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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

john selye: on 8/2/13 at 2:04am UTC, wrote Having read so many insightful essays, I am probably not the only one to...

Antony Ryan: on 8/1/13 at 11:18am UTC, wrote Dear Stephen, I like your writing style and the historical opening to set...

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 7/30/13 at 16:40pm UTC, wrote Dear Stephen, I am sorry in the delay in replying you. I did not check the...

Peter Jackson: on 7/30/13 at 11:32am UTC, wrote Stephen, Just checking I hadn't forgotten to add your points and noticed...

Anonymous: on 7/29/13 at 19:06pm UTC, wrote Dear Stephen, I just very much enjoyed reading your essay and was...

Georgina Woodward: on 7/26/13 at 7:58am UTC, wrote Take 3 "What's going on down there?"

Georgina Woodward: on 7/26/13 at 7:50am UTC, wrote Correction "What is going on down there"

Georgina Woodward: on 7/26/13 at 7:48am UTC, wrote Dear Stephen, I have enjoyed reading your essay. I particularly like the...


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FQXi FORUM
May 23, 2019

CATEGORY: It From Bit or Bit From It? Essay Contest (2013) [back]
TOPIC: What’s going on down there? by Stephen Kenneth Lee [refresh]
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Author Stephen Lee wrote on Jun. 30, 2013 @ 14:35 GMT
Essay Abstract

What is it that underlies our reality? I discuss various options, and argue that mental, material and mathematical bases for our universe are all in some way unsatisfactory, and that a computational viewpoint is to be preferred, although there is likely to be something extra which at present we find hard to accept.

Author Bio

Following a PhD in Mathematical Quantum Theory, my work as a self employed programmer has included writing compilers and management training software. I have also created several websites, the most recent being quantropy.org, a repository to which anyone can submit an academic paper

Download Essay PDF File

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jul. 2, 2013 @ 11:01 GMT
Dear Lee,

Thank you very much for such a nice essay.

I feel 'property dualism - that mind is an epiphenomenon, existing separately from the physical world, but having no effect on it' is correct. As you may see that by just thinking in the mind, we cannot produce matter...............

I am requesting you to go through my essay also. And I take this opportunity to say, to come...

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Author Stephen Lee replied on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 11:55 GMT
Epiphenominalism: Maybe mind can't produce matter, but surely it can affect it. Your mind believes in epiphenominalism, but it's your body which typed your post. Why would it do that if it has no input from your mind? (See more of my thoughts here).

As for the question of whether matter can arise from 'nothing', well some people think that it can. In 'From Eternity to Here' Sean Carroll suggests that new universes 'budding off' existing ones may help us to understand time, and in 'Parallel Worlds' Michio Kaku suggests that when our universe runs down we might create ourselves a new one. These ideas aren't universally accepted, but it's interesting to note that objections to them are generally not on the grounds of conservation of mass/energy, but rather to do with entropy, which in the end boils down to conservation of information.

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on Jul. 30, 2013 @ 16:40 GMT
Dear Stephen,

I am sorry in the delay in replying you. I did not check the replies.

It was my proposition, it was not an inference to your essay. What I mean is that we should be more close experimental results for our propositions.

I think we form a picture of anything in our mind, and keep them in our memories. We communicate about that picture to others, which we call information. When we die we loose all these pictures and memories.

Now in this context, can we create material from information...?

You can discuss with me later after this contest closes also.

Best

=snp

snp.gupta@gmail.com

http://vaksdynamicuniversemodel.blogspot.com/

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Manuel S Morales wrote on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 01:31 GMT
"I find its hard to see why nonlocal hidden variables are so unpopular."

Finally a kindred spirit! We are few and far in between unfortunately. I have presented evidence in my essay to support our common position by the way. Best of luck to you in this competition!

Manuel

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 03:27 GMT
Dear Stephen

I totally agree with you about "we need to start from firm foundations" . Perhaps there will be more valuable when you boldly make out a certain idea - such as "a computational viewpoint" any is that .

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...

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Jul. 3, 2013 @ 19:03 GMT
Stephen,

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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Henry H. Lindner wrote on Jul. 4, 2013 @ 11:32 GMT
Stephen,

As you see the parallel with the Copernical Revolution, I think you'll be interested in my paper. I demonstrate Relativity and QM are observer-based systems of description and prediction, no different than the Ptolemaic astronomy. I explain how we ended up in this strange situation. I believe that removing the observer from physics requires a theory of what space is and what role it plays in all phenomena.

Henry

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jul. 4, 2013 @ 15:34 GMT
Respectfully Dr. Lee,

To admit that I found your exceptionally well written essay utterly fascinating would be a gross understatement of the powerful impact it had on me.

As a crumpled up old realist, will you please allow me to make a real comment about it?

The most telling sentence is this one. “It is possible to accept the argument of Vesteegh and Dieks thinking of the particles as being physically identical, but each having a unique identifier.”

As I have gone to politely point out in my essay BITTERS, one real unique Universe is eternally occurring, once. Each real particle is unique, once. Each real galaxy is unique, once. Only daft scientists think up divisions of micro worlds and macro worlds.

Let us Wheeler it!

Is the real unique Universe simple, once? Yes.

Is the real unique Universe complex more than once? No.

Is common complex Quantum Mechanics real? No.

Is common philosophy real? No

Is common mathematics real? No

Is common duality real? No.

Joe

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Hugh Matlock wrote on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 06:42 GMT
Hi Stephen,

I enjoyed your essay and agree with your conclusions. You wrote:

1. "As I see it the way forward, or at least the first step, would be to model minds as software agents, within models of the rest of physics."

Since software agents are software (thus information) you are thus able to unify at some level. It is also important to specify how the memory of such agents is maintained. These are apparently not localized to the physical brain, but this is not a problem for the computational model (which can posit an information store that is non-physical).

2. "In the end our models of physics are going to be implemented on a computer. They may be approximations, but to me it makes more sense to see them as approximating a more detailed computational model than to claim that our actual model involves the infinities of mathematics."

Yes, if the physical theory involves infinities then there is an explanatory gap: just how does nature manage to operate according to such abstract laws?

3. "To get the best from this opportunity we need to start from firm foundations, and my arguments above imply that the firmest foundations will be gained by taking a computational viewpoint."

In my Software Cosmos essay I take the next step by offering a specific software architecture that is able to reproduce cosmological observations. I also suggest (and carry out) a test to see if we are currently living in such a simulation.

Hugh

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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 20:46 GMT
Dear Stephen,

I just read your essay and found your historical tour of physics with some interesting background I did not know (like the religious pressure on Newton in his letters) very enjoyable.

You have a very clear, easygoing writing style. From the point of evaluating the strength of the argument, it seems to me that you are mainly advocating a computational approach because...

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Author Stephen Lee replied on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 08:49 GMT
Hi Armin,



I'm glad you liked my essay.

I think one reason I didn't give a more direct argument for the computational viewpoint is that I feel that this would need more in the way of examples which have worked, and these examples haven't been developed yet. For example, one way to deal with the lack of models of the microworld to macroworld transition would be to construct such a model in a cellular automaton, but it's clear that this would involve a lot of work. See my paper Cellular Automata and the Measurement Problem for more details.

I had a look at your Dimensional Theory paper, but I felt that you probably need to look more into its similarities and differences from the standard Hilbert space approach in which quantum states exist in a large or infinite dimensional Hilbert space, and measurement involves projection onto a subspace.

Regarding the quantropy.org site, it was launched some years back, when there weren't so many repositories around. (it is listed by Google scholar) I have to say that I had expected it to be more popular in terms of people submitting papers, and that my problem would then be to find people willing to act as advisors, and to develop novel ways of helping those who submit papers to improve them. However, it's only really got my papers so far, so it's rather on the back-burner at the moment.

I think that there is a repository which is there for institutions which don't run their own repositories, but I can't remember the details at the moment - I'll try to find out more.

Stephen Lee

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WANG Xiong wrote on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 09:03 GMT
Hi Stephen,

Thanks for your nice essay, well done

I enjoy reading it and gave it high rate

mental, material and mathematical, i think maybe is the same...

What’s going on down there? similarly to your approach, my essay may interest you Bit: from Breaking symmetry of it

Hope you enjoy it

Regards,

Xiong

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 20:28 GMT
Dear Stephen,

World contests FQXi - it contests new fundamental ideas, new deep meanings and new concepts. In your essay deep original analysis in the basic strategy of Descartes's method of doubt, given new ideas and conclusions. I bet you a high rating.

Constructive ways to the truth may be different. One of them said Alexander Zenkin in the article "Science counterrevolution in mathematics":

«The truth should be drawn with the help of the cognitive computer visualization technology and should be presented to" an unlimited circle "of spectators in the form of color-musical cognitive images of its immanent essence.» Http://www.ccas. ru/alexzen/papers/ng-02/contr_rev.htm

I have only one question: why the picture of the world of physicists poorer meanings than the picture of the world lyricists? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3ho31QhjsY

I wish you success,

Vladimir

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Than Tin wrote on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 04:10 GMT
Hi Stephen

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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Georgina Woodward wrote on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 07:48 GMT
Dear Stephen,

I have enjoyed reading your essay. I particularly like the way you have set out your arguments so clearly. Though you reject ideas of the universe that I think we need to retain, (as I'm thinking that a mathematical basis, a material basis and an informational basis are all parts of the Entirety that makes up reality), I like the ease with which you carry the reader to your conclusion.

Thank you for insight into your way of thinking about the conundrum of "what is down there". Good luck, Georgina

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Georgina Woodward replied on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 07:50 GMT
Correction "What is going on down there"

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Georgina Woodward replied on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 07:58 GMT
Take 3 "What's going on down there?"

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Anonymous wrote on Jul. 29, 2013 @ 19:06 GMT
Dear Stephen,

I just very much enjoyed reading your essay and was impressed by your flowing historical and theoretical analysis.

I agree the concept of nonlocal hidden variables is important, but not just "unpopular", but often denied. Have you also found the concept that particles may have some 'structure', as known from collider physics, equally rebuffed?

I hope you may read my assay and advise on a proposal apparently able to resolve the outstanding problem of Quantum weirdness with non-infinite recursion, suggesting maths or computer algorithms can be tuned to decode the 'noise'. This non-local geometry seems to overcome Bell's theorem with little fuss.

Your entirely different approach (may main areas are astronomy, optics and MHD) best positions you to do what I and many have failed to achieve so far, falsify the model (or otherwise help refine it!).

Well written, Scoring it up as it deserves. Best wishes

Peter

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Peter Jackson replied on Jul. 30, 2013 @ 11:32 GMT
Stephen,

Just checking I hadn't forgotten to add your points and noticed I'd been logged out for the comment! Yes, t'was I above. And I do hope you can get to my own essay.

Apparently the dense abstract has put some off, but to counter this impression I'm pleased say the blog has comments like;

"I hope this astonishing paper finds many many readers...It is groundbreaking." "your work is clearly significant", "I think you've done a fantastic job." "...his wonderful essay", "I am deeply impressed", "I accept unequivocally your solution.", "I admire your dedication to science and truth." and; "I feel your essay deserves a high rating and I hope that it places at least amongst the top four."

I must also admit Basudeba seemed to think it's rubbish. But that does support my uncertainty hypothesis!

Very best wishes, and well done again for yours.

Peter

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Antony Ryan wrote on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 11:18 GMT
Dear Stephen,

I like your writing style and the historical opening to set the scene well. Also it is good to see an essay from a computational viewpoint and you are right that multiverses don't solve all problems with physics. You've done an excellent job overall, so I rate your essay highly. My essay is a little different but not purely abstract mathematical, it is based on observation and then extrapolated into Black Holes and uses the principle of pathways. Also there is a little entropy in there. I hope you have a chance to look at it.

Best wishes,

Antony

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john stephan selye wrote on Aug. 2, 2013 @ 02:04 GMT
Having read so many insightful essays, I am probably not the only one to find that my views have crystallized, and that I can now move forward with growing confidence. I cannot exactly say who in the course of the competition was most inspiring - probably it was the continuous back and forth between so many of us. In this case, we should all be grateful to each other.

If I may, I'd like to...

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