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.

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

Contests Home

Current Essay Contest

*Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation*

Media Partner: Scientific American

Previous Contests

**Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest**

*December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020*

Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

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**What Is “Fundamental”**

*October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018*

*Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation*

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**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.

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**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

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**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*

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**It From Bit or Bit From It**

*March 25 - June 28, 2013*

*Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American*

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**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*

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**Is Reality Digital or Analog?**

*November 2010 - February 2011*

*Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American*

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**What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?**

*May - October 2009*

*Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams*

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**The Nature of Time**

*August - December 2008*

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Current Essay Contest

Media Partner: Scientific American

Previous Contests

Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

read/discuss

read/discuss • winners

How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?

Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.

read/discuss • winners

Media Partner: Scientific American

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Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?

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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

**Steve Agnew**: *on* 4/25/15 at 17:46pm UTC, wrote I am pleased that at least a few people have read and liked my essay. I...

**Jonathan Dickau**: *on* 4/23/15 at 3:08am UTC, wrote Well reasoned and enjoyable Steve.. You started and ended strongly, with a...

**Steve Agnew**: *on* 4/22/15 at 23:05pm UTC, wrote Thank-you for your kind remarks. The rating system seems to be based on...

**Peter Jackson**: *on* 4/21/15 at 17:30pm UTC, wrote Steve, Glad I got to your essay, I won't get to many. I'm in full...

**Steve Agnew**: *on* 4/5/15 at 14:10pm UTC, wrote Okay...math can predict the number of cattle that a farmer must give as tax...

**Joe Fisher**: *on* 4/4/15 at 17:37pm UTC, wrote Dear Steve, Thank you for reading my essay and for leaving an honestly...

**Steve Agnew**: *on* 4/4/15 at 3:20am UTC, wrote Well, mathematics is really only a tool and a very useful tool. This is...

**Steve Agnew**: *on* 4/4/15 at 3:17am UTC, wrote Wow, I am really running out of gas on this topic. You may have missed my...

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RECENT FORUM POSTS

RECENT ARTICLES

Physicists are using optogenetics techniques to make a rudimentary agent, from cellular components, which can convert measurements into actions using light.

Investigating how quantum memory storage could aid machine learning and how quantum interactions with the environment may have played a role in evolution.

A proposed quantum set-up that could predict your game-playing strategy resurrects Newcomb’s classic quiz show paradox.

Investigating how the quantum measurement process might be related to the emergence of intelligence, agency and free will.

Why do we remember the past and not the future? Untangling the connections between cause and effect, choice, and entropy.

FQXi FORUM

May 28, 2020

CATEGORY:
Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015)
[back]

TOPIC: Fibonacci Decay and the Absurdity of Life by Steve Agnew [refresh]

TOPIC: Fibonacci Decay and the Absurdity of Life by Steve Agnew [refresh]

This essay weaves a history of Western mathematics with the duality of reason and belief and uses a quantum walk of Fibonacci numbers to show how the absurdity of life provides meaning.

Dr. Agnew has a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Washington State University and has been actively engaged in science in both the public and private sectors for over 34 years. His work has produced more than 70 publications and four patents, but he has only recently become interested in the unification of charge and gravity force. In his matter time universe, all force derives from matter decay...but of course, that is not a popular belief.

Dear Stephen Agnew,

I enjoyed your essay. I had not known the rabbit-genesis of the Fibonacci series, nor seen the fascinating overlay on the spiral galaxy on your first page.

Your point about the lack of physically real perfect triangles, etc., is also good to remember. And the view of math as language and physics as telling stories (**evolving** stories) is worth keeping in mind. I don't know whether you are familiar with Hestenes' Geometric Algebra, but the imaginary i is treated as a bivector and he views Schrödinger as unintentionally including spin in his equation as a result of using i.

All in all, an easy to read, interesting essay.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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I enjoyed your essay. I had not known the rabbit-genesis of the Fibonacci series, nor seen the fascinating overlay on the spiral galaxy on your first page.

Your point about the lack of physically real perfect triangles, etc., is also good to remember. And the view of math as language and physics as telling stories (

All in all, an easy to read, interesting essay.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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I am not familiar with Hestenes algebra, but will look it up. The imaginary "i" is indeed a very interesting part of our mathematical reality. Although we are very comfortable with matter as mass or charge, we are not comfortable with matter having phase and therefore showing interference and entanglement. The magical "i" allows our math to carry both phase and amplitude in our stories about objects.

Thanks for the comment.

Thanks for the comment.

Dear Stephen,

I have only two small comments.

The first is that Leonhard Euler was not French but Swiss, from Basel.

The second has to do with your discussion on having a superposition of imaginary walks in our brain, before actually going out for a real walk.

I remember reading somewhere the example of the goalkeeper in the game of football. When the penalty is shot, based on the speed of individual synapses in his brain, it seems that the goalkeeper would never have the time to react properly. The fact that he sometimes manages to catch the ball would be a proof that some parallel processing or quantum-like process is going on in the brain. However, that parallel processing does not correspond to a conscious activity.

On the contrary, I believe (and may well be wrong) that the imagining all possible alternative walks before going out is a conscious activity, and that the alternatives are considered in sequence. One could perhaps argue that conscious brain activity (thoughts) is only sequential, while only unconscious activity may involve superposition. Any opinions on this?

Cheers

Tommaso

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I have only two small comments.

The first is that Leonhard Euler was not French but Swiss, from Basel.

The second has to do with your discussion on having a superposition of imaginary walks in our brain, before actually going out for a real walk.

I remember reading somewhere the example of the goalkeeper in the game of football. When the penalty is shot, based on the speed of individual synapses in his brain, it seems that the goalkeeper would never have the time to react properly. The fact that he sometimes manages to catch the ball would be a proof that some parallel processing or quantum-like process is going on in the brain. However, that parallel processing does not correspond to a conscious activity.

On the contrary, I believe (and may well be wrong) that the imagining all possible alternative walks before going out is a conscious activity, and that the alternatives are considered in sequence. One could perhaps argue that conscious brain activity (thoughts) is only sequential, while only unconscious activity may involve superposition. Any opinions on this?

Cheers

Tommaso

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Yes, I do have an opinion...on just about everything, but that is another issue. As part of consciousness, there appear to be both rational brain and a primitive brain. While we think that our rational brain in in control, it is really from our primitive brain that emotion and feeling come and it is our primitive brain that makes choices.

If we really had to wait for our rational brain to take critical actions like avoiding danger, we would not as a species survive very long. The functions of our primitive brain are what make us human our primitive brain is very much more a superposition of neural packets as opposed to a singular neural packet of a moment of thought.

If we really had to wait for our rational brain to take critical actions like avoiding danger, we would not as a species survive very long. The functions of our primitive brain are what make us human our primitive brain is very much more a superposition of neural packets as opposed to a singular neural packet of a moment of thought.

I see. Thanks for the clarification. I like the picture of a superposition of neural packets for the primitive brain, with involved survival functions, and the singular packet for the moments of thought. I only regret that, apparently, we are currently still unable to use superposition also for conscious moments of thought; maybe this is the next step in the evolution of our species (but this is more related to the topic of last year's Contest...)

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Steve,

As expected an interesting essay. I didn't expect anything less. Learnt about the ancient origins of the much talked about Fibonacci series.

You touched on aspects of physics that are of interest to me and which I also wrote about. Let me raise some questions...

- Does the the Fibonacci series have a final finite end as you say, and does this have a size? Does the series also have a finite end on the large scale or could it be infinite?

- Any ideas what the fundamental 'qualia' could be?

- In your claim, that calculus has resolved Zeno's paradox, would you know the size of the final infinitesimal step, because surely it must be taken to complete the race?

- Finally, how would you cut a 'real' or 'platonic' line in a perfect mathematical universe as you call it? Taking note that by definition a 'point' is uncuttable.

Regards,

Akinbo

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As expected an interesting essay. I didn't expect anything less. Learnt about the ancient origins of the much talked about Fibonacci series.

You touched on aspects of physics that are of interest to me and which I also wrote about. Let me raise some questions...

- Does the the Fibonacci series have a final finite end as you say, and does this have a size? Does the series also have a finite end on the large scale or could it be infinite?

- Any ideas what the fundamental 'qualia' could be?

- In your claim, that calculus has resolved Zeno's paradox, would you know the size of the final infinitesimal step, because surely it must be taken to complete the race?

- Finally, how would you cut a 'real' or 'platonic' line in a perfect mathematical universe as you call it? Taking note that by definition a 'point' is uncuttable.

Regards,

Akinbo

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You always ask the simplest darn hard questions...

*"- Does the the Fibonacci series have a final finite end as you say, and does this have a size? Does the series also have a finite end on the large scale or could it be infinite?"*

The Fibonacci does indeed have a finite end as two one tiles. While most suppose the series begins with two ones, it is equally valid for a...

view entire post

The Fibonacci does indeed have a finite end as two one tiles. While most suppose the series begins with two ones, it is equally valid for a...

view entire post

Thanks. When you have the time take a look at my suggestion how Zeno's paradox is resolved.

In your matter time universe, what does a line consist of and how would you cut a line?

Akinbo

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In your matter time universe, what does a line consist of and how would you cut a line?

Akinbo

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A line presupposes Cartesian space and its lonely empty nothing. Just saying a line presupposes a large number of implicit axioms.

Begin with objects. Can you divide an object? Yes, until you get to the quark.

Time...can you divide time? Only into the tick of a clock.

Action...can you divide an action? You can divide an action only until you reach an equal action.

Lines are only what we imagine reality to be, not what it actually is. Reality consists of objects made of matter subject to action over time.

Begin with objects. Can you divide an object? Yes, until you get to the quark.

Time...can you divide time? Only into the tick of a clock.

Action...can you divide an action? You can divide an action only until you reach an equal action.

Lines are only what we imagine reality to be, not what it actually is. Reality consists of objects made of matter subject to action over time.

Dear Dr Agnew

Angle of 18+-1 revealed also by me on the last contest

http://vixra.org/abs/1306.0166

Yuri

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Angle of 18+-1 revealed also by me on the last contest

http://vixra.org/abs/1306.0166

Yuri

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It is not really the number 17 degrees as a galaxy pitch angle so much as it is the tangent of 17 degrees, which is the ratio of galaxy winding energy to its gravitational energy, 30%. Why that ratio is tied to the golden ratio through the Fibanacci series does seem a bit mysterious, though.

Tangent of 17 degrees approx equal to 1/3

See my http://vixra.org/abs/0907.0008

Is Ratio 3:1 a Comprehensive Principle of the Universe?

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See my http://vixra.org/abs/0907.0008

Is Ratio 3:1 a Comprehensive Principle of the Universe?

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You have presented a good work, with the foundational questions of "Object", "Time" and "matter" which throws a daring views.

Best Regards,

Miss. Sujatha Jagannathan

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Best Regards,

Miss. Sujatha Jagannathan

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Steve,

I take walks in my head all the time.

BTW, the series that you list is simply the most commonly known. It was featured in the Da Vinci Code. There are others also. You simply pick two numbers and start to add.

The golden ratio is a favorite of mine. I suspect that it is actually the source of some of your observations rather than the Fibonacci series. I that really a face that I see in the cloud or does it just look like a face? Those galaxies definitely respond to physics though.

All in all, an enjoyable read. Thanks.

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

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I take walks in my head all the time.

BTW, the series that you list is simply the most commonly known. It was featured in the Da Vinci Code. There are others also. You simply pick two numbers and start to add.

The golden ratio is a favorite of mine. I suspect that it is actually the source of some of your observations rather than the Fibonacci series. I that really a face that I see in the cloud or does it just look like a face? Those galaxies definitely respond to physics though.

All in all, an enjoyable read. Thanks.

Best Regards and Good Luck,

Gary Simpson

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Dear Sir,

Your essay has lot of potential for development into many branches. In ancient India, year was named with a base of sixty called Jupiterian cycle, which is followed even today. The base comes from the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on the same straight line drawn from Earth, which happens every sixty years.

The simplest answer to Zeno’s paradox is that velocity is...

view entire post

Your essay has lot of potential for development into many branches. In ancient India, year was named with a base of sixty called Jupiterian cycle, which is followed even today. The base comes from the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on the same straight line drawn from Earth, which happens every sixty years.

The simplest answer to Zeno’s paradox is that velocity is...

view entire post

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Language is a way to tell stories to other people. Mathematics is definitely limited as a language for quantitative reasoning, just as you say.

The spectra of mathematics can describe qualia, but in a different sense than the words of language. For example, blue and yellow are both colors that we commonly see in reflected light because of absorption by pigments. The math of those absorption spectra is straightforward and so math can represent colors with spectra as long as a white spectrum of light from a source illuminates the object. So I still argue that math can add and subtract blue and yellow absorption spectra and math can fully represent the parrot green spectrum in reflected light given a white light source illuminating an object.

However, the word "blue" also communicates more than the spectrum that math calls blue. The word "blue" communicates a lifetime of both singular and shared relational experiences with blue objects and so the word "blue" describes a blue object in relational ways far beyond what a math spectrum represents.

The spectra of mathematics can describe qualia, but in a different sense than the words of language. For example, blue and yellow are both colors that we commonly see in reflected light because of absorption by pigments. The math of those absorption spectra is straightforward and so math can represent colors with spectra as long as a white spectrum of light from a source illuminates the object. So I still argue that math can add and subtract blue and yellow absorption spectra and math can fully represent the parrot green spectrum in reflected light given a white light source illuminating an object.

However, the word "blue" also communicates more than the spectrum that math calls blue. The word "blue" communicates a lifetime of both singular and shared relational experiences with blue objects and so the word "blue" describes a blue object in relational ways far beyond what a math spectrum represents.

Dear Stephen F. Agnew

Our ideas nearly coincide. You say, “Mathematics expresses the relationships between the matter and time of objects and an action principle. Science uses math to represent action as motion in space but all motion is equally well a displacement of an object in time”.

My view: Any 'change' in the physical world happens 'by way of motion'; there are no other ways. And, 'motion' is a space- time relation that follows 'mathematical laws'. So all changes in the world follows 'mathematical laws'. The physical world has no 'laws' of its own; it has only some basic 'properties'. Mathematics decides the 'laws', and that is the only role of mathematics in the domain of physics. Please read my essay: A physicalist interpretation of the relation between Physics and Mathematics

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Our ideas nearly coincide. You say, “Mathematics expresses the relationships between the matter and time of objects and an action principle. Science uses math to represent action as motion in space but all motion is equally well a displacement of an object in time”.

My view: Any 'change' in the physical world happens 'by way of motion'; there are no other ways. And, 'motion' is a space- time relation that follows 'mathematical laws'. So all changes in the world follows 'mathematical laws'. The physical world has no 'laws' of its own; it has only some basic 'properties'. Mathematics decides the 'laws', and that is the only role of mathematics in the domain of physics. Please read my essay: A physicalist interpretation of the relation between Physics and Mathematics

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Wow, I am really running out of gas on this topic. You may have missed my point, though.

There are two equal but complementary math representations for action; motion in space with the conjugates of dx and dp and evolution in time with conjugates dt and dm for changes in time and matter.

It is really only math that allows us to consider these two representations of physical reality. While spacetime is a huge mostly empty universe filled with a few objects of matter, matter time is a universe of time that is nearly filled with the possibilities of objects of matter.

So far, using space and momentum, it has not been possible to unite gravity and charge forces since the path integrals between GR and QM are so different. By doing path integrals with just matter and time, it is now possible to unite gravity and charge forces. This is because there is an expectation value for proper time.

There are two equal but complementary math representations for action; motion in space with the conjugates of dx and dp and evolution in time with conjugates dt and dm for changes in time and matter.

It is really only math that allows us to consider these two representations of physical reality. While spacetime is a huge mostly empty universe filled with a few objects of matter, matter time is a universe of time that is nearly filled with the possibilities of objects of matter.

So far, using space and momentum, it has not been possible to unite gravity and charge forces since the path integrals between GR and QM are so different. By doing path integrals with just matter and time, it is now possible to unite gravity and charge forces. This is because there is an expectation value for proper time.

Dear Dr. Agnew,

I thought that your engrossing essay was exceptionally well written and I do hope that it fares well in the competition.

I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein was wrong about abstract space/time, and Hawking was wrong about the explosive capability of NOTHING.

All I ask is that you give my essay WHY THE REAL UNIVERSE IS NOT MATHEMATICAL a fair reading and that you allow me to answer any objections you may leave in my comment box about it.

Joe Fisher

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I thought that your engrossing essay was exceptionally well written and I do hope that it fares well in the competition.

I think Newton was wrong about abstract gravity; Einstein was wrong about abstract space/time, and Hawking was wrong about the explosive capability of NOTHING.

All I ask is that you give my essay WHY THE REAL UNIVERSE IS NOT MATHEMATICAL a fair reading and that you allow me to answer any objections you may leave in my comment box about it.

Joe Fisher

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Dear Steve,

Thank you for reading my essay and for leaving an honestly felt comment about it. Reality is not optional. Only abstraction can be abstractly right or abstractly wrong.

Do you have a real complete skin surface? Does every single thing you have ever seen in your life have a real complete solid, liquid, or gaseous surface? Can I predict with absolute certainty that every object that will ever come into existence will always have a real complete surface? Yes I can and I do.

One needs a real surface to practice mathematics on. Please name me one event that mathematics can predict.

Joe Fisher

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Thank you for reading my essay and for leaving an honestly felt comment about it. Reality is not optional. Only abstraction can be abstractly right or abstractly wrong.

Do you have a real complete skin surface? Does every single thing you have ever seen in your life have a real complete solid, liquid, or gaseous surface? Can I predict with absolute certainty that every object that will ever come into existence will always have a real complete surface? Yes I can and I do.

One needs a real surface to practice mathematics on. Please name me one event that mathematics can predict.

Joe Fisher

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Steve,

Glad I got to your essay, I won't get to many. I'm in full agreement with the importance of Fibonacci etc, indeed the spiral concluded a recent video where I tried to show a relation of the charge path... anyway time is short. I would appreciate your comments on it as I know you've been skeptical of charge/EM coupling. VIDEO Time Dependent Redshift.

I found your 'no chapter' style a little difficult and apparently rambling at first but it worked ok and the message came across well. I'm not quite sure why it's not better rated. Perhaps we need to bow more to the god of mathematics. You may not get time to read mine to score mine but I hope you'll read it and comment anyway.

Best wishes

Peter

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Glad I got to your essay, I won't get to many. I'm in full agreement with the importance of Fibonacci etc, indeed the spiral concluded a recent video where I tried to show a relation of the charge path... anyway time is short. I would appreciate your comments on it as I know you've been skeptical of charge/EM coupling. VIDEO Time Dependent Redshift.

I found your 'no chapter' style a little difficult and apparently rambling at first but it worked ok and the message came across well. I'm not quite sure why it's not better rated. Perhaps we need to bow more to the god of mathematics. You may not get time to read mine to score mine but I hope you'll read it and comment anyway.

Best wishes

Peter

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Thank-you for your kind remarks. The rating system seems to be based on more of a Monte Carlo type of realization than on any reasoning.

I watched your video and am always amazed by the significant effort that you put into your DFM plasma. This is something that you obviously believe in very deeply, but DFM could still use a few more quantitative examples.

The shock fronts of nebula are beautiful shots, but there are very well grounded alternative explanations for these features as supernova remnants. You need something with a little more mystery than a supernova remnant to argue that DFM is useful.

I watched your video and am always amazed by the significant effort that you put into your DFM plasma. This is something that you obviously believe in very deeply, but DFM could still use a few more quantitative examples.

The shock fronts of nebula are beautiful shots, but there are very well grounded alternative explanations for these features as supernova remnants. You need something with a little more mystery than a supernova remnant to argue that DFM is useful.

Well reasoned and enjoyable Steve..

You started and ended strongly, with a little stretch near the end but a solid finish. I really appreciate learning more about the history of Fibonacci numbers, and I like the application to Galaxy evolution. Many models are unduly complicated but fail to be realistic. I liked your essay overall, and I will have more to say when there is time. Perhaps I'll finish reviewing one or two more before midnight.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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You started and ended strongly, with a little stretch near the end but a solid finish. I really appreciate learning more about the history of Fibonacci numbers, and I like the application to Galaxy evolution. Many models are unduly complicated but fail to be realistic. I liked your essay overall, and I will have more to say when there is time. Perhaps I'll finish reviewing one or two more before midnight.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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I am pleased that at least a few people have read and liked my essay. I realize that my writing is not always the best that it could be. Things that seem simple to me are not always that simple to others.

I too like simple models and a simple universe built on a few simple axioms. Why no one else can see the simple underlying primitive reality of matter, time, and action is a mystery to me. My naive expectation was since matter time is so simple and has proven to be useful for a variety of problems, that matter time would then be worthy of a more rigorous vetting by the trolls of mainstream science.

Thus far, that has not proven to be the case.

I too like simple models and a simple universe built on a few simple axioms. Why no one else can see the simple underlying primitive reality of matter, time, and action is a mystery to me. My naive expectation was since matter time is so simple and has proven to be useful for a variety of problems, that matter time would then be worthy of a more rigorous vetting by the trolls of mainstream science.

Thus far, that has not proven to be the case.

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