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What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
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How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
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Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
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How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
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It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
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Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
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What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
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FQXi FORUM
October 13, 2019

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: Looking Beyond and Within to Steer the Future by James Lee Hoover [refresh]
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Author James Lee Hoover wrote on Mar. 17, 2014 @ 17:10 GMT
Essay Abstract

Humanity, over seven billion souls strong, must take care of the business of survival. Failure in this effort makes our future impossible. The endeavor to steer our future must be one of common good, having a part for all creatures of the universe. The universe of our minds is a unique microcosm of the very universe whose life line assembled it. Its dynamic happens to be the best hope for supporting humankind’s steerage toward a viable future.

Author Bio

James Hoover is recently retired from the Boeing Company in Huntington Beach, California, working as a systems engineer. His career in aerospace stretches back over twenty years and involves cost analysis, cost modeling and logistics research. In that span of years he has taught college courses in education, economics, computer science and English. Before his aerospace career, he taught high school. He recently published a science fiction novel called Extraordinary Visitors. His personal interests include studies in particle physics, cosmology and UFO engineering. He has advanced degrees in Economics and English.

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde wrote on Mar. 18, 2014 @ 15:44 GMT
dear James,

We are indeed the trustees of our own environment.

It is true that humans have always thought of GOD or GODS to explain their world of observations.

But isn't it also so that we are through our consciousness our own creators or GODS ?

What you mention as "steering towards a non-suicidal future, can in the perception of the self creating consciousness only mean that there are an infinity of availabilities and that only this speceific life-line is perhaps a dead end street.

I explained in my essay this perception, of course nobody knows the TRUTH and it is only one of the many visions, like your own which i respect very much.

Regarding the subatomic : I even propose (and let it be sampled by scientists) that matter does not matter, and I agree with what you write on the quantum computer. I think that when if we can couple the QC to our brain, we could create an opening to further dimensions, like the one where the non-causal consciousness resides : TOTAL SIMULTANEITY.

About "Opening the universe of our mind" from Einstein : We are ALL Stardust and this stardust is a product of our consciousness.

I liked your approach very much and hope for a comment on my thread.

best regards

Wilhelmus

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Apr. 1, 2014 @ 23:35 GMT
Wilhelmus, what does the recent discovery that captures the gravity waves of cosmic inflation affect Total simultaneity. Is that only in our consciousness?

I try to get a fix on all plausible theories.

Jim

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Turil Sweden Cronburg wrote on Mar. 20, 2014 @ 13:22 GMT
Looks interesting. I'm looking forward to reading it. I appreciate the "having a part for all creatures of the universe" element, as it recognizes the reality of an expanding universe (increasing diversity).

Also, does your sci-fi book reflect your ideals you discuss in this essay?

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Mar. 20, 2014 @ 17:13 GMT
Turil,

I will also check out your essay. I would suspect it inevitable that your fiction reflects your thoughts in some way. My essay does speak of the consideration of that which is considered technologically impossible: superluminal flight, teleporting, managing the Planck world.

Jim

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on Mar. 20, 2014 @ 17:11 GMT
James,

If there is one simple conceptual fallacy empowering the corporate pillaging of the earth's resources, it is that people think of money as a commodity, rather than a contract.

This is a brief synopsis, similar to my entry, but from a more recent effort;

"Since money is a notational form of value and can enable one access to many of our basic needs and desires, there...

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Apr. 1, 2014 @ 23:42 GMT
Then social relations and the environment will be more clearly viewed as the fundamental stores of value that enable a truly healthy society and environment.

John, I'm sure you don't mean this the negative way in that some only believe social relationships have value if you gain from it. Rather that social relationships have value in terms of common good and good will to others.

Jim

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 12, 2014 @ 18:15 GMT
Jim,

I would have to put the concept of 'gain' in a very broad spectrum. In a sense, only as a way to compare to the monetary distillation of worth. Personally there are aspects of my life which are elementally a function of giving, in the sense that I'm simply directing some of the flow of life towards others, rather than attempting to bottle it up within me. I can only maintain balance by keeping such circuits open and vital.

Regards,

John M

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Joe Fisher wrote on Mar. 24, 2014 @ 16:58 GMT
Dear Mr. Hoover,

I quite enjoyed reading your highly informative essay, and I do hope that it does well in the competition. Of course it would appear that the fastest way to save the planet might be to get rid of all of the scientists and their unnatural science. That is after we get rid of all of the language poisoning lawyers and all of the unnatural laws.

With best regards,

Joe Fisher

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Apr. 1, 2014 @ 23:44 GMT
Of course it would appear that the fastest way to save the planet might be to get rid of all of the scientists and their unnatural science.

Don't follow your above statement. Is it meant facetiously?

Jim

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Janko Kokosar wrote on Mar. 26, 2014 @ 18:42 GMT
Dear Jim

A nicely written essay. It is evident, that you have experiences how to write such essay, or science fiction. Analyses of history of science nad of technical progress are good idea. .

You also gave some little nice ideas in essay, similarly, as in my essay. All we can help with a little or bigger ideas. For instance, an electrical car does not yet exist as a common vehicle on roads, because we all wait others that they will have ideas and other things.

Best regards

Janko Kokosar

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Apr. 1, 2014 @ 23:52 GMT
Thank you, Janko.

Jim

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Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Mar. 31, 2014 @ 02:58 GMT
Jim,

I enjoyed your interesting, responsible and optimistic assessment of humanity's survival and the various tools that may be available to us to accomplish that.

Your singling out corporate waste as an important obstacle to such survival is spot-on. Human greed and wastefulness has always been with us, but following America's rapid rise to super-power status following WW II these traits were scaled up to a global scale . The recent economic setbacks come as a timely warning that we all must find a better way to spend our resources. Honesty courage and ingenuity are needed to solve these and many other problems - qualities not uncommon in your country or in many other places and in individuals all over our interconnected world.

Your essay is inspiring and gives much to think about.

Best wishes,

Vladimir

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on Apr. 1, 2014 @ 23:28 GMT
As you know, Vladimir, there is no way to do this essay without citing the corporatocracy as a force that interferes with steering a viable future.

Jim

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John C Hodge wrote on Apr. 9, 2014 @ 19:39 GMT
Dear Mr. Hoover:

I think you got some winning ideas.

Is survival the one and only goal of humanity? If so, shouldn’t each individual, family, tribe, business, etc strive for survival? Where do concepts of “the common good” enter? Should some smaller unit such as an individual sacrifice everything he is for others good? I note I disagree with Rand on this point, also.

I suggest the essence of modern business is to be more efficient user of resources. A business that has less efficiency fails. That is, it fails unless artificially supported by some other ethos such as “it’s too big to fail”. This ethos is supporting a status quo agenda. I think we need to look elsewhere than the corporate arena as the source of the problem you outline. Your examples show that less efficient users must be allowed to fail.

I’m beginning to think we are kindred spirits.

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on May. 7, 2014 @ 05:00 GMT
Yes, John, we are all part of the problem and the solution. We focus on corporations because of their size, control and power.

Jim

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Apr. 11, 2014 @ 04:08 GMT
Very interesting,

Your essay was fun to read and gives us a lot to think about. We must exceed the industrial vision if humanity is to survive - on that we can agree. Playful minds have always seen beyond the bounds of hardened belief structures, and lead the way to freedom. I'll probably have more to say later.

Regards,

Jonathan

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Apr. 21, 2014 @ 10:24 GMT
HI James,

Good essay. I like that you clearly see the obstacles to a bright future but also set out what you think should happen to steer a good course, such as global cooperation and organisation.You suggest a role for the UN.I agree there is most likely a bigger role they can play in the future dealing with the consequences of climate change, which might include mass migrations from war and famine.Some intriguing suggestions at the end. I don't know how practical they are but at this time in human history there is certainly no harm in brainstorming. Good luck, Georgina

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Member Rick Searle replied on Apr. 22, 2014 @ 02:12 GMT
Jim,

A wide-ranging and thought provoking essay. I especially liked this quote:

"Humankind and the material world around us is the stuff of stars. It is fitting that, like stars, living and dying, we recycle that stuff, giving more substance to those that follow. Our lives have always been a quest to find life’s origins, a pursuit often sidestepped by hubris we collect on the way. We find a future by finding ourselves and understanding our world, a world that grows as we mature."

Best of luck!

Rick Searle

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on May. 7, 2014 @ 04:57 GMT
Thanks, Rick.

The "stuff of stars" is a thought of wonder and mystery.

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Peter Jackson wrote on May. 1, 2014 @ 16:18 GMT
James,

Another well balanced essay covering an important gamut of subjects. I particularly agree that the way ahead is via improved scientific understanding. I too argue for that.

But you ask; "Is there evidence that quantum entanglement could be the basis of teleporting?" at small ranges and up to light speed yes. Only the 'belief' has gone beyond that, destroying faith in causality. I show how classical mechanics can explain QM by reconsidering particle spin as normal rotation - back to reality I hope! Your great quote and discussion of particles was moot; "O amazement of things - even the least particle".

I hope you find time to read mine, your comments should be interesting with your practical engineering background.

I wish you luck in the contest.

Peter

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Ajay Bhatla wrote on May. 5, 2014 @ 16:49 GMT
James,

You did a wonderful job of pulling some very wide date and thoughts to support your argument that the need exists for us to focus on the HOW to obtain "survival", a"vibrant future", a "viable future", "preserve Earth's life lines", etc.

I totally also agree that "opening the universe of the mind" supplemented with more science "guarded against the arrogance of accepted scientific models."

Good luck.

- Ajay

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on May. 7, 2014 @ 04:55 GMT
Thanks, Ajay.

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on May. 8, 2014 @ 00:25 GMT
Dear James Lee Hoover,

We seem to agree that, as you say in your essay, "political leaders act as corporate agents." However you seem to place the problem at the feet of corporations. I don't see it that way. Corporate officers are responsible to their stockholders and don't take an oath to uphold the law and defend our rights. Neither do they have the power to put me in a cage, or execute...

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Domenico Oricchio wrote on May. 14, 2014 @ 14:40 GMT
Thank you for reading my essay.

I think, like you, that the science has not ethics, it is a tool for good, or evil, scientists; and the example of the ants is perfect: there is a objective of the colony that must be achieved, and the genetic, the reasoning, and the tools are used for the survival of the species.

I think, like you, that when some corporation have the power to influence the choice of the democracy, then it is a problem for the corporations, and for the people: the right decision is a decision that improve the conditions of the people, if there are methods to influence the politics so that this objective is not obtained (unlike the ants) then this is a short term victory, because the results are evidents in a long term time, and the corporation build their own collapse.

I think, like you, that some technological choice (to steer the future) have to be weighted with the scientific method, without non ideological bias, so that can be evaluated each single effect (like a medicine).

Your essay is a good essay.

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Author James Lee Hoover wrote on May. 14, 2014 @ 19:19 GMT
Thank you, Domenico. We seem to be stuff of the same star.

Jim

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Don J Chisholm wrote on May. 15, 2014 @ 11:51 GMT
James, thanks for the comment on my essay. Yes, in your I can see similar paths leading to shared conclusions.

Hope you do well in the contest.

Don Chisholm

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Author James Lee Hoover replied on May. 15, 2014 @ 20:20 GMT
Thanks, Don.

Jim

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Arthur R. Woods wrote on May. 16, 2014 @ 20:09 GMT
Dear James

Many thanks for your comments on my essay. I also enjoyed reading yours and you have touched on many important points. One can sense your insights have been built upon much experience and reflection.

I agree with your statement: "cultural systems of belief can freeze perspective as well as views of science and natural laws it is built on".

If you have not already done so, please also read the essay by Walter Putnam. I believe his ideas on "compassion" being the guiding principle in future human affairs adds much to the discussion about steering humanity's future.

I also look forward to reading your novel: "Extraordinary Visitors" which I see is available on Amazon.

Best regards,

Arthur

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Member Daniel Dewey wrote on May. 17, 2014 @ 14:04 GMT
Hi James,

I'm afraid that I came away from your essay without a clear idea of what you were suggesting. You cover many interesting points, but what recommendation are you giving about how humanity should steer the future?

Thanks,

Daniel

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Jens C. Niemeyer wrote on May. 20, 2014 @ 19:31 GMT
Jim,

I enjoyed reading your article. Your skepticism of leadership is well grounded and relevant. You say that "the past can be a teacher" - I couldn't agree more. Many of the problems you mention have their counterparts in the past, if only in a milder fashion. The past can also offer possible solutions. This is perhaps where the ideas in our essays overlap most.

Jens

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Preston Estep wrote on May. 21, 2014 @ 02:05 GMT
Hi Jim,

Thanks for laying out clearly some of the most vexing problems of our time--and for focusing on the ultimate importance of the mind in the quest for solutions. Nevertheless, I would have liked some exploration of what you want to the mind to do in the quest for solutions. In our essay (on which you kindly commented), we suggest that thinking and teaching have produced essential advances, but that those advances have just about run their course. We believe that it is time to focus resources on engineering and leveraging the greatest resource we currently have at our disposal: the human mind. In summary, we're glad you understand the fundamental importance of the mind and hope you agree that there is no strategy as powerful as maximizing the mind's abilities through recursive self improvement.

All the best,

Preston

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Member Tejinder Pal Singh wrote on May. 21, 2014 @ 02:38 GMT
Dear James,

You have a nice essay, with a noble goal of applying scientific discoveries for the global betterment of mankind. How should it be implemented across nations, in a systematic fashion, for nations do not share wealth and resources, and disparity between the rich and poor societies seems here to stay, unless there are sweeping changes in our value systems?

Kind regards,

Tejinder

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Eckard Blumschein replied on May. 21, 2014 @ 06:45 GMT
Dear Jim, dear Tejinder,

Let me try to simultaneously answer the question by Jim at 2021 and your question to him. Indeed, I almost completely agree with you both. We are however focusing on different aspects. I don't like science fiction, and sometimes my position is slightly different. For instance, Jim wrote:

"Though [Newton's] ideas flew in the face of the dominant religion, the force of curiosity and learning progressed so that his concept of gravity helped pave the way for the Industrial Revolution, one vital discovery being steam power, which finally led to the locomotive and other steam-powered engines of commerce."

The steam engine goes back to the curiosity of Otto de Guericke [1602-1686] who demonstrated that the pressure of air can move a piston. Newton [1642-1727] and his concept of gravity were not required for Huygens, Papin, Newcomen and Watt, Lenoir, Otto, Benz, and Diesel.

While we all agree: "we must join the effort to steer humanity toward a non-suicidal future", I don't see this a question of "applying scientific discoveries for the global betterment of mankind." Following Alfred Nobel's logic, I rather see the steering already in the scientific progress itself. For instance, invented and worldwide available possibilities of contraception will help ordinary people in poor nations with too much children getting as rich as those with less children. Of course, acceptance of this means a very basic change in our value systems, something worth to be dealt with by FQXi. I was told, the newly elected ruler of India was born into a low caste and admires Otto v. Bismarck. The latter was worldwide the first to implement care insurance for all elderly workers. Under Muslim rule, as many children as possible are still considered necessary for feeding their parents.

Kindest regards,

Eckard

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Christian Corda wrote on May. 21, 2014 @ 09:55 GMT
Dear Jim,

It is a pleasure to re-meet you here in FQXi. I have read your Essay also this year, and, again, I have found it very beautiful. Here are my comments/questions:

1) I like your suggestion that humans should act like wise ants.

2) I agree with you that dogma and orthodoxy often freeze perspective as well as views of science and natural laws. In my opinion, there are no dogmas in science and I am all in favour of being open minded about alternatives to current orthodoxy, but they must be properly formulated and plausible scientific proposals.

3) The issue that corporate society now controls the steering, putting corporate interest ahead of common good is the worst problem of the current era.

4) I like very much your pointing out that Newton's concept of gravity helped pave the way for the Industrial Revolution with all its healthy consequences on the global world. This endorses my current Essay which concerns the importance of quantum gravity.

5) Concerning alternative sources of energy, what do you think on nuclear energy?

7) I am not completely convinced that Higgs Boson has been really detected at LHC.

You wrote an enjoyable Essay also this year. I will give you an high score.

I wish you best luck in the Contest.

Cheers,

Ch.

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on May. 21, 2014 @ 10:22 GMT
James,

I apologize for taking so long to get around to your excellent essay. I think in the whole it truthfully reflects the deep value of " ... a portable, self-contained, and self-owned domain--the individual mind."

Obviously, we share the same liberal ideals. Yet I more than appreciate the support of facts that you bring to the party -- baring the unintended consequences of forcing issues to fit ideals, rather than allowing ideals to guide the issues.

Thanks for the thoughtful analysis. High mark from me.

Best,

Tom

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde wrote on May. 21, 2014 @ 14:43 GMT
Dear Tim,

I ahve read with great interest your essay.

The historical review is interesting and is indeed steering our future because we are "infected" by it so we think that "history repeats itself" and so on, furthermore it seems as if we are imprisoned in our history because we cannot change it any more.

In my perception there is however a possibility "change" reality in the...

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Walter Putnam wrote on May. 22, 2014 @ 02:16 GMT
Dear James,

Thank you for calling attention to your essay. I don't know how I had missed it. This reads like the summary of an entire book; you touch on so many important ideas but then are compelled by space to go on to another. Still, you managed an articulate and compelling case for science and technology to "steer" the future. The challenge seems to be keeping those out of the grips of the corporatism that threatens to consume the planet in its quest for ever increasing profit at the expense of the humanity that science should serve. The Lockheed plane you cite is a shocking example. Fortunately, the human spirit is something that may be damaged or deterred but can never be destroyed -- at least by man. The refuge of the mind, of imagination and ideas, is always there. That is where the vision springs, so perhaps the people will not perish after all.

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Israel Perez wrote on May. 24, 2014 @ 18:39 GMT
Dear James

Just to let you know that I have read your essay which I found well thought and well written. Your work gives a nice account of how the world is run by leaders and economy and the role science plays in transforming the life of humanity. I think your work share several similarities with mine. As you realize, countries pursue their ways to achieve their own goals and as long as this competition continues the world will be dragged into this game. I do not see if this is world for humanity or not.

Good luck in the contest

Best Regards

Israel

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Aaron M. Feeney wrote on May. 26, 2014 @ 20:56 GMT
Hi Jim,

I got your message, thanks for the reminder. There have been so many essays to read, and time is indeed getting short.

I enjoyed your essay immensely. It had me captivated and engaged throughout, which cannot be said for all of them. You deserve the high rating I am about to give. I also enjoyed the opening passages of your intriguing book, and I look forward to reading it when time permits. I think it would be cool if we were to keep in touch after the contest. If you would like that also, my email address is foreknowledge.machines{AT}{g.m.a.i.l}.{c.o.m}.

I wish you all the best!

Warmly,

Aaron

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murat Asgatovich gaisin wrote on May. 27, 2014 @ 10:58 GMT
Dear James Lee Hoover,

I appreciated your article in a positive, although the reality rarely matches common sense.

Regards,

Murat Asgatovich Gaisin

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Torsten Asselmeyer-Maluga wrote on May. 27, 2014 @ 11:44 GMT
Dear Jim,

intresting and insightful essay. I agree, our mind is an universe in its own.

Your essay includes many topics. I rated it high.

Good luck (I'm to far away to be among the first 40s)

Torsten

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Ryoji Furui wrote on May. 28, 2014 @ 16:35 GMT
Dear James Hoover,

Interesting essay.

"Is there evidence that quantum entanglement could be the basis of teleporting?"

many physicists recently remark new interpretations about quantum mechanics include this contest. If I find any better descriptions about this, it would be simply that the action of drawing the field equation by observer who saw one of emitted photons. hence it would not actually transfer the information but guess what happened the other side with 99.999...% confident via equation.

wish you good luck!

ryoji

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Orenda Urbano Hernández wrote on May. 29, 2014 @ 04:06 GMT
Hoover Humanity Steer Future.

Mr. Hoover a fabulous way to express the importance of developing the within of Human Kind in order to transcend in the exterior (Cosmos). Deep and transcendental thinking that finds key tools in ancient cultures, in knowledge, in scientific community but beyond that in people with integrity.

Anthropocentric template for life a key vector to...

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on May. 30, 2014 @ 04:27 GMT
I'm copying this reply to your comment on my thread..

Thanks greatly Jim,

My personal opinion is that the Education testing companies are exploiting an opportunity to do learning research and get paid for it (at the taxpayer's expense), which is why early testing has been emphasized so greatly. But I find it disturbing that our leaders did not realize they were giving an important resource (knowledge about our kids and how they think) away. We need to focus more on what's best for our kids and their education, and less on what makes it easier for administrators and testing companies to keep track of them.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Raymond Law wrote on May. 31, 2014 @ 12:48 GMT
Hi, Jim,

Amazingly sophisticated, keep up your good workings ! We need thinker like you around !

Raymond

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KoGuan Leo wrote on Jun. 1, 2014 @ 04:04 GMT
Dear Jim,

I agree fully with your statement below.

"Humanity, over seven billion souls strong, must take care of the business of survival. Failure in this effort makes our future impossible. The endeavor to steer our future must be one of common good, having a part for all creatures of the universe. The universe of our minds is a unique microcosm of the very universe whose life line assembled it."

I wrote in my blog: "KQID calculates when our universe theoretically ends and compares our universe lifespan from the Bit Bang to now about 13.8 billion years with our human lifespan of about 100 years, our fetus universe exists about 1/100,000 seconds or 10^-5 seconds just after the Cosmic conception. Thus, if this is true and I certainly believe so because this truth revealed by nature through KQID theory, we might be the only species of our intelligence in our universe, we are the aliens who will spread our intelligence to all known worlds. That means we are the most precious cargo that our fetus Universe carries. We are the most precious children that our universe gives birth to. Let's united in diversity of thought, opinions, desires, personalities and wills; let's fight together against our common enemy: dead, suffering, ignorance, scarcity, uglyness, meanness and evil; and let's fight for our common goods: life, knowledge, joy, abundance, beauty, kindness, and wisdoms. Let life lives free here, now and forever."

The only problem is how can we do it and as Sarbine pointed out in her essay we must act now. Talk is cheap, action is expensive and risky to one's fortune and life. We urgently must act now.

We share the same concern,

We shall work together united,

Leo KoGuan

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KoGuan Leo wrote on Jun. 2, 2014 @ 15:50 GMT
I repost here my answer to you questions in my blog, so that you can see it. Thanks.

Dear Jim,

Excellent questions.

The conventional historians believed the Mandate of Heaven concept was developed by one of the Founder of Zhou Dynasty, Duke of Zhou. However, Duke of Zhou wrote a formal legal argument in writing to explain in detail the justification for Zhou to overthrow...

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James A Putnam wrote on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 16:06 GMT
James Lee Hoover,

"We must utilize the universe of our minds to create channels that fathom deep truths, and vectors probing ultimate bounds, looking to a vision that spans centuries not the quarterly profit margin. We must build a future that won’t dissolve before even the youthful dreams of our descendents arrive."

You put forward a resourceful blend of worldly thoughts and imaginative, free-flowing, solution oriented, thoughts.

"As the global vision expands beyond the bounds of the Earth, knowledge of the immutable laws that guide all of us begs application and a perception that goes beyond the material to the universal."

Nicely said.

James Putnam

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Douglas Alexander Singleton wrote on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 04:59 GMT
Hi Jim,

A strong and literate essay (many good quotes from the Bible, Shakespeare, Joyce,..). You bring up many good points -- one slight critic is that the essay is a bit scattered, but given the breath of the topic and the word limit this may be unavoidable (in reading back over my own essay it is also spread a bit thin).

I like your mention of the swarm intelligence of ants -- in some sense we are getting to this point where we need to take advantage of a similar thing for human societies. And in this regard I don't mean human society should be arranged exactly like an ant society, but in a looser sense we could take some hints in terms of cooperation. In fact there is some direction in engineering where engineers study the ways that nature has solved a particular "problem" and then they try to use this to design an artificial version of this natural solution.

The stat you quote about the 85 richest people owning as much health and the lowest 3.5 billion is staggering.

The part of your article on ethanol is also unbelievable in the sense that it it unbelievable that people would not run the numbers and see that turning corn into ethanol does not make economic sense (unless you're a senator from Iowa).

Toward the end of the essay you talk about quantum physics being confined to the very small except in some cases -- such as the entanglement/EPR type of experiments where to quantum particles (photons) are separated by a macro distance. Another maybe better example are the fluctuations in the CMB which are said to come from quantum fluctuations in the early Universe. One description I have heard says that the expansion of the Universe has stretched these original quantum fluctuations from quantum size to cosmic size.

Anyway a very enjoyable read and strong essay.

Best luck with the contest.

Doug

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Member Marc Séguin wrote on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 03:18 GMT
James,

Your essay certainly covers a lot of topics!

I like your statement that "our priorities should embody a joint effort somewhat like the swarm intelligence of ants, whose teamwork ethic has built colonies stretching over 4000 miles." The proposal in my own essay, to work on a Futurocentric Education Initiative, could be described as an attempt to raise the "swarm intelligence" of humanity!

You seem to put a lot of hope in future scientific breakthroughs based on modifying the natural structure of atoms and subatomic particles: making atoms donate more electrons to boost the conductivity of the electrical grid (p.5), exploiting an hypothetical sub-quark level of structure (p.6), compacting the atoms in an astronaut body to shrink it in order to offer better resistance to cosmic rays in space (p.7), modifying the structure of the H20 molecule to make snow melt in winter on the roads (p.7)... I am a bit skeptical about the likelihood of such breakthroughs, but who knows, maybe a lot of currently held physics will be overturned so that these things become possible... In science, it is always important to keep an open mind.

Good luck in the contest,

Marc

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Jeffrey Michael Schmitz wrote on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 04:50 GMT
James,

This is more a poem than an essay. It is fun to see you touch upon so many topics. Each topic you show to the reader an understanding and insight. Perhaps the universe is a web connected by a complex structure that one day we will see.

If the universe is just here with no regard to the state of humanity then sub-atomic Physics will not help us with social issues. I don't see solutions or a plan in your essay (my essay does not really have these either).

Hope you do well,

Jeff

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George Gantz wrote on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 18:56 GMT
James - Thanks for your review and comment on my essay (The Tip of The Spear). As you asked, here is a comment on your essay! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your essay - it covered a lot of territory and I liked most of what I read. I was not sure where the journey was taking us, however. Yes, we should plan better and more collegially - with hopefully better results. But, arguably, we need to get more specific! That is also the issue I struggled with in my essay - it is easier to see how we got to where we are than to define the future path and how to achieve it.

Thanks! - George

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 7, 2014 @ 01:04 GMT
James,

First of all, I agree with the sentiments expressed in your abstract, that we need to cooperate - that by itself is a commonplace, but you also express the need to delve into the human mind and not just propose attitudes and actions (I think many authors here, including me, express a need for more understanding and effort directed at our minds and not just taking them for granted as executors of context-free strategies.) Also, very important to demand integrity as primary value - it is really more valuable than knowledge or cleverness, for the latter doesn't even promote the best by itself and can make things even worse.

Your insights about nature and physics are interesting in themselves, but I'm not sure how they relate to the interleaved diagnoses and proposals about the future, the latter rather sensible as such. (The whole ethanol mess is a perfect example.) However it does make for enjoyable reading, a sort of poetry of incipient allegory and changing focus.

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Neil Bates replied on Jun. 7, 2014 @ 01:06 GMT
I wrote the above, timed out even though screen showed as if still logged in. I hope this gets fixed next time although I should have suspected.

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sridattadev kancharla wrote on Jun. 7, 2014 @ 21:11 GMT
Dear James Lee Hoover,

I congratulate you on a wonderful masterpiece detailing several accomplishments of human civilization at times tainted with greed and short sightedness. If only we could expand our conscious horizon and see that we are not just a small part that exists for a little time, but rather that we are the entire being trying to enjoy it self, would we become altruistic and strive for the continued survival of our kind.

Success of civilization will be decided by a few great altruistic leaders who will enable quantum leaps of evolution. The question is do we have at least few of them to come along before it is too late for our kind, irrespective of whether we make it or not as human beings, life will continue to exist in the best sustainable form in the universe. Nevertheless, human form of experience is an exalted state of being and I wish up on all the beings to go through this experience once in an eternal life cycle.

Love,

Sridattadev.

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sridattadev kancharla wrote on Jun. 7, 2014 @ 21:14 GMT
Dear James,

Also I welcome you to enjoy the blog and videos of

Any Body Can Derive Everything From Geometry .

Love,

Sridattadev.

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jun. 25, 2014 @ 03:37 GMT
Hi Jim,

I greatly enjoyed the 'Education Cure' article in Dissident Voice, that you posted a link to - on my essay page. Thanks!

Regards,

Jonathan

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