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Previous Contests

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

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
August - December 2008

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Georgina Woodward: on 7/4/17 at 21:47pm UTC, wrote I really would like more feedback to know where i have gone wrong with this...

Georgina Woodward: on 4/8/17 at 22:16pm UTC, wrote oops that should say -I am glad you like it. : )

Georgina Woodward: on 4/8/17 at 22:13pm UTC, wrote Thank you very much Jonathan. I really appreciate you having read the essay...

Jonathan Dickau: on 4/8/17 at 3:50am UTC, wrote By the way, I got to hear Temple Grandin talk a few years back, and she...

Jonathan Dickau: on 4/8/17 at 3:42am UTC, wrote Very nicely laid out.. I like this essay a lot Georgina, and I'm sorry I...

Peter Jackson: on 4/7/17 at 18:12pm UTC, wrote Georgina, Thanks for your comment on mine. I responded, posted here for...

Georgina Woodward: on 4/6/17 at 22:21pm UTC, wrote The imagined component of a goal (rather than process of its production),...

Georgina Woodward: on 4/6/17 at 0:48am UTC, wrote Some thoughts: Outcomes are not always the product of prior goals. Most...


Steve Dufourny: "Hi Georgina and Mr Sturm, Mr Sturm , sad that you have a problem with..." in The Present State of...

Deserdi Chapas: "Hi FQXI Members: We found the courage to asymptotically take one step..." in Alternative Models of...

Georgina Woodward: "I'd like to share with you a thoroughly revised version of the shorter..." in The Present State of...

Steve Dufourny: "I have improved a lot this theory of spherisation withe quantum and..." in Alternative Models of...

David Vognar: "Quantum physics isn't the end of reality; we just need better rulers that..." in Quantum Physics and the...

algo rrithm: "A digital marketing agency in India is showcasing that happens through Web..." in Dark matter effect on the...

algo rrithm: "A branding agency in delhi is a firm having some expertise in the key and..." in The secret of planets’...

algo rrithm: "Advanced advertising assists brands with arriving at their interest group..." in Dark matter effect on the...

click titles to read articles

The Entropic Price of Building the Perfect Clock: Q&A with Natalia Ares
Experiments investigating the thermodynamics of clocks can teach us about the origin of time's arrow.

Schrödinger’s A.I. Could Test the Foundations of Reality
Physicists lay out blueprints for running a 'Wigner's Friend' experiment using an artificial intelligence, built on a quantum computer, as an 'observer.'

Expanding the Mind (Literally): Q&A with Karim Jerbi and Jordan O'Byrne
Using a brain-computer interface to create a consciousness 'add-on' to help test Integrated Information Theory.

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.

January 29, 2023

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: Imagined Goals in a Material World by Georgina Woodward [refresh]
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Author Georgina Woodward wrote on Feb. 24, 2017 @ 21:43 GMT
Essay Abstract

Some key ideas: Inanimate processes or simple organisms do not have the ability or means to imagine goals. Goals are from the internal perspective, perceived as within the future (that is imagined.). In material reality, they are in material brain structure and brain activity Now. Tasks not goals are related to the “arrows of time”. Prediction is a calculation or estimation or informed opinion of an outcome, without intention or desire to cause its happening. Function does not have to be the outcome of a goal. Function should be differentiated from purpose. Agency, the ability to perform tasks, is different from producing and accomplishing goals. It is the complex structure of the brain and endocrine system that produces and facilitates accomplishment of goals. The limbic system allows 1. emotion driven goal setting, and 2. motivation to act, as well as 3. Attention, to relevant stimuli giving feedback on tasks. Simple linear causality based on known knowns is a simplification that can give erroneous conclusions. Avoid anthropomorphism and be aware of the many biases affecting ideas about causality. Indicators of intelligence: 1. Does it do more than follow its instincts or programming? 2. Is it able to generate, plan and achieve its own goals? 3. Under new conditions, does it have a range of problem solving ability. Or does it acquire the necessary information or skill. 3. Does it choose an appropriately efficient solution. Emergent complexity can arise from simple rules. Emergent complexity does not require an external pre-written plan, program separate from the existing material configuration of the Object universe, to direct change. Energy input to a system can drive a cycle of simplicity to complexity tending towards simplicity. The universe/nature does not prefer complexity, it does not have it as a goal. It is a stage of development.

Author Bio

Biological sciences graduate and former teacher of 'the sciences'. Interest in foundational physics, especially the nature of time, spanning many years.

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Member George F. R. Ellis wrote on Feb. 25, 2017 @ 16:25 GMT
Dear Georgina

delighted to see you refer to Panksepp and the primary emotions - this is where motivation comes from. Thank you for taking the psychological level seriously. It does of course arise out of lower level neural processes, in turn arising out of gene activation and protein effects in regulatory networks; but these are activated in a top down way from the psychological level, which does have real causal power.

Nice essay.

George Ellis

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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 1, 2017 @ 01:29 GMT
Thank you.

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde wrote on Feb. 25, 2017 @ 16:42 GMT
Dear Georgina,

Good to meet again here on FQXi.

I really appreciate your essay with its beautifull (as ever) illustrations.

Your viewpoint that can be compressed to your sentence(in my opinion)


Complexity can arise from reiteration of simple rules


I would like to interpret complexity as a result from the excitaion of consciousness. What we are experiencing as "our life" (untill NOW) is explained in my contribution in this conquest. I try to reach out to the essence of reality, it is only an effort.

So I hope that you will find some time to read and eventually give a rating for

my essay : "The Purpose of Life"

Thank you

Wilhelmus de Wilde

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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 1, 2017 @ 01:31 GMT
Thank you.

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Feb. 26, 2017 @ 01:40 GMT
Hi Georgina Parry,

Your wonderful essay clarifies so many things and addresses most of the questions FQXi suggested. You appear to answer most of the "mindless math" questions without defining or even focusing on either "mind" or "math". Instead you focus on the 'Objective Reality of Now' that you have been developing for years (and with which I largely agree) while only using the words 'conscious' or 'mind' a few times. You seem to let cellular automata stand-in for math, and make the excellent point that

"Emergent patterns of some cellular automata are too complex to work back to the rules that formed them."

You note that "a goal is in the future imagined by the thinker", existing wholly Now in the only material existent reality. I view consciousness as consciousness of Now, while past and future are "thoughts" associated with neural networks and biochemical flows. I think we agree on this. I also agree that "mimicry of intelligence is not intelligence."

I tend to agree with your objective reality and I assume this as my background in the same way that you seem to assume conscious mind in the background of your essay. I believe our essays are almost 100% compatible in that sense.

Congratulations on a first-rate essay.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 1, 2017 @ 01:30 GMT
Thank you.

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Feb. 26, 2017 @ 13:52 GMT
Dear Parry,

Thank you for your nice essay.

You are observations are excellent, “ Inanimate things and processes, and simple organisms do not have the ability or means to imagine goals.”…. and…. “Though reproductive success is necessary for the passing on of genetic code to the next generation, it is questionable whether most higher organisms too achieve...

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Joe Fisher wrote on Feb. 26, 2017 @ 16:27 GMT
Dear Ms. Parry,

Please excuse me for I have no intention of disparaging in any way any part of your essay.

I merely wish to point out that “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Physicist & Nobel Laureate.

Only nature could produce a reality so simple, a single cell amoeba could deal with it.

The real Universe must consist only of one unified visible infinite physical surface occurring in one infinite dimension, that am always illuminated by infinite non-surface light.

A more detailed explanation of natural reality can be found in my essay, SCORE ONE FOR SIMPLICITY. I do hope that you will read my essay and perhaps comment on its merit.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Joe Fisher replied on Feb. 27, 2017 @ 16:35 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I am terribly sorry for using the wrong name on my comment. Please forgive me.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote on Mar. 4, 2017 @ 10:46 GMT

good to see someone else tackling the questions proposed by this contest, head-on. some questions for you if i may:

" It would be incorrect to say that the water has intention to move

into the bag or that the bag the goal of increasing its volume."

why would it be incorrect? or, another way to put it would be: under what circumstances or perspective could it be invisioned that the water *does* have the aim / intent to move into the bag? or, what law or aspect of our universe *does* have intent (if the water may said to definitely not have its own "intent")?

"Simple organisms are incapable of imagining goals and merely reproduce in an automatic way via the physics and biochemistry and material reality of the situation as it happens"

... yet simple organisms are extremely successful at colonisation and self-replication in their chosen environments. if the *organisms* are not capable of imagining goals, then what *is*?

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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 4, 2017 @ 21:16 GMT
Hi Luke, thanks for reading the essay and for your thoughtful questions. An intention to do something is about something that is going to happen at a time outside of Now. A bag of saline, or some water in a flask is incapable of forming a concept of a future as it is too simple. What happens happens because of the physics and chemistry, water molecules will move from a weaker to a stronger solution through a semipermeable membrane. The water can pass through the membrane but the salt can't. There isn't any goal, aim or intention of the inanimate apparatus /ingredients prior to or during what happens. It is unnecessary to account for things that happen with intentions. I have, I hope, shown that that teleological perspective is unnecessary. That is different from saying things just happen by accident. There can be clear causes without intention. Survival and reproduction and complex behaviours do not necessarily require the ability to imagine what will occur at a future time. My argument was that goals require a certain level of brain organisation. That organisation is found in higher organisms, birds and mammals. Tool production and use by birds (corvids) and apes is a good indication that the future success of a task is anticipated, there is a goal, as the tool is made purposefully. Caledonian crows making a number of different tool designs for different purposes.Hook tool manufacture by Caledonian crows

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 13:40 GMT
Hi Georgina,

Good to see your papper.Relevant like always :)

good luck also


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Héctor Daniel Gianni wrote on Mar. 12, 2017 @ 00:06 GMT
Dear Georgina Woodward

I invite you and every physicist to read my work “TIME ORIGIN,DEFINITION AND EMPIRICAL MEANING FOR PHYSICISTS, Héctor Daniel Gianni ,I’m not a physicist.

How people interested in “Time” could feel about related things to the subject.

1) Intellectuals interested in Time issues usually have a nice and creative wander for the unknown.


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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 12, 2017 @ 08:52 GMT
Hi Hector,

since this is the thread for discussing my essay or ideas relevant to its content, what did you think of my essay? Was it at all thought provoking? Do you have any questions about what was written? Did you find it relevant to the topic of the contest?


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Alan M. Kadin wrote on Mar. 12, 2017 @ 14:27 GMT
Dear Georgina,

I read your essay with great interest, particularly your warnings about biases and your identification of goals as based on imagined futures.

I agree with much of your analysis. I also noticed that you cited Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow”, which points out the illusions in our conscious thinking.

In my own essay, “No Ghost in the Machine”, I also cited Kahneman, and identified a series of illusions that have obscured our understanding of intelligence and consciousness.

I further propose that consciousness may reflect a specific evolved brain structure based on an adaptive neural network, which creates a simplified dynamical model that recognizes self and other agents in a causal world. I also point out the role of dreams as an alternative consciousness without external sensory input. Finally, analogous electronic networks may be developed to create true artificial intelligence.

Alan Kadin

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Peter Jackson wrote on Mar. 19, 2017 @ 18:04 GMT
Hi Georgina,

Good essay, nicely distinguishing some key differences defining intelligent life (in agreement with mine) if not 'diving off' the solid ground to any less solid hypothesis. I also agree that instinctive behaviour needs less 'intelligence', indeed I take that further to suggest WE are to often guilty of that primeval response mode when higher rationalization would be better. Would you agree?

You seem to be suggesting what I say, which I'll word simply; The ability to draw on input (experience/memory) to 'imagine' scenario's lets us 'run' them through to our motor cortex and find responses, (chemical release etc) which are either good or bad. We then have 'feedback' to inform other scenario's, then can make decisions (form 'aims') at a high 'layer' which lower level decisions serve. Was I 'reading in' too much? or wrongly?, or do you agree?

I didn't feel you 'committed' to CA or not, but tended to point to it? I see it as helpful but flawed and actually identify a fundamental 'momentum' not utilized in QM which allows the inherent complex states necessary. It may be 'too QM' for most but it simplifies QM to a classical mechanism it so do let me know how you get on.

Well done for your thoughts. Do correct my interpretations above! Well founded and sound as a pound as usual. (what would we say if we had Euro's?!)

Best of luck in the contest.


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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 20, 2017 @ 21:56 GMT

I was distinguishing life able to set goals and work toward the chosen/desired outcome rather than just responding or achieving functional outcomes without imagination of the outcome.

Outside of the discussion in my essay but addressing your point: Some people are highly reactive, acting on impulse and may be described as having poor impulse control. The other side of that is...

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Peter Jackson replied on Mar. 28, 2017 @ 17:32 GMT

Yes, it's that 'imagination of the outcome' I agree is critical, and I discuss the results of the feedback loops from running those 'scenarios' in mine.

" In a raging fire window or door beats staying put. You can think about whether it was the right choice if you are still alive afterwards, which you won’t be if you don’t move. ". . I also agree entirely, indeed I use a tiger in the same scenario! what I'm suggesting is distinguishing between two thought modes, and using 'rationalisation mode' is essential for advancement of understanding.

I'm sorry mine used QM again this year, but simplified so 4 of 5 barmaids understood it so I'm certain you will - if using thought mode 2 - 'goal directed'! (there's also a nice video, and a 100 sec glimpse version here; Classic QM.).

Yours looks too low to get many reads so I'll help it now. I hope it doesn't get as hit by the trolls as mine!

Very best


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Peter Jackson replied on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 18:12 GMT

Thanks for your comment on mine. I responded, posted here for your convenience;

Thanks Georgina.

Yes, the 2 parts (really 3) are directly as well as indirectly connected which 'reverse engineered' the ontology, but I had to trim a few of the words that that clarified how. (And a few too many others!)

Essentially; The fine structure complexity required to produce 'Qualia' (Ullas excellent word) and 'intent' from the architecture and 'mechanisms' in our cortices simply wasn't adequate. However decoding all the 'noise' (in a Shannon information channel, - see my It from Bit IQbit essay) by revealing the second Cos2 momentum distribution on the surface of an electron easily allows it.

We then 'loop' back' (as the neural architecture does) to thinking modes, which shows why, because physicists have no 'memory' (patterns) embedded in that complex RAM, that all such new concepts are rejected a priori when thinking in Mode1 (primeval evolved intuitive response mode). So once you see the link you should see a massive elephant sized Catch 22! (some smaller scale ones have been identified!)

I actually announced a medium sized one; Anyone 'skipping over' the essay (mode 1) would miss most of it's true value. You'll see I guesstimated ~20% would 'get' the BIG and important (ClassicQM) discovery (many aren't interested in QM) that's just been surpassed, which is great progress!

I hope that helps. I hope that didn't feel too much like decoding Shakespeare in English Lit!- but I AM saying we need to self evolve to more Mode2 analytical thinking to understand nature better after all!!

Very best


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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde wrote on Mar. 21, 2017 @ 09:52 GMT
Dear Georgina,

Thanks for reading my contribution to the contest.

I have read your essay with great interest.

Your "emerging" comes from complexity, my thinking is also complexity is an emerging phenomenon, our whole experience of reality is an emerging phenomenon.

Causality is (in my latest perception) the effect that EVERYTHING we are consciousness experiencing ihas happened in the PAST (because we are "living" in a time and space-restricted reality). We only are aware of events that were "caused" by earlier events in our memories. This PAST has its origin in what I call Total Simultaneity. There the several moments (ENM's) forming our life-lines are timeless so eternal. The NOW moment we seem to experience is immediately becoming past and no longer "available" in our emergent memory experience. However it is still an eternal ENM in TS. You could then imagine that the NOW moment we seem to experience "contains" ALL the Information of a specific life-line in TS, so it seems a FLOW experience. When going further it could mean that the life we are living is only an emergent NOW moment with all its specific life-line info in our emergent memory. In this way causality and flow of time could be understood. I amaware that this is not yet a complete perception but in this contest all the other opinions are contributing to the basic idea.

I rated your essay and hope that you will rate mine also.

best regards and good luck in the next Eternal Now Moment


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Willy K wrote on Mar. 22, 2017 @ 08:41 GMT
Hi Georgina

It is interesting that you suggest that your measures of intelligence could be applied to “colonies and mankind collectively”, because my measure of intelligence is also meant to do the same thing. I guess the difference is that my measure is designed from the social system or the Constitutional nation state, whereas yours is coming from a great deal of common sense regarding what ought to be considered as intelligent.

I totally agree with you that mimicry, even sophisticated ones, should not be considered as intelligent. As I have written even in my essay, Turing test is definitely flawed in that respect. It is not objective because it requires reference to humans.

Regards, Willy

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Author Georgina Woodward wrote on Mar. 29, 2017 @ 19:30 GMT
By the way, there is a temporal component to embryological development that can be seen as connected to the foundational arrow of time. For example the timing of the correct specific concentration gradients at certain receptor sites can have profound outcomes.

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sherman loran jenkins wrote on Apr. 4, 2017 @ 18:19 GMT
Georgina Woodward,

I will post on both your topic and my own in the essay contest.

Enjoyed your essay as usual. And agree with most of your observations. I would like to make a couple of comments. The first relates to giving the lower ranked life forms a little more credit. My essay originally included my experience with slime mold but due to size restrictions - something had to go; and anyway, who would believe such simple creatures could have goals and anticipate the future? And a second has to do with time. I know that you have expressed a long interest in the nature of time. So much of physics is more beautiful when viewed with a working understanding of time. My essay in the first FQXI contest on the nature of time describes how time and the laws of physics come from one underlying principle.


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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Apr. 4, 2017 @ 20:08 GMT
Hi Sherman, I have described why only the higher organisms are able to have prior goals; rather than merely functional outcomes that only have the appearance of being consciously goal directed. I'd like to have included something about the social insects and how the sum of individual behaviours produces "wisdom of the crowd" leading to the appearance of group decision making achieving a planned goal

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Don Limuti wrote on Apr. 5, 2017 @ 05:21 GMT
Hi Georgina,

Super to be in another contest with you (I missed the last one). I think you have been in all contests and used your biological and teaching background to great effect. And once again you have created a very good essay. Let me comment about your conclusions:

1. "The limbic system common to birds and mammals provides innate emotions that appear to be drivers of many goals." Yes, a very good point "emotions" are not mentioned in other essays.

2. "A goal is in the future imagined by the thinker. Yet the goal exists wholly Now in the only materially existent reality." Yes, from a third person scientific point of view. No, from a first person point of view. If asked how they feel, a person will generally give you an emotion (pain), not a materially existent reality (I feel like an arrow in my foot).

3. "Goals are impotent, tasks are interactions with material reality that can lead to goal achievement." Maybe, I find this to be a bit of word salad.

Please forgive my being nitpicky. This is a really good look at material reality, and establishing a link to emotions. In my own essay I tried to establish a link to emotion....didn't do as good a job as you did.

Do check out my is relativity easy on the neurons:)

Thanks for being in the contest and for an excellent essay.

Don Limuti

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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Apr. 5, 2017 @ 21:43 GMT
Hi Don, thank you so much for your thoughtful and helpful comments.

Re. your 2., I am purposefully differentiating conscious thought about the goal, which is about information processing in the brain producing an imagined outcome at a future time, from material existence and where/when that physical biochemical/neurological process is happening. I am using the uni-temporal model of material existence which is that all existing material things exist at the same and only time there being no time dimension in foundational reality.There is a paper about uni-temporalism here if interested. Uni-Temporalism, the Relation of Human Beings to Time and the ‘future’ of Time in Physics

Re. your 3., Having a mental idea about what can be caused to happen, or is a desirable outcome, is different from doing what is necessary to make the imagined outcome happen. So here I am differentiating goal from task. There are authors that do not differentiate them, considering task performance giving a functional outcome to be the same as being goal directed or to imply a prior goal. To reinforce the difference; Consider the difficulty of translating a goal into task performance when there is nerve damage causing paralysis, or where there is insufficient neurotransmitter production.

I will read your essay, kind regards Georgina

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Author Georgina Woodward wrote on Apr. 6, 2017 @ 00:48 GMT
Some thoughts: Outcomes are not always the product of prior goals. Most things in nature happen without being goal directed, which is not denying the functionality of the outcome but recognizing that functionality does not require prior aim or purposvity. A goal is not something to be retrospectively assumed but is generated prior to task/s (or happenings) and outcome.

A goal is not just neural activity happening now but also pertains to something or relationship that is imaginary; i.e. that does not yet exist. It is the task planning and execution in between that raises the probability that the imagined outcome is achieved. Shooting the ball at the net, after taking clear aim, significantly raises the probability that the ball will go through the net as imagined. Choosing to alter the probability of an outcome in the external reality is where will comes in to play. Yet the choices made can also be affected by things like neurotransmitter levels/ balance which can be reduced to chemistry and physics, or seen as the product of lifestyle and environment and social relationships. The freewill problem may come from trying to isolate goal production (will) from micro and macro environment. Yes, we can have will, yet it can never be entirely free.

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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Apr. 6, 2017 @ 22:21 GMT
The imagined component of a goal (rather than process of its production), could be used as an argument against the time reversibility allowed by classical mechanics and Einstein’s relativity. Reversal of tasks (a series of actions) seems odd, with a 'uni-directional' subjective experience of passage of time. Even more so, going in reverse from outcome through tasks to (neural processing product) the goal, such as “this X is what I am going to do,” to pre-goal is more than odd. In reverse direction, the imagined future of the goal pertains to the past and has no relevance to what will be done progressing in time reverse ‘direction’. A counter argument is that there wouldn’t be coherent thought but nonsensical reverse direction un-thinking in time reversal, so no imagined future, as the neural processes too are reversed. Time reversibility is not an issue in uni-temporalism.

About free-will: employing a uni-temporal viewpoint, only Now exists materially so the material future is open rather than already fixed. The goal imagined is not itself a part of the existing external material reality. Goal setting may be the way off of the path of inevitability, allowing conscious manipulation of the probabilities of outcomes; Rather than merely passive automatic biological response and inanimate mechanics of physics.

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Apr. 8, 2017 @ 03:42 GMT
Very nicely laid out..

I like this essay a lot Georgina, and I'm sorry I could not get here to read and comment sooner. A lot on my plate. I concur with Don's comment above that it's nice to read an essay by an author unafraid to talk about emotions as a defining concept relating to goals. You may be the only one who weaved that and several other related concepts in to treat a topic that arguably demanded it. I think you nailed it, though (disagreeing with Don's word salad comment), when talking about tasks vs goals. Tommaso Bolognesi uses the word mechanism, in place of task, but you are on the same page. He also talks about CAs in a similar connection.

Thanks for a most pleasant and informative read I'll want to return to.

All the Best,


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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Apr. 8, 2017 @ 03:50 GMT
By the way,

I got to hear Temple Grandin talk a few years back, and she was a wonderful and engaging speaker.

All the Best,


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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Apr. 8, 2017 @ 22:13 GMT
Thank you very much Jonathan. I really appreciate you having read the essay and your positive comments. I ma glad you like it.

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Author Georgina Woodward replied on Apr. 8, 2017 @ 22:16 GMT
oops that should say -I am glad you like it. : )

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Author Georgina Woodward wrote on Jul. 4, 2017 @ 21:47 GMT
I really would like more feedback to know where i have gone wrong with this essay. I tried to fully address the stated requirements. Taking out the comments that were not anything to do with the essay, there are only 10 community members and one FQXi member who commented (prior to name change). I did read and comment on other's essays. was involved with the process.

i think that perhaps in trying to answer all of the questions each one was not considered in enough depth. Maybe I should have picked just one. I don't know if referring to the uni-temporal concept of time passage counted against it as it isn't "recognized". I wonder if talking about the cellular automata as i did was a bit too simplistic or an analogy too far for readers. These are what spring to mind but maybe its something/other things else I haven't considered. Can anyone help with this?

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