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Georgina Woodward: on 3/31/18 at 0:27am UTC, wrote The philosophy of agency includes the idea of agency being initiated by the...

funny jokes: on 3/27/18 at 2:35am UTC, wrote Your site has a lot of useful information for myself. color switch...

Georgina Woodward: on 3/23/18 at 0:40am UTC, wrote Mind Control & Nervous System Manipulation Patents Link to a you tube...

Georgina Woodward: on 3/20/18 at 22:32pm UTC, wrote If these experiences are endogenous psychogenic phenomena without external...

Georgina Woodward: on 3/19/18 at 21:31pm UTC, wrote My work has only been concerned with understanding the physics of the...

Georgina Woodward: on 3/17/18 at 3:48am UTC, wrote Remote Extraction of Biological Signals A link to a you tube video...

Georgina Woodward: on 3/16/18 at 1:19am UTC, wrote John, I accept your point about hacking. I'm not talking about a good...

John Merryman: on 3/15/18 at 2:21am UTC, wrote Georgina, Keep in mind we really have been "hacking" each other since the...


Anonymous: "North Korea's unilateral action of announcing it was shutting down its only..." in Whose Physics Is It...

Georgina Woodward: "Hi Heinrich I'm not convinced that prior knowledge or experience is..." in Why Time Might Not Be an...

Heinrich Luediger: "Hi Georgina, I said way or another. I'm sure you could have..." in Why Time Might Not Be an...

Joe Fisher: "Dear Board of Directors, Irrefutable evidence exists that..." in Whose Physics Is It...

Georgina Woodward: "Hellen jos, you probably only wanted to place a link, however FYI lots of..." in Does Quantum Weirdness...

Eckard Blumschein: "There was perhaps not yet a third crisis of cosmology conference after..." in The Quantum...

Jonathan Dickau: "For what it is worth... I was there! The paper by Louis Marmet cited..." in The Quantum...

Ashish Kochaar: "No words for the Quantumology. As per their figures and Dates in the May..." in Deferential Geometry

click titles to read articles

Whose Physics Is It Anyway? Q&A with Chanda Prescod-Weinstein
Why physics and astronomy communities must take diversity issues seriously in order to do good science.

Why Time Might Not Be an Illusion
Einstein’s relativity pushes physicists towards a picture of the universe as a block, in which the past, present, and future all exist on the same footing; but maybe that shift in thinking has gone too far.

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.

April 26, 2018

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Agency in the Physical World – FQXi’s Next Research Program [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Oct. 28, 2017 @ 13:40 GMT
During our ten year history, we have worked to grow a community of researchers with an ever-widening realm of expertise. The important word here is community — our mission is to connect researchers who might have otherwise never known about each other.

Part of our strategy has been the use of themed programs — The Nature of Time, Physics of Information, The Physics of What Happens. Our most recent program attracted neurophysicists, computer scientists, sociologists, as well as the more “usual” physicists, mathematicians, and philosophers, together under the theme of Physics of the Observer.

We are proud now to announce our next venture, Agency in the Physical World. It follows our intellectual trajectory over the past programs, drawing deep connections from the most fundamental descriptions in physics and cosmology, to description in terms of observers, agents, and conscious beings. The program is a partnership between FQXi and the Fetzer Franklin Fund, a philanthropic organization dedicated to supporting foundational questions at the frontiers of physics, biology, and consciousness research.

The program features our familiar components for building community: a conference, essay contests, Large grants, and Mini-Grant rounds. Our first essay contest has just launched, and the Large Grant round will open in the coming weeks — please stay tuned for that announcement.

The program also supports research by the two “B-Area” centers — B for Boston and (San Francisco) Bay — formed during FQXi’s Physics of the Observer program. The work of the B-Area centers will try to better understand agency in physical systems through their capabilities to learn, to predict, to process information, and to choose. The centers also will serve as hubs for visits and other interactions that connect all researchers around the world funded by the APW program.

We envision the APW program will lead researchers to question how we define, identify, and measure agency, intelligence, and consciousness, and to investigate how these concepts fit into our current physical theories. These questions are contentious and difficult, even within the context of FQXi’s usual ambit of thorny topics.

But of course, that’s why we’re asking them!

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Bashir Yusuf wrote on Oct. 29, 2017 @ 01:48 GMT
Dear Brendan.

This is a quick response of the essay.

I hope that this question can lead good understanding of nature's most important Fundamental issue.

Only questionings without open and awakened mind can't we succeed it.

I have some difficult to understand, the relations of FQXI's Foundational questions and Fundamental of the nature, but I am sure that "Most of the...

view entire post

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Paolo Di Sia wrote on Nov. 1, 2017 @ 13:09 GMT
Dear all, I am interested in being involved in a project, in a group with a "critical mass", studying the fascinating issues of the FQXi community.

Thanks for your consideration.

Paolo Di Sia -

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Nov. 13, 2017 @ 17:52 GMT
Hello Mr Foster,

Good vast topic in fact.For me of course the sphères are foundamentals:)

Best regards

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ella scott scott wrote on Mar. 8, 2018 @ 04:30 GMT
Things are very open and intensely clear explanation of issues. was truly information. Your website is very beneficial. gmail login

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Mar. 14, 2018 @ 22:29 GMT
This is a potentially dangerous topic. I hope the research chosen is carefully considered for potential for harm or misuse.I.e. detrimental to individuals and humanity as a whole. The ethics must be considered. An undemocratic trans-human agenda of a small minority can not be allowed to take agency away from human beings.

It may well be too late to get the genie back in the bottle. All of the ways we interact with our computers and other digital information about us can be used or misused. Not just to show us what we want to see but to manipulate thoughts feelings and actions.

Perceptions of reality are normally generated from sensorily received information and internal processing but our 'wetware' can be hacked. It was once science fiction but not anymore. People are being experimented upon without their consent. In violation of the Geneva convention and in violation of our God or universe given free will. What becomes of democracy and weapon security under such circumstances, (for example)? Control includes burning pain, involuntary muscle contraction, flashes of light, sounds, hallucinations, thought intrusion, and sexual sensations.

Unfortunately it sounds insane which only helps the perpetrators continue their development of systems that enslave humanity, ultimately. I object to be treated like a cockroach.

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John Brodix Merryman replied on Mar. 15, 2018 @ 02:21 GMT

Keep in mind we really have been "hacking" each other since the dawn of time. Given the advent of modern information systems, it certainly has been stepped up a notch, but that just means we have to become even more aware of the forces at work. Ultimately it is the same forces and laws of nature that have functioned from the dawn of time and they are not always pretty, but there are ways to turn the tables as well.

I think one of the largest socio-economic factors at work is our evolving understanding of economics and how money functions as an economic medium and social contract, rather than personal property. Effectively we own money like we own the section of road we are using.

The current problem being that since we do view it as personal property, this medium is being used as a feedback loop to siphon all value out of the rest of society, by those controlling this mechanism, rather than having it circulate to the benefit of the whole society, which does truly guarantee its value.

As such, we are at a bit of a Versailles moment, where hereditary political rule lost sight of the social function it served and became totally self centered and now the banking system has lost sight of its larger function.

Basically government is analogous to the central nervous system and finance to the circulation system of the body, so we are progressing along elemental evolutionary routes.

Consider how much control of power and money is what drives those social control mechanisms, so breaking down the private banking system and turning it into a public utility would be hopefully the end state. Though neoliberalism is planning on trading their piles of public debt for even more public properties and siphoning ever more value out of the environment and society, taking back control of the financial system will be the opposite goal.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 16, 2018 @ 01:19 GMT
John, I accept your point about hacking. I'm not talking about a good argument, a well timed ad. or propaganda.Rather the by-passing of the senses and directly accessing the brain and peripheral nervous system with EM signals.Allowing remote control of perceptions and sensations. As well as detection of brain activity allowing mind reading, after training of a system able to match inputs with outputs, gaining ability the more digital input is match-able to brain response. There is potential for intellectual property theft, access to uncensored thoughts and potential for control via shame, emotional and physical states being triggered affecting what a person does. Pain and pleasure can be administered with potential to train or induce learned helplessness, or as remote abuse.As severe muscle contractions can be caused I have no doubt death could be caused by inducing heart spasm. This technology is a Pandora's box, a danger to the free will and individual agency of human beings.It divides us into puppets and puppet masters, human or AI, Our bodies machines to be hacked by who ever has the means. It really isn't OK , a dangerous topic.

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Mar. 17, 2018 @ 03:48 GMT
Remote Extraction of Biological Signals A link to a you tube video presenting a more optimistic view of the technology and not considering the health risks, security risks, privacy risks, risks to democracy, risks to social order and other potential for abuse.

Quote "I am promoting research into the remote extraction of biological signals using touch-less technologies. I am against invasive technologies as they increase health risks, restrict mobility, or can be identified visually by others. I am also promoting research into whole body biological signal extraction. The body radiates measurable energy, and with our understanding how the regions of the mind operate, I believe that we could read the body's overall generated signals (perhaps diagnose illnesses?)."

Bear in mind the technology itself is probably far more advanced than declared publicly. I believe it is being illegally tested on human subjects.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 19, 2018 @ 21:31 GMT
My work has only been concerned with understanding the physics of the universe and what reality is in that context. It has not been weapons development, espionage or torture. I am not an enemy combatant, nor have I expressed radical political or religious views. I have taken care to keep my conversations about physics and related philosophy. Experimentation on humans without their knowledge and informed consent is illegal and immoral. I have tried to express my non co-operation by mentally repeating the word 'no', resulting in the sensation of having a rope pulled tight across my mouth being molested. Unspoken thought have been immediately followed by seemingly affirming strong whole body contortion. I am fearful that actual bodily harm is being caused not just sensations. Searching mainly you tube I find that I am not alone in experiencing such things. I realize speaking up is possibly foolhardy at best and deadly at worst. This is right at the heart of the question of agency, and freewill.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 20, 2018 @ 22:32 GMT
If these experiences are endogenous psychogenic phenomena without external actualized cause they can still be regarded as manifestation of deeply troubling concern about where research into experienced reality and agency ultimately leads. To technology used for the control and abuse of innocent people. The potential for misuse has to be considered along with potential benefits. The cost in terms of free will and individual agency, the experience of being an individual with a degree of self determination, is too high.Once developed how can misuse of the technology by government, by criminals, by people with dubious ideologies prevented?

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Mar. 23, 2018 @ 00:40 GMT
Mind Control & Nervous System Manipulation Patents

Link to a you tube video about patents for mind control in particular via pulsed signals from TV and computer screens. Able to manipulate sensations and emotions and transmit subliminal information. Here is the url if you would rather not use the link,

I have experienced the eye lid fluttering and deep purple and yellow patterns , which I have been wondering about. Thinking they were perhaps some kind of seizure aura and migraine aura respectively. Yet there are also other sensations and emotions which are strange and uncharacteristic, which, together with the previously mentioned experiences, are, it is explained in the video, also symptoms of exposure to subliminal pulsed signals.

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Mar. 31, 2018 @ 00:27 GMT
The philosophy of agency includes the idea of agency being initiated by the agent and as intentional action. Agency (Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy). However the question 'who is the agent ?' deserves consideration since the behaviour of an organism can be altered, such as by infection by a parasite. The behaviour being potentially detrimental or deadly to the host but advantageous to the parasite. Here is a magazine article about the parasite Toxoplasma gondii affecting rat and human behaviour. How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy If a person's behavioural responses, stemming from internal drives can be affected by non self agents directly affecting the brain or body, or by brain washing via external inputs, the person might be caused to act contrary to prior instinct and learning. The one acting is acting on motivation that was involuntarily induced. I think this raises questions of morality, responsibility of the individual actor, and of the instigating party, as well as 'who is the agent?'

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