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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 forums@fqxi.org 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.

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FQXi BLOGS
January 18, 2018

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: FQXi's New Large Grant RFP [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Anthony Aguirre wrote on Dec. 15, 2017 @ 22:13 GMT
Our mission at FQXi has always been to push boundaries, and to try to focus attention and effort of the scientific community on (what we consider to be) super-interesting areas of research that for one reason or another have gone less explored than they deserve. A new program, a joint venture with the Fetzer Franklin Fund, is no exception. Following on the heels of The Physics of the Observer, our latest program looks at the intersections between physics, information theory, biology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and other fields to address the question: How does Agency arise in the physical world?

How is it that some physical systems “choose” one future or the other based on internal goals or desires? As explored in our previous essay contest, Wandering Toward a Goal, explanation in terms of goals directly contradicts the standard fundamental physics description of the world as the evolution of initial data by equations of motion. But it is very clearly much more effective and efficient for some systems, especially those that are alive. How does this type of explanation co-exist with the evolving "state explanation”?

The Physics of Information program and the Physics of the Observer program brought out some hidden aspects and layers to our description of the world: that in some systems information is a key causal agent, rather than mass, force, and so on. And even in the most fundamental physics, the observer – an agent that can interact with a system and obtain information about it – cannot generally be excised from consideration. If we now ask how systems can learn, think, and act back on the physical world, we come to agency. What role do information, intelligence, emergence, inference, statistical mechanics, and hierarchy play? The new program will dive in.

After announcing the Agency in the Physical World program and launching our co-themed essay contest What Is Fundamental?, it is now time to announce our Large Grant RFP.

Our Large Grant round will award about $1.2M to researchers in academic and other nonprofit institutions for projects up to two years, starting August 2018. The mechanics of the grant application process follow FQXi’s standard routine. We invite all interested parties to submit a brief initial application via our website (now open). Initial applications are due February 1, 2018.

A team of reviewers will select finalists from this initial pool. Those selected will be invited to prepare a full-length proposal, to be submitted in early June. We will announce awards based on these full proposals in early August.

You can read the full details on the RFP site or download the RFP pdf announcement.

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Joe Fisher wrote on Dec. 16, 2017 @ 16:19 GMT
Dear Anthony Aguirre,

The mission of the Foundational Questions Institute is supposedly: “To catalyze, support, and disseminate research on questions at the foundations of physics and cosmology, particularly new frontiers and innovative ideas integral to a deep understanding of reality but unlikely to be supported by conventional funding sources.”

My ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated. My research has determined the following: The real earth had a real visible surface for over a million years before any English language fluent person ever appeared on that real surface. It logically follows that Natural reality has nothing whatsoever to do with : “standard fundamental physics description of the world…”

The real visible Universe consists of only one single unified visible infinite surface occurring eternally in one single infinite dimension that am eternally illuminated by finite non-surface light.

My essay REALITY AM NOT ROCKET SCIENCE was submitted to FQXi.org on November 10th, 2017. I offered proof in the essay that my research am valid. Why have no essays for the ‘What is Fundamental?’ been published on line?

Joe Fisher, ORCID ID 0000-0003-3988-8687. Unaffiliated

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John R. Cox wrote on Dec. 20, 2017 @ 16:00 GMT
Hey! Tony!

Take a look at all the bots that keep cropping up on 'Recent Forum Posts' and go back a few months and look at the pattern. Then Go To Redken and Pureology (at) Sheffield, U.K. and put a damned block on that cyber threat. I can and will call the RCMP down on Perimeter and pull in the U.S. IRS if you career climbers at FQXi don't start doing what you are being paid for. You are hosting a bunch of cranks. jrc

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Anonymous replied on Dec. 21, 2017 @ 15:36 GMT
Dear John R Cox

Please make a better effort to stay on topic. We are supposed to be commenting on the fundamentals of physics.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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John R. Cox replied on Dec. 21, 2017 @ 22:07 GMT
Kinda difficult to comment on fundamental physics when the Recent Posts list is full of robot techtraps. Or do you have to pay your tech guy that fixes your dishwasher to tell you that?

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