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 forums@fqxi.org 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


Previous Contests

What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation
read/discusswinners

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.
read/discusswinners

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

read/discusswinners

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
read/discusswinners

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

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
read/discusswinners

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

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

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
read/discusswinners

Forum Home
Introduction
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
RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Anonymous: on 6/5/14 at 13:08pm UTC, wrote Akinbo, For unknown reason I can also not vote. Already in my abstract...

Akinbo Ojo: on 6/5/14 at 11:15am UTC, wrote Eckard, I rushed through your essay. It is well researched with a lot of...

Anonymous: on 6/2/14 at 16:23pm UTC, wrote Dear Christi, You gave an example: "Should a person be sacrificed to...

Anonymous: on 6/2/14 at 8:09am UTC, wrote Dear Christinel, I appreciate your readiness for dealing with Nobel's...

Cristinel Stoica: on 6/1/14 at 15:08pm UTC, wrote Dear Eckard, You say "Patriots behave like groups of animals that learned...

Anonymous: on 6/1/14 at 9:52am UTC, wrote Dear Christi, I am not sure whether we agree. You are certainly correct in...

Cristinel Stoica: on 6/1/14 at 6:49am UTC, wrote Dear Eckard, Thank you for the reply and clarifications. By the text you...

Eckard Blumschein: on 5/31/14 at 7:34am UTC, wrote Tihamer Toth-Fejel addressed my essay elsewhere. Here is his complete...


RECENT FORUM POSTS

Robert McEachern: "They are proud, because they have solved some problems, which are..." in Will A.I. Take Over...

Joe Fisher: "Today’s Closer To Truth Facebook page contained this peculiar piece of..." in First Things First: The...

Robert McEachern: "Eckard, I do have an interest in the history, but not as much as I used..." in First Things First: The...

Georgina Woodward: "The Schrodinger's cat thought experiment presents 3 causally linked state..." in Schrödinger’s Zombie:...

Roger Granet: "Well put! Physics is hard, but biochemistry (my area), other sciences..." in Will A.I. Take Over...

Georgina Woodward: "BTW The neck scarves are a promotional souvenir given out at non sports..." in Schrödinger’s Zombie:...

Steve Dufourny: "lol Zeeya it is well thought this algorythm selective when names are put in..." in Mass–Energy Equivalence...

Steve Dufourny: "is it just due to a problem when we utilise names of persons?" in Mass–Energy Equivalence...


RECENT ARTICLES
click titles to read articles

First Things First: The Physics of Causality
Why do we remember the past and not the future? Untangling the connections between cause and effect, choice, and entropy.

Can Time Be Saved From Physics?
Philosophers, physicists and neuroscientists discuss how our sense of time’s flow might arise through our interactions with external stimuli—despite suggestions from Einstein's relativity that our perception of the passage of time is an illusion.

Thermo-Demonics
A devilish new framework of thermodynamics that focuses on how we observe information could help illuminate our understanding of probability and rewrite quantum theory.

Gravity's Residue
An unusual approach to unifying the laws of physics could solve Hawking's black-hole information paradox—and its predicted gravitational "memory effect" could be picked up by LIGO.

Could Mind Forge the Universe?
Objective reality, and the laws of physics themselves, emerge from our observations, according to a new framework that turns what we think of as fundamental on its head.


FQXi FORUM
October 18, 2019

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: Peace via Discoveries and Inventions by Eckard Blumschein [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author Eckard Blumschein wrote on Apr. 8, 2014 @ 15:57 GMT
Essay Abstract

Alfred Nobel’s legacy might guide us to the appropriate perspective: The past cannot be steered. Nobel regretted the military use of his inventions. The five prizes he set up in his last will reflect his insights that mankind as a whole can and must achieve a better command of Nature for the benefit of a more responsible human society. Nobel decided, let be no prize in mathematics. Wasn’t he prudent? The Nobel Prize Committee did not award Einstein a prize for his theory of relativity. Was their decision wrong? Why did most horrible crimes against humanity happen in the last century? How can progress in science and technology achieve lasting peace and social progress to the better? Honest answers to such questions may be unwelcome to authorities who are teaching futile speculative models, denial of causality, religious dogmas, naïve patriotism, heroism, and putatively ideal social systems. Humanity is doomed to replace the natural balance of population by hunger, diseases, and wars with intelligent innovations. This requires readiness to modify seemingly basic principles. Humanity must cope with its own behavior. Leaving a destroyed earth is no option.

Author Bio

Born in Berlin in 1942, the author witnessed WWII and experienced subsequent ideological conflicts that trained his ability to question mandatory tenets. For his academic activities in Magdeburg see www.fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/369

Download Essay PDF File

Bookmark and Share



Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Apr. 8, 2014 @ 23:19 GMT
Good to see you..

I'm glad you made it into this year's contest, Eckard, and I am eager to read your essay. I am sure we will disagree about a few things, and be in fundamental agreement about other things, at the same time. But I wish you good luck in the contest. I fully agree with the conclusion of your abstract that we must become stewards because 'leaving a destroyed earth is no option.'

All the Best,

Jonathan

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Anonymous replied on Apr. 9, 2014 @ 03:58 GMT
Dear Jonathan,

My first toy was neither a tin soldier nor a gun but a black and white spotted cow. It was self-made from scrap of cloth and other available materials. A half chestnut shaped the udder. It had a somewhat clumsy head, and it was not in position to stay on its legs. Nonetheless, I loved it.

When I was a small school boy in the Soviet occupied sector of Berlin, we were told that no German ever should touch arms. A bit later, other boys played with first toy pistols which came from Western Berlin.

In 1953, I witnessed Soviet tanks who warned us: Shut all windows, otherwise we will fire live bullets. At that time I did not know that the early victory of the Red Army in May 1945 possibly saved my life, because the first atomic bombs were not yet thrown as planned on Berlin but a few month later on Hiroshima and Nagasaki instead.

Even if you might disagree, I share Alfred Nobel's attitude.

All the Best,

Eckard

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Apr. 9, 2014 @ 04:15 GMT
Anonymous was me.

I would like to add that I refer to Alfred Nobel because I consider his attitude more humanitarian and prudent than Georg Cantor's naivety, Henri Poincaré's conventionalism, and David Hilbert's formalism.

This does not mean that I intend idolizing Alfred Nobel, Claude Shannon, and Galileo Galilei.

Eckard Blumschein

Bookmark and Share


John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 9, 2014 @ 18:26 GMT
Eckard,

" At that time I did not know that the early victory of the Red Army in May 1945 possibly saved my life, because the first atomic bombs were not yet thrown as planned on Berlin but a few month later on Hiroshima and Nagasaki instead."

At the end of WW2, my father was a Marine fighter pilot stationed on Okinawa, preparing for the battle of Japan. I guess we both may have benefited from others misfortune, in that instance.

Regards,

John M

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


John Brodix Merryman wrote on Apr. 9, 2014 @ 01:47 GMT
Eckard,

It is a rather enormous sweep of history and thought and it is safe to say our challenges and responses will be ever more dramatic. You make a strong argument that we need to try to steer history and it is open to our input, but that the obstacles will not diminish.

Reality bites.

Regards,

John

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Apr. 9, 2014 @ 04:26 GMT
Dear John,

"Reality bites"? What do you mean? I notice that notorious illusions like cold fusion and stupid science fictions like colonization of space attract a lot of attention while serious authors like Alan Kadin are ignored and low scored.

Regards,

Eckard

Bookmark and Share


John Brodix Merryman replied on Apr. 9, 2014 @ 17:15 GMT
Eckard,

It's a title of a movie. Basically life is tough, as you learned more than many, growing up. Yes, there are some off the wall entries in this contest, but FQXI doesn't tend to attract people interested in political science and economics. While I agree with Kadin's premise that current rates of growth are unsustainable, the psychology of herd behavior limits conscious efforts to control it. My own position is that any steering of humanity will be after we hit that wall, not before. So while some of my observations might seem radical today, such as a bottom up theism, or treating money as a contract, not a commodity, when those of us left are picking ourselves up from the rubble of whichever of the various cliffs civilization is pointed towards, that it does run off, then we might try something different.

My one hope, expressed in my entry, is we use the coming fiscal heart attack to try and reform our economic model, from its obsession with notational wealth and all the natural resources being destroyed in order to sustain the illusion of it.

Regards,

John M

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Apr. 11, 2014 @ 17:17 GMT
John,

Yes, FQXi mainly attracts those who are interested in physics, not in politics and economics. My essay tries to reach more awareness of what Nobel intended with his Prize in physics: Peace. Being fed up with mandatory so called political economy of capitalism and socialism, I nonetheless agree with you that economy plays a key role in almost all conflicts. I mentioned Mexico in 1867 and Ukraine presently. Having skimmed your essay, I wonder why didn't you mention at least one of the highly developed mathematical models of economic processes, in particular those who were awarded the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memoriam of Alfred Nobel? Instead, you are just speaking of a coming fiscal heart attack.

At least you are agreeing "with Kadin's premise that current rates of growth are unsustainable". I also agree with you on that "the psychology of herd behavior limits conscious efforts to control it" with my caveat that this limitation must be seen as something to be overcome by means of how discoveries and inventions will contribute to how people around the globe live and feel.

Regards,

Eckard

Bookmark and Share



Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 9, 2014 @ 16:35 GMT
Dear Mr. Blumschein,

Yours is the finest essay I have read so far, and I am sure that it will score quite highly in the competition.

I was especially impressed when you wrote this: “Was Einstein right? Definitely yes, when he postulated a good insight: There is no preferred point of reference in space.”

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 meteors, 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 when it came to physical observation. It would be physically impossible for light to move as it does not have a surface or a sub-surface. Abstract theory cannot ever have unification. Only reality is unified because there is only one reality.

The interferometer that Michelson and Morley used in their solar wind experiment had a surface. The room in which the experiment was conducted had a surface. Michelson and Morley had surfaces. All surfaces travel at the “speed” of light. The only thing that did not have a surface was the light that the pair used. No wonder it performed unusually.

The barrier with the two slits has a surface. The barrier behind the barrier with the two slits has a surface. The laboratory in which the experiment is conducted has a surface. Anybody in the laboratory at the time would have a surface. Only the light shone through the two slits would be absent a surface. No wonder such a light would perform unusually.

The real Universe is unique, once. All information is not unique.

With all of my best regards,

Joe Fisher

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Apr. 11, 2014 @ 18:09 GMT
Hi Joe,

I wrote "he postulated a good old insight". Why did you just quote "he postulated a good insight"? Aren't you aware of the sentence: Give me a fix point, and I will ..."?

You wrote: "The interferometer that Michelson and Morley used in their solar wind experiment". Perhaps you meant Michelson's 1881 and Michelson and Morley's 1887 experiment to detect the aether wind.

I will have to read your essay as to possible understand your ideas.

Thank you for recognition of my hopefully improved command of English.

Eckard

Bookmark and Share


Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Apr. 14, 2014 @ 17:09 GMT
Joe,

The sentence I mentioned incompletely exists in various translations from ancient Greek, cf. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Archimedes , for instance "Give me a fulcrum, and I shall move the earth". I meant, already Archimedes understood that there is no naturally preferred point in space. This insight is therefore a good old one. The missing natural zero implies the need to arbitrarily choose the point of reference in SPACE. While it is common practice to also arbitrarily choose a point t=0, there would be a natural zero t=0 of (elapsed) time.

In your words, elapsed time ubiquitously exists only once all over the world.

Regards,

Eckard

Bookmark and Share



Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Apr. 10, 2014 @ 02:40 GMT
I was right,

I greatly enjoyed your essay, and I find myself in fundamental agreement on several points. Notably; I too have problems with the appearance of infinities in Physics equations, as though when infinite quantities arise in the Math this makes them physical. Most of them, if not all, are not physically realistic or real.

You may recall that I supported the work of Steven Kauffmann on the FQXi forum, when he proposed there is an upper bound to concentrations of energy, and that this predates Hawking's announcement that a black hole event horizon is prevented from forming. Often what is taken for infinity is simply a very large number, but the concept of infinity seems easy for some to take.

But I wish you luck with this well-written essay. Your views may not make you popular, but you argue your case well, and at least some of your contentious points are accurate. Nobel was right; the utility of Physics recommends it as a road to Peace and Prosperity, while Math tends to be too abstract to get the job done.

All the Best,

Jonathan

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Apr. 12, 2014 @ 04:41 GMT
Dear Jonathan,

Thank you for pointing me to your Kauffmann thread. Yes, having merely skimmed it, I already found more in it agreeing with my reasoning than I could spontaneously mention. In particular, I also resonate with comments by Edwin Klingman and Rob McEachern and I am looking forward reading their helpful critical comments on my essay.

Let me so far only try and defend my essay against an argument by Steven Kauffmann. He referred to Occam's razor when he justified Einstein's theory of special relativity. I quote from Wikipedia:

"... compared with Lorentz's theory that ruler's contract and clocks slow down when in motion through the ether. Einstein's equations for transforming spacetime are the same as Lorentz's equations for transforming rulers and clocks, but Einstein and Poincaré recognized that the ether could not be detected according to the equations of Lorentz and Maxwell. By Occam's razor it had to be eliminated."

I don't defend the hypothesis of an aether. So the argument does not apply.

If you are interested, I will take the opportunity and take issue concerning the questions that are related to my essay and to what you wrote in your Kauffmann thread.

Let me express my gratitude for supporting my unpopular views.

With kind regards,

Eckard

Bookmark and Share


Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Apr. 12, 2014 @ 18:32 GMT
You should know,

Professor Kauffmann has further refined this work, and somewhat upleveled the points in objection. Particular attention has been given to re-examining the equivalence principle - in recent work - and thereby calling some of Einstein's conclusions into question. I will post you a link to specific papers, if I have time. I'll also revisit the FQXi thread devoted to this line of inquiry.

And one last point of note. Perhaps it would help to explain Steven Kauffmann's free-thinking style, if I told you he was one of Richard Feynman's grad students. Feynman was definitely one to advise his students and others to think for themselves, rather than taking other people's word for anything, regardless of how great an authority that person might be.

All the Best,

Jonathan

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde wrote on Apr. 12, 2014 @ 15:34 GMT
Dear Eckard,

It is good to meet here on this contest, that is different from the others. But your mentalaty is known in discussions on FQXi, so I read with much pleasure your essay.

Which does not mean that I agree with its conclusions.

You state "the past cannot be steered" and this is the essence of my essay . The theory behind this is a different perception of our reality and I ask you humbly to read , and eventualy leave a comment on my thread, maybe if you don't agree leave also a low rating (like three others did) but then I know that my perceptions are not in line with yours...

best regards

Wilhelmus

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Apr. 13, 2014 @ 15:54 GMT
Dear Wilhelmus,

I would like to ensure you that I will not prematurely judge and score your essay, at least not before I read it carefully. I guess, your ideas are similar to those of Teilhard with whom I share the opinion of Heraclit while Einstein didn't consider space-time something of convergent nature. Einstein preferred Parmenides.

While I much agree with many aspects of noogenesis, I frankly admit having no idea so far, how to understand quantum consciousness. As a layman in this field, I guess, the notion consciousness is mostly used in physiology as to ascribe mind and thought to an individual. What Nobel certainly intended to foster with his fourth and fifth Prize is something else, the consciousness of a group or even of humanity as a whole.

I anticipate that a huge number of narrow-minded people will reject my position if I declare heroic patriotism something bad. The man who steered Germany into catastrophic crime proudly said. Who intends to lead a nation must think heroically.

Regards,

Eckard

Regards,

Eckard

Bookmark and Share


Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde replied on Apr. 14, 2014 @ 14:50 GMT
I agree with you Eckard, it is the danger of democracy , when the feelings of a group are transmitted in slogans that are empty but very very dangerous, the emptiness is the emptiness as the that of the followers , but they are very difficult to stop and so emerges a real danger from mankind.

We have to be very attentive for these kind of movement of groups and try to fill the emptiness of the individuals with goals that are not only purely materialistic on the short term but also for the farther future, however this also is a very difficult operation.

best regards

Wilhelmus

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Apr. 13, 2014 @ 03:21 GMT
Hello again Eckard,

A recent paper by Steven Kauffmann, talking about a unique solution for Einstein Gravity, using Feynman's Lorentz condition, is attached. This is the new work described above.

All the Best,

Jonathan

attachments: uegptx-rev.pdf

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Apr. 13, 2014 @ 19:14 GMT
Some thoughts on your central thesis...

A question arises of whether Nobel was correct that Science can promote or foster the establishment of Peace, and both you and I answer this question in the affirmative. Years ago I discovered a formula for peace, which simply stated goes like this. "One open, as multiplicity and formless nothingness, finds peace in true relation, and knows all as...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Apr. 13, 2014 @ 22:23 GMT
Dear Jonathan,

Corporeal means involving or relating to the physical rather than the spiritual world. I agree, humans are corporeal beings. Does science support that they are the same as the universe? I don't think so. I would also like to question whether we are really MADE of star stuff. I prefer saying instead we are consisting of or we arose from.

Did Nobel "believe that Science illuminates" the road? To my knowledge, he didn't capitalize the word science as do believers with words like He and Lord. When I wrote peace via discoveries and inventions then I tried to express what Nobel meant; science itself is the way. It is not just the illumination of the future. The future is open. The past cannot be influenced.

What about playing e.g. a sonata in B flat minor, do you really need such examples as to exemplify increasing complexity? You wrote: "The true relation that brings peace is thus what lies beyond the appearance of complexity." What relation do you mean with "The true relation that brings peace"? And what means "beyond the appearance of complexity"?

Nobel's words are more easily understandable to me.

Regards,

Eckard

Bookmark and Share


Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Apr. 13, 2014 @ 23:57 GMT
I like your analogy better..

Science is the way, rather than lighting it. And you are also right; I do tend to capitalize words overmuch. But the other points are worth explaining further.

Perhaps in Math, the study of fractals yields suitable examples. The shape of a fern encoded in a few numbers (a la Barnsley) or something like the Mandelbrot Set from such a simple equation; who would suspect? But there is a kind of simplicity behind much of nature's complexity. The book "Turbulent Mirror" by Briggs and Peat explores the far shore of chaos concept, although not in those terms, in considerable detail.

In a master class I audited; concert pianist Vladimir Feltsman commented that there are very few Piano pieces written in C, G, or F, because other keys offer far more interesting accommodations for ease of play or transpositions, and so on. So composers of Piano music take advantage of the natural simplifications on the far shore of complexity, rather than hewing to the simplicity of keys with fewer sharps and flats.

And finally; Nobel seemed to be working to exalt or uplift the total human being, and contribute to the moral development of human society, as part of his peace building strategy. I think Physics especially leads us to confront unifying concepts that add perspective and contribute to our ability to mature as a race. At this point; the average tone of humanity, especially those in politics but also many industrialists, tends to be that of an adolescent. However; to survive, humanity needs to be both child-like and mature, while leaving adolescent head games aside.

Regards,

Jonathan

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Apr. 14, 2014 @ 07:32 GMT
Dear Jonathan,

When I selected utterances by Nobel for quotation, I felt confirmed in my guess that he was aware of the difficulties to eventually enforce peace.

He uttered: "I intend to leave after my death a large fund for the promotion of the peace idea, but I am skeptical as to its results" and "Second to agriculture, humbug is the biggest industry of our age".

The...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share



Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Apr. 15, 2014 @ 01:53 GMT
Dear Meister Eckard

I enjoyed your essay, which started with the very relevant case of Alfred Nobel, went on some tangents to examine Cantor's mathematics, and tackled some notions in relativity theory, before again returning to the topic of the essay: what to to about steering humanity to a sound future.

Each of these topics is interesting in itself, and provides food for thought.

Overcrowding and conflict are closely related, but after living in crowded peaceful Japan for over 40 years I can see that is not necessarily so, if the community accepts common guidelines of acceptable behavior and eschews an 'everyman for himself" ethic.

By the way missing from Nobel's vision is the whole gamut of the plastic and performing arts such as music and the dance. Sports had its Olympics, so one cannot complain that has not been included!

With best wishes,

Vladimir, born like you in 1942

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Apr. 17, 2014 @ 15:06 GMT
Dear Meister Vladimir,

You didn't get why I dealt with Nobel-related seemingly off topic questions. Peace must definitely be avoided, and I think, Nobel understood quite clearly how to live up to this (and other) responsibilities of mankind. I am avoiding here the notion humanity instead of mankind because I humanity also means the quality of being kind, thoughtful, and sympathetic, a...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share



murat Asgatovich gaisin wrote on Apr. 18, 2014 @ 08:50 GMT
Dear Eckard,

You have valid criticism. Therefore highly appreciated your article.

Regards,

Murat Asgatovich Gaisin

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Author Eckard Blumschein wrote on Apr. 19, 2014 @ 05:34 GMT
In a discussion with Vladimir Tamari, Otto von Bismarck was characterized by his mustard and a helmet that has been a symbol of Prussian militarism. Well, he was about as reactionary as was Hilbert when Hilbert said Brouwer is the revolution.

I quoted Bismarck's utterance "a preventive war is as a suicide for fear to die" because I consider it reasonable and necessary.

To Vladimir, I already mentioned that the city of Magdeburg still benefits from Bismarck's (about 20 km long) bypass to the river Elbe which avoided flooding.

Let me add a contribution that has proved perhaps utterly important from the perspective of my essay and the topic of this contest: Bismarck introduced in 1881 the system of social care, a first basis for birth control.

Of course, the nasty imperialism of Emperor Wilhelm II with even more nasty consequences also arose from Bismarck's prudent politics, and I agree with all those who are pointing to the necessity of education to responsibility, condemnation of toy weapons, and globally mutual respect.

Eckard

Bookmark and Share



James Lee Hoover wrote on Apr. 22, 2014 @ 00:17 GMT
Eckard,

The "suggestion to leave a destroyed earth" seems more indicative of our attitude of "use,discard and buy new" than utopian. I would like to hear more on your statement "learn from nature" and adapt our behavior. It sounds like an application of evolution. When you say "it isn't the barons," I assume you are speaking of business leaders not steering humanity but individual discoveries and inventions that do.

There is a lot to consider in your essay, but ideas that differ somewhat from my own.

Jim

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 06:45 GMT
Jim,

When I mentioned Napoleon III, Wilhelm II, and Poincaré, I exemplified the saying man thinks, God steers. See my reply this morning to a comment on a blog where I refer to a Nobel laureate. You got it quite right; I used the word barons as to stress disagreement with an opinion uttered in Hodge's essay: Discoveries that led to the invention of more effective weapons, means for contraception, and the like did really steer history.

Learning from nature has many aspects.

In earlier essays I referred to the physiology of hearing that made me aware of what I consider the most serious flaw in modern physics. The ear (and brain) are outperforming technical solutions of signal processing by far. Why?

I agree with those who are arguing that humans must not stick on traditional values. Humans are doomed to adapt to changing conditions as are the flora and the rest of fauna even if the changes are self-made.

Please ask me if you are not in position to agree. The attitude of unlimited consumption is of course a bad and dangerous habit. In my humble opinion, economic growth is not desirable if there is no realistic concept for how to manage the consequences. For instance, radioactive waste is an irresponsible burden for generations to come even if catastrophes can be avoided.

Eckard

Bookmark and Share


James Lee Hoover replied on May. 20, 2014 @ 19:25 GMT
Eckard,

Time is growing short, so I'm back to revisit and rate. Your comments: "Please ask me if you are not in position to agree. The attitude of unlimited consumption is of course a bad and dangerous habit. In my humble opinion, economic growth is not desirable if there is no realistic concept for how to manage the consequences. For instance, radioactive waste is an irresponsible burden for generations to come even if catastrophes can be avoided."

I agree with all that you say;, and actually my essay says the same. Have you had a chance to check it out?

Jim

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on May. 21, 2014 @ 06:52 GMT
Jim,

Having read your essay, I tried to answer your question together with Tejinder Singh's question to you concerning your essay.

Eckard

Bookmark and Share



Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 20:29 GMT
Hello Eckard,

Thanks for your interest in my essay, and your specific questions about the relevance thereof. I have (finally) posted some specific replies to your recent comments on my page, which I hope adequately address your concerns. Feel free to comment further, if needed, and I'll try to respond more swiftly.

I am glad that your essay has been well received as it was enjoyed by me and seems greatly relevant to the topic question - especially as compared to some others. I still have not read Schafly's essay, which you asked me about, but Corda's excellent (from quick first read) technical paper seems entirely off topic for this contest.

Hopefully my latest comments (on my essay page) explain more clearly why my essay is relevant.

Regards,

Jonathan

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Anonymous replied on Apr. 24, 2014 @ 15:17 GMT
Dear Jonathan,

While I am perhaps too sober as to see any link between Christian Corda's essay and the topic of the contest, I appreciate Roger Schlafly's (Schlaf means sleep in German while Schaf means sheep) attempt to defend the mandatory in modern physics "block theory of time" against his own "naive view of time". Roger reminded me of what I would like to mockingly call "Early thinking", in particular the Earl's denial of causality as a relic of bygone time like monarchy and the pacifistic Earl's fortunately ignored suggestion to preventively kill the whole region where I lived.

Roger added that "relativity and other scientific scientific principles convinced [the Earl] of the block theory of time".

I already did know how the Earl plagiarized G. E. Lessing when he explained "Why I am not a Christian".

The Earl got famous when he revealed a paradox of set theory. Nonetheless, he wrote: "The solution of the difficulties which formerly surrounded the mathematical infinite is probably the greatest achievement of which our age has to boast!". Nobel's view was perhaps prudent.

Regards,

Eckard

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Apr. 26, 2014 @ 07:12 GMT
Dear Eckhard,

It seems each year you get better, and recall that I very much liked your essay last year.

I have glanced at many essays and have read yours twice, but it is so full of information I'm sure I have not digested all of your thoughts.

I would like to make a few observations. There many essays here that complain about the fact that a number of individuals have great...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on Apr. 27, 2014 @ 08:49 GMT
Dear Edwin,

Just a brief first attempt to explain: Janos/Johann/John von Neumann envied the "old" nobility of von Békésy because he himself merely inhered nobility for money. To you and many other Americans, enough money means almost unrestricted liberty. They might have forgotten what was (according to what Allister Cook told in BBC) meant in New England with a "restricted area": No Jews (and of course no gypsies, Latinos, and niggers).

I very much appreciate not just your encouraging words but even more the criticism between your lines.

Perhaps I should have anticipated that Alfred Nobel has widely been mistaken as just a somewhat rich donator and his prizes opportunities for ambitioned individuals that don't have much to do with responsibility and peace.

I admit that in particular the political struggles in the Soviet occupied part of Germany made me overly critical, and this influenced my attitude towards arbitrariness and redundancy in science too. Why took virtually nobody else in this contest the question worth of consideration: how to ensure peace? Aren't national pride and orthodoxy about as risky as unlimited growth of population? May I hope for providing a humble contribution if I can reveal in what Earl Bertrand Russell was wrong? Or do I overestimate rationality?

Best,

Eckard

Bookmark and Share


Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Apr. 28, 2014 @ 02:07 GMT
Dear Eckhard,

I'm not sure what you're trying to convey in your first paragraph, but you mention World War II in your bio. I was alive before Pearl Harbor, and no one not allowed access to whatever "restricted areas" existed would have traded places with anyone in Germany. All societies have inequities, period. And enough money generally means unrestricted liberty in almost any society, not just American. It is probably better to hold off on criticisms of another country based on the BBC.

My comment was encouraging words, with no criticism between the lines. I simply thought I would tell you some of my personal experience with mathematics, and my personal orientation to mathematics. There is no suggestion that this is the "correct" approach to math. I very much appreciate your approach to math. You make me aware of things that I would not know if I had to find these out for myself for reasons implied by my comments.

You have clearly studied Nobel and understand his purpose as you lay out in your essay. Most people simply know that he made a lot of money from dynamite and used it to fund the Nobel prizes. You really can't expect people to know much more. That's the value of your essay, to communicate this to them.

You ask why no one else tackled the problem of how to ensure peace. There may be no way to ensure peace. Nothing has worked so far, except mutual assured destruction (MAD) seem to work during the Cold War. Not sure that's gonna work with some of today's players. And no I don't see national pride as necessarily evil. And yes you probably do overestimate rationality.

So I repeat, my comments were simply to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your essay. There were no hidden criticisms between the lines.

Best,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Anonymous replied on Apr. 28, 2014 @ 06:12 GMT
Dear Edwin,

Today's players are you and me, not just the patriarch of Moscow and some bankers in the background. Albert Schweitzer came from what is now France. He said: The little you can do is much. In the nineteen thirties the Germans elected their president. Some of then warned: Who votes for Hindenburg votes ultimately for war. I think we are responsible altogether for rational...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Peter Jackson wrote on May. 3, 2014 @ 19:35 GMT
Eckard,

I agree with Vladimir, you may well be the man to steer us through and out of the maze caused by current science as your essays path seemed anything but straight. I was expecting new ideas to avoid war and crimes against humanity. But I do applaud the concept that; "mankind as a whole can and must achieve a better command of Nature", which was my own theme (but developing a key...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Peter Jackson replied on May. 3, 2014 @ 19:43 GMT
One point I forgot!

Your substantial discussion of why Alfred Nobel didn't award a prize for maths was fascinating, thorough and comprehensive. I thought you may be revealing the real reason at the end, but didn't. I'm not sure if you felt it a secret to be kept, or wasn't aware, but it is an an open secret;

His wife had an affair with a well known mathematician, which he was very upset about. (I'll point the finger if you wish).

Best wishes

Peter

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on May. 4, 2014 @ 03:20 GMT
Peter,

I appreciate if someone openly utters what worries him.

You wrote: "it is an an open secret; His [Nobel's] wife had an affair with a well known mathematician, which he was very upset about".

http://www.fields.utoronto.ca/aboutus/jcfields/fields
nobel.html clarifies:

"The persistent rumor that Nobel did not establish a prize in mathematics because Mittag-Leffler had an affair with Nobel’s wife is certainly incorrect. Nobel never married. But the other version of this rumor, founded on hostility between Nobel and Mittag-Leffler, may be correct though there is no documentation to support it. Certainly there appear to have been ill feelings between the two men: according to a letter from J.L.Synge to H.S.Tropp [Tropp], Fields told Synge that this was the case, and Synge remarks that he later confirmed this himself in Sweden. There is no doubt that Nobel and Mittag-Leffler knew each other."

Also it was reported that Alfred Nobel asked to what mathematician a prize in mathematics could be awarded and then decided "let be no prize in mathematics".

This decision against the propagator of Georg Cantor's set theory was definitely embarrassing for the proponents of the latter. They might have fabricated the story of an affair.

Eckard

Bookmark and Share


Peter Jackson replied on May. 4, 2014 @ 21:02 GMT
Eckard,

Thank you, there's an excellent lesson there which again our age tends to encourage us to forget. While we should never dismiss any possibility out of hand without proper testing, we should also never take anything we are told as 'fact' without the same rigorous falsification. That's how I do science. I must ensure to generalise it.

I hope you may respond to my scientific points and questions too.

I must say I have suspicions that Nobel may not have done scientific advancement any great favours. Science seems to me far too based on the unseemly scramble for Nobel's and not on more noble philosophies. Bad feeling, attitudes and behaviour seems endemic.

Peter

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Armin Nikkhah Shirazi wrote on May. 3, 2014 @ 22:43 GMT
Dear Eckard,

I see that you used a description of the vision of Alfred Nobel to frame a number of issues that seem to be close to you heart (and which were interesting), but which I must admit I could only connect to the essay question with difficulty.

On the whole it seems that you advocate adopting a vision similar to that of Nobel, is that correct?

Armin

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Anonymous replied on May. 4, 2014 @ 04:36 GMT
Dear Armin,

Your difficulties to swallow my argumentation seem to be understandable because you are focusing on generally accepted universal values and pathoselection that puts them at risk.

I don't see WWI, WWII, and the holocaust caused by psychopaths. We must not lazily blame just the nazis and in particular their mad fuehrer. Let me tell you a story that demonstrates collective responsibility: When my wife and I visited London for the first time we occasionally met the rabbi Sachs. Can you imagine my feeling when he stood up, gave us his hand, and forgave us being Germans?

I don't intend suggesting to advocate a vision. I just tried to answer the question how humanity should steer the future in a rational manner that compels us to question and slightly correct some very basic seemingly sufficient values.

Belief and meditation, playful education, avoiding as much waste per person as possible while developing methods to more completely exploit the declining resources and any other kind of wellbehavior are valuable but not sufficient if we are not ready to ask how many people do we need in future and how to avoid the necessity of war e.g. by intelligent birth control.

Are patriotism and heroism tolerable? My essay tried to indicate that Nobel instead oriented on useful discoveries and inventions. Well, I am reminding on Nobel's rationalism because I was an engineer myself and because his attitude might give the necessary answer to the question put by FQXi.

John Merryman pessimistically called scientific progress a two-edged sword. Didn't already Alfred Nobel see it the only hope because there is no way back? Humanity is doomed to get more intelligent which means more responsible. Leaving a destroyed earth is definitely not an option for many centuries to come. Don't you agree?

Regards,

Eckard

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Anonymous wrote on May. 5, 2014 @ 11:34 GMT
Dear Eckard,

I fear that war will continue to plague mankind. I have just watched a TV programme about the rise of the Golden Dawn neo nazi party in Greece, due, at least in part, to the economic crisis there. Also mentioning the spread of such ideology in Europe, which is frightening to witness. An elderly Greek man was interviewed and said ominously "all we have to do is follow." They are advocating the removal of all immigrants, have a flag not unlike a swastika and are the third largest political party in Greece. Greek Tragedy: The rise of Europe's neo-Nazis I fear that the noble (and Nobel's) aspirations for a peaceful world will be undermined by the tendency of people,in times of trouble, to look to strong leaders with simple'solutions'.

I have read your essay twice. Although you end on an optimistic note that appears to empower even individuals I find the historical content of the essay unsettling. You did well to include some science in your discussion which is among the evaluation criteria, whereas many others haven't. I hope you get many readers who will take on board your message of peace. Georgina

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Anonymous replied on May. 5, 2014 @ 13:57 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I was sure, you will agree with my intentions except for a single one: I don't strive for agreeing with public opinion. On the contrary, I am asking what might worth questioning in science as well as in politics.

My arguments are definitely unwelcome to many:

Following Nobel, I see speculative and formalist tenets not directly relevant to reality: The past cannot be steered, realism needs a causality oriented perspective, etc.

What about calling the nazi and the Germans the devils, don't take me wrong when I tell you that in Switzerland, the "nazi" means the Swiss soccer team. Don't condemn those who refuse considering bomber Harris a hero because he possibly killed their relatives. Ask yourself why the UKIP is popular.

At the moment we are tempted to blame Russians for desiring to regain the Empire of Nikolaus II, Lenin, and Stalin. I mentioned two natural aspects of war to be substituted: The Swiss nazi is certainly among models of acceptable but not yet sufficient substitutes for the first one. Group interests and their symbols did always need and will further need some sort of control up to suppression.

Substitution of the second one faces even more resistance. I dared addressing some opponents already in the abstract of my essay.

I contempt lack of honest rationalism in science and likewise in politics, and I hope having made the logical link between them more obvious.

Kindest regards,

Eckard

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Charles Gregory St Pierre wrote on May. 7, 2014 @ 04:36 GMT
Dear Eckard,

Thank you for your casual disregard. It has helped me appreciate, though admittedly in only some small way, the anger felt by those others who have experienced prejudice. Since I work with such individuals, this is valuable to me.

As for your essay, I found the first five sections informative. However, I had difficulty finding them relevant to the topic at hand, or even to the title of your essay itself. At the best, to my reading, they form an overly long introduction.

The final sections are more to the point, but also seem short on prescription. You urge peace. You urge individuals take a global perspective. But you show no path as to how this might come about. Your title is Peace via Discoveries and Inventions. You urge a better command of nature. But did I miss the mention of any particulars?

You dismiss the national perspective. Yet, we must deal with the nations and institutions we have: "The past cannot be steered." If necessary, a nation, even a small institution, must be prepared to act alone to mitigate the circumstances we are bringing upon ourselves. Moral behavior requires nothing less. If that means the scholar must take action, then so be it.

Indeed, the scholar must be the first to take action. For he will be one of the first to see. For him to do nothing will send the message that nothing need be done.

Thank you for your wish for a lucky life.

Good luck in the competition.

Sincerely,

Charles Gregory St Pierre

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Anonymous replied on May. 7, 2014 @ 16:48 GMT
Dear Charles,

Don't see my wish for a lucky life a casual disregard. Please accept it as a serious recommendation.

In contrast to you and perhaps many others, I interpret the topic of the contest as a challenge to find out what might guide us to the appropriate perspective rather than to apply possibly inadequate perspectives, arrive at suggestions like "humans must ..." from doing...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on May. 7, 2014 @ 18:23 GMT
Dear Eckard,

I read with great interest your depth analytical essay in the spirit of Cartesian doubt with a concrete statement of the problems of modern basic science and human society. Many thanks for the link «DONALD COXETER: THE MAN WHO SAVED GEOMETRY».

Fundamental science, mathematics and physics are in a "crisis of representation and interpretation» (T. Romanovskaya),...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Hoang cao Hai wrote on May. 14, 2014 @ 02:39 GMT
Dear Author Eckard Blumschein

Still always is the argument and analysis incisive expertise along with with a high level of expertise as the previous time - Unfortunately I was only allowed to provide 10 points for your essay. .

Hải.CaoHoàng

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Lorraine Ford wrote on May. 21, 2014 @ 01:26 GMT
Dear Eckard,

I was persuaded by your argument that "Alfred Nobel's legacy might guide us to the appropriate perspective" on how to steer the future:

You say "[M]athematics understands itself as a manmade creation, as a play with chosen rules, independent from physics", and a real line continuum of numbers and infinite numbers are ideas rather than realities. Similarly you say that...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on May. 21, 2014 @ 14:59 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

I am delighted that you were not just able to perfectly summarize some arguments of mine. You even added your own conclusions. Rather than following your conclusion that speculative and formalist tenets are not a guide on how to steer the future, I prefer saying, they themselves don’t steer it.

I wrote "naïve patriotism" because I am blaming guilty for war not just a few commanders but those many who nurtured the perspective of their nation/religion including their moral principles instead the perspective and the moral principles of mankind.

You picked up a question that I deliberately formulated in a straightforward manner: Mankind needs the environment and is obliged in its own interest to protect it. Those who see it the other way round pervert this causality. I apologize if you might feel my argumentation a blasphemy. Georg Christoph Lichtenberg [1742-1799] also reversed a perversion: “God created man as a copy of Himself. This should perhaps read man created God as a copy of himself.” You are speaking of human hubris (arrogant pride) and narcissism. No matter how many bacterial cells are belonging to my body, mankind is something different from a particular human like me and also different from a nation.

You are not the only Platonist. Wasn’t it Wigner who pointed to the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics? Which sentence I wrote about Plato would you like to object to? I reiterate: Nobel was most likely aware of the calamity.

I respect your credo that “subjective perception IS physical reality that can be measured …” although I cannot see its logical bais.

Incidentally, I would like to tell you that I am one of the very few lovers of nature who enjoys a nice garden with fruits, flowers, many birds, insects, and other animals instead of traveling, driving a car, TV etc.

Best wishes,

Eckard

Bookmark and Share



Lorraine Ford wrote on May. 22, 2014 @ 08:31 GMT
Dear Eckard,

I am NOT a platonist!!! You have misinterpreted what I said, again. As I have said to you before, there is only this universe, and there is NO platonic realm.

I am asking "how do we explain the reality behind the numbers that are found when nature is measured?" Please tell me what you think about this serious issue that nobody can give a satisfactory answer to. My answer is that numbers are hidden information category self-relationships (with appropriate definitions of the terms "information" "category" and "relationship").

How can anyone claim to explain reality without an explanation of numbers???

Is anyone who dares to mention numbers automatically a platonist??

Cheers,

Lorraine

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Lorraine Ford replied on May. 22, 2014 @ 10:07 GMT
P.S.

More properly, I should say that I think that numbers are SYMBOLS that REPRESENT hidden information category self-relationships.

Cheers,

Lorraine

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Anonymous replied on May. 22, 2014 @ 18:21 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

The issue of Platonism seems to be tricky. Platon is quoted having said: "There are many beautiful things; they are transitory. The idea of beauty is not transitory." Platon describes the world of ideas as something existing outside of what we can perceive. Accordingly one calls a mathematician a Platonist if she is convinced of the independent existence of found rather than invented quantities and laws.

Doesn't your hidden information also belong to idealism? I see the controversy between idealism and materialism pointless, because in my understanding, reality is merely the trust in the possibility to ultimately attribute anything to causal relations, not to need something mystical. I don't expect the possibility to unravel all influences.

Best regards,

Eckard

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Lorraine Ford replied on May. 23, 2014 @ 00:02 GMT
Dear Eckard,

Why don't you try to explain what numbers are, instead of trying to analyze the mystery behind what I'm saying?

I'm confident we CAN "unravel all influences" (though naturally, underlying fundamental properties are by definition irreducible and cannot be explained). I think numbers are an important clue to the nature of reality.

I'm saying that I think that the numbers we humans use are SYMBOLS that REPRESENT hidden information category self-relationships. I'm saying that in nature, there are no numbers and no laws-of-nature. In nature there are only information category relationships/self-relationships (which we call laws-of-nature and physical outcomes) and hidden information category self-relationships (which we call numbers). I'm saying that numbers and laws-of-nature are similar types of things to physical outcomes.

Re underlying fundamental properties: I'm saying that experience (of information), subjectivity (of information) and creativity (of information) are irreducible fundamental properties of the universe. Mass, charge, spin etc. are merely categories of information experienced by the subjects (e.g. particles) that comprise the universe - mass, charge and spin are NOT fundamental properties.

I am confident that this universe is all there is: there is no external platonic realm. But in a non-platonic universe, one MUST EXPLAIN what is the reality behind the symbols we use e.g. what is the reality behind "+" and "=" and numbers. I think that the things we avoid explaining are the things that are important clues to the nature of reality.

Cheers,

Lorraine

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Aaron M. Feeney wrote on May. 24, 2014 @ 00:42 GMT
(Continued from our long thread above.)

Where the system cut me off is kinda funny and certainly ironic. I was in the middle of writing that it would have been impossible to explain how to build a foreknowledge machine (FM) within an article that had to be so short. (The rest will be rendered directly, rather than as a retelling.)

The point of my article was only to establish the logical space within which a useful future-viewing machine could be conceived--by establishing the kind of future-viewing machine that is logically impossible--and then to advocate for its eventual design and construction by others (if FMs should, in addition to being logically possible, also turn out to be physically possible).

You suggest, I think, that constructing an FM contradicts something you found out. Please share your views on this, for such information would be especially helpful for me to consider.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, Eckard, that pretty much sums up what ended up in "data heaven" (Steven King coined that term after losing a story due to a computer failure). Your depth of knowledge is truly impressive, and I am glad we have started this stimulating conversation.

Warmly,

Aaron

P.S., I will post again in this same thread about your work. After all, they each have almost the same message at the end, insofar as they both advocate that inventions will play a greater role in our future than barons.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Aaron M. Feeney replied on May. 24, 2014 @ 01:45 GMT
Hi Eckard,

Your article is wonderful. To me it also seems inevitable that peace can only be achieved by some new invention that changes our way of life (of course, you already know what I think that invention might turn out to be).

I enjoyed your exposition of Nobel's thoughts behind the formulation of his prize categories, including his reason for the omission of a prize for mathematics, and the way you further wove the theme of peace into your work by including the quotation: "My dynamite will sooner lead to peace than a thousand world conventions. As soon as men will find that in one instant, whole armies can be utterly destroyed, they surely will abide by golden peace."

I certainly cannot find any aspect of your paper to disagree with. I find that it is a valuable contribution to improving the world situation, and I have accordingly given it a high rating.

Warmly,

Aaron

P.S., I will post again to continue our conversation eventually, but it would be even better if you could first answer what you have found that, in your opinion, would make the construction of an FM unlikely. Thanks for your great insights.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Author Eckard Blumschein replied on May. 24, 2014 @ 06:10 GMT
Dear Aaron,

You asked me whether a foreknowledge machine contradicts something that has been found out.

In principle, your question corresponds to the question whether the second law of thermodynamics is valid, and a perpetuum mobile is impossible. I learned, and I would like to support that in reality all systems are somehow embedded into possible influences, and in this sense there are no strictly speaking closed systems at all.

Your question also relates to what makes the future and the past different from each other. You and all of your human ancestors definitely have had exactly one mother and one father. Consider such truism like a pastknowledge machine. In practice, knowing all past is likewise impossible. However, you might agree that prediction of your future family tree is only possible if you will definitely have no children or grandchildren at all. The future is different from the past. As Claude Shannon formulated: The past is known, in principle, but it cannot be steered. The future can be steered, in principle, but it is unknown.

Regards,

Eckard

Bookmark and Share



Member Daniel Dewey wrote on May. 27, 2014 @ 17:45 GMT
Hi Eckard,

If I understand right, you are suggesting that discoveries and inventions will increase human well-being and prosperity, and that this will help us to avoid wars and ideological conflicts. Is that the right interpretation?

Thanks for putting your perspective on this prompt, and best of luck!

Cheers,

Daniel

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Anonymous replied on May. 28, 2014 @ 08:30 GMT
Hi Daniel,

Alfred Nobel's invention of dynamite made wars even more horrible. Was he therefore a moron when he encouraged even more important inventions? Those who right now scored my essay low without perhaps understanding it might draw such conclusion. Let me first clarify that Nobel took the perspective of mankind, not of a single person or nation. Also his attitude was not to increase prosperity in the sense of more money and well-being. How to really avoid war was to him and is still a question of existence as are other questions of responsibility for humanity as a whole including the question how to adapt the size of population to the limited resources and the growing man-made risks and wasts.

Discoveries, inventions, and other contributions to what I would like to call the collective intelligence of mankind do not directly help us to avoid wars but they are forcing mankind into responsibility. I see ideological conflicts the traditional lack of such intelligence. Boku Haram has eventually no chance against the intelligent rest of the world. I don't see much hope for peace between Sunnites and Shiits, Jews and Muslems unless they are forced to live up to intelligent responsibility by means of discoveries, inventions, etc.

Eckard

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Anonymous wrote on May. 30, 2014 @ 08:39 GMT
Dear Christi,

I decided replying to you last post here because it touched a main difficulty to understand Nobel's reasoning as I understand him.

You wrote: "I believe that the individual, provided that is free, would choose universality, loyalty to mankind, rather than loyalty to small local circles", and you referred to instinct.

Nobel spoke of ideal direction. He did definitely not assume, and behavioral research confirmed that animal individuals are not loyal to all individuals of the same kind. Responsibility for mankind is not something natural but belongs to slowly growing collective insight that is still not yet absolutely reliable. And this responsibility implies putting restrictions to individual freedom. Similarly, the ten commandments restricted some unacceptable freedoms. They were already a step forward away from animal freedom, and they were OK if they didn't demand to accept the dominance of a God who is at least a bit different from an also dominant God of a different group. Meanwhile, the whole mankind sits in the same boat. It is the progress of science and technology that demands to set the truly reasonable restrictions of freedom. Nobel wrote of the "forces of the circumstances".

I consider Nobel's seemingly crazy insight an unwelcome because truly foundational one in contrast to many essays that are dealing with symptoms and/or old remedies to cope with them and even more at variance with questionable suggestions or recommendations to focus on what could be important in future.

Yes, Nobel had "a rather opposed perspective", but no, animals like us do NOT "have a natural sense of universality".

Best regards,

Eckard

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Cristinel Stoica replied on Jun. 1, 2014 @ 06:49 GMT
Dear Eckard,

Thank you for the reply and clarifications. By the text you quoted, I meant that people choose "universality, loyalty to mankind, rather than loyalty to small local circles" if they are free. This is a key condition, and without this, I agree with you that they will not be universally loyal. But this key condition is difficult, or perhaps impossible to fully ensure. Given that I think that the fragment you quote should be taken in its context, I provide the link where your original comment and my complete reply can be found. For completeness.

Best regards,

Cristi

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Anonymous replied on Jun. 1, 2014 @ 09:52 GMT
Dear Christi,

I am not sure whether we agree. You are certainly correct in that the loyalty to a group "builds on top of this instinct (which is by nature about the individual) larger egos, which are social classes, clans, favorite soccer team, nationality, religion... It is just a way to enlarge the ego."

I described this in my essay as a strategy: "Patriots behave like groups of animals that learned during evolution to fight for the survival of their own group on cost of an enemy." Mankind as a whole has no enemy and no agreed leader to whom it could be loyal and responsible. Responsibility in the sense of Nobel is something on the highest level of social structure, quasi the final step beyond religion. I consider it acceptable if a human has the right of suicide while it is not logically acceptable from the perspective of mankind if everybody can decide to have as many children as possible.

Doesn't responsibility for mankind preclude the freedom of subordination below a religion or a nation?

Best regards,

Eckard

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Cristinel Stoica replied on Jun. 1, 2014 @ 15:08 GMT
Dear Eckard,

You say "Patriots behave like groups of animals that learned during evolution to fight for the survival of their own group on cost of an enemy."

I agree.

"Mankind as a whole has no enemy and no agreed leader to whom it could be loyal and responsible."

That's disputable. Mankind as a whole has as enemy anything that endangers it, such as natural disasters, or even itself. Also, if it has to be loyal to some entity, it would be optimal to be loyal to mankind itself, but how could this be defined to avoid endangering parts of mankind?

"Doesn't responsibility for mankind preclude the freedom of subordination below a religion or a nation?"

I think so, but I prefer not to give definite prescriptions for indefinite situations. This is one reason why I prefer that people decide for themselves, but are offered the best tool to decide. In your example, I don't quite see as freedom the freedom of subordination below anything, being it the nation, mankind, or God. But I think that everybody should be free to choose such a subordination. If it would be a rule that subordination to mankind is better than subordination to smaller entities, then this would imply strong violations of human rights. For example, should a person be sacrificed to transplant its organ, if this would save several other lives? There are all kinds of situations, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to find general rules of priorities.

Best regards,

Cristi

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate


Author Eckard Blumschein wrote on May. 31, 2014 @ 07:34 GMT
Tihamer Toth-Fejel addressed my essay elsewhere.

Here is his complete post together with ++ my reply ++.

Dear Eckard,

Most essays considered the context of the word "humanity" in the contest question and it fits your definition #1 (mankind), though many also thought that our future would be brighter if we all acted more like definition #3 (show kindness).

++...

view entire post


Bookmark and Share



Akinbo Ojo wrote on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 11:15 GMT
Eckard,

I rushed through your essay. It is well researched with a lot of historical facts and information. I believe it should make the final list of 40. I can't vote this year because I did not enter the competition so I have no rating code.

Good luck.

Akinbo

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Anonymous replied on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 13:08 GMT
Akinbo,

For unknown reason I can also not vote.

Already in my abstract I anticipated that my questions may be unwelcome to authorities who are

- teaching futile speculative models (Christian Corda even ignored the topic, of the contest, Jonathan Dickau advocated for the freedom to speculate, others tried to model the future)

- denial of causality (which is logically related to an a priori given spacetime and forced Roger Schlafly to contradict his own sound reasoning)

- religious dogmas (at least those like Tejinder Singh and George Gantz agreed on that leaving earth is no option as to escape responsibility, while Mohammed Khali was of course not in position to accept the logical necessity to limit population growth)

- naive patriotism, heroism, and putatively ideal social systems (I have to apologize for hurting feelings of those who belong to diverse political directions like US-nationalism, liberalism, anarchism, etc.).

I am merely disappointed because nobody so far dealt with my Figs. 1 and 2.

Eckard

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.