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It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
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Paul Borrill: on 8/7/13 at 18:57pm UTC, wrote Dear Bram, I have now finished reviewing all 180 essays for the contest...

Neil Bates: on 8/7/13 at 10:19am UTC, wrote Greetings, Bram. I just read your essay (admit to needing to skim) and...

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

eAmazigh HANNOU: on 8/5/13 at 22:44pm UTC, wrote Dear Bram, We are at the end of this essay contest. In conclusion, at the...

Manuel Morales: on 8/3/13 at 17:17pm UTC, wrote Hi Bram, I found your statement, "IF an observation is that which turns...

john selye: on 8/1/13 at 22:19pm UTC, wrote Having read so many insightful essays, I am probably not the only one to...

Than Tin: on 7/24/13 at 23:32pm UTC, wrote Dr. Boroson Richard Feynman in his Nobel Acceptance Speech...

Peter Jackson: on 7/24/13 at 19:51pm UTC, wrote Bram, I really enjoyed your essay, finding almost complete agreement, and...


Georgina Woodward: "Hi Ian, I've been thinking about choice of carrot or pepper. Behaving in a..." in Measuring Free Will: Ian...

Lorraine Ford: "(continued) 3. “…so this is what defines a free choice : the Zeta..." in Measuring Free Will: Ian...

Georgina Woodward: "What is happening in material reality provides the connection to inertia...." in Bonus Koan: Distant...

Georgina Woodward: ""We saw early on that as conformed by countless experiment, there is no..." in Bonus Koan: Distant...

andrea gonzalez: "Interesting stuff to read. Keep it up. If want to collect free gift card..." in Memory, Causality and...

Joe Fisher: "Dear Dr. Kuhn, Today’s Closer To Truth Facebook page contained this..." in First Things First: The...

Poker Online: "" in Downward causation:...

Enquire us: "Your Ro system desires regular maintenance to confirm it’s continually in..." in Agency in the Physical...

click titles to read articles

First Things First: The Physics of Causality
Why do we remember the past and not the future? Untangling the connections between cause and effect, choice, and entropy.

Can Time Be Saved From Physics?
Philosophers, physicists and neuroscientists discuss how our sense of time’s flow might arise through our interactions with external stimuli—despite suggestions from Einstein's relativity that our perception of the passage of time is an illusion.

A devilish new framework of thermodynamics that focuses on how we observe information could help illuminate our understanding of probability and rewrite quantum theory.

Gravity's Residue
An unusual approach to unifying the laws of physics could solve Hawking's black-hole information paradox—and its predicted gravitational "memory effect" could be picked up by LIGO.

Could Mind Forge the Universe?
Objective reality, and the laws of physics themselves, emerge from our observations, according to a new framework that turns what we think of as fundamental on its head.

August 25, 2019

CATEGORY: It From Bit or Bit From It? Essay Contest (2013) [back]
TOPIC: Information In Formation, Formally by Bram Boroson [refresh]
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Author Bram Boroson wrote on Jul. 5, 2013 @ 16:42 GMT
Essay Abstract

Fundamental physics will be seen, as in Wheeler's vision, to be built from information. The nature of information is stranger than we usually suppose. It is fundamentally relational, and yet this requires the presence of a kind of pre-information (like minting of a coin). Symbols in our theories have a property of “emptiness” that allows them to be reinterpreted. This may be the source of the dynamical laws that allow the universe to emerge from a highly compressed skeleton of information. How observed features of our universe, particularly quantum randomness, could emerge from this sort of structure is a difficult but hopefully tractable problem. Further aspects of physics could emerge from our embedding within the structure, as Bits are created from the underlying structure via participation between observer (questioner) and subsystem.

Author Bio

Bram Boroson is Assistant Professor of Physics at Clayton State University in Morrow, GA. He professionally studies accreting neutron stars and black holes and hot gas in elliptical galaxies. He has served on committees to award time on the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory. His PhD in astrophysics is from the University of Colorado and he has performed postdoctoral research at the Harvard-Smithsonian, MIT, and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jul. 7, 2013 @ 02:58 GMT
Welcome to the contest.

Your analysis is very good but not specific in the conclusions.

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...

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Author Bram Boroson replied on Jul. 7, 2013 @ 21:41 GMT
Hello Hoang cao Hai,

Thank you for appreciating my analysis. It is difficult to be both specific and right when it comes to foundational questions. When one is both right and specific, it's usually because one narrowed down to a smaller question, while I tried to address general approaches, putting physics into the context of philosophy and the history of mathematical thought. Maybe some general ideas can inspire more specific ones in the future.

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Manuel S Morales wrote on Jul. 7, 2013 @ 21:12 GMT

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.


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

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Author Bram Boroson replied on Jul. 7, 2013 @ 21:34 GMT
Thank you, Manuel. I hope the delay in allowing voting does not affect the outcome very much. I imagine administering this site is difficult. I don't imagine a couple of days themselves make a difference, except for those who only read and rate an essay on the day it is posted, and I don't know how common that is.

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Manuel S Morales replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 03:12 GMT
Sorry Bram,

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.

BTW - as someone who has conducted an online competition from 2000-2012, I fully understand the complexities involved in conducting this competition.

Best wishes,


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Author Bram Boroson wrote on Jul. 7, 2013 @ 21:37 GMT
A minor erratum: I believe I forgot to take the log of the right hand side of an equation in the Appendix. However, the Appendix is tangential to the main argument of the essay, as I was just exploring a way to look at quantum measurement.

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Jennifer L Nielsen wrote on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 04:10 GMT
Hello Bram,

Somebody commented you don't draw a set conclusion -- seems to me you have some firm concepts here, and I appreciate the open mindedness of your essay -- I don't think drawing specific conclusions is as important as asking the right questions at this point. I also think that the primary task at hand here is to define what "bit" and "it" are --then which comes first may be more...

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Author Bram Boroson replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 04:39 GMT
Thanks, Jenny! On the "minting a coin" idea, I think of the minting as a kind of pre-information, required before information itself. Information has to distinguish between possibilities. When the two faces of a coin are identical, before it is minted, you can't say which side you are making heads or tails, as there's no information there yet, and information is in relation with other information. (One can think of it in a Machian way... I think Penrose's original spin networks tried to do this too.) Similarly the "letters" of a formal system are pre-information, empty symbols.

My essay was very general, and tried to incorporate a look at the foundations of mathematics, which may be linked together with deeper foundations for physics.

A deductive system has many branching possibilities of derivation, and it may be a leap, but quantum mechanics also can be viewed as having a branching structure. A measurement is like one of those cartoons when the 2 animals are standing on a tree branch and one cuts it off and they both fall. Not that anyone should learn physics from cartoons.

(Thanks on the writing style--I had a lot to communicate so didn't get so goofy but had fun with a few turns of phrase! Also liked your Game Boy stuff...)

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Jennifer L Nielsen replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 20:18 GMT
Thanks! I appreciate it. I think my essay is finally fixed so it can be rated and I can rate finally. I hope yours does well. Good luck in the competition!

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 11:55 GMT
Hello Bram,

Excellent analytical essay in the spirit of Descartes. The right way: «Perhaps similar progress will be made by uniting It and Bit and realizing the flexibility inherent to the concept of information.» Hope physicists and new physics "information age" is not in the union forces, but in understanding the nature of the information through the grasp of the first (essential) structure of the universe (superstructure, hyperstructure). The world and we - the observers "swim" in the sea of ontological (structural) of memory of the universe, which is a multivalent phenomenon - information. Good covenant left physicists D.A.Uiler: "Philosophy is too important to be left to the philosophers". I invite you to read my essay.

Good luck and best wishes, Vladimir

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Author Bram Boroson replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 20:29 GMT
Thanks, Vladimir! I will try to get some time to read and think carefully about your essay!

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Antony Ryan wrote on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 15:04 GMT
Dear Professor Boroson,

Firstly congratulations on a superb essay! I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it flowed very well, was interesting and relevant. The T-shirt example was well utilised. As was the Torus approach to looking at Binary code, does this suggest that information differs depending on how it is read, if it loops etc?

Nice to see the "turtles" mentioned too - "not a pile of turtles all the way down, whatever is at this layer must act as a “black box”, or placeholder", which brings me to my favourite aspect, suggestion that a pre-infomration may exist - like minting a coin. My essay concludes the Fibonacci sequence may do something like this to nature and information when we utilise observer and subsystem perspectives. Hence I would be grateful, if you can find the time, to look at my essay too.

Very best wishes,


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Author Bram Boroson replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 04:00 GMT
Hello Antony,

I'll try to find time to work through your paper. In a computer we say all the information is in the Bits. Information, one could say, is a way of narrowing down possibilities. The Bits could be 0 or 1, and when you know which value, you've narrowed down the possibility. But we take it for granted that the Bits are addressed by a natural number. Once one allows possibilities like: "this is the last Bit" or "this loops back" then one sees information is also in the addressing of the Bits. So it just seems more natural not to make the arbitrary limitation that information is these choices that are lined up, when that lining up itself is information.

I wasn't sure how important it was to argue against this restricted view of information as being like what's inside a computer. That depends on how seriously the reader takes such movements as Digital Physics and cellular automaton approaches.

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Antony Ryan replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 11:52 GMT
I think it's an extremely valid point to make, which makes your essay even better! Eventually one might conclude that it is more important how the information is addressed, as this can't be encrypted into the information itself, but the observer has to know something first.

Perhaps then this means that there is a unique shape to space-time such that there is only one way observers can fundamentally observe. So I think using a computer as the environment for a thought experiment has paid off very well here!


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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 11:22 GMT
Hello Bram,

Excellent analytical essay in the spirit of Descartes. The right way: «Perhaps similar progress will be made by uniting It and Bit and realizing the flexibility inherent to the concept of information.» I invite you to read my essay.Good luck and best wishes,


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Joe Fisher wrote on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 21:32 GMT
Respectfully Professor Boroson,

You wrote:”Starting with a single formula (or network) and applying all possible substitutions in parallel, one ends up with a collection of formulas.” As an old decrepit realist, may I make a comment about that assertion please?

As I have mentioned in my essay BITTERS, The real Universe only deals in absolutes. All information is abstract and all and every abstract part of information is excruciatingly difficult to understand. Information is always selective, subjective and sequential. Reality is not and cannot ever be selective subjective and sequential.

One (1) real unique Universe can only be eternally occurring in one real here and now while perpetually traveling at one real “speed” of light through one real infinite dimension once. One is the absolute of everything. (1) is the absolute of number. Real is the absolute of being. Universe is the absolute of energy. Eternal is the absolute of duration. Occurring is the absolute of action. Here and now are absolutes of location and time. Perpetual is the absolute of ever. Traveling is the absolute of conveyance method. Light is the absolute of speed. Infinite dimension is the absolute of distance and once is the absolute of history.


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Author Bram Boroson replied on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 21:55 GMT
Thank you for sparking discussion here. I think "relative" and "absolute" need to be specified clearly about how they apply. "Relative" does not have to mean subjective. Parts can be relative and together make a whole that can be considered absolute. We might say, "the rocket went up", but up in the US is not the same up in Australia; these TERMS are relative to location. However, our TERMS may not be a true part of reality. We may NEED to use TERMS to talk about reality in order to glean the truth, but once we are done those terms are taken away.

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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 11:25 GMT
Dear Bram,

I just read your essay after another entrant brought to my attention that some of the ideas you discuss in your essay are similar to mine. I did find that the notion of "difference" is similar to what in my essay is called 'distinctions" and both contain an emphasis on background independence, but your essay covers much wider ground. It is also very easy to read. I appreciate the humor in your characterization of the more quantitatively oriented thinkers as "hard-nosed".

I do have some questions:

1) Can you concretely define a distinction between pre-information and information?

2) Where do you personally stand on the various approaches to try to understand QM ( I regret that even after reading your conclusion a couple of times, this was not obvious to me)?

3) Can you give an example of the kind of axiom schema you have in mind?

This was an enjoyable read, I wish you all the best


PS. In the second half of my essay I mention what I believe may be an important principle to find an approach to better understand quantum superposition and collapse. I hope that you would have a look at it.

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Author Bram Boroson replied on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 21:43 GMT
Hello Armin,

I will work my way through your essay! Thank you for reading mine in detail. You are right to notice that I did not really advocate a particular interpretation of QM. (I also didn't advocate strongly for discrete vs. continuous: anywhere between the discrete skeleton of the Ultimate T-shirt and the fully discrete digital physics would seem possible--including continuous but...

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 12:31 GMT
Dear Bram,

My attention too was drawn to your essay while I was trying to paste something on Armin's blog. There was a talk of background but I didnt find much talk about that in your essay so I will be pasting my questions on Armin's blog. Perhaps, you join in there.

Now as to your essay. Very interesting and asking the right questions. For example: If the physical world is nothing but information, and information is a difference in something, what can that something be?

Overall, a high scoring essay but you did not give definite answers to some of those troublesome questions you posed, rather you dig them out from hiding which is also good.

Since you talk of formal mathematical systems, and Gödel's use of existential quantifiers, would you consider 'existence' an information?

I have a piece here on smallest… distances and time intervals where I consider existence/non-existence as Binary choices (Bits). I also had exchanges with Edward Fredkin on digital physics (not on this forum). Perhaps, you will find time to view.

Best regards,


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Author Bram Boroson replied on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 17:12 GMT
Thank you for your interest. I have some answers in my essay, although they are tentative and suggestive and meant to be filled in by actual theories. What is information a difference in? It's a difference between "placeholders" that act as pre-information.

That's a VERY interesting question you posed, one at first I thought had a simple answer and was not so interesting... but then I thought about it. Are observations questions like "does there exist something?" The kind of question that causes Godel like blow-ups of formal systems are usually open-ended "there exist" questions. The experiments we do in physics seem to be more limited.

But then I was thinking about the delayed choice experiment. If you view the wave function of an individual particle in a realistic way, then the state it is in now depends on future observation, even at unspecified future times.

However, I can't see this causing a Godel-like paradox, because of the nature of quantum measurement. Could you prepare a quantum state, and only if it is not observed in the future then it triggers a future measurement?

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Hugh Matlock wrote on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 08:45 GMT
Hi Bram,

An excellent summary of the central issues. You wrote:

1. "Our universe is less like a computer's memory at one fixed time than the activities of a computer program that shuffles around that memory. Given the Ultimate T-shirt, some process needs to take those letters and derive field values from them."

While the simulation hypothesis is sometimes equated with a cellular automata-type picture, it need not be. We can take the observable universe to be like the "display screen" of a simulation, with an unobservable "computer memory" supporting the calculation of voxels on the screen. In his essay Ken Wharton does a nice job of describing a method of information propagation "behind the scenes".

2. Physics: continuous or discrete? Deterministic or random?

In my approach physics is discrete, and its evolution is influenced by particpating observers, rather than being either random or deterministic.

3. How observed features of our universe, particularly quantum randomness, could emerge from this sort of structure is a difficult but hopefully tractable problem.

I hope you get a chance to read my Software Cosmos, which describes a specific software architecture for this, and then suggests a test (and answers it with observational evidence) to see if we live in a computer simulation.


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Author Bram Boroson replied on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 19:02 GMT
Thanks... I'm busy with a zillion things but once I get some out of the way I can pay more attention to other essays. Again multiple issues of equivalence crop up if one views nature as the screen of output from a computer program with memory behind the scenes. (Different programs producing the same output, or different programs producing similar output...) I'll see what you have to say.

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 18:46 GMT
Hi Bram, have you checked and rated my essay? I will like to engage you later on your question "...information is a difference in something, what can that something be?". 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 essays, though we should try, I pose the following 4 simple questions and will rate you accordingly before July 31 when I will be revisiting your blog.

"If you wake up one morning and dip your hand in your pocket and 'detect' a million dollars, then on your way back from work, you dip your hand again and find that there is nothing there…

1) Have you 'elicited' an information in the latter case?

2) If you did not 'participate' by putting your 'detector' hand in your pocket, can you 'elicit' information?

3) If the information is provided by the presence of the crisp notes ('its') you found in your pocket, can the absence of the notes, being an 'immaterial source' convey information?

Finally, leaving for the moment what the terms mean and whether or not they can be discretely expressed in the way spin information is discretely expressed, e.g. by electrons

4) Can the existence/non-existence of an 'it' be a binary choice, representable by 0 and 1?"

Answers can be in binary form for brevity, i.e. YES = 1, NO = 0, e.g. 0-1-0-1.

Best regards,


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Author Bram Boroson replied on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 19:07 GMT
I would say that a measurement can definitely be of an absence. After all I'm of the opinion that "material" is ultimately information anyway.

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WANG Xiong wrote on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 08:28 GMT
Hi Bram,,

Thanks for your nice essay, well done

I enjoy reading it and gave it high rate

Information In Formation

very good title!

I can't agree more

my essay may interest you

Bit: from Breaking symmetry of it

Hope you enjoy it



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Conrad Dale Johnson wrote on Jul. 20, 2013 @ 17:24 GMT
Hi Bram -

I like your style of thinking very much, and the clarity of your writing. I especially appreciate your bringing out so many different aspects of the question about the nature of physical information, since we don't yet have any clear way to bring such diverse issues as the meaning of gauge symmetries and the nature of quantum measurement into a single coherent picture.

I agree that even the "bit" is a lot more complex than it looks - "There is clearly information stored not only in the Bits, but in the addressing of those Bits." And I imagine the same could be said for this business of "addressing" too - what is it that allows us to distinguish, physically, between one "placeholder" and another? As you note, even such a simple thing as counting makes sense only under certain conditions.

For me the key point is that every aspect of the structure of information needs certain other aspects to be physically meaningful. When we abstract certain logical concepts from the physical world, we can often trick ourselves into thinking we've reached a more basic level, from which physics might then be understood. We're all fond of the idea that the world could be derived from a T-shirt slogan. But I suspect that the relationships between the many different kinds of physically meaningful information may be what's fundamental.

It was nice to see the quotation from Gregory Bateson - I was in a seminar of his, in my grad-school days in the 70's. Of course he thought about "differences that make a difference" mainly in terms of biology, but in my essay I connect this thought with the physics of measurement-contexts. I suggest that we may also be able to understand the tangle of interrelated kinds of differences in physics through an evolutionary approach.

Thanks for your very interesting and thoughtful essay -- Conrad

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Author Bram Boroson replied on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 06:33 GMT
Thanks. I've only started your essay but I find it very interesting. The idea that quantum measurement is the one place where the laws of physics allow different alternatives, and therefore a bit, is a provocative one (in that in a sense information and bits seem involved in classical physics as well, because fields contain information). On the one hand, it's difficult to cast reality in terms of information based on the quantum world, because there is no consensus interpretation of QM. On the other hand, if you can't learn from experience, what can you learn from?

Maybe one could say that the information isn't entirely a property of the placeholder, but of the potential for replacements in the structure of information?

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adel sadeq wrote on Jul. 21, 2013 @ 05:04 GMT
Hi Bram,

The main reason for joining this contest was not to win, but to see if I can get any professional physicist with interest in foundational issues, to evaluate my idea. I appreciate any criticism no matter how harsh, although I do prefer constructive ones. I have rated you fairly high ( skimmed your essay and the responses), but as I said I don’t care for rating mine, but that is your prerogative. I will also ask you some basic questions about your theory a bit later.

Many thanks


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Author Bram Boroson replied on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 00:52 GMT
Hi Adel,

Well, even if one is a professional physicist, there are very few working full time on truly foundational matters, perhaps at places like the Perimeter Institute, etc. Having a PhD and academic appointment open doors to conference participation, but it is still difficult to publish and build a reputation if one's specialization is another field of physics. When I started my PhD superstring theory dominated the search for foundations, and the Hubble Space Telescope was coming online. The latter seemed more of a sure thing to develop real science. Now that string theory has taken so long and not been verified foundations are kind of open and uncertain.

't Hooft's web page lists some good cautions on being an independent physics researcher. On your paper in particular, I think spending a little more space on the main idea and how exactly the line segments connect to probability and Schrodinger's equation would have helped me understand it better. For communication to other scientists you can leave out things like specifying what computer language the programs are written in.

Trying to calculate numerically fundamental constants like ratios of masses of particles is very ambitious. Many have tried but they have convinced few.

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Sreenath B N wrote on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 15:17 GMT
Dear Bram Boroson,

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.

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 16:26 GMT

You are certainly engaging and open minded in your approach to the larger topic. It is a tricky subject, not only to get any grasp of, but to even converse in, as it seems people are frequently talking past one another, in different languages.

Personally my approach to physics is not from a mathematical or technical point of view, but from the realization that so much of...

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Author Bram Boroson replied on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 00:37 GMT
Well, you have claimed ground that is going to be very tricky to argue to physicists from! I would make sure that I had a very thorough understanding of relativity, both special and general in order to argue against their view of time on their own terms. Lee Smolin has a book out currently arguing that the flow of time, future turning to present to past, is real and overlooked by current foundations. In spite of his credentials people will take a lot of convincing. People don't doubt the experience of the flow of time is real--they mostly write it off as a kind of hallucination, that it's a real experience of something that isn't real.

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 02:59 GMT

I'm not saying time isn't real. I'm saying time is an effect, like temperature. Would you put your hand on a hot stove, because it is only an effect?

I will certainly admit I have a somewhat perfunctory knowledge of relativity, but then I have only a perfunctory knowledge of epicycles. If I wanted to practice accounting, or architecture, or physics, I would certainly spend my...

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Author Bram Boroson replied on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 03:25 GMT
Well, my advice on confronting relativity is this:

Many people are convinced that relativity at least makes sense on its own terms, and when looked at closely is not obviously wrong. (There are alternatives people have tried to develop, like Doubly Special Relativity).

You don't have to prove epicycles are wrong to anyone now, but in Ptolemy's time you would have. Relativity is the consensus now. So now if you want to convince physicists that relativity is wrong, you need to get inside the minds of people who think it makes sense.

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 19:51 GMT

I really enjoyed your essay, finding almost complete agreement, and our central theme much in common. I wonder if as astronomers we may think alike.

But where you probe and point carefully I've rather driven a coach and horses (The Inn is excellent) and hope I may have tested out your view; "There is clearly information stored not only in the Bits, but in the addressing of those Bits" and found it true.

So perhaps even 'been there, got the T-shirt', and found a derivation of your additional field values - from an additional dimension also useful to address Born's rule (a 2D 'wave' becomes a 3D helix) giving an 'IQbit' which we can ask far more questions of than just 'up or down'!.

Your essay is far more an essay than mine, nicely written and set out and not too dense, but it's really the ideas I like and I'm interested in. A good score on all counts then as I think the them is important to advancement. I do hope you can get to read and score mine in the extended time we now have, and most important give your views. I build an ontology with the IQbit to 'beat the Bell' on the EPR paradox! Though few seem to understand the subtleties. I hope you do.

And I hope you do well.


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Than Tin wrote on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 23:32 GMT
Dr. Boroson

Richard Feynman in his Nobel Acceptance Speech (

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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john stephan selye wrote on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 22:19 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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Manuel S Morales wrote on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 17:17 GMT
Hi Bram,

I found your statement, "IF an observation is that which turns orthogonal system states into orthogonal measuring device states, and we stipulate that during an observation, the result must be one of those orthogonal states, we reach a contradiction." to be reflective of the findings obtained in the 12 year experiment I have recently concluded. Although you have a different approach to the topic than I do, I found your essay to be insightful and intuitive and most worthy of merit.

I wish you the best of luck in the competition.



BTW - I sent you an email to your address. Please look for it.

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eAmazigh M. HANNOU wrote on Aug. 5, 2013 @ 22:44 GMT
Dear Bram,

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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Neil Bates wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 10:19 GMT
Greetings, Bram. I just read your essay (admit to needing to skim) and found it more impressive than most attempts due to having more solid theoretical legwork and cross-pollination with specific other well-developed concepts. I liked this comment "A pure deductive system could not describe a random world." So few get this anymore. It deserved and I gave it a relatively high rating. I wonder if you could take a look at my own essay at /1610 and see what you think if not already. (It proposes an actual experiment to distinguish mixtures with the same density matrix.)

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Paul Borrill wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 18:57 GMT
Dear Bram,

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:

(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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