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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Héctor Gianni: on 8/9/13 at 22:36pm UTC, wrote Dear Ian Durham: Hi Ian, I am an old physician that does not know nothing...

Jonathan Dickau: on 8/8/13 at 23:44pm UTC, wrote Congratulations Ian, Your high placement is well-deserved as your essay...

Torsten Asselmeyer-Maluga: on 8/7/13 at 19:59pm UTC, wrote Dear Ian, thanks for the fascinating essay (which I gave a ten). I agree...

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Cristinel Stoica: on 8/7/13 at 7:38am UTC, wrote Hi, votes are vanishing again.

eAmazigh HANNOU: on 8/5/13 at 22:54pm UTC, wrote Dear Ian, We are at the end of this essay contest. In conclusion, at the...

Manuel Morales: on 8/5/13 at 21:26pm UTC, wrote Dear Ian, I apologized for not getting to your essay sooner than I had...

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FQXi FORUM
October 24, 2019

CATEGORY: It From Bit or Bit From It? Essay Contest (2013) [back]
TOPIC: Contextuality: Wheeler’s universal regulating principle by Ian Durham [refresh]
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Author Ian Durham wrote on Jul. 5, 2013 @ 16:31 GMT
Essay Abstract

In this essay I develop quantum contextuality as a potential candidate for Wheeler’s universal regulating principle, arguing — contrary to Wheeler — that this ultimately implies that ‘bit’ comes from ‘it.’

Author Bio

Ian Durham is Associate Professor of Physics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire. He is a member of FQXi, enjoys fly fishing, playing blues and rock harmonica, and spending time with his family on the coast of Maine where he lives.

Download Essay PDF File

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jul. 6, 2013 @ 02:24 GMT
Good to see you with an entry here Ian,

The abstract looks interesting, and of course different. I shall likely have some comments, once I have had a chance to read your essay.

Good Luck!

Jonathan

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Author Ian Durham replied on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 16:23 GMT
Thanks Jonathan! I have printed out your essay and it is "on deck" as they say in baseball. Good luck as well! I'll post comments once I've read it.

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Manuel S Morales wrote on Jul. 6, 2013 @ 11:42 GMT
Ian,

As of 7-6-13, 7:42 am EST, the rating function for your essay is not available. Sorry I can't help you out right now by rating your essay. NOTE: I have logged in using a PC and a MAC and different browsers but it appears to be a site function issue.

Manuel

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Manuel S Morales replied on Jul. 7, 2013 @ 21:13 GMT
Ian,

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 competition which assures me that the competition will be back up and running soon. Ironically, the inability of not being able to rate the essays correlates with the TD experimental findings, as presented in my essay, which show how the acts of selection are fundamental to our physical existence.

Anyway, I hope that all entrants will be allocated the same opportunity to have their essay rated when they are posted, and if not possible due to technical difficulties, will have their opportunity adjusted accordingly. Best wishes to you with your entry.

Manuel

PS I will be reviewing and rating your entry after this function has been turned back on.

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Author Ian Durham replied on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 16:24 GMT
Tis fixed. Thanks for the heads up.

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Manuel S Morales replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 03:16 GMT
Ian,

I have received word that although it was unfortunate that there was a delay in conducting the ratings, no extensions to the final deadline will be made. I will keep this in mind when I get a chance to review your essay later this week.

Best wishes,

Manuel

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jul. 7, 2013 @ 02:43 GMT
Dear Ian

I had also found that : "Indeed, perhaps the key to understanding the universe is lying right under our very noses." should have been able to solve for the problem of "chicken and egg".

I appreciate your essay will be graded and the rating system continues to operate.

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

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Author Ian Durham replied on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 16:25 GMT
Thanks for commenting. I'll have to think about this a bit.

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 7, 2013 @ 12:23 GMT
Dear Sir,

Your authority and expertise in the 'wonderful world of quantum mechanics' shows brilliantly in this essay. Not that I am fully in agreement.

Based on snippets from your essay, I will equally like to put you in the dock and pose a few questions:

Your statements (?under oath) with slight modification:

- "what is a `thing' and from whence does it arise? Several...

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Author Ian Durham replied on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 16:33 GMT
Dear Akinbo,

Your first point is an excellent one. In that sense, i.e. that the question of existence itself is a manifestation of a `bit,' then `it' probably does come from `bit.' So based on my definition of a bit, if we count existence/non-existence as a bit, then Wheeler would have been correct.

I guess I would counter that perhaps the question of existence isn't really a `bit' however. Perhaps, as in quantum mechanics, there are some things that can hover in that nebulous space between existence and non-existence.

But nevertheless, your point is a very good one and is duly noted.

Ian

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Akinbo Ojo replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 08:43 GMT
Dear Ian,

Thanks for your honest reply and 'plea' on the first charge. I would very much like your comments on my amateur thoughts on this matter presented in my essay. To further reduce the uncertainty of 'it probably does come from bit' I conjecture an amateur program for 'digital motion' which I want refuted logically.

On the second charge, I see you make no plea. But I give you time to read my essay and my paper on arXiv because from your assertion, if Wheeler is right and Eddington is right, then there is bound to be a very significant change in current cosmological ideas as the universe's matter-energy would be increasing with its radius.

All the best,

Akinbo

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Yutaka Shikano wrote on Jul. 8, 2013 @ 23:21 GMT
Hi,

I have a question on the notation of contextual logical symbol. While I am so sorry, I have first time seen this notation. Does this logical symbol construct the algebra?

Best wishes,

Yutaka

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Author Ian Durham replied on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 16:39 GMT
Hi Yutaka,

Are you talking about the symbol
? I introduced this myself as a way to visually represent contextuality. I have not worked out the full algebra yet and I would say, at this point, it is just a symbolic representation. I chose that symbol since it represents a sort of intersection of sets in a funny kind of way.

Ian

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Member Kevin H Knuth wrote on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 04:13 GMT
Dear Ian,

This is a very interesting essay.

I especially like the connection you make between contextuality and increasing entropy. It has certainly given me food for thought!

And how can I not appreciate the fact that you involve posets.

Cheers

Kevin

PS I appreciate your very sensible fear of zombies. Perhaps sometime over beers you can explain to me where this fascination with them has come from because I really don't see it. ;)

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Author Ian Durham replied on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 19:03 GMT
I think I sent you some stuff via e-mail, but at any rate, the zombie thing is just me pretending to be modern and hip. Zombies are presently trendy! ;)

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Michel Planat wrote on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 06:23 GMT
Dear Ian,

I red your essay with interest. I agree with the goal summarized in your title.

Starting with a categorical language, you are presenting interesting thoughts about the nature of contextuality and its potential link to the increase of entropy. These are very innovative ideas I should think about in the future. I wonder if your concepts may become constructive and be able to discriminate sets of observables (or states) that are contextual in the standard definition (I refer to the Kochen-Specker methodology).

Best wishes,

Michel

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Author Ian Durham replied on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 15:55 GMT
Hi Michel,

Thanks for reading the essay and for your comments! I am certainly hoping that my ideas can become more constructive. My first aim is to work out a more rigorous algebra for defining contextuality in the sense here. About 15 years ago (my God, has it been that long?!) Chris Isham and Jeremy Butterfield wrote a paper discussing contextuality in relation to the Kochen-Specker theorem from a topos theory perspective (http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/9803055v4). I'm looking for something perhaps a bit simpler (if that is possible).

Cheers,

Ian

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Author Ian Durham replied on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 15:57 GMT
P.S. I just noticed that you have written an essay on this topic as well! I am about to download it and read it.

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 23:45 GMT
Dear Ian,

Thank you for presenting your nice essay. I saw the abstract and will post my comments soon. So you can produce matter from your thinking or from information description of that matter. . . . ?

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...

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KoGuan Leo wrote on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 06:41 GMT
Dear Ian, what a wondeful essay and i am learning new things from it. but may i differ with your premise that bit from it. i argue that bith it from bit and bit from it are correct but a better way is that bit is it and it is bit or bit = it. You wrote: "Condition 1 (Physical determinism) Let u ≡ s be the ideal element on the domain of physical measurements that provide information about the...

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Author Ian Durham replied on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 02:26 GMT
Hi KoGuan,

Thanks for your comments and for reading my essay! I guess my main question is, if it is bit and bit is it, how do you explain the facts that a) you can have information about unphysical things and b) information keeps increasing but the amount of material structure (i.e. matter and fields) in the universe is conserved?

Ian

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KoGuan Leo replied on Jul. 15, 2013 @ 16:45 GMT
Hi Ian,

1. I accepted Landauer's principle that information is physical. In KQID, bit = it, thus, idea, spirit, souls, God, and us are physical. Existence is bits and bits are physical. Everything including non-things because KQID postulates that everything is a thing, hence, everything is physical and physical is bit without any exception. This means also that there is no non-physical Existence, thus physics covers legitimately everything including religions, beliefs, ideas as well as bits-waves things.

2. KQID prescribes a block Multiverse per absolute digital time T ≤ 10^-1000seconds in which information, energy and everything is conserved and no new information, energy or anything at all. Time is symmetry in this T-moment, everything can go backward or forward in time, or the time-past-present-future collapse into the NOW. Our Multiverse reboots, refreshes and resynchronizes itself. Time disappears. But time reemerges when our Multiverse jumps following Feynman's sum-over-histories per T following KQID relativity ψτ(iLx,y,z, Lm). This means every second, we have a new randomly minted ≥10^1000 qbits which is also ψI(CTE) as the bits-wave functions of consciousness(C), time(T) and energy(E). The energy content of these qbits have energy equivalent depends upon the temperature according to Landauer's equation KbΘLn2 where Kb is Boltzmann's constant, Θ is temperature and ln2 is log base 2.

To me diversity of opinions are healthy and they are the symphony of ideas. We must not adopt conformity as healthy or wise. I don't agree with some of your opinions but I enjoyed and appreciated your idea tremendously. Diversity of ideas are beautiful. Thanks for participating in this forum and I believe all participants would agree.

Best wishes,

Leo KoGuan

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Member Ken Wharton wrote on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 13:29 GMT
Hi Ian,

Nice essay! Higher-level than the other ones you've written for this contest, but I think you've framed the more technical parts in a nicely accessible manner.

"The universe as a whole must not be physically deterministic!" Hear, hear! (Although I'm not fully persuaded by your argument, I agree with your conclusion...)

Some nitpicks: I'm not convinced that it makes...

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Author Ian Durham replied on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 02:45 GMT
Hey Ken,

(Note: your essay is next on my list, by the way. Hope Cambridge is treating you well this summer!)

Thanks for the comments. Ignoring the entropy thing for a minute, I think the larger point is that contextuality tells us that there is a distinction between information and an information carrier. But I don't think that information is necessarily objectively encoded in anything. You're absolutely correct about the Schumacher and Westmoreland quote. It's precisely contextuality that *makes* it subjective in the first place. Classically, the fact that I, say, am 5'8" tall in my own reference frame is an objective fact. But on a quantum level, objective facts are few and far between.

So I guess it comes down to the fact that I don't really understand your objection. And I wouldn't say entropy "propagates." Entropy is really just a measure of possibility. In fact when we think of it that way, there is no difference between the various forms.

I disagree that orthodox QM says that unitary evolution tells us that fine-grained entropy never increases. That's only true if you ignore contextuality.

(Regarding spacetime and entropy, I personally think spacetime is emergent so I think there could be a relation there, but I'd have to think some more about it. The problem is that you fundamentally believe that we should be building our theories on top of relativity whereas I fundamentally believe that we should be building our theories on top of quantum physics. :D )

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Héctor Daniel Gianni wrote on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 21:01 GMT
Dear Ian Durham:

Hi Ian, I am an old physician that does not know nothing of mathematics and almost nothing in physics I am writing you just because you are a physicist and you can be interest to know about the experimental meaning of “time” I think can help to better understanding of “space-time” and find out about the Einstein short verbal...

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 15:03 GMT
Professor Durham,

As I have modestly explained in my essay BITTERS, one real unique Universe is eternally occurring, once.

The questions Wheeler ought to have asked were:

Is the real Universe simple? Yes

Is the abstract universe simple? No

Is unique, once simple? Yes

Is quantum theory simple? No

Is unique, once the simplest? Yes

Could 0 and 1 be the simplest? No

Joe

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Antony Ryan wrote on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 21:39 GMT
Dear Ian,

Brilliant essay with fantastic examples illustrating contextuality in the spin 1/2 boxes. The jigsaw was a super way to show information content also. What I found remarkable was the conclusion that It must be more fundamental then Bit. Fantastic! I agree that information content increases over time, while matter/energy remains constant. This is a simple, yet excellent way to challenge Wheeler.

All the best for the contest - please take a look at my essay if you get the time.

Antony

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Author Ian Durham replied on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 19:02 GMT
Thanks so much Antony! So glad you liked it! I will endeavor to grab a look at your essay if I can squeeze it in before the deadline.

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Michael Alexeevich Popov wrote on Jul. 16, 2013 @ 13:55 GMT
Dear Jan,

my remark :

Shannon and Other Structuralisms

In comparison with Wheeler Structuralism ( 0-1 structure underpins all of our data and all our sciences ) and Category Structuralism ( by Roman Jakobson, Levi-Strauss, Burbaki, Abramsky and Coecke ) where the universals of human culture exist only at the level of structure,'culinary triangles' or other intuitive ordered things ; Shannon bits mathematics is pure mathematics. Shannon mathematical assumption is based on elementary algebra of common logarithm logax, where the logarithm of x to the base 2 is defined by the equation y = log2 x. This definition is of course applicable only when y is RATIONAL NUMBER. Beyond Shannon rational bits there exists new world of real, irrational, imaginary and complex bits, the world of Weierstrass theorem and the world of real lines contained infinitely many imaginary bits.

Thus, it could be difficult to find real differences between Wheeler binarism and Alternative Gospel of structures , indeed. In fact, similarity between Wheeler and Topos Gospel by Doring & Isham philosophies are obvious.

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 19:00 GMT
Dear Ian,

You still haven't given an opinion on what if... Eddington is right on the second law and Wheeler is right on Bit from It, would the matter-energy of the universe still be a constant? Also, my essay may not meet the standard of professional physicists but please view. I will also want to know your take whether the Planck length can be of any physical significance. Your suggestion...

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Author Ian Durham replied on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 19:00 GMT
Hi Akinbo,

In answer to your question about Eddington and Wheeler, then no, I can't see how matter-energy would remain constant. In fact, disregarding Eddington entirely, I'm not sure how it could remain constant if Wheeler was correct since Wheeler implies that information creates "it" and we know that information (or the information content, which is the same thing really) in the universe is increasing.

I will try to venture a look at your essay!

Ian

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Akinbo Ojo replied on Jul. 25, 2013 @ 12:51 GMT
Dear Ian,

I will appreciate a look-in on my amateur essay. I doubt you will enjoy it because not so technical with terms like entanglement, contextuality, etc. But purpose of this current post is to learn something from you...

Is it being implied by the relational view of space and as suggested by Mach's principle that what decides whether a centrifugal force would act between two bodies in *constant relation*, would not be the bodies themselves, since they are at fixed distance to each other, nor the space in which they are located since it is a nothing, but by a distant sub-atomic particle light-years away in one of the fixed stars in whose reference frame the *constantly related* bodies are in circular motion?

You can reply me here or on my blogmy blog. And please pardon my naive view of physics.

Accept my best regards,

Akinbo

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 18:56 GMT
Dear Ian,

I wish I'd reached your essay earlier. It's very relevant to mine, which is more ambitious (possibly overly).

I like and agree with your explanations and propositions and think 'matter-energy' is a fair descriptor if it. Of course it may also be a fair descriptor of Bit, but importantly you point out;

"the result of a quantum measurement will always produce a result that lies in the domain of classical quantity-value objects".

So we assume 0 and 1 are JUST 0 and 1, which as von Neumann pointed out is inconsistent with QM. What if it were more? What if it had 'fractal' domains with a complete Bayesian/Godel distribution in each. So if we knew a different way to ask, we could ask not just; "up or down?", but exactly "How High?" or Low in each case.

You hint at this then fall short, but do get closer than anybody. I hope you'll read mine as I construct that ontological road to the end, and find it appears that; "perhaps the key to understanding the universe IS lying right under our very noses".!

If Honus's card tells us 1, there are infinitely higher orders where all the traits of Honus himself exists. Your essay has helped me rationalise this better but I hope you'll also try to falsify my apparently quite radical but realist finding.

Well done for your own which should be much higher so hold tight for just a moment while I send a signal to cause a trigger to impart some significant motion. It's quite fun. I hope you'll try it too!

Best wishes

Peter

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Jul. 25, 2013 @ 03:32 GMT
Obviously; Peter enjoys playing the role of propagator.

I'll return here soon, after reading for detail, and will likely wish to impart a bit of motion as well. Some keen insights Ian! I hope more people get around to reading this one, now that they have extended the deadline.

Have Fun,

Jonathan

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Author Ian Durham replied on Jul. 25, 2013 @ 19:09 GMT
Thanks Peter. I'll see if I can squeeze in yours before the deadline. My comment about quantum measurement results always lying in the domain of classical measurements is intended to mean that we do not see mixed states in classical systems and, though we do see them in quantum systems, when we actually perform a single measurement the result is never mixed. It could be that in order to "register in our brain" it has to be classical (so-to-speak), but the point is that's what we ultimately get in the end.

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Peter Jackson replied on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 18:56 GMT
Ian,

Thanks, Yes, I understand, but think it's still a bit of a logical minefield, which I've been so bold as to offer a resolution to!

If a bunch of Huygens wavelets, or Erwin's 'spherelets' are expanding and all heading to meet somewhere, like a football team, are they the powerful winning side when still all in bed? or just it's potential, which may then appear at home or away?

Jonathan's right. Einstein said very pointedly in '52 after trying to make sense of interpretations; "The entire Special Theory of Relativity is contained within the postulates", which in both German and English specified; "...propagates" at a certain speed c'. With space now full of particle systems which can move realtively we don't even really need dark energy or a Higgs field with a local rest frame!, but it is allowed.

I'll spread the word about yours a bit more, it seems it's been visited by the trolls! I do hope you'll get to mine.

Best of luck.

Peter

Peter

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 02:49 GMT
I enjoyed your essay greatly Ian..

It was interesting, informative, and educational. You do an excellent job of explaining some highly technical subject matter in a way that is lucid for those not familiar with the concepts of topos or category theory. I really like the discussion about the meaning of orthogonality. But I am not certain about your final conclusion that there is an unending increase of information because of contextuality.

That would depend on a rich environment of objects and spaces that permit interaction and provide new context. The cold dark end predicted in some cosmological models fairly mainstream, would rob isolated sub-atomic particles of any context after a while. The sheer distance would assure the possibility of interaction eventually becomes almost nil. Once all defining contextual information is stripped away; what then?

I'll be reading this essay again, because I'll learn something. And again; your clarity of exposition makes some otherwise challenging material easy to understand. Good luck in the contest.

Regards,

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 03:46 GMT
I wanted to comment briefly..

The cornerstone of my essay is ultimately contextuality, in the broader or general sense. As you point out, context defines the arena in which events and measurements take place, and the range in which the important variables may be found. I especially like the observation that we can't know for sure if a unit quantity of information is a bit or a trit (does quit come next?) until a range of variation is determined.

So as I point out in my essay, the concept of either/or choices arises in the context of learning about the larger subject of magnitude - and it is necessarily so. But the object-constancy perception is a key part of the way we characterize discrete units of things, be they 'it' (objects, particles, ...) or 'bit' (a binary digit). But it is subtle, and not binary. It is arguable that distant things are perceived as less tangible, for example, because they lack immanence.

Key to figuring out if information actually sees an unending increase, due to contextuality, is the question whether it can be known that a 'reset' to an earlier state has occurred, without some necessarily contextual measurement that again disturbs that state, or adds new information because it has a slightly different measurement basis. While on the one hand a reset might hypothetically happen, the statement immediately following assures we can never verify that it is true.

Comments?

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 23:17 GMT
I wanted to add this;

On further thought.. Maybe we never form a concept of the absence of a thing, in childhood, except as a subset of the property of distance - hence the word gone. So the abstract concept of being/not being is much more cerebral, and develops in the brain much later.

Have Fun!

Jonathan

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Author Ian Durham replied on Jul. 27, 2013 @ 15:14 GMT
Jonathan,

You make a good point about the cold, dark end predicted by most cosmological models. I will admit that my model does not do a perfect job explaining that. My hunch is that expansion has something to do with it though --- more room to expand provides for more possible microstates. In fact, maybe that's why the expansion is accelerating. It's got to keep up with the "loss" of possible microstates as the universe cools. Just a thought.

Ian

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Than Tin wrote on Jul. 26, 2013 @ 03:20 GMT
Hello Ian

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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Antony Ryan wrote on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 16:21 GMT
My pleasure Ian,

I've now rated it according to my comments!

Best wishes & well done!

Antony

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john stephan selye wrote on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 22:20 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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Than Tin wrote on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 18:59 GMT
Dear All

Let me go one more round with Richard Feynman.

In the Character of Physical Law, he talked about the two-slit experiment like this “I will summarize, then, by saying that electrons arrive in lumps, like particles, but the probability of arrival of these lumps is determined as the intensity of waves would be. It is this sense that the electron behaves sometimes like a particle and sometimes like a wave. It behaves in two different ways at the same time.

Further on, he advises the readers “Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it. ‘But how can it be like that?’ because you will get ‘down the drain’, into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.”

Did he says anything about Wheeler’s “It from Bit” other than what he said above?

Than Tin

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Antony Ryan wrote on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 20:25 GMT
I've lost a lot of comments and replies on my thread and many other threads I have commented on over the last few days. This has been a lot of work and I feel like it has been a waste of time and energy. Seems to have happened to others too - if not all.

I WILL ATTEMPT to revisit all threads to check and re-post something. I think your thread was one affected by this.

I can't remember the full extent of what I said, but I have notes so know that I rated it very highly.

Hopefully the posts will be able to be retrieved by FQXi.

Best wishes,

Antony

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Paul Borrill wrote on Aug. 4, 2013 @ 02:06 GMT
Ian - truly outstanding. I loved your essay from beginning to end.

You have soundly connected so many interesting dots, and produced an impeccable argument for Bit from It.

My favorite statement:

“Thus contextually provides a means by which a quantum state can essentially be ‘reset’ ”.

I think you hit the nail on the head, or at least one more nail in the coffin of it from bit. However, I believe the question of the continuum may still be up in the air.

Thank you for drawing my attention to Schumacker & Westmoreland’s definition of information. (the ability to distinguish reliably between possible alternatives). A truly insightful find.

I would like to draw your attention to a point I made in my essay, which I believe is congruent with this definition of information, and which relates to figure 1 in your paper.

Your figure 1 assumes a single traversal of a quantum particle from one side of the apparatus to the other. Let me pose an absurd idea: what if we are staring at the truth in plain sight: that our confusions regarding quantum theory are all based on this simple unexamined assumption?

What if the particle goes backward and forward an uncountable number of times before it is detected? I describe this idea in detail in my essay.

Kind regards, Paul

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Manuel S Morales wrote on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 21:26 GMT
Dear Ian,

I apologized for not getting to your essay sooner than I had planed. However, I am so glad I did for it was a breath of fresh air to read. I found your statement, "An object that is not ideal is said to be partial. So, given a domain that includes both Honus Wagner and his baseball card, Honus Wagner would be a maximal element while his baseball card would be partial... A measurement is then understood as a particular type of mapping on a domain that formalizes the notion of information content." to be true to the core and reflective of the findings of a 12 year experiment I have recently completed. Although you have a much different approach and analogy to the topic than I do, I found your essay to be enjoyable, insightful, and most worthy of merit.

I wonder how much the Honus Wagner baseball card is now worth? Priceless... like your essay.

Best wishes,

Manuel

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eAmazigh M. HANNOU wrote on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 22:54 GMT
Dear Ian,

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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Cristinel Stoica wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 07:38 GMT
Hi, votes are vanishing again.

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 15:51 GMT
Ian,

We seem to agree on a number of points (It's Great to be the King) but this argument is quite compelling:

"But while the information content of the universe is constantly increasing with each new `measurement' (interaction), the matter- energy content of the universe is known to be constant. It would seem that if Wheeler were literally correct, this latter point should not be true."

Jim

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Torsten Asselmeyer-Maluga wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 19:59 GMT
Dear Ian,

thanks for the fascinating essay (which I gave a ten).

I agree with you about the problematic derivation of its from bits. But what about the collaps of the wave function? There you had in principle a reduction of the state (if it really happens, not like Landau who suposse no real collaps).

In my essay I considered a geometric model induced from the topological structure of the spacetime.

Hopefully you like my essay and will have a chance to have a look.

Best wishes and all the best for you

Torsten

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Aug. 8, 2013 @ 23:44 GMT
Congratulations Ian,

Your high placement is well-deserved as your essay was excellent. I wish you luck in the finals.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Héctor Daniel Gianni wrote on Aug. 9, 2013 @ 22:36 GMT
Dear Ian Durham:

Hi Ian, I am an old physician that does not know nothing of mathematics and almost nothing in physics I am writing you just because you are a physicist and you can be interest to know about the experimental meaning of “time” I think can help to better understanding of “space-time” and find out about the Einstein short verbal “space-time” description. We have...

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