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

What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & 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
Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.

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


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

It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

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

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

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

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008

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Anonymous: on 6/6/14 at 0:31am UTC, wrote Hey Peter, I look forward to reding your essay as i am sure that you...

Peter Jackson: on 6/5/14 at 14:58pm UTC, wrote William, I'm sorry I skipped yours on first pass but really glad of the...

William Carine: on 5/31/14 at 12:04pm UTC, wrote Jim, While I was very active as a kid in the woods, I did not participate...

William Carine: on 5/31/14 at 12:00pm UTC, wrote Hey Validmir, Thanks for quoting what parts you liked the most! That song...

William Carine: on 5/31/14 at 11:55am UTC, wrote Hi Ogungbuyi, Walt Whitman truly was a blessed soul, and I am glad he...

James Hoover: on 5/28/14 at 1:02am UTC, wrote William, Time is growing short, so I am revisiting essays I have read and...

Vladimir Rogozhin: on 5/23/14 at 14:36pm UTC, wrote Sorry, William! Correct link: voice of the People

Vladimir Rogozhin: on 5/23/14 at 14:25pm UTC, wrote Dear William, Very interesting and deep analytical essay in the spirit of...


jim hughes: "I'm not a mathematician. So what I see here is some smart people who..." in Consciousness and the...

Steve Dufourny: "Hello FQXi, the members and all, I try to do my best to unite and convice..." in Global Collaboration

Lorraine Ford: "The idea of a smooth mathematical evolution of “the wave function”, and..." in Consciousness and the...

Georgina Woodward: "Broken machine: What do[es] I see next? The I that was, E.I, has not been..." in The Room in the Elephant:...

Lorraine Ford: "Hi Stefan, I hope that a good leader, and a good political party, is..." in The Present State of...

Lorraine Ford: "We live in an age of computing. But physics, mathematics and philosophy,..." in The Present State of...

Georgina Woodward: "I've copied the comment to the thread where it belongs. This orphan can be..." in The Room in the Elephant:...

Georgina Woodward: "Thank you John. What did you think about the questioning whether altitude..." in The Nature of Time

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September 28, 2021

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: For People that are Concerned about These Types of Things by William Amos Carine [refresh]
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Author William Amos Carine wrote on Apr. 3, 2014 @ 16:59 GMT
Essay Abstract

This essay is about finding a balance between pursuing the major goal of science now and the concern for humanity, which really is something to worry about currently. The writing is motivated by the will that it will make some difference in these trying times, but the author is entirely aware that it may be a minuscule one. Also mentioned is an attitude of quality over quantity, so that is no matter if it is so. The writing tries to relate the striving for a better adjusted society with the resolution that nature performs regardless of humanity. More than anything, aimed at is setting the tone for future efforts towards a common end.

Author Bio

I have recently been doing volunteer work as a farmhand through WWOOF and may or may not continue with this. This is the first semester of classes I have not been to since I started at Wright State University in the fall of 2011. I like to play acoustic guitar covers and do art mostly from my head as pastimes or hobbies. I currently feel privileged to be able to express to an audience of such quality these plain thoughts and to people that also are capable in being influential in whatever they do.

Download Essay PDF File

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Hasmukh K. Tank wrote on Apr. 4, 2014 @ 08:50 GMT
Dear William Amos Carine,

For such reforms, more and more intelligent and honest people should join polotics; and for that, with particular reference to India, salaries of politicians need to be made most attractive, so that they do not have to indulge in corruption; as was proposed by me, in the following write-up:

Hasmukh K. Tank

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Author William Amos Carine replied on Apr. 5, 2014 @ 19:28 GMT
Dear Tank,

Thank you for posting relevant material! Perhaps readers with an interest in India in particular will find it worthwhile to read. For some reason, not being involved in politics is a flaw in the picture of a scientist. I don't know why, as Einstein said some time must go there, and also since (good or bad aside) there was a large participation of scientists, even theoreticians,...

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Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 4, 2014 @ 15:18 GMT
My Dear Mr. Carine,

I found your exceptionally well written essay truly engrossing, and I do hope that it scores as highly as it deserves to do so in the competition.

You wrote: “Common nonscientists deserve a basic or an-as-advanced-as-they-wish idea of how the universe works.” Do you think my explanation of how the real Universe works would fulfill that requirement?

Based only on my observation, I have concluded that all of the stars, all of the planets, all of the asteroids, all of the comets, all of the specks of astral dust and all real things have one and only one thing in common. Each real thing has a material surface and an attached material sub-surface. All material surfaces must travel at the constant “speed” of light. All material sub-surfaces must travel at an inconsistent “speed” that is less than the “speed” of light. Einstein was completely wrong. It would be physically impossible for light to move as it does not have a surface. Abstract theory cannot ever have unification. Only reality is unified because there is only one reality.

If not, do let me know.

With the heartiest of regards,

Joe Fisher

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Author William Amos Carine replied on Apr. 10, 2014 @ 18:24 GMT
Dear J. Fisher,

I went to read your fine essay a second time, as I took this message to imply that I should, and I was delighted again to see the fantastic questions raised in it! I think that Einstein's main working principle in his revolutionary work , reduced to the most basic way of putting it, is that physics should work adequately for the depiction of all phenomenon equally and from any vantage point, though it might be mentioned that he always had a hankering for relativising acceleration that he just couldn't seem to figure out. Perhaps this could apply to your inside/outside surface considerations.

I think that everyone can get that the universe happens only once, just like a snowflake Florida girl caught on the tongue in that snow globe-perfect first experience. People who are reflective at all will note that every experience that they have witnessed and been a part of is unlike any other that will occur again or that has in the past. So the understandability requirement is graciously fulfilled by your words. The how is the real kicker in any study of nature, from deep space astrophysics to the branching veins of a sugar maple leaf. There is also an established idea of what a unification will have to satisfy now that so many theories have been tried, and have failed in completeness, or can't seem to be able to. So one can either not care about the details, like A. Einstein, and hope they fall into place because the overall structure is correct, or one can do away with battling the devil all together and avoid grand schemes. So either one gets the main idea, and the rest works itself out, or one focuses on the little interactions and hopes to seed the big picture later.

With sincere respect,

Best regards,


I will comment some on your essay!

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John C Hodge wrote on Apr. 4, 2014 @ 18:21 GMT
Dear WC

I would have liked to have made some of your points in my contest entry.

“Next, natural phenomenon too can be looked at as having desires and potentials. This object moves here after applied stimulus or force, this other falls because a potential well exists by the warp of space-time by mass.”

“Doing what works is the bottom line with both science and interactions with any number in society.”

“…finding a balance between pursuing the major goal of science now and the concern for humanity, …”

“...nature performs regardless of humanity.”

Very insightful.

Your point about diversity helping survival and (I paraphrase) intolerance being contrary to nature are also very insightful. I share this opinion.

Your description about awareness must come from your farm experience. For example, when squirrels and birds are feeding together, if one species is startled, the other reacts the same. The squirrels and birds have evolved to share the food because their different senses help each survive. Humans and Mac help each other also.


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Author William Amos Carine replied on Apr. 12, 2014 @ 18:56 GMT
Dear Hodge,

Thank you for your kind comments here! I am glad that there are like minds about simple topics and ideas like survivability going in hand with diversity and the variety of life forms around to consume or be near to. Humanity should take this lesson from biology, no doubt! Understanding in biology may be applied to social issues, though I don't know if this is being actively pursued anywhere. In my own thoughts, much could be learned from the behavior of even bacteria cultures when it comes to resource use and population. So contributions like this may be very beneficial if applied to the issues humanity is facing as a species. It is one way that science can directly steer the human race in the future, however bleak it may look now.

With warm wishes,

Amos C.

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John C Hodge wrote on Apr. 4, 2014 @ 18:33 GMT
Dear WC (cont.)

I offer an expansion of your observations on human stress. Stress is necessary for evolution. Stress is caused by change. I’d be hard pressed for a reference, but I recall that at some time in the distant past, the Earth climate changed little for several thousand years. Humanity advanced very little also.

Some people want to he happy (live with hope, love, and mercy). Others want to be fulfilled (live with understanding, truth, and justice). Happy people seem little fulfilled and fulfilled (accomplished) people seem unhappy. The wise (genius) is to be both.


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Author William Amos Carine replied on Apr. 12, 2014 @ 19:17 GMT

I think that I did actually read something about how humans advance most when there is trying time around them. I don't think this is so much an evolution or a change, a metamorphism so much as it is comparable to parts of a body that are odd and jagged, sticking out, getting broken off and left as the box or whatever continues its slide along the dirt or path. If one can think of evolution or change in very abstract, yet basic terms, I regard the development in hard times of a group of organisms as a mechanical evolution, a bodily one. I do not think that it is a good idea to justify living stressed out when most of the stress in modern life is self created. We may be running out of resources, but for most people in the U.S.A. and other like countries, it is not yet a physically, that is in terms of food and water, trying time. It is extremely unfortunate that those who have made it in our society are not the most happy and loving. If those at the top were more kind in their hearts, distribution for those who are not so well on the physical level would not be a problem. This change in attitude could do wonders for current problems if it was had on a larger scale among peoples who are experiencing the comforts of the modern age. Until then, your point of evolution holds merit, but I see it more directed at those in developing countries who still struggle and die more often than the people participating and reading these essays do. They will be hungry for most of their day, if not all, they already feel the crunch of resource scarcity, and we will eat fine. That is the only difference between a problem and solution.

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Apr. 5, 2014 @ 00:02 GMT

Good thoughts, but how these reasonable policies can be executed is another consideration that is only our speculation. Looking at your suggestions below, as we both know, we have government programs and agencies like the FDA, the EPA, and so on, to accomplish this but money and power seem to influence their execution. Technology we have but it is captured by the corporate culture. Some is applied to learning like the "Dawn" probe to discover our cosmic origins, but not enough. I certainly don't have all the answers either.

"Another way help guide the route humanity takes is to adjust the preference of quantity to quality. A way to do this would be to use chemistry to test the

healthfulness of foods by looking for contaminants. Then set apart the most nourishing and safe products while giving the motivation to the consumer of

the superiority of the product, while the backing of science will raise the price.Or one could use technology to better help people pick locations

to live or visit."


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Author William Amos Carine replied on Apr. 12, 2014 @ 19:33 GMT
Dear Jim Hoover,

Your response tells me that you know or have read many of the trespasses of the FDA and at the least, the shortcomings of government organizations meant to keep the public safe as far as land usage and food extraction is concerned. The only solution in this sector that comes to mind is that small business must team up with science in a way that provides scientific data about, say, heavy metal ppb or how the food affects other pollutants in the body. A way to do this would to have scientific data be posted on food itself, or at least available to the customer, and this would be a sort of endorsement that would end up carrying more power than current food labels as regards the safety of food in the U.S. and also other countries exposed to high levels of environmental pollutions and poisons that no doubt are about in the air and water regardless of what one does or where they go to live, for the most part. I could imagine a pure mountain or cave, but chances are there would be some necessary food/supply shipments to there. Food reaches everyone, and everybody gets food, so if it was evaluated more scientifically on a scale that did not involve big sums of money, the abuse of power would be limited. A non-profit food lab could act as a sorting port for quality and pollution control for the food supply in partnership with a more local group of farms. This is a way that science could help reduce the pollution risk from the foods that are consumed, a risk that is building up, but not to my knowledge well studied.

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Author William Amos Carine replied on Apr. 12, 2014 @ 19:37 GMT
In places where radiation fall out is a problem, in nuclear disaster zones, some privy shop owners bought a radiation scanner and then labeled the food accordingly, to reassure the consumers, and certainly increase sales as well. Something like this, but with metals could be done in the groceries if there was a way for food to be evaluated for its chemistry. A lab teaming up with farms would...

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James Lee Hoover replied on May. 28, 2014 @ 01:02 GMT

Time is growing short, so I am revisiting essays I have read and assuring I have rated them. I find that I rated yours on 5/13. Have you had a chance to read and comment on mine? I would like to hear your views, considering your interests and your activist background.


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Gbenga Michael Ogungbuyi wrote on Apr. 5, 2014 @ 23:36 GMT
Fellow comrade,

I found an interesting compatibility in your view and mine. I wrote about the misuse of technology to include the effect of the greenhouse emission which I found logically presented. I found out that you also offered possible solutions to some of these negative outcome of human's technology.

In particular you wrote "someone who is mature in his emotion and that exists in a caring manner will lend a hand to disadvantaged people if his needs are met

and he has extra". This is an idea of Walt Whitman's quote in my entry. As I wrote the people who abuse technology to terrorize the global peace are likely to follow your observation of not being secured themselves.

I wish to state that you matched your theory with appropriate relevant examples which allow logical inference- I do this in my submission as well! However, in a world where we have all the peace we want and even have adaptive control over our innovations such that we enjoy the rewards of science as I also emphasized, what do we expect from the uncertain natural phenomenon? Please find the answer in my write-up. Stay lifted!

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Author William Amos Carine replied on May. 31, 2014 @ 11:55 GMT
Hi Ogungbuyi,

Walt Whitman truly was a blessed soul, and I am glad he cultivated his gift! I read your essay. Thank you for contributing such a nice piece! I don't think technology is inherently bad, but when science becomes all about using the scalpel to understand, and when finding application with technology as the end goal takes over, that is where I see human waste most despicable in this sector.

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde wrote on Apr. 13, 2014 @ 16:04 GMT
Dear William,

Indeed the problems on short time are very well described in your essay. It was a pleasure reading it because when mankind accepted to revise yjeir thinking on short time we all would be living in a better world.

In STEERING THE FUTURE OF CONSCIOUSNESS" I try to explain that the "short" term solutions are perhaps not enough (but very desirable), it si the consciousness of mankind that has to become aware of its possibilities , these ar untill now not yet fully understood.

So I hope that someone like you with its positive convictions will find some time to read my entrance and perhaps leave a comment on my thread, and eventually give it a rating.

best regards


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Georgina Woodward wrote on May. 6, 2014 @ 01:49 GMT
Hi William,

a very down to Earth , practical essay dealing with human nature.You wrote "A person who says that they do not know what to do, but will do what they can is at least being reasonable." Well said.

You also wrote "Everyone must see to it that they are an employee of saving the earth, and this means first taking care of the loan they have checked out from it. After this,...

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Author William Amos Carine replied on May. 11, 2014 @ 14:07 GMT
Hi Parry,

I would like to clarify alert and aware. Alert is being cognizant of the location of items in a surrounding or the environment. Dogs are way more alert than people. Your pups hunting habits show that they can pinpoint better than we can (at least without practice). But I don't think the dog can get deep with his catch, think that the food that enters his stomach affects everyone else on the planet. It may, but the dog wouldn't realize it second to partaking in it. Humans can at least think of disadvantaged or world food problems before eating. That is the difference I would like to highlight.

Best of luck,


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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on May. 23, 2014 @ 14:25 GMT
Dear William,

Very interesting and deep analytical essay in the spirit of Cartesian doubt with deep conclusions and proposals, which are very close to me:

«The author is supportive of the view that interdisciplinary research is very important, actually.»

«Still, in order to get a general idea of nature, a sense of how the cosmos unfold in the things that exist without the...

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Vladimir Rogozhin replied on May. 23, 2014 @ 14:36 GMT
Sorry, William! Correct link: voice of the People

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Author William Amos Carine replied on May. 31, 2014 @ 12:00 GMT
Hey Validmir,

Thanks for quoting what parts you liked the most! That song packs a lot of thought into an easy digestible form.... I think Einstein said something along the lines of humankind needing a shift in consciousness for our survival, or development further.

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Peter Jackson wrote on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 14:58 GMT

I'm sorry I skipped yours on first pass but really glad of the chance to read it now. You seem to have a good fundamental understanding of the issues and expressed them very well.

I think Bronowski's view that science is about finding unity in hidden likeness is massively important, and reflects; "A young Einstein, to paraphrase, wrote to his friends that there were great joys in connecting two things which before seemed entirely separated."

I take up that point i my own essay showing how relativity and QM can be unified classically free of paradox, which I see as your; "pursuing the major goal of science now", by overcoming the current limitation that "only about 12% of the brain is commonly used" and recognizing that; "interdisciplinary research is very important," by invoking effects from across physics for a coherent solution, resolving the problem that; "Planck's equation, after all these years, is still begging the question of what the quantum is." as Bohr never did commit to any 'structure'. I hope you may like my allegory, please do comment or question.

Our essays are quite different, and many haven't seen the 'quantum leap' that advancement of thinking and understanding nature can bring. History has proven that better understanding is the driver advancements, yet we will treat symptoms not fundamental cause. Very well done for your clear hitting of all the main points I employ and more. It should certainly be up in the 5's I think.

Best wishes


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Anonymous replied on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 00:31 GMT
Hey Peter,

I look forward to reding your essay as i am sure that you articulated thoughts that i was not able to! I feel that you got the jist of the writting and warmly thank you for the effort expended on the reading! Ultimately, real advances in science, or perhaps a broad statement will be parted iif i say in human development, happen ith an i.ntuitive, bold stride in the dark. Although some smarts are needed to communicate results in the proper language, i would dare to say this sort of blind guessing, of uneducatedly knowing, is of greater importance than ntelligence. Intelligence is primarily how well you deal with people and social matters. There has to be a deeper standard. than that. Think of all the genius that has been spent on trying to unify the big. two. Einstein would point his finger about something fishy going on with qm, but don't people do the same for sr and simultaneity derived there especially? Point being,if qm is to be superceded by more fundamental ideas, so too may gr. But if that is the case, there is at least as much validity in starting out with relativity principles as any other modern or post modern idea can claim. i don't see any miraculous combo move combining the two, but a shift in basicc thinking which will pop out reductions to the two pillars, qm and gr. Still, i will read your paper with an open mind. I wonder that some uniification would ease the mind of many physicists and the extremely important interested laymen, and if that too might have some trickle down effectt, as technology does from pure abstractions and concieved ideas.. As fof the rating, i am flattered, but the technical weakness is apparent. As with any human endeavor or venture, it could be better!

Warm wishes,

Amos Carine

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