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Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
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What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation

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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Peter Jackson: on 4/7/17 at 10:26am UTC, wrote Ulla, You asked on my blog; "Qualia from a Process!? how??" Fair...

Dizhechko Semyonovich: on 4/7/17 at 7:15am UTC, wrote Dear Sirs! Physics of Descartes, which existed prior to the physics of...

James Hoover: on 4/7/17 at 4:57am UTC, wrote Ulla, This is certainly a journey in non-conservative thinking. There is a...

Jonathan Dickau: on 4/7/17 at 2:00am UTC, wrote Hello Ulla, Thank you for your lovely note on my page, which I'll answer...

Peter Jackson: on 3/28/17 at 12:18pm UTC, wrote Ulla, A fascinating and intuitive essay fresh and real in it's freedom...

Ulla Mattfolk: on 3/16/17 at 8:11am UTC, wrote We have actually seen such spin flips many times during our history. What...

Ulla Mattfolk: on 3/15/17 at 21:59pm UTC, wrote Thanks snp. gupta The essay was formed to suit the rules for the Contest...

Ulla Mattfolk: on 3/15/17 at 21:54pm UTC, wrote Hi Rado, Draw the 0 and 1 on the Bloch sphere too. Quantum states are...


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’...

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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: The www of Life - the wet warm womb. by Ulla Marianne Mattfolk [refresh]
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Author Ulla Marianne Mattfolk wrote on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 15:11 GMT
Essay Abstract

The nature of consciousness, a conscious observer, occurrence in the brain, and place in the universe are unknowns. Penrose & Hameroff suggest a connection between brain biomolecular processes and the dynamic, fine-scale structure of the universe and Copenhagen viewpoint puts consciousness outside science, into pseudoscience. Models of 'reality' and 'illusion'. The up and downside world - It before bit or bit before it? I will compare the both views, either observer, even if a device, and its consciousness collapse the wave, or the wave is collapsed by dynamicity in the uncertainty itself, gives consciousness in the measurement made of living organisms. Also the condensed matter and quantum dot view on the same. This will be a journey in non-conservative thinking.

Author Bio

Ulla Mattfolk, MSc, Turku Akademy, Finland. Biologist, main interests in Chinese medicine, selfregeneration, reflexology, electromedicine and quantum biology. Studied physics on my own and in discussions with Matti Pitkänen mainly, Jerry Decker etc. so I am an amateur. The emphasis is laid on the biology, which is a real physical system. Pitkänens work suits biology very well,and it is interpreted in comparision with other physicists theories. This interpretation fits the selfregenerative capacity and the body-mind function very well. This can give way to a new understanding of living matter and its physical charachters.

Download Essay PDF File

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Wilhelmus de Wilde de Wilde wrote on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 16:31 GMT
Dear Ulla,

Good to meet you here on FQXi.

I attentively read your well grounded essay.

Consciousness is the most important issue to realise reality, what is information without users ?

In my essay "The Purpose of Life" I think you will find also new perceptions of how we can interprete reality.

So I hope that you will find time to read/comment and surely rate it (just click the link above and use the ode FQXi sent you).

I will give you a rating later on, I don't want to be the first.(If you get a high rating in the beginning like I did, there are trols that come up without any comment to give one's ! After a 9 and a 6 I got three one's !!! so the struggle upwards began)

best regards

Wilhelmus de Wilde

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Author Ulla Marianne Mattfolk replied on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 21:29 GMT
Thanks Wilhelmus.

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Author Ulla Marianne Mattfolk replied on Mar. 7, 2017 @ 21:50 GMT
I did a try to link physics to biology, by comparing some measurement methods. I realized the wet, warm, womb of Life was actually precisely required for Life to function as it does. We have understood it all wrongly.

The purpose, intention is also something very tightly linked to biology, as your title also tell us. There are so many good essays here...

I also want to say Thank you to George Ellis for inspiration. He is a member in my quantum biology FB Group, a very silent member :) I also see other people I know here. I will be busy Reading and voting for some time.

Best. Ulla.

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Richard J Benish wrote on Mar. 8, 2017 @ 02:50 GMT
Dear Ulla,

Warm Wet Womb: Wonderful!

"We must 'jump' to a higher sphere of hierarchy, unite with Mother Earth,." indeed.

Unfortunately, many of the prevailing methods and world views of modern physics stand as obstacles, I think, to such warm and fuzzy aspirations. I am reminded of a 1957 remark by Oppenheimer:

"The whole of physics for the last 30 years has been...

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Author Ulla Marianne Mattfolk replied on Mar. 8, 2017 @ 06:41 GMT
As the requirements for this Contest was also some poetry this was it, as well as the heading, in my mind, is a good one, also expressing clearly where my attempt differ from the common agreement.


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Author Ulla Marianne Mattfolk replied on Mar. 8, 2017 @ 20:38 GMT
Richard, it is quite odd, that in theory the gravity at center of Earth would be the same as in outer space, gravitation near zero. We know so very Little :)

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Saibal Mitra wrote on Mar. 8, 2017 @ 23:44 GMT
This essay raises interesting points. I wrote an essay a few years back here, where I actually did argue that decoherence plays a role in cosnciouness see here, the core of the argument is that you can interpret an entangled state as an algorithm. A two qubit state of the form:


can be interpreted as the algorithm that assigns to one bit the NOT value of the other bit in at least this basis. While this is not unambiguous because of the choice of the basis, the fact that an algorithm can be identified at some moment in time is a feature that doesn't exist in classical mechanics and that been the result of many philosophical arguments. The main problem is then that you need to run an algorithm for some time to be able to see what algorithm is running because at some moment in time, the snapshot view doesn't contain the information about a range of inputs versus outputs.

Now, I did not argue in favor of typical quantum phenomena to explain consciousness, my argument was to note that classical mechanics arises from quantum mechanics due to decoherence, but decoherence is just entanglement with the environmental degrees of freedom. The equations we use in classical mechanics are just approximations that become valid when due to entanglement with a very large number of degrees of freedom, effects such as interference become invisible. So, the objections against a classical computer being conscious can be answered by considering how that classical behavior arises in the first place.

For the present contest, I was working on an improvement of this argument, but two days before the submission date I changed my mind because in my mind what I had was not good enough. I decided to write an essay on a different subject and was able to submit that one just in time, it has yet to appear here. It's unfortunately full of typos, though.

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Author Ulla Marianne Mattfolk replied on Mar. 9, 2017 @ 07:20 GMT
Decoherence of a state to form a new coherence is a fascinating topic I want to explore more. If you follow my used model here the decoherence is not total, maybe in Death alone, and we keep the old state to create a new one, partly, as the decoherence center is in sectors or CDs, quantum dots. Decoherence happen in one or some sectors only. This is the wonderful fact with it :)

What exactly is created? A measurement of the Environment. Formation of new knowledge. It does not say much about exactly what consciousness is, only that it is linked to actions.

If I interpret your eq. right I see an inverse wave, but it oscillate between real and inverse or imaginary state, this is why decoherence is not total :) The 1 and 0 are never quite reached. It is expressed as ratios in living matter, and that is a quantum charachter too :)

Thanks for a nice comment. Ulla.

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Saibal Mitra wrote on Mar. 8, 2017 @ 23:47 GMT
Correction, the state is:

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Author Ulla Marianne Mattfolk replied on Mar. 10, 2017 @ 12:46 GMT
Draw it on a Bloch sphere, then you see what it is :)

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Rado Bozov replied on Mar. 15, 2017 @ 17:49 GMT
there are neither states nor observables , as any position of a particle/photon/wave , could be distributed anywhere in the real domain between 0 and 1, where we choose where to cut time, dt, of imaginary space, called quantum space in order to fit observable paradigms! any 1^(-10000), or 0.0001, or whatever value towards an artificial constant as such as Plank scale we intend on comprehending serves towards data processing. Reality , both horizontal and vertical as well as invisible to coordinate of a chosen space-time exploration, cannot be specified due the fundamental paradox between 2D matter time and 2D space energy relative absoluteness of rooting down origins of life. Thus we approximate truth by taking chances of following rule based quantum open systems!

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Author Ulla Marianne Mattfolk replied on Mar. 15, 2017 @ 21:54 GMT
Hi Rado,

Draw the 0 and 1 on the Bloch sphere too. Quantum states are inside it as mixed states. Time evolution is seen as a rotation. and also maybe a spin flip is possible.

Virtual states are infinitely many, as an cloud around. But when you perturb the sphere you see they are a mirror of ordinary matter.

When you go from 2D to 3D you get problems :)

I don't get this: the fundamental paradox between 2D matter time and 2D space energy relative absoluteness of rooting ...

Open quantum systems contains interactions with Environment, and this is essential for what I advocate here. But the thermodynamics is a bit bothersome due to uncertain time evolution, because initial state is difficult to identify, and environmental interactions are complex. The information-theoretic process might give some clues.

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Gavin William Rowland wrote on Mar. 9, 2017 @ 05:51 GMT
Dear Ulla

I couldn't quite follow your reasoning in places but enjoyed reading your essay for the general direction you were heading. Your FB group sounds interesting can i join? i am very interested in quantum biology as i think the mind must interact with the brain through quantum physics.

My essay "From nothingness to value ethics" is not much about quantum biology, but I think you would find it interesting as it involves other ideas that may make this quantum approach workable. By the way we don't necessarily have to work with the standard 'disorder' approach to entropy. There is an alternative (and I think more correct) approach - you can read more about it at entropy



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Author Ulla Marianne Mattfolk replied on Mar. 9, 2017 @ 07:30 GMT

Can you explicitly Point out where you could not follow? I must admit it was a difficult task to only be able to use 25000 charachters, I had to delete and delete.... also stuff that was good. Kill the darling, ye.

Also Prigogine had to go, even if what he found is very basic. The new view on decoherence was what I wanted to promote, and I am happy to have four different aspects compared here. Penrose and TGD has met much critic. The condensed matter view is maybe more accepted.

This view maybe not directly say the Copenhagen model is excluded, the measurement can be both ways, and should be both ways, maybe. But the idea there should be something 'not real' must be seen as wrong.

Thanks, I can add your name, but first we must become friends :)


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Gavin William Rowland replied on Mar. 10, 2017 @ 10:58 GMT
Dear Ulla

Well, for me there were quite a few points. You use a lot of terminology, and the writing doesn't flow - it is like you are trying to get all your bits of knowledge down on the page at the expense of leading your reader through the argument. This would be okay if the reader was well acquainted with this material, but trying to make sense of it as presented was difficult for me.

I plan to examine some of your references for further enlightenment.



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Author Ulla Marianne Mattfolk replied on Mar. 10, 2017 @ 12:38 GMT
I try to use so Little terminology as possible. This is why my reference list is quite long too, so you can go there and read more.

To be able to comment on it you could tell me more exactly what caused problems.

As author of Mind Beyond Matter, which especially concentrates on what is sometimes termed “the cosmology of consciousness” and explores what the author regards as the differences between brain and mind, matter and energy, this should not cause problems, I Think. In a way my essay is also about 'the cosmology of consciousness'.


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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 11:26 GMT
Nice essay Dr Mattfolk,

Your ideas and thinking are excellent like,

1. One reason is the natural selection of evolution, another intentions, goals, purposes of living organisms = consciousness.

2. Life has an aim to adapt to a changing environment using creativity. Lifetime is created and maximized. Living things adapt, survive and reproduce in the environment. Consciousness...

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Author Ulla Marianne Mattfolk replied on Mar. 15, 2017 @ 21:59 GMT
Thanks snp. gupta

The essay was formed to suit the rules for the Contest :)

You are right that intention is an important area of research, but so far we have very Little knowledge on it.

The movement of masses must be seen as an effect, I Think. The goal is what makes them move.

I will look at your paper, thank you. Good Luck!

Ulla M.

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Peter Jackson wrote on Mar. 28, 2017 @ 12:18 GMT

A fascinating and intuitive essay fresh and real in it's freedom from conservative blinkers, allowing both deeper and broader thinking and rationalisation. I fundamentally agree almost all your analysis, including that we can't solve the problem " differential equations for the evolutional systems and their integration."

I also found; "Decoherence of a state to form a new coherence is a fascinating topic" long ago and tackled it. Indeed I think we may only differ in that I go further into the reality of 'state collapse' mechanisms to prove your views correct; classical nature not psuedoscience. I think your comment sums up the problem, for 100 years, very well: "something 'not real' must be seen as wrong."

Your reference too Bloch spheres and that "Open quantum systems contains interactions with Environment" convince me you may understand and appreciate my own essay, which I think and hope may clarify some questions and offer some coherent answers, including a fully classical analogue of QM. (there's also a video if you have time, Classic QM as 3D dynamic evolutions can't be drawn well on paper!)

Well done for yours. I must say I found it something of an inspiration and affirmation that not all are sold on the illogicalities and pseudoscience arising from incorrect initial assumptions, so are able to take a sensible overview. Unfortunately we are few and my work is eshewed, but what more can we do?

Thank you. A good score coming!

Best wishes


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Peter Jackson replied on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 10:26 GMT

You asked on my blog; "Qualia from a Process!? how??"

Fair question. The essay briefly answered it, but I responded, and re-post here;

We must see through the fog & myths to what Qualia are; fine differences between memories, all interlinked. The smells of 5 different roses can be distinguished, each recalled on seeing a colour or form, hearing a name, even feeling a petal.

Decoding half the quantum noise in a Shannon channel with Classic QM allows far more information storage and a 'more Intelligent' Bit or 'IQbit' (fqxi 2104), though, with last years (top scored) red & green (reversible) socks and now finding Cos2, only now complete. This may then allow multi trillions of memories/cm3 deep within our neural RAM architecture.

Dan Dennett found he only needed trillions, and called qualia simply "the ways things seem to us". How could anything "seem" to be anything without being memories? Infinitely small distinguishable patterns. As a cosmologist I can conceive the enormous 'room at the top' we have, and as Wheeler said - there's also "plenty of room at the bottom"! Humanity finds that similarly hard to conceive (a bit like Classic QM!) but only as we have no memory of it!


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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 02:00 GMT
Hello Ulla,

Thank you for your lovely note on my page, which I'll answer in a bit. I read your essay and I enjoyed your insights. It was refreshing to see a multiply-sourced argument that quantum mechanics creates possibilities for consciousness that otherwise would not exist. I too feel this is a possibility we must examine. It can be problematic for Physics folks to show strong advocacy for quantum mechanisms of consciousness, however. I myself am a Renaissance man or Polymath, but the world seems eager to take all such people to task.

Even Penrose got a lot of flak for trying to use Physics principles to explain effects in Biology. You have to understand, though; most biologists are so steeped in the reductionist paradigm and the idea that everything can be reduced to Chemistry, that there is no room for them to admit a possible quantum mechanical element of choice involved. I like Penrose and Orch-OR, and I find the micro-tubules and tubulin connection plausible, but find it unfortunate they are judged together. Both ideas are worthy of investigation independent of the other.

It is interesting though, that it connects back to quantum gravity theory, or that as you point out; quantum consciousness is favored in a scenario where gravity is fundamentally quantum mechanical. That is a unique insight, among all of the essays in this contest! But I think it was Physics career-suicide for Paola Zizzi when she wrote about how this could pertain through Cosmology to a connection with Universal Consciousness - the Big Wow Theory. She has made a comeback lately and I hope she is doing OK.

More later,


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James Lee Hoover wrote on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 04:57 GMT

This is certainly a journey in non-conservative thinking. There is a staggering diffusion of wisdom encapsulated in this compact essay. Your metaphor of "The wet, warm, womb of Mother Nature," drew me in my comparison of the amniotic fluid of the placenta to the flow of matter in the universe modeled by physicists in this manner. The quantum coherence of photosynthesis my readings in quantum biology speak of gives the process a high level of efficiency quantum decoherence wouldn't bring. The macro world we usually don't associate with quantum coherence so you wonder what else we miss.

Interesting concepts, too many to mentally bring together in my reading. Consciousness builds up intelligence and awareness? I hope so.

Hope you get a chance to check out mine in this eleventh hour.

Jim Hoover

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Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 07:15 GMT
Dear Sirs!

Physics of Descartes, which existed prior to the physics of Newton returned as the New Cartesian Physic and promises to be a theory of everything. To tell you this good news I use «spam».

New Cartesian Physic based on the identity of space and matter. It showed that the formula of mass-energy equivalence comes from the pressure of the Universe, the flow of force which on the corpuscle is equal to the product of Planck's constant to the speed of light.

New Cartesian Physic has great potential for understanding the world. To show it, I ventured to give "materialistic explanations of the paranormal and supernatural" is the title of my essay.

Visit my essay, you will find there the New Cartesian Physic and make a short entry: "I believe that space is a matter" I will answer you in return. Can put me 1.


Dizhechko Boris

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