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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

James Hoover: on 6/6/14 at 5:01am UTC, wrote Jeff, Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my essay. Jim

Margriet O'Regan: on 6/4/14 at 7:54am UTC, wrote Hello Jeffry ~ As my own essay deals with diet as soon as I saw your title...

Christian Corda: on 5/29/14 at 19:04pm UTC, wrote Dear Jeff, Thanks for replying. A differential equation showing an...

Anonymous: on 5/29/14 at 13:23pm UTC, wrote Ch., Thank you for your comments. 1) I have been trying to figure out a...

Jeffrey Schmitz: on 5/29/14 at 12:52pm UTC, wrote Edwin Eugene Klingman, This is not a comment on social or political...

Christian Corda: on 5/29/14 at 11:05am UTC, wrote Dear Jeff, It is nice meeting you again in 2014 FQXi Contest. I just...

Edwin Klingman: on 5/29/14 at 0:44am UTC, wrote Dear Jeff, Thanks for your gracious remarks on my essay. I've now re-read...

Anonymous: on 5/28/14 at 22:12pm UTC, wrote Vladimir, An intelligence system must have feedback to be intelligent and...


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FQXi FORUM
October 14, 2019

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: The Omnivore Strategy by Jeffrey Michael Schmitz [refresh]
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Author Jeffrey Michael Schmitz wrote on Apr. 24, 2014 @ 18:03 GMT
Essay Abstract

The speculative past is used to understand how social decisions are made and how we should direct this process in the future.

Author Bio

Jeffrey Schmitz has his Masters in Physics from the University of Tennessee. He has taught Astronomy, Physics and Physical Science as an adjunct instructor at seven different colleges in and around Chicago.

Download Essay PDF File

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Luca Valeri wrote on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 15:12 GMT
Upgraded your rating a bit. Two 1 rating are not earned, although I don't agree with you're end vision. The exposition of inteligence in the beginning of your essay is very nice done.

Good luck

Luca

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Author Jeffrey Michael Schmitz replied on May. 2, 2014 @ 03:54 GMT
Thank you for your comments,it is nice to know that someone has read my essay.

In my earlier drafts, I had a section about how we are not at a beginning or end, but somewhere in the vast middle of human history. My paper is about the process, not the result (I don't know if we can see the end state).

Jeff

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Joe Fisher wrote on May. 1, 2014 @ 19:23 GMT
Dear Mr. Schmitz,

I enjoyed reading your essay and I hope that it does well in the competition. I do have one minor quibble that I hope you will not mind me mentioning.

As I have gone to great pains to point out in my essay REALITY, ONCE, all real things are unique. All abstractions are not unique.

Regards,

Joe Fisher

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Author Jeffrey Michael Schmitz replied on May. 2, 2014 @ 04:00 GMT
Joe,

Thanks for reading my essay. I have no doubt that there are flaws in my essay. I am not clear which flaw you are pointing out in your comment.

Jeff

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Joe Fisher replied on May. 2, 2014 @ 13:03 GMT
Jeff,

You began your essay with: "...we humans like to think we are unique." Each real human is unique as can be attested to by examining fingerprints and DNA. Thought about any subject is always abstract and cannot be unique.

Joe

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Author Jeffrey Michael Schmitz replied on May. 2, 2014 @ 14:10 GMT
Joe,

You are right, a better sentence would be "we like to think humanity is unique among living things."

Jeff

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Judy Nabb wrote on May. 12, 2014 @ 20:09 GMT
Jeff,

A very nicely written essay. Our scores are close but I have no compunction giving you a good mark. I hope you may read and enjoy mine on eugenics.

Judy

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Author Jeffrey Michael Schmitz replied on May. 12, 2014 @ 21:40 GMT
Judy,

Thank you.

After I grade all my finals, I will catch up on my essay reading.

Jeff

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James Lee Hoover wrote on May. 13, 2014 @ 05:48 GMT
Jeffrey,

From fossil fuel to fusion is aptly the transition we want to make for over 7 billion Earth occupants to use the most plentiful resource in the universe for energy. The big problem is how all of these changes can be implemented. My contention is that we "the stuff of stars" need to leave something greater -- like stars -- as a consequence of our death.

Jim

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James Lee Hoover replied on May. 21, 2014 @ 04:12 GMT
Jeffrey,

Time is growing short, so I will revisit and rate essays I've read. You say, "We

are now not just omnivores of food, but of energy and information. Our next large change will be from fossil fuel to fusion power,although this change will

be far in the future. We should spend more of our research money on fusion to

make sure this transition happens sooner."

We are already trying two approaches: laser and plasma. Do you think money will induce a breakthrough in understanding? That seems to be the problem. The fusion technology idea fits into my "looking beyond" in terms of out-of-the-box thinking, and "looking within" is the transcendence of the mind.

Have you had time to check out my essay?

Jim

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Author Jeffrey Michael Schmitz replied on May. 21, 2014 @ 14:48 GMT
Jim,

I am just finishing grading, so I will read your essay. Thank you for reading my essay.

With better understanding we might find a better way to produce fusion. The people working in fusion believe the current methods could work with advancements in technology. Throughout history we see both fundamental understanding and technical improvements working together (the Wright brothers first plane could barely make it off the ground).

All the best,

Jeff

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George Gantz wrote on May. 15, 2014 @ 14:10 GMT
Jeffrey -

I think your essay would benefit from a thorough editing as it touched on many thoughts but did wander a bit. I liked your reference to the "intelligent system of our culture" - how human society collectively seems to be making some (but not all) positive choices. This was in fact a core theme of my essay, although I refer to it in evolutionary terms rather than "intelligent system", and I invite you to check it out: The Tip of the Spear.

Cheers - George

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Author Jeffrey Michael Schmitz replied on May. 20, 2014 @ 20:07 GMT
Jim,

"Billy Pilgrim Blues" was the only one of these essays I thought was finished, but I still find things I would change when I re-read it. Yes, all my work could be helped by editing, but I think you missed the point.

I read "the Tip of the Spear", it is good, but it is human centric. Intelligence, society and the collective choices of a society evolved far before humans. How we can best understand ourselves is to assume we are not unique and intelligence is common and simple to obtain. We can see we are surrounded by intelligent systems at many different levels including humans as individuals and as part of a social system.

Thank you for your comments,

Jeff

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Jayakar Johnson Joseph wrote on May. 21, 2014 @ 03:41 GMT
Dear Jeffrey,

I would like to insist my point of view on your statement,

"Our next large change will be from fossil fuel to fusion power, although this change will be far in the future."

As per the paradigm of, Eigen-rotational Clusters of String-matter Universe, extensive solar energy harvesting by solar panels seems to be the next large change in Humanity to prolong the life cycle of Earth (attachment at the post on May. 21, 2014 @ 02:45 GMT).

With best wishes,

Jayakar

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Author Jeffrey Michael Schmitz replied on May. 21, 2014 @ 14:35 GMT
Jayakar,

Thank you for reading my essay.

We currently have extensive solar energy harvesting in the form of crops. Most current solar panels do not pay back the energy required to produce the panel in the working lifetime of the panel. Solar panels will improve, energy storage will improve (because there will still be night) and overall technology will be more efficient and require less energy. Fusion power will be up and running before solar will be workable.

All the best,

Jeff

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Robert de Neufville wrote on May. 23, 2014 @ 03:10 GMT
Very interesting essay, Jeff. I think you're right that it makes more methodological sense to assume that humans aren't unique. Many natural systems can be thought of as behaving intelligently, even if they don't articulate their reasons for acting the way we do. But I personally still think we can make meaningfully better or worse choices for ourselves. And I wasn't convinced—if that's what you were arguing—that we necessarily can't or shouldn't try to steer humanity in some new direction. Good luck in any case in the contest!

Best,

Robert

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Author Jeffrey Michael Schmitz wrote on May. 23, 2014 @ 13:00 GMT
Robert,

Thanks for reading my essay.

We are currently steering humanity. Campaigns and commercials steer our social structure. Science needs to communicate its ideas better to the general population.

All the best,

Jeff

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on May. 28, 2014 @ 16:22 GMT
Dear Jeffrey,

I read with great interest your depth analytical essay in the spirit of Cartesian doubt. It is very important that you are a physicist. Philosophy and Physics walked always together. The trouble with Nature, the trouble with Humanity, «the trouble with Physics» (Lee Smolin) are forced to think more deeply Cartesian reasoning "I think therefore I am" to more reliably steer the Future.

I fully agree with your conclusions:

«I am not saying that all systems are self-aware (Cartesian "I think therefore I am" itelligence), but they all have some goal, some way of trying out possible solutions to that goal and a way of recording the results.»

«Our Earth as gone through many changes in the past and will continue to change. Our intelligent social system has mostly made good decisions in the past and I see no big mistake it is making at the moment and no way to stop it, if it was making a large mistake. We are now not just omnivores of food, but of energy and information. Our next large change will be from fossil fuel to fusion power, although this change will be far in the future. We should spend more of our research money on fusion to make sure this transition happens sooner.»

«Science needs to communicate its ideas better to the general population.».

It is «Open Science». High score. I invite you to comment on and appreciate my essay.

High regard,

Vladimir

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Author Jeffrey Michael Schmitz replied on May. 28, 2014 @ 19:29 GMT
Vladimor,

Thank you for your comments.

I am sure that there are many different types of intelligence. The only two categories of intelligence that I can currently identify are self-aware (why not call it "Cartesian") and not self-aware. Our social structure is a non-self aware intelligent system. Mass cultural shifts are made by this structure that we are all a part. What makes a hit song? That click that makes a song a hit is the same way we can steer society. We need to communicate science in a way that makes advancements in science click like a hit song.

I will read your essay,

Jeff

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Vladimir Rogozhin replied on May. 28, 2014 @ 20:23 GMT
Jeffrey, you are giving a very clear structured Cartesian eidoses. So, in order to choose the right course need a strong attractor and feedback?

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Anonymous replied on May. 28, 2014 @ 22:12 GMT
Vladimir,

An intelligence system must have feedback to be intelligent and it must have a goal (a strong attractor), but there are many ways to achieve that goal. The goal "to survive and reproduce" has giving us all the life forms on the Earth. The right course is a path up a mountain in multidimensional space in the dark in a snowstorm. Living as we currently live works, we are living longer, very few children die before five years of age (this was very different a century ago). It is difficult to find a better feedback then lowering child death rates. The anti-smoking campaign because it said smoking can lead to an earlier death and people saw the effects of smoking on others. A message and a new way to see feedback is what is needed.

Jeff

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on May. 29, 2014 @ 00:44 GMT
Dear Jeff,

Thanks for your gracious remarks on my essay.

I've now re-read your essay and (as always) got more out of the second reading. I very much appreciate your suggestion that "social intelligence" (for lack of a better term) is at work, and your several examples illustrating your theme, such as urban animal adaptation. I live on a ranch and am very tuned to animal intelligence, and have also observed the social phenomena you discuss.

You remark that "there have been and are currently despots that try to force some agenda... but the large mass movements of history are made by this intelligent system of our culture." That is essentially what I am arguing for in my essay applying statistical mechanics and thermodynamics to the problem.

With regard to your observations on family size and social intelligence, I have wondered whether something like that does not underlie the gay movement.

I especially appreciate your comment:

"Our intelligent social system has mostly made good decisions in the past and I see no big mistake it is making at the moment and no way to stop it, if it was making a large mistake."

I think there is a lot of wisdom in your short essay and I will try to kick you higher up the totem pole so more people might see it.

My best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Jeffrey Michael Schmitz replied on May. 29, 2014 @ 12:52 GMT
Edwin Eugene Klingman,

This is not a comment on social or political issues, but "social intelligence" decision to lower the reproduction rate to correct for a lower child mortality rate is the cause of the gay movement. Same sex pairing in other animals has been observed in population maximum situations.

Thank your comments,

Jeff

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Christian Corda wrote on May. 29, 2014 @ 11:05 GMT
Dear Jeff,

It is nice meeting you again in 2014 FQXi Contest. I just finished to read your short, but beautiful and particular, Essay. Here are my comments/questions:

1) I agree that "We are not the fastest or strongest and perhaps not even the most intelligent creatures on this planet". I think we are the ones having, perhaps, the better averaged mixture of them.

2) Concerning your statement that "all systems have some goal, some way of trying out possible solutions to that goal and a way of recording the result", what you think of the Universe as a whole system? I think you should be an endorser of anthropic principle.

3) I find intriguing your statement that "the large mass movements of history are made by this intelligent system of our culture".

4) Sadly, misunderstandings on Einstein's Theory of Relativity are not only in fictions. Some of those misunderstandings are sometimes also in FQXi Contests...

5) I completely agree with your endorsing fusion power. We need it for our future.

In general, your Essay was a pleasant reading. Thus, I will give you an high score.

Good luck in the Contest.

Cheers,

Ch.

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Anonymous replied on May. 29, 2014 @ 13:23 GMT
Ch.,

Thank you for your comments.

1) I have been trying to figure out a differential equation to show an exponential growth rate for "social intelligence". If social intelligence is allowed to grow than factors like individual intelligence would be minor factor in exponential growth.

2) I normally give the example of the supercomputer. A supercomputer might not be intelligent if it does not have a broad goal, while a fly with the goal of "finding food" might be intelligent. The universe is the most complex thing known, but does it have a goal? Without a goal and some feedback (other universes) it cannot be intelligent like a fly.

3) About once a week, I see someone tried and convicted by the media and social media before all the facts are known (or sometimes the facts are left out). I see these as test cases before a big decision is made.

4) There is a flat earth society and people who are "against" (?) evolution. Yes, sad is the word.

5) I know someone who when I make a statement like that he will ask "So what should I invest my money in?" At this point fusion is not a get rich quick technology.

Jeff

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Christian Corda replied on May. 29, 2014 @ 19:04 GMT
Dear Jeff,

Thanks for replying.

A differential equation showing an exponential growth rate for "social intelligence" should be intriguing.

I hope you will have a chance to read and rate my Essay.

Cheers,

Ch.

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Margriet Anne O'Regan wrote on Jun. 4, 2014 @ 07:54 GMT
Hello Jeffry ~

As my own essay deals with diet as soon as I saw your title I opened & read your essay immediately.

I enjoyed your essay - including your recognition of the fact that there seems to be no great divide between us humans & all the rest of creation.

I would love it if you read & rate my entry which stands second in the 'submissions date' list. In my essay I make quite a bit more of 'diet' than you have !!

Cheers

Margriet Anne O'Regan

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Jun. 6, 2014 @ 05:01 GMT
Jeff,

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my essay.

Jim

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