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What Is “Fundamental”
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Trick or Truth: The Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics
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How Should Humanity Steer the Future?
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It From Bit or Bit From It
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Which of Our Basic Physical Assumptions Are Wrong?
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Is Reality Digital or Analog?
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What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Luca Valeri: on 5/18/20 at 14:04pm UTC, wrote Hi Daniel, I loved your short essay. I totally agree on your replacement...

Vladimir Rogozhin: on 5/14/20 at 17:28pm UTC, wrote Dear Daniel, Thank you very much for your answer and good question. Of...

Jonathan Dickau: on 5/13/20 at 18:49pm UTC, wrote A delightful short essay Professor Sudarsky... I agree with your...

Daniel Sudarsky: on 5/12/20 at 21:44pm UTC, wrote Dear Vladimir, First of all, thanks for your comments. Now let me...

Jonathan Dickau: on 5/11/20 at 19:16pm UTC, wrote Greetings Professor Sudarsky, I wandered over, after seeing your...

Satyavarapu Gupta: on 5/8/20 at 5:43am UTC, wrote Dear Prof Daniel Sudarsky, I must congratulate you as you got a very good...

Vladimir Rogozhin: on 5/6/20 at 18:06pm UTC, wrote A.Zenkin SCIENTIFIC COUNTER-REVOLUTION IN MATHEMATICS

Vladimir Rogozhin: on 5/6/20 at 18:01pm UTC, wrote Dear Daniel, I read your essay with great interest. You give very...


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FQXi FORUM
September 19, 2021

CATEGORY: Undecidability, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability Essay Contest (2019-2020) [back]
TOPIC: Well Beyond Uncertainty, Uncomputability, and Unpredictability by Daniel Sudarsky [refresh]
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Author Daniel Sudarsky wrote on Apr. 24, 2020 @ 13:28 GMT
Essay Abstract

I will consider how the issues at hand have affected our search for knowledge and understanding, emphasize the difference in status of quantum uncertainty, arguing that it even deserves a different denomination, and speculate inductively regarding possible limitations that go even further than those previously contemplated.

Author Bio

Born in Bogota, Colombia, Undergraduate in Math and Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem , PhD at Purdue, USA, and postdoctoral stay at U. Chicago, USA. Sabbatical stays at Penn State, USA, U. of Buenos Aires, Argentina, NYU, USA and U. of Marseille, France. Currently Professor at the Institute for Nuclear Sciences UNAM Mexico. Interested in the interface between gravitation and quantum theory with a strong focus on foundational issues.

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Cristinel Stoica wrote on Apr. 30, 2020 @ 17:36 GMT
Dear Daniel,

I enjoyed your excursion through various discoveries that show we should embrace epistemic modesty, as well as your personal remarks and proposals on the topic.

You wrote

> Heisenbergs "uncertainty principle", ought not to be taken (at least not without some modification of the theory, such as that embodied in the de-Broglie-Bohn proposal) as characterizing...

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Author Daniel Sudarsky replied on May. 1, 2020 @ 00:16 GMT
Hi Cristi,

I am glad you enjoyed the essay. Let me start by acknowledging that I viewed that essay as simply a chance of forcing ourselves to contemplate a very dire possibility which seems as unpalatable today, as the other lessons must have felt to those that lived them at the times they were uncovered. On the other hand, part of the motivation comes...

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Cristinel Stoica replied on May. 1, 2020 @ 06:55 GMT
Hi Daniel,

Thank you for your reply, and for the references to two of your articles, which I bookmarked for reading. I had the feeling that your view is more radical than Wheeler's and Unger & Smolin's, it seems it is indeed.

Some skeptics declare themselves Bayesian, but even this has a major blind spot in the prior probabilities Miklós, Rédei and Gyenis, Zalán (2019) Having a...

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Vladimir Rogozhin wrote on May. 6, 2020 @ 18:01 GMT
Dear Daniel,

I read your essay with great interest. You give very important and deep thoughts on the problem of finding a way out of the crisis of understanding in the philosophical (metaphysical) basis of fundamental science.

I will give your main, as I believe, very important thoughts for discussion:

On the other hand, there was the realm of knowledge that seemed to be...

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Vladimir Rogozhin replied on May. 6, 2020 @ 18:06 GMT
A.Zenkin SCIENTIFIC COUNTER-REVOLUTION IN MATHEMATICS

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Author Daniel Sudarsky replied on May. 12, 2020 @ 21:44 GMT
Dear Vladimir,

First of all, thanks for your comments.

Now let me ask you something. In connection with my suggestion to consider a certain possibility:

«My proposal: untheoretizability. That is, such position would contemplate the ultimate untheoretizability of nature.»

You said:

I strongly disagree with this conclusion. A breakthrough requires a new ontology and dialectics in the spirit of N. Kuzansky "coincidence of opposites", taking into account all the problems in understanding matter, a dialectic of the material and the ideal.

Let me firsts clarify that it was not a conclusion buy juts the consideration of an unpalatable possibility. However, the point is that you are convinced such is not the case. Can I ask what are the arguments that make you so certain about this? I.e.. why should we think that any such program (based on dialectic considerations or anything else for that matter) will eventually succeed?

Best regards,

Daniel

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Vladimir Rogozhin replied on May. 14, 2020 @ 17:28 GMT
Dear Daniel,

Thank you very much for your answer and good question.

Of course, I also doubt, as Rene Descartes bequeathed to all seekers of truth, that such a program will be successful. But my analysis of the development of philosophy, physics and mathematics allows me to conclude that the current crisis of understanding, crisis of interpretation and representation in the...

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Satyavarapu Naga Parameswara Gupta wrote on May. 8, 2020 @ 05:43 GMT
Dear Prof Daniel Sudarsky,

I must congratulate you as you got a very good sharp thinking. I can see the same from your wonderful essay and some of your postings. It is actually i saw some of your posts in other essays and came here......

Though I do not fully accept your words...............That theory of everything that would, among other accomplishments, unify in a smooth manner some version of quantum mechanics free of its already mentioned problems, i.e. a version of the theory without a measurement problem and a completely clear ontology, with our currently most successful theory of gravitation, General Relativity..............

Bur Your thinking is wonderful in saying that ..........It is, nonetheless, a logical alternative that we might want to at least contemplate: if there is no way to win, the only rational option is to be a defeatist. In order to contemplate the possibility, we should start by giving it a name: My proposal: untheoretizability. That is, such position would contemplate the ultimate untheoretizability of nature.......... I FULLY accept this idea.

Why dont you spare some time on my proposal: another untheoretizability of nature..... " https://fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/3416 "

Best Regards

=snp

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on May. 11, 2020 @ 19:16 GMT
Greetings Professor Sudarsky,

I wandered over, after seeing your well-informed comments to Andrew Beckwith. My framework produces a transition similar to DGP gravity via Pourhasan, Afshordi, and Mann except with torsion on the brane in the precursor or parent universe. That this scenario is linked to a massive graviton has forced me to examine those complications.

My current essay does not deal much with the astroparticle Physics, but I think graviton condensation as in Dvali and Gomez' work points to a settling or laying flat of the ground state gravitons at the horizon (quantum critical surface). I think this idea has promise as a way to unite the String theory and loop quantum gravity picture. So the Misiurewicz point I discuss in my essay may be of interest.

I will comment on it; once I have read your essay.

All the Best,

Jonathan

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Jonathan J. Dickau wrote on May. 13, 2020 @ 18:49 GMT
A delightful short essay Professor Sudarsky...

I agree with your assessment that you are examining a rather dire possibility or a grim reality. And I downloaded the papers you recommended to Cristi, to get a better handle on why you feel as you do. As it turns out; I met one of your coauthors, Yuri Bonder, at GR21 in NYC. But, in any case, I like that you emphasize that the uncertainty problem may be worse than we realize. I give you kudos and high marks.

It is brilliant to point out that indefiniteness is part of the problem, apart from the limited aspect of that in quantum indeterminacy. People are loath to think about the possibility that something can have an inherently indefinite value, in addition to our lacking knowledge about what the value might be. Nor is it proper to stop with 'it is only indefinite until we measure it' because it could still be floating or actually fuzzy then - before and after measurement.

I have rather the opposite problem, in terms of grappling with theorizability. My fate is like what Haldane describes, where a fortuitous discovery is made almost by accident, and then the implications are understood only after years of study and research. Some of the necessary Maths were not sufficiently developed to make a reasonable determination 32 years ago, so I had to go slow. But my challenge was to figure out "Why does this appear to describe all of Cosmology and Physics?" and to determine "Is this real?"

My essay gives you enough information to make a fair determination.

Regards,

Jonathan

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Luca Valeri wrote on May. 18, 2020 @ 14:04 GMT
Hi Daniel,

I loved your short essay. I totally agree on your replacement of uncertainty by indefiniteness. It indicates, that there is something wrong of attributing properties to object independent of its relation to something around it (in order not to fix too much what that shall be.) Then the problem of course is how we can achieve objectivity in the description of the world.

And more so I liked, that there might be an untheoretizability. As a nihilist (depending on who is asking), I stopped to believe at an underlying mechanism that controls the laws an phenomena. Then we can ask the interesting question of why we can so successfully theorize and find pretty unifying laws describing the universe.

In my essay I try to describe the possibility of laws and objects being emergent and dependent of the environment, which is contingent. So in free space or near a black hole different laws and objects might emerge. And the change from one law to the other might be beyond theoretizability.

Luca

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