Recently I put together a small Q&A to better explain the concept as described in the primary write-up ...
Q: Doesn’t examining the Great Extinctions and the speciation rates sweep the rug out from under the sinusoidal theory? Please explain the
mathematical model in more detail.
Historically speaking I'll be the first to admit that societies have moved both forwards and backwards which would seem to fly in the face of any
idea of cultural evolution. However, I think we may be observing noise in a larger shaping algorithm. A physics analogy might help to explain how this
position might be true. Classical physics works beautifully on the macro level, but the quantum standard model does a vastly better job of explaining
the whole. Unfortunately quantum mechanics fails to account for gravity. This continues to vex physicists.
Clearly since both are accurate descriptions of physical reality, even the lay person can see there must be something that fills in the gap and
merges the two systems. There’s plenty of conjecture as to what this unifying system might look like (string theory, loop quantum gravity, Penrose
spins networks, etc), but no one has definitively yet to find it. So in the here and now we make do with Einstein’s general-relativity and the
standard model.
Similarly I believe the behavioral sciences may be looking at the "quantum" perspective when there's a larger algorithm at work that's describing
the classical mechanics of anthropology.
Thinking along these lines ultimately led to the study of several physical-anthropology books describing energy consumption rates of future
civilizations such as Leslie A White's
Evolution of
Culture. In doing this it became obvious the S.H. concept, as a logarithmic spiral (not a circle), had a strong connection to Kardashev's scale
and even seemed to fit the description as elaborated on in
Physics of the Impossible, on p.146,
"Kardashev estimated that any civilization growing at a modest rate of a few percent per year in energy consumption will progress rapidly from one
type to the next, within a matter of a few thousand years to tens of thousands of years." (
Kardashev, Nikolai.
"On the Inevitability and the Possible Structures of
Supercivilizations ", The search for extraterrestrial life: Recent developments; Proceedings of the Symposium, Boston, MA, June
18–21, 1984 (A86-38126 17-88). Dordrecht, D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1985, p. 497–504 )
Furthermore the idea expressed in the graph, as seen in
Fig.1,
suggests that if we're to imagine "a most exigent scenario" it would have to be in relation to a sentience because exigence has no meaning absent an
actor. Sentience defined here "as any life-form that has the capability of evolving in to a self-aware species with some form of physical appendage or
mechanism to work its environment." So at some point between
4.5 Ga and 2 Ma speciation
eventually resulted in a branch of Hominoidea where behavior morphed from purely selfish characteristics (beyond parental care) to genuine group based
collaboration (i.e. Marx and Engels' theorized "
primitive communism" ).
What doubled me over when I first saw it was that at the point of greatest exigence — an extinction level event — we see the transition from
"self" based behavior to "group" based dynamics, seemingly bearing out the validity of the concept and its mathematical representation
(
Fig.2).
While I doubt this was an overnight transition. It suggests our early ancestors adapted to the environmental devastation by engaging in group
oriented collaboration to ensure their individual self preservation.
Similarly at point
(b) we see something that further corroborates the concept.
At the inception of the universe, since there was no life, there would have also been 0 exigence. Likewise since this process resulted in the
creation of everything. We can very easily describe this point as being "infinite in value" or, at the very least, self perpetuating. Furthermore the
very fact that the universe is speeding up is an indicator the universe will more than likely expand indefinitely
(
NASA WMAP data 2008). So it should hardly be contentious
saying the universe is the closest thing we observe that exhibits "infinite" characteristics.
That's two data points at
(b) and
(c) each fitting the hypothesis in a surprisingly consistent manner. So what of point
(d)
then?
As our species continues to evolve, what have we collectively worked towards? We've strived to offload our burdens to be borne by some other
force. Whether that be a beast of burden, a natural process like windmills, water-wheels, or in the modern day, nuclear processes; through-out our
goal has been to overcome nature enforced exigency. The closer we come to accomplishing this, what's been the result? Greater "life as a good to be
consumed" for all individuals. To accomplish this though we've needed more "value to be produced and reproduced" to support the increased number of
people living "life as a good to be consumed."
Eminent physicist and founder of field string theory, Dr. Michio Kaku expects within 100 to 200 years (The Circuit,
2008-03) we should to a large extent be able to control the physical processes of our planet. So
if everything on Earth can be controlled, then there's no reason any living person should ever have to suffer since future humans would possess
a full accounting of the planets resources and have the capability to manipulate
any local outcome. If we can accomplish this it would be equivalent to 0 exigency because we'd have a fully-managed closed system. Assuming this is
possible in reaching 0 exigence we would simultaneously provide -1 good (the greatest good to be consumed for the group). This would manifest as the
complete self-empowerment of all people (probably as some form of over-unity energy source ‒ longer treatment
here).
So the concept bears out in many ways. If there's still any doubt about the accuracy of a cyclical representation, here's another example that
hopefully brings the point home. We can assume humans will continue to find things to quantitate and compete over, even if we succeed in overcoming
material scarcity. Here's a fairly powerful example of what I've dubbed "ordinal scarcity" or the "original earth conundrum,"
[Scarcity] seems to form all imperatives. Even more so it seems to expose a crucial element of how the human brain works. Scarcity is
fundamentally a part of our psychological make-up. It's not just something imposed on us by reality through the forces of nature, but something that
we strive for and actually seek out.
Consider that many millions upon millions of years from now, when humanity has the ability to fundamentally convert matter to energy and energy back
to matter perfectly recycling all transitions (potentially beating the 2nd law of thermodynamics ‒ see Figure 1, point (a)); and when man has the
ability to replicate and create anything whether it be cloning an exact copy of yourself, creating a planet, or summoning in to existence a TV or
what-have-you:
Scarcity will still exist.
Why? Because there is no way to replicate the exact instance of the original Earth. Put another way there is only one original NY. Even if we can
recreate Earth exactly as it currently exists and drop it in to another system, precisely modeled on our current solar system, there would still be
only one original Earth.
Due to this people would still have battles over property and the value of a house would be subject to the whims of the individuals bidding on it. For
example, the house in NY on the original earth would necessarily be worth more than the copy because it would be known by all parties as the first,
authentic incarnation. So the qualitative association is what would create the value despite the two houses, environments, and conditions otherwise
being physically identical.
Thus scarcity still exists as a concept in people’s minds and because of this future people will still need some mechanism to determine resource
allocation (likely a stored social value system like money).
Now let me explain where this is really coming from.
A = A
They're not equal.
They're two separate things though identical in almost every way, but they're two separate instances (i.e. one is on the left, the other is on the
right). Thus we create scarcity and inequality even when it doesn't exist. We seek out difference wherever we can find it.
Now imagine if you could even remove that. If we can do that we haven't removed a real scarce thing, we've removed a part of human psychology.
There's something very strange, special and magical about this idea.
A ≠ A can be objectively true and I get the impression it's at that point where the quantitative bridges to the qualitative world.
So once humans succeed in overcoming quantity limitations (i.e. cardinality as a perpetual motion machines) there are still ordinal limitations to
quantitate on. However if quantity can be overcome more than likely order will follow suit. Suggesting that at the conclusion of this process, as
described in the paper, there can be an end to lack,
... consider what happens at the end of "lack of knowledge" and "lack of being able to be in all locations."
At that point we'll be omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. So the only thing that will be scarce is "the lack of something." If you can know all
things, be everywhere, and control all things what then? I see several possibilities but the most obvious are either a) start over, hit the reset
button or b) become the vessel of a new sentience or universe.
Which is to say the cycle starts all over again. Even if the circle isn't the idealized version of this periodic function we're at the very least
looking at something as represented in a logarithmic spiral.
Put another way if humans can truly accomplish all things then there will be a point where there's simply nothing left to do. Can you imagine a
more horrifying fate? This "lack of something" suggests the process curves back on to itself, creating a new scarce universe for us or something else
to overcome. This process would then create all possibilities and probabilities in perpetuity.
So if this can be conceived as possible. Then the formula in this case is simply: x/y ⇒ sin(a)/cos(a) = tan(a), where x is "life as a good to be
consumed" and y as "life as exigency." Meaning as exigency decreases life as a good to be consumed increases. Thus the "value to be produced and
reproduced" is the ratio between the two. So when "life as a value to be produced and reproduced" goes to infinity, life as exigency is 0, and life as
a good to be consumed is completely maximized.
This even makes intuitive sense. "Infinite value to be produced and reproduced" would obviously allow for the greatest possible life as a good to
be consumed because it's unending value.
Upon further thought I realized the idea even corresponded to density plots of the universe. Since the cotangent eventually zips off to -∞ this
then made me think of
the Weyl curvature hypothesis suggesting, as Dr. Roger Penrose notes, that
when mass completely radiates away time goes to ∞ and the conformal factor Ω tends towards 0 at point (a), as seen in
Fig. 5.
Perhaps the strangest part of the concept is it suggests everything, including math, is simply a function of lack, or scarcity, resulting in,
- Cardinality – physical quantity limitations, related to “Grand
Hotel” style paradoxes.
- Ordinality – physical order limitations, correspondent to Turing-Russell halting
problem-esque issues. For a practical example of this type of scarcity see
here (*).
- Duality principle – dialectical argumentation illustrating there's always a +/- counter position; or in a physical sense, similar to getting
matter / anti-matter pairs out of energy or contrasting
light against matter.
- Reflexive / Irreflexive relations – concepts of beingness, existence and
nothingness.
Suggesting, as
Dr. Tegmark hints at with his mathematical
universe ToE (
arxiv.org... ) diagram (
space.mit.edu... ), that all of math is a unified body with
definable points of intersection where all elements can be unified and analyzed as representations of each other. For example, here are some of the
relationships as I currently imagine them:
- Reflexive-Ordinal identity:
(A ≠ A) ≡
∅
Note: (A = A) ≡ A, showing that reflexive-equality or -inequality can be simplified in both cases down to a single term as a type of
substitution.
- Cardinal-Dual identity:
0 ≡ (+ ∪ -), or perhaps, 0 ≡ (+
∧ -)
implying dualness has a cardinality of 2 in the normal case (i.e. A + B = A - B ⇒ 2B
= (A - A) ⇒ 2 = (A - A) / B, where B = 0 assuming not indeterminate, here for
more); or 4 when accounting for conjunction and negation.This suggests an ...
- Ordinal-Dual relation:
∅ ≡ ¬(+ ⋁ -)
- Cardinal-Ordinal Dual-Reflexive relation:
(0 = {+ ⋁ =}) ↔ (∅ = {- ⋁ ≠}), or in other words
0 as summation / reflexive, and ∅ as absence reflected in lack of
cardinality / irreflexive. Meaning this type of 0 ⇒ {ordinal = 2, cardinality = 1} and ∅ ⇒ {ordinal = 0, cardinality = 1}
Some fascinating characteristics start to emerge as you think about these adjacencies, for instance
∀A: ∅
⊆ A, meaning ordinal ∅
when related to the cardinal-space has a cardinal length of ∞. Suggesting ordinality and cardinality run parallel to one another.
The relationship between ordinalness and dualness would seem to be triangular in nature. Probably the easiest way to start to see this is to
simply imagine dualness parallel to reflexivity; and {cardinal, ordinalness} as parallel and simultaneously orthogonal to {dual, reflexive}. Though
there are some strange characteristics when considering (A ≠ A) ≡ ∅. It's hard to imagine ≠
⊥ ∅ in the instance when A ≠ A as being identical to ∅. Though this may make some sense
in that ≠, as a binary operation, doesn't always imply ∅ in the instances where A ≠ B is true and the values are different. Meaning the ⊥
point of intersection occurs when ≠ is ≡ ∅.
What this suggests is that zero is infinite-centric. This would explain why our reality is 0-centric as the concepts are inverses of one another.
It would also imply that like infinity, zero isn't discrete. So similar to how
countable infinity isn't the same as uncountable
infinity, this suggests zero has numerous properties that can be evaluated and transformed through careful explicit usage of these
characteristics.
What's shocking is that these mathematical characteristics seem to describe omni- characteristics!
Omnipotence is the hypothesized ability in the far distant future that a species would find a mechanism to "convert matter to energy and energy to
matter perfectly recycling all transitions;" and through this process eventually gain control over all of physical reality. This anthropic description
of omnipotence, with all the baggage it entails, can be abstracted in to pure math. We quantitate the universe by length, size, mass, density, etc.
These numerical representations have little to do with order, nor do they have any bearing on equality or polarity. They're purely cardinal. In this
manner omnipotence can be seen as representative of overcoming the "
number of elements of the
set." (i.e. overcoming
cardinal zero ⇔
absolute ∞)
Similarly omnipresence which addresses the scarce "original earth" scenario, as outlined earlier, would be defined as overcoming
ordinality (empty set [∅] ⇔ universal set
[
U]).
Omniscience is the concept of having all knowledge, and knowledge is usually expressed as "contrasting information between different domains." If
knowledge can be viewed as purely offset or contrast, then we're simply formulating knowledge as a series of negative and positive constructs to
varying degrees. This can then be seen as overcoming the
mathematical duality
principle in the form of dualistic monism (+ ⇔ -).
Omni-benevolence is the hardest to explain, but it's the final form of lack (discussed on pg. 6 of the
SH whitepaper). This is the concept of overcoming "beingness" which is
reflected through
reflexive and irreflexive relationships. Frankly it's difficult to
conjure to mind something that can both exist, but not. The closest thing observed that exhibits this characteristic are photons which are both
probability waves and/or particles. But overcoming equality and inequality (= ⇔ ≠) eventually would result in this last step connecting to utter
limitlessness.
It's important to note that in no way am I suggesting
all life-forms will reach this penultimate state. Rather I'm suggesting only
sentiences that manage to pass through these various periods (
Fig. 1)
that adapt to the challenges imposed by the circumstances will succeed. This is why I'm advocating so heavily that all people focus on this concept of
reducing "all nature imposed exigency." A slide backwards may very well spell the end of our species.
edit on 22-11-2010 by Xtraeme because:
(no reason given)
edit on 5-12-2010 by asala because: (no reason given)