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FQXi FORUM
October 24, 2019

CATEGORY: It From Bit or Bit From It? Essay Contest (2013) [back]
TOPIC: Reality and Information: It and Bit by Salvish Goomanee [refresh]
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Author Salvish Goomanee wrote on Jul. 8, 2013 @ 17:31 GMT
Essay Abstract

The present understanding of the relation between reality and information theory is for the time being rather vague. There are many speculations about the fact that the understanding of reality may be beyond our capabilities. However the perception of our observed reality in relation to quantum physics and consciousness as per Wheeler’s theories may lead to the exploration of some new branches of quantum physics and consciousness theory. For many physicists, this may be something rather troubling but what if non – computability was actually part of reality? What if there were some processes or some kind of information that cannot be understood through algorithms and needed new understanding. In this essay the relation between information, reality and consciousness will be briefly discussed.

Author Bio

I am an undergraduate physics student at King's College London, University of London. I am interested in theoretical physics and Anthropology.

Download Essay PDF File

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Zoran Mijatovic wrote on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 02:17 GMT
Hello Slavish,

You are right to question the validity of assumptions which can only be countered via argument, and on that basis question the validity of any understanding of consciousness which has no reasonable prospect of being validated. I propose something more concrete; an understanding of consciousness which extends to absolutely everything, but I also tie this understanding to an astronomical observation which should be possible in the near future. You may whish to check out this all or nothing conception. The title of the essay is "Hierarchical Space-Time".

Regards.

Zoran.

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 04:16 GMT
Dear Salvish,

I enjoyed your essay based on the premise that the relation between information, reality, and consciousness exists and is significant. A surprising number of essayists have concluded that information cannot be discussed in any meaningful fashion without bringing ideas of code-book, interpretation, meaning, understanding, apprehension, mind, consciousness, or awareness into the picture. The alternative is a Shannon-like treatment of meaningless signals, which, while important, overlooks the most significant aspects of information and reality, both subjective and objective.

I assume one can suppose that microtubules have something to do with consciousness, based on the mystical idea that consciousness is a quantum phenomena. The only logic I see behind this is the argument that "one thing we don't understand" must be identical to "another thing we don't understand". Did Penrose and Hameroff propose a mechanism whereby microtubules could be related to the delayed choice experiment?

As you seem quite interested in the relationship of consciousness and reality, I invite you to read my current essay, which is also focused on this topic. I look forward to any comments you might care to make.

My best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Salvish Goomanee replied on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 08:10 GMT
Dear Edwin,

Thank you for your comment.

Actually Penrose and Hameroff implied that consciousness arises in microtubules found in due to the high electron density which would favor the possibility of the occurrence of a newly proposed quantum phenomena ( the self - collapse or Objective reduction). The latter collapses to a single space time geometry and allows us to observe the delayed choice experiment (where reduction as per Copenhagen interpretation now occur.) What Penrose suggested is actually more fundamental than Wheeler's delayed choice experiment but unfortunately there are no experimental evidence of such process. I was thinking however whether the process could actually be related and quantified as per Feynman's path integral but I am not very sure of the method.

Regards,

Salvish

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Stephen James Anastasi wrote on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 10:32 GMT
Excellent effort Slavish. Nice to see someone, so early in the game, putting forward a well constructed paper. There was some original thought here. If you have time, I would appreciate a comment on my own paper, which builds a mathematical universe based on a single principle.

Best wishes

Stephen Anastasi

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Chidi Idika wrote on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 12:39 GMT
Dear Goomane,

I like that you are able to address frontally the connection that consciousness should make with Wheeler’s dream. Most physicists shy away from this one and somehow HOPE that a solution can come without first an error of sort.

You say of many attempts at this connection that “…the theories are rather superfluous and do not relate to quantum physics or any other branches of physics nor relate to conventional neuroscientific theories.” But I have in What a Wavefunction is an approach that in hard numbers actually does relate physics and neuroscience and in a testable manner. Even though in merely attempting this I must come across as a “crank” to the “scientist” (might as well be) but please do actually read through and let me have the “hard” questions and your honest opinion.

Thank you for your audacity

Best,

Chidi

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Joe Fisher wrote on Jul. 9, 2013 @ 20:27 GMT
Mr. Goomanee,

I found your essay to be one of the best written ones so far to be published. Your writing style is extremely economical and there is no trace of obsequiousness anywhere to be found in a word of it.

I was highly amused by the “self-collapse” remark as it reminded me of the “self-deportation” of illegal immigrants proposed by Mitt Romney in his presidential campaign.

As for your statement that: “The relation between reality, information and consciousness is a rather complicated one to figure out using conventional physical and mathematical approaches.” I respectfully disagree.

As I have pointed out in my essay BITTERS, one real Universe is occurring, once. Each real snowflake is unique, once. Each real strand of DNA is unique, once. Each real particle must be unique, once. Each real star must be unique, once. Everything in the real Universe is unique, once. Penrose and Hameroff were correct when they averred that the universe was not computable. Unique, once, is not computable.

Best of luck in the contest, you deserve it for your fine essay,

Joe

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Hoang cao Hai wrote on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 09:09 GMT
Dear Salvish

Your essay is very good but unfortunately your conclusion seem does not to be an answer.

Wishing you success and happiness always.

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...

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Author Salvish Goomanee replied on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 21:52 GMT
Dear Hoang,

Thank you for your constructive comments, this will be very helpful. I do agree about the fact that the actual equations and our current understanding of the neural architecture is rather limited, for this reason I preferred not to include the calculations described by Penrose and Hameroff. I am actually still studying these, the model is quite elaborated.

Salvish

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 12:58 GMT
Hello Salvish,

Nice to read. You may find some of the vagueness removed in the present understanding of the relation between reality and information theory here.

I will like to know what you think.

Best regards,

Akinbo.

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Antony Ryan wrote on Jul. 10, 2013 @ 13:41 GMT
Dear Salvish,

I think it is good to philosophically consider consciousness within the Bit/It subject and from an observer point of view. After all we are the ones considering the question consciously. Please take a look at my essay if you have time.

Nice essay Salvish!

Best wishes,

Antony

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basudeba mishra wrote on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 19:30 GMT
Dear Sir,

Your courage and enthusiasm to participate in this forum even though you are still a student, is laudable. This shows your potential and we congratulate you for the same.

Reading your essay we were reminded of an experiment in a premier B–School, where we were attending an Executive Development Program. We asked the regular students to rate some faculty, whom we also...

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Author Salvish Goomanee replied on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 22:04 GMT
Thank you for your comments.

I would like to say you do seem to know well the mathematical constructions behind the Schrodinger's equation. However the latter do not have any physical meaning, it is just a postulate, an axiom - something which exists simply because the experiments carried are coherent with the equation. So quantum superposition is a founded principle - for example observation and further tests through computer modelling reveals how the relatively large nuclei can exists momentarily is a superposed state - as I said in my comment of your essay; you just cannot question founded/fundamental principle. You can say string theory is false and loop quantum gravity is the answer for a unification I will neither agree nor disagree because there are no concrete proof of the latter theories. I can however think further and say that I believe in the mathematical constructions as some physicists actually do and imply that the theory is so beautiful that it must be true. However that would be selfish of me because we (even as a theological scientists) , physicists, scientist and engineers are here to ensure that the whatever are theories written, they will benefit to the whole world either directly or indirectly. Hence experiments done are valid and well founded.

Regards

Salvish

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basudeba mishra replied on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 07:58 GMT
Dear Sir,

We have given a detailed reply to your comments below our thread.

We are questioning the most fundamental principles of Physics because they do not correspond to reality as is perceived. We are not questioning Nature. We are not bound by text books or syllabus. Hence we are free to question all inconsistencies. We also give alternative solutions. Since we do not do a cut and paste job (all modern presentations including Doctoral theses are), we do not give any reference. If you say there is no place for originality in physics, that is another story.

Regards,

basudeba

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jul. 11, 2013 @ 22:44 GMT
Dear Salvish

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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Héctor Daniel Gianni wrote on Jul. 12, 2013 @ 21:37 GMT
Dear: Salvish Goomanee¨:

I read your essay which open new questions which sometimes are more important than solutions. I must say that we almost have nothing in common, you are a young physics student and I am an old physician that when were young accidentally found something mainly useful for theoretical physics, but I don’t know nothing...

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Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on Jul. 13, 2013 @ 18:49 GMT
Dear Salvish,

I just read your essay and it is great to see the spirit of questing for answers in a field that after all this time still hasn't disclosed its most basic secrets.

I noticed that you referenced a diagram which was not in your paper, I assume that you meant to include one but ran out of time, since your essay was one of the late-late comers (like mine).

The questions that Penrose and Hameroff try to address are very deep and I don't think we are anywhere near being able to understand them because if there is in fact some sort of intersection between quantum mechanics and neuroscience (which there may not be) it will require tools for further elucidation to which we do not yet have access.

However, quantum theory is still very rich in and of itself, so I would encourage you to learn as much you can about our present state of knowledge (which contains many subtleties not usually covered in intro quantum courses) all the while watching out for progress in identifying quantum processes that play a role in biological systems.

Maybe when you are in grad school (assuming that's what you want to do) you can then see if you want to pursue something like quantum biology, see for instance this article. I don't know much about it myself, but it is a very young field and perhaps you will be one of those who develop the tools to be able to investigate the questions for which Penrose and Hameroff may have been too far ahead of their time to find an answer.

All the best in your career,

Armin

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Sreenath B N wrote on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 05:53 GMT
Dear Salvish,

I have down loaded your essay and soon post my comments on it. Meanwhile, please, go through my essay and post your comments.

Regards and good luck in the contest,

Sreenath BN.

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1827

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Ralph Waldo Walker III wrote on Jul. 14, 2013 @ 20:49 GMT
Salvish,

I found your essay to be one of the more interesting and forward thinking essays I’ve read. I think you made several outstanding points and furthermore, are asking the right questions.

I agree that the, “anthropic principle may actually be a ‘primitive’ description of the relation between reality and information and the missing link could be consciousness,” and that it, “is usually very difficult to discuss such theories among the scientific community because of the lack of experimental evidence; furthermore the theories are rather superfluous and do not relate to quantum physics or any other branches of physics nor relate to conventional neuroscientific theories.” This is why I think it is particularly important that you, as an undergraduate student, continue to keep your mind open, as your writing clearly indicates you are doing. Your interest in physics and anthropology represents an interesting, diverse, cross-section of studies.

I think that you are indeed correct in that, “Philosophy is too important to be left to the philosophers.” It seems that although there are physicists and other scientists who truly want to discover the ‘Big Picture,’ it appears that there seems to be some sort of glass wall or ceiling that tends to block their minds to certain possibilities. I often read something along the lines of speculation that the answers, “might be right under our noses,” or “so simple, we’ll all wonder how we could have been so blind for so long,” as John Wheeler put it. But I also see how there seems to be very little attention paid to new and different ideas that are so simple and don’t conflict with our theories and observations. Hopefully, your generation will see things differently.

I wish you the very best in your future, and again, enjoyed your open-minded, fresh perspective.

Sincerely,

Ralph

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jul. 15, 2013 @ 15:34 GMT
Salvish,

A very well constructed and written essay, and good attempt to unravel and analyse incoherent complexity. I like your excellent description; "The relation between reality, information and consciousness is a rather complicated one to figure out using conventional physical and mathematical approaches."

I agree with and also explored the possibility that; "the link between reality and information could be how consciousness occurs in the brain", although I used a more mechanistic way.

You sum up the role of the brain in 'measurement' in a novel and interesting way in saying; "the link between reality and information could be how consciousness occurs in the brain." I think 'conciousness' is still inadequately defined for a science essay, and the role of the brain can be compared in many ways to a computer processor, giving output and a picture of reality from input (information) You none the less identify this much ignored area, and I commend you addressing philosophy (I discussed this in my last years essay).

In some ways my essay may be an extension of many of the logical conclusions of yours, which is and conceptually consistent. For that reason alone I'd score yours well, but it is also a well structured and written essay. I hope you will enjoy reading mine and find some agreement, so agree its also worth a high score. I do make some quite bold propositions which I hope don't shock! I cetainly agree there may be "some processes or some kind of information that cannot be understood through algorithms and needed new understanding." I hope you understand the emergent solution to the EPR paradox (the links in the first blog post may help).

Very well done for your own essay, and original view, bravely engaging with important philosophical considerations.

Very best wishes

Peter

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Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 10:11 GMT
Hello Salvish,

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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Manuel S Morales wrote on Jul. 22, 2013 @ 11:13 GMT
Salvish,

I found your statement, "What if there were some processes or some kind of information that cannot be understood through algorithms and needed new understanding." to be most profound and indeed strikes at the hart of the matter of why this essay contest exists in the first place.

I would like to ask you some questions via email if I may and would like to know what your email address is? My email address is msm@physicsofdestiny.com if you would like to respond directly.

Regards,

Manuel

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sridattadev kancharla wrote on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 00:36 GMT
Dear All,

It is with utmost joy and love that I give you all the cosmological iSeries which spans the entire numerical spectrum from -infinity through 0 to +infinity and the simple principle underlying it is sum of any two consecutive numbers is the next number in the series. 0 is the base seed and i can be any seed between 0 and infinity.

iSeries always yields two sub semi...

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sridattadev kancharla wrote on Jul. 23, 2013 @ 00:38 GMT
Dear All,

It is with utmost joy and love that I give you all the cosmological iSeries which spans the entire numerical spectrum from -infinity through 0 to +infinity and the simple principle underlying it is sum of any two consecutive numbers is the next number in the series. 0 is the base seed and i can be any seed between 0 and infinity.

iSeries always yields two sub semi...

view entire post


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Michael Helland wrote on Jul. 30, 2013 @ 07:24 GMT
You say the world according to a conscious observer may not be computable, if I understand your conclusion.

I say campus the conscious observer. That would solve the problem then, eh?

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Michael Helland replied on Jul. 30, 2013 @ 07:25 GMT
Whoop, autocorrect there.

Compute the conscious observer is what that should say.

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Sreenath B N wrote on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 02:00 GMT
Dear Salvish,

I have down loaded your essay and soon post my comments on it. Meanwhile, please, go through my essay and post your comments.

Regards and good luck in the contest,

Sreenath BN.

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1827

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Sreenath B N replied on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 14:20 GMT
Dear Salvish,

In your intriguing article you have rightly grasped the significance behind the wheelerian claim that It comes from Bit. The problem is not that simple as it looks, because human consciousness is involved in this problem and that is why Wheeler described it as ‘observer participatory’. This, actually, takes us back to the age old philosophical problem of the relationship between Mind and Matter as posed by philosophers and now physicists have come across this problem. In philosophy there are many theories dealing with this problem but then as usual there is no consensus among philosophers and the puzzle is still alive. Your mentioning of Penrose and Hameroff method is the latest attempt to solve this problem scientifically although an unsuccessful one. That is why you have rightly said that “The relation between reality, information and consciousness is a rather complicated one to figure out using conventional physical and mathematical approaches”. I thank you for nicely elucidating the problem from scientific (physicists’’?) point of view. You have made your article an interesting one and I want to give highest rating to it. You can contact me at, bnsreenath@yahoo.co.in and feel free to express your opinions there. Go through my article and post your comments on it in my thread (http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1827).

Best of luck,

Sreenath

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Sreenath B N replied on Aug. 2, 2013 @ 03:33 GMT
Dear Salvish,

I appreciate the risk you have taken to read my essay and comment up on it.

I have responded to your comments on my essay in my thread and you can see it there. If you have any further queries, feel free to express them in my thread.

I have rated your beautifully written essay with maximum possible score.

Best,

Sreenath

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john stephan selye wrote on Aug. 1, 2013 @ 22:03 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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Sreenath B N wrote on Aug. 3, 2013 @ 08:18 GMT
Dear Salvish,

I have rated your lucidly analyzed essay with maximum possible score.

good luck,

sreenath

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Cristinel Stoica wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 07:35 GMT
Hi, votes are vanishing again.

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Paul Borrill wrote on Aug. 7, 2013 @ 21:59 GMT
Dear Salvish,

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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Héctor Daniel Gianni wrote on Aug. 9, 2013 @ 23:22 GMT
Dear: Salvish Goomanee¨:

I read your essay which open new questions which sometimes are more important than solutions. I must say that we almost have nothing in common, you are a young physics student and I am an old physician that when were young accidentally found something mainly useful for theoretical physics, but I don’t know nothing of mathematics and almost nothing of physics. In...

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Edgar Miller wrote on Jul. 17, 2017 @ 12:13 GMT
That's very interesting. Thank you for your essay! Quantum physics was always an enigma for me but after reading you text which is full of facts I'm have many questions for this interesting science. I want to find an answer so you have interested me because of your essay.

By the way I'm a marketer and If you are the owner of a mobile application, or you need help with you business I can help you through app reviews and promote your product. Don't be shy to ask me.

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David Chen wrote on Oct. 25, 2017 @ 07:59 GMT
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max william wrote on Jul. 25, 2019 @ 11:54 GMT
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Nicole Sauer Sauer wrote on Aug. 13, 2019 @ 13:57 GMT
Don't stress up yourself with research paper writing, essay writing can be a very challenging thing for the most students. There are other important things that also need your participation. Get business plan essay and be happy.

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