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**Peter Jackson**: *on* 3/23/20 at 21:06pm UTC, wrote Hi Phil, Fascinating to again read such a different approach to a similar...

**Gene Barbee**: *on* 3/21/20 at 20:55pm UTC, wrote Hi Philip. Congratulations on your work. I have been a longtime fan and...

**Steve Dufourny**: *on* 3/16/20 at 8:44am UTC, wrote Hello Ulla, happy to see you here, hello Professor Gibbs, here is general...

**John Crowell**: *on* 3/14/20 at 20:26pm UTC, wrote Philip. I loved your conclusion. Especially the last two paragraphs. I...

**Ulla Mattfolk**: *on* 3/14/20 at 12:17pm UTC, wrote Hi, Phil. Can the universal computer be something like what we call 'God'?...

**Ulla Mattfolk**: *on* 3/14/20 at 11:23am UTC, wrote Hi, Phil and Steve. What is information? It cannot be absolute, never. It...

**Ulla Mattfolk**: *on* 3/14/20 at 11:02am UTC, wrote Hi Phil. You say: where the wave function collapse is an illusion of our...

**Ulla Mattfolk**: *on* 3/14/20 at 10:41am UTC, wrote Hi Phil. Congrats to an interesting essay. It is true that all equations...

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Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest (2019-2020)
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TOPIC: Computability in the Theory of Theories by Philip Gibbs [refresh]

TOPIC: Computability in the Theory of Theories by Philip Gibbs [refresh]

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This essay is a candidate in FQXi's current Essay Contest,

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Information is the basic material of reality, but the processing of information raises paradoxes due to the self-referential nature of computability. This principle can be embraced in a theory of theories leading to the emergence of quantum mechanics, geometry and physics.

Since ending my PhD and leaving academia in 1987 I have continued to take pleasure in writing papers on a broad range of subject in science and mathematics ranging from number theory and fundamental physics to supercentenarians. Despite it being the eve of my 60th birthday I like to think that my best work is still ahead of me.

Dear Philip,

in my essay I have categorized the kind of work you're proposing 'computational art'.

If you agree, my next question would be: what's your motivation ?

If you disagree, my next question would be: which problem are you trying to solve?

best,

Heinz

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in my essay I have categorized the kind of work you're proposing 'computational art'.

If you agree, my next question would be: what's your motivation ?

If you disagree, my next question would be: which problem are you trying to solve?

best,

Heinz

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I will leave others to decide if my work should be interpreted as computational art, but I can try to answer both questions anyway.

My motivation is the observation that reductionism must ultimately fail. Each time your knowledge is reduced to something more fundamental a new set of how and why questions arises. Let's not pretend that we are not trying to answer that kind of question, of course we are.

So reductionism must be abandoned at some point, perhaps from the start. Instead we must look at the whole, at what information and experience is. Everything must be equally real or unreal, but reality is relative to the observer.

This conclusion then provides the problem I am trying to solve. How can our experience of physics arise from that starting point? Many physicists talk about how information is fundamental, and reality must be emergent. If you assume that space and time emerge then perhaps you can argue for gravity as an emergent entropic force, but what about the deeper origins? How do we get from pure information and self-reference to space and time and some real physics? I want to go beyond all this nice philosophy and actually so something with the maths.

My motivation is the observation that reductionism must ultimately fail. Each time your knowledge is reduced to something more fundamental a new set of how and why questions arises. Let's not pretend that we are not trying to answer that kind of question, of course we are.

So reductionism must be abandoned at some point, perhaps from the start. Instead we must look at the whole, at what information and experience is. Everything must be equally real or unreal, but reality is relative to the observer.

This conclusion then provides the problem I am trying to solve. How can our experience of physics arise from that starting point? Many physicists talk about how information is fundamental, and reality must be emergent. If you assume that space and time emerge then perhaps you can argue for gravity as an emergent entropic force, but what about the deeper origins? How do we get from pure information and self-reference to space and time and some real physics? I want to go beyond all this nice philosophy and actually so something with the maths.

"information is actually a continuous quantity with no minimum value."

Not in Shannon's Information Theory. The whole point of*that* theory, is that information *must be encoded* into discrete symbols, from a known "alphabet" in order to be successfully (with no errors whatsoever) recovered, in the presence of noise. Unlike any other conception of "information", Shannon's has...

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Not in Shannon's Information Theory. The whole point of

view entire post

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If I tell you that a random three digit number is even I have given you one bit of information. If I tell you only that it is not 137 I have given you much less information.

Quantum theory leaves open the possibility of a deterministic underlying theory but it requires a big stretch. Everything suggests the opposite, but if your philosophical position is that reality must be deterministic then by all means try to exploit the loop holes. I wish you luck.

I hope you will submit a good essay to support your case and I look forward to it.

Quantum theory leaves open the possibility of a deterministic underlying theory but it requires a big stretch. Everything suggests the opposite, but if your philosophical position is that reality must be deterministic then by all means try to exploit the loop holes. I wish you luck.

I hope you will submit a good essay to support your case and I look forward to it.

You cannot transmit (and thus give to me) the first sentence you stated, in a message only one bit in length. The same is true of your second sentence. Your conception of "information", differs substantially, from that of Shannon. Luck is not necessary, where understanding is sufficient. An essay is not necessary to support my case, since a sufficient demonstration has already been published. Q.E.D.

Rob McEachern

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Rob McEachern

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The amount of information conveyed by a statement is not the bit-length of the string that communicates it. That only sets an upper limit. What I have said at the start about information content is standard stuff, but a lot of people have a misconception that information always comes in discrete bits so I had to explain that it doesn't. It is covered in wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_content

The negative log of a probability gives the information content for the outcome of a random process and it can take any real value from zero to infinity.

The negative log of a probability gives the information content for the outcome of a random process and it can take any real value from zero to infinity.

Dear Phil,

It is good to see your contribution. I always enjoy your insight.

You mention that since the 1970s all work on theoretical physics including supersymmetry and string theory has failed to make contact with experiment. I think that you attribute this to a dearth of new experimental results at the energy frontier. An alternative possibility is a theory that predicts what we see and nothing else.

As I understand it, you believe the appropriate starting point for a theory of theories is modeled as a formal sum of the collection of mathematical universes; that is, every mathematical possibility has a corresponding physical possibility (more or less). I think you have explored this approach quite well.

An alternative approach would begin with one physical field, and nothing else, and attempt to derive our current universe from this field. That happens to be my preferred approach. I believe it is compatible with your answer that "up to energies tested so far there was simply "nothing new". I recall particle physicists a decade ago being sort of upset by the suggestion that the only particles that exist are those we know and resonances composed of those that we know. In fact I suggested that the Higgs was not a fundamental particle but just such a resonance. After several years of celebrating the Higgs, the latest*Phys Rev Letters* papers that I have seen are those analyzing Higgs as 'composite particle'.

You state: "in my opinion they are failing because they still cannot relinquish certain cherished philosophical beliefs." I fully agree with you. Now we just have to agree on the cherished beliefs in question!

My own belief is that the answer is more likely to come from the extreme that you explore, or the opposite extreme that I explore, than it is to come from anywhere in the middle.

My best regards, and good luck.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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It is good to see your contribution. I always enjoy your insight.

You mention that since the 1970s all work on theoretical physics including supersymmetry and string theory has failed to make contact with experiment. I think that you attribute this to a dearth of new experimental results at the energy frontier. An alternative possibility is a theory that predicts what we see and nothing else.

As I understand it, you believe the appropriate starting point for a theory of theories is modeled as a formal sum of the collection of mathematical universes; that is, every mathematical possibility has a corresponding physical possibility (more or less). I think you have explored this approach quite well.

An alternative approach would begin with one physical field, and nothing else, and attempt to derive our current universe from this field. That happens to be my preferred approach. I believe it is compatible with your answer that "up to energies tested so far there was simply "nothing new". I recall particle physicists a decade ago being sort of upset by the suggestion that the only particles that exist are those we know and resonances composed of those that we know. In fact I suggested that the Higgs was not a fundamental particle but just such a resonance. After several years of celebrating the Higgs, the latest

You state: "in my opinion they are failing because they still cannot relinquish certain cherished philosophical beliefs." I fully agree with you. Now we just have to agree on the cherished beliefs in question!

My own belief is that the answer is more likely to come from the extreme that you explore, or the opposite extreme that I explore, than it is to come from anywhere in the middle.

My best regards, and good luck.

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Edwin,

You nailed it:

"An alternative possibility is a theory that predicts what we see and nothing else."

That is exactly what existing quantum theory does, which is why it has always been misinterpreted - it only (but accurately) predicts the detection statistics of a test, for the presence of "something", rather than describing either the "something" itself, or even how the "something" behaves. It is analogous to accurately predicting that a "drug test" will detect "something", but without ever bothering to consider the likelihood of all the "false positives".

"Now we just have to agree on the cherished beliefs in question!"

Start with the 2,500 year old, ancient, Greek philosophical*assumption* that "elementary" particles *must* all be *perfectly* identical, while taking note of the fact that some "fraternal twins" do not behave *anything* like "identical twins" in a Bell test. Next, consider the fact that a single Fourier transform (superposition/wavefunction) *cannot* be used to correctly describe more than one single particle trajectory, at a time, in the presence of *any* noise; assuming (as quantum theorists did, in the 1920s) that you *ought* to be able describe multiple particles, via a single superposition, was a huge misconception - that "trick" only works correctly, in an *idealistic* (AKA unreal) noise-free situation.

Rob McEachern

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You nailed it:

"An alternative possibility is a theory that predicts what we see and nothing else."

That is exactly what existing quantum theory does, which is why it has always been misinterpreted - it only (but accurately) predicts the detection statistics of a test, for the presence of "something", rather than describing either the "something" itself, or even how the "something" behaves. It is analogous to accurately predicting that a "drug test" will detect "something", but without ever bothering to consider the likelihood of all the "false positives".

"Now we just have to agree on the cherished beliefs in question!"

Start with the 2,500 year old, ancient, Greek philosophical

Rob McEachern

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"An alternative possibility is a theory that predicts what we see and nothing else."

What we see includes the standard model of particles, neutrino masses, gravity, galaxy rotation curves etc. Theorists don't set out to find models that add more to the list. They just look for models that provide a consistent framework for some or all of these things together. It may turn out that those models have additional particles or other observable or unobservable effects, and this is often the case. These additional things provide some testability, but if they found a consistent model for everything that had nothing new I am sure we would all be equally happy with it.

You are right that I start with an ensemble of possible universes. The way I differ from the usual MUH is that I think these different universes combine into a single whole that is accessible in our reality. According to the MUH we live in just one mathematical external reality. I think my approach may be closer to yours. My "multiverse" of universes is actually indistinguishable from the "multiverse" of wavefunctions in quantum mechanics which is really just one field.

What we see includes the standard model of particles, neutrino masses, gravity, galaxy rotation curves etc. Theorists don't set out to find models that add more to the list. They just look for models that provide a consistent framework for some or all of these things together. It may turn out that those models have additional particles or other observable or unobservable effects, and this is often the case. These additional things provide some testability, but if they found a consistent model for everything that had nothing new I am sure we would all be equally happy with it.

You are right that I start with an ensemble of possible universes. The way I differ from the usual MUH is that I think these different universes combine into a single whole that is accessible in our reality. According to the MUH we live in just one mathematical external reality. I think my approach may be closer to yours. My "multiverse" of universes is actually indistinguishable from the "multiverse" of wavefunctions in quantum mechanics which is really just one field.

Phil,

Thanks for clarifying the difference between yours and MUH. And thanks for pointing out that your approach is “indistinguishable from the‘multiverse’ of wavefunctions in QM which is really just one field.” I’m actually glad to hear that as I like your ideas, but felt they were the extreme opposite of mine. I do believe that good ideas should generally converge to a “correct” idea.

Best,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Thanks for clarifying the difference between yours and MUH. And thanks for pointing out that your approach is “indistinguishable from the‘multiverse’ of wavefunctions in QM which is really just one field.” I’m actually glad to hear that as I like your ideas, but felt they were the extreme opposite of mine. I do believe that good ideas should generally converge to a “correct” idea.

Best,

Edwin Eugene Klingman

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Dear Philip,

I am very happy to see you entering a contribution into this year's competition, your essays are always enlightening to read, and provide much food for thought.

The idea of a 'Theory of Theories' is something I have been spending a bit of intellectual energy on, as well, mostly inspired by Russell Standish's 'Theory of Nothing' and Jürgen Schmidhuber's 'Algorithmic Theories of Everything' (see here: https://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0011122). Schmidhuber's approach in particular seems at first blush not too distant from your own---he also appeals to Kolmogorov complexity in the construction of a (formally describable) measure, over possible histories of the universe.

But I have only skimmed your paper as of yet; I'll revisit it when I get some more time, and look forward to engaging with it in detail.

I wish you the best of luck in this contest!

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I am very happy to see you entering a contribution into this year's competition, your essays are always enlightening to read, and provide much food for thought.

The idea of a 'Theory of Theories' is something I have been spending a bit of intellectual energy on, as well, mostly inspired by Russell Standish's 'Theory of Nothing' and Jürgen Schmidhuber's 'Algorithmic Theories of Everything' (see here: https://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0011122). Schmidhuber's approach in particular seems at first blush not too distant from your own---he also appeals to Kolmogorov complexity in the construction of a (formally describable) measure, over possible histories of the universe.

But I have only skimmed your paper as of yet; I'll revisit it when I get some more time, and look forward to engaging with it in detail.

I wish you the best of luck in this contest!

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While I hope you're off celebrating your birthday, let me just quickly add a couple of questions:

Why do you restrict your notion of algorithm to those with finite output? It seems to me that a computer enumerating the digits of pi in succession is executing a perfectly sensible algorithm.

What do you think the significance of the Wick rotation is? I can grasp it in the sense of 'Euclideanizing' the path integral, but it's still not fully clear to me what it means, and what one actually does when, like you do, one just Wick rotates an expression to arrive at a quantum version. (Which, by the way, I thought was a little quick; it seems to me that a little more is needed for the emergence of quantum mechanics. In particular, just a complex Hilbert space doesn't suffice, as shown by the Koopmann-von Neumann formulation of classical mechanics. But then, it's a finite-length essay, and I can't really expect you to resolve everything in one fell swoop...)

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Why do you restrict your notion of algorithm to those with finite output? It seems to me that a computer enumerating the digits of pi in succession is executing a perfectly sensible algorithm.

What do you think the significance of the Wick rotation is? I can grasp it in the sense of 'Euclideanizing' the path integral, but it's still not fully clear to me what it means, and what one actually does when, like you do, one just Wick rotates an expression to arrive at a quantum version. (Which, by the way, I thought was a little quick; it seems to me that a little more is needed for the emergence of quantum mechanics. In particular, just a complex Hilbert space doesn't suffice, as shown by the Koopmann-von Neumann formulation of classical mechanics. But then, it's a finite-length essay, and I can't really expect you to resolve everything in one fell swoop...)

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Thanks for your comments, references and questions.

You make a fair point that when defining computability, infinite strings of output are required. Any finite string is computable. However for the halting problem it is easier to work with just finite output. The computation of a universe might make more sense if it is allowed to be infinite, but I am not sure I could have cleared this up in the limited space.

For the Wick rotation I accept that this was too quick. Working with probabilities between 0 and 1 is not very good when trying to define and algebra so a switch to complex numbers works better. More work would be required to determine whether this is justified in that it would give an equivalent formulation.

You make a fair point that when defining computability, infinite strings of output are required. Any finite string is computable. However for the halting problem it is easier to work with just finite output. The computation of a universe might make more sense if it is allowed to be infinite, but I am not sure I could have cleared this up in the limited space.

For the Wick rotation I accept that this was too quick. Working with probabilities between 0 and 1 is not very good when trying to define and algebra so a switch to complex numbers works better. More work would be required to determine whether this is justified in that it would give an equivalent formulation.

Thank you to all those who have responded already. Today really is my 60th birthday so I am off to see family.

I always relish the opportunity to enter these contests because the feedback I get and the comparison with other essays is pure gold. My ideas always take a quantum leap forward as a result.

I will respond to specific comments and read other submissions when I get back.

I always relish the opportunity to enter these contests because the feedback I get and the comparison with other essays is pure gold. My ideas always take a quantum leap forward as a result.

I will respond to specific comments and read other submissions when I get back.

Happy Birthday Phil!

I have not read the essay yet, but I have been a fan of this line of reasoning for years now. The notion that what makes sense physically would emerge from the spectrum of all possible theories naturally is a compelling idea. When I was struggling to find a proper context for my work - when I first began to see the relevance of the Mandelbrot Set to Physics - the 'theory of theories' notion put things into focus very nicely; thank you.

I hope you find renewed vigor and increased confidence with year 60. I was told a story by Joe Lam on my 59th birthday that he thought he'd be washed up at 60 but found the opposite instead, that he had more self confidence and had new horizons opening up - so his life picked up speed. That was the night I had the pleasure to meet and eat with Leo KoGuan, Brian Greene, Paul Joskow, fellow FQXi essayist Brian Ji and also met Ed Witten.

And as with Joe Lam; my life has only picked up speed after 60.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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I have not read the essay yet, but I have been a fan of this line of reasoning for years now. The notion that what makes sense physically would emerge from the spectrum of all possible theories naturally is a compelling idea. When I was struggling to find a proper context for my work - when I first began to see the relevance of the Mandelbrot Set to Physics - the 'theory of theories' notion put things into focus very nicely; thank you.

I hope you find renewed vigor and increased confidence with year 60. I was told a story by Joe Lam on my 59th birthday that he thought he'd be washed up at 60 but found the opposite instead, that he had more self confidence and had new horizons opening up - so his life picked up speed. That was the night I had the pleasure to meet and eat with Leo KoGuan, Brian Greene, Paul Joskow, fellow FQXi essayist Brian Ji and also met Ed Witten.

And as with Joe Lam; my life has only picked up speed after 60.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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"Although we think of data as quantised in discrete bits, information is actually a continuous quantity with no minimum value." Should we believe Kolmogorov or Fredkin?

Robert Wright stated, “I talked with Richard Feynman, a Nobel laureate at the California Institute of Technology, before his death, in February. Feynman considered Fredkin a brilliant and consistently original, though sometimes incautious, thinker. If anyone is going to come up with a new and fruitful way of looking at physics, Feynman said, Fredkin will.”

”Did the Universe Just Happen?” by Robert Wright, The Atlantic Monthly, April 1988

Consider 3 questions: Does quantum information reduce to Fredkin-Wolfram information? Is Milgrom the Kepler of contemporary cosmology? What is the simplest way of modifying Einstein’s field equations? Google "milgrom fredkin wolfram".

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Robert Wright stated, “I talked with Richard Feynman, a Nobel laureate at the California Institute of Technology, before his death, in February. Feynman considered Fredkin a brilliant and consistently original, though sometimes incautious, thinker. If anyone is going to come up with a new and fruitful way of looking at physics, Feynman said, Fredkin will.”

”Did the Universe Just Happen?” by Robert Wright, The Atlantic Monthly, April 1988

Consider 3 questions: Does quantum information reduce to Fredkin-Wolfram information? Is Milgrom the Kepler of contemporary cosmology? What is the simplest way of modifying Einstein’s field equations? Google "milgrom fredkin wolfram".

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Feynman was right about Fredkin. He is an original thinker who appreciated the importance of computation in physics long before others. He has inspired a number of people including myself. I also know him personally and have heard many of the incredible stories of his adventures first hand.

I have cited his work in some of my other essays. There are many lessons to be learnt from his approach that have affected mine, even if I do not agree with his deterministic vision of reality.

I have cited his work in some of my other essays. There are many lessons to be learnt from his approach that have affected mine, even if I do not agree with his deterministic vision of reality.

"... Fredkin .. deterministic vision of reality ..." Do you have an opinion concerning the following?

Viewpoint 1. Electrons travel through spacetime. Electrons are wave-like when they are not measured. Electrons are particle-like when they are measured.

Viewpoint 2. Electrons and spacetime are approximations generated by Wolfram’s cosmological automaton. Electrons do not travel through spacetime. Measurement is a natural process that separates the boundary of the multiverse from the interior of the multiverse. The multiverse is mathematically isomorphic to a 72-dimensional holographic, digital computer. An electron is an approximate pattern of Fredkin-Wolfram information, and the electron’s pattern is computationally and holographically propagated through the interior of the multiverse. The electron approximately consists of discontinuous displays of Fredkin-Wolfram information that are psychologically merged together in the minds of those electromagnetic fields called the “minds of physicists”. How might Viewpoint 2 be tested?

Prediction 1: dark-matter-compensation-constant = (3.9±.5) * 10^–5 .

Prediction 2: The Riofrio-Sanejouand cosmological model is empirically valid, i.e., the radius of our universe is a constant, and the speed of light in a perfect vacuum steadily decreases as our universe ages.

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Viewpoint 1. Electrons travel through spacetime. Electrons are wave-like when they are not measured. Electrons are particle-like when they are measured.

Viewpoint 2. Electrons and spacetime are approximations generated by Wolfram’s cosmological automaton. Electrons do not travel through spacetime. Measurement is a natural process that separates the boundary of the multiverse from the interior of the multiverse. The multiverse is mathematically isomorphic to a 72-dimensional holographic, digital computer. An electron is an approximate pattern of Fredkin-Wolfram information, and the electron’s pattern is computationally and holographically propagated through the interior of the multiverse. The electron approximately consists of discontinuous displays of Fredkin-Wolfram information that are psychologically merged together in the minds of those electromagnetic fields called the “minds of physicists”. How might Viewpoint 2 be tested?

Prediction 1: dark-matter-compensation-constant = (3.9±.5) * 10^–5 .

Prediction 2: The Riofrio-Sanejouand cosmological model is empirically valid, i.e., the radius of our universe is a constant, and the speed of light in a perfect vacuum steadily decreases as our universe ages.

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Phillip,

Your essay was interesting. I appreciated the description in the supplement of what is meant by the necklace. Also your discussion on Turing’s theorem is a nice compact version of that.

I have some points of difference with it. I would say a departure is with the implication of some sort of infinitude. I think that for any observer the number of quantum states available...

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Your essay was interesting. I appreciated the description in the supplement of what is meant by the necklace. Also your discussion on Turing’s theorem is a nice compact version of that.

I have some points of difference with it. I would say a departure is with the implication of some sort of infinitude. I think that for any observer the number of quantum states available...

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You raise an interesting point about the finitude of information. In an idealist philosophy my reality is determined only by the finite amount of information in my mind. The external world is an ensemble of possible worlds consistent with that information. I dont allow that there is one external physical reality for the state of the whole universe around me because that would require an infinite amount of information, but each possible state of the universe would require a large or infinite amount of information to describe it. What this provides is an illusion of an external reality described by more information than I really possess in my mind.

I think that symmetry is important to how this works. Suppose that all objects in the universe were distinguishable so they can be labelled in some way. If the universe is infinite and I know that the object with label X is in the room with me then I have an infinite amount of information about it. This can't be right. The paradox is resolved because elementary particles are indistinguishable. All I can really know is that there is an object in the room made up of elementary particles in some configuration. This requires only a finite amount of information. The indistinguishability of particles is a permutation symmetry.

You are right that I have identified information entropy with action, even if I did not say it explicitly. It is an interesting conclusion, and not one that I would have expected.

I think that symmetry is important to how this works. Suppose that all objects in the universe were distinguishable so they can be labelled in some way. If the universe is infinite and I know that the object with label X is in the room with me then I have an infinite amount of information about it. This can't be right. The paradox is resolved because elementary particles are indistinguishable. All I can really know is that there is an object in the room made up of elementary particles in some configuration. This requires only a finite amount of information. The indistinguishability of particles is a permutation symmetry.

You are right that I have identified information entropy with action, even if I did not say it explicitly. It is an interesting conclusion, and not one that I would have expected.

At least I am not alone in linking action to entropy

https://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0106081

https://www.researchgat

e.net/publication/239614590_The_concept_of_entropy_Relation_

between_action_and_entropy

https://physics.stackexchange.com/

questions/483580/is-it-there-any-relation-between-an-action-

and-entropy

etc

https://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0106081

https://www.researchgat

e.net/publication/239614590_The_concept_of_entropy_Relation_

between_action_and_entropy

https://physics.stackexchange.com/

questions/483580/is-it-there-any-relation-between-an-action-

and-entropy

etc

For the FLRW metric with k = 0 the spatial surface of the Hubble frame is R^3. A similar situation occurs with how one defines coordinates in de Sitter spacetime. There is no serious problem I see with that sort of infinitude. The limit to observing an infinite amount of stuff, first pointed out by Olber in his paradox, is the expansion of the universe and cosmological horizon. The expansion factor e^{Ht} in the FLRW, or cosh(Ht) in de Sitter, defines a limit for the expansion of a Planck length at the earliest quantum gravitation stage to the scale of the CMB or cosmological horizon. This is an enormous factor e{Ht} = 8×10^{60}, but Ht = 140. This gives r = 140×√{3/Λ} ≈ 1800 light years.

The hunt for B-modes in the CMB is a form of this. Graviton production or gravitational waves produced in inflation should leave a polarization signature on the CMB. In this way the most distant and earliest quantum information we may receive or observe is on the CMB as a sort of cosmic quantum gravitation detector. Anything beyond this scale is sealed off from view. As a result, any observer can access only a finite amount of information.

There is a curious sort of renormalization of scale with information. As we observe further outwards the number of qubits available decreases, until at some final scale of the Planck wall there may only be one qubit. Of course, observers, or we, find themselves in a local world filled with information. The cosmological horizon at the time of inflation has an area of around 10^{15} Planck units of area. This is the amount of information potentially available from this epoch. Pushing further back to the Planck era this approaches one unit.

Cheers LC

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The hunt for B-modes in the CMB is a form of this. Graviton production or gravitational waves produced in inflation should leave a polarization signature on the CMB. In this way the most distant and earliest quantum information we may receive or observe is on the CMB as a sort of cosmic quantum gravitation detector. Anything beyond this scale is sealed off from view. As a result, any observer can access only a finite amount of information.

There is a curious sort of renormalization of scale with information. As we observe further outwards the number of qubits available decreases, until at some final scale of the Planck wall there may only be one qubit. Of course, observers, or we, find themselves in a local world filled with information. The cosmological horizon at the time of inflation has an area of around 10^{15} Planck units of area. This is the amount of information potentially available from this epoch. Pushing further back to the Planck era this approaches one unit.

Cheers LC

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Dear Philip E. Gibbs,

"Information is the basic material of reality, but the processing of information raises paradoxes due to the self-referential nature of computability."

Perhaps I overlooked this statement and something that may substantiate it at the beginning, the end or even any part of your essay on "Undecidability ..."

I was lazy and looked for where you referred to [ 4] Shannon at your p. 2. Maybe you merely corrected Shannon by mentioning that the DNA is a material code. Otherwise, one is tempted to read your theory of theories as new-Hegelian idealism. Anyway, I see you obliged to take McEathern's critical arguments more seriously. He is complaining at my own essay.

Eckard Blumschein

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"Information is the basic material of reality, but the processing of information raises paradoxes due to the self-referential nature of computability."

Perhaps I overlooked this statement and something that may substantiate it at the beginning, the end or even any part of your essay on "Undecidability ..."

I was lazy and looked for where you referred to [ 4] Shannon at your p. 2. Maybe you merely corrected Shannon by mentioning that the DNA is a material code. Otherwise, one is tempted to read your theory of theories as new-Hegelian idealism. Anyway, I see you obliged to take McEathern's critical arguments more seriously. He is complaining at my own essay.

Eckard Blumschein

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That information is the basic material of reality is an axiom here. I would justify it by observing that everything is described by information in physics, mathematics and any other subject. I don't need any other substrate as a foundation and seek to derive everything else from information alone.

I am not an expert on the classifications used by philosophers but I find much in common with both Hume and Kant and others. I would say that the underlying structure of our reality can be derived from the way we must experience it in terms of processing uncertain information. Probably this is some form of idealism but I am not sure which variety it is.

I am not an expert on the classifications used by philosophers but I find much in common with both Hume and Kant and others. I would say that the underlying structure of our reality can be derived from the way we must experience it in terms of processing uncertain information. Probably this is some form of idealism but I am not sure which variety it is.

Hegel (1770-1831) strongly rejected the atomism: "The atomists are thinking too materialistic". Materialism was seen close to atheism. Maybe believer in God feel attracted from your idealism.

On your p.8 you stated like an axiom: "Physicists have so far failed ... because they still cannot relinquish certain cherished philosophical beliefs ... objective physical reality ... and causality".

I am ready to agree concerning reality because I see it just a successful conjecture. However by questioning causality you lost me. Aren't you aware what you are saying with words like process and processing?

Have you any idea how to apply your axioms?

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On your p.8 you stated like an axiom: "Physicists have so far failed ... because they still cannot relinquish certain cherished philosophical beliefs ... objective physical reality ... and causality".

I am ready to agree concerning reality because I see it just a successful conjecture. However by questioning causality you lost me. Aren't you aware what you are saying with words like process and processing?

Have you any idea how to apply your axioms?

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It is perceptive of you to pick up on the philosophical side of this essay. It is very important. I am not going to allow myself to be identified with any particular philosopher because there is none that matches my whole outlook. As you point out, much of philosophy is historically built around the debate of religion vs atheism rather than what physics needs or tells us.

I wrote a whole essay on causality under the topic of giving up assumptions. It was my least successful essay in the community voting, but that does not mean it is wrong.

I also reject materialism, determinism and reductionism, for starters. People don't like that. They want to keep these things. These are concepts that are built into our education, our language and therefore our psych. You say that using words like processing implies that I really accept causality, but I disagree. You can process and compute the universe in any order. It is hard to express this in language because our everyday language is built around the assumptions that I am giving up. It is only in the mathematics that the real picture can be understood.

I wrote a whole essay on causality under the topic of giving up assumptions. It was my least successful essay in the community voting, but that does not mean it is wrong.

I also reject materialism, determinism and reductionism, for starters. People don't like that. They want to keep these things. These are concepts that are built into our education, our language and therefore our psych. You say that using words like processing implies that I really accept causality, but I disagree. You can process and compute the universe in any order. It is hard to express this in language because our everyday language is built around the assumptions that I am giving up. It is only in the mathematics that the real picture can be understood.

In the light of some of the great comments above, I want to clarify the philosophical position in this essay.

When physics students learn quantum mechanics they often feel unsatisfied with the formulation. I know I did. In-determinism is not the problem. The real difficulty is the role of the observer. In the standard interpretation the wave function collapses when an observer makes a...

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When physics students learn quantum mechanics they often feel unsatisfied with the formulation. I know I did. In-determinism is not the problem. The real difficulty is the role of the observer. In the standard interpretation the wave function collapses when an observer makes a...

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"The real amount of information out there is no more than the amount in our head." If it is only "out" there, then it is not "in" our head. Where did *your* "information about physics" come from, if it was not in papers, books and the minds of your professors, before it got *copied* into your head, and probably had to overwrite older information stored there, in order to make room for...

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"Some people claim that the wave-function does not collapse and it is just decoherence. This is nonsense."

If I recall correctly, someone else called even the wave-function collapse itself a nonsense. Don't get me wrong. I don't support the two "nonsensical" opinions. I just dislike the word nonsense in a scientific discussion.

Eckard Blumschein

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If I recall correctly, someone else called even the wave-function collapse itself a nonsense. Don't get me wrong. I don't support the two "nonsensical" opinions. I just dislike the word nonsense in a scientific discussion.

Eckard Blumschein

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Your mini-prolegomena has ideas I too have pondered. I am not quite as disposed to this idea of idealism. However, locality and realism are dual constructs and Frauchiger and Renner showed how the observer of observers can have disparate reports to the observed outcomes. This illustrates how this duality can have a non-realism wing. Thus, nonlocality can give way to some element of locality if...

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Robert,

""picking up information" involves nothing more than picking up an oak leaf (and regarding it as an alphabetic symbol). That is the point."

How can you know that what Shannon wrote (for example on page 44) isn't also merely meaningless noise?

What you really are exemplifying is (when one logically deciphers your lines of reasoning) either that you

1. do not know that you don't know what you are talking about

or

2. you know that you don't know what you are talking about

In any case I think you wildly mix up various categories like meaning, information, laws of nature and human conditional learning.

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""picking up information" involves nothing more than picking up an oak leaf (and regarding it as an alphabetic symbol). That is the point."

How can you know that what Shannon wrote (for example on page 44) isn't also merely meaningless noise?

What you really are exemplifying is (when one logically deciphers your lines of reasoning) either that you

1. do not know that you don't know what you are talking about

or

2. you know that you don't know what you are talking about

In any case I think you wildly mix up various categories like meaning, information, laws of nature and human conditional learning.

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Philip,

you say "...and if the calculation cannot be related to known physics in some way then it is a mathematical dead-end".

Questions:

- of what epistemic kind is "cannot be related" ?

- who or what is the knower of "known physics"?

Heinz

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you say "...and if the calculation cannot be related to known physics in some way then it is a mathematical dead-end".

Questions:

- of what epistemic kind is "cannot be related" ?

- who or what is the knower of "known physics"?

Heinz

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This is not really a deep epistemological statement. I am being deliberately weaker than to say that it must make a testable prediction because that is too much to expect at this level. It just needs to connect to space, time, gravity, quantum field theory. If you think known physics is something different then you will want it to connect to that.

Hello, I liked a lot, I agree that the informations are the basis but if I can , can you tell me what is really an information for you generally. For this I d like to see what are for you the foundamental mathematical and physical objects , do you consider strings and a 1D main Cosmic field creating these topologies, geometries, quantum nechanics or a geometrodynamics and fields stoill or coded particles ? because the informations it is this also, we must consider their phiscality. Like that I can see your general philosophy about this universe, this physicality, regards , good luck for the essay Contest, your essay is relevant, one of my favorites, regards

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It is like I said a good general essay, that is said I cannot agree about the maths like the main pure essence of our universe , like the multiverses , they are just assumptions due to mathematical extrapolations. The problem is probably philosophical. The same for the Theory of theories, it is not possible because we are simply limited in our knowledges and we have many things to add at this universal puzzle. I beleive strongly that the physics are the pure essence of our universe, not the maths, the maths imply too much cobnfusions when they are not well utilised, of course the maths are essential to prove our assumptions, I just say that they imply odd assumptions and interpretations in considering a finite universe , unique in evolution. The informations so like I said need to be described with determinis, what are their soruces and what are they really like foundamental objects, and what ptoduce them philosophically speaking. Without this you cannot explain deeper their meanings. The mathematics are for me a tool permitting to better understand these physics wich are the foundamental main piece. Not the opposite, maybe your error is there about these maths, and the informations. Tell me more and maybe I can be conviced, that said very good general essay. Regards

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Thanks for you questions. I think we have different philosophy so may not find agreement, but sometimes it can be insightful to discuss such things so long as we respect the differences.

For example you say that physics is the pure essence of our universe. To you I am sure this has some relevant philosophical meaning which I am happy to respect. For me however it is just a definition of physics and I want to understand the real logic of how the universe works, not just definitions.

"Physicality" is like "reality" and "existence". These are all words to express what we experience and separate it from things which are merely "mathematical" or "imaginary" or "fictional". In my philosophical view however, reality is relative to the observer. There is no absolute distinction between real and imaginary or between physical and mathematical other than through connection to our experience as observers. I don't know how these distinctions can be made without referring to observers explicitly or implicitly.

You ask what is information. It is a good question. I could say that it is defined by Shannon's formulas but that may just lead to further questions about what is probability etc. For now the best I can do is say that information is axiomatic. It is one possible starting point. If it leads to something that resembles physics then we have made progress and can wonder more deeply about what information is.

You ask if fundamental entities are fields or particles. They are both. this is understood already on quantum field theory. They are different interpretation of the same mathematical construction. I think it is a feature of physical law that it can be understood in ways that seem different but which are in fact mathematically equivalent. There is a lot of that in what we already understand.

For example you say that physics is the pure essence of our universe. To you I am sure this has some relevant philosophical meaning which I am happy to respect. For me however it is just a definition of physics and I want to understand the real logic of how the universe works, not just definitions.

"Physicality" is like "reality" and "existence". These are all words to express what we experience and separate it from things which are merely "mathematical" or "imaginary" or "fictional". In my philosophical view however, reality is relative to the observer. There is no absolute distinction between real and imaginary or between physical and mathematical other than through connection to our experience as observers. I don't know how these distinctions can be made without referring to observers explicitly or implicitly.

You ask what is information. It is a good question. I could say that it is defined by Shannon's formulas but that may just lead to further questions about what is probability etc. For now the best I can do is say that information is axiomatic. It is one possible starting point. If it leads to something that resembles physics then we have made progress and can wonder more deeply about what information is.

You ask if fundamental entities are fields or particles. They are both. this is understood already on quantum field theory. They are different interpretation of the same mathematical construction. I think it is a feature of physical law that it can be understood in ways that seem different but which are in fact mathematically equivalent. There is a lot of that in what we already understand.

Dear Dr Gibbs, you are welcome, and thanks for developping your ideas. I like the respect that you have even in having different points of vue , it is rare. I agree that it is Always interesting to share and discuss different general works and philosophies.

I respect so your ideas, we just consider diffently the origin and main cause of the reality. I love the mathematics you know ,like the...

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I respect so your ideas, we just consider diffently the origin and main cause of the reality. I love the mathematics you know ,like the...

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Dear Phil,

Your essay's awesome! Only one inconsequential problem: I think you spelled desert as dessert? Were you hungry when you wrote that paragraph? :)

- Shawn

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Your essay's awesome! Only one inconsequential problem: I think you spelled desert as dessert? Were you hungry when you wrote that paragraph? :)

- Shawn

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Dear Professor Gibbs,

Thank you for giving us a Wonderful historical introduction to Physics and Computer algorithms, I was very lucky to read it!!!

By the way, I just elaborated what should be the freedom available to an author when the “ real open thinking” is supported. I hope to get some comments from your learned wisdom. Have a look at my essay please.

“A properly deciding, Computing and Predicting new theory’s Philosophy”

=snp.gupta

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Thank you for giving us a Wonderful historical introduction to Physics and Computer algorithms, I was very lucky to read it!!!

By the way, I just elaborated what should be the freedom available to an author when the “ real open thinking” is supported. I hope to get some comments from your learned wisdom. Have a look at my essay please.

“A properly deciding, Computing and Predicting new theory’s Philosophy”

=snp.gupta

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Hi Phil.

Congrats to an interesting essay.

It is true that all equations can be seen as a simulation, which I have become clear of by reading nobody else than Wheeler. What a guy!

In later years I have also been part of a project doing simulations (Joseph Kover) and with binaries (Allen Framton and Keith Bowden) and it was amusing for Keith because he said - oh, you have rediscovered the combinatorics... so I have read some about the history.

But it did not quite turn out to be combinatorics after all, and we got some nasty numbertheory, so we got a bit perplexed. Numbertheory came out of binaries!!! We started with nothing but light as the fine structure constant, describing time in its interactions...

Happily the deadline is extended so maybe I have my own contribution here, maybe with Steve Dufourny, if we can agree on the details? His model interest me. My interest is on consciousness as you know. I think of Penrose ideas linked with gravitation as an informational 'Indras net'. But the gravity is difficult with its curvatures. Maybe degeneracy comes to my help?

Must read your essay in detail. Congrats again.

Ulla Mattfolk.

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Congrats to an interesting essay.

It is true that all equations can be seen as a simulation, which I have become clear of by reading nobody else than Wheeler. What a guy!

In later years I have also been part of a project doing simulations (Joseph Kover) and with binaries (Allen Framton and Keith Bowden) and it was amusing for Keith because he said - oh, you have rediscovered the combinatorics... so I have read some about the history.

But it did not quite turn out to be combinatorics after all, and we got some nasty numbertheory, so we got a bit perplexed. Numbertheory came out of binaries!!! We started with nothing but light as the fine structure constant, describing time in its interactions...

Happily the deadline is extended so maybe I have my own contribution here, maybe with Steve Dufourny, if we can agree on the details? His model interest me. My interest is on consciousness as you know. I think of Penrose ideas linked with gravitation as an informational 'Indras net'. But the gravity is difficult with its curvatures. Maybe degeneracy comes to my help?

Must read your essay in detail. Congrats again.

Ulla Mattfolk.

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Philip. I loved your conclusion. Especially the last two paragraphs. I address the same issues in my essay and, by eliminating the basic assumptions, impossibles and limits imposed by humans, I was able to find a deeper fundamental level and use it to develop an arithmetic/computable conversion of information into physical reality. Doing so, I was able to derive a complete computable model of a multiverse that includes the observable universe. I would appreciate it if you would provide your comments on my essay. Thanks John D Crowell

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Hi Philip.

Congratulations on your work. I have been a longtime fan and appreciate your contribution to Independent Researchers with viXra (I once contributed an amount that you said was your largest contribution ever). Dr. Hu, who I think now supports viXra, has done a great job.

Your theory of theories contributes to our ability to think about science in a general way. ...

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Congratulations on your work. I have been a longtime fan and appreciate your contribution to Independent Researchers with viXra (I once contributed an amount that you said was your largest contribution ever). Dr. Hu, who I think now supports viXra, has done a great job.

Your theory of theories contributes to our ability to think about science in a general way. ...

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Hi Phil,

Fascinating to again read such a different approach to a similar search to mine; for an*"enlightening foundational principle",* and very well constructed and written as usual (spelling aside!). I did check and spelling isn't a scoring criteria!! A few questions arise;

Page 1; Does something being a mathematical dead end have to mean it describes a physical dead end? or may it just mean some assumption is wrong. i.e don't cyclic models remain valid?

Page 3; Don't you correctly mean a 'maths model' of a possible universe is an output from running an algorithm, rather than a real universe?

Page 3-4 Is a real 'Halt' essential to obtain fpr a cyclic case?

Page 5. I entirely agree the 2 states of Boolean logic are the crux of the problem and expand on that in my own essay.

Page 6. I entirely DISagree that QM is fundamentally correct, (Bell agreed.) Do you recall the classic derivation of the data in my last years essay?! (I'll look up any comments you made).

page 8. I do like abd agree your 2nd para comments on the LHC. But do you not think Bernoulli need some consideration and may have something to offer?

But excellent job, as usual. I look forward to seeing how well you connect with mine.

Very best

Peter

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Fascinating to again read such a different approach to a similar search to mine; for an

Page 1; Does something being a mathematical dead end have to mean it describes a physical dead end? or may it just mean some assumption is wrong. i.e don't cyclic models remain valid?

Page 3; Don't you correctly mean a 'maths model' of a possible universe is an output from running an algorithm, rather than a real universe?

Page 3-4 Is a real 'Halt' essential to obtain fpr a cyclic case?

Page 5. I entirely agree the 2 states of Boolean logic are the crux of the problem and expand on that in my own essay.

Page 6. I entirely DISagree that QM is fundamentally correct, (Bell agreed.) Do you recall the classic derivation of the data in my last years essay?! (I'll look up any comments you made).

page 8. I do like abd agree your 2nd para comments on the LHC. But do you not think Bernoulli need some consideration and may have something to offer?

But excellent job, as usual. I look forward to seeing how well you connect with mine.

Very best

Peter

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