Best Possible World: Gateway to the Millennium and Eschaton



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Here is my point. Should not the Mandelbrot set be used by the evolutionists as a demonstration that complexity can be sourceless. You can generate an infinite amount of complexity by following the simplest of rules. Indeed, the folks at the Santa Fe Institute are betting their careers on this alleged fact.
There is a problem, however. The Mandelbrot set did not evolve. It sprang into the world fully formed, like Athena from the forehead of Zeus. The Mandelbrot set, like the Monster group, is prima facie evidence for Platonism. Perhaps this explains why complexity theorists and evolutionists are reluctant to use Mandelbrot to support Darwin. It is a sword that could cut both ways.
Fractals abound in nature, reminiscent of the Monster group's ubiquity in physics.

[10/20]


What does this tell us about nature? That nature is random? It tells us that there is self-symmetry and scale invariance. This is something far removed from the simple randomness of, say, a random dot pattern.
There is much more. There is a plethora of patterns. The patterns are not randomly located, but may be seen to be contiguously located so as to appear to 'evolve', one into the other. Symmetry abounds, yet none of it is exact.
Fractals do appear in the inorganic world, but the patterns in the Mandelbrot also exhibit a strongly organic and coherent quality. People can play games based on this quality. One player displays an odd pattern and then the others attempt to find it. One gradually develops an intimate familiarity with the 'logic' of the Mandelbrot, and, yet, there also seems to be no end to the surprises.
The Mandelbrot appears to be a self-organizing system, not unlike biological systems, and, yet, there is no self that need be postulated. There is only the simplest of generating formulas. What could be more impersonal? Self-organizing should then be seen as nothing special, but rather as a ubiquitous aspect of a thoroughly impersonal world. That, at least, is the Santa Fe creed. Is that not also the creed of the pantheist: God without God? It is the creed of the supply side, hidden hand, free marketing capitalist.
I wish to differ. I see something more. I see 'holism' at work. And if I ever wished to use 'scare' quotes, then this is the time to be scared. 'Holism' may just be my biggest stick. Pantheists do attempt to water down God, but do they succeed? That is our question. Just because God is everywhere, it does not logically follow that God is nowhere. Yes, God is now here.
My thesis is that there is intelligence in the Mandelbrot. It is a chip off the block of cosmic intelligence. And so are we.
Here is another way to put it. Here is the lesson of the Mandelbrot. That which is not forbidden is inevitable. And, finally, there is only one thing that is forbidden: the sub-optimal world.
Consider again the ontogenesis of the Mandelbrot. Consider z' = z^2 + c. Does that generator cause the Mandelbrot? I maintain not. That generator permits the Mandelbrot. The awesome beauty that emerges is our latter-day rainbow. We can and should take it as a sign from God that, indeed, this is the one and only BPW. Am I betting the farm on this? We'll see. If I'm correct, it is mine, is it not?
Let me, then, reiterate my claim from above. Besides you and me, the Mandelbrot is the most important demonstrable mystery in the world. It cannot be explained without explaining you and me and God.
There is a creativity, a vitality and even a playfulness in the Mandelbrot that could not be excelled by any human artist working abstractly.
Our ability to aesthetically appreciate the Mandelbrot, its ability to speak to our sensibilities indicates a common ground and source between it and us. It is a direct manifestation of the Matrix. So are we.
Is there any less profound explanation for this object? I sure don't see it. Instead, what I see is a lot of intelligent people, particularly at the SFI, studiously ignoring God's handiwork plastered all over their walls. They have been left speechless. They may even be afraid. They should be. I am here to loosen their tongues, to assuage their fears.
On a more 'mundane' level, the Mandelbrot should help to explain the Monster. Pray tell.
The axioms of mathematics are like the above mentioned 'non-generator' of the Mandelbrot. They create a special kind of logical vacuum into which Nature or the Matrix is invited to pour itself. And that it does. There is also some filtering that goes on. There are boundary conditions to be met. The quantum arena presents a similar challenge to nature. In both cases, we end up with the Monster Group. Should we be surprised?

[10/21] a


I am trying to rationalize both the Monster Group and its role in physics. I am comparing the Monster and the Mandelbrot, claiming that neither one is causally explainable in terms of generators or axioms. The source of their complexities is the Matrix. Each is a boundary conditioned snapshot of the unlimited organicity of the Matrix. Each of the non-linear fractal 'generators' acts as a special lens which allows us to peer into the Matrix. Such fractals appear throughout nature. Nature is the outward manifestation of the Matrix, which is the inward toti-potent Being.
The Monster Group is a specialized projection of the Matrix. The Monster is a more highly conditioned form of fractal. Its symmetries are exact. It has a finite and discrete structure.
Ultimately the MG is conditioned by the cosmological anthropic principle. The MG is an important part of that cosmological bootstrap. On the other hand, it seems that the MG is to the cosmos as the Julia set is to the Mandelbrot. The Julia set is not constant the way the MG is, but it is relatively constant over significant parts of the Mandelbrot. It is not yet clear how to combine these two observations. There are probably still several missing links.
Maybe it is time to bring in the big guns: AORSAP. I would further speculate that, probably in some accord with the Kabbalah, the pantheonic, AORSAP, consort of the Matrix creates an asymmetric vacuum, via the Zim-zum, which is filled in some sort of Mandelbrot fashion, with the MG serving as the Julia set in providing local, physical symmetry. Pi serves as the numerical arbitrator, and helps to determine a local Euclidean geometry.
Actually, allowing a virtual MG to vary as Julia does might be useful in a bootstrap situation. There could then be a self-tuning of the MG into an optimal state for the various physical cycles. We don't want to make things too easy for the Creator, but no point in busy work, either.

[10/22]


Permit me, please, to excerpt a recent communication:
There is a big difference between myself and the mathematical physicists. They are Pythagoreans. They put numbers first. You see that Saul-Paul wishes to build mind out of numbers:
> I would even say that Muses's speculation that consciousness should be modeled via hyperdimensional mathematics is on the right track.
Thus would numbers be the 'roots of consciousness' and of all being.
On the other hand, I am putting the Matrix first. This is the vital potency, the womb of Creation, the fearful symmetry.
The closest I come to numerology, so far, is with the Big Six, AORSAP, which happens to include Pi as one of its members. This is the pantheonic consort, seminal seed, to the ovoid Matrix. It functions in Creation like the Kabalistic Zim-zum which starts the process of breaking the fearful symmetry of the Matrix. Recall that the Zim-zum is also the Logos or Sophia/Christ for the Christians.
The seven-fold spirit is probably a deeper aspect of the Matrix than is the Six, which would form later in the Creation. Thus would the Six be a later, more explicit, version of the Seven. There is obviously nothing very subtle about the Six.
The whole motivation for my excursion into numbers has been to defeat the Pythagorean program of mathematizing reality. My main challenge is to tame the Monster group. Let it be clear that the Monster is the created tool of God and not the other way around. My exhibit A is the Mandelbrot. That provides a relatively unfiltered peek into the Matrix, and the Monster is just a more highly structured and filtered projection of the Matrix.
All of mathematics is just the Anthropically filtered, numerical projection of the Matrix, which, in turn, is the ground and source of all being.
Mathematicians like to think of their subject in Platonic terms. It is a very orderly abstract construction, evolving from clear and simple axioms. The Mandelbrot is then a great embarrassment. They see it only as an aberration. I see it, rather than the axioms, as the source. The axioms are just a latter-day, feeble attempt to rationalize the Matrix.
What we see being practiced by Jack and Saul-Paul is the Patriarchal, sanitized version of mathematics that has come down to us from Pythagoras and Plato. They see mathematics as a way to root out the evil Apeiron, which was the Greek term for the fearful symmetry of the Matrix, or prima materia. They are simply denying the Mother.
Christianity may be seen as a step toward a balance between the male oriented prophetic tradition, and the feminine mystique of the East. I am attempting to give that balance a more rational, coherent basis. No mean feat.
This by way of providing background information for the present excursus.

[10/23]


I suggest that the Mandelbrot serves as a microcosm with respect to our scientific investigation of the world, with the computer serving in place of our scientific instrumentation and infrastructure. There is complexity, coherence and continuity wherever we investigate. One thing missing is a time dimension, but that need not detract from the analogy. Admittedly this bare analogy needs to be fleshed out. In both cases the Matrix has its work cut out for it.
This analogy pushes us further in the direction of comparing the world to a virtual reality in which fractals would play a major role. The problem would then be to create a virtual reality with distributed intelligence, as with parallel processing and object oriented programming. The time dimension would be largely taken up with cycles operating on all scales.
Our world may then be likened to a Mandelbrot set projected from the Matrix and shaped by the pantheonic AORSAP. The A&O cycle expands to include the reproductive cycles (R) of the 10^10 distributed human intelligences that participate in the creation and maintenance of the world. The foundational Matrix ensures coherence throughout. The sun, atom and pi (SAP) are the more explicit, pantheonic, sources of coherence.

[10/24]


I have been referring to the Six as a pantheon. A more conventional term would be 'archetypal'. I suggest then that the archetype to be associated with Pi is the ouroboros. In that case, Pi represents the Matrix among the Six. Previously I have associated the ouroboros mainly with the A/O cycle, and it could also be associated with the reproductive cycle (R) in general. Now, however, with Pi in the loop, it may be advantageous to consider the feminine trinity of Pi, Matrix and ouroboros, along with our mathematical trinity of e^i*pi. Pi may be seen as the nexus or distillation of the cyclical character of Creation. Pi, especially in conjunction with 'e' and the iota, may also be viewed as the seminal seed of mathematics, thereby representing the Six in that realm. The Six taken as one, Pi in this case, are also Matrix-like. From a strictly numerical view, {0,1} are also seminal to mathematics, but they do not fit this broader context.
Taken by itself, Pi does not seem to manifest the duality or dialectical property that is usually associated with the ouroboros, as in its Janus or yin-yang guise. I suggest that this duality is to be found in its qualitative vs. quantitative aspect. Thus will Pi serve as the primary bridge between these realms, and become the primary source of psychism in the mathematical domain. The modern equivalent is Godel's transformation of arithmetic syntax into semantics.

[10/30]


I am working on a postmodern Just So story for Creation. In particular I examine the primal personification of the archetypal Six, AORSAP. The Six emerge from the relatively undifferentiated Matrix through a process of psychological individuation and projection. This process is only partially spontaneous. The potentiality of the BPW exists in a background state that is gradually materialized or substantiated in the manner I am attempting to describe in metaphorical and quasi-mythic language. Even the notion of temporal sequence must be taken as metaphorical in this pre- or supra-temporal regime. Time comes about in a bootstrap fashion with the metanarrational asymmetry of the Alpha and Omega. The present attempt to download the metanarrative into real time is one part of the teleological Creation process.
The emergence of Pi will be one of the more difficult parts of this story to recreate. Pi might even be the crux of the story: it sits at several significant crossroads. It has to be our main bridge from quality to quantity. In that capacity it is also the foundation for the 'unreasonable effectiveness' of mathematics, which is what keeps our trains running on time, so to speak. It is the warp and woof of our physical infrastructure. Pi may just be the buckle of our bootstrap. We shall see.
As a for instance, the Mandelbrot cardioid is the second order distortion of the complex unit circle defined by e^i*x (0 < x < 2*n*pi). As we have seen, the Mandelbrot set is a numerical/geometrical projection of the Matrix, noting that Pi is also a bridge from the numerical to the geometrical and spatial systems. Its role in cyclical process indicates that it is instrumental in relating or even generating space and time.
In myths we see the personification of the archetypes. The logical and psychological regime of personification exists in proximity to the Alpha and Omega, which, in turn, have their own archetypal personification.
Pi also sits at the crossroads of the macro and micro cosms: between the Sun and the planetary Atom. It helps to define the wave-like character of atomic physics. In so doing it lays the foundation for the metabolic cycles that make up the all-important, archetypal Reproductive cycle. Thus does Pi quantify and reify the ouroboric nature of the world from the A&O to the Atom. Pi is seen to embody the primary projection of the Matrix. We need to explore the (social) psychology of this projective Creation. This is of more than academic interest. This is our ticket to ride the eschaton. This is where the rubber meets the road, to once again invoke an aspect of Pi.
Pi is the prime Logos, the Zim-zum, the Dialectic, the Om, the seed, the Matrical/metrical mirror of Creation. No mean feat. We are simply asking for the source of the seed. A seminal, Zen-like question, this. In other words, what was Pi before it became Pi?

[10/31]


A recent communiqué: (a)
The Matrix is the relatively undifferentiated ground of being. It is potentiality.
Only by self-limitation can it create. This is spoken of in the Kabbalah, I believe. Pi is and represents the self-limiting, 'mark of distinction' (N.B. the ouroboric logo). Pi yields the unit circle in the complex plane. A projective mapping can either carry the infinite plane into the circle, or the other way around. The Mandelbrot set is an actual image of the Matrix under the aegis of its self-limitation by Pi.
But Pi does more than this. It is also the self-projection of the Matrix into the realm of quantity and logic. Therein Pi acts as the glue and the seed for the entire system of mathematics. It is the 'fermentation' of this Pi 'yeast' that results in the 'Monstrous Moonshine' for which Richard Borcherds recently won the Fields Medal. The resulting Monster Group contains all the symmetries to be found in particle physics, it is, in fact, the 'M' in M-theory.
I think it is not difficult then to relate the dynamical unfolding of Pi to the dynamics of the X-event, i.e. the Incarnation. We see there the same dialectic of self-limitation and self-transcendence, do we not? This dialectic is perhaps best represented in the symbol of the Ouroboros. That same dialectic is present in the self-replicating figuration of the Mandelbrot. Christ stands at the crossroads of the cosmos and microcosm. He is the Alpha and Omega, etc. He is the Six (AORSAP) in One.
I don't think there is any lack of material here that might beneficially be explored.
Explore it we will.
An important item that comes to light here is the historical misconstrual of the trinity. The Catholic church attempted to balance the gender of the trinity by appending its Mariology, yielding a quaternity. This is awkward, and is not even good numerology. The trinity must be mother, son and spirit. Feminists were on to this early on, well B.C. The matriarchy never actually disappeared. Father and son are redundant from a cosmogonic perspective, viz. Oedipus. I have mentioned the e^i*pi = -1 trinity. Therein I switched the roles of 'e' & pi. All too glibly, I assigned to pi the female role. Euler's natural logarithmic constant 'e' best represents the relatively unformed fecundity and potentiality of the Matrix. Pi is the quintessential form. Pi projects and transforms, in Mandelbrot fashion, the Matrix into mathematical structure. 'i' retains its ghostly, hermetic essence.
Christ/Pi then is the first fruit of the Matrix. Thus we have the Christ/Adam connection. The Anglic homophone, Adam/Atom, may not be an historical accident. I have already alluded to the Pi/Atom connection. Most of chemical physics can be read right off of the spherical symmetries and harmonics latent in e^i*pi. In that capacity Pi stands to become the buckle of our Anthropic bootstrap, in a manner which I am attempting to grasp. I need to relate the observer principle specifically to Pi. The historical foundation for all our mensuration is to be found in the lunar/solar syzygys. Only now has the atom taken precedence for measuring time as well as space. In every cycle there is a connection drawn between space and time.
A cycle necessarily involves self-similarity, constituting a primitive sort of recurrent self-measurement. If one were to postulate panpsychism, cyclic processes would be of particular interest. Or, from the perspective of immaterialism, cyclic processes might even constitute a suitable ground of being. As much as any quantity can, Pi incorporates this notion self-similarity and total symmetry. This is a significant aspect of the Matrix. It should not be a surprise that Pi is intimately involved in defining and limiting the complete spectrum of symmetries that comprise group theory, and even the finite groups up to and including the Monster.
Pi represents an ideal form, as no other number can. It is the numerical incarnation of both ideality and of the Matrix.

[11/1]
I have been pressing the case that Pi incorporates ideality, and so perhaps intelligence, in a unique fashion amongst numbers. If this be true, then so also do the important structures of math and physics, quite apart from arguments pertaining to the quantum observer principle. Since Pi is the seed for much mathematical structure, that structure is not mind independent. Does this explain our anthropic bootstrap?


Yes, it does explain the bootstrap, provided that we understand the link between math and physics. The quantum is the obvious link. The quantum does double duty by linking both math and the observer to physics. The quantum and Pi have to compete to be the buckle of our anthropic bootstrap. We have noted the connection between the two in the context of quantum 'wave mechanics' where e^i*pi plays a primary role.
Admittedly there has been an immoderate amount of hand-waving leading up to this point. However, the conclusion, if it can subsequently be strengthened, justifies all the hand-waving in the world. We have undertaken nothing less than an explanation of the anthropic principle without resorting either to many worlds or to an omnipotent deity. Simply by ascribing a suitable source to the evident organicity of mathematics, we can gain considerable insight into the logic of Creation. We take Pi to be a principle one of the six archetypes associated with our world. It dominates the quantifiable, measurable aspect of nature. The replicable, replicating patterns of nature must maintain a teleological coherence. Pi is the de facto, and allegedly the de jure, nexus of that intelligent coherence. Its relational, rational power ensures that the psyche is the alpha and omega of nature. It is the organizing center of mathematics, and thus for much of nature. It supplies the patterns that are the physical and logical basis of life. The Mandelbrot set is an example of its implicit powers. Pi encapsulates the holographic principle within mathematics. We cannot understand math without understanding Pi, and vice versa.
Pi is the proxy for the psyche, for the Matrix in the physical domain. It portends the symmetries of the Monster Group, the symmetries that provide the adequate, logical basis for life.

[11/2]
A significant monist thesis is that numbers and nature are not disparate. On a dualist or pluralist view, the evident effectiveness of mathematical physics can only be seen as anomalous or 'unreasonable'. On the one hand, we have Platonic dualism; on the other hand, we have the more monistic views of Pythagoras and Aristotle in which the Platonic forms are actively present in our world. The upshot is that nature is more formal and the forms are more natural than we had once imagined. The increasingly evident organicity of mathematics is just the flip side of the increasing mathematicization of physics. You can't have one without the other, and it is all part of the underlying holistic nature of reality.


The organic, holistic nature of the world can only be the result of its self-organizing ability. This is neither a top-down nor a bottom-up process. It is rather an ouroboric, bootstrap dynamic. We seek to obtain a handle on the bootstrap. That is the purpose of the six archetypes, AORSAP. The archetypes are the primary organizing principles of our world. We have been focusing on the last one of these, Pi. Pi is taken to be the organizing center for the system of numbers, i.e. mathematics. Pi is the ultimate source of order within mathematics.
I have said very little about the source of the Six, except to point to a psycho-social cosmogonic dynamic. Admittedly this was only intended as a suggestive labeling of what remains a formidable mystery. The strategy herein, in keeping with the cosmic structure itself, is circular. As we repeatedly traverse the cosmic circuit, it is to be hoped that the spiral will gradually tighten up, so as to direct our attention to the key organizing principles, and then to see how they hang together within the ultimate source, or Matrix.
The focus on Pi has been motivated, in part, by the fact that mathematics is the best understood among the fields of knowledge. Understanding the organizing principle of mathematics should be instructive elsewhere. If our Six have been properly selected, then they should be mutually supportive, epistemically as well as ontologically.
Perhaps our best handle on the psycho-social dynamic is to be found in e^i*pi. Referring to this as a 'trinity' (and here) was intended to be more than just a figure of speech. Comparing Pi to Christ might easily be seen as being grossly sectarian, grossly sacrilegious, or both. In any case, it is not a matter that I take up lightly. Rational theism is indeed a rationalization of God. Theists guard their deity jealously. I am proposing here a postmodern gnosis. While I don't expect to be immolated as were my pre-modern colleagues, neither do I expect to be embraced by my relatively 'agnostic' fellow theists. I can only point out to them that clearly we have not seen the end of God's self-revelation. The only issue then is one of truth. Pity be upon those to whom truth becomes a threat. History has never smiled on such folk.
Christianity is properly considered to be a heresy against monotheism. On that score it is an idolatry. The fact that 18 GI's were killed today in Iraq is not totally unrelated to our being viewed as idolaters in most of the world. My thesis is that Christianity was a very big step from monotheism to monism. The Trinity is essential to monism, not to monotheism. Many lives have already been lost in the confusion between the Father and the Matrix. Many more will be, before this is resolved. I strive to hasten that resolution. If I am correct about the Pi/Christ connection, then we have just made a significant step toward that resolution. On the lighter side, Robert Mapplethorpe came very close to a world shaking revelation, it's just that he mistook pi for pee. I'm glad to be able to set the record straight.
The social psychology, or small-group dynamic, of the trinity is the best handle we are likely to get on our cosmogenesis. The issue before us then is the transformation of the Three into the Six. Our numerical trinity may, hopefully, provide a clue. On the simplest level it is just a case of boxing the compass, if the compass is the complex unit circle implied by e^i*pi. The zodiacal pantheon does a similar job, as a form of celestial psychology and small-group dynamic.
Time and space are effectively defined by the foursome of AOSA: first/last & big/small, respectively. That leaves with the archetypes of R & P, reproductive cycle and pi.

[11/3]
At this point we bring on the ouroboros and e^i*pi, with the hope of connecting R & P to each other and to the other four.


The reproductive cycle is the primary bootstrap for nature. The r-cycle is similar to the A/O circuit, and it employs atoms for its metabolic base, with pi as the cyclic number. This leaves out S, the Sun. In mythology the celestial sun is often juxtaposed with the spiritual sun, which may be likened to the trinitarian Son. That is a very roundabout link between S & P, substituting e^i*pi for the trinity. Another trinity to consider in this context is earth, sun & moon, in which case the moon would replace the iota as the hermetic link between earth and sun. Using peripheral vision one may barely distinguish yet another trinity by judiciously pairing the Six: A/O, S/A & R/P, taken as matrix, son and Hermes/spirit, respectively; or as time, space and cycle. Any cycle entails both time and space components. Thereby, however, pi is then linked closer to spirit than to son. Such blatant shape shifting should not be unexpected as we delve back into the Matrix. That is a condition of monism.
Right now, pi is most abstract of the Six. There is an abstraction gap. The atom is the next most abstract. If we made the substitution quantum -> atom, this would provide more balance, yielding AOSRQP. Writing this as SAORQP would take us from least to most abstract. We have, however, lost the pairing noted in the previous paragraph. If we try to put this into a circular form, there is a discontinuity between S and P.

[11/4]
The circular form of SAORQP may be of some interest. Cycles and circuits are then predominate in the archetypal structure, and so is the son. Previously we have seen the second member of the trinity identified with Sun and Pi, as well as the Alpha and Omega. The Six then manifest a structure similar to the A/O circuit. On this circumstance, Pi would be the new god consuming Sol, the old god, making use of the ouroboric form. What are we to make of this strange figuration?


If we distinguish two threesomes, SAO/RQP, there is a juxtaposition of the macro and microcosms, with the latter somehow representing the new order. There is also the semblance of a contrast between low and high tech. This does not fit with my previous understanding of a Millennial order. Are there shades of transhumanism here? Perhaps we had better check the archetypes again. Or will we have to take Ray Kurzweil more seriously? Before jumping to conclusions, we might compare this Six with Gurdjieff's Nine, the enneagram. Let us also not forget the I Ching, Sephiroth and Zodiac.

[11/5]
Archetypes:


Where do the archetypes come from? In his earlier work, Jung tried to link the archetypes to heredity and regarded them as instinctual. We are born with these patterns which structure our imagination and make it distinctly human. Archetypes are thus very closely linked to our bodies. In his later work, Jung was convinced that the archetypes are psychoid, that is, "they shape matter (nature) as well as mind (psyche)". In other words, archetypes are elemental forces which play a vital role in the creation of the world and of the human mind itself. The ancients called them elemental spirits
For now, I'm not obtaining any new insights from the traditional archetypes. Let us then continue with the trinitarian themes. With the macrocosm, AOS, we might have mother/father, son and lux/spirit. With the microcosm, RPQ, we could have mother, son and spirit; while with e^i*pi, it was mother, spirit and son. The archetype of the trinity is our most persistent one. RQP and e^i*pi are closely fitted. ASO does not seem to fit as well. If we were to replace sol with zodiac, however, it might fit better: AZO. This leaves us wondering about the then putative Q <-> Z connection. How much of a stretch is this? Is there not a temptation to try another sequence, QRP, then R and Z are more obviously connected. The ambiguities being encountered here are part of the shape-shifting endemic to monism. Q would take on the role of matrix in its threesome. The fact that quantum physics used to be called matrix mechanics is, unfortunately, beside the point.
The quantum is the Pandora's box out of which the microcosm emerges into a definite form, Pi/Atom/Adam/Christ, when mediated by the reproductive cycle, R, within the A -> O evolutionary circuit; which in its turn is mediated by the celestial cycles and precessions, as we proceed to the telos, O. There seems to be ample flexibility built into this archetypal system to allow for future evolution. We may recall the evolution of these archetypes: SAAO -> SAAOM -> AORSAM -> AORSAP -> SAO/RQP -> AZO/QRP. I had been assuming that the Sun would have been the first created celestial orb. These modifications suggest otherwise. This does exacerbate the problem of the initial and final celestial appearances. You'll notice that I am not rushing out to tackle this one. The outlook remains hazy.
I should note that biological enzymatic cycles, ~R, function as efficient quantum measuring devices. The juxtaposition of QRP suggests that the telic anthropos, i.e. us, could be the outcome of a prolonged 'delayed-choice' quantum 'measurement', with pi serving as our psychic proxy in this case. This suggests that Adam and Eve might better be associated with the Omega than with the Alpha, as given in Genesis. That our mythos might contain such anachronisms is not a surprise. Zodiac-style zoomorphisms might better be associated with the Alpha. The iota, sqrt(-1), in e^i*pi, shows a similarly ambiguous identity. Morphogenesis could be substituted for Darwinian evolution. All of this remains most speculative, of course.

[11/6]
The bottom line with the archetypes is phenomenology. Eventually we idealists must produce a coherent phenomenology for the Alpha and Omega regimes. We have inhabited the middle regime for millennia. The Millennium brings us into Owen Barfield's 'final participation' (and here, here). Using Owen's terminology, 'original participation' or 'alpha thinking' is followed by 'beta thinking', or ordinary ego consciousness, in the middle regime where we are still stuck. In original and final participation the archetypal forms flow and come alive. Panpsychism becomes explicit. In order to participate, we must anticipate the resurrection of the forms. In the Millennium we will, to a degree, be back-engineering the Creation. We must understand the system of archetypes in order to properly modulate the flow of events so as to effect our optimal participation in them.


Of immediate significance is the nature of the initial departures from ordinary physicalism and from the ego consciousness associated with it. It is possible and even likely that aspects of the 'new age' movement portend such developments. Need we mention lucid dreaming? We should make note of any new developments in holistic health. Even the rise of autism could be a negative premonition, and there may be more than a few such negativities. Drug fads may partially mask deeper, spontaneous psychic shifts. The varied phenomenology of 'close encounters' deserves attention in this regard. The reenchantment of the world will be a bumpy road, and it will behoove us to anticipate or quickly recognize the more significant of the bumps.
Science, more or less wittingly, will necessarily participate in the phenomenology. Consider the opening in the heavens rendered by Hubble. It would be quite premature to say that astronomy is not currently involved in finding its way back to some of its archeo-astronomical roots. The Internet and virtual reality are among the modern technologies that seem to be playing into and guiding our shifts in consciousness away from 'beta thinking'.
By the time we awaken to the above developments, we may realize that they are already far advanced. It will be very difficult, even impossible, to effectively distinguish between subjective and objective elements of a shifting phenomenology. That difficulty will only make us more keenly aware of the monistic nature of the world. The shifting norms of epistemology quickly subvert purely ontological schemes.

[11/7]
A notable feature of AZO/QRP is the pervasive duality with respect to linear and circular. A&O mark the end points of our linear time frame, while Z represents cyclical time and a spherical sky/earth. Pi, of course, is the ratio of line to circle. The quantum, Q, evolves in linear fashion until a measurement, e.g. R, is performed. What I'm lacking at present is a psychological analog for this duality. I would note, however, that causality is usually taken to be linear unless a specific feedback mechanism is introduced, as in the case of self-organizing systems. Non-linearity is the natural state for most processes. On the other hand, cyclical process are the mark of biological systems.

[11/8]
I'm thinking there is a missing link. We have a micro and macrocosm, but no mesocosm. In esoteric studies the mesocosm is usually identified with the anthropos, or the primordial or universal human. In the prophetic tradition this is Adam/Eve, or Adam Kadmon in the Kabbalah. However, from the pervious discussion (1, 2, 3), it might make more sense to take this archetype as the alleged incarnation. We then have the following scheme: AZO/X/QRP. The missing element now is the Matrix. It remains as the source of being. The third member of the trinity also remains implicit in this particular representation. We'll have to see if this move from 6 to 7 buys us anything.

[11/9]
I wish to explore the pantheistic, or, more accurately, the pantheonic aspect of AZO/X/QRP. Z is just a pantheonic version of the zoomorphic zodiac. The second person of the trinity is often referred to as the Alpha and Omega. However, the Alpha can also be seen as the Creatrix or Matrix, or as the Father. R may be seen as the microscopic clone of Z. It represents the various biochemical cycles. Both Q and P partake of the dialectic or ratio between linear and non-linear or circular. This renders them more ouroboric. As the most formal or formed element of the Six, Pi may be positively compared with X. Relative to the Q, however, and in the terminology of the Sephiroth, it would be on the pillar of 'severity', along with the father. There is a bit of the paper/rock/scissors type of contextuality here, lending itself to the cosmic ouroboric psycho-dialectic.


The contention is that the Seven may be seen to have spontaneously evolved in a bootstrapped, psycho-dynamical manner within the Matrix. The teleological constraint is the overall optimization leading to the BPW. Thus do I attempt to rationalize Creation.
Ouroboros:
[...] the infinite circle of its body is a boundary between what is and what isn't. To the Egyptians it represented the end of time when Ouroboros, the creator god, turned back on itself.
Stated explicitly here is the duality of the ouroboros: it is the symbol of both continuity and discontinuity. [also see 12/3]

[11/10]


It is the nature of the psyche to be both inclusive and exclusive. The ability of the ouroboros to express this duality impressed Carl Jung. Also expressed in the same symbol is the self-reflexivity, self-organizing power of the psyche.
The first and last threesomes of what are now our seven archetypes of cosmology, AZO/X/QRP, strongly incorporate the power of the ouroboros. This quality provides an adequate basis for panpsychism and, then, immaterialism. The anthropos, X, and the ouroboros cover the macro, meso and microcosms. The anthropos is necessarily the buckle of the ouroboric bootstrap.
Even the cellular nature of biology should be implicit in QRP. The cell is to the organism as the anthropos is to the cosmos. R expresses the metabolic imperative of life. Q & P express the symmetric and atomic basis of any metabolic system. The organizational hierarchy of the cosmos then follows, which is to say its microcosmic and holographic structure. Is this to say that the psyche is necessarily embodied? Only in general. The psyche is nothing if not creative. There cannot be a Creator without a Creation. Creatio and Imago are not the same. The Creation is nothing if not creaturely and participatory. It is intensive while the Imago is just extensive.
I cannot claim to comprehend the intensivity of creation. It seems to be intensive approximately to the degree that it pushes the envelope of monism. The BPW is as pluralistic as the law of monism possibly allows. The pushing of that envelope may have something to do with the objectifying of pi. Our seemingly endless fascination with that quality/quantity may not be epiphenomenal in this scheme of things. Pi comes as close to mind-independence as one can get. In the context of e^i*pi it is a proxy for the mind-independence of atoms. The logical fact that it cannot fully exercise that proxy is a crucial statement of monism.
It appears, however, that Pi is more than a proxy for the mind. Well, wait. It is the philosopher's stone in the universe of quantity. It provides the organizing principle for most of mathematics. It is, then, equally the proxy for mind in math and for math in mind. In linking math and mind it replicates the function of the anthropos in linking creator and creation, and in linking macro and microcosms. The observational and normative/functional quality of Q & R, respectively, completes the close assimilation of QRP to X. In much the same manner the metanarrational A & O are also assimilated to X, leaving us with Z.
Z manifests the dynamic equilibrium of the psyche. Z is our constant ouroboric link back to the Matrix. It is the necessary proxy (and metronome!) for the still remote A&O archetypes. The dual function of Z in both linking us to, and separating us from, the Matrix is stunning in its extremity, I readily concede. It pushes the same envelope and to the same extent as is pushed by Pi. Our understandings of the organic abstractions of Z & P should be mutually reinforcing. The sky was to be the first frontier of our minds and the final frontier of our materialism. It was long anticipated that our fascination, and then familiarity, with matter in all its forms would finally bring us to glimpse our own reflection in the reflective potency of the material world. We would finally grasp the significance of the Six and then see ourselves as the Seventh. We see through the glass darkly.
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Topical Index
10/19/03

Tar Baby



Is Uncle Remus about to go the way of Aunt Jemima? Let's hope that we can preserve the best and move on.
Science and religion, over the centuries, have grown much too comfortable in their mutual neglect. The few lackluster exceptions help only to prove the rule. The same habit of neglect now carries over into their lack of regard for Postmodernism and the New Age movement. Holistic health, in the latter case, however, is a more substantial exception.
How much further to the Millennium, us kids in the back seat would like to know. The foundations of materialism seem as strong as ever. The two main cracks in that facade, mind and the quantum, can continue indefinitely to be treated as mere puzzles, it would seem.
Any cosmology requires its epicycles. Hindsight will show that materialism has acquired far more than its share. Even the truest believing Ptolemaist would have to blush at the sight of it. Will this Rube Goldberg system collapse under its own weight? If it were going to, it already would have, and long ago. It just keeps on trucking.
We can only borrow a page from the book of Copernicus. A little coherence can go a long way, especially if there is no competition. Our minds thrive on patterns and stories. We are witness to a mushrooming plethora of each. There is, however, no meta-pattern, no meta-story. The lack of any such cohering center has led to rampant intellectual and spiritual fragmentation. This fragmentation is no healthier for society than it is for the psyche. The depth of our anomie can hardly be fathomed. There is nothing present to which it may be compared. We have no choice but to slog on.
The only coherent world is the best possible world. There is no coherence in being second best. My own little contest is to remain near the top of Google's BPW heap. That is my 'tar baby' strategy.
With each long page, coherence comes one page closer. In this age of exploding fragmentation the number of loose ends to gather up is nondenumerable. With sufficient patience, however, a new pattern gradually asserts itself. It takes on a life of its own. The new cosmos emerges out of the miasma of its disintegrating predecessor. If it is anything at all, it will have to become remarkable. And then, one fine day, Brer Fox will no longer be able to ignore it. Well, you know the rest of that story....
------------------------------
Our work on the archetypes is far from finished. It's hard for me to believe that it began here, in explicit fashion, over six months ago. If there is progress to be made in this endeavor, we have made some. Immaterialism is a very slippery beast, and any handles to be found on it are invaluable. We may have seven of them. This exercise is as much epistemic as it is ontological. We can judge the archetypes only by the fruit they bear. Their relative consistency, though, is a prime consideration, and we have already explored this to a fair degree. Settling on a stable set of archetypes brings us a long way toward rendering plausible the fact that we do inhabit the BPW.
As with any puzzle, the addition of each piece renders the rest of the pieces that much easier to fit. Of course, there will be misplacements, requiring significant backtracking. But even significant mistakes can be informative.

[11/11]


Something mentioned frequently in these pages is the 'unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics' (UEM) (note the old URL). It's source remains obscure. Let me attempt to shed some more light on it.
A closely related issue is the source of mathematics. I have discussed the Pythagorean vs. Platonic views of the matter. (Hold the phone! I have just discovered Amazon's new search feature, and I'll test it here. Oh dear, it does appear that one can use this feature to read through the book in stepwise fashion. The publishers may decide there will be too much cheating. It's nice while it lasts.)
As with any new gimmick, it is easy to get sidetracked. While looking up UEM on Amazon, I got sidetracked by Michio Kaku's discussion of reductionism vs. holism in theoretical physics. Remind me to come back to this later.
The unity of math and physics depends largely on symmetry principles, all of which have specific mathematical expressions. That just pushes the question back a step: from whence comes symmetry? In a recent page on this topic I simply posited an 'initial' state of total symmetry. This is begging the question. Will every possible symmetry be realized? Can there exist unknowable symmetries? This parallels the posit of unobservable worlds.

[11/12]


In the present scheme of things, mathematics is ontologically overprivileged. In too many people's minds mathematics represents the highest level of existence. This is the view of Pythagoras, Spinoza, Einstein, etc. I have been at pains to present a more holistic or integrated picture of mathematics relative to the rest of the world.
Mathematics may be seen as one of many human skills. As such, it is correlated with diverse skills whose origins remain obscure: verbal, artistic, moral, aesthetic, pattern recognizing, game playing, technological, social, etc. It is an integral part of what we call 'natural intelligence', as if there might be any other.
There are many normative and aesthetic aspects of math that cannot be formalized. Even the nature of proof remains informal, not to say, entirely elusive. Above all, mathematicians pride themselves on their consistency, and, yet, that factor seems to have as much to do with aesthetics as it has to do with logic.
Given an immaterial world, are we surprised to find a mathematically describable order? Yes, and no. Let's face it, our world is 'unreasonably' coherent. Mathematics comprises a significant part of that coherence, but that statement can in no way be quantified, or even well qualified.
Atoms and humans are generally law abiding, atoms rather more so. But, with the advent of the quantum, who is to draw any logical distinction. Observation, only ever normatively defined, is not epiphenomenal to any quantum phenomena. And what are these laws of physics? Nature is lawful to a surprising degree. There is no logical way to distinguish the lawfulness of physics from the lawfulness of nature. And are we not all part of nature?
We cannot imagine a world that has no logic, or is not quantifiable. If ours were not so, and to such a considerable degree, then, probably it would not be compatible with any form of intelligence. The non-intelligible world is just a non-world. Is our world minimally intelligible? No. It is optimally intelligible, according to my informed opinion.
Biology and technology (is there a real distinction?) both rely on the quantifiably predictable nature of the world. If the laws of nature were not sufficiently formalizable, there would be no nature to speak of. Yes, nature does stand on formality. Don't we all? Just don't ask me or anyone else to formalize the formality.
The world is a surprising place, and optimally so, I would say. Living without a constantly evocable sense of awe is simply not living. Mathematical effectiveness is awesome, and so should be everything else. (Should we expect anything less from our BPW?) And, by god, we ain't hardly seen nothin' yet.
Fine, but how does it actually work? We are in the process of finding out how the world works. Scientists presently think they know much more about that than they actually do. Their sense of awe has been singularly suppressed, in a manner that would be criminal if it weren't so naive. The only thing that scientists really understand is the formalism of their own formalities. What they like to think of as their success is a pale shadow of where we are all headed. If such a severely straightjacketed mind can be so 'successful', then we know nothing of success.
Math works because it has to? To fully understand why, is also to understand how. That we distinguish the why and the how is just another reflection of our abysmal ignorance. We are merely taking a few faltering steps toward reintegration. The disintegration of the world is 98% in the eyes of its beholders, not to belittle that residual 2%.
The main problem for us immaterialists posed by atoms is the apparent independence of their existence. They seem to do just fine on their own, to the degree that we may wonder why they ever bothered to produce us creatures. The fact, however, that the world has not disintegrated and that we are still here, may indicate that atoms are not as quite independent as the materialists would like us to believe. On the contrary, it is not difficult to get the impression that there is more than a bit of atomic conspiracy taking place behind the scenes.
What's an atom to do? How does an atom come to know what it's supposed to be doing in any given circumstance? Atoms are moved by forces, or course. Every particle is acted upon by every other particle within the visible universe. They do this by exchanging virtual quanta of each of the four known force fields. This is a mind boggling mess of interactions to be sorting out for every instant of every particle's existence. I just don't think that Occam would be happy with such an extravagant picture of microscopic existence. There must be a simpler way to run the world.

[11/13]


It's not going to be easy to wean ourselves away from atoms. They have a beguiling simplicity. Unfortunately they are too simple to explain the world. We have then only two choices. We can work from the bottom up, in a step-wise fashion, or we can go the other way.
Science has chosen the former path. It is arduous, a quality recommending itself to our residual puritanical inclinations. It also promises to be minimalistic: to be maximally sparing in our ontological commitments. We remain committed to reductionism, only accepting as irreducible those items that have been forced upon us, and about which we think we have a thorough understanding. That is the way science is supposed to work.
The practice of science is something else. In practice it is only the physicists who are given ontological license. They are relatively free to invent elaborate structures, but only of a mathematical variety, and only in support of their hoped for Grand Unified Theory. Everyone else is only granted provisional, ad hoc license. All the other sciences proceed phenomenologically. Given any complex system, they apply labels to persistent or recurring phenomena and hope to be able to quantify and formalize them to some degree. There is virtually no attempt to explain or predict these phenomena on first principles, i.e. starting from the basic laws of physics and working back up. Only thus does the spirit reductionism maintain its iron grip on ontology. It must always be given the benefit of the doubt. Reductionism has actually never completely explained anything, not even in physics. But by the same token, it has never been demonstrated that there is any phenomenon that is irreducible in principle.
Reductionism is an all or nothing commitment. There is no such thing as partial reductionism. It is a thumb in the dike situation. If one irreducible property is permitted, then there is no longer a logical defense against an ontological flood. This is a precarious situation. The reductionist status quo is maintained so carefully in science just because it is so precarious. There is no logical middle ground. Non-reductionism necessarily entails downward causation. With downward causation there is no limit in the upward direction. In other words, there must be a finality to final causation, a Telos for teleology. Naturalism is just the attempt to formulate an atheistic non-reductionism. It is simply a new form of panpsychism, pantheism and, inevitably, mysticism. Nothing to recommend itself to the spirit of rational inquiry.
Here you see the only other path. We trade reductionism for coherence. Unfettered coherence necessarily entails cosmic intelligence and the Best Possible World. Easier said than done. It will be a long slog from materialism to immaterialism. As in any long journey the first step is the most difficult. Given the present unstable equilibrium in our postmodern world, the taking of one convincing step toward metaphysical coherence could hardly be anything less than earth shaking. Look, Ma, no atoms....!
The archetypes are nice, but can they do the job? Heretofore, archetypes have been introduced only in an implied dualistic context, as something to be appended to the physics. The singular step to coherence will be to show how the physics may be appended to the archetypes. Physics becomes epiphenomenal.
The primary tool at our disposal will be the principle of sufficient reason: nothing happens without a cause. Most simply, this is just the obverse of mysticism. Here the quantum is on shaky ground. What are we to do with spontaneous events? We may invoke hidden variables, Probability, or a strong observer principle. Beyond this fly in the ointment, the PSR is good to go, with all us rational folk. Things get sticky only when one speaks of final cause or downward causation. Speak of it we will.
To cut to the chase, the shaking will come when we can derive QRP from AZO.
Starting with a totipotent, toti-symmetric Matrix, I posit a symmetry breaking, thereby taking my cue from the physical cosmologists. Here, however, the primordial symmetry breaking is not spontaneous. It is self-sustaining as a deliberate departure toward cosmic self-realization. There is a cosmic schism into a pantheon of 'personalities', a cosmic MPD, if you will. It would involve a daisy-chained, ouroboric, bootstrap dynamic. This is the primal psychic circuit 'emerging' from the Matrix, but beyond all space and time. I label this as the Zodiacal archetype, or just Z.
The metanarrative that we call Creation emerges as the dominant gap between the 'head' and 'tail' of the Ouroboros. This is just our Alpha and Omega. The symmetry breaking discontinuity (spark gap?) between the A&O becomes our historical time frame. So much for AZO. We now have to confront the actual 'mechanics' of this bootstrap process.
Previously I have speculated about the 'cloning' of the Z cycle. Well, no. The Z already is the potential for every cycle. According to Leibniz' other great principle, the Identity of Indistinguishables, there is ever only one Z. It is tantamount to the Matrix itself. What happens to Z is more akin to spectrum analysis. It is self-analyzed into is logical constituents. It is the mutually compatible and supporting cycles that are sustained. In symbiotic fashion they reintegrate into mutual coherence. Our space-time frame is defined and fleshed out in this manner.
For example, there have been some spectacular solar flares in the last couple of weeks. To grasp this phenomenon we may appeal to atoms or to the PSR. Provisionally assuming a more or less heliotropically explained sun, we go on to consider its details. First of all, why the details? Why not just place a nice round sunlamp in the sky, and leave well enough alone? There are two reasons for the details. No, make that one reason: aesthetic. God and the Devil are in the details. The fascination of this world is in its details, in its photo-realistic quality. Painters and animators have their work cut out for them, not to mention the scientists.
The aesthetic of nature lies simply in its naturalness. It all hangs together in a self-contained cosmic PSR. It does not appear artifactual. Is not the avoidance of artifice the first and last measure of great art? Surely then, God has outdone herself, just ask your friendly local atheist! It is the bible thumpers who are exercised with God's subtlety. It makes their job so much more difficult.
So did God just say, let the sun be natural; let it have eruptions? Where then, we might wonder, is the model of solar naturalness? Where is the Jurassic Parc? No, Virginia, there is no model. There is no Garden of Eden. This is it. It's all happening right here, right under our noses, or, perhaps, behind them.
Next to the PSR, holography is our touchstone. If you have seen one physical phenomenon, you have seen them all. If not, then you weren't looking closely enough. Holography is a manifestation of the GUT, and vice versa. But does that mean that someone has to calculate the dynamics of a solar flare starting from first GUT principles. I hope not. I'm not volunteering. God is not a workaholic, certainly not in that slide-rulerish fashion. With God, if you have done one calculation, you have done them all, as with the Z-cycle. With all our super-computer calculations and simulations we are only gilding that lily. None of our calculations is wasted, it's just that we may not fully comprehend the reason for them.
With that warm-up, here is my solar narrative. It may not measure up to Rudyard, but it could still suffice. Fluid dynamics is ubiquitous. To chug-a-lug a brew is to get a pretty good feeling for it. The art of imbibing is a fine art. I won't, wouldn't, couldn't, say how God discovered/invented this art, but, obviously, it was much too good to be missed, even hard to be missed, given metabolism and all. And, given the demand, it sure helps to have a goodly supply on hand, and so we quickly get into oceans and atmospheres, you know, the hydro-cycle. With nature it's as below, so above. Storms down here, storms up there there, and, presto, you have your basic solar flare, after figuring in some textbook style magnetohydrodymanics, love that word. If one were to dream up a sun, then chances are pretty good that it would have a few flares, fifteen at least. Now there is just a minor logistics problem. We must arrange for the flares to be where the astronomers can see them. For some folks, the logistic is the whole problem. I can say, folie a deux, and you can say, no, pinch me and I'm awake. Admittedly, this is not quite a sequitur, but I'm counting on you to catch my idiomatic drift, nonetheless.

[11/14]


Folie a deux: a madness or fantasy shared by two. If I'm correct, ours is a fantasy shared by several billion, not counting our furry and feathered friends.
From All-Experts:
F24 -- Induced Delusional Disorder:

A rare delusional disorder shared by two or occasionally more people

with close emotional links. Only one person suffers from a genuine

psychotic disorder; the delusions are induced in the other(s) and

usually disappear when the people are separated. The psychotic illness

in the dominant person is most commonly schizophrenic, but this

is not necessarily or invariably so. Both the original delusions

in the dominant person and the induced delusions are usually chronic

and either persecutory or grandiose in nature. Delusional beliefs

are transmitted this way only in uncommon circumstances. Almost

invariably, the people concerned have an unusually close relationship

and are isolated from others by language, culture, or geography. The

individual in whom the delusions are induced is usually dependent

or subservient to the person with the genuine psychosis.


This 'rare disorder' is precisely the basis of our reality and all reality. It seems to fit very snugly into our monistic context. Every religion, every cult, and even science also fit this mold to some considerable degree. So, yes, there can easily be fantasies within fantasies. No one doubts that the mind is fertile, but very few suspect how fertile. I am here to raise our suspicions. God is the great Inductor. We are her unwitting co-conspirators.
The hermetic alchemist mixes together two chemicals that have never been mixed before. Something will have to happen. The PSR will fill in the blank with a teleological turn, it has nowhere else to turn. After that, our collective expectations can be given full power. One may willingly deviate from those expectations only with considerable force of mind. That deviation may be labeled as either madness or magic. It all depends....
Galileo turned his new instrument to the sky. He saw the Mandelbrot we call Nature in greater detail. It was a surprise, but it also fit the larger pattern. The Hubble does the same. But now we see a surprising organicity emerging. Does it not compute? Does it reveal any brush strokes? Not unless you have a scorecard; something which I attempt to provide.
Does the Mandelbrot not compute? Is it truly a mystery? How could it be so precisely replicable if it does not precisely compute?
Here's the deal w/ computers, and everything else. Computers aren't real. Mind is real. Minds are a bit less so. The multiplicity of mind is illusory, but it is a very functional illusion, come Creation time. Bodies are very important appendices to certain kinds of minds, but are still epiphenomenal relative to the latter. Going on down the scala natura, mind wanes, illusion waxes. If computers had a mind, they'd be real too, but, alas alak, strong AIers chaseth after the wind.
There is in Plato's heaven something resembling Alan Turing's universal computer. It never crashes. Our pc's down here struggle to emulate her. We test them down here by giving them Riemanns and Mandelbrots to chew on. If they don't chew properly they are casteth upon the junk heap. The Mandelbrot we know and love is the survival of the fittest. The generating function, z' = z^2 + C, is a bit like the alchemist's empty retort. The Matrix abhors the vacuum, and pours herself in. You cannot do more than five zooms on the MB without seeing something no one has seen before or ever will again. Yet, there she is in perfect harmony. It is a piece of heaven dropped into just your lap. The perfect detail surpasses any dreamt phantasmagoria. You pinch yourself and you are awake.
Take one pixel on the screen and calculate its iterations by hand. If you are careful you will get just the right color. Where is the magic? As I keep trying to say, it is everywhere, which need not entail that it is also nowhere. It is just that our minds become surfeited if we are not careful.
By the same token, telepathy preempts telephony, but don't tell that to Ma Bell or she will put static on your line. Telephony is a functionally restricted form of telepathy, along with a few extra bells and bills. How else are we to share thoughts in the mental cacophony we call modernity? With the wireless Internet, we are moving toward a less restrictive medium.
One may more easily imagine the Matrix impressing herself upon a quantum computer, but the digital domain should be too restrictive. By the same token there could be a soul hiding in every pc. Determinism, however, is not the issue.

[11/15]


What I may be running into here is the problem of self-similarity. This is the type of symmetry manifested by the Mandelbrot. Self-similarity is ubiquitous in nature. It also relates to the problem I was getting at earlier concerning virtual quanta. Permit me to divert back to that problem and see if we can make any connections.
You may not have heard of the 'ultraviolet catastrophe'. I am not referring to the ozone hole, but rather to a fundamental problem of theoretical physics. It has to do with the self-energy of the electron.
By symmetry, the force field around any point source will vary as the inverse square of the distance from the source. As you approach an electron, it's electric field tends toward infinite strength. A static electric field is a form of potential energy. The energy density is proportional to the square of the field strength, so it will vary as the inverse forth power of the distance. The total energy is proportional to the volume, which, for a sphere, varies as the distance cubed. Within any sphere centered on the electron, the energy of the field inside that sphere will always be greater than the inverse of the distance. Thus the self-energy of any point source would be infinite. From special relativity we know that mass is proportional to energy, and so the electron would have an infinite mass. One way to avoid the infinity is to posit a finite radius for the electron, thereby placing an upper bound on its mass. I have just stated the problem using 'classical' physics, but the same problem occurs in the quantum theory of the electron, but in this case the field energy is quantized into virtual photons. The cut-off then takes the form of an upper bound on the photon energy, which is colloquially referred to as the 'ultraviolet cut-off' thus avoiding the 'ultraviolet catastrophe' for the self-energy of the electron.
The more technical term for the limitation of the self-energy of point particles is 'renormalization'. This was always one of the most contentious areas of physics up until the invention of 'string' theory, which effectively eliminated the problem of point particles by replacing them with strings of finite radius.

[11/17]


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