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: Thermodynamics, Learning, Attention and the Need to Predict by Deen Abiola [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author Deen Abiola wrote on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 15:53 GMT
Essay Abstract

Getting from the laws of physics to intelligence and consciousness requires us to understand far from equilibrium thermodynamic systems and dissipative structures. From there, the relationship between prediction, learning, energy and entropy will carry us most of the way towards a richer understanding of how physical and information systems might relate. Once complex self-replicating molecules are established, competition and the need for more energy sources drives ever more complex modeling ability. Modeling, learning and self-models leads to intelligence and then to consciousness as we know it. This essay is a simple sketch of the above ideas.

Author Bio

Nothing interesting ever happened. No credential either.

Download Essay PDF File

Jeffrey Michael Schmitz wrote on Mar. 14, 2017 @ 20:16 GMT
Deen Abiola,

There are so many essays here! I was looking up another essay by name and you were alphabetically at the top and the title caught my eye.

I like that you separate intelligence from consciousness. I do not think there is a need to separate human consciousness from other animals. Yes, the mirror test is human (or visual social) biased, so we should not think consciousness itself is biased. I wished you had a little more thermodynamics and the start of life in general. Overall this essay was well-written and clear, you let the reader "in", which is hard to do.

Best of luck,


report post as inappropriate

Jeffrey Michael Schmitz replied on Mar. 29, 2017 @ 13:51 GMT
I don't know why this essay is not doing better. As of march 29, this is at a 4, when essays that are far off topic are rated higher.

report post as inappropriate

Author Deen Abiola replied on May. 5, 2017 @ 17:33 GMT
Ah, it's a bit late now but wow, thanks. Your reply means a lot. To be honest, I did not expect any engagement or positive comments. I'm not a physicist or famous or with a large social media following. So I submitted on a whim and forgot about it. I too wish I had had more time to talk about the thermodynamics part but it was also the most difficult to get a handle on. Thanks again, and sorry for the super late reply.

Vladimir Nikolaevich Fedorov wrote on Mar. 17, 2017 @ 06:51 GMT
Dear Deen,

With great interest I read your essay, which of course is worthy of high praise.

You are one of the few who directly answers the question put by the contest.

You are absolutely right that «consciousness requires us to understand far from equilibrium thermodynamic systems and dissipative structures», you correctly put questions «a collection of molecules can self-organize into complex structures is still unknown» and find answers «Dissipative Systems that are far from thermodynamic equilibrium tend to evolve towards particular attractor states.»

In my essay , is shown that if you do not use the mystical properties of matter and fields, then there is every reason to believe that the universe is much simpler than it is thought to be.

There is only one essence and the only universal quantum parametric mechanism in the universe that operates on the principle of the classical heat pump in solitons (attractors), and that functions both at the micro- and macro-level of fractal matter. This mechanism allows using a small fraction of the external energy to control in many times big fraction the energy of the system.

This mechanism is also the answer to the questions of this competition.

However, everyone loves their fiction and "magic", built by their "gods", so very few are able to see the rational grain in other people's ideas because of their illusions.

Your essay allowed to consider us like-minded people.

You might also like reading my essay .

Kind regards,


report post as inappropriate

Joe Fisher wrote on Mar. 17, 2017 @ 15:48 GMT
Dear Deen Abiola,

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

Anonymous wrote on Mar. 30, 2017 @ 11:24 GMT

That was on topic (very many aren't!) clearly written (ditto!) and with some key fundamental truths. At least a slightly interesting thing about to happen is that you score is about to rise! It may also get more interesting if you engage here, also read other essays, question and comment. 'Accreditation' isn't really important, even if many physicists act as if it's the ONLY thing important!

Well done and best of luck.


report post as inappropriate

Author Deen Abiola replied on May. 5, 2017 @ 17:38 GMT
As I wrote to another commenter: it's a bit late now but wow, thanks! I truly appreciate your comment. I did not expect any engagement or positive comments since I'm not a physicist or famous or with a large social media following. So I submitted on a whim and forgot about it.

But now, I do regret not having interacted more. Thanks again for you very kind words.

Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Apr. 7, 2017 @ 03:08 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

Khánh d wrote on Jul. 8, 2017 @ 00:42 GMT
Best Learn Colours for Kids Finger Family Bad Baby Crying Finger Family Song Nursery Rhymes for Kids for Children, Toddlers - Learn Colours for Kids with Ice Age Wrong Body Heads for Children, learn colors for children with cars

report post as inappropriate

Scott Nelson wrote on Nov. 1, 2017 @ 10:30 GMT
Finding a Professional Dissertation Writers UK is certainly a challenging task for any student. There are so many writers to choose from, which itself is a daunting task for the student. The motive is to choose the best writer. However, students can opt for British Dissertation Help services that would help them in securing good grades in their projects.

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.