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Current Essay Contest


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Previous Contests

Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation
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What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation
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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 Fund.
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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

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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
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It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
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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
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Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American
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What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams
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The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Juan Ramón González Álvarez: on 3/1/18 at 20:08pm UTC, wrote Meaning? Meaning of what? Meaning of something. This...

Luca Valeri: on 2/26/18 at 23:17pm UTC, wrote Your short nice Essay deserves more than the actual rating. It is certainly...

Steven Andresen: on 2/22/18 at 7:10am UTC, wrote Dear Todd If you are looking for another essay to read and rate in the...

Todd Duncan: on 2/13/18 at 5:59am UTC, wrote Hi Christophe, Thank you, yes I'm looking forward to developing these...

Christophe Tournayre: on 2/11/18 at 6:08am UTC, wrote Dear Todd, Your essay is interesting. It would have been worth to develop...

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 2/10/18 at 2:02am UTC, wrote Respected Prof Todd L Duncan Good idea sir, " intuitive ideas of meaning...

Joe Fisher: on 2/1/18 at 16:51pm UTC, wrote Dear Dr Todd L Duncan, FQXi.org is clearly seeking to confirm whether...

Dizhechko Semyonovich: on 2/1/18 at 15:35pm UTC, wrote Dear Todd L. Duncan your essay will encourage discussion along lines new...


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FQXi FORUM
May 28, 2020

CATEGORY: FQXi Essay Contest - Spring, 2017 [back]
TOPIC: What if Meaning is Fundamental by Todd L Duncan [refresh]
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Author Todd L Duncan wrote on Jan. 30, 2018 @ 22:35 GMT
Essay Abstract

What if the most fundamental aspect of the universe is something analogous to the meaning of a poem or story? This essay builds on intuitive ideas of meaning related to story in human experience, to imagine a foundation for physics based on universal properties of meaning that are not anthropomorphic.

Author Bio

Todd Duncan teaches physics and astronomy at Pacific University, with a perspective summarized in a recent TEDx talk - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd64CZCckEs. His background includes a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Chicago, an M.Phil. in physics from the University of Chicago, and a B.S. in physics from the University of Illinois.

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Jan. 31, 2018 @ 04:37 GMT
Hi Todd,

I just wanted to inform you that there is another essay in this contest with a rather similar message, by a Nobel laureate. So you might want to check out "The Fundamentality of Meaning" by Brian Josephson. I've downloaded your to read.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Author Todd L Duncan replied on Jan. 31, 2018 @ 05:32 GMT
Hi Jonathan,

Thank you! Yes, I'm very happy to see Brian Josephson's essay as well as several others exploring a similar theme from different perspectives. And in more depth than my brief attempt to frame a possible approach. Looking forward to reading and discussing!

Best regards,

Todd

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Jonathan J. Dickau replied on Jan. 31, 2018 @ 07:29 GMT
Much good to read there is..

Plenty to enjoy, there will be.

Have Fun!

Jonathan

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Brian D. Josephson replied on Jan. 31, 2018 @ 11:28 GMT
There are indeed many connections between our two approaches. As I noted, biosemiotics slips meaning in by the way attention to what is meaningful in any given context is needed to achieve a goal, while in regard to your whole-part connection Barad writes of the special way different agencies combine through their 'intra-actions' to create a process. With regard to the meaning of poetry, as referred to in my own essay I have discussed in collaboration with a musicologist the role of music, and concluded that it may be meaningful to some kind of universal mind.

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Angelica Mandy Mandy wrote on Jan. 31, 2018 @ 06:25 GMT
Academic need to be scored autonomously. Human raters can best accomplish this by scoring all expositions sequentially for one single attribute at the time top notch all papers for Content. Therefore score all expositions for the Formal necessity next for Development, Structure and Coherence, et cetera till the last Trait.Do my Essay for me

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Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich wrote on Feb. 1, 2018 @ 15:35 GMT
Dear Todd L. Duncan your essay will encourage discussion along lines new Cartesian physics, based on the identity of space and matter of Descartes. He says that space is this matter that rotates. Visit my essay and you will find out what radical changes it offers, give a comment and you will get my rating.

Sincerely, Dizhechko Boris Semyonovich.

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post approved


Joe Fisher wrote on Feb. 1, 2018 @ 16:51 GMT
Dear Dr Todd L Duncan,

FQXi.org is clearly seeking to confirm whether Nature is fundamental.

Reliable evidence exists that proves that the surface of the earth was formed millions of years before man and his utterly complex finite informational systems ever appeared on that surface. It logically follows that Nature must have permanently devised the only single physical construct of earth allowable.

All objects, be they solid, liquid, or vaporous have always had a visible surface. This is because the real Universe must consist only of one single unified VISIBLE infinite surface occurring eternally in one single infinite dimension that am always illuminated mostly by finite non-surface light.

Only the truth can set you free.

Joe Fisher, Realist

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post approved


Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Feb. 10, 2018 @ 02:02 GMT
Respected Prof Todd L Duncan

Good idea sir, " intuitive ideas of meaning related to story in human experience, to imagine a foundation for physics based on universal properties of meaning that are not anthropomorphic. " By the way...

Here in my essay energy to mass conversion is proposed...……..….. yours is very nice essay best wishes …. I highly appreciate hope your essay...

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Christophe Tournayre wrote on Feb. 11, 2018 @ 06:08 GMT
Dear Todd,

Your essay is interesting. It would have been worth to develop your ideas a bit more.

Kind regards,

Christophe

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Author Todd L Duncan replied on Feb. 13, 2018 @ 05:59 GMT
Hi Christophe,

Thank you, yes I'm looking forward to developing these ideas more... with the help of the insights from many other thought-provoking essays on this forum!

Kind wishes,

~ Todd

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Steven Andresen wrote on Feb. 22, 2018 @ 07:10 GMT
Dear Todd

If you are looking for another essay to read and rate in the final days of the contest, will you consider mine please? I read all essays from those who comment on my page, and if I cant rate an essay highly, then I don’t rate them at all. Infact I haven’t issued a rating lower that ten. So you have nothing to lose by having me read your essay, and everything to...

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Luca Valeri wrote on Feb. 26, 2018 @ 23:17 GMT
Your short nice Essay deserves more than the actual rating. It is certainly a line of thought to follow.

I would have loved to write more what I think of your ideas, but i do not have the time.

Luca

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Juan Ramón González Álvarez wrote on Mar. 1, 2018 @ 20:08 GMT
Meaning? Meaning of what? Meaning of something. This something is more fundamental than the meaning.

The universe is a physical object that evolves. The story is the evolution of the Universe, not the universe itself.

The example of the poem illustrates this perfectly. We have the fundamental particles grouped in a piece of paper and ink (or alternative way that the poem is stored). The poem itself is a collection of words and punctuation signs with a concrete meaning. So the layers are

particles --> materials --> characters --> meaning

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