Toward a Unified Metaphysical Understanding - Category: System Matrix Notation    
 Simulacrum Definition
picture 2009-09-01
Simulacrum: Something that replaces reality with its representation, which is not a territory, a referential being, or a substance. Simulation is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal. It is not imitation, nor duplication. It is substituting the signs of the real for the real. The simulacrum's function lies in the derealization of the whole surrounding world of everyday reality.

Paraphrased from Definition: Simulacrum.

 Consciousness, Self, World, Virtual Reality and Liberation

Let us begin with the proposition that:

  1. Consciousness is fundamental and universal.

  2. The individual self is not unitary.

  3. The world is not an illusion as in 'unreal' but is an illusion in that it is not as it appears to be.

Clarification of (1 and 2): Many millions of people have successfully performed the experiment of deep meditation and attained the realisation that everyday consciousness is a complex self-propelling system of thoughts, emotions, day-dreams and so on which self organise into a personality, but beneath this there is a level of pure awareness that is often called the watcher or the seer. This deeper level transcends the individual personality and has its source in an underlying universal consciousness.

It is this level of consciousness that is proposed to be fundamental and universal. Let us call this level of consciousness pure-awareness and the more complex levels of consciousness can be called mind. Think of pure-awareness as a thread of consciousness and mind as a complex dynamic knot of pure-awareness.

Clarification of (3): Whilst the world appears within the mind as objects and events within space and time, these are the appearances of things but not their deeper reality. As the many streams of pure-awareness interact they produce in each other the contents of consciousness (phenomena) and thereby each stream of consciousness experiences a phenomenal world. But that world is an interpretation of the contents of consciousness whereas the actual reality is a field of interacting pure-awareness that are part of a single unified process.


This sounds rather counter-intuitive to many people who are habituated to a common sense realist (naïve realist) world-view – however it does make sense. Furthermore, given its explanatory power and ontological simplicity Occam's razor would fall in its favour.

Is there some comprehensible model or analogy through which we can make sense of these propositions? We cannot use models involving objects and events in space and time so are there any other known models we can use?

How about virtual reality – not the current technology of VR where a physical human is tricked into perceiving a virtual world, but rather a simulated universe within which simulated systems exist and experience that universe from within. I will be considering a particular type of reality generative simulator called SMN. The idea that reality may be virtual is growing in acceptance and becoming a compelling world-view, hence here we look at its spiritual implications. For an introduction to the scientific approach to the subject see the article God Is the Machine and A Cybernetic Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.  More >

 Naïve Realism, Empirical Science and Transcendent Science

Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.

Naïve Realism, Empirical Science
and Transcendent Science

Naïve realism has a tendency to trap our minds within the empirical world of the senses but we can overcome the cultural effects of this in a rigorous scientific manner. The main topics covered in this article are:

Semiotic nature of language and thought,
Overcoming the limitations of empiricism via abstraction,
Transcendent conceptual languages,
Transcendent scientific methodology  More >


Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.

For some background context see the articles: Virtual Reality Analogy Alongside Science and Mysticism,   Computational Metaphysics and Vedic Metaphysics,   Correspondences with Ancient Metaphysical Paradigms,   Survey of Ancient Traditions and also see Metaphysical Context. In the table in the first mentioned article we see that Hiranyagarbha may be analogous to the SMN information process itself, which is the simulation program, that manages all information flows, which underlie all interactions within the virtual reality. From the perspective of virtual systems the flow of transcendent information is “the sight within seeing and the qualities of the seen”. So what is Hiranyagarbha in the Vedic tradition?

Below is some information on Hiranyagarbha, collected from the internet.  More >

 Computational Metaphysics and Vedic Metaphysics

Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.

For some background context see the articles: Virtual Reality Analogy Alongside Science and Mysticism,   Correspondences with Ancient Metaphysical Paradigms,   Survey of Ancient Traditions and also see Metaphysical Context.

Some possible parallels between the computational metaphysical analogy and Vedic metaphysics could be summarised as:

Computational Metaphysics

Vedic Metaphysics



Computational Logic


Computational Stream


Computational Space


Information System


SMN Information Process


Sea of Interactions


Virtual Reality




Virtual System


Virtual (Empirical) World


In this table we see that Hiranyagarbha may be analogous to the SMN information process itself, which is the simulation program, that manages all information flows, which underlie all interactions within the virtual reality.  More >

 What Terms Best Describe My Metaphysical Work?

Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.

I refer to the mathematical foundations as System Matrix Notation (SMN) and I refer to the theoretical extrapolation of the mathematics into a metaphysical philosophy as Information System Theory (IST). But in light of the terms given in the article What is Knowledge, Science and Reasoning? how can I describe the approach?  More >

 Core terms for the Information System Paradigm

Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.

Information: is structured discernible difference which manifests within and moves between any medium that is capable of manifesting two or more distinguishable observables. Such a medium is termed an information space.

Information Space: is any medium that can contain information. The information content within an information space is encoded within a structured field of discernible differences.

Information Content: is limited by both the information space's representational resolution and the observer's perceptual resolution. The lack of perceptual resolution results in information content that is unavailable, which is entropy.

Observer: is a perspective from which an observable is defined. Types of observers are the computational process and systems. Types of perspectives are subjective perspective and objective perspective.

Subjective Perspective: is a perspective from which there are other equally valid but different perspectives. Hence it is a perspective on a context that only conveys information relative to a particular observer. Systems within an empirical context have a subjective perspective. The inverse of this is objective perspective.

Objective Perspective: is a perspective from which there are NO other valid but different perspectives. Hence it is the only truly valid perspective for an observer of an information space. The only objective observer is the computational process within the transcendent context. The inverse of this is subjective perspective.

Entropy: is structured indiscernible difference. It is information that is unable to be meaningfully discerned.

Communication Process: is a computational process that structures the flow of information between information spaces through an information channel. The process may change the representational format but preserves the information content. Communication can operate between any information spaces or within a single information space. Communication involves encoding information, transmission, introduced noise from intervening channels and decoding of information into observables.

Information Channel: is a simple information space that provides a 'pipeline' through which information flows in one direction from one information space to another. This pipeline has an input and an output.

Observable: is information that has been discerned and decoded by a computational process thus resulting in something that has meaning to that computational process. The observable is defined from the perspective of the observer.

Noise: is unstructured discernible difference. It is information that is unable to be meaningfully decoded.

Computational Process: is a communication process that is structured by information (the program), which transforms the communicated information. It consists of discrete computation events. It can manifest and operate within any information space and often operates within a single information space to produce a computational space. All of the above concepts involve some subjective factor, such as 'discernible' or 'indiscernible' difference, 'observable', “observer's perceptual” resolution and 'decoding'. Computation is the subjective element implied by all of these subjective factors. For example, a single stream of information may be entropy or noise in relation to one computational process but a different computational process may discern or decode the information stream, so in relation to the latter process the stream is information rather than entropy or noise. Computation is the active element within the passive information space; it discerns the difference, decodes the observables, and 'experiences' a programmed response that may change an observable, which is then encoded and communicated (perhaps back into a computational space). Also see observer and system.

Bandwidth: is the quantity of information that flows through a information channel within a given number of computation events.

Computation Event: is a single discrete operation within a computational process.

Computational Space: is an information space that is operated on and animated by a 'resident' computational process. It may communicate with other information spaces or computational spaces via information channels. It can store and operate on information content using information processes.

Program: is information content within a computational space that structures a computational process.

Information Process: is a dynamic, structured pattern of information content and program within a computational space. Also see system.

Transcendent Context: is a closed computational space wherein the perceptual resolution of the computational process is equal to the representational resolution of the information space, so there is zero noise or entropy. Within this computational space there is information content flowing between sub-spaces whilst being transformed by the computational process. Thus information objects and information processes exist within that information space and are animated by that computational process thus undergoing coherent change or dynamical evolution. The transcendent context underlies the existence of an empirical context. In a transcendent context the only subjective element is the single computational process that animates the transcendent computational space so all subjective factors are defined from that perspective. There is therefore, in this context, an uncontested (absolute) perspective from which to determine all concepts and quantities so this context is considered to be an objective context because there are no clashes of perspective so for all intents and purposes things are how they seem to the observer in that context. In regards to transcendent observables and information processes the transcendent context is dualist, but in relation to systems (empirical objects and processes) it is non-dualist.

Empirical Context: is a virtual space represented by information content and animated by the computational process within a transcendent context, however it is defined from the perspective of empirical systems within a universe. The systems have varying perceptual resolutions and are connected into a complex network of interacting systems (a universe) so from each empirical perspective there is both entropy and noise. Within this virtual space, from the subjective empirical perspective of a system embedded within the universe, there are observables and observation events. Thus systems with observable states exist and experience observation events within that virtual space. In this context every system has a subjective perspective from which its empirical context is defined. There is therefore, in this context, NO uncontested (absolute) perspective from which to determine all concepts and quantities; everything is relative. Because of this the empirical context is considered to be a subjective context because there are clashes of perspective and things are not how they seem. There are many perspectives but they only reveal subjective empirical observables that are just partially discerned, partially decoded and largely distorted interpretations of the absolute underlying transcendent information. In regards to systems (empirical objects and processes) the empirical context is dualist and from an empirical context the transcendent observables and information processes are not directly discernible other than through inner-perception (resulting in experiences of spirits, angels, bodhisattvas, ghosts, etc that have a dualist form but of a transcendent nature). Hence from an empirical perspective the transcendent context seems to be a mostly invisible, non-dualist but also dualist, all pervading influence that operates “behind the scenes” of the universe (known to some as Akasha or the Akashic Field).

Dualist: is when a context contains distinct entities that bare distinct relations with each other. Both transcendent and empirical contexts are dualist on their native level. The inverse of this is non-dualist.

Non-Dualist: is when a context contains NO distinct entities that bare distinct relations with each other. Empirical systems are represented in a non-dual manner within the transcendent context so it appears to be non-dual to an empirical observer. The inverse of this is dualist.

Universe: is the network of all systems within an empirical context. It has a fractal structure, with multi-level systemic self-similarity. From a system's subjective perspective within the network of systems the universe is experienced as an all encompassing existential context, it is their “physical universe”.

System: is a transcendent information process conceived of from a general empirical perspective. It is a system within a universal network of systems. It is an observable form as well as an observer within the empirical context. In this sense it has an outer aspect and an inner aspect. It is a participant in empirical dynamics which are just the transcendent dynamics conceived of from an empirical perspective. A system is an empirical subject and has some perspective from which various concepts and quantities can be defined, such as information, entropy, noise and so on. A system is one participant amongst many within a universe, hence its definitions of concepts and quantities is only relative to its perspective. The concept system exists only within the empirical context, when in the transcendent context they are conceived of as information processes.

Inner Aspect: of a system is the operation of the transcendent computational process as it animates the system. It is conceived of from an empirical perspective as pure awareness, direct experience or proto consciousness. As systems increase in complexity the complexity of both inner and outer aspects increases. What we call consciousness and mind are complex inner aspects.

Outer Aspect: is the empirical observable form of a system's transcendent information content. It is a subjective view that depends on the particular observer's perspective. It is an object of perception and is experienced as an object within the experiential (empirical) context. It is an output interface by which information is communicated to be decoded as observables by other systems.

Observation Event: is a single discrete operation of a system's inner aspect that discerns, decodes and experiences an observable. This is an experience of present moment awareness but becomes overlaid with empiricist interpretation. It is conceived of from an empirical perspective as a single moment in time and the succession of these moments combined with the propagation of their information through information channels (which serve as memory) results in the empirical experience of the flow of time.

Interaction: is a communication process between systems that allows them to experience each others observables and to respond by changing their own observables.

Finite & Discrete: is a proposition that within any realisable information space there will be a finite number of distinguishable observables. This would mean that no manifest form or process (system) within an empirical universe could be infinitely large, infinitely small, infinitely complex or infinitely detailed. This implies that the universe will be quantised and relativistic. It also concludes the existence of atomic systems and precludes the existence of any actual infinity within an empirical universe. Hence there are a finite number of atomic systems that exhibit a finite range of discrete observables. In this sense the unified paradigm is partly a reductionist perspective but it also explicitly comprehends the unified structure of all things and the role of the observer in the creation of the universe, hence it is also partly a holistic perspective.

Reductionist: is an approach that conceives of atomic parts that interact to create complex parts and the whole (empirical universe) is just the collection of all systems and interactions. The inverse of this is holistic.

Holistic: is an approach that conceives of a single unified whole (transcendent computational space) wherein there are dynamic patterns (information processes) and the parts are just discernible features (observables relating to complex systems) that can be resolved by observers from various perspectives. The inverse of this is reductionist.

Unified Paradigm: is a paradigm that comprehends all other paradigms and relates each to the other. The information system paradigm presented here is a unified paradigm because it unifies information and computation, object and process, transcendent and empirical, reductionist and holistic, dualist and non-dualist, subjective and objective, spiritual and physical, atomic and universal, quantum and classical, and more.

Infinity: Only potential infinity is possible, for example, the space of all words of any length is infinitely large but we only ever manifest a finite number of words at any one time and as the words get longer it gets more difficult to manifest them so it is fundamentally impossible to manifest an actual infinity of words. This general principle applies to all information processes due to their finite & discrete information spaces, which result in quantised and relativistic empirical contexts.

Atomic System: is a system that has no subsystems. It is an atomic information process so it has only a single atomic information object (observable, outer aspect) and a single atomic computational process (observer, inner aspect). An example of a primitive system is a single bit in a computer. Its atomic observable has the state zero or one and its atomic computational process is a simple read/write interface with the observable so that information can be stored or retrieved from that atomic computational process. So an atomic system is an atomic observable as well as an atomic observer that is only able to discern single atomic observables. The concept atomic system exists only within the empirical context, when in the transcendent context they are conceived of as atomic information processes that operate on atomic observables and participate in complex networks of atomic information processes within the transcendent computational space.

Complex System: is the product of a meta system transition. In the empirical context it is a system that has subsystems. It is a complex information process so it has multiple atomic or complex information objects (observables, outer aspects) and multiple atomic or complex computational processes (observers, inner aspects). An example of a complex system is a computer. Its complex observable form can be in many different states and its complex computational process can manifest a variety of simple and complex information processes. So a complex system is a complex observable as well as a complex observer that is able to discern multiple simple and complex observables. A complex system is composed of a network of interacting subsystems and it participates in a network of interacting systems to form supersystems via a process called meta system transition. The concept “complex system” exists only within the empirical context, when in the transcendent context they are conceived of as complex information processes which have no inherent hierarchical structure of subprocesses within superprocesses, they are just a flat network of atomic processes.

Meta System Transition (MST): is a process conceived of from an empirical perspective whereby simple forms seem to integrate to produce more complex forms. This applies to both a system's outer and inner aspect. In regards to outer aspect, a system's limited perceptual or experiential resolution means that incident information becomes entropy and the finer detailed observables in a complex network of systems are blurred into a macroscopic observable that appears to the observer to be a single complex system. Thus it appears that a group of subsystems have interacted and integrated into a single complex supersystem. However in the transcendent context nothing has fundamentally changed, some interaction bandwidths may change but there is still just a field of interacting atomic systems, only the empirical observable changes during an MST. In regards to inner aspect, a complex system may experience a complex yet integrated inner aspect (such as human consciousness). This too is a product of a MST, whereby entropy within the system's inner network of sub systems and the associated inner computational processes causes the mass of interacting sub-processes to be experienced as a single super-process. MST is an empirical perceptual illusion that causes a system to experience a complex network of systems as a single complex system, both from within and from without.

SMN related concepts directly extend these general concepts and will be defined shortly...

Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.

 Universal System Integrator

Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.

SMN can be thought of as a Universal System Integrator that can enter into any computational space and integrate its various systems and processes into higher level systems and processes that allow us to interact with the low-level functionality in more intuitive and complex ways. Hence, within any electronically controllable environment we could create an SMN process that integrates that environments systems and processes into higher-level systems and processes.

 More >

 What is a system and why should we care to know?
picture 2008-05-07

Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.

What is a System?

A system has two aspects, its transcendent aspect is as a transitory pattern of transcendent information that conditions the flow of transcendent information. When the system is perceived from an empirical perspective by another system within the common network of interacting systems, then it is experienced via its observable attributes, which result in information that flows into the observer system's inputs. This results in an experience of a manifest form, which is the empirical aspect.

Subsystems interact to form supersystems; i.e. patterns dynamically merge to produce larger patterns. Whilst the transcendent patterns are what they are the empirical forms exist only in the eye of the beholder. A system may interact with other systems that are considered to lie 'within' different supersystems so it may be considered a subsystem of either, thus there are no absolute system boundaries. Different observers may observe different interaction channels and thereby resolve different system boundaries thus they experience very different empirical forms.

Why should we care to clearly know what a system is?

We are systems formed out of interacting subsystems and we interact to form supersystems. All manifest forms are systems. All events and processes are system interactions. Our transcendent part we call our 'soul' and our empirical part we call our 'body'. The empirical universe is a construct of the experiential aspect of systems and behind this perceptual veil there is an information theoretic aspect. Some call this the quantum realm, spiritual realm, Brahman (Vedic), Hundun (Daoist), Heaven (Christ) and so on.

Everything that is and everything that happens is the experiential aspect of a unified transcendent process. This is analogous to the way that a virtual reality is the experiential aspect of a unified transcendent process.

Understanding the nature of systems leads us to an understanding of ourselves, of the universe, of what is happening and how we should respond in order to harmoniously and effectively participate in the process of evolution that is underway.

What fundamental questions can it help answer?

A deep understanding of the nature of systems can help answer all fundamental questions except one, and it can explain why it cannot answer that one.

There is only one true mystery – What is the true nature of the fundamental reality generative process? A manifest form cannot approach this via enquiry; e.g. a sentient AI character in a virtual reality could realise many things about their situation all the way down to the computational process itself, but they cannot realise that the computer is a particular machine sitting in a particular room, they can only ever know the computer from within. Similarly, we can systematically comprehend all the general principles of our reality right down to the fundamental reality generative process and we cannot enquire beyond that.

Holism is a metaphysical paradigm that focuses on the whole and comprehends the parts as discernible features – objects of perception – within the whole. Reductionism is a metaphysical paradigm that focuses on the many parts and their interactions and envisages the whole as the product of the many parts and interactions. Unified system science can comprehend both paradigms and show how they relate to each other. Similarly it can unify duality and non-duality. Transcendent and empirical. Subjective and objective. For these reasons I propose that a unified system science could provide a useful conceptual framework for the development of a unified awareness that can flower into a new consciousness for humanity.

Best Wishes,
John Ringland

Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.

 System Oriented Modelling Paradigm - Brainstorming notes 03

Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.

Excerpts from brainstorming notes related to SMNDesignView

For more information on SMN see SMN on Anandavala.

I am exploring the idea of developing a Netbeans 6.0 module, either as a plugin or as a rich-client application.

Things to consider:

I need a good vision of what I am building before I start designing it.

What is it that the SMN functionality seeks to provide the application user? What will people want the whole application or plugin to do?

What sorts of things will people want to be able to do with the GUI and with the model and with the simulation space itself via the GUI? How best can the GUI facilitate this?

If developed as a plugin then how will the SMN functionality be integrated into the rest of Netbeans?

If developed as a rich-client application then how will it come together as a single whole application?

How best to implement the matrix itself? As some kind of table? It needs to be programmatically controlled and not set in the code – we may want more or less rows or columns, we may want different types of elements altogether (e.g. instead of text fields they are buttons perhaps).

The matrix-view is a small window that allows for detailed access, but for large models we need a lower resolution but broader scope view, we could have subsystem / supersystem viewing levels for the matrix. One could view systems at the atomic scale, or as a single whole system, or at many different levels between these. The designer can click on systems (either by row, column, vector element or rowOp) and choose to collapse all sibling subsystem and show only their supersystem. Or they can drill into a supersystem and show all or selected subsystems.

The state vector needs to be represented somehow in the matrix-view so that the system designer can visualise the current state of the model. The multiple system viewing levels apply to the state vector as well.

Whether an SM or an SV element, at each level there is some screen graphic to represent it to the designer. If the element is an atomic system it shows a text field to display and edit the data. If it is a conceptual system then there is an icon that displays the subsystems as small squares within the element.

When the designer double-clicks on an element they drill into the system and reveal all subsystems. There is also a right-click option on elements that brings up a dialogue box for selecting which subsystems to show.

 More >

 System Oriented Modelling Paradigm - Brainstorming notes 02

Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.

Excerpts from earlier brainstorming notes that are still relevant

For more information on SMN see SMN on Anandavala.

In the matrix/vector view the designer can click on any matrix or vector element or any matrix row to receive a dialogue presenting a range of ways that they can interact with that element. E.g. Change an SVElement's data value or define a rowOp or select a pre-made virtual system from a palette and deploy that within the model.

There is a palette on the side of the interface – when you click on an SVElement the palette displays the list of all known components that can usefully go into this element. When selecting a row it shows all the predefined rowOps. If some element is already selected the designer can click onto the object within the palette to insert it into the element. There will be some means of selecting multiple elements and then clicking on a palette object.

When the object is inserted into the element the designer can click on the object to set its properties and attributes. There is some means to select and deselect systems for viewing. The matrix and vector adapt accordingly with rows and columns appearing or disappearing. This gives control over what is shown in the limited viewing space of the matrix/vector view. For a large model you couldn't fit it all comfortably into a web browser window and having to scroll over the whole flat model would be cumbersome and disorienting. Instead have it so that the view registers with various systems and synchronises with their state. Only when registered is there a row/column and vector element for this system.

These viewer-objects (row/col/svElem) can be arranged in any manner that suits the designer – they can be moved around easily – just right-click on a view-object (i.e. element, row or column) and then click “move to” and then click the view object that is in the destination location and the selected view-object is inserted in the destination location. The other view-objects adjust around it. In this way the designer has a controllable view into the model through which they can edit the model.

As described so far it has no allowance for coding of new systems but only the reuse and re-configuration of pre-made sub-systems presented in a context sensitive palette for insertion into the model and then customisation. If the application is developed as an IDE plugin (e.g. Eclipse, Netbeans, etc) then the IDE allows the designer to code the atomic systems in various programming languages and the SMN plugin can incorporate these into its system palette.

We start with very simple systems and using these we build more complex systems, which are then added to the palette. Then from these we make even more complex systems and so on.

If the palette can draw on any web repository of SMN systems then the range of available sub-systems can grow rapidly through collective development. can provide an initial open virtual space and open system repository. People can create and play with systems in the open virtual space and they can save their creations to the repository so that other people can reuse them. This could become an open-system development community (rather than open-source).

 More >

 System Oriented Modelling Paradigm

Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.

Here's a posting to let you know what I'm up to lately. Like I said in the post on What exactly is SMN and how does it connect with other technologies? I've been focussing on concrete implementations lately, rather than on discussions. One project was an artistic collaboration with Glistening Deepwater, called Mystic Visions. I've explored quite deeply into semantic and web 2.0 technologies. I've implemented the core algorithm for SMN in Java and the system simulation engine now has full functionality and the models can be imported or exported as XML files (this is still in further development but will be available for download soon).

But the current project on my mind is the idea of a System Oriented Modelling Paradigm. To give you some idea of what I mean, below are some excerpts from recent design documents – they are just a brainstorm at present. If these ideas make sense to you and you want to get involved then contact me – it will soon be released as an open source project.

The project involves an analysis of general computational processes and general systems, which re-orients system modelling practices upon a coherent metaphysical foundation rather than on a commonsense naïve realist foundation. Traditional modelling practices are seen in a new light and minor optimisations are proposed that can considerably extend the potential and overall functionality of designed systems. A detailed example is given in the context of software engineering.

 More >

 What exactly is SMN and how does it connect with other technologies?

Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.

I have recently begun to take a new approach, not focusing on explanations but instead on concrete demonstrations, instead of producing essays about ideas I'll focus on producing concrete products such as ontologies, software, etc.

I have also been looking into ways to get the message across. I have decided to look into developing SMN and thereby giving the mass consciousness what it wants - this will help to get its attention.

Understanding New Technology

First a quote from an article about XML, B2B and The XML/edi Group...

Gerry Galewski, a philosopher on information technologies, gave a provocative explanation on why it often takes years to truly appreciate the full potential of new technology:

"... when a breakthrough in technology is achieved, it takes us a while as a culture to figure out what we really have. New developments are culturally assimilated often based on what has come before. We can't help but place the new developments within an historical context.

"Here's an example: In 1844 Samuel Morse invented the ability to transmit information coded into electromagnetic pulses. He sent the first message of dot dash dot dot dash from Baltimore to Washington DC, and therefore people called this telegraphy.

"That first message Morse sent was 'What hath God wrought.' Telegraphy became ingrained into the cultural consciousness. It was easy to understand and deploy.

"Fifty years later, Marconi made a technological breakthrough. He broadcast electromagnetic waves through the air. But what did he send? The ability to modulate a signal was well understood. But Marconi sent dot dash dot dot dash. That is what was ingrained into the cultural consciousness of the time. So people called this wonderful new tool, simply "Wireless Telegraphy." Within their frame of reference, they didn't know what they really had. It took another twenty years for Lee Deforest to apply practical knowledge that had been around for decades. Deforest had the Eureka event, and gave us radio.  More >


Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.


My discussions over the years have left me totally frustrated at how twisted and confused the language is - most of the important words are literally back-to-front and people are thinking about the world in an inside-out manner. It's no wonder that the world is a mess... And it's very difficult to use a twisted language to disentangle a twisted language.

I've decided to try a different approach - I'm giving up sentences and essays entirely for a little while and building ontologies. I'm always trying to find ways to more effectively express simple but uncommon truths and the technology of ontologies has advanced considerably in recent years.

By simply writing essays or ebooks it only gets through to those who are already open to the ideas and meanwhile the mass delusion continues to grow rapidly and drive the entire civilisation toward annihilation. Most of the communications within mass culture are the psycho-babble of the collective ego and any words of wisdom are just a vague gnawing conscience way back in the collective mind that is mostly just ignored. That conscience needs to find some way of making its wisdom heard even in the midst of mass collective insanity.

I'm exploring one likely method - it involves a recent synthesis of computer science, the internet and philosophy. It's related to the "semantic web" and its essence is the construction of ontologies - philosophical structures that define "that which exists" and the relations between the things that are believed to exist. Very advanced computerised methods are being developed to determine implied ontologies and to use ontologies to structure information.

Every belief that is held or every utterance that is made relies upon an implicit ontology that gives it meaning. The ontology is just the lowest level of beliefs that structure every other belief that is built upon them. Beliefs are only recognisable as true or false in relation to their ontological foundation so if the foundation is false all later beliefs are false but they will seem to be true. The materialist ontology relies on a series of assertions of belief that are actually proven to be false - and only so long as people don't notice this fact and continue to operate upon that foundation they will continue to believe in fantasies that seem to be true. Meanwhile there are other ontologies that don't rely on spurious assertions but on well verified facts from information theory, system theory, quantum physics and direct personal experience - but most people are too attached to their false beliefs to be able to seriously consider these more rational alternatives.

As an example of how ontologies and beliefs interact, take the phrase by the Buddha "with our thoughts we make the world" most materialists cannot comprehend this because they believe that "the world" is an "external material context" and that we are just material objects within it so our thoughts cannot "make the world". But if one uses a more accurate ontology where "the world" is just a subjective impression formed by our minds and which by naive realism we assume to be an "external material context" then it is obvious that with our thoughts we make the world. It is also obvious that to think of ourselves as objective material objects in and objective material universe is not a rational position - it may or may not be true but on the current evidence it is purely an irrational belief. What we know for a fact is our mind made worlds - beyond that we should avoid irrational belief systems and approach the situation rationally.  More >

 Computational Metaphysics, Consciousness and Systemic Evolution

Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.

This is a brief discussion that touches on Turing machines, neural networks, universal computation, system theory, system matrix notation, cosmic consciousness, individual consciousness, systemic evolution and holistic science.

I previously mentioned the mathematics and its computational implementation that arose from my metaphysical research in the article IT Revolution. Here I'll discuss how this fits in with system theory, consciousness, metaphysics and the evolution of systems from particles to civilisation, but first I'll begin by saying a little more about the mathematical / computational process by describing a simple way of thinking about it in terms of Turing machines and neural networks - it is computationally equivalent to a massively parallel network of neurons but we can work towards it by thinking about Turing machines. Let me explain in 4 steps:  More >

Page: 1 2   Older entries >>