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Off the Descartes

November 26, 2013 Leave a comment

It’s  funny that the last name of Rene Descartes was used to refer to his Cartesian coordinate system, which in turn has became the basis for much of our sense of creating charts.

The word card as well as playing cards themselves appear to have been introduced to Europe by way of Egypt, and China and the Indus Valley before that.*

Latin charta “leaf of paper, tablet,” from Greek khartes “layer of papyrus,” probably from Egyptian

The root of ‘cartoon’ refers to the cardboard (carton) sketches that artists used in the 19th century. This is a bit different from the sense that I get from playing cards and charting coordinates, which is strongly quantitative and digital, like dominoes and dice. The word dice may be related to ‘datum’ (“given”), but the word origins of both domino and dice are hazy. Dice also have a roundabout connection with Descartes and philosophy in general, by way of Platonic solids and three dimensional (x, y, z) geometry.


Ancient Greece, 5th-3rd century BC. The earliest dice! Made from the knuckle-bone of an animal, drilled and filled with lead for weighting.

Cartoons are now rendered directly in coordinate geometry, using domino-like computers, which are displayed on card or chart-like screens. The object, symbol, paper and calculation – to plan, like an artist, in hypothesis and rehearsal in advance of the fact. The strategic panopticon of the scientific approach marks and defines before the final will is executed. All possibilities are accounted for beforehand as a Hilbert or configuration space – a containment of physical permutations given an assumption of generic recombination, like hands dealt from a finite deck. This is not the anima, not the giver or the taker, but an animation of the given, data about giving and taking.

When we insist upon looking only at the given ‘data’, we are limited to an outward-facing perspective on public spaces. In this mode, time is fragmented into instants of measurement rather than fluid memories. From binary code to the I Ching, quantum to DNA, our notions of  Turing emulation and quantum mechanics hinge on this methodical charting of possible positions and dispositions. This world of information is not our world, it is a world that is perpetually out there, but only ephemerally in here. To join the world out there requires bodies and death. The butterfly must be pinned and dried to be displayed and recorded.

*”The earliest authentic references to playing-cards in Europe date from 1377, but, despite their long history, it is only in recent decades that clues about their origins have begun to be understood. Cards must have been invented in China, where paper was invented. Even today some of the packs used in China have suits of coins and strings of coins – which Mah Jong players know as circles and bamboos (i.e. sticks). Cards entered Europe from the Islamic empire, where cups and swords were added as suit-symbols, as well as (non-figurative) court cards. It was in Europe that these were replaced by representations of courtly human beings: kings and their attendants – knights (on horseback) and foot-servants. To this day, packs of Italian playing-cards do not have queens – nor do packs in Spain, Germany and Switzerland (among others). There is evidence that Islamic cards also entered Spain, but it now seems likely that the modern cards which we call Spanish originated in France, ousting the early Arab-influenced designs.” – source

November 17, 2013 Leave a comment

 MSRPlato

NothingPlato

My response (top) to a diagram that I came across (lower).  Some differences include:

  • Outer edge is a continuum between “Everything” and “Almost Nothing” rather than “Nothing”

This reflects the idea that nothing cannot exist except as an expectation that something has about the absence of everything. It is therefore presence, rather than absence which is the primordial identity, and all phenomena are defined by substitutable gaps in pansensitivity. Awareness is localized by entropic masking or insensitivity rather than mechanical projection on top of “nothing”.

  • Art – Aesthetics shares equal if not slightly greater prominence with Law – Mathematics

This overturns the Western assumption that appreciation of phenomena is a side effect of functionality. While locally true, for example, that humans like sugar because of its evolutionary value, the specific pleasure of sweet flavor is not itself describable by function, nor can it be assembled mechanically. That the universe is fundamentally an aesthetic agenda which works in order to play rather than the other way around is one of the major consequences of Primordial Identity Pansensitivity. The universe is a feeler of experiences, not just a producer of unfelt mechanisms.

  • Color vs Greyscale connotes the relation between the concrete-experiential and the abstract-measured as one of reductionism rather then essentialism.

The idea here is that the rational is only a higher octave of the empirical, and the empirical is only an objectified reduction of the subjective-aesthetic. There is one continuous spectrum of sensitivity which reflects itself as desaturated forms and functions.

The top down and bottom up arrows show the circulation of intentional sequence and unintentional consequence throughout the continuum. From the pansensitivity pole on the top, where all substitutable gaps of sensitivity have been filled in and sense is total, to the pan-entropy pole on the bottom, where the ratio of gap to connection is almost infinitely great, a picture of cosmos emerges as a hyperplasticity of perspective.

  • Synchronic and selective are new additions to the sensory-motive side. I think that it might work to call them electro-synchronic and magneto-selective. Electric force would seem to embody the gap-jumping, meta-phoric principle of sense-making, while magnetic fields are about orientation and masses moving themselves in relation to each other.

Beyond Probability

November 8, 2013 Leave a comment

What is the probability that “pattern” can exist at all?

Can’t be calculated.

Because we cannot empirically calculate it, or because it is ontologically incalculable? Are there other comparably incalculable examples, or do all incalculables share a common ‘absolute’ quality (relating to primordial origins, consciousness, etc)

Ontologically incalculable. There is no way to measure the total possible outcomes.

In another way, it is super-calculable. Only one outcome results in the possibility of measurement. The probability of pattern existing in a universe in which the question of probability can be asked would be 100%…or even “infinitely greater” than 100%, as there is no possibility at all of measurement in a context that is devoid of pattern.

In another sense, the possibility of pattern is the most improbable condition in the sense that no ‘probability’ can precede pattern. Probability is an expectation of a particular type of pattern so by definition, pattern is not just incalculable, but pre-calculation (calculations are also pattern recognition).

Fair enough…

Prime Spiral

November 2, 2013 Leave a comment

workman:

visualizingmath:

The Ulam Spiral

The prime spiral, also known as Ulam’s spiral, is a plot in which the positive integers are arranged in a spiral with primes indicated in some way along the spiral. Unexpected patterns of diagonal lines are apparent in such a plot. This construction was first made by Polish-American mathematician Stanislaw Ulam (1909-1986) in 1963 while doodling during a boring talk at a scientific meeting. While drawing a grid of lines, he decided to number the intersections according to a spiral pattern, and then began circling the numbers in the spiral that were primes. Surprisingly, the circled primes appeared to fall along a number of diagonal straight lines or, in Ulam’s slightly more formal prose, it “appears to exhibit a strongly nonrandom appearance”

In the above variation of the Ulam spiral, red squares represent prime numbers and white squares represent non-primesImage source.

I can’t decide if I care about prime numbers. On the one hand, the idea of indivisibility is interesting as it relates to consciousness. In some sense, I think that the universe, and each experience of it, is a one-hit-wonder. All appearances of repetition are local to some frame of reference. If someone is color blind, they may see alternating red and green dots as a repeating grey dot. If you listen to someone speaking a language that you can’t understand, it can seem, on some level, that they are saying the same kinds of sounds over and over again.

I wondered if any random constraint would appear to contain pattern when mapped as a spiral like that. This one above is yellow hex if the number spelled out contains the letter i. Writing these out I noticed how the language we use to name the numbers is isomorphic above ten. A trivial observation, I know, but I think that this logical version of onomatopoeia reveals some insights about recursive enumeration, and its foundation in an expectation of the absolutely generic.

To someone who is fascinated by prime numbers (often in a hypnotic, compulsive kind of way, as these spirals suggest), part of the appeal may be that the patterns that they seem to make defy this expectation of generic, interchangeability as the basis of counting. Three isn’t really supposed to be different from two or one, it’s just “the next one after two”. Finding these cosmic Easter eggs by poring over mathematics is, as the movie Pi dramatized, a weird kind of quasi-religious calling. Seeking to sleuth out a hidden intelligence where neither intelligence nor secrecy would seem possible. Numbers are supposed to be universal; publicly accessible. There shouldn’t be any proprietary codes lurking in there.

Maybe there aren’t? Without mapping primes into these spirals to look at with our eyes, the interesting sequences and ratios in mathematics would not be so interesting. Mathematics may provide the most neutral and bland medium possible for the projection of patterns. Like a supernatural oracle or Rorschach inkblot, an ideal medium for pareidolia and conjuring of simulacra from the subconscious.

Math is haunted alright, but by pattern recognition – sense making, rather than Platonic essences. Because math is an ideal conductor and insulator for sense, it does end up reflecting sense in a clear and concise way, however I think it is mainly a reflection. Math is not the heart of the universe, not the whole, but the hole in the whole – a divider which shaves off differences with the power of indifference.

Where does our mind go when we die?

October 26, 2013 7 comments

Answer by Craig Weinberg:

To approach these kinds of ultimate questions about the mind, we must resist the temptation to borrow technological metaphors from the present era to give us a complete picture of the mind. Without knowing the role that consciousness plays in nature, we cannot say for sure that consciousness is like anything else in the universe. We also cannot say whether in fact the mind is “in” the universe that it perceives, or whether what it perceives through the body, and then measured through other instruments is the appropriate context from which to consider the mind.

We cannot, for instance, compare the mind to a computer program, even though it seems like a compelling metaphor, since a computer program does not have any use for video displays, sound cards, fonts, alphabets, etc. Even geometry is superfluous and redundant to software, which is used to perform all computations using only binary digits. This is a critically important difference between information and the mind, as the mind is driven primarily by agendas which are emotional and aesthetic. Software works because it can do nothing else. Minds work because they want to feel better by improving the quality of life. We work so that we can rest and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Digital information is not literally composed of “ones and zeroes”, it is composed of the physically recorded dispositions of binary-configurable physical bodies, such as switches, valves, nanoscale transistors, etc. By contrast, the mind may not be “information” at all, but rather the capacity to inform and be informed through direct and indirect experience. While we can consider information and data the same thing, there is an important difference. Information implies a pre-established intent to receive and value data. The two terms can be used interchangeably, and even specifying ‘raw’ data still smuggles in an expectation of intelligibility that we should not take for granted when considering physics and metaphysics.

If we think of raw data in a more particular sense that does not include intelligibility or ‘pattern’, but only the physical substrate, then we can say that this ‘data’ is stored physically. If, however, we fail to separate out the physical facts of the data from the capacity to focus awareness on it in a meaningful way, then we have pulled the wool over our own eyes. When we attribute qualities of awareness (grouping, perspective, cause, effect etc) to physics which we have not justified in our theory of information, I would argue that our philosophy of mind succumbs to both the pathetic fallacy and petitio principii: It takes our affinity form applying mind-like metaphors to information processing literally, and lays claim to the principle of mind by using building blocks which are prematurely assumed to be mind-like in the first place. When we give elementary particles or bits the properties of mind, the we cannot say that mind emerges from some complex configuration of those properties. True “information” is not  literally stored anywhere except in the perspective and expectation of  one who values it intentionally.

The question then, of where does our mind ‘go’ when we die may have already assumed incorrectly that minds come or go anywhere. Indeed, all awareness may take place “here”. This leaves open the possibility that while death leaves the body that is “there” without any personal awareness, that may not preclude some residual presence which is eternal or absolute in some sense. This is of course a popular view in most every religion and mystical tradition in some form or another, ranging from an afterlife to a more generic reunion with the divine, but such speculation is probably impossible to separate from wishful thinking.

Contemporary or New Age versions of these concepts borrow from science more respectable beliefs like the zero point field, the law of conservation of energy, or the non-physicality of information, since they point to an indestructible firmament which could theoretically retain our minds. All that we know for sure is that if we ask ourselves if we live forever, we have historically answered yes, and if we ask our bodies, the answer that we get is no. To tip the scales one way or another, it may be helpful to study near death experiences, out of body experiences, reincarnation, and other paranormal claims. If primitive awareness is more fundamental than physics or information, then no amount of physical evidence would necessarily be adequate.

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The Primacy of Spontaneous Unique Simplicity

October 13, 2013 Leave a comment

This post is inspired by a long running (perpetual?) debate that I have going with a fellow consciousness aficionado who is a mathematics professor. He has some unique insights into artificial intelligence, particularly where advanced interpretations of the likes of Gödel, Turing, Kleene open up to speculations on the nature of machine consciousness. One of his results has been sort of a Multiple Worlds Interpretation in which numbers themselves would replace metaphysics, so that things like matter become inevitable illusions from within the experience of Platonic-arithmetic machines.

His theory is perhaps nowhere crystallized more understandably than in his Universal Dovetailer Argument (UDA) in which there is a single machine which runs through every possible combination of programs, thereby creating everything that can be possible from basic arithmetic elements such as numbers, addition, and multiplication. This is based on the assumption that computation can duplicate the machinery which generates human consciousness – which is the assumption that I question. Below, I try to run through a treatment where the conceptual problems of computationalism lie, and how to get passed them by inverting the order in which his UD (Universal Dovetailer) runs. Instead of a program that mechanically writes increasingly complex programs, some of which achieve a threshold of self-awareness, I use PIP (Primordial Identity Pansensitivity) to put sense first and numbers second. Here’s how it goes:

I. Trailing Dovetail Argument (TDA)

A. Computationalism makes two ontological assumptions which have not been properly challenged:

  • The universality of recursive cardinality
  • Complexity driven novelty.

Both of these, I intend to show, are intrinsically related to consciousness in a non-obvious way.

B. Universal Recursive Cardinality

Mathematics, I suggest is defined by the assumption of universal cardinality: The universe is reducible to a multiplicity of discretely quantifiable units. The origin of cardinality, I suggest, is the partitioning or multiplication of a single, original unit, so that every subsequent unit is a recursive copy of the original.

Because recursiveness is assumed to be fundamental through math, the idea of a new ‘one’ is impossible. Every instance of one is a recurrence of the identical and self-same ‘one’, or an inevitable permutation derived from it. By overlooking the possibility of absolute uniqueness, computationalism must conceive of all events as local reproductions of stereotypes from a Platonic template rather than ‘true originals’.

A ‘true original’ is that which has no possible precedent. The number one would be a true original, but then all other integers represent multiple copies of one. All rational numbers represent partial copies of one. All prime numbers are still divisible by one, so not truly “prime”, but pseudo-prime in comparison to one. One, by contrast, is prime, relative to mathematics, but no number can be a true original since it is divisible and repeatable and therefore non-unique. A true original must be indivisible and unrepeatable, like an experience, or a person. Even an experience which is part of an experiential chain that is highly repetitive is, on some level unique in the history of the universe, unlike a mathematical expression such as 5 x 4 = 20, which is never any different than 5 x 4 = 20, regardless of the context.

I think that when we assert a universe of recursive recombinations that know no true originality, we should not disregard the fact that this strongly contradicts our intuitions about the proprietary nature of identity.  A generic universe would seem to counterfactually predict a very low interest in qualities such as individuality and originality, and identification with trivial personal preferences. Of course, what we see the precise opposite, as all celebrity it propelled by some suggestion unrepeatability and the fine tuning of lifestyle choices is arguably the most prolific and successful feature of consumerism.

If the experienced universe were strictly an outcropping of a machine that by definition can create only trivially ‘new’ combinations of copies, why would those kinds of quantitatively recombined differences such as that between 456098209093457976534 and 45609420909345797353 seem insignificant to us, but the difference between a belt worn by Elvis and a copy of that belt to be demonstrably significant to many people?

C. Complexity Driven Novelty

Because computationalism assumes finite simplicity,  that is, it provides only a pseudo-uniqueness by virtue of the relatively low statistical probability of large numbers overlapping each other precisely. There is no irreducible originality to the original Mona Lisa, only the vastness of the physical painting’s microstructure prevents it from being exactly reproduced very easily.  Such a perfect reproduction, under computationalism is indistinguishable from the original and therefore neither can be more original than the other (or if there are unavoidable differences due to uncertainty and incompleteness, they would be noise differences which we would be of no consequence).

This is where information theory departs from realism, since reality provides memories and evidence of which Mona Lisa is new and which one was painted by Leonardo da Vinci at the beginning of the 16th century in Florence, Italy, Earth, Sol, Milky Way Galaxy*.

Mathematics can be said to allow for the possibility of novelty only in one direction; that of higher complexity. New qualities, by computationalism, must arise on the event horizons of something like the Universal Dovetailer. If that is the case, it seems odd that the language of qualia is one of rich simplicity rather than cumbersome computables. With comp, there can be no new ‘one’, but in reality, every human experience is exactly that – a new day, a new experience, even if it often seems much like the one before. Numbers don’t work that way. Each mechanical result is identical. A = A.  A does not ‘seem much like the A before, yet in a new way. This is a huge problem with mathematics and theoretical physics. They don’t get the connection between novelty and simplicity, so they hope to find it out in the vastness of super-human complexity.

II. Computation as Puppetry

I think that even David Chalmers, who I respect immensely for his contributions to philosophy of mind and in communicating the Hard Problem missed the a subtle but important distinction. The difference between a puppet and a zombie, while superficially innocuous, has profound implications for the formulation of a realistic critique of Strong AI. When Chalmers introduced or popularized the term zombie in reference to hypothetical perfect human duplicates which lack qualia and subjective experience, he inadvertently let an unscientific assumption leak in.

A zombie is supernatural because it implies the presence of an absence. It is an animated, un-dead cadaver in which a living person is no longer present. The unconsciousness of a puppet, however, is merely tautological – it is the natural absence of presence of consciousness which is the case with any symbolic representation of a character, such as a doll, cartoon, or emoticon.  A symbolic representation, such as Bugs Bunny, can be mass produced using any suitable material substance or communication media. Even though Bugs is treated as a unique intellectual property, in reality, the title to that property is not unique and can be transferred, sold, shared, etc.

The reason that Intellectual Property law is such a problem is because anyone can take some ordinary piece of junk, put a Bugs Bunny picture on it, and sell more of it than they would have otherwise. Bugs can’t object to having his good name sullied by hack counterfeiters, so the image of Bugs Bunny is used both to falsely endorse an inferior product and to falsely impugn the reputation of a brand. The problem is, any reasonable facsimile of Bugs Bunny is just as authentic, in an Absolute sense, as any other. The only true original Bugs Bunny is the one we experience through our imagination and the imagination of Mel Blanc and the Looney Tunes animators.

The impulse to reify the legitimacy of intellectual property into law is related to the impulse to project agency and awareness onto machines. As a branch of the “pathetic fallacy” which takes literally those human qualities which have been applied to non-humans as figurative conveniences of language, the computationalistic fallacy projects an assumed character-hood on the machine as a whole. Reasoning (falsely, I think) that since all that our body can see of ourselves is a body, it is the body which is the original object from which the subject is produced through its functions. Such a conclusion, when we begin from mechanism, seems unavoidable at first.

III. Hypothesis

I propose that we reverse the two assumptions of mathematics above, so that

  • Recursion is assumed to be derived from primordial spontaneity rather than the other way around.
  • Novelty can only be meaningful if it re-asserts simplicity in addition to complexity.This would mean:
  • The expanding event horizon of the Universal Dovetailer would have to be composed of recordings of sensed experiences after the fact, rather than precursors to subjective simulation of the computation.
  • Comp is untrue by virtue of diagonalization of immeasurable novelty against incompleteness.
  • Sense out-incompletes arithmetic truth, and therefore leaves it frozen in stasis by comparison in every instant, and in eternity.
  • Computation cannot animate anything except through the gullibility of the pathetic fallacy. 

This may seem like an unfair or insulting to the many great minds who have been pioneering AI theory and development, but that is not my intent. By assertively pointing out the need to move from a model of consciousness which hinges on simulated spontaneity to a model in which spontaneity can never, by definition be simulated,  I am trying to express the importance and urgency of this shift.  If I am right, the future of human understanding depends ultimately on our ability to graduate from the cul-de-sac of mechanistic supremacy to the more profound truth of rehabilitated animism. Feeling does compute because computation is how the masking of feeling into a localized unfeeling becomes possible.


IV. Reversing the Dovetailer

By uncovering the intrinsic antagonism between the above mathematical assumptions and the authentic nature of consciousness, it might be possible to ascertain a truer model of consciousness by reversing the order of the Universal Dovetailer (machine that builds the multiverse out of programs).

  • The universality of recursive cardinality reverses as the Diagonalization of the Unique
  • Complexity driven novelty can be reversed by Pushing the UD.

A. Diagonalization of the Unique

Under the hypothesis that computation lags behind experience*, no simulation of a brain can ever catch up to what a natural person can feel through that brain, since the natural person is constantly consuming the uniqueness of their experience before it can be measured by anything else. Since the uniqueness of subjectivity is immeasurable and unprecedented within its own inertial frame, no instrument from outside of that frame can capture it before it decoheres into cascades of increasingly generic public reflections.

PIP flips the presumption of Universal Recursive Cardinality inherent in mathematics so that all novelty exists as truly original simplicity, as well as a relatively new complex recombination, such that the continuum of novelty extends in both directions. This, if properly understood, should be a lightning bolt that recontextualizes the whole of mathematics. It is like discovering a new kind of negative number. Things like color and human feeling may exploit the addressing scheme that complex computation offers, but the important part of color or feeling is not in that address, but in the hyper-simplicity and absolute novelty that ‘now’ corresponds to that address. The incardinality of sense means that all feelings are more primitive than even the number one or the concept of singularity. They are rooted in the eternal ‘becoming of one’; before and after cardinality. Under PIP, computation is a public repetition of what is irreducibly unrepeatable and private. Computation can never get ahead of experience, because computation is an a posteriori measurement of it.

For example, a computer model of what an athlete will do on the field that is based on their past performance will always fail to account for the possibility that the next performance will be the first time that athlete does something that they never have done before and that they could not have done before. Natural identities (not characters, puppets, etc) are not only self-diagonalizing, natural identity itself is self-diagonalization. We are that which has not yet experienced the totality of its lifetime, and that incompleteness infuses our entire experience. The emergence of the unique always cheats prediction, since all prediction belongs to the measurements of an expired world which did not yet contain the next novelty.

B. Pushing the UD – If the UD is a program which pulls the experienced universe behind it as it extends, the computed realm, faster than light, ahead of local appearances. It assumes all phenomena are built bottom up from generic, interchangeable bits. The hypothesis under PIP is that if there were a UD, it would be pushed by experience from the top down, as well as recollecting fragments of previous experiences from the bottom up.  Each experience decays from immeasurable private qualia that is unique into public reflections that are generic recombinations of fixed elements. Reversing the Dovetailer puts universality on the defense so that it becomes a storage device rather than a pseudo-primitive mechina ex deus.

The primacy of sense is corroborated by the intuition that every measure requires a ruler. Some example which is presented as an index for comparison. The uniqueness comes first, and the computability follows by imitation. The un-numbered Great War becomes World War II only in retrospect. The second war does not follow the rule of world wars, it creates the rule by virtue of its similarities. The second war is unprecedented in its own right, as an original second world war, but unlike the number two, it is not literally another World War I. In short, experiences do not follow from rules; rules follow from experience.

V. Conclusions

If we extrapolate the assumptions of Compuationalism out, I think that they would predict that the painting of the Mona Lisa is what always happens under the mathematical conditions posed by a combination of celestial motions, cells, bodies, brains, etc. There can be no truly original artwork, as all art works are inevitable under some computable probability, even if the the particular work is not predictable specifically by computation. Comp makes all originals derivatives of duplication. I suggest that it makes more sense that the primordial identity of sense experience is a fundamental originality from which duplication is derived. The number one is a generic copy – a one-ness which comments on an aspect of what is ultimately boundaryless inclusion rather than naming originality itself.

Under Multisense Realism (MSR), the sense-first view ultimately makes the most sense but it allows that the counter perspective, in which sense follows computation or physics, would appear to be true in another way, one which yields meaningful insights that could not be accessed otherwise.

When we shift our attention from the figure of comp in the background of sense to the figure of sense in the background of comp, the relation of originality shifts also. With sense first, true originality makes all computations into imposters. With computation first, arithmetic truth makes local appearances of originality artifacts of machine self-reference. Both are trivially true, but if the comp-first view were Absolutely true, there would be no plausible justification for such appearances of originality as qualitatively significant. A copy and an original should have no greater difference than a fifteenth copy and a sixteenth copy, and being the first person to discover America should have no more import than being the 1,588,237th person to discover America. The title of this post as 2013/10/13/2562 would be as good of a title as any other referenceable string.

*This is not to suggest that human experience lags behind neurological computation. MSR proposes a model called eigenmorphism to clarify the personal/sub-personal distinction in which neurological-level computation corresponds to sub-personal experience rather than personal level experience. This explains the disappearance of free will in neuroscientific experiments such as Libet, et. al. Human personhood is a simple but deep. Simultaneity is relative, and nowhere is that more true than along the continuum between the microphysical and the macrophenomenal. What can be experimented on publicly is, under MSR, a combination of near isomorphic and near contra-isomorphic to private experience.

P, PP, PIP, MSR Disambiguation

October 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Pansensitivity (P) proposes that sensation is a universal property.

Primordial Pansensitivity (PP) proposes that because sensation is primitive, mechanism is derived from insensitivity. Whether it is mechanism that assumes form without sensibility (materialism) or function without sensation (computationalism), they both can only view feeling as a black box/epiphenomenon/illusion.

Under PP, both materialism and computationalism make sense as partial negative images of P, so that PP is the only continuum or capacity needed to explain feeling and doing (sense-motive), objective forms and functions (mass-energy), and informative positions and dispositions (space-time).

PP says that the appearance of forms and functions are, from an absolute perspective, sensory-motive experiences which have been alienated through time and across space.

Primordial Identity Pansensitivity (PIP) adds to the Ouroboran Monism of PP, (sense twisted within itself = private experience vs public bodies) by suggesting that PP is not only irreducible, but it is irreducibility itself.

PIP suggests that distance is a kind of insensitivity, so that all other primitive possibilities which are grounded in mechanism, such as information or energy, are reductionist in a way which oversignifies the distanced perspective, while anthropomorphic primitives such as love or divinity are holistic in a way which oversignifies the local perspective. Local and distant are assumed to be Cartesian opposites, but PIP maps locality and distance as the same in terms of being two opposite branches of insensitivity. Both the holistic and reductionist views ignore the production of distance which they both rely on for their perspective, both take perspective itself, perception, and relativity for granted.

MSR (Multisense Realism) tries to rehabilitate reductionism and holism by understanding them as bifocal strategies which arise naturally, each appropriate for a particular context of perceived distance. Both are near-sighted and far-sighted in opposite ways, as the subject seeks to first project anthropomorphism outward onto the world and then, following a crisis of disillusionment, seeks the opposite – to project exterior mechanism into the self. MSR invites us to step outside of the bifocal antagonism and into a balanced appreciation of the totality.

Many Words Interpreted: A Glossary of MSR Terms

October 1, 2013 12 comments

Many Words Interpreted: A Glossary of MSR Terms

By request, a list of neologisms and special uses of common terms within Multisense Realism.

First edition.

Absolute – In many philosophical schools and mystical traditions, there is a concept of the Absolute. Often it is associated with God or nothingness, and there are many terms such as Om, Tao, Ein Sof, Totality, Being, Brahman, Zero Point Field which function as Transcendental Signifiers. In MSR, the Absolute has a more specific definition. Since sense is supposed to be more primitive than either physics or ontology, the Absolute is understood to be the ‘largest’ (most inclusive) inertial frame, which is also the greatest (most exclusive) perceptual frame. This concept of the Absolute can be described as ‘eternity with all of the space and time sucked out’, or ‘instantaneous eternity’, as the unity of all perceptions and experiences would have no sink or eraser to separate itself into multiple ‘nows’.  The Absolute is not necessarily a ‘real’ thing, as reality itself is, under MSR, a confluence of sensory correspondences with and against the Absolute. While we are here in spacetime, bodies are real and the Absolute is make-believe. From the Absolute perspective, all phenomena, including bodies would be equally real and unreal. See also: Sole Entropy Well.

ACME-OMMM – Stands for Anything Can Mean Everything and Only Material Matters Matter. These represent the two proposed extremes of philosophical bias. In MSR, the ACME pole is always mapped on the right hand side (for Eastern or Oriental) of the continuum as the absolutist defense of naive idealism. In contemporary terms, this would include all purely spiritual conceptions of the universe in which physics is fictionalized or subsumed as thought-energy. The left hand or Western side of the continuum is the OMMM end, where all feeling and awareness is mechanized as accidental consequence of physical or mathematical law.

Aesthetic – Within MSR, the term aesthetic takes on a greater meaning than ordinary usage assumes. Just as general anesthesia is equivalent to unconsciousness and a local anesthetic is used to numb tactile sensation, and synesthesia describes the mixing of sensory modalities, the term aesthetic should be taken to mean the common quality which all direct awareness shares. All experiences are fundamentally aesthetic presentations or presences, within which anesthetic representations can be added (through symbolic logic, mathematics, intellectual modeling, etc)

Aesthetic presence or aesthetic presentation refers to a concrete experience marked by sensory qualities or qualia, such as a visible shape, tangible feel, flavor, color, sound, etc. It would not include abstract mathematical entities, forces, fields, statistics, computations, etc which could only be presumed to have an anesthetic, de-presentational influence, or else represent an aesthetic presence beyond our detection. Under MSR, only those experiences which have an aesthetic presence are genuinely ‘real’, while all other information-theoretic constructs are considered figures or representations within some aesthetic presentation. These words are only figures on a screen, and through the experience of seeing their shape, we are able to ‘hear a voice’ in our mind. If we were not present to read this text, they would have no pattern at all. The electronic states of the screen and computer would have no more significance than sand on a beach cycling through days and nights.

Aion, Psyche, Nous, Hyparxis – These are referred to in a this cosmogonic diagram in which the Classical Greek terms are paired with suggested modern equivalents. Under MSR, space is a localizing consequence of entropy (the attenuation of sense) and time is the expression of significance (limits on the saturation of sense). The combined plenum of space-entropy/time-significance can be thought of as Aion, meaning age but also the totality of self. The polar opposite of Aion in this view is Hyparxis, which has to do with being and subsistence and on the diagram is paired with mass, but it is intended here as the sense of mass as felt embodiment. Psyche and Nous correspond to qualia and quanta here, also with quanta also including a logical attitude.

Altruistic Monad – The Altruistic Monad has precedent in some mystical traditions such as Kabbalah. In MSR, the idea is that in some sense the Absolute is eternity ‘holding its breath’. Another metaphor is a clock that is so slow that after the end of forever it would still not have completed a single tick. In the mean time, the diffraction of the Monad (Totality of experience) into localized experiences within experiences continues on in a diffracting, self-diagonalizing manner. As the outermost and innermost inertial frame of all experience, the Absolute is in a sense sacrificing itself for the common good of the universe. See also Sole Entropy Well.

Anesthetic Representation – To understand the symbol grounding problem, it may be helpful to focus on the fact that computer program does not require a screen to run. In fact, a computer does not need to use graphic displays or even geometry to operate ‘as if’ those forms were present. This need not get into any esoteric philosophical discussion about consciousness, it is simply a fact that Turing emulations of geometric forms are not themselves geometric, they are shapeless configurations of binary code which can be expressed as musical notes or electrical signals just as easily as they can be screen drawings of shapes. If that were not the case, there would be no need for screens or sound cards as we could directly tap into the inherent aesthetic qualities of the data. The anesthetic property of data is, of course, the great strength  of digital computation. This universal code, under Church-Turing thesis, allows any measurable data to be computed in the same (anesthetic, generic, universal) way. This anesthetic property is also the greatest weakness of digital, as it strips out all proprietary anchoring, and we will forever be chasing more secure authentication and control over intellectual property. Because only aesthetic presence can be ‘real’, all representations must borrow from an existing aesthetic modality (like sight or sound) to be presented. Representations are, therefore, not independent entities or experiences, they figures of common sense. Binary representations are figures of Absolutely common sense.

Anomalous Symmetry – Describes the relation between the physical and experiential as being symmetric (as electric and magnetic fields) but ontologically perpendicular or orthogonal at the macroscopic level. Experiential qualities are seen as primary and fundamental in an absolute sense (reversing Locke’s model of primary and secondary qualities), but through the ingression of entropy (as spacetime through the Big Diffraction), they diverge into eigenmorphism. In MSR jargon, the meta-phoric Absolute diffracts itself endophorically and exometrically to derive exomorphic representations at the bottom of the stack,

Aperture of Consciousness – Applied to states of human consciousness, particularly with the scope of human awareness. Using a camera metaphor, increased sensitivity (as in childhood or under a similarly vulnerable psychological state) is associated with short range sensory interest. The moment expands to an arbitrarily long duration, and emotions can feed back on themselves until the point of euphoria or panic. When the proposed (metaphorical) aperture of awareness is more contracted (as a sober and serious adult), the depth of field has a longer range, making the thought process more quantitative than qualitative – circumspect, strategic, logical, etc, but relatively cold, distant, and uncreative.

Apocatastatic Gestalt or Transrational Algebra – Taken from apocatastasis, meaning “reconstitution, restitution, or restoration to the original or primordial condition” and algebra, “al-jabr “restoration”, MSR posits that the nature of subjective experience is one in which gaps in sense (entropy, spacetime) are removed or elided. This is contrary to the conventional view that experience is assembled only from the bottom up, by neurochemical processes to arrive at an illusory whole. Instead, the perceptual event is a process which restores a distant or decomposed aesthetic to a sensible whole within the local frame of experience. It is transrational as the process is not driven only by logical algebras or topological manifolds, but by semantic content which is not necessarily spatiotemporally bound. This is more of an Ur-Algebra, from which algebras and geometries are produced, but the multiplexed nature of felt significance goes far beyond localized logic.

Arithmetic supremacy – The conviction that epistemology is limited to quantitative measurement, and that such measurements are objectively and universally true. This would be considered a monosense unrealism in MSR terms; a schema which de-presents realism as an emergent property of a fundamental representational code.

Authenticity vs Automaticity – The theme of orthogonality finds yet another expression in the contrast between that which is grounded in a unique and unrepeatable history and that which is mechanically generated. A forgery or paint by numbers painting for example, are inauthentic because they are produced by imitation of an existing pattern – there is no original pattern being generated. Automation relies on copying, but has no appreciation of the difference between an original and a copy. All computation is a simulation – a figurative index of generic symbols without proprietary or iconic transfer. To automate is to reduce an experience to a skeletal abstraction, a recording of a function to be repeated unconsciously or in a deterministically regulated way. From the human personal perspective, human consciousness relies on a lot of automatic sub-personal functions, however there is no reason to assume that like our own personhood, our sub-personhood is not also rooted in a fundamental authenticity. Our personal awareness seems notoriously unique in some sense. Identity appears to gain appeal through proprietary achievement rather than automatic operation.

Big Diffraction – Thinking of the Big Bang realistically, it would not be possible for a phenomenon which gives rise to space and time to begin from a location in space or time. Having no space from which to observe it from, and no moment to experience it in, the BB cannot be considered to have occurred as an event, nor can it have an exterior view. We are therefore still within the Big Bang, and it is an event which is always happening, or never happening – more the axis in the center of a spiral of time than a terminal point along a time line. Because of this, the BB cannot be an explosion into an evacuated space (which does not yet exist), so that it is more rational to suppose a kind of shattering or falling apart into time. Because the original Monad is beyond time, it is not shattered itself, but rather the sense of separation would be added on top of the essential unity, thus producing a diffraction pattern of variations on top of variations linking Absolute unity with the promise of Absolute dissolution.

Cardinal position, ordinal disposition – Contrasting cardinality and ordinality from mathematics and pairing them with spatiotemporal terms of position and disposition, a concise description of certain aspects of private and public realism can be arrived at. Cardinality gives us a pool of a particular size, in which each member is a generic but unique part. Pairing that with position gives an idea of bodies in space. Using a chess board as an example, the number of pieces and positions on the board would be the cardinal position. The moves that any given piece can make at any time would be the ordinal position. The Cardinal disposition would be the value of a piece by virtue of its rarity – so a pawn would have a lower cardinal disposition than bishop just because of the number available. In ordinal disposition, rank is formalized intentionally rather than statistically. The king has more value than a bishop, even if there is only one bishop left. This concept comes into play in the consideration of awareness and life originating in primordial improbability rather than the anthropic principle.

Chameleon brain – (or p-Zelig instead of a p-zombie), an artificial intelligence which would impersonate behaviors of whatever environment it was placed into. Unlike a philosophical zombie, (which would have no personal qualia but seem like it does from the outside), the chameleon brain would explicitly forbid having any particular qualia, since its entire processing would be devoted to computing cross-modal generalities. It is intentionally not trying to be a person, it is only trying to mirror anything – clouds, wolves, dandelions, whatever, according to the measurements it takes using a large variety of peripheral detectors. The point of this is to expose the leaky p-vacuum which assumes qualia as a inherent within information/computation.

Cosmoscopic – To round out traditional levels of description by scale as macroscopic and microscopic, cosmoscopic refers to phenomena which seem to us as laws of physics or mathematical truths. The cosmoscopic scale is the scale at which scale does not matter, as the vast overlap between nuclear physics and astrophysics suggests.

De-Presentation – In his book “Aping Mankind”, Raymond Tallis argues that the over reaching of neuroscience and evolution (he calls Neuromania and Darwinitis) has lead to a failure to consider humanity in its own terms. Taking that concept further, and making it more literal, de-presentation is the idea that reducing human consciousness to the intersection of neurochemical and evolutionary mechanisms effectively denies any worldly presentation of human experience. All that we have ever known or will ever know is de-presented as statistical fluctuations in a void.

Depth of field – See aperture of consciousness.

Disimmediation – What optical illusions, lens flares, continuity errors, breaking character, and winking at the camera have in common. A medium is a channel of communication or sensory experience in which other, non-presented experiences are inferred and represented. Because our human psychology is highly suggestible, we can readily ‘immediate‘, or suspend disbelief of a media source, allowing us to modulate how much we want to pretend that something which pretends to be real is real. There is something more, however, than just playing along with illusions or being disillusioned with a glitch in a technology. If we pay attention to the aesthetic particulars of the glitch – the scratches on the record, the pixelation of a digitally compressed video, we can see that they contain clues as to the mechanisms behind the media. Disimmediation is a window into other PIFs, to optics or computation, analog or digital recording, screenwriting and theatrical production, etc.

Eigenmorphism – A general term to describe a set of possible ways in which a phenomena can be transposed. In particular, pansensitivity makes use of eigenmorphism to describe how physical and phenomenal properties might be isomorphic on the micro level, but contra-morphic on the macro-level, and multivalent on the absolute level. If we think of an atom as having a microphenomenal experience, we tend to assume that the experience would have to be very primitive and relate directly to the physical forces acting upon the atom. That could be part of the bias expected under perceptual relativity, but if not, that would reflect a very different psychophysical translation than we see at the macro level, where the literal activity within a human brain has little to do with the experiential content of thoughts, feelings, and experiences. This dramatic difference is the basis to propose that between the macro, micro, and cosmological scales, there is an envelope of eigenstate like increments through which scale of form and content is modulated. Size can be measured not just by comparison of physical dimension, but also by the angle or gap between aesthetic depth and quantitative complexity. Simple structures have shallow experience, but deep experiences not only have complex structures but they have orders of magnitude more degrees of freedom from that structure. They have increased potential for imagination and privacy.

Emergence and Divergence – The concept of emergence and emergentism supposes that consciousness is an emergent property of physical or mathematical law. It is a popular concept, as everyone can understand how something like tool use could emerge from an opposable thumb. There are problems when applying this to consciousness however, since, unlike a hand holding a stone, there is no physical basis to expect a potential for “experience” to appear if it were not already present. Indeed, invisibility or teleportation would be a more plausible trait for an organism to evolve out of thin air. Divergence, then, is the consideration of primordial identity pansensitivity, in which the universe that we experience outside of our bodies is a subset of the totality of experience (Absolute), so that nothing can emerge ‘from nothing’ but rather it is reduced, diffracted, and divergent from everything.

Entropic frames / Holotrophic frames – The view of private and public phenomena which emphasizes layers of novelty-producing feeling juxtaposed with structured routines.

Entropy-Significance – The word entropy is used in different ways for different purposes. In MSR, entropy is used in a broad sense, encompassing thermodynamic, information, and aesthetic sensitivity. MSR posits that entropy is a consequence of significance, which also is used in a broad sense of meaning, aesthetic dynamism, and signal coherence. Loschmidt’s Paradox brings up the question of how the universe could perpetually be in a state of increasing entropy without an initial low entropy to start with. The Sole Entropy Well hypothesis offered here reverses the assumption of entropy as an increasing value so that it is significance which is absolute, and entropy which constitutes a local masking of it, The mask is what is expanding relative to the significance of the totality, but the totality is always gaining back what is lost through perception. Significance is the chunking up of experience made possible by the deprivations and isolations of spacetime diffraction. When we observe the public universe unraveling into entropy, it is our own appreciation of our position in the universe which contributes to the other side of the balance sheet. Entropy and significance are background and foreground, partners in Aion.

Everythingness – Through the hypothesis of Primodial Identity Pansensitivity and the Sole Entropy Well, the notion of a Universe From Nothing is turned on its head. All such notions arise from a leaky assumption of nothingness in which many sensible conditions are already present and taken for  granted, such as oscillation, repetition, probability, multiplicity, etc. A true nothingness could contain no sense, no possibilities, no connection to anything at all, lest the nothingness would become contaminated with not-nothing. By flipping the assumption of nothingness, PIP begins with an Absolute totality that subdivides itself into multiple channels or diffractions, giving space and time as modulations of sense capacity. This Big Diffraction cosmology coincides with pre-scientific thought in Western Mysticism and Eastern Philosophy.

Exomorphic, Exometric, Endophoric, Phoric, Solitrophic – In some diagrams, these terms are used to specify the proposed symmetry through which primordial pansenitivity, with its ‘phoric’ sensibilities (phor, as in metaphor, semaphor, and euphoria has to do with carrying, as in carrying meaning) divides itself into three variations. Endophoric is the first diffraction, using rhythmic repetition to scale and separate experiences into more ‘interior’ feelings. This is the content of perception or qualia. If the Endophoric diffraction carries the phoric inward, what is left out is polarized from the perspective of qualia, making a second diffraction to the exomorphic (thermodynamic bodies/matter-energy) and the exometric (mathematical functions/space). Solitrophic is used to describe the production of individuation.

Experiential Entropy – Related to Entropy-Significance, experiential entropy describes the effect that distance, both literal and figurative, has on significance and personal identification. The incorporation of sensation into cosmology as a physical component which recovers diffracted significance by eliding space and time metaphorically is a huge undertaking, but this at least points to one way of approaching it.

Form-function – Adapted from interpretations of the Stone duality in which topologies are dual to logical algebras, form-function is used to refer to public phenomena. All that can be measured must have either a form with a position, or a function which can be inferred from the disposition of a form. In MSR, form-functions are seen as special cases within phoric pansensitivity, so that they do not exist in isolation but rather always as experiences to be appreciated aesthetically and participated in directly.

Fourth Wall – Breaking the fourth wall is a theatrical term that refers to an instance where a performer does something to indicate the unreality of the performance, such as wink at the audience or look directly into the camera and speak to the viewers. MSR seeks to break the fourth wall of philosophy of mind by addressing subjective experience directly, bypassing the omniscient voyeur with an improved philosophical vacuum.

Genius Palette – The inexplicable aspect of a sensory palette, such as the transition from red to yellow within the spectrum. The transition from blue to indigo is readily understandable by comparison, and corresponds to what we might expect from a smooth continuum of graduated wavelengths, however, the comparatively jarring shift from red to yellow is more difficult to justify. This unjustifiable quality could become understandable, perhaps under a more complete conscious state than human beings are ordinarily privy to, or perhaps this is an example pure creativity beyond all reason. At root, every sensory palette has a genius palette which separates it from all other sensory modalities. Synesthesia is fascinating as it shows that these palettes are permeable to each other, and that human consciousness can smoothly integrate words, numbers, and concepts with flavors, colors, sounds, and images.

Gepetto complex – A term to denote a confirmation bias toward Strong AI. The prominent divide between machines and living organisms is minimized or denied as the enthusiasm for computational theory is emphasized over all potential objections.

Holographic Celebrity – The etymology of the word celebrate contains the meaning “to frequent in great numbers” as well as “to publish; sing praises of; practice often”, and “kept solemn”. Thus there is a potential basis to connect popularity, frequency and fidelity.  Whether an event is solemn of joyful, we say that the occasion is celebrated. Any event which is celebrated, or person who is a celebrity automatically implicates the ensemble of fictions and facts associated with it. Every time Martin Luther King day is celebrated, the issues of civil rights, race, and freedom, as well as the 1960s civil rights movement and his role in it, are, like a hologram, or perhaps a ceremonial candle, re-illuminated.

hypostition – A counter-logic to superstition in which a robotic, overly literal approach is applied to nature. Reductionism and pseudoskepticism combine for an overall cynical extremism in epistemology which effectively rules out all possibility but existentialism at best and nihilism at worst. Where the supersitious mind anthropomorphizes, the hypostitious mind mechanemorphizes. Everything that could be considered miraculous or special in some way is compulsively stripped of importance and dismissed as illusion, error, or trickery.

Immediation – The fusing or eliding of difference among perceptual inertial frames. Accepting a given sense channel as whole or true. This applies to our own consciousness as well, since under MSR, personal awareness is a high level sense channel (high level in that it includes or immediates many sense modalities). As a single sense modality, the cues of its disimmediation include dizziness, confusion, delirium, and ‘blacking out’. Our consciousness includes signs to represent its own absence.

Immediacracy

1. A state of idealized interaction between individuals and the culture as a whole, which utilizes continuous and ubiquitous network availability and is unburdened by barriers to usability. A completely transparent, universal, participatory, and immersive communication medium.2. A principle by which information is prioritized to favor and to demand rapidity, convenience, and heightened naturalism. The rise of reality television and social networking can be said to have displaced more traditional forms of media with its immediacratic appeal.3. A process of artificial selection wherein decisions are based solely on the criteria of expedience. A broad social condition of evolutionary outcomes driven by short-term or petty consideration.

Immereology – Mereology is the study of the relation between wholes and parts (is a handle part of a mug or is it a thing of its own?). The idea of immereology is that private experience contains not only forms and functions which can be understood in terms of parts and wholes, but they can also contain the opposite types of phenomena. Deeply subjective experiences in particular seem to be fugues of feelings and expectations which are neither part, whole, nor non-part or whole.

Imposter – Discussed in this post, there is an expectation of authenticity which is not presented in quantitative function. The uncanny valley effect is an example of how artificial or mechanical imitations compare unfavorably with originals, and what that reveals about life and death, zombies, fame, and semiotics.

Information – Used in a new way within MSR. Breaking it down as in-form-ation, the ‘in’ and the ‘form’ correspond to the phoric and morphic respectively, while ‘ation’ corresponds to the metric. The purpose is to correct the impression that information is a commodity which can exist independently of perception. The contemporary usage of ‘information’ which leaves out awareness and interiority is actually a mislabeling of ‘formation’. Data, without being grounded in an aesthetic experience, is understood within MSR to be a figurative abstraction.

IPT, EPT, IPS, EPSThis diagram attempts to map consciousness from the individual’s perspective. Here, privacy is defined in terms of Interior and Exterior facing time, and the public body is defined in spatial terms of Internal and External exposure. The purpose of the diagram is to show how time exists as multiple wheel-like contexts of varying scale according to the frequency of repeating experiences. It is proposed that part of what individual consciousness does is to fracture space from time so that they are perceptually offset – a fugue of times funnel down to a conditional ‘now’, at which point the sense of ‘here’ becomes a nexus of intersecting ‘there’s,

Istence – As “Qua” is to qualia and quanta, “Istence” is a term proposed to describe a common umbrella above existence and insistence. In MSR, existence is generally reserved to describe public existence as a body or particle in space as seen from a private perspective, while insistence is a private experience which can be influence some public effect. Both insistence and existence are understood to diverge or diffract from istence, which unites and divides the two poles through sensory discernment and Ouroboran monism.

Light – Is light made of photons, optics, or visual experiences? MSR uses the term light to describe the sensible continuum which includes all three, as well as propose a new post-particle, post-velocity model of light in which photons themselves may be figurative experiences rather than literal physical form-functions.

Likeness – Etymologically, the word ‘like’ was used in the reverse order that we now use. “That dress likes you.” would mean that the dress looks good on you – it flatters you. Herein lies a hint about the connection between euphoric feelings that we ‘like’, and similarity across patterns. Two kinds of likeness share a common sense which refers to mutual reflection; symmetry, harmony, rhyme, and reason. Sense is what makes black and white like each other in one way and maximally unlike each other in another way. Likeness also figures into philosophical primitives such as difference and repetition. Likeness can be the opposite of both difference and repetition, as well as the opposite of indifference. It is a rediscovery of the primary unity which precedes difference, yet remains undiscoverable prior to differentiation. Likeness is the echo of the unrepeatable – a copy of originality which is also original.

Literal / Figurative – Generally used to further qualify the difference between public bodies and private experiences. The word ‘literal’ implies a discrete, factual presence, while ‘figurative’ emphasizes that a leap of intuition is required to fully appreciate some loose grouping of concepts or sensations. It is worth nothing that the ‘literal’ meaning of literal refers to reading and the literal meaning for figurative refers to concrete figures or shapes. Thus, the meaning on the etymological level is reversed on the contemporary semantic level.

Logic / Sense – Logic includes all indirect modes of sense making, where representations stand in for actual experiences. Sense includes logic (as it includes everything) but logic is the particular subset of sense reserved for the unfelt and impersonal. Logic is seen as the essence of objectivity, and as such, it has inherently reductionist mechanisms which filter out all references to direct awareness. Because logic is designed to be insulated from sense, any map of the world or of consciousness is bound to place intellectual rules, forms, and functions above feelings and aesthetics.

Mechanemorphism – Conceived as the polar opposite to anthropomorphism. A common criticism from the Western view of the world is that all other views are anthropomorphic, and thus naive and backwards. With mechanemorphism, there is a recognition that the opposite of bad can also be bad. Abandoning the view of a cosmic creator should not scientifically entail embracing a view of a clockwork cosmos, but it appears that by default most people will tend toward that without considering the possibility of confirmation bias and reactive reasoning.

Mediation Boundary – Closed captioning of music is an example of the failure of any particular medium to represent every kind of experience. Another example is the inability to portray subjective states such as drunkenness. An actor can behave as if they were drunk, or the image can be blurred or drift to suggest dizziness, but these are mere suggestions of heavy intoxication. There is no way to visually portray altered states of consciousness in their full dimension, unlike public places and people which can be rendered on film with high immediation.

Monosense Unrealism – The polar opposite of MSR, in the sense that it characterizes a philosophy of reductionism to a single aesthetic type (material, ideal, or information, usually). The result is a de-presentation of naive realism, such that it can only exist in as an unacknowledged and unreal dual to the favored monosense. Of eliminative materialism, for example, we might ask what is it that is being eliminated? In spiritual conception of the world as illusion (maya), we might ask what makes it different from the non-illusion which generates it?

Motive – If sense describes a fundamental receptivity which precedes being or feeling, motive describes the antithesis: doing, responding, opposing, negating, projecting, moving, etc. If sense is affect, then motive is effect. If sense is the head, then motive is the flagellum (or tail or body). Because human experience is so convoluted with layers of molecules, cells, organs, and bodies, our motive participation can be limited to private intentions, or it can be stepped down through the body as motor activity. Were we simpler organisms, or perhaps inorganic molecules, our motive might be more isomorphic to our motion. On that more primitive level, the gap between intention and unintention may be closed, and subjectivity and objectivity becomes, at least from our perspective, indiscernible. Whether that closing of the gap is a prejudice of perceptual relativity, or an ontological reality, or a mixture of the two remains an open question under eigenmorphism.

Multisense Continuum – Initially linked to a graphic mural, the proposed continuum is a spectrum to contain every category of phenomena in a sensible order. Ideally, the mural would be projected as a sphere, as the far Eastern and far Western edges meet (called the Profound Edge), as would the top and bottom (Polar Divide).

Multisense Realism (MSR) – Not a postulate of multiple realities or even multiple senses of ‘real’, MSR proposes that realism is derived as a secondary condition of overlapping sense channels (PIFs), which have been diffracted. Like a musical chord or the continuity of the visible spectrum, the wholeness which underlies realism arises from the reuniting of locally broken absolutes into stereomorphs (solid forms) . Reuniting is accomplished by successful disimmediation, stripping out (eliding) spacetime entropy through validation aesthetics (understanding, completeness, perfection, knowledge, mutual correspondence, etc).

Myth of Primordial Objectivity – The philosophical cliche which begins “If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody around to hear it…” probably stems from an oversimplification of George Berkeley’s idealism in which he questions the assumption for objects as we imagine them to stand on their own without our imagining. In some ways, his view presaged (or perhaps contributed to) the Copenhagen interpretation of early quantum mechanics in which the Observer Principle was defined to account for Heisenberg’s Uncertainty. Unfortunately, views which include experiential and aesthetic dynamics are often trivialized in physics and mathematics, where, it can be argued, objectivity is a fundamental assumption. In math and physics, conditions ‘simply are’ whether or not they ‘seem to be’ in any particular experience. MSR seeks to rehabilitate the full force of Berkeleyan idealism by removing the constraint of human or even biological exceptionalism and arriving at a primordial identity pansensitivity.

Negative Aleph (-ℵ) – A symbol to represent sense used in diagrams. Mathematics uses Aleph numbers represent infinite cardinality. To translate the quantifiable aspects of sense into mathematical terms, the idea of negative cardinality has some appeal. Since cardinality conceives of such a primitive function of numbers (the sense of shapeless, yet precisely ordered “size” that we afford to pure quantities), in order to accurately place sense beneath measure and numbers, we might speak in terms of sense having incardinality, i.e. infinite pre-cardinality and infinite post-cardinality. Sense bleeds through quantitative partitions, as a spectrum bleeds across a diffraction grating or a melody bleeds across individual notes. No particular note is an indispensable part of a song, and any song can have many different renditions, each carrying some sense of style, intention, and character of the musician.  In this way, the mathematically viable aspects of sense can be understood as ”the transmeasurable context of experience from which numbers (and all measurement of measurables) can arise”.

Non-Well-Founded Identity Principle – Using the theory of non-well-founded sets (groups in which the group is a member within itself), a number based concept is proposed to replace the standard A=A principle of identity. This is to reflect the extra care that is necessary to avoid assuming isolation and nothingness, which, under MSR, can only exist as a representation. See also Likeness and Sole Entropy Well.

Occam’s Catastrophe – Occam’s Razor is a popular rule of thumb in considering possible theories. The principle of parsimony – that simple explanations are most often the truest explanations would seem to be thrown out the window under MWI. It seems that Multi-Worlds Interpretations of QM would have an entire universe be conjured out of nowhere for every interaction of every crumb on a dust mite’s back…all to avoid the possibility that the universe could include intentional causes as well as probabilistic ones.

Omniscient voyeur – “The View From Nowhere” is the title of one of Thomas Nagel’s book. It references the ability of humans to view the world in a detached way, a view from ‘nowhere in particular’.  While the capacity to objectify has been crucial for human intelligence and the development of science, it is not without a cost, particularly when approaching fundamentals such as the origin of consciousness and existence. Assuming objects without subjects can be understood to constitute a leaky philosophical vacuum, which may allow qualities that belong exclusively to awareness to be smuggled in where it does not belong and become prematurely naturalized in our minds.  See also, the Myth of Primordial Objectivity.

Oriental vs Western – The accidental convention of using the right side for subjective phenomena and the left side for objective phenomena in mapping the multisense continuum turned out to have some interesting etymological and anthropological significance. The use of the term Western to relate to pragmatic, scientific, and commercial outlooks contrasts with stereotypically mysterious ‘Eastern” philosophy gives an unexpected cultural context to Philosophy of Mind. There is a cognitive connection which relates East to the sunrise and to orientation as well. By using Orient vs Western instead of Oriental vs Occidental, the intention is to amplify the split between traditional and modern. The story of modernism has been a Westward migration geographically, and metaphorically to the ‘Left”, toward objectified physics and deconstruction of the self.

Ouroboran monism – Uses the self-consuming metaphor of Ouroboros to describe how materialism, idealism, and dualism are all part of a single twisting or involuted continuum (like a Klein Bottle of Mobius loop). The result is a monism which is not only singular in its inclusiveness of all phenomena, it is also singular in its coherence on one level in spite of diffracting into multiplicities of self reflection/negation on another.

Over and under signification – Within materialism, subjectivity could be said to be under-signified. Within idealism, objectivity is treated in a similar way. Both extremes over-signify their own perspective at the expense of the other, however, this relation can be seen as just another face of perceptual relativity. Is it wrong to see the duck or is it wrong to see the rabbit? MSR attempts to bring this reconciliation within philosophy of mind by producing an ontological model based on the continuum of sense in which duck and rabbit are only two possibilities along a universal spectrum.

p-vacuum – see philosophical vacuum

p-Zelig – An alternative to philosophical zombie (p-zombie) , borrowing the name from the title of the Woody Allen about a character who takes on the physical traits of those around him. See chameleon brain.

Pansensitivity and Panmechanism – Taking a cue from panpsychism, panmechanism and pansensitivity are two new variations to represent the role of awareness in the universe. Pansensitivity specifies a primitive aspect of nature which is felt or detected in some way, but not necessarily as a ‘mental’ phenomenon or human-like experience. Panmechanism would assert the opposite primitive, that all phenomena is fundamentally unconscious. In spite of the popularity of panmechanistic views, the evidence of our own experience makes them difficult to take seriously unless some plausible link could be found to bridge the Explanatory Gap. MSR takes pansensitivity further, to Primordial Identity Pansensitivity.

Perceptual Inertia – MSR considers perception, including inner perceptions, to be the universal underpinning of physics. As such, it is proposed that experiences themselves accumulate a kind of aesthetic momentum. Local intentions, over time, acquire associations from other experiential frames. The weaving together of multiple perceptual histories is known in MSR as perceptual inertial frames, and the weaving itself is known as soltrophy.

Perceptual Inertial Frame (PIF) – In practice, this concept is similar to other philosophical concepts such as lebenswelt, umwelt, or niche in that it refers to the world as it is experienced by some subject. The perceptual inertial frame of a child is different from that of an adult, as would any age or social position have its own set of stereotypical qualities. Eigenmorphism describes how dissimilarity by scale, morphology, or history is a determining factor in how any given PIF presents every other PIF. This is roughly analogous to how optics can predict the anamorphic reflection of a reflective cylinder or the distortion of a fisheye lens. Tying in occasions of perception to the physics concept of inertial frames, the PIF model provides a framework for connecting universal and physical ontology to local experiential scope and quality, and it provides a possible scientific basis to investigate that connection further. See also eigenmorphism, solitrophy.

Perceptual Relativity – Perception is profoundly relativistic. Certain optical illusions can be used to help us understand concepts like opponent processing and multistable perception. What looks like dark grey next to white will look like light grey next to black, and indications of shadow and naturalistic form contribute also to perception. General and Special Relativity, in a very different way, assume perception-like definitions of physics.  What is relativity if not some sensible relation? The main difference between the concept of inertial frames and multistable perception is that perception is private and presumed limited to living organisms, while physical groupings are public and considered universal to all material bodies. If that is true, it would make sense that both materialism and idealism (whether spiritual or information-theoretic) would mythologize presentation into fictional terms. Both material and ideal monisms, through their absolutist de-presentation of naive realism, subscribe to unacknowledged dualisms. Materialism and idealism do not explain each other, they only label each other illusions or emergent properties. Philosophy of Mind it seems, is itself a feature of perceptual relativity.

Perceptual Stack – Refers to the stack of perceptual inertial frames (PIFs) which constitute an experience or modality of consciousness. For example, what you are reading is a stack of perceptions ranging from the sub-personal (pixels > loops and lines) to the personal (letters > words > sentences > meaning) to the super-personal (coincidence and timing, metaphorical insights). See also Entropic frames / Holotrophic frames.

Philosophical Vacuum (p-vacuum) – It is said that Descartes formulated his famous cogito ergo sum (je pense, donc je suis: I think therefore I am) by methodically questioning every bit of reality that he could. Pretending that an evil demon was supplying him with “a complete illusion of an external world, including other minds”, Descartes found that he could doubt everything with the exception of his own thought.  In modern contexts, philosophical approaches such as computationalism and eliminativism challenge the supremacy of the solipsistic approach, citing neurological or informational phenomena as underpinning conscious personal awareness. MSR seeks to empty the field of assumptions even farther, to the point of absolute incoherence – to the point at which sense itself cannot be questioned by virtue of the inherent sensibility of questions and doubt. The perfect philosophical vacuum can include only the minimum ingredient required to provide for itself. Called sense in MSR, this ingredient is suggested to be a primordial capacity to receive and appreciate affect and to participate or project effect. Information and physics are seen to require sense as a precursor, so that while Descartes may have been premature in assuming personal cognition as primordial, modern mechanism may be equally premature in assuming automation. As a cosmological foundation, sense is not limited to human experience or biological experience. To the contrary, all phenomena are deemed to extend from some experienced perspective on some level, since there can be no difference between that which can never be experienced and that which does not exist.

Post-Particle Physics, aka Quorum Mechanics – A reinterpretation of quantum mechanical phenomena as fundamental feelings through which private presentations and public representations are metabolized. By pansensitivity, measurable phenomena are presumed not to emerge from nothingness (or nothingness-like-fluctuations) but rather they diverge from everythingness through self-convoluting insensitivity. What is measured by physics is not reality, it is the body’s measurement of the interactions of other bodies and instruments, themselves already fixed and frozen as facades within a stack of perceiver-specific inertial frames. This inverts the assumptions of both materialism and computationalism, such that all realized forms and functions, all particles and waves, are, from the Absolute perspective, the expressed antithesis of the primordial identity (pansensitivity).

Presentation Problem – Since even before Descartes substance dualism, Philosophy of Mind has been preoccupied with the gap between nature and mankind. Many different thinkers have posed questions which relate to self and world, mind and body, or mind and brain. MSR posits an essential theme which runs across the most important philosophical problems in that they all are really asking how we can account for the presentation of experience as aesthetic phenomena. MSR posits a solution to this problem, which includes the Hard Problem of Consicousness, the Explanatory Gap, the Symbol Grounding Problem, and the Binding or Combination Problem whereby aesthetic sensory experience is actually the fundamental metaphysical agenda.
Totality

Primordial Identity Pansensitivity (PIP) – Asserts that pansensitivity is not only a pervasive physical force, it is the sole ontological primitive, from which all forces, fields, energies, and dimensions diverge. Under PIP, ontology itself supervenes on sense. Striving for the perfect philosophical vacuum, no premise of rationality or sanity is taken for granted, it must be constructed within a ‘bare metal operating system’ of sensory participation.

Primordial improbability – A strange idea which relates awareness to coincidence, mutation, and statistical probability. By inverting the assumption of probability as inevitable (which is really only a naive intuition as far as I can tell, and could relate to local conditions rather than Absolute conditions), improbability emerges as a kind of fixed immeasurability from which all measure and rational expectation emerges. The rational diverges from the trans-rational. In any statistical analysis, the probability that what is being analyzed is sentient is the least rational possibility. A technical analysis of a stock market, for example, could have exotic statistical causes ascribed to trading patterns, but could any proposed cause of a statistical pattern be more exotic than if the pattern itself reflects some kind of intentional awareness. Surely it would be insane to suggest that the stock market had a mind of its own and made decisions according to its mood, yet that is precisely the cause that we must accept to explain the coordination and coincidence of processes within our brain and body. Even if we go with an eliminative materialist explanation of mind, and call it an epiphenomenon, it would be no less strange and miraculous to have guessed that the stock market would be possessed of any similar epiphenomenology. The premise that order, life, and consciousness are somehow related to a vastness of improbability is intuitively appealing and scientifically supported already, but taking that to an extreme may yield an altogether revolutionary insight. Statistical relation, as the mechanism behind teleonomy (the machine of the machine, or the automation of automation) fits well as the the polar opposite against teleology. To sense and will intentionally is to initiate a proprietary and local break from the generic and universal, and this it’s manual control is the antithesis of automaticity by probability.

Private physics – Physicalism is not without its charms. Certainly the correlation of brain activity with subjective experience is strong enough to warrant a respect for physics in the realm of subjectivity. Even so, the vast differences between our private experience and what can be measured publicly combined with the undesirability of resorting to metaphysical influences provides ample justification for redefining all phenomena in the universe in terms of their privacy or publicity, while retaining the underlying concrete realism implied by the term ‘physics’. What we experience psychologically can only be physics, but physics, on some level of description, can only be psychological.

Profound Edge and Pedestrian Fold – Two conceptual meridians within the multisense continuum which are opposing midway points between subjectivity and objectivity. The pedestrian fold is what occurs ‘in front of our face’ as perceptions in a world of social human interaction. The profound fold is what might occur ‘behind our backs’ during extraordinary states of consciousness where personal experience seems fused with the Absoute, either directly as a mystical experience, or indirectly through understanding of complex mathematics. The contrast of ‘edge’ and ‘fold’ is intentional, as the former connotes a twilight or occult transition from private to public, while the latter is presented as a matter of fact.

Qua – The conceptual root of both quanta and qualia. Synonymous with the Absolute, sense, and pansensitivity, qua proposes that private feeling and public measurement diverge from a common sense, rather than emerge from a senseless process.

Quanta and qualia – Quanta is used here to mean quantum mechanical entities, numbers, and measurement in general. Qualia, means the ‘raw feels’ of sensation (i.e. the experience of the redness of red, as distinct from any information processing or biochemistry associated with producing that effect). Within MSR, qualia is distinct from sense only in that it has been diffracted one step so that it allows private intention. Quanta is the common residue of all diffraction – the public answer to the private question.

Qui – (who?) would be the hypothetical ‘other half’ of the quantum wavefunction, and can be represented (obnoxiously, but memorably) by the sideways letter psi. This signifies that aesthetic presence and qualitative appreciation (being and feeling) is orthogonal to the doing and knowing of quantum mechanics. Qui is not the measurement but the context of orientation from which measurement is experienced. It is explicitly neither wave, particle, form, or function, but neither is it non-wavelike, non-particle-like, formless, or unrelated to function. Qui is exactly what being alive is to us as human beings, except on a much more primitive level. It is the capacity to participate as an oscillating source of both animistic and mechanistic qualities.

Quorum mechanics  – See post-particle physics

Range and scope – Reminds us to use sense metaphors rather than abstractions such as ‘force’, ‘field’, and ‘law’. MSR suggests that all behaviors that we can observe are, on some level, a comparison of sensitivities and motivations. A radio receiver does not receive an electromagnetic field through its antenna, rather the radio is a device to exploit the natural harmonic affinity between all materials (which makes it easy to carry, for example, the vibrations of vocal chords, to microphones, to electric circuits, to broadcast towers, receivers, headphones, eardrums, and neurochemical circuits).

Sensorimotive Electromagnetism – The conjecture that magnetic and electric fields are felt directly through matter as sensory affect (magnetism) and motive effect (electricity). It may be more correct to correlate sense and motive to the interior dynamics of particle and wave, since quantum level effects can be more fundamental than electromagnetic effects, however with PIP and Post-Particle Physics, electromagnetism could be the last ‘real’ level of physics, before we begin sinking into a misinterpretation of the common sense of matter for material presences themselves. The main point is to draw the parallels between sensory-motive receiving-projecting and the binary vs analog sensibilities of electromagnetism. This view reasons that since electromagnetic changes in the brain are so closely associated with changes in consciousness, electromagnetism itself may be a primitive form of awareness. It is only our indirect measurement of electromagnetism which misleads us into assuming that EM is non-sensory.

Sensory-Motive – In biology, afferent and efferent are terms used to distinguish the nerves which receive sensory input from the motor neurons which effect a response from muscle cells. The human brain stem, likewise, has an upper and lower region. When the former is damaged, it produces a vegetative coma state (no sense). When the lower region is damaged, it produces paralysis of the body but no interruption to consciousness. Seeing this part of a universal pattern, sensory-motive phenomena is proposed as the most local description of sense. There are many morphological analogs within biology – head and tail, flower and stem, tree and trunk, etc as well as elementary particle analogs of charge and spin. Because animals are convoluted on many levels between the elementary and the zoological scales, we can distinguish between inner control of attention (motive effect) and outer influence over the body in the public world of bodies (motor effect).

Sole Entropy Well – The MSR alternative interpretation of the Big Bang is knows as the Big Diffraction. The Sole Entropy Well model assumes the Big Diffraction interpretation of boundaryless transmultiplicity rather than a pointillist singularity, and adds a solution to Loschmidt’s paradox. The paradox notes the contradiction of a universe in which total entropy is perpetually increasing, and an initial condition in which low entropy appears out of nowhere. Boltzmann’s entropy curve suggests a statistical fluctuation in low entropy conditions, which, like the metastable vacuum flux and Many Worlds Interpretation cosmologies, produce a kind sleight of hand. Instead of failing to explain one universe, they presume to show how the creation of this universe could simply be the consequence of the existence of many universes (which also cannot be explained). Bypassing this false satisfaction, the Sole Entropy Well model proposes that entropy can only arise from a single source of all significance, and that source is the capacity for sense itself. If we are talking in information theory terms, we can use ‘signal’ instead of sense, such that the capacity to send and receive signals is the always the maximally significant signifier. The highest entropy would be the loss of the capacity to connect with anything in any sense – which would be annihilation. The universe, therefore is a continuum of sense (significance production) which expands into its own modulated insensitivity (entropy diffraction, aka spacetime). See also altruistic monad.

Solitrope – A local attractor which represents, in some sense, the Absolute. Home would be the solitrope for a family. Profit for a business. Water for a living organism. The promise of solace, salvation, safety. Take Leibniz’ Monadology and add a dollop of Process Philosophy and we get something like an advertisement for the Supreme Monad – a local oasis, perfectly appealing in its opposition to ‘the whips and scorns of time’.

Solitrophy (Solitropy) – If solitropy is the tendency to want to ‘pass Go and collect $200′, then solitrophy is the desire to do more and have more each time the cycle is complete. Solitrophy is used in some esoteric diagrams to imply the weaver of worlds from the thread of entropy and significance. Solitrophy is the unacknowledged aesthetic aspect of evolution – the proliferation of richer simplicities which belie the purely statistical emergence of complexity.

sub-personal, super-personal – A more general approach to integrating what has been called the Subconscious or Id and Superego or Collective Unconscious. See Sub-private.

Sub-private, private, super-private – Terms designed to weave together math, physics, and phenomenology because they focus on privacy as an ontological feature. If we want to look at awareness from a functional perspective (disclaimer: don’t do this unless you already understand that function must rely on the aesthetic qualities of sense to generate significance), we find that privacy is a plausible justification for the difference between physical and phenomenal aesthetics. See private physics.

Superposition of the Absolute – While the concept of superposition has enjoyed wide acceptance on the microcosmic level of quantum physics, the idea of the Totality of the universe being a kind of multistable perception has not been considered. The superposition of a wavefunction is tolerated because it helps us justify what we have measured of particles once they have decohered, but under PIP, the entire cosmos can be understood to be perpetually in superposition, or perhaps meta-superposition in which fully half of the universe is in superposition and subject to private interpretation (perceptual relativity), while the other half is an accumulation of measurable histories (bodies in space). If this were true, it invites the possibility that all wavefunctions share the identical, nested, non-well-founded superposition, one which can be understood as sense or perceptual relativity itself.

Super-Signifier – Stems from the hypothesis that gods or archetypes are figures which represent superlative qualities. This can be derived from an evolutionary psychology perspective, in which stories circulating about the qualities of people and places are exaggerated into a successively fictionalized hyperbole hierarchy. To amplify the significance of good and bad into super-significance, composites of personalities are condensed as heroes and villains, divine and evil, and finally absolute divinity. From a teleological perspective, mythology, which reigns even in modern contexts as celebrity and commercial branding, is a guiding, mandala like fetish that permeates our local privacy from what could be called super-privacy or eternal privacy (aka Jung’s Collective Unconscious, the Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime, etc).

Syzygy – The word syzygy can refer to either a literal alignment of three bodies, such as the Sun, Earth, and Moon during an eclipse, or figuratively as the yoking together of opposites, as in Jung’s animus and anima. Because the two meanings are opposites in the sense that the first is expressly physical and the second is psychological, the word syzygy is itself a syzygy in the second sense. The overlapping sense of mandala, monad, and syzygy is a strong theme in MSR, and many diagrams follow this pattern.

Transmeasurable or Transmultiplicity – The idea that measurability itself is only one sensible context among many, so that even infinite computation is dwarfed by finite experiential (aesthetic) qualities. .  Mathematically this translates into the suggestion that all infinite sets are actually smaller than the Absolute set (which is aesthetic under PIP) , which is technically finite but transmeasurable. The primary colors for example, Red, Green, and Blue (or Red. Yellow, and Blue) contain or reflect vastly more ‘values’ than could any quantitative description of wavelength/frequency, even when that description is divided infinitely (or into virtual sub-Planck units). Because each part of the visible spectrum represents its own location within the continuum literally as well as all color combinations figuratively, the sense of finite primary and secondary hues evokes more value than could computable wavelengths alone, even though they are potentially infinite.

Unlikelihood – See Primordial Improbability

UPP Hypothesis – A variety of pansensitive alternatives to PIP.

Wholes through holes (Subtractive coherence or Transrational Gestalt Algebras) – The property of perception to present a simple but rich sensation rather than a complex data set. Unlike a symbol, where representational meaning is specified artificially, raw perceptions are instead understood to cohere on their own level in a bi-directional fashion. We can see this as we project images and meanings on what we see due to our personal awareness and cultural influences. The Rorschach effect is more indicative of private physics than Bayesian processes – the bottom up selection means nothing without a top down expectation of simplicity and wholeness.

Yellow Light – Used as a metaphor in describing how free will can be compatible with determinism and incompatible at the same time. In a traffic light, the red and green signals are taken to issue an unambiguously deterministic command. The yellow light points to the driver to use their own awareness and judgment. The yellow light is really a meta-signal that relates to the status of the what the signal is going to do. In the same way, our will allows us to try to inject more freedom to reinterpret signals and create unprecedented intentional effects.

Diogenes Revenge: Cynicism, Semiotics, and the Evaporating Standard

September 24, 2013 Leave a comment

Diogenes was called Kynos — Greek for dog — for his lifestyle and contrariness. It was from this word for dog that we get the word Cynic.

Diogenes is also said to have worked minting coins with his father until he was 60, but was then exiled for debasing the coinage. – source

In comparing the semiotics of CS Pierce and Jean Baudrillard, two related themes emerge concerning the nature of signs. Pierce famously used trichotomy arrangements to describe the relations, while Baudrillard talked about four stages of simulation, each more removed from authenticity. In Pierce’s formulation, Index, Icon, and Symbol work as separate strategies for encoding meaning. An index is a direct consequence or indication of some reality. An icon is a likeness of some reality. A symbol is a code which has its meaning assigned intentionally.

Baudrillard saw sign as a succession of adulterations – first in which an original reality is copied, then when the copy masks the original in some way, third, as a denatured copy in which the debasement has been masked, and fourth as a pure simulacra; a copy with no original, composed only of signs reflecting each other.

Whether we use three categories or four stages, or some other number of partitions along a continuum, an overall pattern can be arranged which suggests a logarithmic evaporation, an evolution from the authentic and local to the generic and universal. Korzybski’s map and territory distinction fits in here too, as human efforts to automate nature result in maps, maps of maps, and maps of all possible mapping.

The history of human timekeeping reveals the earthy roots of time as a social construct based on physical norms. Timekeeping was, from the beginning linked with government and control of resources.

According to Callisthenes, the Persians were using water clocks in 328 BC to ensure a just and exact distribution of water from qanats to their shareholders for agricultural irrigation. The use of water clocks in Iran, especially in Zeebad, dates back to 500BC. Later they were also used to determine the exact holy days of pre-Islamic religions, such as the Nowruz, Chelah, or Yalda- – the shortest, longest, and equal-length days and nights of the years. The water clocks used in Iran were one of the most practical ancient tools for timing the yearly calendar.  source

Anything which burns or flows at a steady rate can be used as a clock. Oil lamps, candles, can incense have been used as clocks, as well as the more familiar sand hourglass, shadow clocks, and clepsydrae (water clocks). During the day, a simple stick in the ground can provide an index of the sun’s position. These kinds of clocks, in which the nature of physics is accessed directly would correspond to Baudrillard’s first level of simulation – they are faithful copies of the sun’s movement, or of the depletion of some material condition.

Staying within this same agricultural era of civilization, we can understand the birth of currency in the same way. Trading of everyday commodities could be indexed with concentrated physical commodities like livestock, and also other objects like shells which had intrinsic value for being attractive and uncommon, as well as secondary value for being durable and portable objects to trade. In the same way that coins came to replace shells, mechanical clocks and watches came to replace physical index clocks. The notions of time and money, while different in that time refers to a commodity beyond the scope of human control and money referring specifically to human control, both serve as regulatory standards for civilization, as well as equivalents for each other in many instances (‘man hours’, productivity).

In the next phase of simulation, coins combined the intrinsic and secondary values of things like shells with a mint mark to ensure transactional viability on the token. The icon of money, as Diogenes discovered, can be extended much further than the index, as anything that bears the official seal will be taken as money, regardless of the actual metal content of the coin. The idea of bank notes was as a promise to pay the bearer a sum of coins. In the world of time measurement, the production of clocks, clocktowers, and watches spread the clock face icon around the world, each one synchronized to a local, and eventually a coordinated universal time. Industrial workers were divided into shifts, with each crew punching a timeclock to verify their hours at work and breaks. While the nature of time makes counterfeiting a different kind of prospect, the practice of having others clock out for you or having a cab driver take the long way around to run the meter longer are ways that the iconic nature of the mechanical clock can be exploited. Being one step removed from the physical reality, iconic technologies provide an early opportunity for ‘hacking’.

physical territory > index local map > icon symbol > universal map
water clock, sand clock sundial/clock face digital timecode
trade > shells coins > check > paper plastic > digital > virtual
production > organization bonds > stock futures > derivatives
real estate mortgage, rent speculation > derivatives
genuine aesthetic imitation synthetic artificial emulation
non-verbal communication language data

The last three decades have been marked by the rise of the digital economy. Paper money and coins have largely been replaced by plastic cards connected to electronic accounts, which have in turn entered the final stage of simulacra – a pure digital encoding. The promissory note iconography and the physical indexicality of wealth have been stripped away, leaving behind a residue of immediate abstraction. The transaction is not a promise, it is instantaneous. It is not wealth, it is only a license to obtain wealth from the coordinated universal system.

Time has entered its symbolic phase as well. The first exposure to computers that consumers had in the 1970s was in the form of digital watches and calculators. Time and money. First LED, and then LCD displays became available, both in expensive and inexpensive versions. For a whole generation of kids, their first electronic devices were digital calculators and watches. There had been digital clocks before, based on turning wheels or flipping tiles, but the difference here was that the electronic numbers did not look like regular numbers. Nobody had ever seen numbers rendered as these kind of generic combinatorial figures before. Every kid quickly learned how to spell out words by turning the numbers upside down (you couldn’t make much.. 710 77345 spells ShELL OIL)…sort of like emoticons.

Beneath the surface however, something had changed. The digital readout was not even real numbers, they were icons of numbers, and icons which exposed the mechanics of their iconography. Each number was only a combinatorial pattern of binary segments – a specific fraction of the full 8.8.8.8.8.8.8.8. pattern. You could even see the faint outlines of the complete pattern of 8’s if you looked closely, both in LED and LCD. The semiotic process had moved one step closer to the technological and away from the consumer. Making sense of these patterns as numbers was now part of your job, and the language of Arabic numerals became data to be processed.

Since that time, the digital revolution has shaped the making and breaking of world markets. Each financial bubble spread out, Diogenes style, through the banking and finance industry behind a tide of abstraction. Ultra-fast trading which leverages meaningless shifts in transaction patterns has become the new standard, replacing traditional market analysis. From leveraged buyouts in the 1980s to junk bonds, tech IPOs, Credit Default Swaps, and the rest, the world economy is no longer an index or icon of wealth, it is a symbol which refers only to itself.

The advent of 3D printing marks the opposite trend. Where conventional computer printing to allow consumers to generate their own 2D icons from machines running on symbols, the new wave of micro-fabrication technology extend that beyond the icon and the index level. Parts, devices, food, even living tissue can be extruded from symbol directly into material reality. Perhaps this is a fifth level of simulation – the copy with no original which replaces the need for the original…a trophy in Diogenes’ honor.

Pink Floyd, Money

September 18, 2013 Leave a comment

Delving deeper into the Non-Well-Founded Identity Principle that I proposed earlier, here is an illustration which applies the principle to money – US dollars specifically.

metamoney

What I intend to show is that a dollar is defined by the integral which spans a continuum from the most literal (a dollar “simply is” one hundred cents) to the most figurative. The most figurative end of the continuum is another continuum – an orthogonal continuum which contains the entire top level continuum from what is meant literally as one hundred cents to every other meaning, association, context and contingency, from every perspective, throughout eternity.

metamoneykey

This stack of figurative extensions can yield many loose morphological analogs – electron shell type morphology, stepped pyramid, color wheel mandalas, etc. The closest figures to associate with the dollar would be other kinds of currencies: Euros, Deutschmarks, Yen, etc. These are all of the things which are like dollars, but not dollars, and which dollars can actually buy. The associations radiate out from there to include references to any transaction with dollars. Ultimately this would stretch to encompass any real or imagined transaction which has ever occurred, every transaction which could occur, or could not occur…until the set includes the entire contents of eternity (aka, the Absolute Inertial Frame, or the Totality*).

 

Once you recover from that (seriously, come back later…I have already had one person say they got a headache thinking about this), then have a look at the diagram below. Same thing, only from the Absolute perspective. Borrowing from the Dark Side of The Moon Prism, I attempt to show how the cosmos is the continuum of self-individuating, nested, Ouroboran Monism. Rather than the Blue Sky icon representing the Totality, it represents any individual thing as a generic presence.

darkside_primordial

In the top diagram, I show how the individuality of a dollar implies the figuratively nested Totality, and in this diagram, it is the Totality which is considered the individual identity which is spread across the continuum of its own absolutely individuated cardinality or literal granularity.

Another point to make about the continuum is that the bottom limits of the integrals represent both that which is common to each and every unity. The cents which ‘make up’ a dollar represent the quantitative definition which describes any particular dollar, and therefore all dollars. The top end of the integrals represent the opposite definitions – that which is increasingly unique to a particular event in time or associated with a unique group of less particular experiences (qualia, concepts).

You’re welcome 😉

 

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