UPP Hypothesis

Following is a description of the microphysics of MSR, called Quorum Mechanics or Universal Primitive Pansensitivity (UPP).

Quorum Mechanics (UPP)

Quorum mechanics should be properly considered as a form of Pansensitivity rather than Panpsychism as it is not necessary to assume the existence of human-like psychic qualities at the subatomic level or at the level of the Totality/Absolute. While speculating on things like the content of the experience of fundamental particles, if such a thing were to exist, is likely pointless, there is an expectation for such a microphenomenal experience to exist in a theory which is panpsychic. If someone claims to adhere to a form of panpsychism, it is generally only a matter of time before they are asked if they think that an electron or an atom has experiences. If it were the case that microphysical sense were attached to individual particles, and I had to speculate on what that would be like, I tend to guess that the universe on that level would be dominated by simple feelings such as ‘tension’ or ‘holding’ and ‘releasing’.

These primitive sensory experiences would hypothetically grow in qualitative depth and richness as the scale of particles grows, while perhaps losing precision and certainty. If sensory perception receives more aesthetic quality as it scales up, then the capacity to intentionally cause effects might prove to grow in its memory and capacity for planning ahead. It’s scope of awareness of motivation and result extends to larger sequences of actions. Where sense develops a deeper privacy, motive develops a more extroverted, vigilant presence. Sense and motive proposed as the universal process through which forces and fields stick together and fall apart. To improve sense is to recover more quality from the totality or fuse with the Absolute. To improve motive is to project sense more effectively into the relatively senseless context of mechanical realism.

  • Strong UPP:
    Photon = Stand-alone unit of electromagnetic sensitivity rather than packet of ‘energy’.
    Classical Limit = Unspecified mixture of subjective and objective phenomena.

In this strongest form of UPP, it is proposed that the Standard Model has been a dramatic misinterpretation of nature. While the observations and measurements obtained are unquestionably above reproach, quorum mechanics puts these measurables in a larger context. The behaviors of photomultipliers and cloud chambers only give us the quantitative tip of a qualitative ocean of icebergs. By adding sense and motive to the microcosm, UPP offers a ‘tokenless’ economy of energy transfer based on microsensory affect and micromotive effect.

The existence of entangled particles, for instance, would be seen to support the idea that universal entanglement is the default state of all phenomena, and that the appearance of ‘particles’ is an artifact of disentanglement through experimental techniques designed to rigorously isolate physical functions. Under Strong UPP, the study of quantum mechanics is complicated by the confusion of patterns of measurement with patterns of what is being measured.

When we turn on a light bulb, we could say that the room is illuminated, but under strong UPP, we could say that our eye is illuminated by the room, the lightbulb, and the room’s illumination by the lightbulb. There is thus a triangulation of sense available to the extent that our eye is sophisticated enough to receive it. Our retina cells may feel what the walls of the room feel like on a molecular level, but the retina as a whole, as well as the visual cortex and the brain as a whole leverage that sensitivity to draw out meaning for us on a higher level. We feel the optical state of the entire room as a human being feels it visually – in richly colored textures, iconic symbols, and a sense of realism that is laden with anthropological semantics.

Strong UPP with Hard Threshold:
Photon = Symptom of electromagnetic sensitivity associated with atoms.
Classical Limit = Clearly delineated dichotomy of subjective and objective phenomena

In the hard threshold case, there would be a class of particles or a level of description which separates particles which could be considered literally ‘real’, in the sense of being relatively independent of public interaction. Ironically it is privacy which makes something ‘real’. A cartoon character or a stuffed animal is a kind of personality presentation in the our human context, but it is the lack of presence in any non-human context which makes it unreal, and artificial representation rather than a natural presence. A natural presence has its own frame of reference, so that a person feels like they are living a human life even if nothing is watching them.

Perhaps atoms or even molecules are the smallest ‘fully real’ particles that occupy space as an independent three dimensional form. Every sub-molecular or sub-atomic particle may be completely unreal in the sense that what ‘they are’ (electrons, photons) is actually what can be publicly detected of the ‘rhythms of empathy’ shared by atoms. Even though we can advance our understanding greatly while sticking to a conventional view of quantum mechanics, the Strong Universal Primitive Pansensitivity with Hard Threshold  conjecture is that subatomic particles are not only ‘spooky action at a distance’, they are more like ordinary feelings at a network level, with no separation by distance. On the level that we observe ‘distance’ between material objects, the actual entity, which is a feeling on a non-material level of shared privacy, is not detectable. The feeling is not located inside of the functions of the particles, by rather those volumes of mass which we expect exist at the atomic level are a kind of sensory afterimage…a looping residue that is retained on higher levels as a kind of familiar cliche of physical embodiment.

Strong UPP with Graduated Phenomenology:
Photon= Description of increasing excitement at all levels of nature.
Classical Limit = Fuzzy or complex transition between subjective and objective qualities.

In this version of the UPP conjecture, pansensitivity gradually converts a portion of its phenomenological character into frozen images that we experience directly as images and indirectly as objects through our body’s public facing senses.  Atoms and even macroscopic objects behave as quantum particles do in double slit tests, so it may not be the case that atoms are completely real, with their own frame of reference, and subatomic particles are completely unreal ‘software’ running on multiple particle hardware.  There may be a continuum extending from macrocosm and  microcosm in which the most distant phenomena become gradually indistinguishable from the materials we are trying to use to measure with. Beyond a certain scale, our instruments cannot tell the difference between interior sense and external structures. The class of changes in the properties and qualities would comprise an event horizon of material evanescence; a kind of foggy boundary between exotic realism and existential idealism on the far micro level. At the most primitive, bottom levels, distance itself may ‘not yet been invented’. Under UPP, distance itself is emergent.

  • Weak UPP: Particle = Node of sensitivity, Photon = particle/wave
    Classical Limit = Subjectivity is pushed beneath physics.

In this weak version, the difference is that photons and other quantum functions are conceived in the conventional way, as physically independent phenomena in the universe. This would technically be panprotoexperientialism, where sense is assumed to be a property of particles which physically exist, like charge or spin. This would push phenomenology and interiority back into metaphysics, but if we find some reason to say that we have proved that photons are really particle-waves in space, then UPP can still be recovered only one level lower. Instead of electrons and photons being transitional phases of matter’s introversion, under Weak UPP, matter’s introversion occurs as it does in the human body and brain – in absolute privacy. This may be more palatable to contemporary sensibilities, as it does not posit a Copernican twist at the classical limit as the Strong UPP does. Photons and electrons are left as particle/waves but they are nodes of sensitivity themselves rather than epiphenomena of UPP atoms as they are under Strong UPP.

The drawback of this model is that it we lose the parsimony of the Strong version of the hypothesis, since there is now a brute emergence being posited beneath the quantum level. Quantum mechanical observations seem much more in line with what you would see of a sense-motive experience viewed through the back end. It is what thoughts and feelings look like to in a very low resolution, unfiltered form.

  • Exotic UPP:
    Particles = Physical symptoms of metaphysical entities, Photon = Particle/Wave
    Classical Limit = In the eye of the beholder.

Atoms or molecules might have some kind of non-local collective presence. As certain trees and fungi are understood to be part of the same organism under the surface, who is to say that all of the gold in the universe doesn’t exist as one thing on some level, especially if what we see as gold is just the tip of the iceberg of what it ‘really’ is.

  • Reductio Ad Absurdum UPP:
    Photons = Many Worlds
    Classical Limit = Illusory

In defiance of Occam’s Razor, this scenario proposes an radical proliferation of consciousness throughout the cosmos. As in the Dr. Seuss story “Horton Hears A Who’, any speck of dust could be a planet in miniature, teeming with a civilization of fully developed anthropological-scale beings. Anything and everything could be alive in its own frame of reference, perhaps even patterns themselves, information, empty space, etc.


To take the UPP conjecture further into multisense realism, time emerges from phenomenology, so that patterns such as in the double slit experiment (where a single particle probabilistically finds its way into an invisible pattern) would make sense as a teleological or retrocausal phenomenon. Patterns in photodetectors and human minds are drawn out of entropy by a top-down strange attractor, a transcendental object which guides them from beyond our view.


Causation Diagram

Unlike traditional causation models, Multisense Realism posits a radiant locus (‘here and now’) divided into upper and lower sense shells. The blue and yellow connote the mirroring of the shells, signifying that subjective and objective modalities are not merely different but ontologically opposite:

Yellow: Interior significance (doing*being)(timespace)
Blue: Exterior entropy (matter/energy)/spacetime

In the lower yellow shells, the subjective experience of ‘now’ (M1) is the most immediate and personal Mental cause (M). Through each successive step down and out from the immediate significance of the moment, causality becomes increasingly impersonal and difficult to control.  The effectiveness of personal intentionality degenerates toward its maximum, which would be a complete non-attachment and unity with nature. The transition from the most intimate level of privacy to the most evacuated level is speculated here to follow some kind of logarithmic decoherence, or following the Fibonacci sequence to divide the attention of the self as it merges with eternity.

The blue upper half, by contrast, depicts the counterpart to M1 as ΣP, or the sum of all physical presences local to through M1. Note that physical presences (P) are understood to be the ‘back end’ of mental presentations (M), i.e. a better symbol for physical presentations here might be shaped like a W to mirror M.

In the blue half of the diagram, the shells represent a different kind of decoherence – material obstruction and scale incongruity.  Beginning from the outside at P1 (the Big Bang) and proliferating into more and more granular forms. The spread between the cosmic and the microcosmic pushes out from the middle, creating more shells in between the ΣP and the P1 which remain fixed.

Multisense Realism and UPP potentially do away with concepts such as dark matter, dark energy, particle-waves, uncertainty, vacuum energy, as well as consciousness as epiphenomenon. What is gained is a re-inclusion of common sense notions of feeling, free will, the self, significance, value, teleology, and the potential for a new cosmology based on a Big Diffraction rather than a Big Bang.

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  1. October 1, 2013 at 9:33 pm

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