Philosophy for Renewing Reason – 41

Philosophy for Renewing Reason – 40
Philosophy for Renewing Reason – 42

Philosophy includes epistemology, the exploration of the furthest limits of human knowledge. How far can we hope to go in understanding things?  What has emerged recently is startling. The best way to understand the physical universe is by building an anti-mathematic model of it —this is a no-brainer. When a credible working anti-mathematic model of the universe materialises —in the foreseeable future— it will enjoy a wonderful intelligibility which today’s orthodox science conspicuously lacks, namely that it does not rest in any way on questionable, substantive assumptions.

Anti-mathematical modelling is a creative activity  —one which works as a result of human modellers imposing reifying judgments onto the Grand Field of all possible long random-jumping sequences.  (‘Long’ is probably about 300 jumps.) It creates order out of chaos. The earliest stages have been set out previously in these blogs:

1 How the three dimensionality of physical space comes about

2 How an irreversible time sequence comes about

3 How the system as a whole generates an immense field of surplus energy

4 How reliable, robust, quasi-permanent particles come about

5 How reliable, robust, quasi-permanent particles also generate ‘fields’ of influence extending through space.

This is the ‘state of play’ in anti-mathematics. Enough has been done to establish the seriousness of the discovery of anti-mathematics.

This is a turning point in the history of science. It means that we now have the option of switching away from a 100% reliance on idealised (timeless) mathematical models of physical reality —to a mixed regime in which some mathematical models will be retained for the sake of convenience, but the most serious, state-of-the-art modelling on the frontiers of sub-atomic physics will be done with anti-mathematical modelling. 

This is not a starry-eyed ego-trip… rather it is an all-but inevitable consequence of the massive gains in lucidity and mental composure which these ground-breaking discoveries imply.

    A  new era of science needs to be founded on this premiss. [This is an extraordinarily hopeful moment, news of which needs to be shouted from the rooftops.]

There is a compelling argument that such a structure can explain the physical universe, including us —the human beings which inhabit that universe. (What is ‘compelling’ is the amazing unification it brings about in relation to otherwise insoluble problems such as the origin of the universe and how the human brain manages to confer freewill onto its human possessors.) So it will be a potentially anthropic grand model, because not only is mind present in it, but it is also the driving force and integral to the whole system.  Of course this resolution of the paradox of the Anthropic Principle as stated by John Wheeler is no more than a footnote, What the breakthrough implies is a spectacular solution to the massive, over-arching problem <<How to conceptualise the universe without making substantive assumptions?>>.  An anti-mathematical grand working model of the universe would achieve just this.  It surprisingly echoes what the ancients were dimly conscious of when they talked in hushed tones about the universe as being ‘created out of chaos’.

The claim above —that there is a ‘good chance’ that an anti-mathematical model can explain the physical universe— rests on three main facts:

  1. That transience is found everywhere throughout the physical universe. Physical reality is “out there” (outside our control)  and it is in its purest form, chaos. 
  2. That we already enjoy working explanations of many aspects of the physical universe and that these can be relatively easily translated into an anti-mathematical format 
  3. That we have made a great deal of progress in explaining the universe since the fifth century BCE using a timeless, static, passive modelling kit (mathematics) which was not optimally suited to the task.  Adopting a modelling kit which is essentially both transient and active should therefore lead to faster progress and better results. It is particularly needed to model the bio-universe, the most unlikely and interesting bit of the whole.

The concept of anti-mathematic modelling should take off quite quickly once the importance of the concept has sunk-in to the theoretical physics community.  Using super-computers to mimic quite substantial chunks of the grand field of basic sequences will be a great step forward. (Incidentally such modelling is not expected to give us cut-and-dried, precise answers like deterministic mathematical modelling. Rather it shows us, in a synoptic, outline, qualitative way, the ‘kind of inter-active scene which follows from a particular set of imposed reifications’.)  In the case of earlier examples of 20th century high-priority projects —such as the metallurgy of titanium, or the methodology of vegan cheese-making— progress has taken many of us by surprise.

The $64 question is <<What are the fundamental reifications which will eventually bring into existence the creative, free, caring minds of human beings who will both be “in” the system and be the source of the willpower behind the system?>> 

There is much to ‘sink in’. We have been living in an era of very, very low confidence in human reasoning since around 1901 when the disastrously formidable problems of physical relativity and Russell’s Contradiction threw everything ‘theoretical’ into confusion, and shook Western Civilisation to the core. (Both problems were eventually given sticking-plaster-type —heavily fudged— ‘solutions’.) The twentieth century which followed… inexorably reflected the awful shock of the realisation that <<nobody understood how material reality could possibly work, and nor did it look as if anyone ever would>>.  Similarly <<nobody understood how how the fact of the relativity of light could come about>>.  Space-time was a concept which condemned the human race to suppose that they were all predetermined by an unseen, iron destiny, and that freewill was an illusion. This could not fail to entail that all propositions for moral, political, social and racial reform were also equally illusory. Nothing could change the chilling pre-destiny assumption which had been built-into the idea of spacetime. It is hardly surprising that the 20th century didn’t turn out well: it became, we know, the ‘century of the depressive intellectual’ as well as the most brutal, destructive, murderous century in human history.

A slightly brutal norm of human inter-action seems to have been taken on board —even in supposedly ‘civilised circles’— and treated as the accepted practice. (This was really quite atypical of civilised circles in previous centuries.) It is also becoming clear that such a degree of lack-of-confidence in human reasoning, solidarity and goodwill is a burden which has serious consequences for human well-being. It trashes good order, male-female relationships, law, justice and culture. It trashes education, both in the normal sense, and in the sense that one might reasonably expect the leaders of major states to try to maintain the highest standards of veracity and ethical behaviour. You would expect them to take their cues from the best examples. (Whereas some totalitarian governments have now sunk to lying systematically and bludgeoning their kinsfolk into conformity by imposing draconian laws.) The side-effect of this is to trash good government, and for the same reasons, it trashes healthy political dialogue.

Can we shake off this dismal lack-of-confidence and belief in the common good?

Yes, we must.  We are beset by a gaggle of existential crises, each of which can be defused if we hold our nerve… but they could lead to untold disasters if not.

The overall effect of decades of under-confidence in progress and social good feelings… adds up to one particularly dangerous deficit —a systemic lack of knee-jerk respect or consideration for ‘them’, ‘the others’, ‘the opposition’, for the supposedly (misunderstood) ‘menacing oppressors’…  At worst it can break out into savage acts like terrorist bombs, killing and wounding indiscriminately,  for no apparent reason.

It needs to be shouted from the rooftops: <<there is a new way to think about the universe which explains why it exists and how our brains work>>.  It is light at the end of the tunnel, and it promises a much happier future… one in which we can re-discover respect for each other and a potentially satisfying human consensus.