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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Janko Kokosar: on 3/28/20 at 6:35am UTC, wrote I propose a simple addition for more honest voting. These steps can help...

Jochen Szangolies: on 3/22/20 at 7:29am UTC, wrote Hi there, I'm not sure it's such a good idea to make current votes visible...

Shawn Halayka: on 3/20/20 at 0:48am UTC, wrote Roger that. Thanks again. - Shawn

David Sloan: on 3/19/20 at 22:38pm UTC, wrote In that case, please add the updates in a new post on your thread. They...

Shawn Halayka: on 3/19/20 at 22:24pm UTC, wrote Dear David, Sorry to be a pest, but what if I changed the name of the...

David Sloan: on 3/19/20 at 20:33pm UTC, wrote The mechanism to allow updates to essays has now gone live. Each author has...

Lorraine Ford: on 3/16/20 at 20:13pm UTC, wrote Re COVID-19: Talk about the world being undecidable, uncomputable, and...

Georgina Woodward: on 3/15/20 at 23:28pm UTC, wrote David, how will this work? Will revised essays retain comments and votes...


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FQXi BLOGS
April 4, 2020

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability - FQXi's New Essay Contest [refresh]
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FQXi Administrator David Sloan wrote on Dec. 24, 2019 @ 22:34 GMT
Update (added 12 March 2020): We understand many in the FQXi community are dealing with disruptions due to COVID-19. We want to relieve a bit of this pressure by extending the essay contest deadline to April 24, 2020. If anyone has submitted an essay already and has issues with this extension or feels disadvantaged, please email, essay_contestATfqxi.org, and to discuss submitting an updated essay.

This will push back the remaining schedule as follows:

Community and Public ratings deadline - May 18, 2020.

Notification of winning essays on or around July 31, 2020.


At FQXi we're excited to launch our latest essay contest, with generous support from the Fetzer Franklin Fund and the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation. The topic for this contest is: Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability.

For a brief time in history, it was possible to imagine that a sufficiently advanced intellect could, given sufficient time and resources, in principle understand how to mathematically prove everything that was true. They could discern what math corresponds to physical laws, and use those laws to predict anything that happens before it happens. That time has passed. Gödel’s undecidability results (the incompleteness theorems), Turing’s proof of non-computable values, the formulation of quantum theory, chaos, and other developments over the past century have shown that there are rigorous arguments limiting what we can prove, compute, and predict. While some connections between these results have come to light, many remain obscure, and the implications are unclear. Are there, for example, real consequences for physics — including quantum mechanics — of undecidability and non-computability? Are there implications for our understanding of the relations between agency, intelligence, mind, and the physical world?

In this essay contest, we open the floor for investigations of such connections, implications, and speculations. We invite rigorous but bold and open-minded investigation of the meaning of these impossibilities for reality, and for us, its residents. The contest is open now, and we will be accepting entries until March 16th.

Note: Despite a slight slip on the contest page, we aren't looking at time travel for essay entries! The real timeline is available which might be more helpful to those who don't have access to a flux capacitor.

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Dec. 26, 2019 @ 00:48 GMT
Good topic choice.

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John R. Cox replied on Dec. 28, 2019 @ 18:10 GMT
Happy New Year, Georgina,

and I think you'll probably like the most recently listed call for proposals; Consciousness in the Physical World. best jrc

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Rick Lockyer wrote on Dec. 28, 2019 @ 15:58 GMT
A suggestion this time around: no anonymous voting.

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John R. Cox replied on Dec. 28, 2019 @ 18:14 GMT
I'll second that! Rick. Politics is one thing and a secret ballot is essential to democratic due process of law, but science is not the place for politics. jrc

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sherman loran jenkins wrote on Jan. 6, 2020 @ 04:05 GMT
In a galaxy not so very far away, on a water planet in near orbit around a yellow dwarf star; as the beings there became conscious that the vacuum was not a great void but was clear crystalline mass; mysteries of science and life began to disappear.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Jan. 15, 2020 @ 22:02 GMT
Re "I tend to speed-read then review before scoring after reading a good number (so may comment again)", Peter Jackson's comment on Madonna-Megara Morgana-Helena Holloway's essay, https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3364 :

I don't think it is appropriate to mention scoring an essay AT ALL.

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John R. Cox wrote on Feb. 3, 2020 @ 15:56 GMT
Dear FQXi,

good idea! I just realized that there is no notice being given as to how essays are being scored by readers. That should cut down a bit on the number of torpedoes launched by inventors of the wheel. :-) jrc

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FQXi Administrator David Sloan wrote on Feb. 5, 2020 @ 12:31 GMT
Quick note: I have removed a post from this topic which is in discussion of one of the applicants. This topic is for the announcement of the essay contest. As such I believe it appropriate to have discussions on how the contest is conducted, voting processes etc. Discussions of essays submitted should be conducted on the applicants' topics, and kept on topic. The community discussion forums are the place to address other ideas.

I will continue to remove personal attacks.

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Mar. 11, 2020 @ 05:40 GMT
David Sloan,

I am not getting email notifications when my essay has a new post. But I have not unsubscribed from getting the email notifications. I don't know if anyone else is getting this problem.

I want to receive these email notifications. Can you please arrange for this to be fixed?

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FQXi Administrator David Sloan replied on Mar. 11, 2020 @ 11:57 GMT
Dear Lorraine,

We are aware of the problem and our tech people are working on it. I hope it will be fixed shortly.

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Lorraine Ford replied on Mar. 11, 2020 @ 21:57 GMT
Thanks David,

I am now receiving the email notifications.

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Elana Lee wrote on Mar. 12, 2020 @ 10:09 GMT
Dear Professor Sloan,

In view of the current situation regarding the pandemic, would it be possible to extend the deadline for the essay contest? Many of our schedules have been very disrupted due to school closings, setting up telework, as well as stocking up on supplies and other preparations. I tried posting this last week but the system was not letting me create an account until today. I'm not just asking for myself, but concerned for the community at large. I've also been in touch with others who as well were delayed and attempted to contact you. Thank you.

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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali replied on Mar. 12, 2020 @ 12:09 GMT
Dear Elana,

Thank you for your thoughts. We agree that this is a difficult time for the FQXi community, so we have extended the deadline to 24 April 2020.

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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Mar. 12, 2020 @ 11:59 GMT
Update: Essay Contest Deadline Extended: April 24, 2020

We understand many in the FQXi community are dealing with disruptions due to COVID-19. We want to relieve a bit of this pressure by extending the essay contest deadline. If anyone has submitted an essay already and has issues with this extension or feels disadvantaged, please email, essay_contestATfqxi.org, and to discuss submitting an updated essay.

This will push back the remaining schedule as follows:

Community and Public ratings deadline - May 18, 2020.

Notification of winning essays on or around July 31, 2020

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Dale Carl Gillman wrote on Mar. 15, 2020 @ 17:03 GMT
To whom it may concern,

I have resubmitted an essay and would like to delete my old entry. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Dale C. Gillman

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FQXi Administrator David Sloan wrote on Mar. 15, 2020 @ 18:54 GMT
A quick update: I know a lot of you will be keen to update your essays and make replacements. We are working out a mechanism to allow you to do this. I will update this as soon as this mechanism is in place. For now, please hold off on submitting replacements as new essays or emailing them to us.

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Georgina Woodward replied on Mar. 15, 2020 @ 23:28 GMT
David, how will this work? Will revised essays retain comments and votes already placed or will all revised essays be treated as new essays, like the replacements?

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Lorraine Ford wrote on Mar. 16, 2020 @ 20:13 GMT
Re COVID-19:

Talk about the world being undecidable, uncomputable, and unpredictable !!!

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FQXi Administrator David Sloan wrote on Mar. 19, 2020 @ 20:33 GMT
The mechanism to allow updates to essays has now gone live. Each author has the opportunity to upload a replacement essay. You may make exactly ONE such replacement, so please be careful and make all your corrections at once.

To update your essay, go to the essay contest forum thread. On your initial post there will be a box outlined in green with a button to choose a replacement file. Once you have uploaded your new file, the pdf linked on your forum page will be replaced, and a note added, but all previous comments will stand.

Thanks for your patience in waiting for this. Our technical staff have worked hard to make this possible at a time when many of us have a lot of work to do.

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Shawn Halayka replied on Mar. 19, 2020 @ 22:24 GMT
Dear David,

Sorry to be a pest, but what if I changed the name of the paper and the abstract? Is there a way to update those on my essay page?

https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3430

Thanks for the second chance. :)

- Shawn

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FQXi Administrator David Sloan replied on Mar. 19, 2020 @ 22:38 GMT
In that case, please add the updates in a new post on your thread. They will not update on the forum thread.

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Shawn Halayka replied on Mar. 20, 2020 @ 00:48 GMT
Roger that. Thanks again.

- Shawn

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Jochen Szangolies wrote on Mar. 22, 2020 @ 07:29 GMT
Hi there,

I'm not sure it's such a good idea to make current votes visible now, after they weren't before. People who've so far abstained from voting will now have access to different information than those who've already voted, putting the two sets of votes on very different footing, yet counting them as equivalent. That's not going to produce a very fair, consistent picture, I'm afraid.

Might I ask why it was decided to make the votes visible now? Or was it just an automatic thing with the expiry of the old deadline? I notice that deadline is still visible in some places, e. g. on the Contests Home-page.

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Janko Kokosar wrote on Mar. 28, 2020 @ 06:35 GMT
I propose a simple addition for more honest voting. These steps can help after the end of voting:

1. FQXi finds a voter who gave the largest number of 1's. (Let us say that the number of such essays is 41.)

2. Among these 41 essays, FQXi reads the essay which has the highest score.

3. If this essay is significantly better than for 1, FQXi checks further whether voting of this voter is honest.

4. If this voting is not honest, FQXi makes some measures for this voter and does some corrections of the scores.

5. This operation can be repeated and/or improved, but even to locate one of crooks can reduce others.

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