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What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
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Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
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Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
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How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
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It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
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Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
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Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
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What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Lorraine Ford: on 8/12/13 at 0:49am UTC, wrote Hi Antony, I have replied on your forum. Cheers, Lorraine

Antony Ryan: on 8/10/13 at 11:00am UTC, wrote (I too have posted on my forum - whichever you see first etc) Hello...

Lorraine Ford: on 8/9/13 at 0:12am UTC, wrote (I have also posted the following on your essay forum) Hi Antony, ...

Paul Borrill: on 8/7/13 at 21:28pm UTC, wrote Dear Lorraine, I have now finished reviewing all 180 essays for the...

Cristinel Stoica: on 8/7/13 at 7:41am UTC, wrote Hi, votes are vanishing again.

Antony Ryan: on 8/6/13 at 17:16pm UTC, wrote Hi Lorraine, Comment I left on my thread: Thanks very much for your kind...

Anonymous: on 8/6/13 at 16:19pm UTC, wrote Lorraine, I happened upon a conversation you were having with Carlo...

Manuel Morales: on 8/6/13 at 1:48am UTC, wrote Lorraine; I apologize that my request so deeply offended you. My mistake. ...


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FQXi FORUM
August 25, 2019

CATEGORY: It From Bit or Bit From It? Essay Contest (2013) [back]
TOPIC: Information, Numbers, Time, Life, Ethics by Lorraine Ford [refresh]
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Author Lorraine Ford wrote on Jul. 5, 2013 @ 16:13 GMT
Essay Abstract

In this essay I discuss why information at the foundations of reality should be understood as subjective experience, and why represented and coded information i.e. Shannon-type information is a secondary concept. I discuss the nature and content of information, and how numbers, time and ethics fit into the picture and relate to the nature of information.

Author Bio

Lorraine is a former long-time computer analyst and programmer. She lives with her husband, a cat and some ducks. As well as the nature of reality, Lorraine is interested in animals, Australian native plants, and other living things. She grows pelargoniums, collects historic bearded irises, and is a prize winning flower arranger.

Download Essay PDF File

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Author Lorraine Ford wrote on Jul. 5, 2013 @ 21:39 GMT
PLEASE NOTE: the following text on page 5 of my essay is misleading:

"A set of one or more...types of things could never evolve..."

What I meant to convey was:

"A set of one or more...types of things could never further evolve..."

Without the word "further", the text probably doesn't convey the meaning I was attempting to convey.

Lorraine

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Jul. 7, 2013 @ 05:33 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

Although I never got around to it, I intended several times to revisit your blog from your previous essay, as I recall a thorough discussion of information in those comments. [I'm still hoping that McEachern has submitted an essay in this contest!] In fact I suspect that the dialogue on your blog contributed to your thinking on this topic as you have written one of the most...

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 8, 2013 @ 01:45 GMT
Hi Edwin,

Thank you so much for your kind words about my essay, I am overwhelmed. You are right that the dialogue I have engaged in on FQXi blogs has contributed to my thinking, as have many books and articles I have read over many years.

I haven't as yet commented on any other essays, though I have downloaded many of them, including yours, ready to read. I haven't properly studied...

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Manuel S Morales wrote on Jul. 7, 2013 @ 21:19 GMT
Lorraine,

I have sent an email requesting that FQXi extend to those of you who had their essay posted on July 5, 2013, be allowed additional days to compensate for the days of not being able to rate these essays.

My experience in conducting the online Tempt Destiny (TD) experiment from 2000 to 2012 gave me an understanding of the complexities involved in administrating an online...

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jul. 7, 2013 @ 21:26 GMT
Dear Lorraine

An interesting essay , i am will be rate when the rating system continues to operate.

And to change the atmosphere "abstract" of the competition along with 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...

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Zoran Mijatovic wrote on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 07:06 GMT
Hello Lorraine,

You have put the best case I have heard so far for dropping the word "information" from the debate which Wheeler began many years ago. Biologist Jacob von Uexküll presented the best case I ever read for describing information as an "indication", and this almost a hundred years ago. As a software engineer I find that speaking about a set of indications in a memory register containing eight indications allows me to transition from computer science where a bit is a one or zero for good reason, to physics and quantum mechanics where the definition of information is so lax that it could be anything. While I do not agree with everything Professor Unnikrishnan's says in his essay (No: 1883), I believe the section which speaks of the context within which quantum states represent information is well worth reading.

Now, my only caution with regard to your essay would be to suggest never saying never, and I quote "...non-measurable constituent of physical reality...", the moment you say something like that someone comes along and proposes a means to the measurement. I think it has something to do with the law of absolutes, which says that nothing absolute lasts for long, or something like that. In cognitive mechanics you may also find that the transient representation of the objects of our attention are often refereed to as objective indication, or intuition, and the more persistent representations associate with knowledge are more often than not referred to as subjective, and as information.

Great read, and good luck.

Zoran.

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 04:02 GMT
Hi Zoran,

Thanks for reading and commenting on my essay.

I think you are right about the definition of information being lax, and not just in physics and quantum mechanics. But I don't think it is necessary to drop the word "information" - I just think that for clarity of thought, the objects that merely represent information (i.e. from the point of view of a subject) should be appropriately named "represented information". To my way of thinking, the word "information" can only properly be applied to subjective experience. If something is incorrectly categorised in the first place, then it can lead to a compounding of mistakes, which is what I think we are seeing today in the discussion about information.

I found Prof. Unnikrishnan's essay very dense reading, but as you say he does speak of the context in which quantum states represent information - I think further study of his essay is required.

Cheers,

Lorraine

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M. V. Vasilyeva wrote on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 21:04 GMT
Hello Lorraine!

There are very few women participating in this year contest and I am sure to read all their essays. I like to hear sensible and pragmatic female voices in the discussion that has traditionally been dominated by males. I very much enjoyed your essay. You give a very good analysis of what is information and emphasize that it is a subjective and contextual experience that requires awareness. Well done!

However, your analysis deals with more advanced levels of information, mainly as it is perceived by humans. In my essay I address information at the basic level of sensors capturing the' bits' and argue that our idea of 'It' is only as good as 'bits' our senses and sensors can deliver. I allude that there are other types of information 'out there' waiting to be discovered by means of improving existing or developing entirely new technology. I invite you to read and comment on my essay :)

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 04:09 GMT
Hi M.V.,

Thank you for taking the time to read and assess my essay, and for your positive assessment. But I feel that you are mistaken when you say that I only deal with "more advanced levels of information". For example:

- In section 2 I question whether the "bit" that physicists Seth Lloyd and Paul Davies seem to refer to could really be a more a fundamental category of...

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KoGuan Leo wrote on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 04:50 GMT
Hellow Lorraine, Excellent essay. However, if I may say that nature is infinite, thus, no finite concept can defines the infinite. Furthermore, as nature is infinite I believe it is, if not tell me how big or how small it is precisely. In other words, no finite law can restrict the movement and creativity of the infinite even in principle. Thus, any idea, law or definition must NOT limit nature but it must enhance it. Thus I agree with you that subjectivity defines the objects but the objectivity simultaneously defines the subjectivity. If I understood you correctly. Thus both subjectivity and objectivity are intertwined and in the dance of helical entanglements that enhance both these subjectivity and objectivity in a trialectic dialogues and exchanges. Please look at my essay Child of Qbit in time, more or less we are on the same page, as we are together seeking for the truth no matter where this truth will lead us using both subjectivity and objectivity perspectives whatever they might mean. Best regards, Leo KoGuan

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 14:39 GMT
Hi Leo KoGuan,

Thanks for looking at and commenting on my essay. I will make a comment about your essay on your essay blog.

Cheers,

Lorraine

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KoGuan Leo replied on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 04:42 GMT
Dear Lorraine, yes I saw it and replied to your perceptive comment. I also think your view really says correct me if I am wrong that Quantum Mechanics combines us, the subjective being into the bossom of nature (objective being if there is no subjective being around to interpret her state of being)? I would further argue that this means we indeed are one with nature scientifically discovered and proven. If I may quote Zhuangzi who said that he and Nature are born together and are one. Again I am really happy reading your penetratingly subjective perspective and an outstanding literature on reality as we perceive her to be. Congratulation for work well done! Regards, Leo KoGuan

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 06:19 GMT
Hi Leo,

I think Zhuangzi was right: we living things "are one with nature", we are part of nature and are not different to nature. I contend that we know nature (i.e. ourselves and the rest of reality) because of subjective experience of (i.e. information about) ourselves and the rest of reality. I think that right down to the foundations of reality, there is no objective information, only subjective information. We can represent this subjective experience (i.e. information) with various codes: words, symbols, letters and numbers, or even strings of bits.

Thank you very much for your kind words and congratulations.It's a pleasure to discuss these important issues with you. Best wishes, Lorraine

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George Kirakosyan wrote on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 09:50 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

I have read your nice essay that catching of reader because fairness of polemic.

You clearly has defined what is the ,,bit,, and what is ,,it, and how these related each to other. You have demonstrated with the same the contentless of problem! I am inclined to explain your right approach conditioned with your right life style. I often see in my dream when I will go my village and live there in right way. I am very inclined to see your work as one valuable for me confirmation to my own worldview. I hope my work Es may deserve your attention then we can exchange our opinions.

Best wishes,

George

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 15, 2013 @ 03:26 GMT
Dear George,

Thanks for reading and commenting on my essay. I have read your essay (twice), and although we are both looking for a "Physics That Can Be Realistic", and although we agree on some points, I fear that we have a major area of difference.

When you make statements like "The quantum phenomena must have cause-effect explanations", you seem to be implying that reality is 100% deterministic. In my essay (section 7) I attempt to explain the consequences of a reality where, from the point of view of a subject, only one outcome is possible for each next moment in time. The deterministic view of reality doesn't just apply at the particle level, it applies at the level of living things: the deterministic view says that we living things are idiot cyphers going through the motions in lives where our day-to-day fates are already sealed. As physicist Lee Smolin puts it: is "the future...already written...or does what we choose to do really matter?"

I am saying that our day-to-day lives are themselves evidence about the nature of information and the nature of reality.

I will also post this comment on your essay blog.

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Anonymous wrote on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 21:31 GMT
Dear Lorraine Ford :

You said you are interested in “time” also in the nature of reality, I send you a summary of my essay “The deep nature of reality” this way would be easy to decide if you read it or not, I congratulate you for your essay but I am not agree with: “The most important property of time is that it unfolds… You can predict the...

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Héctor Daniel Gianni wrote on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 22:14 GMT
Dear Lorraine Ford :

You said you are interested in “time” also in the nature of reality, I send you a summary of my essay “The deep nature of reality” this way would be easy to decide if you read I or not, I congratulate you for your essay but I am not agree with: “The most important property of time is that it unfolds… You can predict the...

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 16, 2013 @ 04:48 GMT
Hi Héctor,

I have read your essay, and I will comment on it soon.

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 13:57 GMT
Hi Héctor,

In your essay, you say that time is a useful concept that early humans created, with the "day" being an example of a time concept created by humans.

You say time can't be sensed or described like gravity and inertia can be sensed and described, because time doesn't really exist. You say that a lot of confusion would be avoided if we realised that time is actually motion. You discuss factors like temperature that affect motion.

You say that there is a psychological present separate from the physical present, and say that the psychological present is approximately one second behind the physical present or "now" .

But I think that time (properly understood) DOES exist. In my essay I contend that "laws of nature" represent static information category relationships: they do not represent nature actively performing mathematical calculations, so laws of nature do not represent change in numerical information. I argue that time and change of number is injected via quantum decoherence. In other words "time...unfolds...[and] the unique actual physical outcome...unfolds in an unpredictable way as time progresses" (physicist George Ellis).

I am sorry that I cannot agree with you. Best wishes,

Lorraine

(I will also post the above comment your essay forum)

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M. V. Vasilyeva wrote on Jul. 15, 2013 @ 04:38 GMT
Lorraine,

thank you very very much for bringing my spelling glitches to my attention :) The funny thing was that I looked at them.. and saw nothing wrong ..at first. I even thought that I should capture a native in my environment and make him explain where my errors lie. And then I saw! Thank you :)

Wow woman, you have an eye!

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 16, 2013 @ 02:44 GMT
Dear Marina,

No problem, glad to help.

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George Kirakosyan wrote on Jul. 15, 2013 @ 05:23 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

Many thanks for answer.

On your remarks I can answer as follow:

1. Yes! I am saying that the behavior of single quantum object controlled by cause-effect (deterministic) laws. We are able to describe it, however we have no possibility to confirm those by direct observations. Why? - because of restriction of our direct measuring capability (see Hidden Variables) So, to be free from headache we just declare it as a ,,probability,, and have trying to move ahead! Let me see this not only empty declaration but I have pointed on the proofs (see references and my works)

2. In macroworld we are sure on deterministic character of laws controlling the behavior of single objects, as we can it proof by direct measuring (it is the classical physics.) However we can not use these to describe a lot of live cases because it demands take in account many of factors that make the problem as unsolvable practically. Then we going to use the average-probable description again to be somewhat solve our questions.

I think this the life and reality!

3. About information (and encoded information - ,,bits,,) I am just agree with you - it is human' creations and no need here to breaking the swords!



It is nice to meet with people with healthy and witty brains!

I am going rate your work as a very valuable for me (nine only). You see as it is right!

With honor and good wishes,

George

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 16, 2013 @ 04:20 GMT
Dear George,

thank you very much for rating my essay so highly. Even though we disagree about reality being deterministic, we can agree about other things.

I have very much enjoyed our discussion and exchange of views, and I intend to read your vixra papers/preprints when I get more time.

Best wishes,

Lorraine

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George Kirakosyan replied on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 06:57 GMT
Thank you Dear Lorraine,

Now you have better position by rating.

I can only congratulate you and wish you wealthy,

with your lovely ducks and puppy.

My best wishes again,

George

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Lev Goldfarb wrote on Jul. 15, 2013 @ 14:32 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

I am just curious if you noticed how much similarity there is in our views.

I did postulate quite early in my career the principal role of classes/categories in the informational organization of the Universe, but as is always the case in science, I needed a formal language to clarify the situation. However, it turned out that the new formalism required several decades just to be outlined. Fortunately, since I'm a mathematician by education and a great admirer of philosophy, this didn't prevent me from pursuing the goal. ;-)

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 16, 2013 @ 04:28 GMT
Hi Lev,

I HAVE noticed the similarity. I have previously briefly looked at your essay, and I hope to find the time to study it more carefully and comment on it.

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 15:57 GMT
Ms. Ford,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your very fine essay. I hope you will forgive me, I am a decrepit old realist and the realism I deal with comes neat; it does not have any abstract foundations.

You wrote: “There are still the questions of what, absolutely, is a number? And is a number really what is found when nature is measured?

As I truthfully pointed out in my essay BITTERS, the absolute of number is 1, once. All of the philosophers and physicists and computer programmers who have ever lived have failed to notice that one real Universe can only produce one real thing once, therefore, only 1, once could ever have been accurate.

Ma’am, reality is not difficult. All you have to do is Wheeler it.

Is the real Universe simple? Yes

Is the abstract universe simple? No.

Is unique, once simple? Yes.

Is 0 and 1 simple? No.

I wish you luck in the contest; the quality of your writing certainly deserves a prize.

Joe.

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 00:47 GMT
Hello Joe,

Thanks for reading my essay, and for your compliments about it.

I think very few people would dispute your claim that there seems to be something unique about every physical outcome in the universe, even if you just say that the time and place are different for a particle outcome that otherwise looks the same as another particle outcome.

But I would claim that we can only understand, compare and discuss reality when we break reality up into similar categories of information e.g. there are cats and ducks - unique individuals, but we can't really say much about them until we have categories of information to describe them: fur, feathers, beak etc.

So although every physical outcome is unique, we cannot discuss or utilize physical reality until we put information about reality into categories e.g. this substance is "food" this substance is "not food".

In my essay, I contend that information at the foundations of reality should be understood as subjective experience, and that the content of this information should also be seen as categories of information (e.g. mass, charge, momentum), and that the numbers that are found when reality is measured should be considered to be hidden category self-relationships.

Wishing you good luck in the contest too,

Lorraine

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 01:54 GMT
Joe,

I don't know what led to your making the above rant about black holes, children and physicists.

Getting back to the subject of our essays: I like your essay - it's funny too. I think what you say in your essay about your real toe is a much needed antidote to the picture of reality put forward in some other essays. The "official view" seems to be that the underlying reality is like a computer, or a horrific mathematical wasteland. Anyone whose essay disagrees is likely to have his head chopped off.

It worries me what is written in some essays. What amazes me is the impaired thinking that fails to see any connection between theories about the underlying reality and what is happening in everyday reality. This includes the thinking that sees living things as automatons whose future fate is already fixed and sealed, and can never be changed. Let these people stand in front of a class of school children and tell the children what they really think about the nature of reality.

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 19:43 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

I have rushed through your essay. It may not agree with mine but it does not have to. Meanwhile...

As the contest in Wheeler's honor draws to a close, leaving for the moment considerations of rating and prize money, and knowing we cannot all agree on whether 'it' comes from 'bit' or otherwise or even what 'it' and 'bit' mean, and as we may not be able to read all...

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 01:33 GMT
Dear Akinbo,

I'm sorry, but I don't like your attitude. You threaten to "rate [me] accordingly" if I don't answer your quiz correctly!!

Lorraine

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Akinbo Ojo replied on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 07:59 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

No harm meant at all. You dont have to answer correctly! But I would wish that you at least answer.

Best reggards,

Akinbo

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Akinbo Ojo replied on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 12:04 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

I have read your essay. Apart from the lay out which was nice, your thoughts were also well presented. Contrary to what you felt I will be rating you an 8!

With your experience in computer programming, perhaps you can take a look at an amateur program for digital motion in my essay. I again apologize for my 4 questions above. Didn't mean it as a threat the way you saw it.

Best regards,

Akinbo

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Robert H McEachern wrote on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 05:23 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

"Do we live in a universe ... where from the point of view of a subject there is only one physical outcome possible for each next moment in time thereby rendering choice impossible? Or alternatively, do we live in a world where ... more than one physical outcome is possible for each next moment in time ... ?"

The way you have stated your two cases, there is no...

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Anonymous replied on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 14:27 GMT
Hello again Rob,

I'm sorry, but as is not unusual when discussing issues with you, I don't agree with anything you say.

My answer to you would be similar to my post to physicist Carlo Rovelli (21 July 2013 @ 03:00 GMT), so here is part of what I posted to him:

"Many or most physicists, philosophers, and mathematicians focus on theoretical mystical Platonic mathematical entities, and have seemingly assumed that a vast layer of computing infrastructure underlies normal reality, deterministically producing every physical outcome (using law of nature mathematical equations). But where is the evidence for this crucially important computation layer? If there is absolutely no underlying computation layer, and there is absolutely no mystical magical Platonic realm, then your argument collapses. Lacking a mechanism, there can be no basis for your argument for a deterministic reality."

Lorraine

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 14:30 GMT
The above post was from me.

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Robert H McEachern replied on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 15:48 GMT
Lorraine,

I'm not sure how "there can be no basis for your argument for a deterministic reality" relates to anything I said. My argument is against a deterministic reality, even if deterministic laws exist (not counting determination, after the fact, i.e. non-predictive). Furthermore, rather than assuming "that a vast layer of computing infrastructure underlies normal reality", my statement was that, however vast that assumed computing infrastructure, may be, it cannot be vast enough to symbolically represent all the required initial conditions, that would be required to carry-out Laplace's computation.

Rob McEachern

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Author Lorraine Ford wrote on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 02:44 GMT
Rob,

I'm sorry that I was intemperate and over hasty with my inappropriate judgements about what you said.

Of course reality is necessarily partly or even mostly deterministic but not 100% deterministic. Without stable structure (e.g. the categories of information and the relationships between categories of information that constitute laws of nature) we wouldn't know where we were. But if reality is 100% determined, e.g. by a law of nature structure, then the future is set in stone.

You talk about causation, but no matter what side of the freewill/no freewill fence you sit on, surely causation is a thing that has to be assumed. We can represent reality with words or math relationships, but there is nothing that converts this type of blueprint into physical reality. That is, the blueprint, the law of nature, IS the physical reality. Causation is implicit in the blueprint or the description of reality. So we have already assumed causation as a first principle.

In my essay, I discuss why information should be seen as subjective experience, even at the particle level. I contend that information at the particle level includes category information and category relationship information i.e. law of nature information. I would contend that causation is essentially the same at the particle level and at the level of living things. But living things are more complex and can utilize stored/represented information.

I think the Laplace argument is far too speculative, and without any evidence anyway.

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Anonymous wrote on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 15:39 GMT
Lorraine,

I agree with your statement that reality is "mostly deterministic but not 100% deterministic", in the predictive sense mentioned previously.

But I disagree with the statement that "surely causation is a thing that has to be assumed."

Assuming causation as a first principle is not the "starting point" of the scientific method. Rather, experiencing repeatable...

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 07:58 GMT
Hi Rob,

Thanks for your perceptive comments which challenge me to explain my viewpoint better.

I didn't explain what I meant very well. When I said that causation is a first principle, I meant that when we represent physical information as a law of nature mathematical equation (after years of experimentation) we have already assumed that the interconnections in the equation,...

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Robert H McEachern replied on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 16:41 GMT
Lorraine,

"we have already assumed that the interconnections in the equation, including the "=" sign, represent causation in physical reality"

Exactly the problem. It is a bad assumption. a(b+c)=ab+bc is a mathematical identity, but not a physical identity. The physical manifestation of one side of the equation requires two multipliers, the other requires only one. The math equation...

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Robert H McEachern replied on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 16:47 GMT
Typo: a(b+c)=ab+ac

Rob McEachern

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 19:51 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

I was happy to read your essay. You managed to tie together many of the concepts. You have a very interesting picture. Wonderful chain: Information - Numbers - Time - Life - Ethics. I just remember the famous words of Kant: "Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the more often and steadily we reflect upon them: the starry heavens above me and...

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 15:06 GMT
Hi Vladimir,

Thank you very much for your kind words about my essay, and for giving it a good rating.

I think the famous words of Kant which you quoted are so true: reality is not "veiled obscurities or extravagances beyond the horizon of my vision", and reality is connected with "the consciousness of my existence".

Thanks also for sending the Alexander Zenkin article, which I have read. I must say that I agree with your essay :"And mathematics and physics have one foundation - essential primary structure of Nature". (I haven't read your essay as yet, it's just that this sentence caught my eye).

That is a beautiful Nikolai Noskov song on youtube - I had never heard him before. I also like his song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXJqVlwHyVc&feature=endscreen
. We need more inspiration in our lives - I find it inspiring to think that we live in a world of subjects, not of objects.

Best wishes,

Lorraine

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Vladimir Rogozhin replied on Jul. 30, 2013 @ 15:20 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

Thank you very much for your comment, and a high rating!

Great song performed by Nikolay Noskov! Thank you very much!

I was lucky enough to meet the author of this song composer Alexandra Pahmutova in 1995. She wrote the song "LEP - 500." The song is about how to build a 500-kilovolt power transmission line in Siberia, where we lived. It was built by my father and mother ... I told her about it. She was very happy….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-4aOQ5tAD4

With best wishes and regards,

Vladimir

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Sreenath B N wrote on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 05:58 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

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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john stephan selye wrote on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 19:45 GMT
Dear

I like how you focus on the 'real-world' aspect of information, and I agree with your broad-based, common-sense approach.

My view is that much of the confusion concerning information stems from physicists ignoring the role of the observer in the field of observation. This should not be the case - as you put it: 'We have physics at the level of the particle, and physics at the...

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 12:41 GMT
Dear John,

I appreciate your reading my essay and giving me feedback on it. And thanks for rating my essay highly.

From what you say, I see that there are a lot of similarities in our views, so I definitely would like to read your essay in the coming week. I do agree that there seemingly must be some sort of "most fundamental" category/categories of information perhaps underlying even basic categories of information like mass and charge.

Best wishes,

Lorraine

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john stephan selye replied on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 14:36 GMT
Hello Lorraine - thanks for commenting; yes, I do believe you'll find many points of interest in my essay - and I very much look forward to your insights.

Best Regards,

John

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Than Tin wrote on Jul. 25, 2013 @ 04:50 GMT
Hi Lorraine

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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Anonymous wrote on Jul. 27, 2013 @ 20:07 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

Right now I'm at the start of your essay, I like very much how you start with definitions and historical perspective. An yes Shannon did not deliver the goods philosophically, but he sure did in an engineering sense. He developed the science of how to get information out of noise. Very important when you are trying to transmit information over real transmission lines. Shannon may have not delivered the goods in philosophy, but he sure did in engineering and science.

I have just finished the essay and can say: Honestly, this is the best essay in the entire contest. I have done my best to raise your score.

You ended with: what physicists' say about information and the nature of reality will affect the attitudes of very many people: is the future "already written" or "does what we choose to do really matter?"

This category of question also contains Wheeler's (and anyone that thinks) "Why Existence?", This category of question is the category of question that is not legitimate to ask because the answers is at the level of being and not at the level of knowing.

Your fellow countryman (educated guess ?) Zoltan (who is also underrated) went into the philosophy of Emanuel Kant who said: The thing in itself (IT) is unknown and unknowable by the categories of the mind (BIT).

Visit my blog I think you will like it.

Sincerely,

Don Limuti

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 28, 2013 @ 16:28 GMT
Hi Don,

thank you for reading my essay and for your very kind and generous words about it. You mentioned the beginning of the essay and the the last sentence, but do you have any comments about the bit in the middle? I'm not clear why you would sincerely think that "this is the best essay in the entire contest". Your comments are of a very general nature and seem to have nothing to do with the content of my essay.

What do you mean by "I have done my best to raise your score"?

Sincerely,

Lorraine

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Don Limuti replied on Jul. 28, 2013 @ 21:02 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

Lorraine has the best essay in the contest. This is either true or it isn't. Is there an excluded middle?

I rated you essay a 10 because I like how you expressed:

1. Information is representative.

2. Information is subjective depending upon context of individuals and the categories that they use.

3. That information has a moral ethical-dimension and subjects are not objects (my phrasing).

Yes, I really liked it. Does this help?

Don L.

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Author Lorraine Ford wrote on Jul. 29, 2013 @ 13:19 GMT
Don,

My most humble apology for doubting what you said about my essay, I'm sorry if I offended you. Naturally, I'm delighted that you really liked my essay and thought it was the best in the contest. I'm really, really into the issues I write about in my essay - I think, write and read about them all the time, I'm a bit obsessed.

I have had a look at your blog, but I haven't read much of your essay as yet.

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Antony Ryan wrote on Jul. 29, 2013 @ 15:23 GMT
Hello Lorraine,

Nice essay, well written and very interesting. I like that you've explored the "bit in the middle" with regard to our choices and whether we even have them. You have asked the right questions and it is nice to see ideas which challenge physicists.

Your bio caught my eye as an animal lover and particularly me being a big fan of cats! Same on Schrödinger ;)

I like the term "knowledge communicated" as my essay explores this. In fact the other old meaning you mention was knowledge gained. I prefer the former since my essay looks at information exchange, as I would consider Bit to be a two way process.

I think your essay is very well presented and you deserve to do well. Hopefully my rating helps. Please take a look at my essay if you get the chance.

Best wishes & congratulations,

Antony

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Jul. 30, 2013 @ 14:24 GMT
I agree Antony; someone should have told Schrödinger to leave that cat alone!

Thanks very much for reading and evaluating my essay, and for giving it a good rating. I do hope that I can get to read your essay also in the next week. I am interested to see what you say about Bit as a two way process/information exchange.

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Antony Ryan replied on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 07:53 GMT
Ha - he should have thought about himself in the box - at least I imagine falling into a Black Hole in my essay.

Best wishes,

Antony

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Antony Ryan replied on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 20:23 GMT
Hi Lorraine - I replied here but the system bug has removed my comment - just so you know I didn't ignore you!

Hopefully it will return!

best wishes,

Antony

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jul. 31, 2013 @ 14:37 GMT
Lorraine,

Beautiful essay, thank you. It warmed me to read it. I particularly commend you for; "...to label this discontinuity a foundational "bit" is to give up on the search for the origin of the discontinuity which really does seem to represent something foundational about reality."

I hope my essay shows that you may be correct, by exploring that "bit in the middle" denied by mathematics and QM's assumption of 'point' and identical particles.

A really nice read, well organized and argued. Well earned top marks on the way. Perhaps you can comment on my similar proposition that (after also better defining 'observation') a 'computation' is required for the artifacts of emitted EM fluctuations to be turned into meaningful information and interpreted (and not always interpreted infallably!).

I hope you'll ignore my (too dense) abstract and go by some of the blog descriptions; "valuable", "wonderful", "thought provoking", "clearly significant", "deeply impressed", "philosophically deep", "groundbreaking", "nonsense" (OK I'm joking with that one)! I'm sure you'll like it heaps, (and it does need about that many points). Sorry about the promo but Georgina and others did not the abstract seemed a put-off at first.

Very well done and congratulations for yours.

Best of luck in the final stretch.

Peter

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Anonymous replied on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 12:26 GMT
Thanks very much Peter for your kind words about my essay, and for rating it well. I hope to read your essay before the 7th. I know what Georgina means - your ideas can be so densely packed in a sentence that the normal human brain can barely cope with them!!

Best of luck to you too, but I hope to get back to you later.

Lorraine

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 14:19 GMT
Peter,

as you know, with FQXi moving to a new server, posts are missing. The reply I made to your post is missing and I haven't got a backup copy of it. So, I would just like to say thanks for your kind words about my essay, and your good wishes, and for giving me a good mark. I do hope to find the time to read your essay.

Good luck to you too in the competition,

Lorraine

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Peter Jackson replied on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 17:27 GMT
Lorraine,

Thanks. Don't be put off by the dense abstract. Georgina was, but then found it very readable. I hope the flattering blog comments give a better idea, including; "groundbreaking", "clearly significant", "astonishing", "fantastic job", "wonderful", "remarkable!", "deeply impressed", etc.

I've just checked you score stuck, and confirmed it did. I and others seemed to shoot down! I wonder if 'the origin of the discontinuity really does ...represent something foundational about reality'.!!

Very best wishes

Peter

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john stephan selye wrote on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 22:31 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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john stephan selye wrote on Aug. 2, 2013 @ 16:35 GMT
Hello Lorraine,

Thank-you for your kind appraisal - I am glad that you see some parallels between our work.

On your objection to DNA evolving from micro-organisms: Though there is simple DNA in microorganic life, these creatures nonetheless live in an environment that is dimensionally different from our own - ie: they are closer to the omni-dimensional fabric of the Cosmos than are the more complex organisms. The DNA of the latter - of creatures 'fully in space-time' - is what represents the Composite Particle in the Organic Vortex. Thus, complex DNA evolves from its simpler counterpart.

It was not possible to explain this in detail in the essay, because so much else needed to be said in the space allotted. But the subject is treated at length in my book - 'The Nature of Particles in the Unified Field' (Amazon). If you get a chance ....

Thanks again for getting back to me. I can't tell if you rated my essay, but if so - thank-you!

John

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Jacek Safuta wrote on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 13:22 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

You have asked very important question: “is the future “already written” or “does what we choose to do really matter?” and you have shown that you are familiar with some Lee Smolin’s publications.

My own view seems to support the view of Smolin in the meaning that the universe is a dissipative coupled system that exhibits self-organized criticality. The structured criticality is a property of complex systems where small events may trigger larger events. This is a kind of chaos where the general behavior of the system can be modeled on one scale while smaller- and larger-scale behaviors remain unpredictable. The simple example of that phenomenon is a pile of sand.

When QM and GR are computable (during Lyapunov time ) and deterministic, the universe evolution (naturally evolving self-organized critical system) is non-computable and non-deterministic.

Now, not being so technical, I would say that the future is not already written, because Lyapunow time is only a while in comparison to our life.

Best regards and successful pelargoniums’ growing!

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 14:44 GMT
Hi Jacek,

Thanks for commenting on my essay.

You repeat the Lee Smolin part-quotes from my essay: is the future "already written" or "does what we choose to do really matter?" But clearly choice indicates something much more specific about the nature of reality than saying that "the future is not already written" or that "the universe evolution...is non-computable and non-deterministic" or "smaller- and larger-scale behaviors remain unpredictable".

In "Precedence and freedom in quantum physics"* , physicist Lee Smolin says:

"...whether human beings or animals have freedom to make choices...[it] would be necessary to...discover that the outcomes of neural processes are influenced by quantum dynamics of large molecules with entangled states...This could very easily fail to be the case."

But, I'm less cautious than Lee Smolin. As I posted to Georgina Parry (below), I contend in my essay that information in the universe has a subjective structure, that information is subjective experience. Choice only makes sense from the point of view of a subject. It means that from the point of view of a living thing/subject there is more than one possible physical outcome for the next moment in time AND that a subject can make a choice based on the information it has about reality.

Regards,

Lorraine

P.S. I'm spending so much time at present on the essay competition that my plants, including the pelargoniums, are not getting the attention that they deserve!

* Precedence and freedom in quantum physics, Lee Smolin, May 2012, Page 11, http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.3707

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Georgina Woodward replied on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 22:11 GMT
Incidentally, the future is in my opinion both written and unwritten. Potential sensory data exists in the environment which may be intercepted and formed into a present experience.So with hindsight it can be said that prior to interception it was a -future experience- relative to the observer who will intercept it, (later on), and form an experience from it.

The unwritten future relates to observer choice, as what data will be selected, forming the individual world line has not been pre-written. The structure that allows this is uni-temporal space (same time everywhere) in which potential sensory data relating to different times (when it was formed) is distributed. This arrangement allows the Andromeda and barn pole paradoxes to be intuitive solutions of -what should be observed-, (ignoring motion blur) and the Grandfather paradox will not occur because though there can be movement through potential sensory data there can not be movement through time, back to the material sources of that data as all material things exist at the same and only time.

So in answer to your final question; yes there is a place for morality and ethics as choice has not been predetermined. (Unless one thinks about the subconscious mind, which can choose before the conscious mind is aware of making a decision but that is a different issue.)

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 01:09 GMT
Georgina,

I think you are right, often "the subconscious mind...can choose before the conscious mind is aware of making a decision". I think in many ways we are a bit like a democracy of individuals i.e. individual cells, and also organs like the heart and stomach are semi-autonomous entities which have their own neurons. Also, researchers have found that 90% of our cells are (I think) bacterial cells: humans, and presumably other animals, have only 10% of "their own" cells. (This puts a different slant on the effects of the widespread use of antibiotics!).

I appreciate what you mean when you say that "the future is ...both written and unwritten". But I would interpret "the future is ...both written and unwritten" in a more simplistic way: choice doesn't mean that we can choose just anything e.g. we can't choose to be a bird and fly away in the next moment. The reality we know is pretty stable i.e. mostly deterministic (written): living things seemingly only have choice (unwritten) in certain areas like change of relative spatial position, and perhaps change in energy distribution.

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Manuel S Morales wrote on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 17:34 GMT
Lorraine,

I found your approach to the topic at hand intuitive and would like to rate your essay highly. However, before I do may I run some questions by you via email? Please let me know at: msm@physicsofdestiny.com

I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

Manuel

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 01:17 GMT
Manuel,

please post all questions about my essay here, because then anyone can make a comment, and not just me. I, in turn, look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Manuel S Morales replied on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 04:16 GMT
Lorraine,

The questions I would like to run by you is not for public comment.

Best wishes,

Manuel

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 00:54 GMT
Manuel,

I notice you prominently display the FQXi Community logo on your http://temptdestiny.com Home page, and your "Science" page. Are you endorsed or funded by FQXi? Similarly, you display the NASA logo - are you endorsed or funded by NASA?

Also, why are you seemingly asking everyone for their email addresses?

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 22:56 GMT
Hi Loraine,

your missing posts plight nudged me to read your essay. I'm glad I did. It is very readable and I can see a number of places where I agree wholeheartedly with what you have written.I tried to 'pin down' the subjective nature of meaning gleaned from information near the beginning of my essay but was relating it my earlier work and explanatory framework so the language might seem a little unusual to people unfamiliar with it.I think your explanation is much clearer.

In the end I'm not sure that you answered "it from bit or bit from it?", it was an enjoyable overview of the subject of information nonetheless. The question of morality is good and a profound question to end on.

By the way, I also think bearded irises are very beautiful especially the big flag irises. Regards Georgina.

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 07:16 GMT
Georgina,

Thanks so much for reading and reviewing my essay, I appreciate your comments.

Re "In the end I'm not sure that you answered "it from bit or bit from it?"":

I think that might be said of a lot of the essays. However, with my essay I pointed out that what we call "bits" are not information in themselves - its only in a certain context that they can be said to represent information. Also with the "bits" that are claimed to exist at the foundations of really, I suggested that these "bits" really are just a discontinuous change in the orbital angular momentum and spin etc. of an electron, and so therefore they are not really more fundamental than orbital angular momentum and spin etc. of an electron; and so therefore "bits" are not an appropriate basis for a fundamental theory of reality.

So in effect I denied the reality or importance of bits as a fundamental aspect of reality. With bits "out of the way" so to speak, I concentrated on the question posed in the essay blurb: "What IS information". I wrote about subjective information and represented information, and I think I didn't make clear in my essay that bits fit into this second category i.e. they are a type of represented and/or coded information. This is my opinion after very many years in the IT industry.

Of course represented information is fundamental to reality especially living things. But represented information only represents information to a subject. Without a subject, i.e. without subjective experience, represented information doesn't represent information at all. I'm claiming that there is something like a subject/object structure to information: information is not like a flat plane of objectively existing information; there is no objective information.

I hope I can get to read and comment on your essay in the next few days.

Cheers,

Lorraine

P.S. As far as I can see, all missing posts I know about have been restored. I knew that FQXi COULD restore the posts, but I wasn't confident that they WOULD!

P.P.S. I'm currently spending so much time on the essay competition, that my bearded irises badly need weeding!!

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john stephan selye wrote on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 12:17 GMT
Thank-you Lorraine; and yes, there's a lot of off-site collusion going on. As soon as my score goes up two points, it goes down two or three. I can only hope the organizers know about it, and are deciding in some fair manner who will be among the finalists.

If not ... well, it is sometimes a greater honor to lose: Simple survival is not evolution, and evolution has been our true success through the ages, right?

John

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 15:08 GMT
I think I would prefer it if, in order to rate an essay, you had to make at least a one line non-anonymous comment about the essay. That's the theory, but perhaps it wouldn't really be a good idea in practice!

Cheers,

Lorraine

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eAmazigh M. HANNOU wrote on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 23:20 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

We are at the end of this essay contest.

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

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

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

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

Good luck to the winners,

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

Amazigh H.

I rated your essay.

Please visit My essay.

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Anonymous wrote on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 16:19 GMT
Lorraine,

I happened upon a conversation you were having with Carlo Rovelli, in his thread and I wasn't quite sure whether you were arguing for or against "free will," so I thought I'd get around to reading your entry to understand your position. It seems that by your concluding statement, it is more of a question you are asking, then a particular position you have taken.

May I...

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Antony Ryan wrote on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 17:16 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

Comment I left on my thread:

Thanks very much for your kind comments and rating. I'm also relieved that I won't be marked on the answer to your question as I don't think my nerves can take another contest ;o)

I think you are dead right that hidden information exists. I explain spooky action at a distance as hidden fixed constants, a play against hidden variables.

My geometries explain the cosine non-linear relation between entangled particles in spin Alice/Bob type experiments exactly!

As mentioned to Margriet - I think at least in the case of Fibonacci numbers, that they represent real geometry in the form of simplexes.

From this I get symmetry breaking from complete nothingness, that also conserves the nothingness. In short it solves Baryon Asymmetry.

I think this should apply to all numbers and that they apply to dimensionality and simplexes are the most fundamental geometry in n-dimensions.

Great question!

Best wishes for the contest!

Antony

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 9, 2013 @ 00:12 GMT
(I have also posted the following on your essay forum)

Hi Antony,

Congratulations for doing so well in the contest!

Thanks for replying to me about numbers. Are you saying that numbers derive from or even ARE geometry, which in turn comes out of nothing because of symmetry? Does this mean that you have a platonic view?

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Antony Ryan replied on Aug. 10, 2013 @ 11:00 GMT
(I too have posted on my forum - whichever you see first etc)

Hello Lorraine,

Many thanks. It was touch and go, as there seemed to be plenty of low votes late on. But I expected the rough with the smooth so to speak. There is talk of collusion to group vote, which is a shame. I'm furious that somebody else thought I was part of one such group. I think there is an element of human nature that if you're nice about somebody, they may be inclined to be nice to you, but that's just how some people lead their lives.

Anyway getting back to science ;)

I'm suggesting that numbers correspond to information exchange in different dimensionalities with regard to the Fibonacci sequence in the first instance.

But I then explored the concept further, so that the simplest geometries in n-dimensionality are the simplexes, which of course are self-dual Platonics in their respective n-dimension.

So I proposed that the information content at n-dimensionality in its simplest form is the simplex, going on to use this to represent entropy, where we get the interesting results in the table as we drop downwards along the sequence.

The coming out of nothingness is because the 0-simplex is an infinitesimally small point, which the sequence passes through. However, I have other research which similarly suggests equivalency between 0-simplex and higher simplexes - they all conserve the central point for instance.

So the Fibonacci numbers I'd say are linked to geometry. However, curiously as shown in the table the +1 pattern remains only up to 3 spatial dimensions.

I could go on for hours about my symmetry breaking system that considers 3-dimensions a limit. I'll just summarise here that we condsider the 1 and 2-simplexes in 3-dimensional space and Electromagnetism, Mass, Weak interaction and Residual Strong are all shown. Further, a mass relationship between the Proton, Neutron and Electron to 99.999988% of prediction is obtained.

Great questions!

Cheers,

Antony

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Author Lorraine Ford replied on Aug. 12, 2013 @ 00:49 GMT
Hi Antony,

I have replied on your forum.

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Cristinel Stoica wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 07:41 GMT
Hi, votes are vanishing again.

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Paul Borrill wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 21:28 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

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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