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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
read/discusswinners

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

Dov Henis: on 5/16/13 at 11:54am UTC, wrote Graviton's Energy-Mass Dualism Gravity, The Monotheism Of The Universe ...

Dov Henis: on 11/1/11 at 16:26pm UTC, wrote The Simplest, Data-Based T O E ... An Embarrassingly Obvious Theory Of...

Chris: on 4/25/11 at 7:47am UTC, wrote Henri I enjoyed reading your essay very much in Yuba City and upon reading...

Henri V. De Roule: on 3/20/11 at 19:58pm UTC, wrote Sorry, I am just figuring out how to navigate this thread. Peter, Thank...

Henri V. De Roule: on 3/20/11 at 19:36pm UTC, wrote Peter, Thank you for your kind comments regarding my essay. I specifically...

Peter Jackson: on 3/9/11 at 16:07pm UTC, wrote Henri Spot on conclusion! Without either there could be nothing. As...

Henri De Roule: on 2/15/11 at 12:40pm UTC, wrote Essay Abstract When I was considering the question posed, my...


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FQXi FORUM
September 22, 2020

CATEGORY: Is Reality Digital or Analog? Essay Contest (2010-2011) [back]
TOPIC: On Whether Reality is Digital or Analog by Henri Vonn De Roule [refresh]
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Author Henri Vonn De Roule wrote on Feb. 15, 2011 @ 12:40 GMT
Essay Abstract

When I was considering the question posed, my immediate thought was that of course reality is analog. There are many visible, quantifiable and provable examples of this. Among them are the examples of the first and the latest digital-to-analog (DAC) converters and their counterparts the analog-to-digital converters (ADC). Several of the companies for which I have worked produced products that processed signals. The goal in producing these devices was twofold: First, reduce or eliminate noise and; Second to digitally represent the analog signal as closely as possible. I remember the first 8-bit DACs and how proud the developers were of their achievement. I also remember 128-bit converters and how, over the years, the engineers (or more correctly the marketing departments) would brag about this continuing achievement.

Author Bio

I am a 64-year-old male who has had an abiding interest in science since he was 7 years old. I attended a military academy in high school and then attended the University of California at Riverside. I am married with one child and three step-children. I read on science extensively. Publications include Scientific American and numerous books on both the existing scientific state and on the possibilities of where we are headed. These publications range from “New Theories of Everything” by John D. Barrow to “The fabric of the Cosmos” by Brian Greene.

Download Essay PDF File

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Peter Jackson wrote on Mar. 9, 2011 @ 16:07 GMT
Henri

Spot on conclusion! Without either there could be nothing.

As another non Physicist I enjoyed your wonderfully fresh direct view and essay. In particular I believe you comment; "As Alice said; "This gets curiouser and curiouser." When I delved into quantum physics more deeply, I discovered that perhaps my bias toward an analog reality was premature." sums it up in a very apt way.

This in two distinct ways; partly because Charles Dodgson to top Oxford mathematician, only assumed the name lewis Carroll and wrote that line because he was so incensed by the unrealistic maths that was taking over, imaginary numbers, quaternions etc, all still used today, which abstracted from reality and never returned!

I identify the problem in my essay. Even lines and points don't actually exist. Einstin specified x,y,z co-ordinated "attached to a rigid body" not just as the playthings of maths. We must learn to distinguish between abstraction and reality. I really do hope you like the essay as I need the community points! Do look at the string comments too. I hope you can see the dynamic relationship I explain, saying, essentially, if you're not ON the bus you're not IN the buses inertial frame, so anything you see happening on the bus can't be directly (relevantly) measured without mathematical correction or 'renormalisatioon'.

Very Best of luck, and well done.

Peter

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Henri V. De Roule replied on Mar. 20, 2011 @ 19:36 GMT
Peter,

Thank you for your kind comments regarding my essay. I specifically tried to stay away from getting bogged down in the math of the issue. I agree that the current state of the math on the issue at hand is incomplete. I have even pictured "empty" space (or vacuum, if you like) as actually particles that we call Dark Matter. This would be the area in which, as you point out, energy could be stored as light shifts from red to blue and back. These dark matter particles would absorb the energy and directly correlate to the expansion of the universe. It would also explain the locality of expansion. If we assume that the entire universe has no vacuum, but is made up of the various particles, then we can fine tune our science to accommodate these data.

Regards,

Henri

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Henri V. De Roule replied on Mar. 20, 2011 @ 19:58 GMT
Sorry, I am just figuring out how to navigate this thread.

Peter,

Thank you for your kind comments regarding my essay. I specifically tried to stay away from getting bogged down in the math of the issue. I agree that the current state of the math on the issue at hand is incomplete. I have even pictured "empty" space (or vacuum, if you like) as actually particles that we call Dark Matter. This would be the area in which, as you point out, energy could be stored as light shifts from red to blue and back. These dark matter particles would absorb the energy and directly correlate to the expansion of the universe. It would also explain the locality of expansion. If we assume that the entire universe has no vacuum, but is made up of the various particles, then we can fine tune our science to accommodate these data.

Regards,

Henri

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Chris wrote on Apr. 25, 2011 @ 07:47 GMT
Henri

I enjoyed reading your essay very much in Yuba City and upon reading it a second time (which I enjoyed as well,) I realized that it seems to me that at a certain point, possibly at the cellular level and smaller, things are digital. This is evident in our bodies as the all or none firing principle, and the volley principle of hearing, and then of course, as you mentioned, with quantum entanglement (which is one of the coolest things I've ever heard of!) Yet, as we observe larger phenomena, reality appears analog only because our brains cannot perceive the discrete changes. Maybe everything is discrete, but our minds are built to fill in the gaps (or the gaps are so small when it comes down to it, that our minds cannot even detect them!) I think that if we better understood how our minds perceive reality, we'd be able to understand why some things appear digital and some analog. Anyway, I wish you luck with the judging!

Sincerely,

Chris

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Dov Henis wrote on Nov. 1, 2011 @ 16:26 GMT
The Simplest, Data-Based T O E ...

An Embarrassingly Obvious Theory Of Everything

EOTOE, Some Implications (I)

A.

EOTOE is an Embarrassingly Obvious Theory Of Everything.

In essence it states that all things in the universe, nouns and verbs objects and processes, originate and derive from the energy-mass dualism.

Origin and essence of this derivation are...

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Dov Henis wrote on May. 16, 2013 @ 11:54 GMT
Graviton's Energy-Mass Dualism

Gravity, The Monotheism Of The Universe

Everything in the dictionary and in the universe - nouns and verbs objects and processes - originate and derive from the energy-mass dualism, from the ongoing constant rate conversion of mass to energy, from the ongoing resolution-release of inert gravitons, mass, leaving the clusters of the fractured seed of the universe, singularity, and becoming energy, mass in motion.

The Graviton’s energy-mass dualism derives from its gravity, self-attraction, and its compactness.

Gravity: the propensity of the gravitons – the elementary particles of the mass of the universe - to return to their singularity state of zero motion, of compacted zero inter-particle distance.

Compactness: the default particle’s size and shape that enable zero inter-particle distance at singularity.

This, commonsensically, is the matrix of the universe.

Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)

http://universe-life.com/2012/02/03/universe-energy-
mass-life-compilation/

Energy-Mass Poles Of The Universe

http://universe-life.com/2012/11/14/701/

PS:

Life is the obvious manifestation of energy-mass dualism. The sun’s energy, i.e. fast-moving mass particles, convert into slow-moving temporary mass formats… DH

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