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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Charles Card: on 8/7/13 at 22:51pm UTC, wrote Thank you, Leo, for your extensive commentary on my essay! I will take the...

Charles Card: on 8/7/13 at 22:45pm UTC, wrote Hi Yuri, Yes, in fact I rated your essay a couple of weeks ago now. ...

Antony Ryan: on 8/7/13 at 22:20pm UTC, wrote Thanks Charles & best wishes for the contest, Antony

KoGuan Leo: on 8/7/13 at 16:41pm UTC, wrote Dear Charles, What a wonderful essay! I like these passages: "When faced...

Richard Kingsley-Nixey: on 8/7/13 at 12:24pm UTC, wrote Charles, Very good essay, good science and good literature. hope you...

Yuri Danoyan: on 8/7/13 at 3:32am UTC, wrote Hi Charles Are you rated my essay? Yuri

Manuel Morales: on 8/6/13 at 21:36pm UTC, wrote Hi Charles, I look forward to having you read and rate my essay. Perhaps...

Giacomo D'Ariano: on 8/6/13 at 16:00pm UTC, wrote Dear Charles I appreciated (and well rated) your essay, which collects...


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FQXi FORUM
October 17, 2019

CATEGORY: It From Bit or Bit From It? Essay Contest (2013) [back]
TOPIC: Information as a Neutral Substance by Charles Raldo Card [refresh]
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Author Charles Raldo Card wrote on Jun. 26, 2013 @ 17:32 GMT
Essay Abstract

J.A. Wheeler's It from Bit program is examined and compared with C.F. von Weizsäcker’s Ur Theory. The properties of their respective 'atoms of information', the classical bit and the ur, or qubit, are summarized, and implications are drawn from Spekkens’ 'toy' theory which give a deeper understanding of each structure. Wheeler's and von Weizsäcker’s answers to the question, “What is information?” are compared, and it is concluded that both men were approaching a conception of information as 'psycho-physically neutral' in the sense of Wolfgang Pauli. This premise is explored by examining Susan Carey's research on the origin of concepts, with specific attention paid to the origin of number concepts. In particular, her postulated fundamental cognitive process, the 'Quinian Bootstrap', is applied to the conceptualization of complex numbers and analogously to the structural properties of the qubit. Finally, implications for Descartes' 'cut' are explored.

Author Bio

Charles R. Card studied physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Reed College, receiving a BA degree in 1971. For more than three decades his research and publications have focused on the philosophical thought of Wolfgang Pauli and the ideas originating from Pauli’s collaboration with C.G. Jung and M.-L. von Franz. Card is a tutorial and laboratory instructor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Victoria.

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jun. 27, 2013 @ 15:49 GMT
Respectfully Mr. Card,

Is the Universe real? Yes

Is information real? No

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Author Charles Raldo Card replied on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 00:16 GMT
We know that, historically, conceptual discontinuities do provoke strong, sometimes even violent reactions from individuals whose views of reality are threatened simply by the contemplation of the possibilities of the discontinuities. Consider as examples in mathematics, the discovery of the incommensurability of the side and diagonal of a square by the Pythagoreans (irrational numbers), the possibility and potency of negative square roots (imaginary numbers),and in physics, the departures from Newtonian common sense and outright paradoxes brought forth by special and general relativity and quantum physics. In each case, a beautiful vision of the world is destroyed, but we have reason to hope, again as we have learned from historical examples, that if we persist, an even more beautiful view of the world will eventually arise in its place.

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 00:08 GMT
Dear Mr. Card,

Thank you for presenting your nice essay. I saw the abstract and will post my comments soon. One can not produce material from thinking. . .

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...

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Author Charles Raldo Card replied on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 00:29 GMT
Hi Mr. Gupta,

Thank you for your interest in my essay. In fact, my essay is based on a large body of well-established experimental results. Consult the literature, for example, to see the variety of delayed-choice experiments carried out since 1980. On the other hand, consult Carey's work (one of many available sources) for a multitude of references to rigorously structured experiments carried out in the cognitive sciences. Enjoy!

Cheers, Charles

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Marcus Arvan wrote on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 02:36 GMT
Joe: I don't understand your comment. What do you mean when you say that information isn't real? My computer transits information. Is what it transmits unreal? Of course not. It is entirely real. Information is stuff in the world. It is the stuff the world is (mostly) made of.

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Joe Fisher replied on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 14:38 GMT
Marcus,

Is the computer real? Yes

Is transmitted information real? No

Joe

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 04:49 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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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jun. 28, 2013 @ 15:01 GMT
Dear Charles,

A rich presentation and well researched. From my biased perspective I see you identifying the answer to the question posed in this essay contest but skirting around it with ?trepidation, ?fear or just being circumspect and careful. Note that I write from my biased position.

But do you contemplate the possibility that Res Extensa can represent one of the two binary states, while Res Mensa represents the other?

Rene Descartes, calls both substances,"res extensa" being an "extended thing" while "res cogitans" exists only in thought. Further, both are PRIMITIVE and ORIGINAL. Then, you mention... "the assertion of atomicity—of UNDIVIDABLE WHOLENESS".

And again, you say, "With somewhat more clarity than Wheeler, von Weizsäcker has reached the perspective that information (A BINARY DIGIT) is the COMMON BASIS UNDERLYING both matter (RES EXTENSA/ CORPOREAL SUBSTANCE) and mind (RES COGITANS/ MENTAL SUBSTANCE).

These statements bring me satisfaction and joy. When you read the first 8 paragraphs ONLY of Leibniz(most of the rest are spiritual) and my essay, you will realize why your essay has thrilled me. It supports my suspicion and claim!

Very good. Lets do a bit of dialectic and reductio ad absurdum arguments when you must have gone through my essay. You profoundly understand what It from Bit actually should mean.

Regards and best of luck!

Akinbo

*All capitals mine.

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Author Charles Raldo Card replied on Jun. 29, 2013 @ 14:01 GMT
Dear Akinbo,

I have just taken the opportunity to read your essay and have enjoyed it very much! It is beautifully and lucidly written, and it provides a valuable excursion through the various conceptualizations of the monad. Perhaps you are aware that Wheeler compared his 'elementary quantum phenomenon' to Leibniz's monad in his essay, "The Computer and the Universe", Int.J. Theo. Phys., V. 21, N. 6/7, 1982

The overwhelming issue for any discrete space-time theory such as the one that you have advanced is to find the road to quantum mechanics. If someone can find a way to do that, they will have done a great thing!

With regard to my submission, I felt that I could not possibly say every thing that I would have wanted to say in just nine pages, so I have presented an argument that leads to the door of an ongoing exploration of the possibility of formulating a psycho-physically neutral language. Interested readers can pursue this through my last cited reference.

I will be traveling for the next few days and off-line, but I will be happy to continue the discussion that you initiated when I return on July 5.

Cheers,

Charles

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Author Charles Raldo Card wrote on Jun. 29, 2013 @ 14:03 GMT
Dear Reader,

I will be away traveling for the next few days and unable to respond to your posts. Thank you in advance for your interest in my submission. I will be happy to respond to your remarks when I return on July 5.

Sincerely,

Charles Card

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jun. 29, 2013 @ 22:06 GMT
Dear Charles

An interesting inference, unfortunately that has not come to a concrete conclusion, but still a pretty good article.

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

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 18:49 GMT
Charles,

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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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Jul. 6, 2013 @ 23:41 GMT
Dear Charles

I am also admirer of Wolfgang Pauli.

I submit several years ago article devoted some his quote.

"What Wolfgang Pauli did mean?"

http://vixra.org/abs/0907.0022

Did you familiar with this?

Regards

Yuri

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Author Charles Raldo Card replied on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 21:53 GMT
Hi Yuri,

You can find a discussion of Pauli's statement in which you are interested in Suzanne Gieser's "The Innermost Kernel", page 330. I hope this helps.

Thanks for your interest in my essay.

Charles

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Yuri Danoyan replied on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 00:36 GMT
Hi Charles,

Thank you for reference Suzanne book.

Yuri

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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 11:15 GMT
Dear Charles,

I am impressed by the breadth of the historical context that you laid out surrounding the contest theme. Several others had mentioned and compared von Weizsaecker's contributions to the debate, but yours is the most extensive I have read. Given that evidently many different physicists worked on it and its development spanned several decades, I wonder why it was never developed beyond essentially being the blueprint for a theory. There may be lessons for us to draw from knowing the reasons.

I also found the comparison of the missing 'additional ingredient' in Spekkens' toy theory with quinian bootstrap surprising, though I must admit that I am skeptical that they are the same. The former seems like a leap in a territory that is much more abstract than that which characterizes the context of the leap in the latter.

I was originally attracted to reading your essay because the title sounded to like a contradition, and I wanted to find out how you would "pull off" considering information as a substance. Your pointing out the most basic etymological meaning of substance, however, has clarified things for me.

My own view is that a fundamental message of the Born rule is that our current concept of "substance" (in the usual sense) is not sufficiently differentiated and if we could realize this, we would come to regard it vs. bit a false dichotomy.

In any event, I found your essay and its elucidation of the historical context of this debate very interesting.

All the best,

Armin

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Author Charles Raldo Card replied on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 23:31 GMT
Hi Armin,

Thank you for your thoughtful response to my essay! I understand your skepticism with regard to the possibility that Spekken's 'additional conceptual ingredient' and Carey's 'conceptual leap' are the same, or perhaps are pointing to some factor or aspect held in common. In my essay I've reframed and refocused the discussion of it, bit, and information and have arrived at this conjecture rather than at a 'solution' which I do not believe is at hand. It would be wonderful if this competition proves me wrong! In any event, there is more that can be obtained as background to my conjecture by exploring the associated reference, the last one listed in the paper. After reading your paper, I've come to understand why you wanted to explore my usage of the term 'substance' and why it may have caused some initial confusion, as it would for most people who commonly associate 'substance' with 'physical stuff'. 'Substance' as I have used it harks back to Aristotle's work.

I must say, I really enjoyed your paper, as well! Your discussion of 'patterns of distinction' and of 'actualizable objects' are particularly insightful for me. One question that I think it would be nice for you to engage is, "Why does the background of a binary distinction require a complex state space such as the Block sphere associated with the qubit?"

Thanks again, Charles

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Hugh Matlock wrote on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 22:24 GMT
Hi Charles,

I love the delightful weaving of geometry, algebra, psychology and history you have created with your essay! Congratulations for an excellent presentation.

You conclude:

"When Descartes partitioned human understanding of reality into separate domains, he did so with good reason and with good effect...However, his simplifying assumption must now be seen to be a first-order approximation whose limitations have been reached, and a new understanding entailing greater complexity must follow in its place."

In my own research, I have found that geometric algebra and quaternion representations are useful, and the 3-sphere central, to a workable cosmological picture. Now you have me wondering if they might serve as well for mental representation as for physical representation.

While I did not have the space in my Software Cosmos essay to dwell on the possibilities for mental representation, I think that my model affords (with its unobserved "implicate" space) a venue for such. In any case, I conclude with "It from Bit and Bit from Us", meaning that the source of things is information but the source of that information is Mind.

Information about the physical world is arranged hierarchically into objects of increasing size. Are minds arranged the same way? Does an individual mind partake of a species-mind (responsible for instinctual knowledge) and does a species-mind partake of a greater mind (capable of, say cellular functioning)? If so, then the underlying invisible fractal mechanisms used to structure the physical realm that I describe might also be serving the mental realm. At least, that would be my guess.

Hugh

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Author Charles Raldo Card replied on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 23:42 GMT
Hi Hugh,

First of all, let me say how much I enjoyed your essay. I found that it was a well thought-out, creative response to the competition topic. You have a very interesting compilation of relevant references to your stated intention of constructing software for a digital universe. As well, I really value your appeal to geometric algebra in a number of instances for the theoretical underpinning of your approach. I do believe that there are some general/generalizable aspects of GA that may prove relevant to discussions of mental structures and representations, but I think that it would be premature to try to make too much of these possibilities at this point. If you care to pursue where my thoughts have largely been concentrated, you might wish to check out the last reference cited in my paper.

Thanks again for your interest,

Charles

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Gary Glenn Miller wrote on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 22:46 GMT
Hi Charles,

What a wonderful paper!

What a surprising correspondence between Wheeler's idea of It from Bit and von Weizsacker's idea of Ur!

And what a new connection you have discovered between these and Pauli's concept of ``psycho-physical neutral" !

This is a very very well written paper. I must give it a high score.

Sincerely,

Gary Glenn Miller

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Author Charles Raldo Card replied on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 23:50 GMT
Hi Gary,

Thanks again for all of your support and encouragement for my work. I trust you will have seen some of the influences of our many years of conversations in what I have written. I look forward to the continuing conversation!

I truly enjoyed your paper, too. You tabled many wonderful topics, and I hope that you will take the opportunity to expand upon them outside of the confines of this essay competition. I know that you have much to say that will require a monograph (or two)to encompass it.

Cheers,

Charles

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Antony Ryan wrote on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 16:51 GMT
Hello Charles,

Very, very nicely written essay which taught me a lot of historical development in this field, so it was extremely relevant and interesting!

I like the way you set the stage for the humanity's ongoing quest and it felt like a challenge to motivate the reader into physics - which is great.

Reminded me a little of Brief History of Time with an It from Bit slant.

Well done and all the best for the contest!

Take a look at my essay if you get chance. Information in the context of Black Holes, geometry, entropy & Fibonacci!

Kind regards,

Antony

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Author Charles Raldo Card replied on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 23:53 GMT
Hi Antony,

Thanks for your interest in my paper. I'm glad that it was useful to you. I have a warm spot in my heart for logarithmic spirals and golden numbers, and I look forward to reading your paper.

Thanks again, Charles

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Antony Ryan replied on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 22:20 GMT
Thanks Charles & best wishes for the contest,

Antony

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 19:51 GMT
Dear Charles,

I have read with allowances for your analytical essay written lively language. World contests FQXi - it contests new fundamental ideas, new deep meanings and new concepts. In your essay deep analysis in the basic strategy of Descartes's method of doubt, given new ideas and conclusions.

You cite fiducial thoughts of great researchers to «grasp» the nature of the information:

"Information may not be just what we learn about the world. It may be what makes the world. "( John Wheeler) . And Weizsacker, who regards information as "a quantitative measure of form," and «Experiment and theory, as we know them today, no longer provide any reason to postulate matter and mind (res extensa and res cogitans) as

independent "realities," ie, as substances in the classical meaning of the

word. Form is not an additional third, but their common basis.»

You give great ideas to overcome the broken world of Descartes through the method Descartes: «When Descartes partitioned human understanding of reality into separate domains, he did so with good reason and with good effect. The conceptual simplification achieved by his cut became the means by which the inquiry that we call modern science was able to progress, and revolution upon revolution followed, repeatedly transforming the lives and understanding of humanity. However, his simplifying assumption must now be seen to be a first-order approximation whose limitations have been reached, and a new understanding entailing greater complexity must follow in its place.» Totally agree with you. I'll put a rating of "happy nine" ... Please read my essay. I think we are the same in the spirit of our research.

Best regards,

Vladimir

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Author Charles Raldo Card replied on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 20:32 GMT
Hi Vladimir,

I have enjoyably and profitably read your paper, which contains many points of interest that we share. I am particularly intrigued by your notion of 'ontological memory'and your references to Ilyin's work. Thank you!

Best,

Charles

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Sreenath B N wrote on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 05:28 GMT
Dear Charles,

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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Author Charles Raldo Card replied on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 20:42 GMT
Hi, B.N.,

I've read your paper and value its very helpful overview of the concept of information in classical physics, quantum physics, biology and mathematics. I find it a bit surprising that you have arrived at the conclusion that the human has no limit to his understanding of physical reality or of the external world, that there are no restrictions imposed by the homo sapien brain. No such claim would likely be made for any other creature on Earth, so I wonder why it might be that the human has this particular distinction.

Thanks again for your interest in my essay and for our interesting paper!

Cheers,

Charles

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Michel Planat wrote on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 10:16 GMT
Dear Charles,

One of the most relevant essays from philosophy I have seen in this FQXi contest. Spekkens is great. Do you consider Grothendieck's 'dessins d'enfants' as

a conceptual leap?

http://www.fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1789

All the best,

Michel

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Author Charles Raldo Card replied on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 20:24 GMT
Hi Michel,

Your discussion of Grothendieck's 'dessins d'enfants' puts me into very deep waters mathematically, but I certainly am intrigued by the fact that your argument addresses quantum non-locality and contextuality, which certainly are relevant to my essay and a search for a greater understanding of the 'conceptual leap' that occurs with regard to them. Your reference 11 has caught my eye, and I will look into it. I wonder, what are the (quantum) physical implications of three-qubit contextuality being on a qualitatively different footing when compared with the two-qubit case?

Thanks for your interest in my essay and drawing my attention to yours! I suspect that it will be one of the most important papers for my purposes to emerge from the competition.

Cheers,

Charles

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Michel Planat replied on Jul. 29, 2013 @ 06:43 GMT
Dear Charles,

Thank you for your response. When I wrote

http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/quant-ph/0403020

following the invitation of the editor of Neuroquantolgy, I found the excellent Flanagan's paper in the same journal. Many years later I was able to use the same formalism in the contest of Riemmann hypothesis and QM

http://iopscience.iop.org/1751-8121/labtalk-article/45421

C
oncerning the 3QB versus 2QB case, Mermin was the first to point out it in his famous paper in the J. Mod. Phys. 65, 803 (1993) "Hidden variables and the two theorems of John Bell". There are several geometrical clothes of the Mermin's pentagram (half a dodecahedron, the non-realizable (10,3) configuration, the Petersen graph, the Desargues configuration, just to give the most important ones), it is related to E8 anf G2(2)(arXiv:1305.5689 and arXiv:1212.2729).

I am glad that you found interest in this essay as I found in yours, I am waiting your appreciation at my essay page. I rated your essay in July 24 with a very high score.

Good luck for the contest,

Michel

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 17:08 GMT
Dear Charles

Information is neutral notion, but tautological....

“The average human being is a naive realist: i.e., like the animals, he accepts his sense impressions as direct information of reality and he is convinced that all human beings share this information. He is not aware that no way exist of establishing whether one individual impression (e.g. ,of a green tree) and that of another (of this tree) is the same and that even the word “same” has no meaning here.”

Max Born My life & my views p.53

Every question like "What is the same information?" is tautology

Warren Mcculoch call it greatest riidle of the World.

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Than Tin wrote on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 23:16 GMT
Hello Charles

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...

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jul. 29, 2013 @ 14:43 GMT
Charles,

Great essay. Incisive comprehensive analysis of many salient points, and beautifully written, all the better for it's consistency with and support for my own thesis! Reading a fresh and logical viewpoint was rewarding and encouraging.

You also asked Armin; "Why does the background of a binary distinction require a complex state space such as the Block sphere associated with the qubit?" I hope my essay may help may answer that with Rob Spekkens "missing ingredient".

Beyond the bit and Qbit might there be an IQbit that can hold and tell us more, via non-local hidden variables as an ontological "additional concept"? I suggest in my essay that all properties of quantum theory can then be derived, consistent with von Neumann and von Weizsäcker.

Would it be reasonable to consider a physical entity/particle as a 'signal' occupying an exclusive space and with internal structure?

I was very interested in the Carey view, but again might a 4th system be possible, as a hierarchical recursive set of higher order 'sample spaces'. Reality (as SR) having the sequential structure of propositions in truth function logic.

I was very pleased at the end, as the underlying ontological construction I use suggests that Cartesian systems are inadequately for modelling the evolution of real interactions (motion).

You may need to read mine to fully understand the questions! I very much look forward to your comments and advice. Very well done and thank you for yours.

best wishes

Peter

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Author Charles Raldo Card replied on Jul. 31, 2013 @ 14:06 GMT
Thank you, Peter, for your thoughtful appraisal of my essay. I will certainly read yours and reflect upon your comments.

Sincerely, Charles Card

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Manuel S Morales wrote on Jul. 30, 2013 @ 03:51 GMT
Charles,

What an excellent essay! I found your introspective approach most insightful and well thought out. I too have come to appreciate the beauty and precision of Descartes' Cartesian product as the best tool to use to understand the multiple dichotomies of selection. I agree with your statement. "...but much remains to be understood how the rotation operation is actually cognitively called up in the context of an algebraic system."

Interestingly enough, without the implementation of the compound function of this tool I would not have been able to understand the rotation operation you speak of. In any case your essay is one that I will want to review again and again when the time allows. I wish you make it to the finals for it is deserving of more consideration.

Best wishes,

Manuel

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Author Charles Raldo Card replied on Jul. 31, 2013 @ 14:15 GMT
Hi Manuel,

Thank you for giving my essay a careful and thoughtful reading! I look forward to reading yours, and as well as exploring the overall argument that you present, I will be keenly interested to learn how you have dealt with the issue of rotation.

Sincerely,

Charles Card

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Manuel S Morales replied on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 21:36 GMT
Hi Charles,

I look forward to having you read and rate my essay. Perhaps after the deadline we can discuss the findings in more detail.

Best wishes,

Manuel

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Antoine Acke wrote on Aug. 2, 2013 @ 08:45 GMT
Dear Charles,

Thanks for your erudite essay. I enjoyed reading it and I am impressed by your thorough knowledge of the treated theme.

The title suggest a certain relationship to my essay where I explain gravito-electromagnetism by introducing "information" as the "substance" of gravitational fields.

When I use the term "information" in that context, I mean that "information carried by informatons" makes these fields what they are: not just mathematical constructions but elements of the natural world.

May I invite you to go through my essay and to give your opinion about my interpretation of the concept "substance"?

Sincerly,

Antoine.

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eAmazigh M. HANNOU wrote on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 23:13 GMT
Dear Charles,

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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Author Charles Raldo Card wrote on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 03:38 GMT
Late-in-the-Day Thoughts about the Essays I’ve Read

Of the nearly two hundred essays submitted to the competition, there seems to be a preponderance of sentiment for the ‘Bit-from-It” standpoint, though many excellent essays argue against this stance or advocate for a wider perspective on the whole issue. Joseph Brenner provided an excellent analysis of the various positions that might be taken with the topic, which he subsumes under the categories of ‘It-from-Bit’, ‘Bit-from-It’, and ‘It-and-Bit’.

Brenner himself supports the ‘Bit-from-It’ position of Julian Barbour as stated in his 2011 essay that gave impetus to the present competition. Others such as James Beichler, Sundance Bilson-Thompson, Agung Budiyono, and Olaf Dreyer have presented well-stated arguments that generally align with a ‘Bit-from-It’ position.

Various renderings of the contrary position, ‘It-from-Bit’, have received well-reasoned support from Stephen Anastasi, Paul Borrill, Luigi Foschini, Akinbo Ojo, and Jochen Szangolies. An allied category that was not included in Brenner’s analysis is ‘It-from-Qubit’, and valuable explorations of this general position were undertaken by Giacomo D’Ariano, Philip Gibbs, Michel Planat and Armin Shirazi.

The category of ‘It-and-Bit’ displays a great diversity of approaches which can be seen in the works of Mikalai Birukou, Kevin Knuth, Willard Mittelman, Georgina Parry, and Cristinel Stoica,.

It seems useful to discriminate among the various approaches to ‘It-and-Bit’ a subcategory that perhaps could be identified as ‘meaning circuits’, in a sense loosely associated with the phrase by J.A. Wheeler. Essays that reveal aspects of ‘meaning circuits’ are those of Howard Barnum, Hugh Matlock, Georgina Parry, Armin Shirazi, and in especially that of Alexei Grinbaum.

Proceeding from a phenomenological stance as developed by Husserl, Grinbaum asserts that the choice to be made of either ‘It from Bit’ or ‘Bit from It’ can be supplemented by considering ‘It from Bit’ and ‘Bit from It’. To do this, he presents an ‘epistemic loop’ by which physics and information are cyclically connected, essentially the same ‘loop’ as that which Wheeler represented with his ‘meaning circuit’. Depending on where one ‘cuts’ the loop, antecedent and precedent conditions are obtained which support an ‘It from Bit’ interpretation, or a ‘Bit from It’ interpretation, or, though not mentioned by Grinbaum, even an ‘It from Qubit’ interpretation. I’ll also point out that depending on where the cut is made, it can be seen as a ‘Cartesian cut’ between res extensa and res cogitans or as a ‘Heisenberg cut’ between the quantum system and the observer. The implications of this perspective are enormous for the present It/Bit debate! To quote Grinbaum: “The key to understanding the opposition between IT and BIT is in choosing a vantage point from which OR looks as good as AND. Then this opposition becomes unnecessary: the loop view simply dissolves it.” Grinbaum then goes on to point out that this epistemologically circular structure “…is not a logical disaster, rather it is a well-documented property of all foundational studies.”

However, Grinbaum maintains that it is mandatory to cut the loop; he claims that it is “…a logical necessity: it is logically impossible to describe the loop as a whole within one theory.” I will argue that in fact it is vital to preserve the loop as a whole and to revise our expectations of what we wish to accomplish by making the cut. In fact, the ongoing It/Bit debate has been sustained for decades by our inability to recognize the consequences that result from making such a cut. As a result, we have been unable to take up the task of studying the properties inherent in the circularity of the loop. Helpful in this regard would be an examination of the role of relations between various elements and aspects of the loop. To a certain extent the importance of the role of relations has already been well stated in the essays of Kevin Knuth, Carlo Rovelli, Cristinel Stoica, and Jochen Szangolies although without application to aspects that clearly arise from ‘circularity’. Gary Miller’s discussion of the role of patterns, drawn from various historical precedents in mathematics, philosophy, and psychology, provides the clearest hints of all competition submissions on how the holistic analysis of this essential circular structure might be able to proceed.

In my paper, I outlined Susan Carey’s assertion that a ‘conceptual leap’ is often required in the construction of a new scientific theory. Perhaps moving from a ‘linearized’ perspective of the structure of a scientific theory to one that is ‘circularized’ is just one further example of this kind of conceptual change.

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Peter Jackson replied on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 12:38 GMT
Charles,

Nice review. I agree. But as every'thing' 'moves' relatively I suggest in 'reality' the circle becomes a helix. The correspondence between the helix and the 'plane' then represents the correspondence between 'cardinalised' maths and 'non-linear' nature in a simple 3D+t universe.

(3D+t would have had inverted commas but Id ran out by then) [so would the Id].

So if a particle CAN have a structure can we now use it unify QM and relativity please? Are we here enough to take on the massed armies of troglodytes? (I don t think they re as united as we may think).

Can I propose a new era to take over from "shut up and calculate" (aha! the doubles still work) to "slow down and think". But this time I propose we include the "excluded" middle to make it all coherent.

Peter

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Cristinel Stoica wrote on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 07:33 GMT
Dear Charles,

Very interesting essay. I like the way you described Wheeler's "it from bit" and von Weizsacker's ur theory, and the lucid comparisons between the two. Interesting how you connect them with Spekken's additional conceptual ingredient, which you propose should be equated with Susan Carey's "conceptual leap".

Best regards,

Cristi Stoica

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Member Giacomo Mauro D'Ariano wrote on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 16:00 GMT
Dear Charles

I appreciated (and well rated) your essay, which collects some interesting historical notes about the theme of the competition. In particular about Wheeler and von Weizsaecker's.

My best regards

Mauro

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Yuri Danoyan wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 03:32 GMT
Hi Charles

Are you rated my essay?

Yuri

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Author Charles Raldo Card replied on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 22:45 GMT
Hi Yuri,

Yes, in fact I rated your essay a couple of weeks ago now.

What a fine competition has been! I hope to read a few more essays today then take a break.

Cheers, Charles

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Richard William Kingsley-Nixey wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 12:24 GMT
Charles,

Very good essay, good science and good literature. hope you qualify.

Mine's just a bit of light parody by comparison.

Richard

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KoGuan Leo wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 16:41 GMT
Dear Charles,

What a wonderful essay!

I like these passages: "When faced with the question “What is information?” both Wheeler and von Weizsäcker straddle the Cartesian divide. Firstly, they both characterize information as a substance: For Wheeler, his elementary quantum phenomenon is the “primordial building ‘substance’” [1] of physical law, the “ultimate building...

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Author Charles Raldo Card replied on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 22:51 GMT
Thank you, Leo, for your extensive commentary on my essay! I will take the few remaining hours of the competition to read your paper and give it a rating.

Best luck with your submission and the further development of your thoughts!

Sincerely,

Charles Card

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