Kategoriarkiv: Research

Klee Irwin on a theory of everything

Klee Irwin is the director of Quantum Gravity Research (QGR), a Los Angeles-based group of theoretical physicists working to discover a new quantum gravity theory, or a first principle theory of everything.

Klee Irwin, The Quasicrystalline Nature of Consciousness in the Universe, YouTube.

The following is a transcript of Klee Irwin’s presentation from The Science of Consciousness conference in April, 2016, on The Quasicrystalline Nature of Consiousness in the Universe,1 where he presents seven clues for what a first-principles theory of everything should look like:

1. Information. Information is meaning in the form of symbolism. Both classic and quantum theory indicate reality is made of information. In fact, there is no evidence it is anything other than information. Quantum mechanics states clearly that the class of information is binary (any language with two symbols or states). It is illogical to assume mathematical symbolism or any other language can exist without consciousness to assign meaning to it.
2. Causality loops. Einstein showed how the future and past exist simultaneously in one geometric object. In 2014, scientists in Israel demonstrated that particles can be entangled over time and not just space. Daryl Bem of Cornell published rigorous evidence that retro-causality exists, where future events loop back in time to co-create past events. Obviously, the past co-creates the future. But what happens when the future also co-creates the past? An evolving feedback loop results. If every moment is co-creating every other moment both forward and backward in time… …reality is technically a neural network of information spanning space and time. This type of network would possess a strange quality… …it would be self-actualized — its own creator.
3. Non-determinism. Prior to the 1920s it was popular to believe in the clock-work universe idea of reality being a deterministic program playing itself out. … It was just following a deterministic algorithm. The famous double-slit experiment ruled out determinism, ushering in the new paradigm of quantum indeterminism. But even without the double slit experiment, the existence of freewill rules out the clock-work universe theory.
4. Consciousness. John Wheeler, who coined the term black hole, said reality is made of information created by observation — by consciousness. It certainly exists in the universe — at least in us. And relates deeply to quantum mechanics in ways not yet fully understood. The definition of information involves the perception of meaning, and meaning is a subjective, freewill choice — an act of consciousness. So when one realizes that energy is pure information, it becomes clear that reality itself deeply ties into consciousness in some way… …as though the fundamental stuff of reality is somehow consciousness. Did consciousness and information emerge in a causality feedback loop?
5. Pixelation. Werner Heisenberg developed the first equations of quantum mechanics using matrix math. He deduced that space and time were pixelated into indivisible Planck units, like a mosaic. The mathematics indicated this… …and there was no solid experimental evidence for smooth space or time. This new idea was too radical for most scientists of the day except for Niels Bohr, who agreed with Heisenberg. However, most scientists today still believe spacetime is smooth and without substructure — so not pixelated. On the other hand, most agree that a length can be no shorter than the Planck length — which suggests reality is pixelated. So there is a good deal of confusion. Until a powerful quantum gravity theory of pixelated spacetime is discovered, the issue will [probably] remain confusing.
6. E8 Crystal. The largest and most expensive object humans have ever built is the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. It peers down into the subatomic realm by colliding particles together and giving us data on how they break apart. … We [have] learned that all fundamental particles and forces, including gravity, convert into one another according to the geometry of a shape related to an 8-dimensional Platonic solid. It forms a crystal structure in eight dimensions called the E8 lattice. It’s the maximum packing density of 8D spheres and can be built entirely of regular tetrahedra… …rotated from one another into higher dimensions by a golden ration based angle.
7. Golden Ratio. The golden ration may be the fundamental constant of nature. Along with its rational form, called the Fibonacci sequence, it is ubiquitous in the universe, from quantum to celestial scales. … A theory of everything must unite general relativity (the theory of space and time) with quantum mechanics. And a black hole is where these two theories converge at their limits. In the case of general relativity, black holes are the maximum possible density of mass/energy. … Reality appears to be made of binary information. The idea is known as the holographic principle… …and it comes from a mathematical proof called the Maldacena conjecture. It states that the total amount of binary information from all the mass and energy pulled into a black hole is proportional to its surface area… …where every four Planck areas of its surface encode the state of a fundamental particle that fell into it. … Black holes and quantum mechanics deeply relate to the golden ratio, binary information and the number 4… Perhaps it’s a clue about the missing quantum gravity theory of everything. …

Nature has given us seven clues about a theory of everything. So what is the key to this puzzle? QGR’s research program is focused on projecting the E8 crystal to 3D and 4D, which creates a golden ration based binary code of pixelated space and causality loops requiring emergent consciousness. …

When you think of a crystal, such as a checkerboard, you can imagine its fundamental cell, the square. So to understand the E8 crystal, you can understand its fundamental 8D shapes. The cell shape of E8 that best represents it is the Gosset polytope with 240 vertices. When we project this to 4D, it becomes two identical shapes of different sizes … The ration of their sizes is the golden ratio. They are called 4D icosahedra och 600-cells. And each is made of 600 regular 3D tetrahedra rotated from one another by a golden ratio based angle. The 600-cells intersect in seven golden ration based ways and kiss in one particular way to form a 4D aperiodic mosaic tiling called a quasicrystal. A quasicrystal is a code or language. This is because the ways you can arrange the building block geometric symbols or shapes are governed by rules (like a language). But within the rules, you must make choices that are not forced by those rules. So because it is not a deterministic or forces set of building instructions, there is freedom to create many patterns while still obeying the rules of the code. It is a language in every sense of the word… …specifically it is a language of waves or vibrations. The 4D quasicrystal is represented in 3D with regular tetrahedra related by golden ration based rotations … The language is binary, where tetrahedra form an invisible possibility space and are chose to be ”on” or ”off” in each frame, according to the language rules. Over many frozen quasicrystal frames, dynamic wave and particle-like patterns emerge…

Remember, evidence prevents us from believing in the deterministic Newtonian clock-work universe. And code cannot be operated by randomness or they breakdown and cease to generate meaning. So if reality is based on something like our E8 physics, WHO or WHAT is choosing the steps in the code that require freewill? It is certainly not us because this is a code that operates down at the Planck scale. And again, randomness does not generate meaning in languages. Plus, there is no first principles explanation for randomness or even experimental evidence for it. Can a consciousness that emerges from the code be the origin of the code in the first place — making it a logically consistent causality loop? A universal collective consciousness could be the answer. But how could such a thing emerge from a universe made of information? And where would the information have emerged from in the first place? Clearly, evolutionary emergence by self-organization is how the universe works… …where small and simple things self-organize into larger emergent things. Our minds are an example of this.

The power of the neural-network like universe is in its massive connectivity — both forward and backward in time. Networks harness the mathematical power of exponential growth. … There are no laws in physics that place an upper limit on what percentage of the universe can exponentially self-organize into freewill systems like us humans. All the energy in the universe can be converted into a single conscious system that is itself a network of conscious systems. Given enough time, what can happen will eventually happen. By this axiom, universal emergent consciousness has happened somewhere ahead of us in space-time. Because it is possible, it is inevitable. In fact, according to the evidence of retro-causality time loops, that inevitable future is co-creating us right now just as we are co-creating it.

1 Klee Irwin, The Quasicrystalline Nature of Consciousness in the Universe (May 13, 2016), Retrieved Feb 24, 2018, from https://youtu.be/ILUlqd6O0MQ.

Paavo Pylkkänen on David Bohm’s interpretation of the quantum theory

Paavo Pylkkänen discusses David Bohm’s interpretation of quantum theory, including mind and matter, in this article — Is there Room in Quantum Ontology for a Genuine Causal Role for Consciousness?

Source: Twitter.

Here are some quotes from the article (my emphasis in bold):

… active information is playing a key causal role in physical processes at the quantum level.

organisms that are conscious of their own and others’ mental states have a better ability to interact, cooperate, and communicate.

… conscious experience … presents us with the options to choose from …

… certain conscious states … have an intrinsic motivating force … as an indivisible part of the experience itself.

… consciousness seems to be decisive for meaningful interactions with our environment.

… consciousness, flexible control, free will, and unified and integrated representations are all interconnected.

… information in conscious mental states is globally available to a number of different mental subsystems …

… information in conscious experience is typically very rich in its content — it is unified and integrated.

… consciousness both enables the sort of information that flexible control requires, and it also makes it possible for such information to reach the subsystems that are required in the execution of the control.

matter at the quantum level is fundamentally different from the sort of mechanical matter of classical physics

then it is perhaps not so surprising that a very complex aggregate of such elements … has a body, accompanied by a mind that guides it.

Bohm proposed that we understand mental states as involving a hierarchy of levels of active information.

Bohm saw nature as a dynamic process where information and meaning play a key dynamic role

the higher level of thought can organize the content in the lower level into a coherent whole.

Bohm went as far as to say that electrons have a ”primitive mind-like quality,” but by ”mind” he was here referring to the ”activity of form,” …

… we could say that suitably integrated active information is conscious.

… in my view a major reason for its being ignored is that it goes so much against the prevalent mechanistic way of thinking …

Bohm’s suggestion was that a natural extension of his ontological interpretation of the quantum theory can include mental processes and even conscious experience …

More flexible control means … that the organism is able to choose from among different options the one that best fits the situation

In Bohmian terms … consciousness enables the organism to suspend the activity of information.

… flexible control in the Bohmian view seems to involve higher-order, meta-level information that we are conscious of …

there isan interesting analogy between Bohm’s notion of common pools of information at the quantum level and the notion of collective intentionality in social ontology.

… Bohm emphasizes that information is typically active …

One possibility is that the presence of consciousness increases the level of activity of the information.

… quantum active information … is semantic and has both factual and instructional aspects …

… our ethical judgments (e.g., ”the choice of the best”) can typically also affect the way information is activated, and consequently our behavior.

Our choices of ”the best” are somehow related to value intelligence.

Related posts:
Book Review: Mind, Matter and the Implicate Order
The meaning of meaning
Meaning as being
Free flow of meaning

Interviews with Basil Hiley

The world is basically organic, and
the mechanistic part is just an aspect of
the deeper organic part
— Basil Hiley1

Basil Hiley, Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics in Birbeck College, London, was a long-time co-worker of David Bohm. Basil Hiley describes, in the following videos, the implication of David Bohm’s wholistic model of Quantum Mechanics on our view of life and reality.

1 The quote of Basil Hiley is from this interview on David Bohm’s Wholistic Universe.

The dancing rainbow within

Mae-Wan Ho’s new book Living Rainbow H2O is dedicated to the dancing rainbow within, which is made possible by the water that makes up all organisms. 1 Mae-Wan Ho writes (my emphasis in bold):

The organism is thick with coherent activities on every scale, from the macroscopic down to the molecular and below. I call the totality of these activities ”quantum jazz” to highlight the Immense diversity and multiplicity of players, the complexity and coherence of the performance, and above all, the freedom and spontaneity. The quantum coherence of organisms is the biology of free will. 2

The quantum coherent organism plays quantum jazz to create and recreate herself from moment to moment. Quantum jazz is the music of the organism dancing life into being. It is played out by the whole organism, in every nerve and sinew, every muscle, every single cell, molecule, atom, and elementary particle, a light and sound show that spans 70 octaves in all the colours of the rainbow. 3

There is no conductor or choreographer. Quantum jazz is written as it is performed; each gesture, each phrase is new, shaped by what has gone before, though not quite. The organism never ceases to experience her environment, taking it in (entangling it) for future reference …” 4

The quantum jazz dancer lives strictly in the now, the ever-present overarching the future and the past, composing and rewriting her life history as she goes along, never quite finishing until she dies.” 5

Intercommunication is the key to quantum jazz. It is done to such sublime perfection that each molecule is effectively intercommunicating with every other, so each is as much in control as it is sensitive and responsive. 6

The coherent organism is a unity of brain and body, heart and mind, an undivided bundle of intellect and passion, flesh, blood, and sinew that lives life to the full, freely and spontaneously, attuned not just to the immediate environment, but the universe at large. 7

Quantum coherence and quantum jazz are possible because of the 70% by weight of liquid crystalline water that makes up the organism. Quantum jazz is diverse multiplicities of molecules dancing to the tunes of liquid crystalline water. Water is the means, medium, and message of life. It is the dancing rainbow within, to which this book is dedicated. 8

1 Mae-Wan Ho, Living Rainbow H2O, (World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., 2012), p. 5.
2 Ibid., p. 4.
3 Ibid..
4 Ibid..
5 Ibid..
6 Ibid..
7 Ibid., p. 5.
8 Ibid..

Related posts:
Quantum Jazz
Mae-wan Ho on the autonomy of organisms
The organism is wildly uncontrollable and unpredictable from the outside

The toxic handler

Peter J. Frost and Sandra Robinson presents their research on The Toxic Handler: Organizational Hero—and Casualty in the July–August 1999 issue of the Harvard Business Review. They write that:

Toxic handlers voluntarily shoulder the sadness and the anger that are endemic to organizational life.

Toxic handlers alleviate organizational pain in five ways:

  • They listen empathetically.
  • They suggest solutions.
  • They work behind the scenes to prevent pain.
  • They carry the confidences of others.
  • They reframe difficult messages.

But toxic handlers also pay a high price themselves in creating a life-giving environment within the larger toxic organization.

Managing organizational pain is vital to the health of the enterprise—but at great cost to the health of the toxic handlers themselves.

I wonder if it’s worth it to risk your health?

The organism is wildly uncontrollable and unpredictable from the outside

The organism is wildly uncontrollable and unpredictable from the outside. From the inside, of course, you know what you are doing. You know that your actions are not random or arbitrary. And … if you are a perfectly happy human being, you would feel absolutely spontaneous and free.
— Mae-Wan Ho 1

1 Quote at (22:14), William Stranger interview Dr. Mae-Wan Ho in London, YouTube, published 12 May 2013. (Accessed 21 March 2016)

The cosmic web

Credit: V.Springel, Max-Planck Institut für Astrophysik, Garching bei München.

The distribution of matter in the Universe is not homogeneous, but is distributed in a network of knots and links. The knots are regions where the gravitational forces are higher. These knots are then connect to others through filaments. Researches call these large-scale structures in the Universe the ”cosmic web”.

1 Université de Genève, The cosmic web: Seeing what makes up the universe, ScienceDaily, 2 December 2015. (Accessed 13 March 2016)

Mae-Wan Ho on the autonomy of organisms

Mae-Wan Ho, is best known for her pioneering work on the physics of organisms and sustainable systems. Here’s what she writes on the autonomy of organisms in her book The Rainbow and the Worm: The Physics of Organisms (in italics, my emphasis in bold):

Organisms are never simply at the mercy of their environments on account of the coherent energy stored. More to the point, we don’t have to eat constantly, leaving plenty of time for other useful, pleasurable activities. The other consequences are that, the organism is exquisitely sensitive and free from mechanical constraints; and satisfies, at least, some of the basic conditions for quantum coherence. 1

Do take note of the radically anti-mechanistic nature of organisms. Mechanical systems work by a hierarchy of controllers and the controlled that returns the systems to set points. One can recognize such mechanistic systems in the predominant institutions of our society. They are undemocratic and non-participatory. Bosses make decisions and workers work, and in between the top and the bottom are “line-managers’’ relaying the unidirectional “chain of command”. Organic systems, by contrast, are truly democratic, they work by intercommunication and total participation. Everyone works and pays attention to everyone else. Everyone is simultaneously boss and worker, choreography and dancer. Each is ultimately in control to the extent that she is sensitive and responsive. There are no predetermined set points to which the systems have to return. Instead, organisms live and develop from moment to moment, freely and spontaneously. 2

It must be stressed that the ‘single degree of freedom’ of organisms is a very special one due to quantum coherence which maximizes both local autonomy and global correlation 3

1 Mae-Wan Ho, The Rainbow and the Worm: The Physics of Organisms, 2nd Edition, p. 91.
2 Ibid., p. 92.
3 Ibid., p. 152.

Book Review: Who am I?

Steven Reiss had a life-threatening illness which led him to rethink what makes life meaningful. His research formed the basis of his book Who am I?: The 16 Basic Desires That Motivate Our Actions and Define Our Personality. Steven Reiss describes at length the 16 basic desires1 that he identified together with Susan Havercamp:

  1. Power is the desire to influence others.
  2. Independence is the desire for self-reliance.
  3. Curiosity is the desire for knowledge.
  4. Acceptance is the desire for inclusion.
  5. Order is the desire for organization.
  6. Saving is the desire to collect things.
  7. Honor is the desire to be loyal to one’s parents and heritage.
  8. Idealism is the desire for social justice.
  9. Social Contact is the desire for companionship.
  10. Family is the desire to raise one’s own children.
  11. Status is the desire for social standing.
  12. Vengeance is the desire to get even.
  13. Romance is the desire for sex and beauty.
  14. Eating is the desire to consume food.
  15. Physical Activity is the desire for exercise of muscles.
  16. Tranquility is the desire for emotional calm.

Each desire must fulfill the following criteria2:

  1. The desire must be valued intrinsically rather than for its effects on something else. That is, it must be sought for its own sake.
  2. The desire must have explanatory significance for understanding the lives of nearly everyone.
  3. The desire must be largely unconnected to the other basic desires.

I found Steven Reiss distinction between feel-good happiness and value-based happiness interesting3, but otherwise I’m not convinced by Reiss’ arguments. I think, for example, that idealism and vengeance are related. Read Talking to the Enemy by Scott Atran and you will see that an act of vengeance also can be an act of idealism. Also, being influenced by Christopher Alexander, I think real beauty 1) can be valued intrinsically, 2) have explanatory significance for understanding our lives, and 3) is largely unconnected to the other 16 desires – most notably romance and sex. Actually, I think the desire for real beauty is related to, but more basic than, the desire for order. I might be wrong, but I suspect that it’s our personalities that motivate our desires, and not our desires that motivate our personalities.

1 Steven Reiss, Who am I?: The 16 Basic Desires That Motivate Our Actions and Define Our Personality, (Berkley, 2002), pp. 17–18.
2 Ibid., p. 33.
3 Ibid., pp. 123–141.

Self-driving cars are involved in twice as many accidents

Self-driving cars are involved in twice as many accidents as ordinary cars1 because they always obey the law. People just don’t expect anyone to actually follow all rules without exception.2

1 Brandon Schoettle & Michael Sivak, A Preliminary Analysis of Real-World Crashes Involving
Self-Driving Vehicles, The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, October 2015.
2 Humans Are Slamming Into Driverless Cars and Exposing a Key Flaw, BloombergBusiness, December 18, 2015.

Lika men ändå olika

Referens: Ny Teknik, 2015-09-09, Nr 37.

Att vi människor är lika, men ändå olika, vet vi ju. Detsamma gäller för alla levande varelser. Nu finns bevis att även nanopartiklar är unika! Ulla Karlsson-Ottososon skriver i Ny Teknik, 2015-09-09, att Christopher Langhammer och hans forskargrupp på Chalmers har upptäckt ”att nanopartiklar har olika egenskaper, trots att de ser likadana ut för ögat”. Att mäta vad som händer i en nanopartikel är en prestation i sig. Forskarnas resultat har publicerats i tidskriften Nature Materials.

Närhet ger bäst vila för våra hjärnor

Agneta Lagercrantz skriver i SvD 2015-09-15 att närhet ger bäst vila för våra hjärnor. Tillsammans med våra allra närmaste sjunker nämligen stresspåslagen i hjärnan helt. Mänsklig gemenskap signalerar till hjärnan att den kan vila. Social närhet påverkar våra känslor, och våra känslor påverkar hjärnans aktiviteter. Till exempel beror kollektiv intelligens, förmågan till problemlösning i grupp, på hur bra varje gruppmedlem är på att läsa av ansiktsuttryck hos varandra.

Amazing discovery, amazing way of working

The discovery of Homo nadeli is amazing! The way of working has also been amazing in its openness, where scientists from all over the world came together to analyze Homo nadeli’s bones. More than 60 scientists have been examining the 1500 bone fragments from at least 15 individuals (and it is only a tiny fraction of what is in the cave chamber). As of today, there has been almost 124 000 page views and 14 000 downloads of the FREE open access paper on the Homo nadeli fossils from eLife Sciences. John Gurche is the paleo artist who gave Homo nadeli a face.

Photography by John Gurche


Pre-conditions for self-organization

The following is a quote from The Power of Spirit: How Organizations Transform by Harrison Owen (p. 42).

”The essential preconditions for self-organization, according to [Stuart] Kauffman, are the following:

  1. A nutrient-rich, relatively protected environment
  2. A high level of diversity and potential complexity in terms of the elements present
  3. A drive for improvement
  4. Sparse pre-existing connections between the various elements
  5. It is all (the whole mess) at the edge of chaos

I should note that nowhere does Kauffman outline the necessary preconditions precisely as I have, but I believe I have caught the essence.”

Relates posts:
Self-organization is the real operating system
Pre-conditions for self-organization (self-organization in human systems)
How to enable and sustain self-organization
Creative forces of self-organization
Self-organization is not anarchy or dictatorship
Let’s take self-organization seriously
Emergence and self-organization
Emergence is simply what life does
TEDxTalk on Open Space Technology
How to apply sociocracy as an individual?

The DemoCratic workplace

Rune Kvist Olsen is a very interesting researcher, author, and thinker. Here is his paper on The DemoCratic Workplace, which is about empowering people (demos) to rule (cratos) their own workplace. This is done enabled by organizing individual and group decision processes through personal competence-based authority. In another paper Rune describes the Change from Leadership (vertical power structures) and Leadingship (horizontal power structures) at Work. I think the distinction Rune makes between leadership vs. leadingship is somewhat related to the distinction that I see between management vs. leadership. Management is a role, while leadership is a relation.

Tillfredsställande arbetsplatser

Wise Group (Ingenjörskarriär 2013-02-13) har låtit cirka 5000 personer svara på frågor om vad som krävs för att en arbetsplats ska upplevas som attraktiv och tillfredställande. Undersökningen pekar på följande punkter, i prioritetsordning:

  1. Att kunna utvecklas i jobbet.
  2. Att vara stolt över sitt företag/sin organisation.
  3. Att vara nöjd med sin egen arbetsinsats.
  4. Att ha ett meningsfullt jobb.
  5. Att ha kul på jobbet.

Wise Group konstaterar att storleken på lönen är nästintill oviktig så länge som den upplevs rättvis.

Dålig chef – hög sjukfrånvaro

Det danska tjänstemannafacket FTF har presenterat en undersökning som visar att det finns ett klart samband mellan stress, hög sjukfrånvaro och dålig arbetsmiljö. En chef som inte tar hänsyn till den psykiska arbetsmiljön kan få sjukfrånvaron att stiga till tio gånger det normala (DN 2013-01-09). FTF:s ordförande Bente Sorgenfrey anser att arbetsledare måste ta den psykiska arbetsmiljön på allvar.

För mer information, se FTF:s rapport Følelsesmæssige krav og positive faktorer i arbejdet.

Book Review: Daring greatly

Daring greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead is Brené Brown’s latest book. Brené explores what drives our fear of being vulnerable, how we are protecting ourselves from vulnerability, and – most importantly – how we can engage with vulnerability so that we can live our lives fully. As the book title says, this has consequences for how we live, love, parent, and lead.

Being vulnerable is not a weakness, but requires great courage. Avoiding uncertainty, risks, and emotional exposure limits our lives. Fear leads to disconnection and lost opportunities. Our only choice is really to dare greatly and engage fully in our lives. It’s only by showing up and letting ourselves be seen that we can make those unique contributions that only we can make.

The most significant problems which people talked with Brené about stems from disengagement, the lack of feedback, the fear of staying relevant amid rapid change, and the need for clarity of purpose. Brené’s conclusion is that ”If we want to reignite innovation and passion, we have to rehumanize work. When shame becomes a management style, engagement dies. When failure is not an option we can forget about learning, creativity, and innovation” (p. 15).

Brené Brown emphasizes the importance of taking direct action when blame and shame (bullying, public criticism & reprimands, reward systems that intentionally belittle people) is used as a management tool, because management by fear is very unproductive and totally unacceptable. ”We won’t solve the complex issues that we’re facing today without creativity, innovation, and engaged learning. We can’t afford to let our discomfort with the topic of shame get in the way of recognizing and combating it in our schools and workplaces” (p. 196).

The book is very well researched and provides an important perspective on leadership, teaching, and parenting. I warmly recommend the book!