Monday, February 28, 2011

FQXi essay contest "Is reality digital or analog?"

The third edition of FQXi essay contest is already a success, because there is a growth of 140% in the number of competing essays. There are 161 essays dealing with the question "Is reality digital or analog?" that are waiting for your votes and comments. I have less time to participate in it as for the previous edition on "What's ultimately possible in Physics", but I found it an important question. Important enough to take my pen on vacation and advocate the fact that physical "Reality" must ultimately be accessible to everyone on earth. Reality can be defined in the way we reach universal agreement about it, whether it be analog or digital (I think it will ultimately always be expressed with both concepts of discreteness and continuity: digital and analog).

Some thoughts you'll find in my essay:

"I postulate Reality to be that on which all people can agree"
"Physical reality must be potentially and reproducibly accessible through experiment to any human inhabitant of earth. If it is not, the corresponding statement about reality is biased."
"Some aspects of physics haven’t reached the stadium of universal agreement yet. This is the case for processes at the cosmological scale or at the atomic and nuclear scale, because the rules governing their behavior are not directly part of our everyday experience. We haven’t yet managed to describe all their reality with concepts or words on which everybody can agree. It is the physicist’s job to enlarge the scope of universal agreement about physical reality."
"We will describe anything happening in the submicroscopic world with concepts derived from our macroscopic experience, analogically and digitally. Only then can we come to universal agreement about its reality."

There are 160 other essays. Some are from essay writers whom I already know a little from last year. Unfortunately I won't be able to read more than a few, but I love it to catch up with your ideas, even if I don't always agree with them, probably because I haven't yet got all the information needed to understand your reality. Universal agreement about reality can only be reached if we discuss our ideas openly.

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