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January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Christine Dantas: on 6/8/14 at 14:52pm UTC, wrote Dear Don, Thank you for such kind words... And I missed yours as well. I...

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Christine Dantas: on 6/6/14 at 11:09am UTC, wrote Dear Christian, Thank you very much for your comments, they are highly...

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FQXi FORUM
October 15, 2019

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: Novelty and the Empowering of Minds by Christine Cordula Dantas [refresh]
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Author Christine Cordula Dantas wrote on Apr. 21, 2014 @ 15:21 GMT
Essay Abstract

The present essay brings forth some considerations related to the future of humanity that are not strategic in nature, but foundational. The focus will not be on providing practical suggestions or solutions, but on revaluing our sense of inclusivity to foster next generations towards novel opportunites and growth. A set of definitions and (unproven) propositions is presented, where the pivot concept --- novelty --- is ontologically outlined. The fundamental role of the scientific worldview as a provider of lighthouses for inclusivity efforts is proposed. The main conclusion derived from the propositions is: instead of steering humanity through rigid (and inevitably incomplete and/or unsafe) solutions, we should empower the individual's mind by taking advantage of its truthful representation of novelty.

Author Bio

Christine C. Dantas has an undergraduate degree in Data Processing Technology (1991), BS in Astronomy (1993), MSc in Astrophysics (1996) and PhD in Astrophysics (2001). She is interested in all areas of science and philosophy.

Download Essay PDF File

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Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 18:42 GMT
Dear Doctor Dantas,

I found your superbly written essay to be truly engrossing. With a great deal of hesitation and trepidation, I humbly suggest that your essay may have something in common with my essay, REALITY, ONCE, except where I use the word unique, you use the word novelty. Your essay is far better written though, so neutral readers of both of our essays are likely to favor yours because of its exquisite styling, and rightfully so. I feel the same way, even though it is my own essay.

With the highest of regards,

Joe Fisher

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas replied on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 20:30 GMT
Dear Joe Fisher:

Thanks for taking your time to read my essay, and thanks also for your positive review.

I read your essay and, yes, maybe there is a room for some analogy between uniqueness and novelty, although I feel it would turn out to differ from what you envision. That is something that I need to think about, so thanks for pointing it out.

Concerning religious points of view, which are mentioned in your essay, I would rather not comment on them, I hope you understand my position.

Good luck with your essay!

Best,

Christine

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Joe Fisher replied on Apr. 24, 2014 @ 13:49 GMT
Christine,

Our viewpoints are bound to differ for viewpoints are like everything else in the real Universe, they have to be unique. You left a comment at my site about particles. I repeat my answer here:

all of the so-called physics particles are abstract. I contend that all of space must be jam-packed with trillions and trillions of real particles. A considerable number of these real particles must be millions of times smaller than the postulated abstract Higgs Boson. All of these particles must have an infinitesimally small surface and a sub-surface. Because they have a surface, they all travel at the constant “speed” of light. Their sub-surfaces must travel at an inconsistent speed that is less than the constant “speed” of light. This is why each of these real particles is in a different place. This is why no two real particles could ever be identical.

Religion utterly confounds me. I only included it in my essay because I was trying for a socko finish to it.

Joe

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas replied on Apr. 24, 2014 @ 15:26 GMT
Dear Joe Fisher,

Yes, for sure there are no problems in different points of view. In any case, your explanation does not make sense to me. Perhaps I will get back to that later, over at your post entry.

For now, I kindly ask you to leave comments here concerning my own essay only? This is to avoid people getting confused as to the content of my own essay, which at this point I find no relation to yours, except for what I strictly mentioned in my earlier comment, namely : "maybe there is a room for some analogy between uniqueness and novelty". I was not particularly endorsing your point of view in a strict sense, but leaving it open for discussion at your essay post entry, which is more appropriate. I hope you understand. I reinforce my best of luck to you.

Kind regards,

Christine

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Conrad Dale Johnson wrote on Apr. 27, 2014 @ 13:44 GMT
Hi Christine --

I was very interested reading your essay, since your dialectic of Measure and Novelty has a lot of resonance for me. Unfortunately my attempt to follow your argument broke down in Prop. V, because I couldn't be sure of what you meant by "inclusivity pressure". So while I feel in sympathy with your conclusion, I wasn't really clear about your argument from that point on. ...

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas wrote on Apr. 27, 2014 @ 14:53 GMT
Dear Conrad:

Thanks for taking your time to read my essay and to place your comment here.

Yes, perhaps I should have defined the term "inclusivity pressure" more clearly, so thanks for pointing this out. But it is not as mysterious as it might seem at first (or maybe it *could" be... well, for now, the explanation below might serve).

First, concerning pressure by itself. A differential pressure is generally regarded, in physical terms, as the difference between two separate but related force-per-unit-area measures in, say, a fluid.

In an *abstract* sense, we could regard members of a society as a "fluid". I am not saying that people can be modeled as a fluid in such a strict sense! I am referring to all human members as a whole "body" of very diverse worldviews. So, abstractly, I am regarding it as a "fluid of worldviews".

So, connecting above with what I wrote on my essay. On page 5, I stated that human problems are, essentially, a result of "local and global differential measures" that are "regarded as important" to us (and basically, created by us), humans (nature is neutral). From Def. III, I wrote on inclusivity: "It is the act of not excluding members through measure". Therefore, the "local and global differential measures" that I refer to "come in the form of an inclusivity pressure": you can think of a kind of human, worldview fluid with an intrinsic necessity for involvement and association, which, if suppressed, prevent the dissemination and amplification of the richness of our "worldview body". Hence, it's a kind of pressure, which "can only be alleviated through (...) an exhaustive participation of empowered individuals in our process-based, interconnected world." (pages 5-6).

Hope this clarifies at least a bit.

Best,

Christine

PS_ I'll be reading your essay with great interest opportunely.

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Conrad Dale Johnson replied on Apr. 28, 2014 @ 14:34 GMT
Yes, that does help, and connects more clearly with your theme -- I'll reread the essay with this in mind. Thanks!

Conrad

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Anonymous wrote on Apr. 27, 2014 @ 16:23 GMT
Thank You Christine!

I greatly enjoyed your essay. You have my gratitude for sharing your viewpoint in this year's competition. You will find a non-trivial degree of overlap with my own essay, which I invite you to read and comment on. I find myself in strong agreement with your points almost to an item, but I also have caveats and exceptions to point out, or generalizations showing your propositions to be subsumed in a larger pattern. You see; I have been exploring the nearby territory for a number of years now, but from a slightly different angle.

Let's start with 'isolable structures' and work outward from there. In his "NCG Year 2000," arXiv:math/0011193, Connes talks about the three categories Smooth, Topological, and Measurable, forms and spaces, and he points out that there is a hierarchy.

S > T > M

Topological forms are a subset of smooth ones, and these are your 'isolable structures' (things that have a surface and can be separable), but measurable objects and spaces are a subset of topological ones. This has deep implications. I focus extensively on the role of measurement in forming cognition, in my own essay, but I find your conclusion about a probabilistic measure to be problematic.

Instead; I prefer to explore unifying principles that reveal the far shore of chaos and complexity. Here I would mention Perelman's proof of the Poincare conjecture, showing how a whole host of things are actually the same thing. This is a right-brained alternative to your left-brained approach of increasingly refined measures. So in conclusion; I think we have a lot to talk about.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Apr. 27, 2014 @ 16:37 GMT
My apologies..

That was my post above, and the server must have logged me out for inactivity, while I was composing my message. Naughty machine! But I wanted to take responsibility for my own words.

Regards,

Jonathan

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas replied on Apr. 27, 2014 @ 17:04 GMT
Dear Jonathan:

I am glad that you enjoyed my essay, thanks a lot for your comments. Yours is already on my reading list... I will certainly read it with interest opportunely. And it's very nice to learn that some people have found connections to their own works and thoughts, or even if not, that they have something relevant to add to my essay and found the time to comment here. This can only enrich the discussions and expand our own understanding on such a deep and multifaceted subject.

As you have noticed, I have not formalized in mathematical sense my ideas, which are quite initial really. But thanks for pointing out a way of formalization through category theory. This is something that I am interested in for some time. For the moment, I have been studying topological methods in group theory, specially with the idea of understanding group structures seen "at large", mostly from Gromov's works. There's a few things that I have been working on about this, but nothing publishable, it's all quite preliminary for now.

Best,

Christine

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Turil Sweden Cronburg wrote on Apr. 29, 2014 @ 15:27 GMT
Christine, I appreciated the message of your essay. I believe that our innate talents in life, as human beings, is to create multi-dimensional information packages (art, science, cultures, philosophy, etc.) and so novelty is a large part of that, and obviously, supporting/improving our mental health (brain function) is a key to us being able to achieve what we're born to achieve. My own essay tackles the more organizational processes for us doing this successfully, through redirecting our resource allocation (our work efforts, as well as material resources) to taking better care of ourselves, and making policies that serve our needs better (rather than forcing us to compete against ourselves!). We all deserve to have the things we need for our brains (and the bodies that move the brains around) to be exceptionally healthy!

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas replied on Apr. 29, 2014 @ 22:58 GMT
Dear Turil,

I am glad that you appreciated the message of my essay. I will soon read yours as well. Thanks for taking your time to read my essay and to place an interesting comment here.

Best,

Christine

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John Brodix Merryman wrote on May. 4, 2014 @ 02:50 GMT
Christine,

Consider the concepts of energy and information. How they manifest and how they relate.

Essentially energy is what manifests information and information is what defines energy. They are like two sides of a coin in this regard, yet they are fundamentally different in the sense that energy is inherently dynamic and information is necessarily static. (Remember also that the...

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas replied on May. 4, 2014 @ 19:53 GMT
Dear John,

Thanks for you comment. It is clear that you have been thinking about the intertwining of energy and information for a while, this is something that interests me as well, and there is a lot to cover. You bring some new ideas and that is enriching; I have just read your essay, but I should think a bit more before commenting.

In any case, my essay is not focused on your points (energy/information), it's at a different ontological level. Also, I do not get why you mention "aware devices", there is no connection with my essay. But I appreciate your thoughts, thanks for bringing them here.

Best wishes, and good luck.

Christine

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John Brodix Merryman replied on May. 5, 2014 @ 16:18 GMT
Christine,

I just added that last comment because the nature of this contest and the resulting entries are so broad that it is impossible to even begin to address many of the issues involved, that I'm just trying to weave some of the disparate parts of the puzzle together, so there is some broad foundation to which we all add parts. I do feel there is a certain science fiction aspect to some of these entries that totally ignore practical realities, so it was a bit of a spillover.

Regards,

John

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas replied on May. 6, 2014 @ 16:59 GMT
Dear John,

Yes, trying to draw a panorama of the ideas proposed in this contest is a nice idea. I also agree that some essays look like SF tales. I hope that you are not including mine in this list. My attempt was philosophical, and although I do enjoy and even write SF novels, I hope there are no SF elements in my essay, at least that was not my intention at all.

Best,

Christine

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James Lee Hoover wrote on May. 6, 2014 @ 05:40 GMT
Christine,

I see us as the stuff of stars,and as such we must build on tomorrow being our own supernovas. Your concepts are thus similar to my own. Cultivating all possible forms of human capital is a sustainable framework. A cooperative effort of us at its center. Rather than building material things for consumption, we must empower the human mind and pursue a substance of building rather than using.

Jim

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas replied on May. 6, 2014 @ 17:02 GMT
Dear James,

Yes, I agree with you, and I am glad that you saw those key points in my essay, and a frame of agreement.

Best,

Christine

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James Lee Hoover replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 05:02 GMT
Christine,

Having had browser problems with rating, I am revisiting those that I have read. I find that I rated yours on 5/20.

In the perspective of Einstein, I see the mind as a neurological universe, much like your do.

I would like to see your thoughts on my essay: http://www.fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2008

Jim

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas replied on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 10:40 GMT
Dear James,

Yes, thanks, I'll read your essay and rate it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I'm in a particularly busy week, and time is running out for rating...

Wishing you good luck,

Christine

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Georgina Woodward wrote on May. 8, 2014 @ 05:10 GMT
Hi Christine,

it was good to read your well expressed opinions. Your essay makes me think of two things; firstly that we are seeing the increasing use of crowd sourcing for answers to problems and/or design challenges. The second is the huge untapped human intellectual resources in the developing nations. This wonderful TED talk demonstrates the amazing potential within humble people.Sugata Mitra, Build a school in the cloud I think both greater inclusion and greater use of diverse viewpoints can help get a better idea of how to steer, as the view is much broader. I think I may have heard someone say, it is rather like using a flood light rather than a spot light.

I hope you get lots of interested readers. Good luck, Georgina

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas replied on May. 8, 2014 @ 16:07 GMT
Dear Georgina,

Thank you for your insights and for the link, I appreciate your feedback. I have a pile of selected essays to read and yours is there. Opportunely, I might place a comment at your entry.

Good luck and best wishes!

Christine

PS- Yes, I'd be glad for more readers and community ratings... At this juncture, only 3 community ratings would not place me among the finalists, whatever the quality of my essay, if I understood the contest rules correctly.

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas wrote on May. 9, 2014 @ 13:11 GMT
Please, rate responsibly.

Thanks,

Christine

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James A Putnam wrote on May. 12, 2014 @ 04:13 GMT
Christine Cordula Dantas,

Excellent! A description of, what I would describe as, the primary form of equality. It doesn't yet exist anywhere near enough, but we are working toward it. More people are educated and contributions of thought and ideas are increasing. My opinion is that this essay belongs in competition with some higher rated political projections that are (this is only my opinion) exclusive rather than inclusive. I think conformity is stifling novelty. I don't presume that you agree with this. There are, of course, always those who will offer alternative ideas. They help to keep science free and fresh. Your essay doesn't need my input, but, it caused me to want to express my thoughts. Thank you for sharing yours.

James Putnam

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas replied on May. 12, 2014 @ 20:52 GMT
Dear James,

Thank you for your nice comment. On page 5, I wrote "The **leveling of measure** is here not understood as uniformity, but inclusivity." You may replace there uniformity with conformity, and similar notions, if I understand you well. The concepts that I attempt to work may push somewhat counter-intuitively at places, I think, but I hope the propositions offer the broad idea. I think you have got it.

People, evidently, are not equal and should not be, otherwise, there is no novelty in any sense. Inclusivity does have several meanings and realizations; in the discussion here, it surely means a form of equal rights.

I highly appreciate your comment.

Best,

Christine

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Ajay Bhatla wrote on May. 13, 2014 @ 05:55 GMT
Christine,

Your emphasis on "should empower the individual's mind" is precisely the point of my essay (here).

So, I am very surprised when you say "This is not a proposal for steering humanity."

I look forward to your comments on my essay.

- Ajay

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas replied on May. 13, 2014 @ 10:23 GMT
Dear Ajay,

Thanks for your comment. It is not a proposal because it is not the point of my essay to offer a strategy, there is no steering. It is a rationale serving to account for the foundations of the problem proposed in the contest.

Now what surprises me, I think, is to see how easily absurd solutions of some essays here can receive top ratings. It is actually scary.

I will read your essay opportunely.

Best,

Christine

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Ajay Bhatla replied on May. 13, 2014 @ 16:04 GMT
Dear Christine.

One line of questioning to see if we are at all apart on 'steering': Would you not call it "steering" if you suggest something, anything? Isn't there a 'power of suggestion.' ; couldn't a thought you plant be a more effective way than actually having your hand on a steering wheel and your full weight behind it?

The scary part you mention is a reality that we must deal with. And around.

Good essay, regardless of your definition of steering.

- Ajay

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas replied on May. 13, 2014 @ 19:28 GMT
Dear Ajay,

Thanks. I read your essay, rated it, and placed a comment at your entry.

Well, to be frank, "steering" brings a somewhat negative weight when translated to my mother language (Portuguese), considering the context (humanity). Sure, when you plant a seed, it may grow into a beautiful living form if the environment is adequate. Sometimes you have to interfere with the environment, sometimes not, and sometimes you interfere destructively. A well-intended thought is also like that: it may transform into something positive, if the mind is prepared to receive it, understand it, criticize it, grow from it, etc. Hopefully my essay brings some new thoughts. So all comments here are very important to me.

Best,

Christine

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Peter Jackson wrote on May. 14, 2014 @ 12:11 GMT
Christine,

I found that a beautiful and extraordinary essay, extraordinary partly because it so well expresses the philosophy underlying my own work. My essay (Community 2nd) last year argued novelty as uniqueness of all entities, indeed a new law based on the spiral/helical growth to replace the (binary) 'excluded middle' where everything is unique with a unique place in what may be described by a quantum Beyesian (fuzzy logic) distribution I termed the 'Law of the reducing middle'. Your description is far more lyrical than mine.

I agree each and every proposition and have analogies in my physical and cosmological research findings. Incompleteness is fractal recursive quantum gauges and helicity defying precise calculation (as Godel), all interaction is comparative 'measurement', the mind and brain have far greater potential than we have tapped to date, well beyond current 'science'.

But what I really applaud is your stress on 'inclusivity', which I recently wrote about on another essay blog. As a trained Architect as well as an Astronomer in the widest sense inclusivity is my creed. I'm often shocked at how the opposite view rules within physics. More shocking is the distain which which the scientific method is treated. Even where rigorously applied to reach new findings it's not applied in their dismissal, common if 'different' to old science. How 'advancement' in understanding can be identical to old understanding I've never understood.

Congratulations and top marks for your beautifully organised, argued, presented and expressed thesis of the utmost quality. My own takes those values and shows how a breakthrough in understanding can be achieved, coherently deriving quantum correlations with classical dynamics by thinking beyond Earth centred perceptions. It also has a touch of romance so I hope I can tempt you.

Thank you for an inspiring read. Best of luck in the competition.

Peter

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas replied on May. 14, 2014 @ 19:13 GMT
Dear Peter,

Thank you very much for your kind words and positive review. I am glad to learn that you find a common ground to your work in my essay. I have a pile of essays to read, and I hope to get to yours opportunely.

Best of luck to you!

Kind regards,

Christine

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on May. 14, 2014 @ 16:03 GMT
Christine,

We share the same ideal. I am less philosophical about egalitarianism, though I agree with you that novelty -- which I interpret as variety is what motivates the creativity that makes us all better people and ultimately makes this a better world.

Very nice, very honest essay. Wishing you the best in this competition!

Tom

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas replied on May. 14, 2014 @ 19:17 GMT
Dear Thomas,

Thanks a lot for taking your time to read my essay and to place your considerations, they are very much appreciated. I will get to your essay as soon as possible.

Wishing you good luck as well!

Best,

Christine

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Anonymous wrote on Jun. 2, 2014 @ 11:26 GMT
Dear Christine,

You stand in research on the extremely important concepts and ask the ontological depth of mind. At Grigory Gutner have good reasoning "Event held in grasping structure means understanding" (G.Gutner
' target='new'>The Ontology of the Mathematical Discourse). Fundamental science is experiencing a "crisis of representation and interpretation" (T.Romanovskaya), "crisis...

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas wrote on Jun. 2, 2014 @ 20:36 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

Thanks a lot for taking your time to read my essay, and placing your comment here. I look forward to read yours opportunely. Thank you also for the links, I shall see them.

Kind regards,

Christine

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Christian Corda wrote on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 09:50 GMT
Hi Christine,

I must confess that I have been attracted by your name, as it is similar to mine. In any case, I have read your beautiful and peculiar Essay. Here are my comments/questions:

1) I think that empowering the individual's mind by taking advantage of its truthful representation of novelty is a good thing. Here a key word is "truthful". In scientific sense I understand...

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas wrote on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 11:09 GMT
Dear Christian,

Thank you very much for your comments, they are highly appreciated and your post made me begin a happier day today.

We indeed have similar names and surnames, and I think similar interests and good intentions as well. Your essay is one of three that I have left today for reading. I will give it priority.

I wish you all the best in the contest. Thanks again for your careful reading.

Christine

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Christian Corda replied on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 12:16 GMT
Dear Christine,

Thanks for your kind reply. Reading your Essay has been my pleasure. I am honoured that you will give my Essay priority. Yes, I agree that we have not only similar names and surnames, but also similar interests and good intentions.

Thanks again.

Cheers,

Ch.

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Cristinel Stoica wrote on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 19:27 GMT
Dear Christine,

I enjoyed very much reading your essay, and I wish to thank you for telling me about it. I think it is clear, well written, logical but also with heart. I like how you structured it in definitions and propositions, and that you explained rather than prove the propositions. Adding rigorous proofs to the propositions would have expanded into something like Spinoza's "Ethics", too large for a 9 pages essay, and too obscure for most of us. Your choice was the best, and I liked it. As you said, we are indeed very much in agreement, in particular on the emphasis of freedom, avoidance of limiting definitions and solutions, openness of knowledge. I wish you good luck with the contest, in the final hours!

Best regards,

Cristi

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas replied on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 22:36 GMT
Dear Cristinel,

Thanks a lot for reading my essay, I am glad that you enjoyed it! I also wish you good luck in the contest!

Best wishes,

Christine

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Don Limuti wrote on Jun. 8, 2014 @ 14:39 GMT
Hi Christine,

After the end of the essay contest, I realized that I missed your excellent essay. Obviously you did not need my support.

Human capital is most important and fundamental, thanks for pointing this out.

I vote that you get the prize.

Don Limuti

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Author Christine Cordula Dantas wrote on Jun. 8, 2014 @ 14:52 GMT
Dear Don,

Thank you for such kind words... And I missed yours as well. I shall read it. I also wish you the best of luck in the contest.

Regards,

Christine

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