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Current Essay Contest


Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation

Previous Contests

Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest
December 24, 2019 - April 24, 2020
Contest Partners: Fetzer Franklin Fund, and The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation
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What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation
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Wandering Towards a Goal
How can mindless mathematical laws give rise to aims and intention?
December 2, 2016 to March 3, 2017
Contest Partner: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Fund.
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Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
Contest Partners: Nanotronics Imaging, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, and The John Templeton Foundation
Media Partner: Scientific American

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How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
January 9, 2014 - August 31, 2014
Contest Partners: Jaan Tallinn, The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, The John Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
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It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American
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Questioning the Foundations
Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
May 24 - August 31, 2012
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, SubMeta, and Scientific American
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Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American
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What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams
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The Nature of Time
August - December 2008
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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

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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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]
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Author Irek Defee wrote on Apr. 23, 2020 @ 12:12 GMT
Essay Abstract

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.

Author Bio

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.

Download Essay PDF File

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Lachlan Cresswell wrote on Apr. 25, 2020 @ 03:16 GMT
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...

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Author Irek Defee replied on Apr. 25, 2020 @ 07:57 GMT
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...

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Lachlan Cresswell replied on May. 14, 2020 @ 13:35 GMT
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

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on Apr. 25, 2020 @ 09:18 GMT
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

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Torsten Asselmeyer-Maluga wrote on Apr. 28, 2020 @ 18:19 GMT
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

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marcovici cristian alexandru wrote on Apr. 29, 2020 @ 20:18 GMT
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.

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Torsten Asselmeyer-Maluga wrote on May. 3, 2020 @ 20:50 GMT
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

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Author Irek Defee replied on May. 4, 2020 @ 19:02 GMT
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

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Israel Perez wrote on May. 9, 2020 @ 21:01 GMT
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

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George Gantz wrote on May. 16, 2020 @ 13:06 GMT
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.

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Peter Jackson wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 10:03 GMT
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

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