Search FQXi

If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

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

Contests Home

Current Essay Contest

Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fnd.

Previous Contests

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 Fnd.

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

Forum Home
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

Posts by the author are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help


Thomas Ray: "(reposted in correct thread) Lorraine, Nah. That's nothing like my view...." in 2015 in Review: New...

Lorraine Ford: "Clearly “law-of-nature” relationships and associated numbers represent..." in Physics of the Observer -...

Lee Bloomquist: "Information Channel. An example from Jon Barwise. At the workshop..." in Physics of the Observer -...

Lee Bloomquist: "Please clarify. I just tried to put a simple model of an observer in the..." in Alternative Models of...

Lee Bloomquist: "Footnote...for the above post, the one with the equation existence =..." in Alternative Models of...

Thomas Ray: "In fact, symmetry is the most pervasive physical principle that exists. ..." in “Spookiness”...

Thomas Ray: "It's easy to get wound around the axle with black hole thermodynamics,..." in “Spookiness”...

Joe Fisher: "It seems to have escaped Wolpert’s somewhat limited attention that no two..." in Inferring the Limits on...

click titles to read articles

The Complexity Conundrum
Resolving the black hole firewall paradox—by calculating what a real astronaut would compute at the black hole's edge.

Quantum Dream Time
Defining a ‘quantum clock’ and a 'quantum ruler' could help those attempting to unify physics—and solve the mystery of vanishing time.

Our Place in the Multiverse
Calculating the odds that intelligent observers arise in parallel universes—and working out what they might see.

Sounding the Drums to Listen for Gravity’s Effect on Quantum Phenomena
A bench-top experiment could test the notion that gravity breaks delicate quantum superpositions.

Watching the Observers
Accounting for quantum fuzziness could help us measure space and time—and the cosmos—more accurately.

January 23, 2018

CATEGORY: Wandering Towards a Goal Essay Contest (2016-2017) [back]
TOPIC: Reality by Luis Patiño-Cuadrado [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author Luis Patiño-Cuadrado wrote on Mar. 10, 2017 @ 16:39 GMT
Essay Abstract

Mathematics is Reality

Author Bio

poor person

Download Essay PDF File

adel sadeq wrote on Mar. 10, 2017 @ 21:05 GMT
Dear Luis

You maybe interested in my essays.

“Reality is nothing but a mathematical structure, literally”

this is last years contest essay

And this is this year(please read my comment notes for missing info)


report post as inappropriate

james r. akerlund wrote on Mar. 10, 2017 @ 23:05 GMT
Hi Mr. Patiño-Caurdrado

I like your clear presentation of the subject.

I quote a sentence from your submission.

"Much to their surprise, mathematician Kurt Gödel proved them wrong. Basically, he showed that theorems stated solely in terms of some axioms were true yet could not be proved or derived using these axioms and logic. In other words, he showed that mathematical truth is independent of proof."

Gödel proved many things but He didn't show "that mathematical truth is independent of proof.". I've read some of Gödel's proofs concerning that subject. Some I understood, others I didn't. One of his proofs concerns using self-referential logic. Your Mandelbrot equation is self-referential. So, I venture out in strange lands when I say, maybe there is a math that exists that allows self-referential logic and yet still is consistent. Anyway, good luck in the contest.

Jim Akerlund

report post as inappropriate

sherman loran jenkins replied on Mar. 17, 2017 @ 03:11 GMT

Godel was known to be clear as well as brilliant and witty with compassion. He lets us see truth from our own position.


report post as inappropriate

Author Luis Patiño-Cuadrado replied on Apr. 3, 2017 @ 11:12 GMT
Dear Jim,

I wasn't joking when I wrote "poor person" as my bio: I have been suffering untold hardship from poverty and its disastrous consequences. Indeed, it's a small miracle that I managed to post as much as I did at the last minute and in a hurry just from my knowledge while distracted by the horrors of basic survival. I remember reading somewhere long ago that Gödel did say that....

view entire post

Author Luis Patiño-Cuadrado replied on Apr. 13, 2017 @ 09:05 GMT

Gödel was indeed as you described him, and really did his stupendous work out of love of Humanity. Einstein loved him to the point of expressing late in his life that Kurt Gödel was his main reason to go to the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.

Love is non-computable! ;-)

sridattadev kancharla wrote on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 14:46 GMT
Dear Rich Person,

Universe is an i-Sphere and we humans are capable of interpreting it as 4 dimensional dual torus inside a 3-Sphere, which consists of Riemann 2-sphere as Soul as depicted in S=BM^2 diagram in the attached doc. Soul is the simplest of the complex manifolds with in the 3-sphere, Mind and Body constitute the remaining complexity. Soul, Mind and Body are in a toroidal flux in human beings, exactly at the center of the 3-sphere one can experience the unity of the trinity and that is the now moment we experience. As there are 4 dimensions required for a 3-sphere, the regular 3 dimensions of space and the fourth dimension of time, it is obvious that the 2-sphere (Riemann sphere) of consciousness with in us is with out the time dimension and hence the saying "eternal soul". Poincare` conjecture implies that consciousness is homeomorphic (same or similar) in all beings manifested in all dimensions of the universe, as i have shown that Riemann sphere can serve as the fundamental unit of consciousness in There are no goals as such its all play.

PS: i thinks therefore we are VR(Virtual Reality), i "am" not GOD but i "is".

True knowledge of the self (i) is the only richness a person can forever possess, anything else is an illusion that quickly disappears.

zero = i = infinity = sqrt ( e power (i * pi) )



attachments: 11_zero__i__infinity.docx

report post as inappropriate

sridattadev kancharla replied on Mar. 11, 2017 @ 15:11 GMT
Also thought that you might enjoy reading i to the bit to it to the bit to the i like i enjoyed reading your beautiful essay,Mathematics is reality.

report post as inappropriate

Lee Bloomquist wrote on Mar. 12, 2017 @ 04:00 GMT
"mathematical reality is our reality"

Therefore self = (self)

report post as inappropriate

Author Luis Patiño-Cuadrado replied on Apr. 3, 2017 @ 12:31 GMT
Dear Lee,

If I understand your post correctly just because I mentioned Gödel 's deas as one of several lines of compelling arguments for math being its own objective reality, it made it seem to you that self reference is the end all. Indirect self reference is how he proved his theorems, but by no means are self-referent sentences the only well-formed sentences in a formal system that cannot be decided purely within the formal system no matter how much logic you throw at them. Fermat's Last Theorem is an example of that. It took a heck of a lot more than all of number theory to prove it! The point is that math is much more than countable computable mindless crap, and has to be so to produce this reality and everything within it — including us.

Shaikh Raisuddin wrote on Mar. 13, 2017 @ 04:59 GMT
Reality is anything that can cause an effect or can be affected by cause. Alternatively reality is anything that can cause a change or can be changed by a cause.

report post as inappropriate

Michael Zane Tyree wrote on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 06:10 GMT
Hello Luis . . .

Your essay is very intuitive and persuasive, as well as easy to read. So are you saying that the natural numbers give rise to the structures of the physical universe, while the infinitely greater uncountable, continuous numbers give rise to non-physical attributes such as desire, intentionality and curiosity?

Michael Z. Tyree

report post as inappropriate

Author Luis Patiño-Cuadrado replied on Apr. 3, 2017 @ 12:29 GMT
Hi Michael

Not really. I'm saying that all of physical reality is made of all math — including the uncountable continuous and the transfinite — all of it. After all, we are made of and are part of that physical reality. Which is part of the beauty of this idea: Tegmark argues that consciousness emerges from arrangements of atoms just like the "wetness" of water emerges from the accumulation of millions of water molecules, yet a single water molecule is not "wet". What he left out is that in order for the water to be wet each individual water molecule has to have certain special properties — namely its polarity that allows each molecule to stick to the next, causing water to cling to things: i.e. "wet" them. Similarly, if the inanimate components of physical reality were only countable ones, they would not be able to "emerge" into feeling, living, conscious and truly intelligent beings with insight and understanding. Remember, many other animals clearly display these qualities despite their limited language capabilities (and even that is turning out to be far more sophisticated than we thought).

Hope this answers your question!

Thank you and thanks to all who replied!

I'll try to read those suggested essays and comment as my very limited time allows. Being poor is a full-time job. I wish I didn't have to worry about money so I could dedicate time to really develop these ideas more rigorously.

PS — much has been made of the actual mechanisms and processes involved quantum this and that, etc. The idea that reality is math doesn't preclude them as long as they don't limit things to countable or — even worse — to finite math.

Joe Fisher wrote on Mar. 16, 2017 @ 15:37 GMT
Dear Luis Patiño-Cuadrado,

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

report post as inappropriate

Author Luis Patiño-Cuadrado replied on Apr. 3, 2017 @ 12:29 GMT
Dear Joe Fisher,

How is an amoeba "simple"?? On the other hand, what could be simpler than accepting that reality is the one reality that we already know is there no matter what?

An amoeba is a eukaryotic being capable of very sophisticated behavior that the math-is-reality theory endows with the possibility of feeling and perhaps even rudimentary consciousness or at least instinct enough to have survived hundreds of millions of years.

sherman loran jenkins wrote on Mar. 17, 2017 @ 05:48 GMT

Math and goals. Math can cover all of reality and more. Every goal visualized and those impossible to dream. Still it is dressing math in an old shirt if we treat math re the ultimate goal much as we often relate physics to chemistry.


report post as inappropriate

Author Luis Patiño-Cuadrado replied on Apr. 13, 2017 @ 09:43 GMT

Exactly, if the mindless, limited, computable crap that has every body gaga with its power, has so much power that it deludes brilliant people into thinking it capable of bringing about reality, life, sensation and ultimately consciousness, emotions and intelligence, how much more power -- indeed real power -- does the totality of math with its uncountably infinite higher richness has! Indeed, math can easily cover all of reality and more, as you said.

Mi point was to explain what reality is: Reality is math -- all of it, especially uncountable, non computable math. Of course, we need not keep this in mind when calculating the orbit of Moon around Earth, just like we don't meed to keep in mind quantum mechanics when burning hydrogen with oxygen. Still, to explain reality itself we need to reach out to the ultimate, timeless reality of math.

Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Mar. 17, 2017 @ 08:59 GMT
Nice essay 10M Patino-Cuadrado,

I am also poor person.

Your ideas and thinking are excellent for eg…

‘1. It turns out that numbers really are understood as a concept and even used by many nonhuman animals, including primates, other mammals and even non mammals like parrots and other birds that lack the symbols and language to describe those numbers

2. Thus the...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta replied on Mar. 17, 2017 @ 09:01 GMT
Dear Patino-Cuadrado,

I am sorry for the spelling mistake in your name....



report post as inappropriate

Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 03:32 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

report post as inappropriate

Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Apr. 14, 2017 @ 00:40 GMT
Dear Luis Patiño-Cuadrado,

On my page you asked that I read your essay. And asked if I thought math was the symbols. I replied that I haven't spent much time trying to define math, but that I generally think the symbols formalize the underlying relations. If you read my essay, you know that I understand math as deriving from physical reality, not the other way around. In my end notes I discuss how counters create numbers, and, per Kronecker, all of math follows.

I generally view math as "the language of nature", but languages can describe reality or present fictions. I believe that Mandelbrot is elaborate fiction. Beautiful, stunning, but probably related to nothing in reality except the images we create physically.

As you appear to note, counting is everywhere, from DNA to cells to computers to animals. Counters are easy to construct, and are ubiquitous. Numbers can be mapped into and onto all physical realities, and even non-physical such as Mandelbrot.

I dearly love mathematics, but I am not a Platonist.

There is no harm that I'm aware of in being the Platonist, so you should probably just enjoy it.

My best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

report post as inappropriate

Giovanni Prisinzano wrote on Apr. 19, 2017 @ 20:10 GMT
Dear Luis,

I read your essay only yesterday, but I really enjoyed it, for the originality and depth of your vision. Tegmark's Mathematical Universe Hypothesis (MUH, since it excludes the uncomputable real numbers (which are almost the totality of the numbers), seems to me after all a particular version of the “It from bit” perspective. Instead your point of view expresses, although in a very concise manner, the depth of Cantor's and Gödel's results, whose implications are perhaps not yet been fully understood.

In 2015 FQXi contest (and before also in a book), I suggested the hypothesis that space and time are sets of (properly ordered) real numbers:

Your idea goes even further and extends the mathematical origin to whole reality (including emotions, feelings, moods, etc.). It is not an arbitrary hypothesis (I consider it possible that self-consciousness is a mathematical function, self-referential and uncomputabie), but it is very difficult to verify.

PS: I read in a previous post that you have serious problems of material subsistence, and I'm so sorry for that. I have no academic position. If I had one, or I were, hypothetically, in FQXi Board, I would try every way to help you to continue your research, because I think you deserve it.


report post as inappropriate

Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.