First Essay Contest “Toward Mature Resolution Of The Hard Problem”
    By Sascha Vongehr | December 14th 2012 05:46 AM | 3 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Sascha

    Dr. Sascha Vongehr [风洒沙] studied phil/math/chem/phys in Germany, obtained a BSc in theoretical physics (electro-mag) & MSc (stringtheory)...

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    I hereby announce (create) a truly "next level" and I am sure inspiring challenge to all serious scientific philosophical thinkers who from their heart desire to participate in an honest, advanced attack on the fundamental questions that is not just another cycle of inflated sophistication or self-marketing.  Do you have some sort of understanding of our postmodern condition at the fundamental cutting edge of science and philosophy and the difficulties that emerged through it yet refuse to give up on participating in a somehow trustworthy social construction of higher level insight?  Are you disappointed with the usual contests (e.g. publish to perish academia) that are by construction strongly limited from providing a substrate for breakthrough contributions, for example due to their paradigm conserving social selection mechanisms?  If so, this in all aspects advanced essay contest called Toward Mature Resolution of the Hard Problem is for you.


    The first essay contest in this series is titled as follows – the rules will enforce unusually strict adherence to on-topic and collaborative contributions:

     Gerhard's short version from the comments:

    Is there a proof that “truth” is strictly perspective, and is this isomorphic to a meaningful, (self-)consistency to (self-)consciousness connection, that potentially makes quantum correlation between alternative actualization scenarios expected?

    Long Version:

    Is there a proof (say for example via abstract category theory over modal logic or “Kripkenstein” semantics) of that “truth” (e.g. as self-consistency) is strictly perspective (relative, Nietzsche Perspectivism), and is this isomorphic (is there a structure-preserving mapping) to a meaningful, (self-)consistency to (self-)consciousness (e.g. as Dennett's self-reports) connection that potentially makes quantum correlation (that is stronger than classical common cause) between alternative actualization scenarios (which observers/describers seemingly find themselves in) expected?


    Essay Contest Rules and Meta-rules:

    Rules are finalized on the 2nd of February 2013 after reviewing your comments to the following suggested rules:


    On the 10th of the 11thmonth of 2013, that is 10.11.2013, there shall be a draft of every participant’s entry published as a blog entry on


    Format: Maximally 30 word title, plus maximally 100 word abstract, plus maximally 4000 words task-adapted English including one clearly justified re-formulation of the question and all definitions, plus AT LEAST one diagrammatic/schematic of the resolution with its crucial steps as a network-like construct or hierarchy or picture of overlapping sets or any other such visually intuitive clarification of the resolution, all without any footnotes, references, or supporting material.


    Judging Procedure:

    After posting of the essay draft, all participants must find another collaborator among the other participants or they are to exit the contest with a clear explanation of why there is no team collaboration possible.  The isolated participant level is then strictly closed.  Late entries to the whole contest can only be collaborations (teams of at least two authors) that have obtained a recommendation from at least one of the participants who had their draft up on 10.11.2013.


    Team stage: On or before 8.10.2014, every team is to put a single collaborative draft (same format as before - so it must be extremely efficient and on topic!) on the blogs of their team members.


    Meta-team (“joint”) stage:  No late entries after 8.10.2014.  All teams must now collaborate with at least one other team that disagrees on a crucial point/definition/conclusion.  These meta-teams are to publish a joint statement (the “joints”) in the same format as before and thereby resolve or amicably explain their disagreement by 6.9.2015.


    Depending on the number of entries but latest by 15.12.2015, every participant must individually publish one rating sheet as follows:


    First prize: Obviously the joint statement that I the participant participate in, else why would I still promote it over others?

    Second prize: Another joint statement, because … there must follow a short justification for why that joint is an honest on-topic partial resolution of the essay question in the opinion of the participant.

    Third prize: Another joint statement, because … there must follow a short justification for why that joint is acceptable as an honest on-topic resolution of the essay question.

    Unacceptable: List at least one in your opinion unacceptable joint statement and give a short explanation for why they are unacceptable.

    Ratings without proper justifications will be rejected until other participants agree to support such ratings for special circumstances.


    The winning participants are those of the teams that got the greatest number of second place endorsements of the joint statements they participate in.  If the top numbers tie, the third prize endorsements decide between them.  If they tie also, the prize will be shared.  No prize will be shared if both counters are zero (only first place and unacceptable ratings).  The prize is to be funded/constructed via the ingenuity of the participants and the offering public audience (things like a book contract for the winning team’s longer-form joint statements in different formats may be expected – depending on how popular the contest becomes, how constructive/creative you collectively are; if you are as insightful as you claim to be, there should be a huge reaction!) and should start as soon as possible.


    The following may help to get you started:


    Ad-hoc Example entry (certainly not my contribution):

    Title: Negative answer to a next level meta-positivist “positive constructionism” that claims circumventing postmodern deconstruction impotence:  With meta-truth comes meta-uncertainty, called doubt; we shall never be satisfied.

    Abstract: Embracing constructionism toward a resolution of fundamental physics from the philosophical side seems laudable, however, quantum probability needs the co-construction of a self-consistent description of what rational actors “should” label different alternatives with (say their expectation value (D. Deutsch probability) and rational utility).  Therefore, the meaning of “should” in determined quantum totality, where I always just find myself having decided in the past, is central.  I show that the question of “should” we doubt every truth-construct can only be consistently asked by constructing it in such a way as to imply the possibility of finding myself with a mis-constructed description feeling correct.

    Introduction and re-phrasing: We should doubt any meta-narrative as potentially mis-constructed, because I can conceive of consistently arguing both, that I “should” as well as that I “should not” doubt a tautologically step-by-step true construct that starts at mere self-consistency.  In order to argue this un-decidability, I reformulate the essay question as follows:

    Reformulation: Are there several differing maximally constructed truths (self-consistent descriptions) describable (constructible/conceivable) or must we describe (or hold) such as dual descriptions (languages/interpretations) of a single absolute truth even if that should require regress with undeterminable termination? And if every self-consistently maximally constructed construct is defined as a possible “perspective” inside all (for example axiomatic) true constructs, does doubting a proper construction process suggest or even entail a similar connection between quantum uncertainty and the by quantum correlation limited experience of observing phenomena? How does this mapping point constructively toward so called EPR non-locality in a space-time arrangement of mutual observers?

    First definition: Every single construction step is by definition not a self-consistency conserving step if it leads to an inconsistent global construction.  Therefore, by definition, there is no construct that is self-consistent locally (at every construction step) but turns out globally inconsistent.  In order to have this distinction not verification transcendent, I map to general axiomatic:

    Axiom systems: It is thought that N independent axioms, much like linearly independent vectors in a flat, topologically trivial space, will be globally independent if they are locally so, meaning that any n<N “dimensional” subspace of facts that can be proven by any sub-collection of axioms from the full set …



    Please comment on the rules, suggest, and be welcome to make your own draft as collaborative as possible (say by publishing early ideas here and get help in the comment sections of your blog here - registration at science2.0 is easy and free), but try to not finalize any entry before October 2013.  Make sure you make the mandatory visual diagram one of your earliest steps!


    The rules should ensure automatic removal of crackpots (99% of them cannot collaborate), automatically proof-read language, independence from foundations biasing toward their own justification and image upkeep, no big names writing up “nice” stuff one week before deadline, no exploitation of crowd dynamics on other sites to up-vote, that the contest is self-administrating, automatic impossibility of shoeing in your pet-idea regardless the essay topic.  After the second stage, there should be automatically only relevant essays left worth reading, not a huge pile of garbage smothering the relevant, where due to time constraints, people  simply look for famous names or already up-voted stuff.  With the novel rules there is only one thing important: THE TOPIC!

    I need your ideas to ensure that crackpots and their fanboys do not participate in precalculated ways to promote garbage.  This should be mostly impossible due to the first rating being the participants’ own projects and only the second ratings counting, but tell me what you think.

    Multi-linguistic contributers may not have the advanced English language skills to participate fairly. Yet they may have very important ideas to convey. Will this contest accept layman's language? Or can terms be expressed in the participant's native tongue? The thought-process is not linguistically related. Problem-solving touches on philosophical and sub-linguistic concepts, not only a good background knowledge of the sciences. The background knowledge of sciences can sometimes be a misleading curse, as it is with aerodynamic lift-theory.

    This is an important point that also makes this type of contest much better.  The usual, e.g. FQXi nonsense, is basically about whether Americanized people find the language pleasing and politically correct.  In this contest here, not only does the collaborative aspect improve the English in the end, but the focus on clear definitions and graphical representations, as well as being forced to be as on-topic as possible with no room left for pleasing blah blah, helps international participation.

    "Advanced English" (= non-linearity, over-paraphrasing, rhetorical showoff like thesaurus hunting) is not going to corrupt this contest like it does for example academic writing.