by Sylvain Poirier
I looked at most essays, and the best essays I found are:
Seriously. I cared to make the best essay, altogether
scientifically accurate, clear and very insightful and innovative,
including (but not restricted to)
Not only this, but I also cared to make the most serious, accurate and developed comments to many essays  I did not find anyone else writing such serious and elaborate comments as I did.
Despite of this, and that I rated 10 the other 2 above, we still
have very bad ratings : on March 16th, rating was 5.3 (13 ratings)
for Woit ; 3.9 (9 ratings) for myself. Without my rating, you can
figure out how absurdly low their rating would have been.
(in no particular order)
On the other hand, those who appeared best by "community rating"
(on March 16th) were :
What does it mean ? What it truly means, is only one thing : in
the way it is currently implemented, this community rating is an
utterly senseless, ridiculous system. But where does the problem
come from ? Here are the explanations.
Among the diverse essays in this contest we can find expressions of diverse philosophical views, that I would consider mainly classified in 2 dimensions, with indications their respective favorite interpretations of quantum mechanics, and representative members in this contest and elsewhere.
Scientism (Platonism)
Recognize with R.
W.
HAMMING that "mathematics is unreasonably
effective [in Physics] and that all of the [natural]
explanations when added together simply are not enough to
explain [it]", and are thus also mathematical Platonists:
they see the world of pure mathematics as a fundamental
reality. 
Pseudoscientism 
Obscurantism
(AntiPlatonism)
Deny the amazing efficiency of mathematics observed in
physics; stay ignorant about it. Such people usually hate
mathematics because they cannot understand it, so they
need pseudoarguments to feel proud of their ignorance. 

Spiritualism Consciousness is fundamental 
Mind/mathematics dualism
Accept both consciousness and mathematics as fundamental
realitiesQM: Mind makes collapse after decoherence E. Schrödinger, J.von Neumann, E.Wigner, Casey Blood, J. A. Wheeler, A. A. Grib, (Euan Squires ?), D. Chalmers, J.Eccles, R.C.Henry This FQXI contest: S.Poirier, L.Hitterdale, Paolo Bellan, Muhammad Ahmad Tirmazi, Neil Bates 
Mind/matter dualism QM : Mind makes collapse before decoherence H.Stapp (Euan Squires ?) 
Religion/Idealism
QM : Law
of Attraction / Any shit / Don't know QM J.Kokosar, A&L.Burov Rare in this contest though they form the overwhelming majority of humans, probably because they like neither math nor physics ;) 
Agnosticism 
Agnostic scientism
QM : Copenhagen/QBismPeter Woit, L.T.Okoko, Aleksandar Mikovic, Peter Martin Punin (Defense of Scientific Platonism), David Lyle Peterson, 
Postmodernism
QM : What ? Everyone his own opinion.FQXI : A.G.Mujumdar&T.Singh , Torsten AsselmeyerMaluga, 

Neutral monism (panpsychism) 
Mesoscopic Panpsychism QM : Spontaneous collapse (Penrose) 
Elementary Panpsychism
Vimal, Hoffman E.E.Klingman (calls himself "physicalist" here but expressed spiritualism in another essay) 

Naturalism Consciouness is emergent 
Mathematical Universe Hypothesis
(mathematical monism) QM : Manyworlds interpretation Famous physicists: H.Everett, David Wallace, Sean Carroll, Max Tegmark. FQXI essays : Philip Gibbs, Cristinel Stoica, Giacomo Mauro D'Ariano, Sascha Vongehr, MarcelMarie LeBel, Rick Searle, Adel H Sadeq, Jeremy Charles Collins. FQXI 2017: Michael Z Tyree Pushed to its extreme (and, I think, absurd) consequences by Marc Séguin Criticized in the essays of A&L.Burov, L.Hitterdale, Roger Schlafly, Paul Merriam 
Mature Physicalism QM: Hidden variables, Spontaneous collapse (GRW) T. Maudlin (as expressed elsewhere) 
Naive physicalism
QM: Local deterministic realism FQXI essays (some are included here just based on the authors positively commenting crackpot ones): Lee Smolin, Joe Fisher, Alan M. Kadin, T.E.Phipps, M. J. Goodband, Matthew Saul Leifer, Ed Unverricht , Koorosh Shahdaei , Jose P. Koshy, Colin Walker , Ken Hon Seto , Al Schneider , Gary D. Simpson , basudeba mishra , Eckard Blumschein , Peter Jackson , George Rajna , Jacek Safuta , Branko L Zivlak, Sara Imari Walker, James A Putnam, ... 
(This table was expanded after initial writing; the label
Idealism was moved from the scientism column (mind/mathematics
dualism) to obscurantism (religion) after I tried for some time to
explain to idealists
how to side with science, and finally gave up as they stubbornedly
refused to do so. Well, these people are Christians...more
comments on the
debate on quantum idealism and science)
Among these oppositions, the biggest clash is between columns :
Scientism and Obscurantism. Then is also a clash between the cells
of the Obscurantism column.
A try of argument for Platonism was given by Peter Martin
Punin, "Defense of Scientific Platonism..". See my comments
there (As I noted there, that article has some points, but also
some flaws), and in my
Web page on the topic.
As for the remarkable role of maths in physics: while the
presence of symmetries is one aspect, it is far from the only one,
as I commented in reply to the essay by
Milen Velchev Velev.
Many authors claim to "explain" the remarkable role of maths and
physics by the assumption that it does not exist, i.e. it is not
remarkable, for lack of an idea of what might its "remarkable"
character precisely mean, as how else might things be ? This is
pure lack of imagination. This remarkable character of the
success of mathematics in physics really means something
nonnecessary, and really remarkable, as expressed in
several essays:
I gave arguments in my comment to Mathematics is Physics by Matthew Saul Leifer : here is a copy of my last remark, less linked to the specific article I was replying to (This idea is also contained in Martin Seltmann's essay)
Which is one of the reasons why I do not think any materialistic explanation is plausible to account for the laws of physics as they appear : how such an amazing thing as the Dirac equation can be relevant to physics.To explain how the concepts of "abstraction" and "generality" differ, I need to take a specific example. I would like you to consider the case of the Dirac equation. This is a particular case of equation of a particular object (electrons or other spin 1/2 massive particles), but nevertheless a very abstract one.
This equation describes the field of electronic presence as taking values in the space of bispinors of spacetime. To say roughly, we can define this space as the sum of 2 spinor spaces (with conjugate types), where a spinor space is a 2dimensional complex space E such that the space of hermitian forms on E is identified with the tangent space to this point of spacetime. Namely, tangent vectors (x,y,z,t) to this point are identified with Hermitian forms on E with matrix
t+x y−iz y+iz t−x since the determinant of this matrix coincides with the relativistic invariant (t^{2} − x^{2} − y^{2} − z^{2}).
This is very abstract, but not any kind of "generality of things" like what category theory does by describing regularity classes of particular systems that may go down to objects that look "natural" in a naturalistic sense. Now what is amazing with the success of mathematics is that this spinor space E was found to be "what electrons (and other fermions) are actually made of". Yet its connection to spacetime, as described above, is... quite abstract. Spinors are not "made of" spacetime connections, since any spinor (element of E) would correspond to a lightlike direction of spacetime but any physical description by such a direction would fail to fix the phase of this spinor. Concretely, a big problem with a spinor is that its phase is reversed when you apply to it a rotation with angle 2pi.
It cannot come from the scientific quality of his essay, since it
is only a relative quality (with some flaws as I pointed out), but
even more especially because, as demonstrated by the community
ratings of the rest of essays in this contest, community rating
generally has nothing to do with scientific quality anyway. On the
contrary, scientific quality would be rather a handicap in this
rating. Of course some essays have welldeserved very low rating.
Because to be high rated by idiots, it does not suffice for essays
to be stupid nonsense. They also need to be the sort of
sophisticated, "quality" nonsense able to give idiots the feeling
that it constitutes an intelligent, convincing defense of their
obscurantist ideology. But the essay of Philip Gibbs does not have
this "quality".
He does not even try to defend any obscurantist position that
would please the idiots; as his position (mathematical universe
hypothesis) belongs to the scientism group. So it needs another
explanation.
And the only rational explanation for his high rate, has nothing
to do with the content of his article. Idiots give him high rates,
not that they love his essay, but because they love him.
They love him because he is the creator of ViXra.
He explained his motivations for creating ViXra in his 2014 essay,
Open Peer
Review to Save the World (which also had high community and
public ratings).
But it's not even that he tries to defend any obscurantist
ideology there : most of his ideas are sound and defensible.
In fact, the popularity he gets among idiots by his creation of
ViXra and his ideas on Open Peer Review, is based on a double
misunderstanding : one misunderstanding by himself, and one
misunderstanding by idiots who love him.
His misunderstanding is to insist on the fact that institutional
habits and peer review can be biased, which may also happen in
principle, but which is only one side of things; he does not seem
to measure the real extent to which science does need a filter to
survive in an ocean of bad ideas from amateurs. His proposition of
open peer review, where anyone can bring a review, can be nice,
as, for example, my ideas how to better explain maths and physics
do not find place in the institutions just because it is not in
the usual official jobs of researchers to consider such things as
changes in the curriculum, so I would need to find "peers"
elsewhere. However, he does not seem to realize the difficulty of
the task, and how it can fail if it is done in a naive manner.
Namely, having works openly reviewed and criticized by anyone, and
knowing who writes each review so as to make it possible to figure
out if the reviewer is competent or not, can be an interesting
information. However, just removing the institutional filter on
the ability to put things on the web (in fact there is no such
filter as any serious person can easily make their own web site as
I did, with the only problem of how to be referenced), or on who
can write reviews, cannot be the magical solution against any real
or assumed "bias" problem. Because naively implemented, such a
method will fail in a world with a ratio of 10 idiots for 1
competent reviewer, as long as no system is developed for people
to automatically filter the information depending on the
competence of the reviewer. Removing the institutional filter,
suspected of bias, cannot suffice to remove bias, as the rest of
the world outside institutions can still be biased and even worse
than the one in institutions. Because average humans who "care"
often have a big bias for obscurantism (i.e. incompetence,
relativism, etc).
So to be workable, an open peer review system would also need a
kind of filter, to let anyone filter the measure of reviews
according to his own standards. Indeed, relativistic filters are
all what technical systems can do anyway : as computers don't
understand science, they cannot know what is the right standard ;
as I explained about irrationality,
there is a superficial symmetry between reason and insanity. What
matters is the opportunity for sane people, able to define the
right standards, to get
information filtered according to their own standard. Of
course a corollary is that idiots, with their own bias, will
filter information according to their own biases, and will skip
the sane reviews. So what ? They are hopeless as contributors to
the progress of science anyway.