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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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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Steve Dufourny: on 10/19/19 at 18:52pm UTC, wrote Hi Lorraine, Thanks for sharing,we speak about our main global...

Lorraine Ford: on 10/8/19 at 20:51pm UTC, wrote Steve D, This is a major issue about the way the world works: Do people...

Tommaso Bolognesi: on 10/8/19 at 16:37pm UTC, wrote Arrivederci Brendan, thank you for the hard work and good luck for the next...

Steve Dufourny: on 10/8/19 at 13:04pm UTC, wrote Lorraine ,if I can,instead to focus on this problem of climate and its...

Lorraine Ford: on 10/8/19 at 12:59pm UTC, wrote Georgina, you don’t need to explain physics and “the scientific...

Georgina Woodward: on 10/7/19 at 23:09pm UTC, wrote Lorraine, physics is a subject of study and investigation, It does not...

Lorraine Ford: on 10/7/19 at 21:35pm UTC, wrote Physics believes that human beings, like everything else, are a product of...

Jonathan Dickau: on 10/7/19 at 19:46pm UTC, wrote Thanks for everything Brendan... Yours has been a helpful voice of sanity,...


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FQXi BLOGS
December 6, 2019

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Till Next Time [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator Brendan Foster wrote on Oct. 4, 2019 @ 19:42 GMT
And now a quick pause in conference coverage - for a fond farewell. I am sad to say, after almost 10 years in the role, I have retired as FQXi’s Science Programs Consultant.

I had such fun in this multipurpose position, helping coordinate everything from grant reviews to grant writing, conferences to contests, websites and databases, and of course, the fabulous FQXi podcast.

Now, I’ll be focussing my work time on writing — mainly science journalism and possibly some fiction on the side. Around town, you can also find me in the middle of music projects and watching over the health of 20-year-old Puffy the Cat.

Now that I’m on the outside, you’ll know I mean it when I say how much of a positive impact I believe FQXi has had on fundamental physics research. Ten years ago, as I finished my degree, very few positions and next-to-no funding existed in any sort of non-string quantum gravity, quantum foundations, philosophical physics, or really anything that sounded too deep or too grand. As a student, to mention something like Bell’s Theorem, Many Worlds, or black hole thermodynamics as something you wanted to learn about would get you laughed at or more likely ignored by faculty.

I was fortunate to have a series of mentors and unofficial advisors who were committed to these kinds of topics and, while realistic about the prospects, felt willing to encourage younger researchers. I finished my degree debt-free doing exactly what I wanted to, but I saw friends divert into other fields, or take on second jobs to support their work with their chosen advisor (common, I know, for folks in the humanities, but unheard of in the sciences).

All that is why I was excited to discover FQXi and then get the chance to work with them, to support this kind of research and the people who love to do it. I saw the impact as we funded worthy projects that had no other prospects, and helped raise the profile of questions that other funders might have just ignored.

Nowadays, other organizations see the importance of foundational research. FQXi and its sponsors are no longer the sole funders in this direction. It is now common for physics departments to have groups in foundational physics, foundations of quantum mechanics, foundations of everything! We of course must credit the researchers who persisted and kept these topics alive. I am just happy to have had the chance to help out.

Thank you to all of you who have been a part of my FQXi experience the past decade. I hope you all continue to visit the site, apply for the grants, enter the contests. Special thanks of course to my colleagues Zeeya, Kavita, Anthony and Max — I wish you and FQXi much success in every branch of the wavefunction.

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Oct. 4, 2019 @ 22:38 GMT
Hi Brendan, I wish you well in all you chose to do. Thank you so much, mostly for keeping things running behind the scenes for the last 10 years. I don't know if you are replaceable- I hope for our sake you are. All the best, Georgina

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Member Antony Garrett Lisi replied on Oct. 5, 2019 @ 00:41 GMT
Farewell Brendan!

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Steve Dufourny replied on Oct. 5, 2019 @ 08:33 GMT
Hi all,

All the best too from Finland dear Brendan,regards,spherically yours :)

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Member Sabine Hossenfelder wrote on Oct. 5, 2019 @ 07:03 GMT
Wish you all the best!

Sabine

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Oct. 5, 2019 @ 10:21 GMT
Dear Brendan Foster,

I play guitar and piano,so like you I love music.I play rock and blues at Guitar.I love Led Zepelin and Muse.At piano,I prefer classic,Mozart,Bach,Vivaldi mainly :) viva el music so and the vibrations,resonances,oscillations,frequences and its harmony,regards

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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Oct. 5, 2019 @ 12:47 GMT
A note from all of us at FQXI:

We’re really sorry to see Brendan go and are incredibly grateful for his years of creative, wise, diligent, and capable contribution to FQXi. Much of what we’ve been able to accomplish is due to his hard work. We’ll miss him, but wish him the best on his next projects and stand ready to support him if and when we can.

And Brendan-fans can take heart -- Brendan will still be writing for us and contributing to the podcast.

Of course, Brendan’s departure leaves a big hole in FQXi’s operations, and we are just about ready to officially announce a new team member in Brendan’s absence — stay tuned!

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Steve Dufourny replied on Oct. 5, 2019 @ 15:33 GMT
Dear Zeeya,it's well said,I wish him too all the best in his works and researchs.A real team is Always wonderful when the pure universal altruism is a reality,the friendship is important.Take care so dear Brendan.Friendly

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Steve Dufourny replied on Oct. 5, 2019 @ 16:16 GMT
You know Zeeya,the friendship is important and in a team too,like your team and members,but pay attention,all are not Always conscious of what is this universalism and correlated altruism.That's why it exists sometimes thinkers even skillings about details,they are smart but can discriminate others thinkers just due to Vanity,narcissism or others.Or sometimes just due to jealousy too,these persons are easy to recognise.I Don't tell this for FQXi,I just tell that it's a reality on this planet everywhere.It's odd but it's like that,the human nature is a parameter to take into account,a real universal team must understand that all is linked and equal.Be prudent and Always let's judge by ourselves about the real hearts of people.Universally,friendly and spherically yours,.In fact these persons are quickly irritated and even sometimes the hate arrives.But me I have chosen the universal love and forgiveness.:)

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Karl H Coryat wrote on Oct. 5, 2019 @ 19:09 GMT
Thank you for all of your hard work, Brendan! As you know, there am only one visible infinite surface that am illuminated by finite non-surface light...Oops, I just wanted to make sure that someone mentioned that here.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Oct. 5, 2019 @ 19:13 GMT
LOL

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Oct. 7, 2019 @ 08:27 GMT
Dear thinkers,physicists,mathematicians, generalists.Imagine this truth.Imagine if we centralise all these thinkers around a table and forget the isolation,isolated researchs and forget our Vanity needing recognizings.Imagine the results with an universal team sharing the ideas and working in complementarity all together with the skillings of all.Imagine in Europa,USA,India,China,Africa,south america,Asia if we unify,unite all these thinkers instead to be in competition or isolated.The results shall be so relevant globally and generally speaking.An universal relevant team implying a real revolution.This planet is divided and it is not logic,nor rational,deterministic ,nor foundamental.Is it possible ? can we do it,yes we can like we can harmonise and solve this Sphere Earth simply.Take care dear thinkers,be the force with you.If my Words irritate several persons,so they aren t real universal altruistic thinkers,they aren t real generalists understanding the universe,they are just vanitious,the same if the hate arrives in their minds.Don t forget this important foundamental parameter dear all.

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on Oct. 7, 2019 @ 19:46 GMT
Thanks for everything Brendan...

Yours has been a helpful voice of sanity, amid the chaos. Good luck while pursuing your own endeavors.

Regards,

Jonathan

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Oct. 7, 2019 @ 21:35 GMT
Physics believes that human beings, like everything else, are a product of laws of nature and circumstance: physics believes that the only IMPACT human beings can have on the world is a faux impact because physics believes that the human impact on the world is merely the laws of nature acting on the world.

I.e. physics believes that human beings cannot have contributed to causing climate change: it is merely the action of laws of nature causing climate change. However, physics refuses to “man up” to what they are really saying about the world.

Brendan, I wish you well, but I hope you are not as intellectually dishonest as most physicists, and their yes-men and -women, are.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Oct. 7, 2019 @ 23:09 GMT
Lorraine, physics is a subject of study and investigation, It does not believe anything. Physicists are a diverse collection of people with differing views, specialisms and opinions. There is not one Creed for all unlike the Catholic Church, members of which recite their Creed as a part of their practice. (A class of students singing "we believe in Relativity" to the tune of Yellow submarine is not a declaration of faith of all physicists but a bit of fun.) All that the scientific method can do is show that hypotheses are or are not disproven.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Oct. 8, 2019 @ 12:59 GMT
Georgina, you don’t need to explain physics and “the scientific method” to me. Instead, perhaps you need to put your thinking cap on, and address the actual issue I was referring to: physics’ intellectual dishonesty on the issue of climate change.

Physics has no mechanism or method whereby human beings can have any effect on the world: according to physics only laws of nature and “randomness” can have any effect on outcomes on the world, including climate outcomes. This is physics’ belief about the nature of the world.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Oct. 8, 2019 @ 13:04 GMT
Lorraine ,if I can,instead to focus on this problem of climate and its causes,maybe it could be relevant to find the solutions of adaptation no?

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Member Tommaso Bolognesi wrote on Oct. 8, 2019 @ 16:37 GMT
Arrivederci Brendan, thank you for the hard work and good luck for the next phase.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Oct. 8, 2019 @ 20:51 GMT
Steve D,

This is a major issue about the way the world works:

Do people have an impact on the world (e.g. the climate of the world) OR is it only laws of nature and randomness that have an impact on the world?

Physics says that only laws of nature and randomness have an impact on the world. If physics says that people have an impact on the climate of the world, then it is being intellectually dishonest.

In the light of the recent worldwide climate protests, HONEST physicists will tell the global media what they really think: physics does not have a model of the world which allows people to have an impact on the climate of the world.

I haven’t noticed any concern in the physics community about physics’ model of the world; and I haven’t noticed physicists rushing to reevaluate their way of thinking about the way the world works.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Oct. 19, 2019 @ 18:52 GMT
Hi Lorraine,

Thanks for sharing,we speak about our main global problems,Max Tegmark spoke about an important point about AI and the fact that we are going to be obliged to find new jobs for the people of this planet.Here is a general idea.

we know ,in all case the concious persons,that this planet is sick generally speaking due to stupidity,lack of consciousness and several stupid...

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