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How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?

Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.

read/discuss • winners

Media Partner: Scientific American

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*Posts by the author are highlighted in orange; posts by FQXi Members are highlighted in blue.*

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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

**Peter Jackson**: *on* 5/18/20 at 10:03am UTC, wrote Dear Irek, Excellent essay. Good approach, nicely expressed. Yes, I DO...

**George Gantz**: *on* 5/16/20 at 13:06pm UTC, wrote Irek - A stunning tour de force, thank you. You've been able to articulate...

**Lachlan Cresswell**: *on* 5/14/20 at 13:35pm UTC, wrote Dear Irek, I have given your essay a high rating as it was very...

**Israel Perez**: *on* 5/9/20 at 21:01pm UTC, wrote Dear Irek I just read your essay which is well thought and written. As you...

**Irek Defee**: *on* 5/4/20 at 19:02pm UTC, wrote Dear Torsten, Thank you for your remarks. They are very valuable since my...

**Torsten Asselmeyer-Maluga**: *on* 5/3/20 at 20:50pm UTC, wrote Dear Irek, interesting essay, a phyisical process can be also seen as a...

**marcovici alexandru**: *on* 4/29/20 at 20:18pm UTC, wrote your focus is offering some explanations about something interesting, my...

**Torsten Asselmeyer-Maluga**: *on* 4/28/20 at 18:19pm UTC, wrote Dear Irek, I answered your message in my essay forum. Here is only a copy:...

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RECENT FORUM POSTS

RECENT ARTICLES

Philosopher Jenann Ismael invokes the thermodynamic arrow of time to explain how human intelligence emerged through culture.

Grounded physicists are exploring the use of online and virtual-reality conferencing, and AI-controlled experiments, to maintain social distancing. Post-pandemic, these positive innovations could make science more accessible and environmentally-friendly.

Untangling how the human perception of cause-and-effect might arise from quantum physics, may help us understand the limits and the potential of AI.

Physicists are using optogenetics techniques to make a rudimentary agent, from cellular components, which can convert measurements into actions using light.

Investigating how quantum memory storage could aid machine learning and how quantum interactions with the environment may have played a role in evolution.

FQXi FORUM

September 18, 2020

CATEGORY:
Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest (2019-2020)
[back]

TOPIC: Is the Theory of Everything Lurking in Uncomputability? by Irek Defee [refresh]

TOPIC: Is the Theory of Everything Lurking in Uncomputability? by Irek Defee [refresh]

Development of Theory Of Everything (TOE) has a fundamental issue of baggage which is understood as a set of notions and assumptions underlying a theory. TOE should at best be baggage-free but this is problematic with theories based on algorithmic representations. We show how uncomputability may provide a new conceptual framework for the TOE without baggage. Special uncomputable sequences are introduced and it is shown how a looped self-referential system of symbols from sequences and sequences from symbols is formed. Properties of this system are analyzed emphasizing symmetry requiring operation of infinite permutation groups. It is shown how mathematical structures emerge and how it is possible to tackle nothingness and its relation to uncomputability. Our development points that TOE is a special mathematical structure arising from the uncomputable substrate intrinsically tied with nothingness and dissolving symmetry of this structure results in physics. This indicates that uncomputability forms ultimate foundation of physics enabling to answer deepest questions about the Universe.

I am retired Professor of Information Technology in the area of Signal Processing and Networked Multimedia Systems. My career was in on what became the information backbone of the current life but around 2008 I noticed that essential stuff in this area was ready and got interested in the informational approach to physics. I decided to study fundamental aspects of this problem and when I retired a couple of years ago it became the main focus of my brain activity.

Dear Irek,

I found your essay to be most thought provoking. I enjoyed reading it, and I would like to make a few comments.

Early on you state “Maybe at the deepest level there are no algorithms, infinity is common, real numbers are basic? The Uncomputability signpost looks then not so surely pointing into a blind alley but maybe to something foundational. At least it fits...

view entire post

I found your essay to be most thought provoking. I enjoyed reading it, and I would like to make a few comments.

Early on you state “Maybe at the deepest level there are no algorithms, infinity is common, real numbers are basic? The Uncomputability signpost looks then not so surely pointing into a blind alley but maybe to something foundational. At least it fits...

view entire post

report post as inappropriate

Dear Lockie,

Thank you for reading my essay. Now I also read your essay and I am impressed by the breadth of your thinking, e.g. I was totally not aware about the Norse mythology.

You certainly grasped a lot from my essay and I see your points of disagreement. It was difficult to state precisely my ideas in short essay and the questions you rise I see as partly resulting from the...

view entire post

Thank you for reading my essay. Now I also read your essay and I am impressed by the breadth of your thinking, e.g. I was totally not aware about the Norse mythology.

You certainly grasped a lot from my essay and I see your points of disagreement. It was difficult to state precisely my ideas in short essay and the questions you rise I see as partly resulting from the...

view entire post

Dear Irek,

I have given your essay a high rating as it was very worthwhile. It is disappointing to see you have been trolled with 1's. I hope others will rate you up higher, because your essay desrves better.

Regards

Lockie

report post as inappropriate

I have given your essay a high rating as it was very worthwhile. It is disappointing to see you have been trolled with 1's. I hope others will rate you up higher, because your essay desrves better.

Regards

Lockie

report post as inappropriate

Dear Professor Irek Defee,

You have presented a wonderful essay with deep optimism that a TOE is possible mathematically. May be it is possible, but with sophisticated mathematics and with complex numbers with imaginary axes.... we dont know how to understand the final or intermediate results and to interpret them. Leading to "Going nowhere situation".

Probably we can go for a simple mathematics, and see how the mathematics is explaining the physical situations. Then Uncomputability problem will not be there.

Hope you can spend some time with my essay

"A properly deciding, Computing and Predicting new theory’s Philosophy" where I discussed these issues of mathematics in Physics and in Pure Mathematics

Best Regards

=snp

report post as inappropriate

You have presented a wonderful essay with deep optimism that a TOE is possible mathematically. May be it is possible, but with sophisticated mathematics and with complex numbers with imaginary axes.... we dont know how to understand the final or intermediate results and to interpret them. Leading to "Going nowhere situation".

Probably we can go for a simple mathematics, and see how the mathematics is explaining the physical situations. Then Uncomputability problem will not be there.

Hope you can spend some time with my essay

"A properly deciding, Computing and Predicting new theory’s Philosophy" where I discussed these issues of mathematics in Physics and in Pure Mathematics

Best Regards

=snp

report post as inappropriate

Dear Irek,

I answered your message in my essay forum. Here is only a copy:

"thanks for your interest and your words about my essay. I also read your essay with great interest. I understand now much better what you mean that uncomputability is central for you approach.

Ineed to say more about your essay but give with some days."

All the best

Torsten

report post as inappropriate

I answered your message in my essay forum. Here is only a copy:

"thanks for your interest and your words about my essay. I also read your essay with great interest. I understand now much better what you mean that uncomputability is central for you approach.

Ineed to say more about your essay but give with some days."

All the best

Torsten

report post as inappropriate

your focus is offering some explanations about something interesting, my interest is more in how you do that. i saw you commented on my essay.

report post as inappropriate

report post as inappropriate

Dear Irek,

interesting essay, a phyisical process can be also seen as a sequence of measurement values. It is a extreme view but also true. Now the correlations inside of the sequence give you the physics back. Also symmetries are encoded in this sequence. It is not easy to recover all these properties from the sequence. Even symmetries are not directly viewable. Every symmetry group must be represented by a permutation subgroup. The most interesting point is the introduction of the real numbers. It is clear that one needs infinite sequences to get real numbers. Interestingly, here is an ambiguity. You used the standard completion of the rational numbers to the real numbers. But there is a second one (and only a second one). This completion leads to the p-adic numbers and your discussion of the tree of symbols seems to imply that this completion is the natural one. Therefore I recommend to investigate the p-adic numbers

I also investigate models containing discrete information but which are given by continuous manifolds (wild embedding like Alexanders horned sphere, a fractal space). Maybe here we disagree: I think real numbers are needed to represent the model. The informational content is discrete. I discuss it in a previous essay.

I hope these points are the start of our discussion.

Best wishes

Torsten

report post as inappropriate

interesting essay, a phyisical process can be also seen as a sequence of measurement values. It is a extreme view but also true. Now the correlations inside of the sequence give you the physics back. Also symmetries are encoded in this sequence. It is not easy to recover all these properties from the sequence. Even symmetries are not directly viewable. Every symmetry group must be represented by a permutation subgroup. The most interesting point is the introduction of the real numbers. It is clear that one needs infinite sequences to get real numbers. Interestingly, here is an ambiguity. You used the standard completion of the rational numbers to the real numbers. But there is a second one (and only a second one). This completion leads to the p-adic numbers and your discussion of the tree of symbols seems to imply that this completion is the natural one. Therefore I recommend to investigate the p-adic numbers

I also investigate models containing discrete information but which are given by continuous manifolds (wild embedding like Alexanders horned sphere, a fractal space). Maybe here we disagree: I think real numbers are needed to represent the model. The informational content is discrete. I discuss it in a previous essay.

I hope these points are the start of our discussion.

Best wishes

Torsten

report post as inappropriate

Dear Torsten,

Thank you for your remarks. They are very valuable since my essay introduces notions which are outside of standard thinking and thus they have to be explained with utmost clarity and examples to be understood the way I intended, otherwise it be seen as a junk. In the essay explanations were compressed to minimum and thus clarity is not at the highest level. This obviously implies that I must prepare extended exposition of these ideas and I am looking into it.

P-adic numbers are covered recently by Tim Palmer in an interesting way and he also has an essay here. However my questions are more fundamental: If p-adic then where they are emerging from? In particular there will be issue, why this particular p?

Uncomputable sequences appear in my essay due to critical problem of theory baggage and background which is critical for TOE. TOE is very tricky in this respect, if somebody claims having developed TOE and starts with e.g. 'assume Minkowski space' there is immediate question why this and where it is coming from? Even the usage of real numbers can not be taken for granted in the TOE. In this sense QM is at a significant distance from TOE since it assumes huge amount of background stuff.

So I am starting from the level below real numbers, everything should be emerging due to symmetries.

I will be happy to discuss the issues further, if you wish you can contact me directly to my email which is in the essay headline.

Br,

Irek

Thank you for your remarks. They are very valuable since my essay introduces notions which are outside of standard thinking and thus they have to be explained with utmost clarity and examples to be understood the way I intended, otherwise it be seen as a junk. In the essay explanations were compressed to minimum and thus clarity is not at the highest level. This obviously implies that I must prepare extended exposition of these ideas and I am looking into it.

P-adic numbers are covered recently by Tim Palmer in an interesting way and he also has an essay here. However my questions are more fundamental: If p-adic then where they are emerging from? In particular there will be issue, why this particular p?

Uncomputable sequences appear in my essay due to critical problem of theory baggage and background which is critical for TOE. TOE is very tricky in this respect, if somebody claims having developed TOE and starts with e.g. 'assume Minkowski space' there is immediate question why this and where it is coming from? Even the usage of real numbers can not be taken for granted in the TOE. In this sense QM is at a significant distance from TOE since it assumes huge amount of background stuff.

So I am starting from the level below real numbers, everything should be emerging due to symmetries.

I will be happy to discuss the issues further, if you wish you can contact me directly to my email which is in the essay headline.

Br,

Irek

Dear Irek

I just read your essay which is well thought and written. As you know from my essay, I agree that the physical theories must be written in mathematical terms, however, I also support the view that we should develop a physical understanding to have a complete view of reality. In your last part, you mention that "all mathematical structures exist". In my experience, there are many mathematical structures that have not found any applications in any science, so I would say that only some mathematical structures exist. Your proposal is interesting although I feel that I need to study some aspects of group theory and symmetries. You may wish to read Sabine Hossenfelder, she also denies the existence of infinity and real numbers.

Good luck in the contest!

Israel

report post as inappropriate

I just read your essay which is well thought and written. As you know from my essay, I agree that the physical theories must be written in mathematical terms, however, I also support the view that we should develop a physical understanding to have a complete view of reality. In your last part, you mention that "all mathematical structures exist". In my experience, there are many mathematical structures that have not found any applications in any science, so I would say that only some mathematical structures exist. Your proposal is interesting although I feel that I need to study some aspects of group theory and symmetries. You may wish to read Sabine Hossenfelder, she also denies the existence of infinity and real numbers.

Good luck in the contest!

Israel

report post as inappropriate

Irek - A stunning tour de force, thank you. You've been able to articulate in mathematical structures what I was searching for In my 2015 essay The Hole at the Center of Creation (https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2381 ) - the infinite void that lies at the frontiers of our our understanding. Yes, nothingness hides in infinity and vice-versa, and the TOE resides in the structures of perfect symmetry beyond the axiomatic realm. Which means it resides nowhere. I love it!

I hope you get a chance to read my essay about the foundational importance of autonoetic consciousness.

George Gantz: The Door That Has No Key: https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3494

This came to mind as well: (Rubaiyat v XXIX)

Into this Universe, and Why not knowing

Nor Whence, like Water, willy-nilly flowing;

And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,

I know not Whither, willy-nilly blowing.

report post as inappropriate

I hope you get a chance to read my essay about the foundational importance of autonoetic consciousness.

George Gantz: The Door That Has No Key: https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3494

This came to mind as well: (Rubaiyat v XXIX)

Into this Universe, and Why not knowing

Nor Whence, like Water, willy-nilly flowing;

And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,

I know not Whither, willy-nilly blowing.

report post as inappropriate

Dear Irek,

Excellent essay. Good approach, nicely expressed. Yes, I DO suspect we can close in on a TOE, if not with current methods. The one thing I'd like to pick up on is your suggestion; "*maybe at the deepest level there are no algorithms*".

I consider that an important comment, but do you see it as a statement of ontological methodology? or as a final limit once we HAVE a widely consistent ontological system? I ran into that in my essay, from proposed better foundations, but wondered if higher order precision really mattered!

I hope you'll study mine and respond. But in the meantime it seems yours may have been hit with multiple 1's like mine, my score reflects it true high value.

Very best.

Peter

report post as inappropriate

Excellent essay. Good approach, nicely expressed. Yes, I DO suspect we can close in on a TOE, if not with current methods. The one thing I'd like to pick up on is your suggestion; "

I consider that an important comment, but do you see it as a statement of ontological methodology? or as a final limit once we HAVE a widely consistent ontological system? I ran into that in my essay, from proposed better foundations, but wondered if higher order precision really mattered!

I hope you'll study mine and respond. But in the meantime it seems yours may have been hit with multiple 1's like mine, my score reflects it true high value.

Very best.

Peter

report post as inappropriate

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