Search FQXi

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 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.

Contests Home

Current Essay Contest

Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American

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

What Is “Fundamental”
October 28, 2017 to January 22, 2018
Sponsored by the Fetzer Franklin Fund and The Peter & Patricia Gruber Foundation

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.

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


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

It From Bit or Bit From It
March 25 - June 28, 2013
Contest Partners: The Gruber Foundation, J. Templeton Foundation, and Scientific American

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

Is Reality Digital or Analog?
November 2010 - February 2011
Contest Partners: The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation and Scientific American

What's Ultimately Possible in Physics?
May - October 2009
Contest Partners: Astrid and Bruce McWilliams

The Nature of Time
August - December 2008

Forum Home
Terms of Use

Order posts by:
 chronological order
 most recent first

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

By using the FQXi Forum, you acknowledge reading and agree to abide by the Terms of Use

 RSS feed | RSS help

James Hoover: on 3/9/11 at 22:00pm UTC, wrote So what this boils down to is that reality is what you make it. The real...

Peter Mastro: on 3/8/11 at 11:02am UTC, wrote Thanks for your comment Karl, There is a link between art and everything,...

Karl: on 3/7/11 at 12:54pm UTC, wrote Interesting in the link between art and science.

Peter Mastro: on 3/3/11 at 20:03pm UTC, wrote Thanks for your comment Peter, That sounded like I'm talking to myself. I...

Anonymous: on 3/3/11 at 18:55pm UTC, wrote Pete Many thanks for your encouraging response to my essay. In fact thanks...

Peter Mastro: on 3/2/11 at 13:23pm UTC, wrote Thankyou Hector, Without different points of view, we wouldn't have...

Hector Zenil: on 3/2/11 at 5:09am UTC, wrote Dear Pete, A refreshing essay with a whole different point of view than...

Peter Mastro: on 2/26/11 at 14:09pm UTC, wrote Doug thank you for your comments. I have read your essay and can...


Steve Dufourny: "How to formalise these couplings of scalar fields of the DE and DM in our..." in The Noise of Gravitons

Steve Dufourny: "even I d say that the numbers and the spheres are under specific partitions..." in The Noise of Gravitons

Steve Dufourny: "stop this please, FQXi is well moderated , so don t insist" in George Ellis - How can...

Martin Gray: "What are the different skin conditions that people often face? Every skin..." in George Ellis - How can...

Ulla Mattfolk: "In a statement posted on its website on 27 June, SNRIU said that "due to..." in Global Collaboration

Ulla Mattfolk: "Cont. Of the nuclear countries Sweden and Germany has said no thanks, they..." in Global Collaboration

Steve Dufourny: "Jonathan Dickau ,hope you are well, always cool to have your points of vue,..." in 16th Marcel Grossmann...

Steve Dufourny: "This platform is about theoretical physics, it is irritating to have these..." in 16th Marcel Grossmann...

click titles to read articles

The Math of Consciousness: Q&A with Kobi Kremnitzer
A meditating mathematician is developing a theory of conscious experience to help understand the boundary between the quantum and classical world.

Can We Feel What It’s Like to Be Quantum?
Underground experiments in the heart of the Italian mountains are testing the links between consciousness and collapse theories of quantum physics.

The Thermodynamic Limits of Intelligence: Q&A with David Wolpert
Calculating the energy needed to acquire and compute information could help explain the (in)efficiency of human brains and guide the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Gambling Against the Second Law
Using precision thermometry to make mini heat engines, that might, momentarily, bust through the thermodynamic limit.

Mind and Machine: What Does It Mean to Be Sentient?
Using neural networks to test definitions of 'autonomy.'

July 3, 2022

CATEGORY: Is Reality Digital or Analog? Essay Contest (2010-2011) [back]
TOPIC: Nature of Reality or Reality of Nature by Peter David Mastro [refresh]
Bookmark and Share
Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Author Peter David Mastro wrote on Feb. 14, 2011 @ 16:27 GMT
Essay Abstract

The premise of this essay is a look at scientific modeling from the perspective of artistic composition. The question of digital vs. analog is reviewed in this context. The assumption in the essay is that both science and art are describing the same reality. The methodology employed is to translate art composition theory into mathematical terms, and use the resulting mathematical model to compare to science models. The essay proposes that the art model of reality already possesses a universal theory of everything that every style of art fits into. A correlation is thus established between artistic style and digital or analog scientific modeling. In the process of this correlation time based relationships are offered which explain the geometric structure of time as it relates to the geometric structure of space. These geometric frameworks are then correlated to science to describe the time-space structure of reality. In doing so the author offers suggestions to the painting in science composition of reality which will eliminate issues like the monopole, flatness, and horizon problem and clarify the nature of phenomena like gravity, the strong nuclear force, and the difference between a particle and a wave.

Author Bio

Peter Mastro is a conceptual artist engaged in the development of a new style he refers to as “Quantum Art”. His educational background consists of a BA in Graphic Art, a BS in Information Systems Engineering and an MBA. He has been on a 40 year quest to create an art form that reflects the hyper-spatial characteristics of reality.

Download Essay PDF File

Bookmark and Share

Alan Lowey wrote on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 11:29 GMT
Hi Peter, I liked your novel methodology very much, it was most appreciated. I have a quick idea to tell you with regard to a helical screw being the artistic model for the structure of a graviton. If this wave/particle then travelled around a wraparound universe it would emerge on the other side as a force of repulsion i.e. dark energy. Is this something you can visualise?

Kind regards and the best of luck,


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Peter replied on Feb. 16, 2011 @ 12:17 GMT
Alan thanks for your comment. In regard to your helical skrew idea, yes I can visualize that. The picture I would paint however would not have a single skrew. I would visualize a graviton as an imaginary quanta and a photon as a real quanta. The graviton being the foundation of the dark, and the photon the light. Associated with each photon there would be 12 gravitons. Four of them are at the same point as the photon, and eight are adjacent. This eight would be broken down into two sets of four and each set of four would be the basis for two helixes meeting at the point of the photon from opposing directions. Each would have opposite spin and the tangent vector at the photon would be coincident to universal time vector.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Georgina Parry wrote on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 11:54 GMT
Dear Peter ,

I have read your essay. It is a fascinating approach. Clearly explained and illustrated. Enjoyable throughout. Your definitions of reality are, to me, unusual. Though I understand your separation of reality into "objective" and "real" I would not myself have divided reality up in that way.

You have objective reality as time alone whereas I would like to extract time from objective reality and have a uni-temporal unobserved space.Though one might argue that as nothing can be observed in that space it might as well not be space at all. But eliminating all space and content of it, can there then be any sequence of change, and so generation of earlier and later, giving passage of time? I would say not. But these are not existential spaces they are spaces in which the artist can play with representational forms that illustrate ideas.

I like what you have done very much. It is thought provoking and colourful. I have seen no other similar essays in this contest which makes it seem very fresh and original. You do answer the question but for the artist's alternative universes, "objective" and "real", not the universes that others may be contemplating.

Wishing you good luck. Georgina.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Anonymous replied on Feb. 16, 2011 @ 13:00 GMT
Georgina, thankyou for your comment.

The unitemporal unobserved space you discribe I would describe as a cognitive continuum. There is no space or time in a cognitive continuum. All there is is awareness. For time to exist requires cognitive reflection. For space to exist requires cognitive reproduction.

The nature of a continuum is that each element of it is not distinguishable from any other unless something is assigned to it. This is why mathematics is the purest form of modeling because it is not about things, it is purely about relationships between things. The way you get from a contnuum to a universe in mathematics can be found in Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory. You begin with a null set, define a set that is the set of all null sets, and take off from there.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Yuri wrote on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 22:57 GMT
Dear Peter

It seems to me your idea close to

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Pete replied on Feb. 16, 2011 @ 13:48 GMT
Who ever you are, thanks for the reference:

Whenever I look at what is going on in areas like high energy particles I always see the fundamental relationships between things similar to what I describe in my essay. My curse is that I also see what is missing.

The standard model is a hodge podge mix of things that are observable and things that are not. When something is given a name before you understand what it is you run the risk of giving something multiple names, when actually you are looking at the same thing from different perspectives.

Quarks are a good example. The geometric form of a quark pair is a tetrahedron. A quark as a seperate unit is a structure that is composed of all four points of the tetrahedron but only three of the edges. It can not exist in a balanced state. Plus when you enter time into it it is classified into spin catagories. Spin is a function of time and the observer. If you look at the four points of a tetrahedron and do a point to point sequence you will end up with six different sequences. If you do the same for the other points you end up with 18 more. My perspective is those other 18 quarks are what scientists are beginning to view as the dark side. They are quarks that are phase shifted to the ones they are observing.

Incidentally in regard to naming...The quark structure is Plato's atom.

Scientists need to understand how to paint a tree in the wind. You cannot understand it through naming the leaves and closer and closer examination of the tree.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Yuri replied on Feb. 16, 2011 @ 20:23 GMT
My other observation of tree

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Peter Mastro replied on Feb. 17, 2011 @ 14:31 GMT
Yuri, hello again

I apologize for not refering to you by name last time. I am new to this whole forum thing but am slowly figuring it out.

Your observational data is really neat because it validates the connection between the fibonnaci ratio and expressing the time-space relationship between the six vectors in the universe realitive to the perindicular time vectors of the observer.

To answer the question in your paper. All observation of any phenomena takes place from a point in space on the universal time vector. If you view the six time vectors sideways you can view them as six circular rings and the observer is at the center point. When you view any phenomena that exhibits properties of mass you are viewing it from a location that is seven time quantum away. This is one unit of universal time and six units of 3D time.

If you look at Table 3 you are looking from a point where x=6 and 1.618 to the power of six is 17.94427. If you do the math the 6th vector 6 time quantum away is at an angle of 87 degrees relative to the 3D time vector and 3 degrees relative to the universal time vector.

This is the 3 degrees of seperation in your observational data.

If you look at diagram 5 in the essay you will notices that I have the observer vector and the first vector both at zero displacement.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

narsep wrote on Feb. 17, 2011 @ 17:33 GMT
Dear Peter,

Thanks to your contribution to the contest that confirms what I say in my essay' s abstract (that art is not unrelated to "Physical Philosophy" - Physics in Newton's era). I enjoyed your colorful figures as well (among others) wondering in one of my responses "How Physics can be done without figures?". I have not finished reading your essay yet.

regards, narsep (ioannis hadjidakis)

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Peter Mastro replied on Feb. 18, 2011 @ 07:31 GMT
Thankyou for your comments Ioannis,

Before math and science and art and philosophy and religion, the universe existed and man interacted with nature directly. We survived without any of it. We still do not need any of it to survive. All we need to survive is the natural world, and the ability to reason and communicate with each other.



Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Ray ASCHHEIM replied on Feb. 21, 2011 @ 00:08 GMT
Hi Pete,

Is there a relation between your angle on Diagram 5, and the "angle of view" explained by Philippe Starck in his Ted talk (timestamp 8:33 - 12:00)
gn.html ?

I like how art and science are converging.



Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Peter Mastro replied on Feb. 21, 2011 @ 15:12 GMT
Thankyou for your comment Ray,

I think Starck's angle of view was more about how we percieve ourselves relative to our evolutionary place in the universe. We look downward or into the past and see the more primitive life forms we theoretically evolved from, we look at ourselves on a level line and we percieve ourselves as the pinnacle of evolution, and we look up and see ourselves further evolving. I viewed this talk to be more about the metaphysical than the physical.

The angles described in my article are physical. They exist in the objective universe. They relate the spatial geometry that develops as a result of time going back six time units to create space in the present moment. Space is how time stores events.


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Doug wrote on Feb. 25, 2011 @ 11:25 GMT
Hi Peter,

Wow, this certainly is a unique essay. At first I thought it wouldn't be technical, but I was surprised. I have to be honest with you though, I got lost. I like the idea and your writing is clear and concise, and I enjoyed the ideas and the thoughts it engendered in my mind as I went through it, but I have never experienced anything like it. I have no way to relate to it in a way that would be useful for advancing my own knowledge - if that makes sense.

It did make me think a lot about the connection between art and science - that's for sure, and I think we all can benefit from that. It also remind me of how much the human mind is capable of wonderous things!

I almost hate to ask you to read my essay. It is so unimaginative compared to yours, but if you can fit it in, it's here.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Peter Mastro replied on Feb. 26, 2011 @ 14:09 GMT
Doug thank you for your comments.

I have read your essay and can understand your reaction relative to your inability to relate to it in a way that would advance your knowledge. I do not mean this in a derogatory way. I found your essay to be well written and to the "point". In writing my essay and trying to link art theory to science, definition of a point was the first thing that I needed to do. Like you point out in your essay, understanding the nature of a point is really what lies at the heart of understanding everything.

Science uses mathematics as a tool in modeling. As a result, scientific modeling has the same limitations that mathematics does and the same characteristics. Mathemematics evolved from counting, to geometry to trigonometry etc... and types of numbers evolved to include zero, and negative numbers and real numbers and imaginary numbers etc.. Just like in science, this evolution did not evolve from a framework of understanding what the whole picture looks like. These limitations do not exist in art.

Which brings us to a "point". A point is a purely imaginary construct. Counting points or arranging points relative to each other in various defined groupings, and using numbers to represent them and their relationship to each other, can be very confusing because number usage is ill defined. The concept behind a number used in counting, and that same number used as an exponent, or a subscript denoting dimensional characteristics are fundamentally different.

What I had hoped a mathematician would get out of my essay is that there is both a real and imaginary component to all numbers. All numbers are complex. All points are complex. Real numbers are a subset of imaginary numbers such that the imaginary component assumes a value of zero. If you view this geometrically, a countable point of real zero dimension requires eight imaginary points to define it.

I could go on but the thing I liked about your essay is that it recognizes the fundamental shortcomings of mathematics and that understanding the nature of a point is critical to understanding anything and everything.


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Member Hector Zenil wrote on Mar. 2, 2011 @ 05:09 GMT
Dear Pete,

A refreshing essay with a whole different point of view than mine.


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Author Peter David Mastro replied on Mar. 2, 2011 @ 13:23 GMT
Thankyou Hector,

Without different points of view, we wouldn't have anything to talk about. That would make life very boring.


Bookmark and Share

Anonymous wrote on Mar. 3, 2011 @ 18:55 GMT

Many thanks for your encouraging response to my essay. In fact thanks also for confirming the model and it's implications can be understood. I think I need to give a free mensa membership to anyone who sees it without help, or at all!

The worrying thing is that none of the physicists here seem to have made it, or they go quiet and slink away. We'll see.

But I'm here reading your essay, and I've immediately understood how you could empathise with mine, in fact I'm astonished at the similar concepts arising, but as we both do both art and science there must be empathy. (which I derive as harmonious oscillations). If you'd like to explore the logical implications of the DFM to the ends ef the Universe try this;

I really did struggle to understand and follow your logic, but it was worthwhile. I'm actually not sure I totally succeeded, but it was nice meeting Eric Claptop out of the blue when I last expected. I did that once with Macca, what a highlight to a day! Anyway it was a unique experience (your essay that is) and I've just posted the top community score it deserves. (I hope you'll remember to do the same for mine to help get it noticed). I'll try to read it again now better primed. I can't remember any questions you may have put but will respond there if needed. Thanks again.


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Peter Mastro replied on Mar. 3, 2011 @ 20:03 GMT
Thanks for your comment Peter,

That sounded like I'm talking to myself. I am never quit sure how logical my explanations are. The real motivation behind my writing this essay and placing it in this forum was that I always see scientists using the Fibonnaci spiral as illustration of the deep meaning and mystery in the patterns of the universe when their text and theories do not have anything to do with it. If they had used bad math or science everybody would scream foul. (I'm talking about the latest book from one of your countryman)

Anyway, if you do ever reread my essay there is only really one scientific thing you should get out of it that relates to your essay. Every point in real space is at the origin of seven time vectors. Only one of those vectors is the universal time vector. You will observe these seven vectors within the confines of anything that is a balanced system. Hence..the Bohr model of the atom, hence 7c. This is a repetitious fractal pattern. The only difference between the two is how you are looking at it.

As a side note I did give you the highest rating possible.


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Karl wrote on Mar. 7, 2011 @ 12:54 GMT
Interesting in the link between art and science.

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate
Peter Mastro replied on Mar. 8, 2011 @ 11:02 GMT
Thanks for your comment Karl,

There is a link between art and everything, because everything has a visual component. Visualization is a very fundamental aspect of abstract thought. That which can be seen and illustrated, but difficult to put into words.


Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

James Lee Hoover wrote on Mar. 9, 2011 @ 22:00 GMT
So what this boils down to is that reality is what you make it. The real universe can be defined as either digital or analog, but when you choose a way, give the universe the respect that it deserves and make it a masterpiece.


I like your argument. It is convincing and novel, but I have my own distinct prejudice for analogue which probably relates to a non-scientific background.


Jim Hoover

Bookmark and Share
report post as inappropriate

Login or create account to post reply or comment.

Please enter your e-mail address:
Note: Joining the FQXi mailing list does not give you a login account or constitute membership in the organization.