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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Sascha Vongehr: on 10/18/09 at 7:25am UTC, wrote Dear Terry Padden (and all further potential commentators): Yet another...

Terry Padden: on 10/18/09 at 5:54am UTC, wrote Mr Vongehr I can't waste any more time on your essay. Some comments on...

Sascha Vongehr: on 10/15/09 at 3:14am UTC, wrote Dear Terry Padden (anonymous Oct 14)! Your comments make me wonder what...

Terry Padden: on 10/15/09 at 1:06am UTC, wrote I am still anonymous. Perhaps there is a message in it. I will consult my...

Anonymous: on 10/14/09 at 10:33am UTC, wrote Mr Vongehr If you think I was insufficiently respectful or praiseworthy of...

Sascha Vongehr: on 10/14/09 at 4:37am UTC, wrote Dear Terry Padden! I did not write a “polemic”, some “rap”, or...

Terry Padden: on 10/13/09 at 10:08am UTC, wrote Sascha Wonderful polemic - you've got my vote, but "is that a chad I see...

Steve Dufourny: on 9/24/09 at 12:10pm UTC, wrote Hi dear Mr Vongehr, Verry interesting threads . The sufferings are due to...


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FQXi FORUM
October 22, 2019

CATEGORY: What's Ultimately Possible in Physics? Essay Contest (2009) [back]
TOPIC: The Ultimately Possible in Physics by Sascha Vongehr [refresh]
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Author Sascha Vongehr wrote on Sep. 16, 2009 @ 17:03 GMT
Essay Abstract

The posed question, “What’s ultimately possible in physics?” is interpreted. Its full content is argued to be: Who or what is ultimately or may ultimately not be directly or effectively allowed to shape, access and exploit whatever physics will ultimately become? An answer can only be given within the constraints on the possibility to engage in a meaningful discourse about such a subject matter. This essay directly probes today’s limits by presenting those responsible for the selection process with a kind of catch 22 situation. Not only to establish this probing, but also in order to ensure relevance by discussing actually likely scenarios, we turn towards uncomfortable aspects that may be characteristic for what is ultimately possible in physics. The focus is implicitly on the necessity of selection and on consistency with the morphology or structure that is naturally expected from mutually co-evolved systems. Some concrete example scenarios for what is ultimately possible in physics, especially regarding the ultimate role of physics, are presented.

Author Bio

Sascha Vongehr started studying philosophy/maths/chemistry/physics in Germany, obtained his MSc in string theory at the University of Sussex (UK), and worked subsequently on QM-gravity (black holes/two time theory) at the University of Southern California, but left the string community to explore nanotechnology and the brain. PhD on Helium-clusters (theory and experiments) from USC, first postdoc in neuroscience, currently active in nanotechnology, cosmology and axiomatic QM. His work is seldom published in peer reviewed journals except for a few items co-authored by better connected people and one plagiarized from his archive paper on black holes.

Download Essay PDF File

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J.C.N. Smith wrote on Sep. 17, 2009 @ 17:07 GMT
Mr. Vongehr,

You wrote, "this essay can further test what one may get away with: Will FQXi's urge to present the pseudo-democratic façade of benevolent, glamorous physics force them to completely ignore, maybe suppress this essay?"

Call me old fashioned if you must, but I can't help thinking that if people would spend less time testing what they "may get away with" and more time seriously addressing the many unresolved questions of science we'd all stand a better chance of being farther ahead at the end of the day.

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Author Sascha Vongehr wrote on Sep. 18, 2009 @ 03:59 GMT
Dear J.C.N. Smith!

Thank you for your interest.

Your attitude is not old fashioned and you must have not understood the gist of the essay if you suspect me judging so. On the contrary, your standpoint is increasingly selected for. What we personally and as a community are thereby becoming increasingly cognitively closed to is the fact that under these by you desired circumstances one cannot actually spend time on “seriously addressing the many unresolved questions of science” and moreover the allowed questions of science are pre-selected (we cannot even, are effectively not allowed to even ask certain serious ones!). Seriously scientifically addressing an issue involves being mentally not constrained too much towards considering a wide range of solutions. Especially the parsimonious ones may not be taboo if one is a serious scientist.

Your comment is of course a case in point, since you find it necessary to post a distracting and somewhat emotional comment. I would like to remind all that especially in the context of my essay it is of utmost importance to focus on the scientific content, to pose direct, on topic questions etc. Anything else just shows that the commenter has apparently not only misunderstood the gist of the essay but moreover is fulfilling his/her evolved role by functioning towards suppression of any “uncomfortable” aspects.

S

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anonymous wrote on Sep. 18, 2009 @ 04:20 GMT
You write: “A physicist recognizes the problem, has the quantitative reasoning skills to embark on estimates of the balance of suffering to well-being in evolved equilibriums, and … Objections like that superstructures gain stability from the well-being of their components are wishful thinking and forget considering the full range of forces.”

It sounds like something profound here,...

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Author Sascha Vongehr wrote on Sep. 18, 2009 @ 06:58 GMT
Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your question.

One example (so that would be already “a single thing”) was presented, namely the argument that “superstructures gain stability from the well-being of their components”. However, your motivation, as I understand it, is to test whether there is any substance behind my “many such places” where I refer to issues well beyond the...

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Irvon E. Clear wrote on Sep. 21, 2009 @ 16:52 GMT
Sasha,

In regards to that projected 300 year window of human existence (the countdown to human extinction) there are many other possibilities. Where is the physical measure and consideration of these possibilities...since they exist within this sensible universe what is their source and measure?

Certainly one of those possibilities is that physicists will realize that they can never...

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Author Sascha Vongehr wrote on Sep. 22, 2009 @ 06:58 GMT
Dear Irvon E. Clear!

Thank you for your interest in my work, your comments, and for asking relevant questions that give me the opportunity to clarify some positions.

“there are many other possibilities.”

Yes there certainly are others, but not “many” since the scenarios given were quite general already (including many ways the cookie might crumble in bloody detail)....

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Sep. 24, 2009 @ 12:10 GMT
Hi dear Mr Vongehr,

Verry interesting threads .

The sufferings are due to our young age and our bad habits .

The multiverses are an extrapolation where the uniqueness is not an evidence .

The extinction won't be .Because it's not the choice of the entropy ,or God ,or the entity behind walls .

This equation improves itself .Thus the human can improve and decrease...

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Terry Padden wrote on Oct. 13, 2009 @ 10:08 GMT
Sascha

Wonderful polemic - you've got my vote, but "is that a chad I see before me?".

After your bravura rap, some mundane comments:

1. You write "Nowadays, to have any chance of being taken seriously by physics, that social class, we need to subscribe to a certain kind of naïve realism." PLEASE let me in on the secret, what kind ? Certainly not my kind - see my essay.

2. and "one can categorize scenarios into roughly three types," How rough are the 3's over there ? Around here we have worn them down to a sensual smoothness with just a hint of excitement at the ends. Whatever, see my last section and thanks for your supporting data.

3. and in the style of Magritte another master of anti-establishment nihilism you end your anti-essay with "In this scenario, the ultimate physics is that science, those insights and methods that are employed to commit the ultimate suicide. " something "That is NOT a SENTENCE !" * Pure genius.

Who is your agent ?

* You have left out a comma.

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Author Sascha Vongehr wrote on Oct. 14, 2009 @ 04:37 GMT
Dear Terry Padden!

I did not write a “polemic”, some “rap”, or “anti-establishment nihilism”. I plainly addressed the question asked, namely what is ultimately possible in physics, and I did so to the point, not trying to shoehorn in my favorite pet-subject, as the majority of contributors to this contest seems to be unable to refrain from. I would enjoy people praising me for...

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Anonymous wrote on Oct. 14, 2009 @ 10:33 GMT
Mr Vongehr

If you think I was insufficiently respectful or praiseworthy of your essay, I regret that. The fact that I used irony to comment on your essay and made allusions to modern american culture was inappropriate for you, as a reader. I have my limitations and sometimes (often) misread an audience. Mea Culpa.

However I do consider your essay to be overtly political (i.e....

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Terry Padden wrote on Oct. 15, 2009 @ 01:06 GMT
I am still anonymous. Perhaps there is a message in it. I will consult my analyst.

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Author Sascha Vongehr wrote on Oct. 15, 2009 @ 03:14 GMT
Dear Terry Padden (anonymous Oct 14)!

Your comments make me wonder what essay you are talking about:

“However I do consider your essay to be overtly political (i.e. about power and its uses) - and not about the subject of physics but about the profession of physics.”

Physics is currently something physicists do. What influences physicists also influences physics. Not to...

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Terry Padden wrote on Oct. 18, 2009 @ 05:54 GMT
Mr Vongehr

I can't waste any more time on your essay. Some comments on your last response to me; your words in " "

1. "It is certainly a lot more relevant to ultimate physics than most of the other essays on those questions, often pseudo questions, that will not interest anybody in the future."

Careful, your vanity is showing. It is not nice to put it on public show. ...

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Author Sascha Vongehr wrote on Oct. 18, 2009 @ 07:25 GMT
Dear Terry Padden (and all further potential commentators):

Yet another commentator went from praise in an initial comment to ripping the essay apart in subsequent ones; not because of increased understanding (which would be recommendable) but plainly because I did not participate into some creepy “your work so fine, now praise mine” honey around the beard smearing. Such praise-to-rip turn proves that the initial comment already cannot have been about the essay, but at most about a fast between the lines skimming and misunderstanding. So once more in all clarity:

“If you have any comments on the substance of the essay, requests to further substantiate certain aspects, or even actual disagreements with certain inferences developed in the essay (say those where I show that something like suicide follows quite logically), then you are very welcome to address them directly with scientifically mature argumentation. Anything else belongs into a private email exchange maybe.”

Thank you all, Sascha Vongehr (风洒沙)

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