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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Paul Borrill: on 8/7/13 at 19:17pm UTC, wrote Dear Gary, I have now finished reviewing all 180 essays for the contest...

Cristinel Stoica: on 8/7/13 at 7:36am UTC, wrote Hi, votes are vanishing again.

Charles Card: on 8/6/13 at 3:48am UTC, wrote Late-in-the-Day Thoughts about the Essays I’ve Read I am sending to you...

john selye: on 8/1/13 at 22:10pm UTC, wrote Having read so many insightful essays, I am probably not the only one to...

Than Tin: on 8/1/13 at 6:05am UTC, wrote Dear All A standard-issue big city all-glass high-rise stands across the...

Charles Card: on 7/31/13 at 5:58am UTC, wrote Hi Gary, In a highly accessible way, you have touched upon so many of the...

Howard Barnum: on 7/29/13 at 1:15am UTC, wrote I thought this essay touched on some important points, but left them rather...

Than Tin: on 7/24/13 at 22:22pm UTC, wrote Dr. Miller Richard Feynman in his Nobel Acceptance Speech...


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FQXi FORUM
May 22, 2019

CATEGORY: It From Bit or Bit From It? Essay Contest (2013) [back]
TOPIC: PATTERN OR STUFF by Gary Glenn Miller [refresh]
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Author Gary Glenn Miller wrote on Jul. 5, 2013 @ 17:05 GMT
Essay Abstract

No one was more tenacious in focussing on the role of information in nature than the late John Archibald Wheeler. His issue of ``It from Bit" contrasts with the ``Bit from It" that has continued to hold many fi ne minds in a vise{like grip. To break this and present our view, we take a global historical attitude and extend from `bit' to `qubit' to `pattern' itself. Thus, ``Pattern from Stuff " and Kepler's ``Giant Clockwork" are to be replaced by the arche ``all Stuff comes from Pattern", i.e.,``the Music of the Spheres." Here we set the stage for a Pattern theory.

Author Bio

Gary Glenn Miller was a Visiting Fellow in Physics at Princeton in 1975–76 under the now late John Archibald Wheeler. Since that academic year, he has been working on Wheeler’s Issues which they discussed at conferences. Dr.Miller received his Ph.D. in mathematics (University of Missouri–Kansas City, 1968) under B.J.Pearson, a student of R.L.Moore. Since that time, Dr. Miller has been connected with the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., Canada, where he is now an Associate Professor Emeritus. Gary Miller has been heavily influenced by many conversations with J.A.Wheeler, Charles Card, Donald Schumacher, Pamela Miller, Simon Kochen, Bas van Fraassen, David Bohm, and Eugene Wigner.

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Manuel S Morales wrote on Jul. 6, 2013 @ 11:20 GMT
Gary,

As of 7-6-13, 7:20 am EST, the rating function for your essay is not available. Sorry I can't help you out right now by rating your essay.

Manuel

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Manuel S Morales replied on Jul. 7, 2013 @ 21:01 GMT
Gary,

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

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Anton Biermans replied on Jul. 8, 2013 @ 02:24 GMT
I agree, I think that all essays should be put online at the same day, and, seeing as how many essays there are, allow a longer period to rate them.

Anton

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Manuel S Morales replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 02:48 GMT
Sorry Gary,

I have received word that 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 @ 09:18 GMT
Dear Gary

Unfortunately, your essay is too large for automatic translation capabilities of my computer. Anyway,also wish you success.

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...

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Anton Biermans wrote on Jul. 8, 2013 @ 02:19 GMT
Hi Gary,

What strikes me in most essays I've read is that everyone thinks about the universe as an ordinary object we may imagine to look at from without: this only would be justified in a universe which has been created by some outside interference.

Wheeler, in his paper about (b)its, wonders ''How come a value for the quantum so small as h-bar = 2.612 × 10-66...

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jul. 8, 2013 @ 20:56 GMT
Respectfully Professor Miller,

I found your essay to be exceptionally well written and meticulously argued. I am a decrepit old realist, so please excuse me while I plead for realism.

The real Universe must be simple. After all about seven billion people now reside, once, on earth plus billions of supposedly lower forms of life do also. I am not saying the abstract universe of abstract Quantum Theory must be wrong because it is too complicated, I merely wish to point out that everything in the real Universe is unique, once. Each real snowflake is unique, once. Each real atom must be unique, once. Each real stat must be unique, once.

Each pattern is not unique. Mathematics is not unique. Information is not unique.

I do hope more time is granted for us to rate the later essay entries like yours.

Joe

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 11:39 GMT
Dear Gary,

I like your essay for taking us further back in time. It was indeed a golden era for philosophy and 'common sense'. You missed out Zeno of Elea, a student of Parmenides, but I guess it may not be relevant to scope of this year's essay. I will in separate correspondence want to know what you think of his Dichotomy Argument and whether you agree on the mathematical solutions proposed.

On discrete pattern and continuous patterns… Discrete patterns are easily contemplatable with many objects separated by space, so we can use natural numbers. When it comes to space itself which some believe has a discrete nature, what will do the separation? Then for continuous patterns, this will imply divisibility ad infinitum, another difficulty.

One idea of the Pythagoreans not mentioned is their belief that the mathematical or geometric point was not an abstract object of zero dimension as advocated by the Platonic school, but was an extended real object, which they called a 'monad'. Therefore, when looking at how "fire can be breathed into equations" consider this as a possibility, particularly, if such monads can emerge from nothing and be annihilated to nothing, an idea mentioned by Leibniz and which I develop here.

On the continuum problem, check out Peter Jackson's essay and see if we can disagree with him. I have a soft spot for discreteness with an excluded middle. I agree that the stage is about set for "Pattern theory as a foundation" which will become more feasible when geometric fictions are eliminated. For what patterns can do, have a look at Antony Ryan's piece.

Best of luck in the contest. A good score from me.

Akinbo

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Antony Ryan replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 17:46 GMT
Thanks for the mention Akinbo.

Gary - I look forward to reading your essay as soon as humanly possible.

Antony

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Antony Ryan wrote on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 12:47 GMT
Dear Gary,

Your essay was a nice read - very thorough in describing humanities struggle with this topic. I think you could write an excellent book on this subject! I also like how the journey explores patterns as a possible way to answer the most fundamental questions.

Well done & best wishes,

Antony

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 23:06 GMT
Dear Gary

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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Hugh Matlock wrote on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 08:28 GMT
Dr. Miller

I very much enjoyed your essay and your perspective. You wrote:

"We have indicated how C.S.Peirce's Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness, Carl Jung's Quaternio of archetypes, and, therefore, the Pythagorean Tetrakys can be considered as arche, i.e., as adequate generators of our Cosmos of "Pattern."

I suspect what mathematicians call today a "quaternion" might have this kind of generational power. In my essay Software Cosmos I describe the software architecture of a simulated cosmos. There are several ways in which the 3-sphere (isomorphic to unit quaternions) appears as a useful way to structure information in a compuational model of the cosmos.

Perhaps this is an example of the Pattern that you describe so eloquently here.

Hugh

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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 22:25 GMT
Dear Glenn,

I enjoyed the historico-philosophical journey through the development of the concepts of it and bit, substance and patterns. While I must admit that I did not exactly understand Peirce's classification system, I still got a rough idea.

All the best,

ARmin

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 10:30 GMT
Dear Glenn,

I have rated you already. Nevertheless...

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,

Akinbo

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Patrick Tonin wrote on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 22:05 GMT
Dear Gary,

This is a brilliant essay !

I am so pleased that at least someone here is talking about patterns, this is exactly what I am describing in my essay.

I am a real fan of John Wheeler (but also Dirac) and eventhough I am not a physicist, I really hope that you will read my essay and let me have your comments. If you like it, you can read my complete theory here.

I can't believe your rating is not higher, I have done my best to change it !

Patrick

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Héctor Daniel Gianni wrote on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 21:34 GMT
Dr Gary Glenn Miller:

I read your essay, it is nice and enjoyable and I agree with you that we first should look back to find bases to continue to go forward I keep the last words of your essay conclusion : “ Then, we have seen how the “meanings” in nature are given by feedback loops rather than by pointing to things that simply exist. Thus, we...

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basudeba mishra wrote on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 14:51 GMT
Dear Sir,

An excellent essay detailing the historical perspectives in a highly readable style. We wish you could have also looked ahead. You can read our essay:

“INFORMATION HIDES IN THE GLARE OF REALITY by basudeba mishra http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1776” published on May 31.

Regards,

basudeba

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Michel Planat wrote on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 08:23 GMT
Dear Gary,

Interesting, deep and well written philosophical essay. I spent much time on it. I realize how useful it would be to think Pierce's three categories and Wheeler's "fourthness" in the Grothendieck's language (the dessins d'enfants).

You can have a look at Sec. 2 of my own essay to have a hint about what I mean

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

but you would need the extra litterature mentioned in my reference [4] to fully appreciate my suggestion.

While Tegmark's mathematical universe seems to me untenable, patterns are necessary for the intelligability of the world as you describe it so nicely in an historistic perspective.

Best wishes,

Michel

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Than Tin wrote on Jul. 24, 2013 @ 22:22 GMT
Dr. Miller

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 relationship. And example of this is the Schrodinger equation and the Heisenberg formulation of quantum mechanics. I don’t know why that is – it remains a mystery, but it was something I learned from experience. There is always another way to say the same thing that doesn’t look at all like the way you said it before. I don’t know what the reason for this is. I think it is somehow a representation of the simplicity of nature.”

I too believe in the simplicity of nature, and I am glad that Richard Feynman, a Nobel-winning famous physicist, also believe in the same thing I do, but I had come to my belief long before I knew about that particular statement.

The belief that “Nature is simple” is however being expressed differently in my essay “Analogical Engine” linked to http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1865 .

Specifically though, I said “Planck constant is the Mother of All Dualities” and I put it schematically as: wave-particle ~ quantum-classical ~ gene-protein ~ analogy- reasoning ~ linear-nonlinear ~ connected-notconnected ~ computable-notcomputable ~ mind-body ~ Bit-It ~ variation-selection ~ freedom-determinism … and so on.

Taken two at a time, it can be read as “what quantum is to classical” is similar to (~) “what wave is to particle.” You can choose any two from among the multitudes that can be found in our discourses.

I could have put Schrodinger wave ontology-Heisenberg particle ontology duality in the list had it comes to my mind!

Since “Nature is Analogical”, we are free to probe nature in so many different ways. And you have touched some corners of it.

Good luck,

Than Tin

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Member Howard N Barnum wrote on Jul. 29, 2013 @ 01:15 GMT
I thought this essay touched on some important points, but left them rather abstract and did not delve very far into possible specific implications for how we can better understand the role of our present physics in the world, or the directions we might take to improve it. I agree about the importance of pattern, and the idea that "In doing physics, we must remember we are not distant observers but witnesses participating with the other patterns of nature." Also on the importance of feedback loops. Aspects of the essay were a bit obscure--- I didn't really understand Peirce's Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness from the summary here. Some potentially promising general notions, but I didn't get as much physics out of them as I would have liked.

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Charles Raldo Card wrote on Jul. 31, 2013 @ 05:58 GMT
Hi Gary,

In a highly accessible way, you have touched upon so many of the historical and philosophical themes that most intrigue me in the "It/Bit" discussion. I hope you will take the opportunity to expand on them in the context of a larger work. As usual, you have given me much to think about as we search for deep truths.

Looking forward to continuing our discussion!

Charles Card

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Than Tin wrote on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 06:05 GMT
Dear All

A standard-issue big city all-glass high-rise stands across the street from my usual bus stop. When I look up the high-rise facade, I can see the reflections of the near-by buildings and the white clouds from the sky above. Even when everything else looks pretty much the same, the reflections of the clouds are different, hour to hour and day to day.

After I boarded the bus,...

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john stephan selye wrote on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 22:10 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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Charles Raldo Card wrote on Aug. 6, 2013 @ 03:48 GMT
Late-in-the-Day Thoughts about the Essays I’ve Read

I am sending to you the following thoughts because I found your essay particularly well stated, insightful, and helpful, even though in certain respects we may significantly diverge in our viewpoints. Thank you! Lumping and sorting is a dangerous adventure; let me apologize in advance if I have significantly misread or misrepresented...

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Cristinel Stoica wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 07:36 GMT
Hi, votes are vanishing again.

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Paul Borrill wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 19:17 GMT
Dear Gary,

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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