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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Giovanni Prisinzano: on 2/26/18 at 21:09pm UTC, wrote ERRATA CORRIGE The placement of gravity in the list of concepts that,...

Giovanni Prisinzano: on 2/26/18 at 13:54pm UTC, wrote Hi Don, first of all, I thank you very much for mentioning two stanzas of...

Don Limuti: on 2/25/18 at 2:28am UTC, wrote Hi Giovanni, The title of your essay prompted a look Emile Dickinson's...

Steven Andresen: on 2/23/18 at 13:34pm UTC, wrote Dear Giovanni If you are looking for another essay to read and rate in the...

Giovanni Prisinzano: on 2/23/18 at 8:03am UTC, wrote Dear Silviu, Many thanks for your kind comment and for your appreciation! ...

corciovei silviu: on 2/21/18 at 0:34am UTC, wrote Sorry for being "anonymous" previously Silviu

Anonymous: on 2/21/18 at 0:31am UTC, wrote Nicely written Mr. Prisinzano! Thank you indeed for some insights. Somehow...

Kamal Rajpal: on 2/19/18 at 9:35am UTC, wrote Dear Giovanni Prisinzano, I have read your essay and suggest that you read...


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FQXi FORUM
October 24, 2019

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Spring, 2017 [back]
TOPIC: "But nature is a stranger yet" by Giovanni Prisinzano [refresh]
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Author Giovanni Prisinzano wrote on Jan. 17, 2018 @ 21:53 GMT
Essay Abstract

The essay proposes an interpretation of "fundamental" that differs from the traditional one. While the latter considers those realities that are at the root of all the others ̶ but whose individuation has been and is still mostly out of our reach ̶ according to the meaning we suggest, fundamental is what exists and constitutes a characterizing aspect of the universe, but we do not clearly know what it is. After sketching a list, without claiming completeness, of basic concepts, we compare two of them, one included (time) and the other not-included (free will) in what is fundamental. Finally, we suggest a possible way of approaching the realities that we regard as fundamental, aware that, even if we succeed in explaining them to a large extent, we will never be able to understand them all.

Author Bio

Giovanni Prisinzano studied Philosophy at the University and at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, where he graduated and obtained a PhD. He was also temporary research fellow at Munich and Zurich Universities.

Download Essay PDF File

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Edwin Eugene Klingman wrote on Jan. 18, 2018 @ 02:29 GMT
Dear Giovanni Prisinzano,

You suggest "fundamental is what exists and constitutes a characterizing aspect of the universe", while admitting that we do not know what it is. You sketch a list of possible fundamentals, then pick two from the list, time and free will, to focus on.

Of time you say, "even if we do not know what it is, we cannot do without it." You then review concept from Parmenides and Zeno to Wheeler and DeWitt, whose ideas led to the concept of a static universe seen from outside, while inside it is not. In some ways this might approximate the Now, which Einstein admitted worried him.

The topic of free will is difficult to tackle, and as you say, it differs greatly from that of time. I agree with your overview comments and have little to add before further study of the details of free will in your essay.

I do however hope that my essay is of interest to you, as I deal with the historical development of Einstein's "relativity of simultaneity". I would be very interested in any comments you might give me.

Best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Giovanni Prisinzano replied on Jan. 19, 2018 @ 18:51 GMT
Dear Edwin Eugene Klingman,

thank you so much for reading my essay and for your welcome comments! I made a first reading of yours, but I have to read it again, because I'm not a physicist and some steps are quite complex for me.

I must admit that I find it difficult to think that Einstein's theories are based on a big misunderstanding, but if so, I think that sooner or later it will be demonstrated, perhaps also thanks to your researches, who knows...

A question: if, as you say, clocks actually measure energy, not time, by means of what can the latter be measured? Or must we think that it does not actually flow, but is it all simultaneous?

In any case, I find your essay meditated, well constructed and stimulating.

With my best regards,

Giovanni

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Edwin Eugene Klingman replied on Jan. 21, 2018 @ 22:00 GMT
Dear Giovanni,

Thanks for reading my essay and asking questions.

While general relativity and quantum theory are well tested and generally accurate, they are not completely compatible. I believe this is due to misconceptions or misinterpretations built into the theories. If we can correct these false assumptions, we may remove the inconsistencies.

You ask if clocks actually measure energy, not time, by what means can the latter be measured? Just as we choose a solid meter length in Paris, or a fixed number of certain wavelengths is the standard of length, we choose a certain frequency count as a unit of time, say the second. If the meter stick heats up and expands, space does not expand, only our standard meter is inaccurate. The source of the frequency count must be held constant to tell time. If its temperature changes, due to heat energy, or because it acquires kinetic energy, then its count will change. This represents clock error, not actual change in a time dimension, as relativity postulates. Many think time does not actually flow, but is universally simultaneous. That seems a very probable interpretation to me.

Thanks again,

Best regards,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Author Giovanni Prisinzano replied on Jan. 24, 2018 @ 09:01 GMT
Dear Edwin,

if everything is simultaneous, the final outcome of your interpretation is perhaps not very different from that suggested by Einstein, according to a well-known reading of Relativity: a block universe in which everything is eternally equal to itself. But then it is perhaps better to return to Newton, with its absolute time that "from its own nature flows equably without regard to anything external". The problem is that of an absolute and immutable time we do not know what to do, because it explains almost nothing empirically. We need a convincing theory that explains change and temporal passage (in one direction), but this is not yet there.

Thank you very much for the further comment and interesting discussion,

Giovanni

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Marcel-Marie LeBel wrote on Jan. 18, 2018 @ 16:00 GMT
Giovanni,

Nice essay. IMO, logic and rule of non-contradiction with existence constitute the foundation of everything .. Aristotle was right!

Marcel,

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Author Giovanni Prisinzano replied on Jan. 20, 2018 @ 15:59 GMT
Marcel,

Thank you very much for your positive opinion and kind comment! I will send my comment on your essay as soon as possible,

Giovanni

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David Brown wrote on Jan. 21, 2018 @ 17:57 GMT
"But, if we know that a totalizing and definitive theory is impossible in the field of elementary mathematics (even of arithmetic), why should it be possible in physics, where the most ambitious and comprehensive theories, such as string theory, have great power and elegance on a mathematical level, but they remain very far from finding empirical evidence?" There might be two fundamental responses to Gödel's incompleteness results: (1) search for new mathematical axioms or (2) reject the concept of a complete infinity and the concept of a potential infinity. I have suggested that string theory with the finite nature hypothesis implies Milgrom's Modified Newtonian Dynamics. Google "witten milgrom", "mcgaugh milgrom", and "kroupa milgrom".

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Jan. 30, 2018 @ 18:34 GMT
Hi Dr Giovanni Prisinzano,

You took a list “ without claiming completeness, of basic concepts, we compare two of them, one included (time) and the other not-included (free will) in what is fundamental.”…. nice logic… you are correct we can not decide which is fundamental…. I think both are…. And nature is a stranger yet nicely said…..Dr Giovanni Prisinzano Best wishes for...

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Flavio Del Santo wrote on Feb. 10, 2018 @ 11:52 GMT
Dear Giovanni,

thanks for sharing a very nice and insightful essay.

I definitely appreciate your approach, and I was particularly pleased by the sentence "Science is, first, a human product and we have learned for a long time that absolute objectivity, at least in the context of knowledge of the physical world, is impossible". It is very interesting the shift that you propose from an strong (ontological) research of fundamentals to an epistemological one. In a very lousy way, I have proposed something similar with a methodological-dependent search for what is fundamental (https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3017).

We surely have somme differences, but overall I liked your essay very much. I ave it my best rating.

Best of luck!

Flavio

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Author Giovanni Prisinzano replied on Feb. 13, 2018 @ 18:42 GMT
Dear Flavio,

I thank you so much for reading and appreciating my essay and for your comments, which gave me a great pleasure! I had already read your beautiful contribution, but I could post a comment only today, because I have been away from home for several days. You can find it on your page.

I wish you all the best,

Giovanni

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Kamal L Rajpal wrote on Feb. 19, 2018 @ 09:35 GMT
Dear Giovanni Prisinzano,

I have read your essay and suggest that you read Dark Matter http://vixra.org/pdf/1303.0207v3.pdf

QM claims that an electron can be both spin-up and spin-down at the same time. In my conceptual physics Essay on Electron Spin, I have proved that this is not true. Please read: https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3145 or https://fqxi.org/data/essay-contest-files/Rajpal_1306.0141v3
.pdf

Kamal Rajpal

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Anonymous wrote on Feb. 21, 2018 @ 00:31 GMT
Nicely written Mr. Prisinzano!

Thank you indeed for some insights. Somehow your presented images about "free will" and "time" together were like two puzzle pieces which seems to me that, somehow, they complete/fit each other. What one has, dose not the other, and vice versa. Given that, could we think that "they (maybe) could be two different perspectives of the same thing?" I don't know if this make same sense for you as for me but it is a pleasant read and a grade in accordance

If you would have the time and pleasure for one more essay, maybe you would find this one to be related to your quote "The withdrawal of an absolute meaning of "fundamental" in favor of a relative one is not so much a question of choice, as it is a result of centuries of scientific research and of reflection on it"

Respectfully,

Silviu

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corciovei silviu replied on Feb. 21, 2018 @ 00:34 GMT
Sorry for being "anonymous" previously

Silviu

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Author Giovanni Prisinzano replied on Feb. 23, 2018 @ 08:03 GMT
Dear Silviu,

Many thanks for your kind comment and for your appreciation!

I posted a comment about your essay on your thread,

Giovanni

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Steven Andresen wrote on Feb. 23, 2018 @ 13:34 GMT
Dear Giovanni

If you are looking for another essay to read and rate in the final days of the contest, will you consider mine please?

A couple of days in and semblance of my essay taking form, however the house bound inactivity was wearing me. I had just the remedy, so took off for a solo sail across the bay. In the lea of cove, I had underestimated the open water wind strengths. My...

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Don Limuti wrote on Feb. 25, 2018 @ 02:28 GMT
Hi Giovanni,

The title of your essay prompted a look Emile Dickinson's poem. I include the last two stanzas: (She must have had an intuition that quantum mechanics and relativity was on the way).

But nature is a stranger yet; And those that cite her most Have never passed her haunted house, Nor simplified her ghost.

To pity those that know her not Is helped by the regret That those who know her, know her less The nearer her they get.

Your essay did an excellent job of getting this concept across in prose.

Thanks for your essay,

Don Limuti

Do visit my essay before the contest ends. You will like it.

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Author Giovanni Prisinzano replied on Feb. 26, 2018 @ 13:54 GMT
Hi Don,

first of all, I thank you very much for mentioning two stanzas of Emily Dickinson's poem!

In preparing the essay, I was very uncertain about whether to quote them in the main text or in a note. In the end I didn't do anything, thinking that, being a text of a great author of universal fame, anyone could easily find the source if he wanted. But I was not sure I did well. You solved the problem by completing my work. Thank you again for this!

As you said very well, the poet's words perfectly express what I, in a much more imperfect way, have tried to express in my faulty prose. I am very pleased that you have appreciated my attempt!

You will find soon a short comment on your essay on your page.

All the best for you!

Giovanni

P.S.: I'm sorry that the page is not well formatted. I don't know what happened or how to fix it.

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Author Giovanni Prisinzano wrote on Feb. 26, 2018 @ 21:09 GMT
ERRATA CORRIGE

The placement of gravity in the list of concepts that, according to my definition, are to be regarded as fundamental (page 4), must be modified, moving it from the second group (elements and forces of the Standard Model), to the first one (space, time, change, number and other basic concepts). Indeed, as we know, gravity does not yet have an explanation within the Standard Model, whereas according to the most effective theory developed so far on it (general relativity), it should not actually be regarded as a force.

I apologize for the mistake,

Giovanni

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