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FQXi BLOGS
October 1, 2022

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Physics of the Observer - Call for Proposals and Program Launch [refresh]

FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Oct. 27, 2015 @ 16:33 GMT
And now, we’d like to announce the beginning of an ambitious new program, investigating Physics of the Observer.

We’re asking you to take a long hard look at yourself — and to think about what it means to be an "observer". Many problems in physics and cosmology implicitly or explicitly include this idea of an observer. But a tendency within physics to focus on objective phenomena and avoid subjectivity has led to a general avoidance of discussing exactly what an observer is. Not only has this habit avoided an intrinsically universal question, it has led to a situation in which many thinkers implicitly employ different meanings of "observer" in their work. They are then not able (or willing) to confront the impact of their definition on the questions they face.

In addition, the development of physics in the 20th century has led to a peculiar sort of polarization in thinking about the observer. Prior to the development of quantum mechanics, the observer was largely seen as irrelevant, as physics was about objective reality, by definition observer-independent. Quantum mechanics directly contradicted this view, requiring a much more nuanced understanding of the observation process and creating a lasting controversy between those embracing the observer’s role and those opposing its place.

As with previous FQXi programs on the Nature of Time, the Physics of Information, and the on-going Physics of What Happens, we believe that focusing the attention of the research community will start to bring us closer to “seeing” the solution to these problems.

Like our past programs, this one will feature support for foundational physics research, an international conference, essay and video contests, plus articles, blog posts, and the ever popular FQXi podcast. In addition, this program will for the first time also have a research component directly organized and coordinated by FQXi and its personnel.

First, let us announce the launch of our next Large Grant round. We will award a total of US\$2.0M for projects examining Physics of the Observer. We welcome applications related to physics, cosmology, and closely related fields, such as neuroscience, philosophy, biophysics, complex systems, computer science, mathematics, and more.

1. What does being an observer mean? The term 'observer' is used in contexts as varied as quantum foundations, biophysics, neuroscience and cognitive science, artificial intelligence, philosophy of consciousness, relativity, and cosmology. What are the properties or attributes that a system must have in order to constitute an ‘observer’ in these varying contexts?

2. What sort of physical systems have the requisite properties for those systems to construe various types of observers? In a spectrum from most simple to most complex physical structures, which systems constitute observers?

3. Are there interesting questions, to which the answers depend on how we think of observers?

Initial proposals are due on January 20, 2016. You can find full details about the RFP and more examples of questions on the website here. If you have any questions on this, please contact us at mail@fqxi.org.

The second major component of the Physics of the Observer program will foster a multidisciplinary network or researchers supported by centers in the Boston area and in the San Francisco Bay area. These two “B-Area” centers will be organized by FQXi Scientific Director Max Tegmark at MIT in Boston, and FQXi Associate Scientific Director Anthony Aguirre and Joshua Deutsch at the University of California - Santa Cruz. Supplementing previous experience in cosmology, gravity, quantum foundations, etc., Deutsch brings a powerful foundation in quantum mechanics, condensed matter, statistical mechanics, and biophysics to the team. Tegmark has been recently active in neuroscience research, and Aguirre & Tegmark have also been in deep-learning mode (get it?) regarding machine intelligence, in relation to work with the Future of Life Institute. With visitor programs and local meetings, the B-Area centers will attempt to generate somewhat coherent research programs in both areas, and personnel from the B-area centers will come together for two dedicated workshops.

Please stay tuned for future updates about FQXi contests, our 2016 conference, and all the other great content on the website. Here’s looking at you.

this post has been edited by the forum administrator

Steve Dufourny wrote on Oct. 27, 2015 @ 16:54 GMT
Hello Mr Foster

Super news for FQXi,Happy to see that fqxi lives and will live :)

But a little suggestion if I can it could be well if FQXi improved the number of articles even short about many things.

Here is some ideas Astrobiology,Spaceship and engeniering architecture,dark matter and dark energy,Universal entropy principle and its steps of disponible énergies,gravitation and gravitons ,and his and that.

Congratulations FQXi in allcase

Regards

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Ronald Denzil Pearson wrote on Oct. 27, 2015 @ 20:47 GMT
Observers are Earth based for this experiment

The new experiment uses one of three instruments invented to enable the speed of a probe to be measured from the local vacuum. They all depend on the magnetic effect of moving electric charge. The proposal aims to provide a new form of space exploration: measuring the velocity structure of the quantum vacuum throughout the solar system....

view entire post

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Amrit Srecko Sorli wrote on Oct. 27, 2015 @ 21:16 GMT
I publish a paper "On the origin of the Observer" in 2014.

Interesting subject.

yours Amrit

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Amrit Srecko Sorli wrote on Oct. 28, 2015 @ 17:22 GMT
The final result of this research is that observer has origin in consciousness. Now 2 millions will be spend and at the end no significant result will be achieved. I’m sure no one will mention what I say at the beginning. HOW THAT? The same was with time, no result on time research was given. At the end of research Dr.Barbour publish a paper on arxiv on time which is nothing new. He tried not to use symbol t in his paper.....but this is not the point.....Why FQXI give money only researchers which are employed in established institutions? Do they think no independent researcher can give progress to physics? Dear Editors of FQXI, you are wrong…..at the moment physics progress is happening outside of established physics where still old paradigm is prevailing. Standard model has no power to explain mass, gravity and dark energy. Will establishment need 100 years more to get what we know for years already. This is really dark night of the physics. Wake up dear editors, wake up. Yours Amrit Sorli

attachments: 4_On_the_origin_of_the_observer.pdf, sorli_CV.pdf

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kevin l bootes replied on Dec. 9, 2015 @ 12:26 GMT
[ This bracket-delimited edit added Dec 10 to more clearly distinguish FQXi from conventional physics funding agencies:

In addressing the funding challenges facing unconventional research proposals at NSF-style, establishment agencies being specifically* addressed by the breathtakingly unconventional Physics of the Observer RFP, ] Mr. Sorli makes a very perceptive point: established...

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Amrit Srecko Sorli replied on Dec. 15, 2015 @ 14:24 GMT
Kevin thank you for this support.

I'm independent researcher doing research on time, gravity, cosmology, bijective epistemology for years with no financial support. But I have results. Sure money from FQXI would be well-come, but if you are not part of established institution you are "officially" not scientist. This is sad and we should left behind a stereotype that PhD means science. Not at all, see articles on arxive, most of them are just hypothetical "hocus-pocus".

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kevin l bootes replied on Dec. 16, 2015 @ 01:47 GMT
Hi Amrit -

We're in exactly the same position, doing same work. But watch out! I don't believe in photons or other point particles, wave-particle duality, singularities, big bangs, inflation, static black holes (but certainly gravitational collapse), wormholes, gravity waves, dark matter or energy (apart from electromagnetically describable but unobservable forms like radio waves'...

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Joe Fisher wrote on Oct. 29, 2015 @ 16:36 GMT
The real unique Universe am infinite as can be confirmed by a real sensible person's real observation. The unreal finite abstract universe misinformation provided by mindless credentialed professors of finite abstract quantum guesswork are not observable.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Oct. 30, 2015 @ 02:18 GMT
Hint

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Tung Ten Yong wrote on Oct. 30, 2015 @ 08:28 GMT
In the previous grant (Physics of Events) my proposal was to investigate the definition of event by explicitly taking into account the role of observer in Physics. I am happy to see that now the status of observer is the topic of the grant.

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Steve Agnew wrote on Oct. 31, 2015 @ 03:05 GMT
There are two very different observers of objects in the universe; an objective observer sees objects as they really are and a subjective observer feels an object’s relative phase coherence. As a result, an objective observer sees action as it really is and agrees with other observers about common properties. Even if an observer affects a measurement, as long as others agree to the observer effect, the observer remains objective.

A subjective observer’s relative feeling about an action phase coherence no other observer can measure or know. While an objective observer agrees with other observers about the objective properties of an object, including an observer effect, a subjective observer’s phase relative to an object depends on the unique lifetime of experience and development for that observer.

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John R. Cox replied on Oct. 31, 2015 @ 16:07 GMT
I am the only observer of anything. At least I admit it. jrc

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Steve Dufourny replied on Oct. 31, 2015 @ 16:16 GMT
:) me I see like observer many balls,spheres,bubububbles,spheroids,tori,bobobobowls everywhere, publication finished !Short but very clear no:)

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Steve Agnew replied on Nov. 1, 2015 @ 18:03 GMT
There are therefore two very different personalities for observers; objective Cartesian and subjective relational. A Cartesian observer views an object on a distinct path through Cartesian space and interacting little with other objects.

A relational observer views an object with purpose and interacting strongly with other objects and so the relations among other objects, especially their phases, determines the object’s future more than the object’s immediate trajectory.

The objective Cartesian observer tends to focus on the object properties and how the object moves and not so much why. A subjective relational observer tends to focus on the object relations with other objects, especially phase coherence, and why the object moves, not so much how.

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Gary D. Simpson wrote on Oct. 31, 2015 @ 16:32 GMT
I observe. Therefore, I am.

Gary Simpson

Houston,Tx

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kevin l bootes replied on Dec. 9, 2015 @ 12:36 GMT
I observe observing. Therefore, I am Universe.

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Nov. 1, 2015 @ 00:34 GMT
Pentcho, All,

the wavelength of the incoming wave is not changed. The sensory output of the observer encountering the wave is, due to how it is encountered. It differs from the input. What is experience is not a replica of what exists externally but a new 'reality' that is formed from both the nature of the stimulus and the measurement process-I.E.how it is encountered. The mistake is that thinking before and after measurement are the same phenomenon.

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Don Limuti replied on Nov. 1, 2015 @ 04:06 GMT
Hi Georgina,

I translate your post as saying that the observer is a person X (or intelligence) that makes measurements (on inputs) by way of their senses.

I agree that this is the essence of the observer! And would add that the observed measurements can be indirect via instruments (which can be a chain of further people and instruments) the output of which ultimately provide inputs to person X's senses.

Did I understand you correctly?

And of course the people in the chain would be reliable people like those involved in FQXi.org :) And the instruments would all be traceable to Amazon :)

Glad to see you still active in the blogs.

Don Limuti

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Nov. 1, 2015 @ 05:00 GMT
Hi Don,

Yes it sounds to me that we are on the same wavelength- I agree about intermediate instruments. These can be reality interfaces altering the input received by them into a different kind of output prior to receipt by the "Primary Reality Interface" the human sensory system. Eg. The beep of a photo-multiplier, or the line on an oscilloscope. The case of information in books is interesting because one is not dealing merely with the formation of seen images but also with the meaning associated with those images necessary for reading and understanding, requiring prior learning.

All,

in the image Pentcho linked a person is shown. Though it could be any organism or AI with at least proto-vision via a photo-receptor. In the case of a person the light input chemically alters the pigment of the cone cells that are stimulated and that can cause an electrical impulse to be sent to the brain where further processing occurs leading to an experienced output.

As soon as interaction with the retina occurs the part of the light wave that was input ceases to be and new outputs are formed. To think the final observed output is still a light wave, because it is mentally associated with the light wave input is naive realism. The change from external reality to observed image reality begins with the processing of the input information by the reality interface, which for a human is its visual system.

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Amrit Srecko Sorli wrote on Nov. 1, 2015 @ 08:07 GMT
observer know how to develop device for antigravity

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H.H.J. Luediger wrote on Nov. 6, 2015 @ 12:08 GMT
The new theme of the FQXi program – the observer – can be seen as focusing many previous themes in a single point the other name of which is the measurement problem. The notion of observer, however, has so far played a folkloristic role in an intra-physical debate on the measurement problem at best, because ‘observing’ in physics has generally been taken to mean incontrovertible sensuous judgment of an observer-independent reality. A child, however, when shown around a nuclear power plant, cannot observe the nuclear power plant, but only walls, floors, pipes, flashing lights, and a water basin. Nor is it given to an ignorant spectator to make much sense of the game called cricket :) – observation is not merely Hume’s ‘looking at and rule finding’. Rather must the observer bring something to the (to be) observed that is of a categorically different nature than the (to be) observed itself in the sense of Einstein’s: only the theory decides what can be observed. Hence the new theme’s title Physics of the Observer cements precisely that perspective on the matter that has been in the way of making progress for almost a century, i.e. the banalisation of Heisenberg’s ‘cut’.

Regards

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Nov. 6, 2015 @ 13:41 GMT
" ... in the sense of Einstein’s: only the theory decides what can be observed."

Precisely. This is what confuses people who insist on using the meaning of 'observer' as a convention.

By removing the necessity to assume a preferred reference frame, Einstein removed the role of brain-mind to process information digitally.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Nov. 6, 2015 @ 20:47 GMT
Good post H.H.J. An AI that has learned to identify objects and an organism that has learned brings that knowledge to extract 'meaning' from sensory (or data) input giving the potential for further understanding and or prediction. An inanimate measuring or detection object does not do that but only measures, or merely detects, and produces an output of which it has no awareness/can not identify. The 'reality' output depends in part on the processing conducted by the organism or AI. Inceptionism going deeper into neural networks

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Georgina Woodward replied on Nov. 6, 2015 @ 21:39 GMT
Tom ,

Einstein started out on his theory with a dream about different relative observations of cows jumping in response to a shock from an electric fence. It was a dream about human observers and what they see (relative perception). The theory has developed such that it is possible to theoretically calculate what will be seen in different co-ordinate frames and to switch between frames to calculate what other observers would see. Because of this objective ability to switch frames by calculation (objective calculation not subjectively generated ) it has been imagined that an actual object capable of 'seeing' can be substituted by any object such as a nail. However the nail is incapable of seeing and so the output of sensory data processing that would be obtained for that coordinate system does not exist for the nail in actual fact. Though the sensory data is encountered it is not converted into a space-time output. The role of the output reality fabricating observer, which could be an organism or AI or a simpler reality interface can not really be removed. Without reducing the theory to one that is purely theoretical and not representative of what actually happens. Un-received unprocessed EM radiation provides no information. What is observed is the (space-time)output, not what is existing externally un-received. All of the images seen or calculated to be seen, trains, clocks, galaxies etc. are output image realities not un-received sensory data and not substantial source objects made of atoms. Yes the calculations seem to work and they are objective but they are not modelling a reality interface, or organism or AI, independent process. (A reality interface, in this context, is a material or device or sensory system able to convert input from external reality into a different kind of output.)

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Amrit Srecko Sorli wrote on Nov. 6, 2015 @ 21:47 GMT
observer is beyond the brain and yeyond the mind and beyond the time. OBSERVER IS NOW.

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Steve Agnew wrote on Nov. 7, 2015 @ 18:48 GMT
continued from...Steve Agnew replied on Nov. 7, 2015 @ 18:51 GMT

If someone argues that there is only one kind of observer and one kind of reality, that would mean their opinion and feelings are facts and facts are their opinion and feelings. In this case, there would not be any difference between objective and subjective reality.

Since my experience has been that there are great differences of opinion and feeling among people about the nature of a tree, but all agree that there is a tree. Denying that does not make any sense.

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Steve Agnew replied on Nov. 7, 2015 @ 19:03 GMT
It therefore does not make any sense to redefine the objective color red by mixing that objective notion up with the subjective feeling about a red object. I can look at a beautiful red tree in the Fall and am confident that nearly everyone who sees that tree will also call it red.

However, my feeling about the beauty of such a red tree in the Fall is mine alone. To argue otherwise does not make sense.

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Robert H McEachern replied on Nov. 8, 2015 @ 14:54 GMT
And nearly everyone that pricks their finger on the thorn of a red rose will feel pain. But neither the color red nor the pain are an objective property of the rose bush - they are both just your nervous system's generated response (a virtual reality of sorts) to your encounter with the rose. Neither the color nor the pain flowed into your body, from the rose, they were both entirely generated internally, in response to encountering something from the rose, that was neither colorful nor painful.

Rob McEachern

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Nov. 8, 2015 @ 15:03 GMT
Rob,

Excellent. And the basis of a feedback theory that covers all possible varieties of complicated events and phenomena.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Nov. 9, 2015 @ 01:13 GMT
What is observed? Answer: The universe/reality from a particular point of view. There are no abstractly-existing “frames of reference”, there are only the frames of reference/points of view of real things: particles, atoms, molecules, single-cell living things, and multi-cell living things.

What is observation? Answer: Observation is just the apprehension of various categories of...

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Georgina Woodward replied on Nov. 9, 2015 @ 05:11 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

an interesting post. For me demonstrating clearly why it is important for physics to decide definitively what does and does not constitute an observer. Or to have an accepted differentiation of the term observer such as with alphabetic attachment There are significant differences between most basic response to an input of a simple element of reality -compared to a reality interface, that outputs a different kind of information to the input, -compared to higher level analysis and attachment of associations, such as name and other information that requires prior learning of AI , neural network, or brain. There is also significant difference of all of those kinds of (maybe) observers with a theoretical observer that amounts to nothing more than carrying out a quantum calculation as if observation has occurred, or imposing an observer reference frame in order to conduct a relativity calculation.

Re.your comment:Quote: "All of reality observes i.e. subjectively apprehends/experiences information about self and the rest of reality. “Consciousness”/subjective experience of information is NOT something new, unique and special that only occurs in higher-level living things." If by apprehend you mean to understand or perceive, which is a standard meaning, then I don't agree. I think consciousness requires a certain level of complexity in order to have awareness and understanding rather than just unaware response. Though consciousness too is a word with different connotations for different people. Also in need of standardization or formal differentiation within science, especially with ongoing research into the perception of neural networks and AI development.

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Eckard Blumschein wrote on Nov. 9, 2015 @ 08:25 GMT
Georgina,

Do you think the Woodward effect relates to the question of observer? I am rather interested in how the SR's notion "observer" arose.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Nov. 9, 2015 @ 12:06 GMT
Hi Eckard,

Am I being asked whether the (James F.) Woodward hypothesis might involve the local accelerated frame as observer of the large scale distribution of matter? Yes it seems to me from what I have just read that maybe that is what the hypothesis entails.

There is a Wikipedia article, "Observer(special relativity)" that explains the mathematical observer reference frame used in SR and its historical development.

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Nov. 9, 2015 @ 21:20 GMT
Yes Georgina,

Identical sentences in at least two articles are telling rather than explaining us something confusing: "it does not make sense to speak of an observer (in the special relativistic sense) having a location. Also, an inertial observer cannot accelerate at a later time, nor can an accelerating observer stop accelerating."

I also looked for the history of Maxwell's equation. I was in particular interested in the contributions by Heaviside, Gibbs, and Hertz but I didn't find anything. Tom and Steve A refused to comment on how Lorentz understood the notion observer. Maybe, I am just too stupid?

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Georgina Woodward replied on Nov. 9, 2015 @ 23:20 GMT
Hi Eckard,

if the observer is in an inertial frame of reference it is the frame of an observer moving at a steady velocity, not accelerating. What will be seen if the position of the observer person or device is changing and affecting the output that will be observed. Re quote "an inertial observer cannot accelerate at a later time, nor can an accelerating observer stop accelerating" Taking a guess I think that means that in order to be an inertial observer it can not be accelerating and to be an accelerating observer the observer must be accelerating. If either changed their behaviour they would not meet the requirements of their classification.

It seems to me that Lorentz considered observers in different inertial reference frames (Ie moving observers in motion relative to each other) that were not within space time but time and space as his work on transformations preceded special relativity but was later adapted by Einstein. Though the transformations are objective and can be applied as linear matrices they are in real world physics, rather than mathematics alone, in no way independent of the observer device or organism as the thing being calculated is what the observer's would see. IMHO In the real universe, rather than the mathematics alone, without having an device or organism capable of converting EM input into output there is no seen. That rings alarm bells for me when I read about transformations of appearance when the relative motions are of inanimate matter alone.

Sometimes the ends of conversations get 'lost' due to the way the site works and sometimes questions are not easy, or are time consuming, to answer. Those are more likely explanations for the lack of replies I should think.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Nov. 9, 2015 @ 22:23 GMT
Hi Georgina,

Surely, you have to look at what seemingly must be happening at a REALLY fundamental level of reality, before you start discussing higher-level reality? I’m saying that there is no mysterious ABSTRACT apprehension of what-there-is-to-know at a fundamental level in the universe (like laws-of-nature and fundamental information like mass, charge and spin). I’m saying that what-there-is-to-know is apprehended (i.e. somehow, grasped/known/experienced) by REAL things: particles, atoms and molecules.

The fundamental information is clearly the foundation of complex consciousness/observation. I’m saying that subjective experience/consciousness is not something inexplicable that arises ex nihilo, and only for complex living things. I’m saying that the apprehension of what-there-is-to-know is clearly ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to the universe, because there is no ABSTRACT comprehension of what-there-is-to-know: there are only real things, like particles, available to apprehend what-there-is-to-know.

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Georgina Woodward replied on Nov. 10, 2015 @ 00:08 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

No I don't. I don't think that reduction-ism provides all the answers when it comes to what is output from the information input to organisms, neural networks and AI and how 'object' identification, understanding and knowledge occur. The components of the observing system and processes can be broken down, I agree; However to produce the outputs, perception of objects; object recognition and association of related information; understanding and knowledge, requires a certain level of scale and organisation including that obtained via learning or training. The output being emergent products of and consequences of the function of the complex system. That is, novel emergent organisation, not identified in the interactions of far simpler systems of atoms or particles, lacking the requisite complexity and organisation.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Nov. 10, 2015 @ 00:23 GMT
Georgina,

you've got yourself mixed up. Though the outcomes of complexity cannot necessarily be predicted, NOTHING NEW ever "emerges" out of complexity. That is a complete furphy.

Lorraine

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Robert H McEachern replied on Nov. 10, 2015 @ 00:38 GMT
There is a huge difference between reacting to the immediate presence of other things, and reacting to one's created prediction of some future presence of other things. The ability to make such predictions is something new, that arises out of some types of complexities.

Rob McEachern

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Nov. 10, 2015 @ 00:58 GMT
Rob,

mathematical models show that nothing new emerges out of complexity. Georgina is seemingly talking about magical mystery woo-woo emergence.

Lorraine

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Robert H McEachern replied on Nov. 10, 2015 @ 15:32 GMT
Models can only show that which their premises enable. Other premises show other things. Complexity is all about the information content of the premises - the subsequent math is of little consequence.

Rob McEachern

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Nov. 10, 2015 @ 02:15 GMT
Hi Georgina,

OK, you seem to agree that no new rules and no new parameter types can emerge out of complexity alone. But there can be no "progress" in a complex system without the introduction of new rules and new parameters.

New superficial arrangements in a complex system are represented by new numerical values for existing parameters. But you have got the problem that seemingly nothing is holding the new arrangements in place.

Lorraine

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Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Nov. 11, 2015 @ 23:34 GMT
The ultimate unification of physics balances being AND experience. There is no getting around this.

Outer space is fully invisible and involves full inertia.

The Earth/ground is fully visible and involves the experience of full gravity.

The space between (and in the MIDDLE of) these spaces necessarily constitutes a MIDDLE distance in/of space consistent with invisible and visible space in fundamental equilibrium and balance. Indeed, notice the balanced attraction and repulsion. This space involves half gravity and half inertia.

Given full inertia, space disperses.

Given full (or all) gravity, space collapses.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Nov. 12, 2015 @ 00:17 GMT
Rob,

Talking about complex systems that might be like our (single) universe (i.e. not complex systems like the Mandelbrot Set):

1. You are right in that an EXTERNAL OBSERVER of a mathematically modelled complex system might see superficial lumps and bumps and islands that come and go. These lumps and bumps merely correspond to a different set of number values for the parameters of the system. But the whole system, including this set of number values for the parameters, is merely a consequence of the set of rules and the initial set of seed parameter values.

In fact, the seed parameter values are actually one-off initial rules.

2. But I think that reality is more like a complex system where one-off seed parameter values/new rules are continually being input from what might be described as “points within the system”.

These new rules would seemingly ratchet the system, providing a sort of stability. New rules are seemingly the ONLY things that can ratchet the system.

3. Without new rules continually being input, a so-called “complex” system is as dead as a dodo (i.e. timeless, and COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY specified by its rules and initial values).

Cheers,

Lorraine

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Robert H McEachern wrote on Nov. 12, 2015 @ 21:13 GMT
We have very different conceptions of what constitutes a "complex" system. For me, a complex system is one with a high information content. Information cannot be mathematically modeled - it is a self-contradiction. If the "information" could be mathematically modeled, then it would be "compressible", in which case, it would not be "information" at all. Data can be modeled. Information cannot. The Mandelbrot Set is not complex, anymore than pseudo-random numbers are random; they give the appearance of being complex/random, but in fact are really just simple rule-based systems.

Here is an example of a complex system:

(1) generate a random number.

(2) use the number to look-up an arbitrary behavior to be performed.

(3) perform the looked-up behavior.

In (2), by "arbitrary", I mean specifically that there is no possible way to deduce the behavior (no mathematical model), from the associated number being used as an index for the look-up.

Roughly speaking, this is what brains do. For example, there is no physical reason why a car should stop at a red traffic signal. But there is a logical/symbolic reason. Brains, in effect, translate visual sensory data into indices, then perform the "learned" behavior that has been associated with those constructed indices.

The important point here, under the topic of "physics of the observer", is that the physics of such a system is almost totally irrelevant to determining the behavior. Failing to appreciate this fact is the reason there has been so little understanding of how observers impact physical outcomes; observers don't just disturb the entity being observed, they may respond in ways that are totally divorced from any of the physical attributes of what was observed, other than that those measured attributes can be utilized to construct an "index", that is subsequently used to look-up an associated behavior.

Rob McEachern

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Nov. 12, 2015 @ 22:01 GMT
Rob, how can you be sure that the number is not pseudo-random?

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Robert H McEachern replied on Nov. 12, 2015 @ 22:41 GMT
It does not matter. What does matter is that the response cannot be determined from the input alone. The index does not even have to be a number. It need only be one element of a set, a pointer, pointing to the associated neurological response. "Jump!" is not a number, but my brain can take in that visual input (or audible input) and quickly associate a specific behavior with it. But no theory of physics could ever predict/determine that that particular input would produce such a response.

Rob McEachern

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Nov. 12, 2015 @ 22:45 GMT
For an index to be complete, it must be non arbitrary. Otherwise, we're back to "merely personal."

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Thomas Howard Ray wrote on Nov. 13, 2015 @ 15:50 GMT
Karl Hess elegantly framed Einstein's case for spacetime reality in his 2015 book, Einstein was Right! :

"He realized that his views did not agree with the extreme proposition that all science should be exclusively based on direct sense impressions or data obtained from some machinery facilitating the sense impressions [Einstein, 1954] He gave the example of the system of natural numbers, the numbers we use when counting. The mathematical system of these numbers goes way beyond what one can derive from sense impressions, like the counting of oranges. For example, we use the fact that there exists no highest natural number and there exists an infinity of numbers. The mathematician Peano based the natural number system on axioms and derived mathematical truths, so-called theorems, that certainly cannot be obtained from raw sensory materials. He gave the example of two identical tall buildings, one in New York and one in Paris, and said that one would be, on the basis of raw sense impressions forced to regard them as the same object in the sense of physics. He then stated that there was no danger (of logical wrongdoing) in combining the object as an independent concept with the proper spatio-temporal structure, that is with his space-time. He, therefore, combined the existing thing (the tall building) with all its qualities and takes the geometrical relations to other objects of the world as an additional quality. These geometrical relations involve space-time as a product and tool of our thinking that goes beyond the metric data of clocks and meter measure." (p. 98)

In their purported refutation of Hess-Philipp, Richard Gill et al, completely ignore the role of spacetime, agreeing with the erroneous notion that "all science should be exclusively based on ... sense impressions." They have proved no more than they have assumed.

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Anonymous replied on Nov. 14, 2015 @ 00:22 GMT
Tom,

Agree with you. In fact the senses can be completely misleading and differ from person to person and from groups of people to groups of people. I am reading Pinker's How the Mind Works, the part going into the mind's eye. The ability to see autostereograms is genetically determine!. So much for seeing is believing.

And yet I do not trust Feynman's policy of shut up and calculate over the senses. He likes his formulas and calculations because he can get 7 orders of magnitude accuracy.

So, are we stuck with illusions OR lies, damn lies and statistics?

Do you have a technique to "evaluate" physical reality? (can you explain it in a paragraph?)

Thanks,

Don Limuti

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Nov. 14, 2015 @ 15:31 GMT
Thanks, Don.

Yes, I can summarize:

My view is based on Karl Popper's rehabilitation of Alfred Tarski's theory of correspondence, for validating true statements. If a mathematical theory in closed form corresponds 1 to 1 with physical predictions, the physical theory is falsifiable by experiment. Example: E = mc^2. It is validated at the large scale by such effects as length contraction and time dilation; at the microscale by the missing binding energy in an atomic fission event. This ability to make logically closed judgements is closely related to the idea of limit in the calculus.

Reducing this to a probability argument is the subject of the attached.

attachments: Godel_and_3-valued_logic.pdf

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Nov. 14, 2015 @ 20:44 GMT
Of course, “Truth is stronger than proof” if it is a conjecture.

However, isn't the title of the textbook by Hess a bit misleading? Well, Einstein criticized quantum theory and, in the end, he was right to do so. However, were SR and blocktime justified?

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Nov. 15, 2015 @ 00:19 GMT
Rob,

Re: Robert H McEachern wrote on Nov. 12, 2015 @ 21:13 GMT

Yes, some of what you are saying seems to be more or less what I am endeavoring to say: a truly complex system is never an initial-rule-based (i.e. “compressible”) system. So an initial set of law-of-nature rules plus initial parameter values are not enough information to describe the resulting truly complex...

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Nov. 15, 2015 @ 19:54 GMT
All,

I asked John "'Try to imagine a universe where all EM radiation has been removed," ... "Simultaneity can not now be measured by what is seen simultaneously within an observed present output 'reality'. Can you do that? This relates back to John's "Something has to give if there is a physically real simultaneity as we imagine it to be". I think that is a useful exercise.

A...

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Georgina Woodward replied on Nov. 15, 2015 @ 20:00 GMT
Hi All,

The previous post sets out how there are simultaneously two different kinds of simultaneity for a given scenario, in a way that can be demonstrated mathematically.

this post has been edited by the author since its original submission

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Georgina Woodward replied on Nov. 15, 2015 @ 22:31 GMT
I should probably have mentioned that Alice's frame of reference is inertial in relative motion to Bob,I mean to say not accelerating relative to him.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Nov. 16, 2015 @ 19:29 GMT
Maybe this needs a better headline- Three simultaneous simuiltaneities, two reciprocal and one shared.

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Lee Bloomquist wrote on Nov. 16, 2015 @ 04:11 GMT
"I just tried to put a simple model of an observer in the "wind tunnel," a model where the observer has only so long to live. Each day possibilities decrease as the end approaches. At the same time, the available information increases each day. Then, when possibilities finally all disappear, existence ends. It might be the starting point for a better Hamiltonian and initial conditions in order to model an observer"

This Hamiltonian and other equations here:

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1928

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Georgina Woodward replied on Nov. 16, 2015 @ 07:20 GMT
Hi Lee, I spotted and read your initial equations a while ago. I didn't realize that the majority of the presentation was in the contracted post that starts "Footnote". So I'm just pointing that out so others can locate where your ideas are to be found.

You have identified the human condition in your description of the relationship of a human observer to the potentially available information, taking that to be via all forms of media. Though there are also limits to the amount of information a brain can process. Information overload is a problem in itself. The decline in that ability to process information with time varies between individuals. I expect some are on top form until the very end.

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Lee Bloomquist wrote on Nov. 16, 2015 @ 23:25 GMT
Hello Georgina,

"Observation" and "inquiry" seem to me closely related. It is from this association to inquiry that I get mathematical models of inquiry from the late Jon Barwise.

I don't expect readers to follow my links and references all the way to the most basic. So here is the link down to "inquiry":

----- In the FQXI paper "Simple math for questions to physicists" I...

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Georgina Woodward replied on Nov. 17, 2015 @ 00:32 GMT
That sounds like an interesting approach to the anticipated new FQXi essay question. It will probably be something to do with "the observer", in keeping with the Grant program "Physics of the observer" and the planned multidisciplinary networks of researchers to aid research of that.

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Lee Bloomquist replied on Nov. 28, 2015 @ 14:56 GMT
From the above quote, it looks like Sherlock Holmes may have been an "informationalist"! ( : )

"The main idea of informationalism is to take the inverse relationship between information and possibility as a guiding tenet. The Inverse Relationship Principle: Whenever there is an increase in available information there is a corresponding decrease in possibilities, and vice versa. " (Information and Impossibilities. Jon Barwise)

To an informationalist, information and possibilities might be prior to space. First the observer feels proper time, not coordinate time. Then space could enter like this:

There is the possibility of being at x:

$\Psi (x)$

And at the same time there is the possibility of not being anywhere else:

$\Psi ^* (x)$

Together these are the logic of a particle in a situation where only possibilities exist and nothing else.

Then there is information that's available from the past. From that, the frequency or probability that a particle will have been at x is:

$P (x)$

And because of the Born rule there is an arrow from possibilities in the future to information available from the past:

$\Psi (x) \Psi^* (x) \rightarrow P (x)$

In the paper I submitted to FQXI "Simple math for questions to physicists" there is also an arrow from the nonstandard past to its mirror point in the nonstandard future. These are two situations which respectively support possibilities and information available from the past, in the latter case probabilities or frequencies.

It's something that Jon Barwise called an "infomorphism." (Information Flow: The Logic of Distributed Systems)

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George Kirakosyan wrote on Nov. 17, 2015 @ 09:43 GMT
Dear Brendan,

I am very welcome the last FOXi theme on the observer's physics. It may to serve as an important key to involving a new approaches and research methodology (without any exaggeration!), which is necessary to outcome of physics from present stagnation, in my confidence with many others. I am trying to move by own way that closely related to observer's role in physics. My last article (article) on the cognitive meaning of relativity (ST & GR - in archive) directly touches to this question. It contains also some interpretations related to previous themes of FOXi contests (physical meaning of time, about mutual relation math to reality, etc.) By this, I am just ask you to check this article to decide how it relates to basic purposes of your community, to help me or advice me what better to do with my works.

I understand that such request may seem very strange, but I really do not know how to solve technical and bureaucratic problems to reach my works to small quantity of people who may find there some interest. Actually, I think any solution or innovation that come from side people these hardly may get attention in official science, independently what you will solve or say, however FOXi have declared some opportunity to that.

Regards,

George K.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Nov. 17, 2015 @ 19:00 GMT
Hi George,

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George Kirakosyan replied on Nov. 19, 2015 @ 06:54 GMT
Hi Dear Georgina,

Thank you for kindly answer and your advices. Actually my (ours) trouble is a more serious than simplest inclination to verbosity. I know about 9 pages limit of FQXi. However, how can anybody to think explain cognitive content of Einstein' mysterious works in 9 pages, if even he well know the matter? Meanwhile, to analyze and understand the question it is necessary to look it in the whole context of physics! The problem is, a huge methodological mistake has been admitted by our teachers, by division of physics from philosophy and from logic at all, as well as by its unprecedented mathematisation and next fragmentation of it on the classical and quantum divisions with their uncountable sections, subsections etc. Famous physicist Steven Weinberg writes in his book (as remember) - We, physicists are special people who get a huge satisfaction from different kinds of calculations...

We can understand with you this nice hobby (that may bring some people to Nobel Prize!) However, I will dare to assure you there is other incomparable amazing hobby than the game with symbols and formula. That is - a play with own mind. It however, demands big volume and huge time to explain, that I would like to convince to modern theorists! That is a hopeless job really as I am understand and you are very right!

I am very thankful for your advices and I will try to use that.

Best Regards,

George

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Lee Bloomquist wrote on Nov. 18, 2015 @ 13:30 GMT
Here is a propositional attitude: "O observes that the electrons produce a wave pattern." From Wikipedia:

"A propositional attitude is a mental state held by an agent toward a proposition. Propositional attitudes are often assumed to be the fundamental units of thought and their contents, being propositions, are true or false. An agent can have different propositional attitudes toward the same proposition (e.g., “S believes that her ice-cream is cold,” and “S fears that her ice-cream is cold”).

Linguistically, propositional attitudes are denoted by a verb (e.g. "believed") governing an embedded "that" clause, for example, 'Sally believed that she had won'."

(Please see my previous post here.)

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Lee Bloomquist wrote on Nov. 18, 2015 @ 19:40 GMT
In natural language humans implicitly perceive and observe "situations," according to analyses of the linguistic data by the late Jon Barwise (The situation in logic) and others. That this perception and observation of "situations" is implicit. yet pervasive, can be seen by reading an example two times-- first with the words in parentheses and then without--

"Observer O observed (the situation) that electrons in the experiment produced a wave pattern, as if each electron observed (the situation) that there were two possibilities for it, or two slits."

Situation theory made the above, implicit "situation" explicit in a pretty minimalistic mathematical theory. In the paper "Simple math for questions to physicists," this website, I tried applying it to some physics.

Please see my previous post here.

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Lee Bloomquist wrote on Nov. 19, 2015 @ 23:48 GMT
The *conjugate variables* of the observing process are probably possibilities and information-- actually the number of possibilities and the number of pieces of available information. There is a Hamiltonian posted about this in the "alternative theory" blog.

Conjugate variables, when dynamically in balance, add a constant number to the Hamiltonian. Of a system that is born, exists, then dies, this balance only holds true during existence.

Being born means possibilities are increasing but available information lags in increase, and is not in balance. Death means possibilities vanish, while available information freezes-- again, not in balance.

In the posted Hamiltonian, I only modeled existence.

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Lee Bloomquist wrote on Nov. 21, 2015 @ 11:24 GMT
No "information channel": No observer. In an observation process, information needs to flow from the system being observed to the observer. In "Information Flow: The Logic of Distributed Systems" (Jon Barwise and Jerry Seligman), such an information channel is defined.

The process of observation is then:

There are certain possibilities (for state, or for type of situation) for the system being observed.

Through an information channel, information is made available to the observer.

Which reveals that some of the previously possible states are, in light of the information made available, actually impossible.

Repeat up to the accuracy of the observation process.

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Lee Bloomquist replied on Nov. 23, 2015 @ 14:01 GMT
This is a process of observation I based on the work of Jon Barwise in Information and Impossibilities (see link in previous post). I met him at a workshop at Stanford's Center for the Study of Language and Information titled "The business applications of situation theory." He passed much too early.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Nov. 23, 2015 @ 14:09 GMT
Hello Mr Bloomquist?

It is relevant.How can we modelize the universal informations and encodings.What is the nature of an information? We are at this moment of evolution in the heat and thermo and electromagnetism.How can we insert the gravitational informations in the computing ? Trading at high fréquences are a reality with photonic informations.The speed can be improved with the gravitons and correlated waves.But the real question is ,can we make it ?Spiritually speaking and socially speaking ? What a world,these Tools must be universal and must be utilised with the biggest wisdom and cosnciousness.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Nov. 22, 2015 @ 01:14 GMT
It is clear that numbers represent something very important about fundamental reality, because we need numbers JUST AS MUCH AS we need law-of-nature equations to represent fundamental reality, whether at the big bang, or fundamental reality as it is now.

But physics can’t seem to conceptualize what actual physical reality a number could represent, and there is seemingly very little discussion on the issue. So one might (wrongly) conclude that numbers are a non-issue, or one might (wrongly) conclude that a number can safely be considered to be a non-physically-real platonic entity.

Some have concluded that numbers can be understood via Set Theory. But despite the seeming simplicity of pictorially represented Set Theory ideas, Set Theory has a lot of extremely complex concepts when it comes to building numbers out of sets, especially algebraic irrational numbers.

So if it is correct to assume that the underlying fundamental-level reality is relatively simple, and that complexity is a higher-level later development, then Set Theory is not useful for modelling any physical reality that might underlie what we humans represent with number symbols.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Nov. 22, 2015 @ 01:19 GMT
(Continued from above):

To get to the point, any comprehensive theory of reality needs to account for numbers, and any theory of what “an observer” is needs to be compatible with ideas about numbers: are you describing a reality that includes abstract entities and structures, OR are you talking about a reality that only has real entities and structures?

It is necessary that reality grasps/apprehends its own laws. So you have a choice: numbers and laws-of-nature are ABSTRACT structures that are ABSTRACTLY apprehended and acted upon by the universe OR numbers and laws-of-nature represent REAL structures that are apprehended by REAL entities i.e. particles and atoms.

I contend that laws-of-nature are real information category relationship “structures”, and that numbers derive from partial information category relationships where the category “cancels out”.

I contend that this apprehension, i.e. the grasping of different categories of information and their interrelationship, IS subjective experience/subjective consciousness. Consciousness is not something weird and unexplainable. The first step in understanding any “observer effects” is acknowledging that “conscious observers” are intrinsic to the structure of the universe.

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Lee Bloomquist wrote on Nov. 22, 2015 @ 22:43 GMT
From page 27, "Information Flow: The Logic of Distributed Systems" (Barwise and Seligman):

"Probability theory, and applied mathematics in general, works at the level of types....[note by LB: hence ignoring the particular instances that exist. Types instead characterize any number of particular instances that existed or will exist.]...For a theory of information, however, these particulars, or instances, cannot be ignored."

Reading onward, we find that it is the existence of an instance with parts, i.e. a system of instances which are existing together in a system, that enables the flow of information in an "information channel."

In order to flow, information requires a system of parts that all co-exist.

The numbers, as in probability theory and hence Shannon-like theories of information, don't say how it is that information flows, because they are about numbers hence types of things that existed or will exist; and they are not about that which enables the information to flow.

That's my summary. But I urge readers to see this for themselves.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Nov. 23, 2015 @ 02:35 GMT
Interesting Lee. Incidentally I think that as well as a system of parts that co-exist there has to be change. I mean by that a static block time existence of a system of co-existing parts still doesn't provide flow. I don't get that impression of change from the expression " a system of instances which are existing together in a system...." Perhaps the word system is used to imply work and so is another way of saying change. Its not clear. Though you are giving a brief summary and perhaps it is more clearly explained in the referenced work. Interesting observation in your last paragraph. Physics does seem to be comprised of many parts that don't readily overlap.

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Lee Bloomquist wrote on Nov. 23, 2015 @ 20:15 GMT
Information Channel. An example from Jon Barwise.

At the workshop mentioned in a previous post here, Prof Barwise, in response to a question, stopped writing on the overhead projector-- and moved in front of the projection lens so as to block the light beam from the projector lens to the screen. The screen went dark of course.

He had just destroyed an information channel. As a result, information stopped flowing.

Then he moved away from his position blocking the light beam, back to writing on the overhead projector. The screen lit up with what he began to write.

He had just created an information channel. As a result, information began once again to flow.

The mathematical language in his book with Seligman, "Information Flow: The Logic of Distributed Systems" gave him the terms and syntax to express what had just happened-- right there on the screen in front of us.

Creation and destruction of an information channel can, most likely, Not be as clearly expressed in say Shannon's theory of information, based as it is on probability numbers.

Is creation and destruction of information channels relevant to the physics of the Observer?

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Lee Bloomquist replied on Nov. 30, 2015 @ 02:17 GMT
Using "infomorphism" in a sentence--

"An information channel consists of an indexed family...of infomorphisms.."

Page 34. Information Flow: The Logic of Distributed Systems.

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Lee Bloomquist replied on Dec. 1, 2015 @ 13:59 GMT
The idea so far: using the "information channel" to think about the observer based on a theory from the field of logic (informationalism) itself begun from data about natural human language (situation theory). Do readers have suggestions for a next step? "Observers synchronizing clocks" perhaps?

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Thomas Howard Ray replied on Dec. 1, 2015 @ 17:55 GMT
Let me throw this out there, Lee:

In 2001 the late physicist Jacob Bekenstein along with Hebrew University colleague Avi Mayo published "Black Holes are One-Dimensional" noting, "... viewed as an information absorber or entropy emitter, a black hole in 3–D is fundamentally one-dimensional, verily a portal to a one-dimensional information channel."

An indexed channel the way Barwise describes it, would seem to share this dimensionality, which rules out an independent observer channel. What I mean is, given a line and a point external, in Euclidean space, one and only one line can be parallel to the original. This implies an observer orthogonal to the flow of information, similar to a Turing machine processing data.

Which allows an objective observer -- albeit yielding coherent information only in 2 dimensions. Even though we live in curved spacetime of at least 4 dimensions, and because spacetime is mostly Euclidean, we can accept this 'entanglement' of observer-observed as a faithful representation of reality projected into 3 dimensions.

To be complete, a time parameter must be included. And so the quantum domain is restricted to information theory, and we need an extra degree of freedom for coherent communication between quantum and classical domains.

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Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Nov. 27, 2015 @ 22:19 GMT
Forget about observer and observed. WE WANT TO BALANCE BEING AND EXPERIENCE. Full inertia is fully invisible space and no distance in/of space....that means no experience....SO, THERE CAN BE NO FULL, ACTUAL, REAL, TRUE, AND DIRECT EXPERIENCE OF OUTER SPACE AS IT IS.

Full gravity is full distance in/of space and full experience...seen, felt, AND touched.

Half inertia and half gravity is the middle distance in/of space consistent with visible AND invisible space in fundamental equilibrium and balance. So, the falling man feels no gravity. AS MIDDLE DISTANCE and FULL DISTANCE are in balance, the feeling of gravity of the man standing upright on the ground is also a balanced INERTIAL resistance.

The ultimate unification of physics balances being AND experience. IMPORTANT.

In dream experience, bodily/visual experience is visible and invisible in balance. Dreams are between (and in the MIDDLE of) our experiences of full gravity (the Earth/ground) and FULL ELECTROMAGNETISM (television).

This tells much about observer and observed. WE WANT TO BALANCE BEING AND EXPERIENCE IN PHYSICS.

The integrated extensiveness of thought (and description) is improved in the truly superior mind. This is top down thinking. Mathematics involves relatively narrow thinking. Top down thinking is sorely lacking in modern physics.

It is a great truth/fact (in physics as well) that the self represents, forms, and experiences a comprehensive approximation of experience in general by combining conscious and unconscious experience. In fact, the ability of thought to describe OR reconfigure sensory experience is ULTIMATELY dependent upon the extent to which thought is similar to sensory experience. Again, the ultimate unification of physics balances being and experience. The goal is to improve, extend, and integrate the understanding of physics/physical experience/reality, right?

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Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Nov. 30, 2015 @ 20:23 GMT
UNDERSTANDING GRAVITY AND INERTIA, AND FULL GRAVITY AND FULL INERTIA:

Full gravity involves full experience and full distance in/of space as it is seen, felt, AND touched.

The experience of full gravity involves fully visible space and full distance in/of space, along with full experience.

Full inertia, as in the direct/full/real/true/actual experience of outer space as it...

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Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Dec. 2, 2015 @ 01:57 GMT
THE ULTIMATE UNIFICATION OF PHYSICS BALANCES BEING AND EXPERIENCE, SO CAREFULLY CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:

FULL INERTIA, outer space, fully invisible. NO DISTANCE. OUTER SPACE IS NOT (AND CANNOT BE) EXPERIENCED AS IT IS....that means there is NO direct, true, real, actual, and full experience of outer space at all. Outer space ITSELF involves no experience AT ALL in relation to being....

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Dec. 2, 2015 @ 23:25 GMT
Clearly “law-of-nature” relationships and associated numbers represent the fundamental physically-real information that informs reality. The reality that is informed is clearly REAL things: particles atoms and molecules. Unless you want to go into the magical-mystery woo-woo realm of abstract entities being informed by abstractly existing mathematical rules.

Seemingly Tom and Lee B. are followers of woo-woo versions of reality.

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Dec. 3, 2015 @ 04:00 GMT
Lorraine,

Did you consider http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/Numbers/Math/Mathematical_T
hinking/observer.htm too?

Incidentally, how did you understand informs in "information that informs reality"? The original meaning of to inform is transmitting a piece of information to someone, and if you have information about something, you know something about it. Transmission is unidirectional.

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on Dec. 3, 2015 @ 05:59 GMT
Lorraine,

What do you think about the idea that particles and fields are the foundations of reality? Fields can certainly have energy states. Momentum, spin and other kinds of measureables represent the properties of a specific field. Why can't we imagine more generalized kinds of fields? What about a field with energy states that can change the properties of a photon, change its speed of light? Or kick it into another a hidden space-time? Then it decays back to a regular photon and returns to normal space time. Is it wrong to imagine such things?

Jason

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Lorraine Ford replied on Dec. 3, 2015 @ 13:50 GMT
Eckard,

Re "information that informs reality":

Obviously law-of-nature relationship information cannot come from TRANSMISSION of information. On the contrary, law-of-nature relationship information is the FOUNDATION of information transmission: e.g. in any particle - particle interaction (call one particle “the messenger”), BOTH particles are affected/informed/transformed according to law-of-nature relationships. So firstly, all information transmission is based on the bedrock foundation-stone of law-of-nature relationship information; and secondly, this information transmission is NOT unidirectional.

Re http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/Numbers/Math/Mathematical_T
hinking/observer.htm :

I would agree with Joe Kolecki that “In order for the observers to learn about the system, they must cause at least one quantum of "information" (energy, momentum, spin, or what-have-you) to pass from themselves …” This indicates that an observer is not merely a passive recipient of information, but an active one i.e. “they must CAUSE …” a perturbation i.e. literally create some new information. This fundamental-level information is representable in the form of a mathematical equation.

Lorraine

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Dec. 4, 2015 @ 01:52 GMT
Brendan,

Could you please reinstate my missing posts, to the “Physics of the Observer - Call for Proposals and Program Launch” blog, of:

Dec. 2, 2015 @ 23:25 GMT,

Dec. 3, 2015 @ 13:50 GMT,

Dec. 3, 2015 @ 14:17 GMT

and Eckard Blumschein’s post of Dec. 3, 2015 @ 04:00 GMT,

and Jason Mark Wolfe’s post of Dec. 3, 2015 @ 05:59 GMT ?

Thanks,

Lorraine Ford

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on Dec. 4, 2015 @ 02:05 GMT
No wonder I couldn't find it. Thanks. Jason

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Eckard Blumschein replied on Dec. 4, 2015 @ 17:13 GMT
My deleted post pointed to speculations by David Mazza . The own reasoning I added was anyway incomplete.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Dec. 5, 2015 @ 12:19 GMT
Eckard,

See below for copies of your deleted post [1], and my 2 deleted replies to your post [2] [3].

hinking/observer.htm ?

Lorraine

1. Eckard Blumschein replied on Dec. 3, 2015 @ 04:00 GMT

Lorraine,

Did you consider...

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Dec. 4, 2015 @ 12:28 GMT
Lorraine Ford wrote on Dec. 4, 2015 @ 01:07 GMT

Lorraine Ford wrote on Dec. 2, 2015 @ 23:25 GMT

Clearly “law-of-nature” relationships and associated numbers represent the fundamental physically-real information that informs reality. The reality that is informed is clearly REAL things: particles atoms and molecules. Unless you want to go into the magical-mystery woo-woo realm of...

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on Dec. 5, 2015 @ 00:59 GMT
Is the space time continuum a solution to some differential equation caused by elements unknown to us? The actual preconditions to the big bang?

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Lorraine Ford replied on Dec. 5, 2015 @ 13:21 GMT
Jason,

Re “elements unknown to us”:

I think physics already pretty much knows the TYPES of elements of reality - there are NO TYPES of elements that are unknown to us: firstly, there are THINGS (strings??, particles, atoms, molecules, single-cell living things and multi-cell living things); and secondly, there are the physical structures/law-of-nature INFORMATION RELATIONSHIPS that (only for fundamental-level reality) are representable by mathematical equations.

Re “Is the space time continuum a solution to some differential equation”:

No. I consider that “space” and “time” are due to information relationships, and information relationships are REPRESENTABLE by mathematical equations. My assumption is that the particle-type things came first, and they created/built the information relationships from scratch i.e. physically real things built physical reality, including "space" and "time", out of information relationships.

Lorraine

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on Dec. 5, 2015 @ 17:12 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

Respectfully, I disagree. The physics constants c and G are mysteriously given, not calculated. Are they unchangeable dictates of a Creator? Or can they be manipulated by some energetic field yet to be discovered?

Jason

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Dec. 4, 2015 @ 12:30 GMT
Brendan,

More of my posts have been maliciously deleted. Could you please also reinstate my missing posts, to the “Physics of the Observer - Call for Proposals and Program Launch” blog, of:

Dec. 4, 2015 @ 01:07 GMT and

Dec. 4, 2015 @ 01:16 GMT .

I think Jason Wolfe’s post of 12/4/15 at 4:14am has probably also been maliciously deleted, and should be reinstated.

And seemingly Lee Bloomquist’s and Thomas Howard Ray’s recent posts have also been maliciously deleted, and should be reinstated.

Thanks,

Lorraine Ford

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on Dec. 4, 2015 @ 19:51 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

Thank you for defending the "malicious deletions" of my posts. The fact that my description of alien hyper-drive technology is still there probably means there is no malicious intent. It's probably just an accident/database issue.

Jason

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Dec. 6, 2015 @ 00:46 GMT
Hi Jason,

Physics claims to be about PHYSICAL reality: once you start getting into supposing that abstract entities exist, all bets are off, and you are in la-la land, and you can fabulate any story you like, totally unhinged from any backup in physical reality.

But there is no need to wildly speculate; there is no need to suppose that some amazing thing not yet discovered is going to answer all your questions; and there is no need to suppose that new, cool, awesome and cutting-edge equations will answer all your questions either: just look more carefully at what is already known to exist.

See my above posts (Nov. 22, 2015 @ 01:14 GMT, and Nov. 22, 2015 @ 01:19 GMT) for my opinion about numbers.

In essence "I contend that laws-of-nature are real information category relationship “structures”, and that numbers derive from partial information category relationships where the category “cancels out”".

I'm claiming that what we represent with number symbols, even c G e and pi, ultimately DERIVE from the same physically-real information category relationship structures as laws-of-nature. I'm also claiming that the numbers that represent the “discontinuous” aspects of the physical outcomes of quantum decoherence [1], are newly-created information category relationship structures where the category “cancels out”. I’m saying that THINGS [2] create new INFORMATION RELATIONSHIPS/physical outcomes.

I’m claiming that we don’t need to look to mysterious abstract entities for the solution to “the number problem”: just look at what is already known to exist.

Lorraine

1. “quantum mechanics, via decoherence, is constantly injecting new bits of information into the world”, The Computational Universe by Seth Lloyd, in Information and the Nature of Reality, Cambridge University Press, 2010 .

2. Things are: particles, atoms, molecules, single-cell living things and multi-cell living things.

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on Dec. 6, 2015 @ 06:07 GMT
Your referral to abstract entities makes me want to double down on the importance and beauty of God, gods, religions, magic, and all things that inspire spiritual and religious experience. And trust me, I am no light weight when it comes to math, physics, science or reason. I can even see the grey areas where new physics could fit.

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Vijay Mohan Gupta replied on Feb. 14, 2016 @ 19:19 GMT
Good Morning Mr Brendan Foster,

You are right in excluding abstractions, But mathematics itself is an abstraction by itself. Abstractions as means of comunication between humans can not be avoided. I see a serious mind being applied to subject in your comments.

PIco Physics is based on the basics of this discussion thread. PicoPhysics understands "The observation is an abstraction...

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Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Dec. 6, 2015 @ 19:56 GMT
Einstein didn't balance being and experience

Full inertia (outer space) eliminates our experience entirely, as it entirely eliminates distance in/of space. Outer space is fully invisible.

Whereas FULL GRAVITY involves FULL DISTANCE in/of space and FULLY VISIBLE space as it is seen, felt, AND touched.

Einstein should have considered the man standing upright on the Earth/ground.

Now, invisible AND visible space in FUNDAMENTAL equilibrium IS the MIDDLE DISTANCE in/of space consistent with equivalent and balanced inertia and gravity (half gravity and half inertia).

The eye is the body. The eye is invisible, AND it is visible. It is touched, and it is not touched. The eye/BODY is ALSO SEMI-VISIBLE (as the dome of the eye/body), as the balanced MIDDLE DISTANCE in/of space. So, it is SEMI-DETACHED in relation to touch/tactile experience; as the fully visible body extends full distance in the experience of full gravity that involves the fully visible Earth/ground. The FULLY VISIBLE BODY is then ATTACHED in relation to touch/tactile experience. Importantly, the MIDDLE DISTANCE and FULL DISTANCE experiences of space are in balance. We want to balance/"match up" being and experience. Watch someone else at full distance touch the top of their fully visible body/head with their fully visible hand. Being and experience are in balance, as MIIDLE DISTANCE and FULL DISTANCE are in balance. The feeling of gravity is a balanced INERTIAL resistance.

The ultimate unification and understanding of physics balances being AND experience, and it combines, balances, and includes opposites.

This proves that Einstein's general theory of relativity did not fully and extensively describe and explain gravity, nor did it truly and extensively explain the balanced and true relation between inertia and gravity.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Dec. 7, 2015 @ 08:20 GMT
Jason,

I’m sorry if my views seem harsh to you, but my views are actually anything but harsh.

Basically I’m saying that physical reality IS subjective experience, “consciousness” if you like. Reality is not dualistic: reality is not divided into (1) the coarse physical, and (2) the spiritual/abstract/platonic/conscious/creative realms where all the finer and more subtle essences reside. The “finer and more subtle essences” are physically evidenced e.g. by laws-of-nature (i.e. information category relationships) and by complex molecular structures which “talk to each other”.

The things of reality are truly creative and conscious, subjective and interrelated. But there is no OVERALL god-like entity that is creative and conscious, that can be praised or blamed for everything, or that will save the things of reality from the consequences of their own actions.

Reality is more subtle, more difficult, more alive, more interesting than a simplistic all-knowing creator-god model of reality would allow. And reality is also more subtle, more difficult, more alive, more interesting than physics, with its abstract/platonic realm of numbers and laws-of-nature would allow. Both physics’ and religion’s dualistic views of reality are cop-outs which avoid facing up to the actual nature of reality.

There is no division into God and not-God; there is no simplistic objective reality which can be fully specified by symbols on a T-shirt. There is only the subjective information experience of things (particles, atoms, molecules, single-cell living things, and multi cell living things) which IS physical reality.

Lorraine

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Jason Mark Wolfe replied on Dec. 8, 2015 @ 02:15 GMT
Hi Elaine,

I am sitting here listening to Spirit Voyage, music by Gurunam Singh, melting into its beauty, its joy.

I know my way around many parts of reality, but do not find in it the joy that I find in spirituality, spirit, prayer, etc. I would almost give up debate if I could just float in this bliss forever.

Jason

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Dec. 7, 2015 @ 14:36 GMT
Eckard,

Yes, technology is benefiting from information theory, but it is important to be very clear about what is actually happening.

The communication of information from one person to another can only be achieved via representing information symbolically. A spoken or written word is a symbolic representation of consciously experienced information. Similarly if the communication is...

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Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Dec. 10, 2015 @ 21:02 GMT
EINSTEIN DID NOT UNDERSTAND INERTIA AND GRAVITY

THE FULL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FALLING MAN

Einstein failed to understand that the ultimate unification of physics balances being and experience. Forget about observer and observed.

Here's why: The space (itself) that is between (and in the MIDDLE of) full inertia (outer space, black, fully invisible space) and full gravity (the...

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Amrit Srecko Sorli wrote on Dec. 12, 2015 @ 10:17 GMT
Origin of the Observer and ontological Hierarchy of the Universe

this essay on file attached is in brief about the origin of the observer

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Michelle Johnson wrote on Dec. 12, 2015 @ 14:54 GMT
Thanks for announcing the beginning of an ambitious new program. In your questions: Which the answers depend on how we think of observers?

The term observer has a number of non-equivalent uses in science. In quantum mechanics, "observation" is synonymous with quantum measurement and "observer" with a measurement apparatus and "observable" with what can be measured. Thus the quantum mechanical observer does not have to necessarily present or solve any problems over and above the (admittedly difficult) issue of measurement in quantum mechanics. The quantum mechanical observer is also intimately tied to the issue of observer effect. To know more I’m sharing with you original https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_(quantum_physics)

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Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Dec. 12, 2015 @ 21:21 GMT
It is a matter of balancing being and experience, and not one of "observer" and "observed". By doing this, you are dividing up, reducing, and fragmenting the understanding.

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Frank Martin DiMeglio wrote on Dec. 12, 2015 @ 21:25 GMT
The ultimate unification (AND understanding) of physics balances being and experience. Here is solid proof.

EINSTEIN'S TURN TO FALL. TOP THIS !!!

WHY THE FALLING MAN FEELS NO GRAVITY:

We want to balance being and experience. Gravity pertains to visibility and distance in/of space (seen, felt, AND touched). The falling man feels no gravity because the gravity cancels or...

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Amrit Srecko Sorli wrote on Dec. 15, 2015 @ 14:27 GMT
idea of existence of "internal" and of "external" observer is wrong.

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Anthony DiCarlo wrote on Jan. 8, 2016 @ 16:06 GMT
It is precisely "Physics of the Observer" that was described at:

http://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/1467

http://fqxi.org
/community/forum/topic/891

All measures MUST funnel through our 5 senses to become useful information. It is precisely these 5 senses that must lie at a boundary between measure and information. All telescopes, microscopes, spectrometers, etc., are just physical extensions to our 5 senses. This implies that the unification of information with ALL measures MUST funnel through our 5 physical senses. It simply comes down to "you" and your physical connection to the universe when any measure is made!

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Nicholas I Hosein wrote on Feb. 16, 2016 @ 16:42 GMT
HERE IS AN ENTIRE THREAD DEDICATED TO SPOOKY ACTION AT A DISTANCE. WORTH THE READ!

tance.142216/

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Brian Balke replied on May. 14, 2016 @ 18:32 GMT
Professor Eugene Commins at UC Berkeley studied under Einstein at Princeton. His categorization of quantum phenomena was more rigorous that most. I summarized Einstein's views, as Commins transmitted them to his students, here:

https://everdeepening.com/2016/01/30/quantum-entangleme
nt/

The broad challenge in interpreting the wavefunction is that it a convenient mechanism for lumping together many forms of uncertainty: initial state, uncontrollable perturbations of the Hamiltonian, ensemble statistics, and intrinsic quantum randomness. When the final state is written down, it is almost impossible to disentangle these effects.

The examples that I offer in my post demonstrate that we can create "wavefunctions" (probability distributions) for classical systems that manifest many of the characteristics of quantum entanglement.

Many critics of common experimental "proofs" of entanglement physics observe that they results can be explained by initial state uncertainty. In my post, I describe the kind of experiment that would resolve this deficit. I don't believe that they have been pursued because researchers are satisfied (erroneously, I assert) that their work proves the existence of entanglement.

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Amrit Srecko Sorli wrote on Feb. 18, 2016 @ 15:18 GMT
Observer has origin in Consciousness-Being. This are my results publishes last year.

attachments: 5_On_the_origin_of_the_observer.pdf

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Brian Balke wrote on May. 13, 2016 @ 04:38 GMT
My sense is that the most interesting question to ask here is whether the apparatus that we use to gather information about the world around us precludes the detection of certain kinds of phenomena. We accept this about our senses, as they have been far surpassed by our machines as regards both temporal and spatial resolution. But that still permits the existence of coherent behavior at larger scales that disappear when thus probed.

As an example, consider the study of a phase transition where introduction of a probe added energy that locally drove the system across the phase boundary. Obviously, the information revealed about the system would lead to biased conclusions. The error would only be revealed if we were motivated to obtain a different probe.

How do we know that our probes aren't biasing our understanding of fundamental physics?

Of particular interest to me, I note that the existence of the soul, long obvious to observers in earlier eras, has become a matter of ridicule in contemporary physics. Could it be that organic structures are sensitive to coherence that is completely disrupted by the conductors and fields that are so typical in modern detectors?

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Steve Agnew replied on May. 14, 2016 @ 12:53 GMT
One way to interpret quantum uncertainty is that the observer cannot help perturbing the observation at some point. An example uses a shorter and shorter pulse of light to probe the color of a changing object. Once the pulse is very short, the probe reveals nothing since the pulse color of each photon is white. At that point, color change no longer has any meaning and the observer probe affects all colors of the observation.

Another way to interpret quantum uncertainty is with phase coherence and entanglement. Because we sense the world with a neural phase and there are other people with similar neural phases who likewise sense us, we all become entangled to some extent in a common neural phase of humanity. That quantum phase correlate is what free will is all about and the neural correlation size is what makes people different from a collection of quantum rag dolls.

While the traditional interpretation of an inner soul is subjective and therefore something that simply must be believed, an outer soul seems rather obvious and objective. The outer soul is simply the entanglement of neural correlates that we call humanity...

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Brian Balke replied on May. 14, 2016 @ 18:06 GMT
Steve:

This is a common path forward for reconciliation of physics and spirituality. My sense is that it is supportable philosophically only when we ignore the actual operation of the Hamiltonian.

To elaborate: consider the archetypical manifestation of entanglement: the two-slit electron interference pattern. The distribution reflects the electron wavelength, which is proportional...

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Steve Dufourny replied on May. 14, 2016 @ 18:22 GMT
Hello to both of you,

It is intriguing.

Best Regards

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Steve Dufourny wrote on May. 15, 2016 @ 14:03 GMT
I discuss in private on LinkedIn with different persons.I have learnt about the strings theory of Mr Witten, it is very relevant.He could find the bridge between the two quanta,different of E.The photonic bosonic thermodynamical informations(classable)and the spheronic gravitational informations(classablz also with spherical volumes).What I find very relevant about the works of Witten is the vibrations and fréquences for the sortings, synchros and superimposings.It can be correlated with my sphères and the rotations.Mr Witten could find thebridge with a good simulation on computer.The serie of uniquenss is finite and specific.We could find the volume of the central sphere of our universe and the speed of particles produced by this central biggest BH.God is not far of us dear Jedis.Mr Witten help us , we need to find the mathematical method to check these new particles.SPEEDER AND SMALLER than photons.Best Regards from Belgium

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Lorraine Ford wrote on May. 16, 2016 @ 23:48 GMT
All you guys, and Georgina too, but not Steve A, seem to envision a universe where “911” was inevitable. You seem to hold a view of the universe in which every detail of “911” was inevitable (but not predictable) because your views of reality see no “mechanisms”, wiggle room or openings in the laws-of-nature whereby individual people could have potentially chosen different outcomes.

Brian Balke is the same, but he seems to think that wiggle room comes from a God, external to reality, who might intervene on your behalf, if you are good.

All you guys, and Georgina too, but not Steve A, are fascinated by mathematical equations and models of reality, but you are not fascinated by actual physical reality. Your view of the universe, the universe which includes “911”, seems to be that everything is 100% explainable by the correct set of equations, plus the correct set of initial values.

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Georgina Woodward replied on May. 18, 2016 @ 05:17 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

I have been proposing an explanatory framework in which the material future does not exist, allowing new configurations and associated relations to be formed. Without that "open future" no free will is possible. Some physical phenomena do not appear to be simply deterministic but obey the rules of probability.Radioactive decay is one example.So simple rules may not always imply the kind of determinism you say I seem to espouse.

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Lorraine Ford replied on May. 19, 2016 @ 02:43 GMT
So Georgina,

You are saying that both “911” and the Holocaust were 100% due to deterministic laws-of-nature plus random chance?

You are saying that the PEOPLE involved didn’t actually have the ability to make choices that could have made the slightest difference to any detail of the “911” or Holocaust outcomes?

You are saying that people (e.g. murderers, Nobel prize winners) don’t have the ability to make any choices: people (e.g. murderers, Nobel prize winners) are ragdolls under the complete control of laws-of-nature plus random chance?

You are saying that laws-of-nature have no “mechanisms”, wiggle room or openings; reality is not structured such that PEOPLE (and other living things) have the ability to choose some aspects of physical outcomes?

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Georgina Woodward replied on May. 19, 2016 @ 11:06 GMT
No Lorraine I am not saying any of those things. Choices can be made that have effects. However a great many choices are made without deliberation. Even those made after deliberation do not occur irrespective of the genetic, epi-genetic and environmental influences on brain structure and function;Or in isolation from internal and external environmental influences on a choice. That includes such things as sensory inputs, education , social environment, diet , medications, drug use. The notion that free will is being exercised is not always so. Derren Brown; advertising agency task

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