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The FQXi podcast brings you the latest ideas in foundational physics and cosmology—and includes interviews with our members and other leading scientists. It's hosted by Zeeya Merali and Brendan Foster. You can contact us at, and follow us on twitter: @FQXi. The podcast is produced by Zeeya, and music is provided by Baltimore-based Diefenbaker.

Steve Dufourny: "Lorraine, You tell an interesting point when you tell "The Boolean AND and..." in How does the brain...

Steve Dufourny: "Hi Lorraine, I was at university also in 3 in geology but I have stopped..." in Round Table on 'Varieties...

Lorraine Ford: "Georgina and Steve, You need to represent consciousness in terms of the..." in How does the brain...

Lorraine Ford: "Steve, I studied Physics, Maths and Computer Science at university. The..." in Round Table on 'Varieties...

Georgina Woodward: ""As an alternate option to search your book, you can use advanced search...." in The Nature of Time

Georgina Woodward: "Hi Vesuvius, Thanks for looking. Its on My books can be found..." in The Nature of Time

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Can Choices Curve Spacetime?
Two teams are developing ways to detect quantum-gravitational effects in the lab.

The Quantum Engine That Simultaneously Heats and Cools
Tiny device could help boost quantum electronics.

The Quantum Refrigerator
A tiny cooling device could help rewrite the thermodynamic rule book for quantum machines.

Time to Think
Philosopher Jenann Ismael invokes the thermodynamic arrow of time to explain how human intelligence emerged through culture.

Lockdown Lab Life
Grounded physicists are exploring the use of online and virtual-reality conferencing, and AI-controlled experiments, to maintain social distancing. Post-pandemic, these positive innovations could make science more accessible and environmentally-friendly.

May 17, 2021

Complete Podcast
The FQXi August 19, 2019 Podcast features:
  • Downward Causation -- George Ellis
INFO: MP3 file / 21 minutes / 51 MB
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Downward Causation -- George Ellis
Investigating agency, cosmologist George Ellis argues that causation is a two-way process between the mind and lower level biological and physical functions. From the 6th FQXi meeting in Tuscany, in July.
INFO: MP3 file / 21 minutes / 51 MB
DOWNLOAD (right-click Windows, control-click Mac)
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Recent Comments

Yet our observation of this upward process is downward. How might that affect what we see? Does it impose form, definition, constraints to a process, a dynamic, that might not otherwise be as clear? It does seem that's one of the mysteries of QM.

How might we consider this relationship between the process and the patterns we observe? The energy driving it is necessary, yet any form it manifests is only by the limits of this energy. Such as the frequencies and amplitudes of waves are an...

The problem does seem to be with the conceptual ontology of causation, maybe time, rather than the composition of the physical per se. Emergent properties with "downward causal impacts" seem to exist, but are still fallible to David Hume's early criticisms of Newton's cause-effect laws. Those criticisms still haven't sufficiently been answered.

Re: “Let's say you are a universe raising particles, who are you going to get to babysit them … A real particle that has given good service to the parent universe for a very long time may be given the opportunity to be born again in a new big bang and become a new conscious universe that can join universe society as a new member and raise particles of its own”:

Aww how cute: Baby particles!

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