Search FQXi

If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

Contests Home

Current Essay Contest

The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

Previous Contests

To Be Announced February 14
February 28, 2023 - April 19, 2023 open to submissions
Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
The Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund

Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and John Templeton Foundation Media Partner: Scientific American

How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
The Gruber Foundation, John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American

Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American

What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Astrid and Bruce McWilliams

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008

Forum Home
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

Posts by the author are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help

Anonymous: on 6/4/14 at 7:23am UTC, wrote Dear Margarita, First please call me Peter- Netiquette is human,...

Margarita Iudin: on 6/4/14 at 2:53am UTC, wrote Hello Mr. Gluck, My name is Margarita Iudin. I read your essay without...

Anonymous: on 6/1/14 at 15:34pm UTC, wrote Thank you so much dear Chidi! The Rules are based on my really broad...

Chidi Idika: on 5/31/14 at 22:54pm UTC, wrote Hi Gluck, A most practical essay you have. Properly addressed to We,...

Peter Gluck: on 5/27/14 at 7:19am UTC, wrote Dear Georgina, Please do not make an old man to blush! You are really too...

Georgina Woodward: on 5/26/14 at 11:11am UTC, wrote Hi Peter, I am so glad to have read your marvelous essay that was full of...

Peter Gluck: on 5/24/14 at 15:05pm UTC, wrote Again humbly apologies for being so much time far from these fine essays,...

Peter Gluck: on 5/24/14 at 14:51pm UTC, wrote Dear Friend, Surely we will be friends- I continue to get this great gift...


David Vognar: "Completeness theorem: If a system’s components can transduce, that system..." in The Entropic Price of...

Georgina Woodward: "On obtaining the singular, relative, measurement product it replaces the..." in The Present State of...

Steve Dufourny: "The paper of Wilczek of course is very relevant considering the idea about..." in The Noise of Gravitons

Georgina Woodward: "Material neuronal structure in which memory is encoded, physical records..." in Quantum Physics and the...

Steve Dufourny: "It is really how we consider the structure of the spacetime, and also how..." in The Noise of Gravitons

Aleksandr Maltsev: "Hi Georgina, Write a letter to" in Quantum Physics and the...

Georgina Woodward: "In quantum experiments using particles, there won't be swapping with a..." in The Present State of...

Aleksandr Maltsev: "I shortened the phrase Zeeya Merali  «Why does time flow….?    How..." in Time's Arrow, Black Holes...

click titles to read articles

The Entropic Price of Building the Perfect Clock: Q&A with Natalia Ares
Experiments investigating the thermodynamics of clocks can teach us about the origin of time's arrow.

Schrödinger’s A.I. Could Test the Foundations of Reality
Physicists lay out blueprints for running a 'Wigner's Friend' experiment using an artificial intelligence, built on a quantum computer, as an 'observer.'

Expanding the Mind (Literally): Q&A with Karim Jerbi and Jordan O'Byrne
Using a brain-computer interface to create a consciousness 'add-on' to help test Integrated Information Theory.

Quanthoven's Fifth
A quantum computer composes chart-topping music, programmed by physicists striving to understand consciousness.

The Math of Consciousness: Q&A with Kobi Kremnitzer
A meditating mathematician is developing a theory of conscious experience to help understand the boundary between the quantum and classical world.

February 7, 2023

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: A pragmatic strategy for catalyzing self-sustained progress by Peter Gluck [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author Peter Gluck wrote on Mar. 27, 2014 @ 15:30 GMT
Essay Abstract

The infinite interestingness of the world is actually limitless opportunity to make it a much better place for Humanity. Basic know-how elements are presented: realistic thinking and a complex, effective strategy based on original problem solving rules for achieving this (r)evolutionary task in the near future

Author Bio

Peter Gluck, PhD in chemical engineering, is a retired technologist who has worked many tens of thousands of hours with matter (chemical industries), energy (new sources of energy) and information (web search). He communicates with the world via the blog EGO OUT.

Download Essay PDF File

Bookmark and Share

Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 1, 2014 @ 15:47 GMT
My Dear Doctor Gluck,

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your truly absorbing essay, and I do hope that it scores well in the competition.

I do not wish to appear to be critical, but I must take issue with what seems to be the central core of your problematic musings.

You wrote: “Everything is perfectible” Alas, this is not the case. In the first place, as I have gone to great lengths to point out in my essay, REALITY, ONCE, although an abstract idea such as 1+1=2 seems to be perfect, pragmatically, as everything in the real Universe is unique and only happens once, identical physical equating of any kind is impossible.

Every empire has always been built on total lies, comprehensive theft and mass murder. These are the only attributes man has ever been interesting in perfecting.

With regards,

Joe Fisher

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author Peter Gluck replied on Apr. 1, 2014 @ 18:33 GMT
Dear Joe,

First of all, I am very grateful to you for reading my essay and for your nice words. FQXI calls the competitors a community and I think this is a noble idea, so please call me Peter. You really are not critical, my impression is that actually you are not speaking about perfectibility, i.e. improvements but about perfection.

At one hand, regarding our essays (all the 36 up to today) no one can solve all the problems of sterring the future and threrefore it is soooo true that "Contraria non contradictoria sed complementa sunt"

Your splendid essay and my writing based on my experience of technologist, more doer than thinker, have different degrees od abstraction therefore I can easily accept both what you say and my personal truth.

Dear Joe, we will meet again- as future friends at your essay. Arrivederci!


Bookmark and Share

Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi wrote on Apr. 6, 2014 @ 22:55 GMT
Fellow Comrade,

(revert from what you posted on my article and comments on reading yours as well)

Thank you so much for your comments. I share in your view that no matter how logically excellent our articles may have been, it is exciting to learn from other authors- which is the goal of this platform. I wish others see it in this perspective.

About the author you recommended,...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author Peter Gluck replied on Apr. 7, 2014 @ 06:04 GMT
Dear Colleague,

Yes really it is an intellectual pleasure to meet people with different backgrounds, life experiences, modes of thinking and using other approaches to

the mega problem- the future of Humanity.

Just to mention that I see the relationship of "us" with Nature a bit more complex than the ideal one; we have the right and obligation to make some changes

in order to survive and live well; however it is about smart, balanced changes.

I would ask you to meditate about the fragmentation of the Truths and about the necessity to remove obstacles first- too. These are sine qua non components of my original approach.

All our essays have a TARGET and a METHOD part. Please note that my 20 problem solving rules belong to Method.

As far i remember the elegant word tetrad- "use, misuse, disuse and abuse" was first coined for automation- the superior form of control in technology.


Bookmark and Share

John Brodix Merryman wrote on Apr. 8, 2014 @ 20:12 GMT

It is an interesting read and full of useful and hard learned observations. My personal problem with it, is that it doesn't have a direct point of focus. As a reader and thinker, I did not grow up in a academic or particularly studious environment, so concentration is something I have to collect from the many other distractions and direct to the concept under consideration. So unless a piece of writing grabs my attention and points it to a particular point of observation, I get easily distracted. Thus I write for people like myself and not more academically inclined. Which means I like to say in a few pages what more studious people will take a book to say. This editing gets me little respect from more educated individuals, but its how I deal with the life I've been given. So it is hard for me to respond to your work, since I agree with its many points, but it doesn't apply them in a specific fashion.


John M

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author Peter Gluck replied on Apr. 9, 2014 @ 13:46 GMT
Dear John,

First special thanks for "hard learned observations". Yes, I confess each idea I had, wach discovery I made resulted from hard work and I owe- intellectually much more to my failures than to my sporadic successes and my good memory and persistence were more useful than any form of intelligence and/or creativity.

It is disturbing but perhaps not unchangeable that you cannot enter in ressonance

with my essay; that means you cannot see its logical fluency- how it goes from the stzrt to the conclusion and you cannot grasp its logical consistency - vital

for all professional papers, reports, essays. I accept that what I have presented a rather unusual thread- interestingness- perfectibility not perfection- the priority of the negative- the system of practical problem solving- its application to technology and beyond to the Task. This is the nature of things not something in my limited imagination.

Thank you for your message, it has electrified me intellectually.


Bookmark and Share

John C Hodge wrote on Apr. 9, 2014 @ 16:21 GMT

I especially like your definition of materialism as an efficient user of resources.

Would you extend your definitions to say idealism (presumably not able to solve problems) fails?

Prum’s first law is false because it depends on what is meant by perfection. Perfection doesn’t exist. Prum’s second law is grow or die. To not act is to die. Isn’t this inconsistent with the negative priority?

“NOThingness dominates space?” This is my problem with orthedox science. I think there is a constituent of our universe between matter particles. So action-at-a-distance is out. Action-by-contact is in. The NO is an absence of positive. For example, “There are

NO isolated problems, they always come in dynamic bunches” changes to problems come in dynamic bunches. I going to think of your rules changed into positive statements. You may be onto something.

We must remember and apply (rather than not forget) that science is about usefulness which needs predictability. Your point that science and religion must coexist rings true.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Peter Gluck wrote on Apr. 9, 2014 @ 18:21 GMT
Dear JCH,

Sorry, I don't know examples of idealism solving problems. Please do not forget, I have lived many years in an ideal society, it claimed to be so but it was a misery.

Please take nuances in consideration, Prum's Rules are carved in stone; the firts one has nothing to do with perfection. It is about perfectibility- i.e. an irreversibly asymptotic trend toward an imaginary state. Never attained.

Action starts with the removal pf obstacles, thus converting the negatives in positive. For extreme acses, my I ask you to search for Scipiology on web?


Please do not cripple my rules by changing them in positive! As they are, they give complete definition, both negative and positive.

Please festina lente, take it easy, think about the negative and you will have

an important revelation.


Bookmark and Share

Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Apr. 21, 2014 @ 08:45 GMT
Dear Peter,

Excellent essay in the spirit of Cartesian doubt. Manifesto absolute ideal optimist.

I wish you good luck!

All the Best,


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author Peter Gluck replied on Apr. 21, 2014 @ 10:06 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

Special thanks, bolshoi spasivo to you. I was a bit scared that nobody will read my essay (from the colleagues competitors) because there so many bright writings here. Up to this moment 71 one with some > 10 coming this week.

When all will be up I will explore them systematically trying to learn and discover kind of generalizable complemmentarity between the most informative and valuable of them.

Obviously there are 3 categories of essays- all in the very best sense of the words: utopic (idealistic), distopic(anti-idealistic) and "pragma" - in which the 3 antonyms of idealistic- as defined in my work- dominate. These characteristics are mixed more or lessin all essays; my one is mainly "pragma" Its sucess depends critically on the acceptance of the exposed ideas;

- limitless interestingness,

- perfectibility good, perfection dangerous,

- truths fragmented and incomplete,

- NO has priority above YES

(Two examples missing from the text that also illustrate my modus cogitandi are

a) The "Primum non nocere" principle for drugs and this saying:

" The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.” (Bertolt Brecht, Life of Galileo)

I am aware of fighting for rather unpopular ideas- but this is my DUTY because I have found the way to solve problems, based on a long life experience and a very broad professional experience.

Complete definitions have to be used i.e. negative and positive, c'est la vie- and reality.

I am convinced my grand-grand-children will be taught about these 20 Rules in the school- early.

Problem solving is the way of humanity to steer its future.It's above both Utopy and Distopy.

Thank you again,



Bookmark and Share

Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Apr. 28, 2014 @ 23:39 GMT
Dear Peter Gluck,

I can only agree with you that we live in the most interesting of all possible worlds. Pangloss should have been more specific!

Also interesting is your statement that it "was built deliberately" while contrasting this with Freeman Dyson's religious basis for the same conclusion. Like you, I believe that science and spirituality are converging.

As for "Perfection (ideal) even if we ignore that it cannot exist in the objective world is less interesting than imperfection", my essay, the Thermodynamics of Freedom, essentially explores the implications of this sentence. I also quote you in my essay.

Your focus on 'negative' is very interesting, as well as your statement that "it is difficult to accept that it is more important what you should not do than what you do." As a chemist you surely realize that quantum mechanics is based more on "forbidden" rules (those transitions that are extremely unlikely) not on "approved" rules. The 14th century mystic, Meister Eckhart, said "Love God, and do what you will." I think he meant that if you love God you will know what NOT to do.

Anyway, I very much enjoyed your fine essay, and I hope you find mine interesting.

My best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author Peter Gluck replied on May. 24, 2014 @ 14:51 GMT
Dear Friend,

Surely we will be friends- I continue to get this great gift of Life. I apologize for my late answer- I had problems (fight at my pro-New Energy Blog EGO OUT) and travel- celebration of the 60th annivesary of graduating the Lyceum.

See you at your essay! Special thanks for quoting me. My special form of negativity is bad for my chances to win but... c'est la vie- i.e. the reality.


Bookmark and Share

Peter Jackson wrote on May. 7, 2014 @ 15:15 GMT

You are truly a man after my own heart. I could have written most of that myself (and did some last year!) but nothing like as well or as complete. The fact you have only 3.7 is all the proof needed of the greatest problem of all; man's stupidity. That has been a recurring theme in my discussions this year. My last 3 essays witness that advancing understanding of nature is not the problem, it's infinite complexity is all before us. Advancing it's assimilation into man's embedded "physics" is the mountain to climb. I'm an enabler, am accomplished pragmatic implementer (see my post to Sabine) like you, (and part retired) but against academia I'm entirely powerless.

I've been discussing with Judy Nabb how to fundamentally improve the way we use the incredible on-board computers we were born with by better teaching. I try to show how escaping Earth-centric thinking helps, and applying what Wittgenstein learnt of how a Architects are re-taught to think but to all at a young age. All your rules are quite brilliant.

I hope you read my 2013 essay rationalising infinite recursive gauges to a new law of physics. This year I show the power of natures non-linearity by describing (geometrically/dynamically) a classical mechanism reproducing so called 'quantum correlations', allowing convergence of classical and quantum science. It is logically self apparent, but most fear QM, and those who learned it are indoctrinated with voodoo. I hope you may advise; How can we ever advance?

I was wonderful and inspiring to read your words. I'm now a fan of Yves! I do hope to meet you on my essay blog to discuss further. My own essay has even a hint of romance so I hope you'll enjoy it and think it of value.

Very best wishes


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author Peter Gluck replied on May. 24, 2014 @ 15:05 GMT
Again humbly apologies for being so much time far from these fine essays, due to unfortunate circumstances. You are really very kind. #.7 does not bother me, the system is far from being effective both for public and for community scores. I hope the DECISION will be taken by experts- however luck (somebody remarks your essay for some virtue and makes this known to the others)

It will be an enchantment to study your two essays- Education is vital for our Target.


Bookmark and Share

James A Putnam wrote on May. 17, 2014 @ 13:40 GMT
Peter Gluck,

Your essay is enlightening and objective. It is very much needed in this contest. I could list several quotes, but your essay speaks best for itself. Your list of 'Nots' should be hung on the walls of scientist's rooms. It could be hung on many walls because its application is broad. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge. You receive a high rating.

James Putnam

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Georgina Woodward wrote on May. 26, 2014 @ 11:11 GMT
Hi Peter,

I am so glad to have read your marvelous essay that was full of surprises and pleasure to read. Truth shattered to pieces that we must find and fit together is lovely. I have taken the liberty of copying your list of NOTS, which I will put on my wall as as inspiration for myself and my children. The pragmatic attitude that everything can be improved is a really good way to steer the world. Not acting out of fear or despair or striving for unobtainable perfection.

Good luck, your essay deserves to do well, Georgina

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author Peter Gluck replied on May. 27, 2014 @ 07:19 GMT
Dear Georgina,

Please do not make an old man to blush! You are really too kind with me and my


I hope once you and your friends will discover my Ego out blog too- it is dedicated to a really NEW source of energy- i.e. something of paramount importance

for Mankind's future, but it is also a lot of philosophical thinking there- see please the definition of Ego Out.

What makes this contest captivating to me is, beyond reading marvelous things

is the following: as i predicted in the essay 2 crucial new energy events could happen till Aug 31 and confirm/infirm the hard core of my ideas.

As regarding the list of NOT's actually NOT and BUT's- they have some success indeed, are translated in 20 languages- and if you take them seriously you wuill

see they are both effective and efficient in problem solving.

Thank you again,


Bookmark and Share

Chidi Idika wrote on May. 31, 2014 @ 22:54 GMT
Hi Gluck,

A most practical essay you have. Properly addressed to We, humans “hungry matter that thinks it is thinking”.

These set of rules are worth posting somewhere on the wall. However I do not quite understand rule 14.

14. NOT the solutions worked out by us, but those borrowed. bought or

stolen from others are more easily accepted and implemented.

If all of us get busy buying, borrowing and stealing solutions NO ONE will be putting resources working out any solutions. Or you are saying that really useful solutions happen only one little step at a time? Or may be you are just more concerned about societal inertia.

I generalize rule number 20 thus:

NOT the wise application of rules but finding of the specific exceptions to them, is the real high art of problem solving.”

A most rewarding essay, and am scoring it high right away. It is baffling how such important things remain often obscure.

I invite you to read and comment on my own approach to this problem of “hungry matter that thinks it is thinking”.



Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Anonymous replied on Jun. 1, 2014 @ 15:34 GMT
Thank you so much dear Chidi!

The Rules are based on my really broad professional experience amd deep personal life experience/ Thus better acceptance of other people's experience is grounded on what I have stated- in practice. These rules are translated in more lenguages

unfortunately in no Nigerian language- had no Nigerian friends till now

Actually I had only one direct meeting with Nigeria's culture in the most unusual and unfavorable circumstances' see please my blog writing:

I apologize for it but it has happened indeed and it is a most strange example of problem solving- please dear Chidi, do not be angry with me!

The Rules must not be carved in stone, just written on paper,let's be flexible!

I started to study your essay and will tell you what I think. I like it much, but in my life and thinking equations and theories are not so ubiquitous. See you there!


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Margarita Iudin wrote on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 02:53 GMT
Hello Mr. Gluck,

My name is Margarita Iudin. I read your essay without rating it. I feel confused about how the authors rate each other.

This is what I think about your essay.

1. You were not right to give your personal information (oppressed, second class, dictatorship, and so on).

2. Your references like blogosphere, wikipedia and other open sources are anonymous and...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Anonymous wrote on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 07:23 GMT
Dear Margarita,

First please call me Peter- Netiquette is human, democratic and friendly. Plus I like your writing have already remarked and it and made my notes- will send them

in organized form ASAP. Now I will answer to your evaluation/critics- I am grateful for them perhaps with the exception of some re. technology. If somebody has no direct hands on, brain in experience in...

view entire post

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.