl Sagan wrote: "Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself." I do think that we are both king and genuinely divine, not as God but as person endowed with great creative power of our Ancestor Qbit. Here what I wrote in my site in reply to your post: "I read your outstanding essay, I whole heartedly agree with you that we are kings of our own world. I made similar conclusion. I stated in my speeches that we are Xuan Yuan, the Yellow Emperors of our own Erosverse, the relationships of our core-selves with selves, family, community, mankind, and nature that encompasses the whole Multiverse itself." Again thanks for sharing your wonderful thought, I know I sense your sense of mortality in your writing and I do as well share this feeling but I do think we are immortal beings in time. Peace, Leo KoGuan

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Jul. 15, 2013 @ 04:56 GMT
KoGuan,

Thanks for your words of wisdom. I look forward to reading your essay.

Jim

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Christian Corda wrote on Jul. 16, 2013 @ 14:16 GMT
Dear Jim,

As I promised in my Essay page, I have read your Essay. I have found it very nice. It reconstructs the Universe's history by stressing how great it is and how little is humankind. It sounds like an appeal for scientists to be humble. I agree with point of view and I appreciate your humour. Surely, an enjoyable Essay. I am going to give you an high rate.

Cheers,

Ch.

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Author James Lee Hoover wrote on Jul. 16, 2013 @ 19:10 GMT
Thank you, Christian. I don't exhibit the mathematical or scientific knowledge many of you have, but I did perhaps work equally as hard as many others. I was impressed with your entry as I indicated in my comments.

Jim

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Manuel S Morales wrote on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 02:28 GMT
James,

Thank you for stopping by to review my essay and for the kind words. Funny thing, I was just reviewing your essay yesterday and was going to request your email address to run some questions by you, but you beat me to the punch. What is your email address? Or you can send me an email to: msm@physicsofdestiny.com

Thanks,

Manuel

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Jeffrey Michael Schmitz wrote on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 20:53 GMT
Jim,

I wish all the essays were written this well. As a public service, you should give a workshop on how to write an essay, so I never have to muddle through another poorly written essay ever again. You clearly explained the principles at the heart of the debate, defined the debate and showed the reason for your side. You have a style that “lets the reader in”, keeps the reader interested and you even added a little bit of humor.

I have said this before in other reviews, the theme for this contest is not clear. If the theme of this essay constant was “what is the nature of observed reality or does reality need an observer?”, then you have nailed it. I honestly do not know if that was the topic of the contest or not. I wish you had written the topic, because then the topic would have been clear and concise.

I think what Wheeler had in mind was an “interaction” and not a true “observation” made by a human or Paleozoic worm. If all that is needed is an interaction then the first interactions could occur moments after the Big Bang. We would not need the “chicken or egg” problem of an observer needed for the universe to be, yet the universe is needed for the observer to be.

Thank you for the essay.

I hope the mysterious rankings treat you well,

Jeff

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Author James Lee Hoover wrote on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 22:17 GMT
Thanks, Jeff, your comments are very kind.

Of course, we all like to be appreciated and rewarded for our long hours of work and thought, but in my retirement, I am having a good time writing fiction, writing online columns, spoiling my grandchild, and sharing my thoughts with others.

Cosmology was the place to go. Poetry of the past described the Hubble images:

In what distant deeps or skies.

Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand, dare seize the fire?

Jim

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Jul. 20, 2013 @ 11:37 GMT
Hello Jim,

You did a great analysis of the present essay fundamental knowledge in the spirit of Descartes, "has come under has come under doubt". You have correctly pointed out: «After all, ancient gods took larger-scale human forms and interbred with humans, even today's superheroes are in our basic image. Our pets and children's fairy tales still see the attribution of human...

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Vladimir Rogozhin replied on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 20:27 GMT
Jim, I have appreciated today - 7.

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Jul. 20, 2013 @ 14:12 GMT
Dear James

i gave you today 8 grade

Yuri

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 00:03 GMT
Thanks, Yuri, I look forward to reading your essay.

Having spent many hours researching and writing my topic, as I'm sure you did, may I ask your evaluation of my essay?

Jim

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Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 01:40 GMT
Dear James. Hello, and 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 my essay The Cloud of Unknowing please consider doing so. With best wishes.

Vladimir

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 02:44 GMT
Vladimir,

I rated yours on 6/30 and I assume you rated mine when you commented above.

Good luck.

Jim

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George Kirakosyan wrote on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 04:45 GMT
Dear Lee,

I think you already forget me(see my post above.) I hope yet to hearing your valuable opinion to my work.

Regards,

George

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Conrad Dale Johnson wrote on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 16:38 GMT
Hi Jim -

I agree with you that both consciousness and the Anthropic Principle get a lot more play than they deserve, in speculations about quantum physics and cosmology. Though I would guess that it's a minority of physicists who take these ideas very seriously. I don't believe either plays any role in any accepted theory.

I think the basic problem here is that we have no well-developed approach to the physics of measurement... I try to explain the reasons for that in my essay. Quantum theory makes it pretty clear that the determinate states and properties of things depend in some way on the processes that make them observable. If we had a clear idea of what "observing" means in physical terms, it would never have occurred to anyone that consciousness was involved. I don't think there's any strong inclination among physicists to "self-idolatry"... except maybe for some who write books for the popular market.

Thanks for the nice piece of writing -- Conrad

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Than Tin wrote on Jul. 25, 2013 @ 03:21 GMT
James

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.

Good Luck!

Than Tin

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Don Limuti wrote on Jul. 25, 2013 @ 06:28 GMT
Hi James,

I got ready for your essay by getting familiar with "A History of the World Part 1". It was just wonderful.... Mel Brooks is King of comedy!

After reading your essay I got the image of Dolly Parton doing a southern accent saying "That Wheeler chap sure does get carried away" :) Who would have thought a FQXi essay could be so enjoyable.

High marks for King James, Thanks

Don L.

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Marcoen J.T.F. Cabbolet wrote on Jul. 29, 2013 @ 08:43 GMT
Hello James,

Nice critical essay!

I'm critical of quantum mechanics myself*, although I'm even more critical of the community of quantum physicists - I think it's the paradigmatic example of what a scientific community should *not* be.

Anyway, to stimulate further critical thinking I have given your essay a nice rating.

Best regards,

Marcoen

* That is, I find (nonrelativistic) quantum mechanics an elegant theory and I'm compelled to accept that it has some merit, but I do not believe that it is the final answer regarding the fundamental workings of the universe.

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 16:31 GMT
Thanks, Marcoen.

I believe that diversions from accepted concepts are not an attack on quantum mechanics but perhaps a recognition that our understanding may depend on jumping new hurdles in quantum knowledge. Otherwise we would be maybe a type 2 civilization rather than a type 0.

Jim

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Israel Perez wrote on Aug. 2, 2013 @ 06:29 GMT
Dear James

I read your essay and found it interesting and well structured. It seems that you would like to analyze information from the perspective of consciousness. I'd like to make some comments on your essay.

You: "participatory anthropic principle," meaning we are necessary to bring the universe into being. Such human activity connections were not considered in the classical...

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CS Unnikrishnan wrote on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 11:50 GMT
Dear James,

Well written essay with focussed critique on several speculative anthropomprhic ideas and claims. I enjoyed the satire running through consistently.

Felt, however, that perhaps you did not want to directly address or take sides on the issue of ontological relativity of Bit or It, which of course is also a position one can take. The implied criticism gives the impression that you are leaning on matter, though!

Unnikrishnan

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 16:32 GMT
I appreciate your remarks, Unnikrishnan.

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Kyle Miller wrote on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 18:07 GMT
Your essay is refreshing because it is one of the few (that I have read) that takes the age-old strong materialist position. Also, your prose was clear and well articulated and free of esoteric maths. At the end of the day, the strong materialist position is not only safe but also comforting. It omits many intriguing New Age-type things that are fun to consider but ultimately tend to lead to confusing and conflicting ideas that promote a god-like ideology among adherents, to borrow your language. My way of phrasing your conclusion would be: There are forces at work that are greater than us and that have been around much longer than us.

- Kyle Miller

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 16:31 GMT
Thanks, Kyle.

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Kyle Miller replied on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 03:12 GMT
I was thinking at one point today about your conclusion and remembering this article (attached).

attachments: God_Is_the_Machine.pdf

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Paul Borrill wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 20:28 GMT
Dear Jim,

I have now finished reviewing all 180 essays for the contest and appreciate your contribution to this competition.

I have been thoroughly impressed at the breadth, depth and quality of the ideas represented in this contest. In true academic spirit, if you have not yet reviewed my essay, I invite you to do so and leave your comments.

You can find the latest version of my essay here:

http://fqxi.org/data/forum-attachments/Borrill-TimeOne-
V1.1a.pdf

(sorry if the fqxi web site splits this url up, I haven’t figured out a way to not make it do that).

May the best essays win!

Kind regards,

Paul Borrill

paul at borrill dot com

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Neil Bates wrote on Aug. 8, 2013 @ 02:37 GMT
James, I thought your essay was rather clever in integrating the human element and our own relevance to the cosmos as conscious beings, not just pure disembodied physics. It was also enjoyable to read, like an essay by Medawar or other "interdisciplinary writer." My own essay is at /1610. I found a possible way to distinguish quantum mixtures with the same density matrix, usually thought not possible.

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