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

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

Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.

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


How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

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

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

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

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

The Nature of Time
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Vladimir Tamari: on 8/11/15 at 0:42am UTC, wrote Thank you Gordon Your careful approach to test everything and "land...

Vladimir Tamari: on 4/25/15 at 4:25am UTC, wrote Thank you Tom for your kind words on your page about my work and graphics....

Vladimir Tamari: on 4/25/15 at 2:50am UTC, wrote Dear Lloyd, Thomas and Gordon Thank you so much for your kind and...

Thomas Ray: on 4/23/15 at 0:29am UTC, wrote Vladimir, I owe you an apology -- I made a lengthy reply on my own forum...

LLOYD OKOKO: on 4/17/15 at 20:36pm UTC, wrote Dear Vladimir, Thanks for your highly illustrative essay.Your advertent...

Gordon Watson: on 4/17/15 at 7:36am UTC, wrote Dear Vladimir, Further to your comments on my page, I very much appreciate...

Vladimir Tamari: on 4/13/15 at 6:10am UTC, wrote Thank you dear Peter for your kind remarks. As I commented on your page I...

Joe Fisher: on 4/11/15 at 19:04pm UTC, wrote Dear Vladimir, Thank you ever so much for your comment. Reality is not in...


Josh Hoffman: "Frontiers of Fundamental Physics The world's most important and..." in Frontiers of Fundamental...

Steve Dufourny: "Dear Jonathan, this fifth force possessing the main codes if it exists is..." in 16th Marcel Grossmann...

Steve Dufourny: "I try now to correlate my equation about the mass energy equivalence of the..." in 16th Marcel Grossmann...

Steve Dufourny: "Hi , the problem is complex considering this consciousness. There are..." in The Quantum Music Makers

jim h: ""One approach is to recognize that [...] a conscious experience depends on..." in The Quantum Music Makers

Jim Snowdon: "For us, time seems real, enforced by the relentless, constant rotational..." in The Nature of Time

John Cox: "Our human sense of a flow of time only suggests that there are some..." in Can Time Be Saved From...

PhysicsPfan: "The phrase above "...argued that time does not exist at all" shows how..." in Can Time Be Saved From...

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Quanthoven's Fifth
A quantum computer composes chart-topping music, programmed by physicists striving to understand consciousness.

The Math of Consciousness: Q&A with Kobi Kremnitzer
A meditating mathematician is developing a theory of conscious experience to help understand the boundary between the quantum and classical world.

Can We Feel What It’s Like to Be Quantum?
Underground experiments in the heart of the Italian mountains are testing the links between consciousness and collapse theories of quantum physics.

The Thermodynamic Limits of Intelligence: Q&A with David Wolpert
Calculating the energy needed to acquire and compute information could help explain the (in)efficiency of human brains and guide the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Gambling Against the Second Law
Using precision thermometry to make mini heat engines, that might, momentarily, bust through the thermodynamic limit.

August 19, 2022

CATEGORY: Trick or Truth Essay Contest (2015) [back]
TOPIC: The Micro Structure of the Universe Explains How it Works, How We Think, Our Physics, & the Tricky Effectiveness of Mathematics in That Physics. by Vladimir F. Tamari [refresh]
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Author Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Mar. 11, 2015 @ 13:09 GMT
Essay Abstract

Wigner could not give any explanation why Mathematical laws can describe the the laws of Physics so effectively. My essay justifies his conclusion but does not share it. General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics use very different mathematics and without unified theories both of Physics and of Mathematics where everything is explained starting from simple premises it is impossible to understand how the two fields mesh together so well. I believe however that we should pursue a reductionist theory in Physics and that at the tiniest scale the laws of Physics and Mathematics will be one and the same. Nature has its own logic and Mathematical intelligence is not confined to human beings. Brainless single-celled slime mold can solve mazes and replicate the railway network of Tokyo. The brain also evolved in close proximity to Nature interacting with the Universe at the molecular level. That is the reason why some (but by no means all) of our Mathematics developed by the human mind explains the forces of Nature so well. To demonstrate how such unification of Physics and Mathematics might occur at the tiniest scale, four mathematical aspects of my outline theory of everything Beautiful Universe are presented: Probability, 3D Geometry and Symmetry, Chirality and Discrete Calculus.

Author Bio

Vladimir F. Tamari is a Palestinian artist, inventor, type designer and physicist living in Japan since 1970. He studied at the American University of Beirut where he met and was inspired by Buckminster Fuller (around 1960). He invented and built 3D drawing instruments. In the 1980’s he joined the Optical Society of America to keep up with the field and holds U.S. patents for inventions based on his Streamline Diffraction Theory to cancel diffraction in imaging instruments. His theory “Beautiful Universe: Towards Reconstructing Physics From New First Principles (2005)” is found on

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George Gantz wrote on Mar. 12, 2015 @ 14:48 GMT
Vladimir - Thanks for the interesting essay. It seemed a remarkable coincidence that the two essays next to each other in the queue (your's and Seltmann's) share the same thesis - that math and physics are integrated at the fundamental level.

Thanks for the reminder of the intelligent behavior of slime mold that seems able to accomplish things without consciousness that our brightest mathematicians continue to struggle with (to whit - the Clay Prize of $1M for solving the NPvP problem). I accept both of your points that nature reflects its own form of intelligence, and that mathematical forms form the basis for nature.

I'm a bit confused when you say "On the face of it our Mathematics is invented, not discovered. This seems to me to be axiomatic and will be assumed to be true for the purposes of this paper." This would seem to conflict with the notion that the mathematics is built into the natural systems which then lead "to the biological evolution of the brain." How is that possible if it is the brain that "invents" the mathematics?

I would also suggest that there are important reasons why the Russell - Whitehead project had to be abandoned. I review some of this in my essay.

With sincere regards - George Gantz

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Mar. 13, 2015 @ 21:43 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

As always your essays are both insightful and beautiful.

I will begin with your discussion of slime mold. Elsewhere I too have treated this remarkable organism. It is a social animal which has been described wonderfully by Lewis Thomas, in Lives of a Cell, by John Bleibtreu in The Parable of the Beast, by Loren Eisely in The Invisible Pyramid,...

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adel sadeq wrote on Mar. 14, 2015 @ 02:30 GMT
Hi Tamari,

Good to see you back, you've been of the FQXI radar for some time now, I know, all that talk gets to be a drag after a while.

Anyway, I have got more magic for you. Tamari I want to ask a favor, is it possible for you to check the JavaScript programs that I have the links for in my essay. I need you to confirm the results and check no errors or a hanky panky was introduced. I ask this favor because you know physics and programming and you are also somewhat familiar with my system. Another reason it seems like most contestants are understandably not willing(they seem to prefer philosophy) to go through my program and they don't believe the fantastic claims that I am making. Poor Galileo!!

I did read your essay, and as before I told you it is on the right track, you just need to generalize by making the length of the vector and its swirling random, you will be back to my system.

P.S. I won't feel bad if you don't have the time, which I estimate to be about 1-2 hours.


Thanks and good luck.

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Author Vladimir F. Tamari replied on Mar. 20, 2015 @ 04:10 GMT
Thank you Adel Sadeq

Yes I have not been pursuing my physics, having been occupied with my AlQuds Arabic font development - a project I finally finished alhamdulillah after around 55 years from starting the project!.

I read your interesting essay and find you have gone quite a distance in developing an amazing system whereby you derive basic constants of nature and the Bohr atom from billions two line segments on a straight line! The segments are given random lengths and are at a random distance from each other. Somehow you extract the physics from information about where the lines overlap (not intersect, which implies lines meeting at a point). This is fascinating and I congratulate you.

Unfortunately I have zero experience with C++ or Java script. If I did I would try to see if somehow a similar logic can emerge from my model of spinning nodes in a lattice, rather than in a line segment. In my lattice quantum probability does emerge as I have explained, while the model itself is linear and causal. In my model gravity works because the 'hardware' allows chirality, which I cannot see in your line segments. I strongly feel your amazing simulations work not by magic as you joke, but because there is a still deeper physical reality that implements that logic, not merely our computers. I have dealt with this aspect of reality in last year's essay whereby nature acts like a 3D abacus to give the results it does.

May I recommend that you highlight words in your essays that are links. Also on the website display the program themselves not just the panels showing the results. Also put links on these pages back to the homepage. Finally on the website you can find programmers who will volunteer advice about your programs. Good luck!


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Constantinos Ragazas wrote on Mar. 15, 2015 @ 22:55 GMT
Hello Vladimir,

... good to read you again in these pages. Your essay provoked me to reconnect with questions and answers from my distant past. It is always awe inspiring to recognize in Nature mathematical truths. And visa-versa! As I have quipped few years back responding to an anonymous slight of my Stonehenge Theory, "There is more natural intelligence in the formation of a single...

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Author Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Mar. 19, 2015 @ 03:00 GMT
Dear George Gantz

Thank you for your comments and for introducing Seltmann's essay, and apologies to all for the delay to respond which I will shortly.

Stressing that mathematics is invented not discovered is another way of saying that math does not exist in some Platonic ideal world all of its own that we then need to discover. As you point out this argument about the mind inventing mathematics leads to some semantic problems so please do not read too much into it.

Yes Whitehead-Russel did not succeed in their quest for a Unified Mathematics so to speak, but Godel's disproof of such a quest- as I understand it - can mean that detaching the observer - logician outside the system leads to deadlock. Something similar happens in Relativity where background-independence is required (but not in my Beautiful Universe theory where background and physical events are the same). In both cases wouldn't having the logical (ie mathematical) and physical events occurring in a closed system (without an observer) solve the loophole?

Just thinking aloud.


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Author Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Mar. 19, 2015 @ 03:20 GMT
Dear Edwin

It is always wonderful to read your friendly, insightful and always fascinating remarks.

A friend once gave me Lives of a Cell but I did not read it for some reason. Biology is certainly my weak point. You made it sound as if it was I who did the slime mold maze solving experiments - it was in Japan yes but by a university team somewhere. Now every time I see some yellow moss or mold I think of taking a sample and feeding it Quaker Oats!

I have responded to your fascinating essay about Bell's Theorem and urge everyone to read it.

With warm regards


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Author Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Mar. 20, 2015 @ 03:18 GMT
Edwin - you mentioned spin in my theory. Yes each node can be regarded as a complete Bloch sphere and its state is preserved because of the conservation of angular momentum as the spin is transferred from node to adjacent node. The two photons or electrons in EPR or Bell's experiments arrive at the detectors with their relative spin states correlated.


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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on Mar. 21, 2015 @ 18:29 GMT
Hi Vladimir,

Very interesting essay, profound ideas and images. Indeed, Einstein rights: "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." A.Zenkin also:"Truth should be drawn …" ("SCIENTIFIC COUNTER-REVOLUTION IN MATHEMATICS").

Good conclusion and an important point for the construction of the "Beautiful Universe": "We have no unified theories of mathematics nor of physics yet. A century ago, Whitehead and Russell bravely sought to discover the roots of mathematics : to find if possible a small set of axioms from which the whole of 16 mathematics can be shown to have grown. "

"Beauty will save the world. " (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)…

Fundamental knowledge, mathematics and physics, requires a deep ontological justification (basification). In fundamental physics is necessary to introduce an ontological standard justification (basification) along with the empirical standard. I invite you to see and appreciate my analysis of the philosophical foundations of mathematics and physics, the method of ontological constructing of the basic generating (maternal) structure, "La Structure mère" as the ontological framework, carcass and foundation of knowledge, the core of which - ontological (structural, cosmic) memory.

Kind regards,


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Author Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Mar. 22, 2015 @ 13:22 GMT
Dear Vladimir

I have no head for philosophy, but see the need for it, particulary in the subject of understanding the roots of physics and mathematics. In my essay I claim that the roots are physical onness of both. Of course "thinking" about this is a philosophical issue so we can agree!

You said "Nowadays the problem of structure of space is the core problem."

I cannot agree more. My intuition and research support the idea that space is completely defined ie filled with some elemental ethereal building blocks. But also that the way these blocks or nodes interact is exquisitely guided by a few simple "rules"...all this gives space its structure as well as the ability to become matter, radiation and all of physics. The devil, as they say, is in the details. You may have some ideas and others different ones about this structure, but it is important to start from the bottom and rebuild physics.

I love Dostoyevsky's writing but was unfamiliar with the beauty quote - thank you!

I wish you all the luck


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adel sadeq wrote on Mar. 22, 2015 @ 17:32 GMT
Hi Tamari,

Thanks for reading my essay. I will show how your model is not far from the truth sometimes later.


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James Lee Hoover wrote on Mar. 26, 2015 @ 01:32 GMT

A well-thought-out and well-done essay and a pleasure to read.

Many of your concepts are familiar in my eyes and in my essay, but your description is well organized and instructive in images and thought.

I enjoyed your examples of how math emerges in the Beautiful Universe theory. As an artist you have an eye for images and their efficacy in representing and demonstrating.

I speak of math's use at the Planck level and how it connects to biology, DNA and LHC endeavors, so your ideas are of interest in this regard as well.

Well done,


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Author Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Mar. 28, 2015 @ 15:32 GMT
Thank you James for your kind words. I will proceed to read your paper!

Good luck in the contest and elsewhere.


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Peter Jackson wrote on Apr. 6, 2015 @ 12:26 GMT

A beautifully written, direct, important, on topic and compelling analysis of the role and limitations of mathematics. I also agree your content, including the extended reductionist approach. I'm now entirely convinced the Planck limit is only the limit in the EM domain, but that there are also recursive hyperfine states. I've found a tranche of solutions emerge. I hope you'll see my short video using real physical models

9 min VIDEO; Time Dependent Redshift (etc). well as read my essay, which I'm sure you'll also like and agree with.

Unlike some it seems, it matters not that our present scores are close and yours from me will be appropriately high for scoring well against all criteria.

Best of luck in the contest


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Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 9, 2015 @ 15:56 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

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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Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 11, 2015 @ 19:04 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

Thank you ever so much for your comment.

Reality is not in the least confusing. Do you have a real complete skin surface? Does the room you are presently in have a real complete floor, ceiling and walls surfaces? Does every object in the room have a real complete surface? Does everything you have ever seen have a real complete surface? Have you never noticed that no matter in which direction you look, you will only ever see a plethora of partial surfaces that meld seamlessly into one surface?

Obviously, you do not need to know anything about abstract mathematics and abstract physics in order to be able to see real surface. Do you have a real sub-surface that contains your brain and heart and skeleton? Does not every animal?

Joe Fisher

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Author Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Apr. 13, 2015 @ 06:10 GMT
Thank you dear Peter for your kind remarks. As I commented on your page I find you have many interesting ideas. The video presented them rather too fast to be understood properly. But that is more than I have done for my own ideas - I have to make a video presentation of my own.

Dear Joe I rather like your concept of surfaces melding everywhere. That is a very visual and very observer-centered concept. Now I understand what you are saying better. Einstein in Special Relativity made everything observer-centered, and sacrificed the concept of a variable speed of light to justify that. I think that was a mistake. The mathematics of an absolute Universe with Lorentz transformations with a variable speed of light of maximum c is equivalent, but closer to reality.



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Gordon Watson wrote on Apr. 17, 2015 @ 07:36 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

Further to your comments on my page, I very much appreciate your work (and your initiatives) and happily provide the following feedback as requested. The starting point to notice is that my own work is focussed on making small gains in areas where my intuition bristles -- versus the extraordinary breadth of your work -- so I am not qualified to comment in detail.


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Author Vladimir F. Tamari replied on Aug. 11, 2015 @ 00:42 GMT
Thank you Gordon

Your careful approach to test everything and "land safely" is certainly necessary and is complementary to my rather sweeping scenarios that may read like unsubstantiated flights of fancy. Actually a lot of thought went into them from earlier researches and experiments in optical diffraction, which provided the main inspiration for my theory. But yes they do need fleshing out and to be expressed mathematically and/or proven in experiments. Your suggestion to write smaller one- subject essays is excellent and suits my on-again off-again efforts in physics! To my mind as I have expressed in the present essay, the physics (node lattice model) is so minimal it virtually becomes a branch of network theory in one of its aspects. Simulation may well be the best way to express and prove my BU theory. I tried to do that with my BASIC skills but that was inconclusive and will go at it again ideally with an experienced programmer.

While I think the pair of photons or electrons in Bell's experiment retain their mutual phase relations from the start, when they interact with the random states of the two sensor's atoms they produce different readings accordingly. This is the cause of the non-classical behavior in these experiments, not the infamous spooky action at a distance!

There is more to respond to but for now my sincere thanks and I will keep in touch. Best wishes,


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LLOYD TAMARAPREYE OKOKO wrote on Apr. 17, 2015 @ 20:36 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

Thanks for your highly illustrative essay.Your advertent resort to the "Beautiful Universe Theory" as a means of approximating the nexus between mathematics and physics reminisces a high sense of empiricism. More so; as you did not allow the bankrupcy of "unified theories of the two subjects to becloud your analysis.

Keep on flourishing.

Lloyd Tamarapreye Okoko.

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Apr. 23, 2015 @ 00:29 GMT

I owe you an apology -- I made a lengthy reply on my own forum some time ago in response to your post, and didn't refer back to your essay.

Please allow me to correct that, and cast my high vote for your effort, before the contest closes.

Thanks, and best wishes,


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Author Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Apr. 25, 2015 @ 02:50 GMT
Dear Lloyd, Thomas and Gordon

Thank you so much for your kind and interesting remarks and essays. I have been recently distracted by other matters and will re-read your comments and essays and respond accordingly.

Kind regards and best wishes,


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Author Vladimir F. Tamari wrote on Apr. 25, 2015 @ 04:25 GMT
Thank you Tom for your kind words on your page about my work and graphics. Here is what I responded:

I do understand and respect how science works and am puzzled why you think I do not ! You quote from my Beautiful Universe theory which, as I stated at the outset, is an incomplete and speculative model of how the universe might work. I know I have not treated my ideas mathematically but I...

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