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If you are aware of an interesting new academic paper (that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal or has appeared on the arXiv), a conference talk (at an official professional scientific meeting), an external blog post (by a professional scientist) or a news item (in the mainstream news media), which you think might make an interesting topic for an FQXi blog post, then please contact us at forums@fqxi.org with a link to the original source and a sentence about why you think that the work is worthy of discussion. Please note that we receive many such suggestions and while we endeavour to respond to them, we may not be able to reply to all suggestions.

Please also note that we do not accept unsolicited posts and we cannot review, or open new threads for, unsolicited articles or papers. Requests to review or post such materials will not be answered. If you have your own novel physics theory or model, which you would like to post for further discussion among then FQXi community, then please add them directly to the "Alternative Models of Reality" thread, or to the "Alternative Models of Cosmology" thread. Thank you.

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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Michael Christian: on 4/3/11 at 2:04am UTC, wrote I wanted to add one 'Quote' from Almert Einstein: "As far as the laws of...

Constantinos Ragazas: on 3/11/11 at 4:11am UTC, wrote Dear Michael, Energy quanta are a think of the past! We need “A World...

Peter Jackson: on 2/27/11 at 19:34pm UTC, wrote Mike Yes I agree we're on the same page, and that your essay shouldn't be...

Alan Lowey: on 2/23/11 at 16:47pm UTC, wrote The thought experiment illustrates the important relationship between...

Alan Lowey: on 2/23/11 at 16:41pm UTC, wrote Yes Michael, I have a simple thought experiment for you to ponder: "I'd...

Michael Christian: on 2/23/11 at 1:17am UTC, wrote Thanks Alan, for your agreement. I wonder if you could give me some 'help'...

Alan Lowey: on 2/21/11 at 14:10pm UTC, wrote Yes, I tend to agree with what you're saying now Mike. I agree about...

Georgina Parry: on 2/17/11 at 22:16pm UTC, wrote Michael, as I have said before I think your "essay" does say something...


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FQXi FORUM
October 15, 2019

CATEGORY: Is Reality Digital or Analog? Essay Contest (2010-2011) [back]
TOPIC: Reality by Michael Christian [refresh]
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Author Michael Christian wrote on Feb. 14, 2011 @ 12:54 GMT
Essay Abstract

Think about it - Reality is real; Digital and Analog are concepts (tools) ...

Author Bio

Michael Christian St. Olaf College, 1967 Math & Physice Major Sigma Pi Sigma HS

Download Essay PDF File

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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 14, 2011 @ 18:46 GMT
Michael

I couldn't find a single thing I disagreed with, and the point does need thinking about. That must be worth some marks. I took much longer to say the same, but do let me know if you agree with mine if you have time.

Best wishes

Peter

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Michael replied on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 01:54 GMT
Thanks for your post )!( And thanks for the comment that "I couldn't find a single thing I disagreed with" ... I could take that as 'faint praise,' but instead, I will look deeper and see that sometimes "Less is More ..."

I like the comment of one of your posts that said: "I agree with you Peter; space is not nothing."

We _are_ on the same page )!(

Mike

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Author Michael Christian replied on Feb. 17, 2011 @ 02:11 GMT
(The above comment is from me, Michael Christian)

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nikman wrote on Feb. 14, 2011 @ 19:35 GMT
The thing is, if you believe science is worth doing you need to accept some ground rules. Maybe Nils Bohr put it best: "Physics concerns what we can say about Nature."

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Feb. 14, 2011 @ 23:23 GMT
Hi Michael,

It really is important for physics that we decide what we collectively mean by reality.I think that although your "essay" is humorous because of its succinct brevity, it is also very foundational. I actually think it says something more profound and important than some of the highly technical essays that are dealing with complex theoretical ideas and mathematics, rather than the foundation stones upon which the whole of that theory rests.

I have also addressed this question in my own essay as I think that before we can decide if reality is digital or analogue we must clarify what we mean by reality. Is it what exists even though we do not observe it? Or is it only that which is observed, the appearance and experience of reality? Or is it both?

I doubt that your "essay" is a winner because of its brevity but you have said something that badly needs saying...Think about it! I hope lots of people do.

Best wishes, Georgina.

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John Merryman wrote on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 04:41 GMT
To quote an un-named President. "That depends on what the meaning of "is" is.

Is it simply being, or is it both being and doing?

As Frank Sinatra so eloquently put it, Dobedobedo...

Possibly the being is digital and the doing is analog?

Knowledge is information. Wisdom is editing. You get an A for the second. Not enough information to grade the first.

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Alan Lowey wrote on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 10:47 GMT
Generally, I disagree with all the comments above. I think the essay question IS a good one. Anyone who simply says "Reality is real; Digital and Analog are concepts (tools).." is someone who hasn't been absorbed in the subject of MODELLING reality imo. It sounds like this someone is a fake to me..but hey, that's just one opinion, so it doesn't really matter..

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Author Michael Christian replied on Feb. 17, 2011 @ 02:42 GMT
Thank you, Alan, for your challenge to my statements. I do not mean that the Essay Question is 'bad' -- I'm just trying to put it into perspective.

And, don't we all use Models to help us understand 'How Things Work?" I certanly do. My point is not to diminish the 'Model' but to remind us that it is 'Just That' - an explanation that Works. Does that mean it is 'Real?'...

For example, I believe that 'Fractals' do mathematically describe several of the interesting structures found in nature. But when I attended the Nobel Conference on "Chaos, the New Science" in St. Peter, MN, The Mathematician said (strongly!) "Where's The Proof!!" The Fractals help us to understand what 'Nature' is doing. The 'Proof' remains to be demonstrated.

Mike

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Alan Lowey replied on Feb. 21, 2011 @ 14:10 GMT
Yes, I tend to agree with what you're saying now Mike. I agree about fractals being undervalued in their use to understand our observed reality. I have a question for you Mike: Why did no-one think about an Archimedes screw to explain Newton's force of gravity, a particle to explain his spooky action at a distance?? Science history would have been totally different imo. No Einstein inventing a spacetime continuum for one! All the best, Alan.

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Author Michael Christian replied on Feb. 23, 2011 @ 01:17 GMT
Thanks Alan, for your agreement. I wonder if you could give me some 'help' with your Question; I understand the Basic Archimedes Screw, and I thought I 'understood' Newton's Laws. Can you share the link between them?

Mike

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Member Giacomo Mauro D'Ariano wrote on Feb. 16, 2011 @ 13:20 GMT
I think that this manuscript is not acceptable for this contest.

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Author Michael Christian replied on Feb. 17, 2011 @ 02:46 GMT
Why ...

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Georgina Parry replied on Feb. 17, 2011 @ 22:16 GMT
Michael,

as I have said before I think your "essay" does say something profound. When solving a puzzle the empty board has more potential that one filled with incorrect solutions.Your reply to Alan was a good one.I have often heard it said that "The map is not the territory". We all need to be reminded from time to time.

As far as complexity of writing style it is at the other end of the spectrum to Adinkra and Gnomon: The Necessary Bipartite Graph by Michael Jeub ,which is a very complex. In my latest post on that thread I have mentioned your work.

Your manuscript obviously is acceptable or it would not have been accepted. It is thought provoking. However we do need to do more than just think or we would all starve.

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Peter Jackson wrote on Feb. 27, 2011 @ 19:34 GMT
Mike

Yes I agree we're on the same page, and that your essay shouldn't be so far down the community one here! Hold tight for a boost (which I hope you may reciprocate). There is far too much abstraction without repatriation to reality, and that's a central problem preventing progress in understanding nature and reality.

Best of luck.

Peter

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Constantinos Ragazas wrote on Mar. 11, 2011 @ 04:11 GMT
Dear Michael,

Energy quanta are a think of the past! We need “A World Without Quanta”! And you can make that critical difference to help bring it about. Cast your approval for a world that makes sense and bring this essay out of the cusp of 'being or not being'! The results are deeply significant and totally iconoclastic. But we need to bring this essay to the 'church' on time! You among others will be better for it!

All the best,

Constantinos

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Author Michael Christian wrote on Apr. 3, 2011 @ 02:04 GMT
I wanted to add one 'Quote' from Almert Einstein:

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain;

and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

ALBERT EINSTEIN

I do not mean to diminish the fine works presented here - only to put them into perspective.

Michael Christian

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