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Document uploaded 08-20-2008 04:38 AM ET (US)

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BSL Australia
04:37 AM ET (US)
General comment
BSL AUSTRALIA is the most skilled in Scaffolding and Formworks production with professionally managed and engaged in producing & exporting an array of good quality scaffolding equipments like modular scaffolding, Scaffolding steel tubes & fittings for creating and development industries. The entrepreneurial techniques and integrated company philosophy have mobilized the corporation to become a leading international scaffolding business.

Website: http://www.bslaustralia.com/
Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
06:56 AM ET (US)
General comment
/m26 Jafra / Wael WELCOME!!!!!!!!!!

I have so many domains on my plate that I am overwhelmed.

I have LONG been interested in the diversity of cognitive functioning in the human population, in adult stage changes and models of such as by General Semantics, Kegan, Graves, Beck and Cohen. Although I view all these models as primitive, I tend to favor Kegan.

I will explore sourcetreecommons.org , although it looks a bit too "techie" for me. One of my many domains is to explore individual differences and how to be part of the development of them as both tool and context for future doings.

I started using the term "scaffolding" a few months before I discovered it in the literature - evidence of synchronicity? But, I have only dipped my big toe into that domain, even though I recognize its significance.

If you are also Wael, I have received your message from GBA, and will respond. I wish I had the time to acclimate myself to the concepts and terminology of your domain, as I know it is very important.

There are so many relevant domains. Have you given any thought to how we might facilitate relevant interactivity between different "worlds"?

05:39 AM ET (US)
General comment
some thoughts
Scaffolding process in a growing community build spiral dynamic of each scaffold project axes. The growth speed need to be addressed accordingly.

Spiral scaffold 3rd dimension will grow in width (not only linear up) so that intersection with neighbour projects axes will take place

might be of interest : http://www.sourcetreecommons.org/node/105
Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
04:29 AM ET (US)
General comment
/m23 /m24 I'm emerging from two weeks with a fuzzy mind due to a sore throat and other ailments - but am now feeling much more energized.

I have explored somewhat the FREE DIGITAL UNIVERSITY. It appears that considerable thought and effort was given to its' design and construction. I joined as "nuet". It has the familiar features of contemporary social network websites. I don't expect it to have specific features to seaf online education - primarily because only a few that I have seen even begin to approximate what is needed. Most online education remains caught in the classroom-course paradigm, with very limited constructive feedback and self-evaluation of learning success.

We need to design detailed specs of the functions we wish the educational scaffolding to provide. We need to survey the many educational websites available. I've bookmarked a few over the years. I have explored Moodle, an open source and free educational scaffolding and think it may have minimal potential for temporary adoption. Moodle highlights the educational features and isn't as flashy about alternative curricula as is the Free Digital University. http://moodle.org/

One option we have for educational scaffolding is to use specific features of a number of them accessed from our own educational gateway. This model will be useful when we promote our offerings to others. We could use "course management features" of some apps while using other apps for dialog, "testing", feedback, etc.

This points to another project we must undertake.

I've been tinkering with ways to seaf in-depth interpersonal dialog on BIG topics that are very difficult, if not impossible, to do. However, I keep encountering the difficulties the design is intended to avoid. More on this later.

03:16 AM ET (US)
General comment
I have made an interesting discovery I would like to share, it seems to offer the formula we proposed for pre-star in depth and detail. Look forward to your feedback



Still integrating the latest download, update hopefully soon.
Edited 09-08-2008 03:19 AM
05:53 PM ET (US)
General comment
Apologies for the absence, I am in the middle of some intense inner work, the results of which could well be of interest here once assimilated and integrated into this vehicle well enough to be coherently shared.

Meanwhile of course I am following the proceedings and Blessings upon you all for the excellent direction seeking.

My physical energy is low, just know that I am with you ^@^
Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
05:40 PM ET (US)
General comment
/m21 David, thank you for your offer of mutual seafing. I do believe it is necessary. How, is our first challenge.

The past few months (I've not gone back to actually compute the time) has been a wild ride for me. I was just getting back into quality dialog with you when you introduced me to STAR, GBA and a collection of other exciting sites. jorl and deepwater caught my attention and we dove into exploring our worlds. I sense deep stirrings and anticipate a major breakthrough. I have part of the vision to contribute and hope for a significant convergence.

I agree that "WE" need scaffolding for ourselves and for some others, enough to establish a viable first "community-cell", one of whose tasks will be to construct the second generation scaffolding. This first generation scaffolding cannot be too general - to attempt too much. Indeed, it must be very selective (yet, not being clear as to what to select for - we have some ideas).

I hope that jorl can make some practical breakthroughs with SMN, even if for some simple tools. Others with computer competencies can assist, but the criteria and specs need to be determined primarily by what "WE", the intended users of the systems, need. And, "WHAT WE NEED", remains embryonic, in early development -- so the scaffolding must seaf this exploration and initial determination.

A thought that has been with me for decades, keeps popping up: "We must slow down so we can speed up". Our new system will be crude, awkward, primitive and very slow and often frustrating to use. Future generations will be far more reesee, but we need to be patient is providing the needed detailed feedback to ensure future viability. And a big part of this is the time and effort each of us will need to devote in learning to use these initially awkward systems. Here is where mutual learning, in teams, may be essential -- but it will also require consideration of differences in learning abilities. I strongly recognize the need but am typical with my impatience - and avoidance in doing much I need for self improvement. Our scaffolding must give equivalent attention to the achievement of our systemic objectives AND the personal and individual needs of each human participant.

This was an important thread in my MISSION 2000 manuscript
See D5.1 on "A sharp distinction must be made between a) the evaluation and management of personnel in the performance of their functions, and b) the evaluation and administration of functional subsystems."

David, our work with NU_Group in Onet was a start at creating scaffolding, although I didn't see it fully that way at the time. I downloaded the text, but it isn't in the useful Wiki format - but it could easily be put into that format. However, I am not sure whether that is where we should start.

John, Glisten and I have dialoged a bit on this, and need to do more. I wish I knew more about the real potentials and limitations of contemporary programming. Even beyond programming, I sense (at least for myself) that quality seafing of my work with intelligent tools may increase my productivity by many orders of magnitude.

I will continue to think on these matters.

Larry - nuet
David Braden
11:03 AM ET (US)
General comment

more so than nuet, I am far from following the math. From your description of how SMN models the interaction of systems, I keep thinking about modeling complexity spirals http://www.aboutus.org/3DN_Complexity_spirals.

I know some open source programmers. If you would want to interest them, to what link would you send them?


you told me once that it was not for me to provide you seafing. However, at this point in our understanding, it seems we have a mutual goal of constructing that first course of scaffolding on which all else may be built. Can we design an introductory script (or one for each type of learner) that, when followed, introduces the naive materialist to the basic concepts in a way that interests them in learning more?

Wael has offered to be subject in the testing . . .

if so, perhaps we can seaf each other past that first step - and attract the additional seafers you seek.

I will be leaving town Saturday and it looks like I will not be able to get back to this until 9/16 or 9/17. I hope you will leave me a trail to follow when I do get back.
Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
01:34 AM ET (US)
General comment
/m17 /m18 /m19 Congratulations jorl, it appears you are successful.

From my perspective you are a Wizard and Magician, if what I understand you are attempting. I have read these three postings many times, and went back to study some of your postings in The Mathematical Analysis. My work with physics and math was so long ago, and not practiced, so that I expect the neural circuits I developed then have long ago been transformed to other uses. Yet, I can comprehend what the math expressions imply; although I would need considerable coaching to follow all the deductions. You have put in a lot of foundational work.

In 1979 I began to look to computers as a tool I might come to use. My first wife had worked as programmer and systems designer for IBM and Control Data in the 1960s, and a very good friend in Tucson was an early hobbyist. I attended a lecture where a claim was made that I never forgot: "A computer is a system that can simulate every other system". If I am correct, you have taken this very seriously.

A while back I was reading about "software engineering", a long promised tool for constructing complex programs from mathematical deductions, and thus avoiding the need for debugging. What I read said that although it had great promise, "software engineering" was proving very difficult. Most large programs still require programmers (decades ago to be out of a job) and all are unstable. That was one reason why Star Wars wouldn't fly and why airports have continuing problems with their baggage systems.

From what you say, I infer that your SMN is one route to "software engineering" and probably much more. This is truly a stupendous achievement.

As you have said, you will probably need quality demonstrations to convince others of your claims. I can follow how your matrix model works on the simple examples - although it appears to me to be but an alternative formulation. You selected the terms so they would come out as they do -- which is proper for demonstrations. As examples got more complex I wanted to ask "why chose those terms".

I still have the problem with Quantum Theory as to why the Hamiltonian form of energy in classical physics, transformed into partial differential equations resulted in Schrodinger's Equation. I appeared to me that QT was a powerful curve-fitting process for data computations - yet, I marveled at how they often fit classical metaphors.

I have long been impressed with the Eigen equation, with an operator working on a state function. I've played with using this form to model perception and consciousness; although with no requirement to use the numerics of physics. The brain may have it's own Plank's Constant.

In SMN the matrix represents the processes within a system acting on a state vector (the system's structure). By computer iteration, all the possible state vectors can be generated and a phase field constructed. I assume that all possible relationships between states will also emerge.

I am not convinced that everything is discrete and finite, and that everything can be simulated by iteration. I have no objection if this were the case. For example, in my Practical Speculations paper I proposed "holistic determination" as an alternative to "causal determinism". Could SMN model "holistic determination" or my other wild speculation "feedpast bootstrapping".

I don't have any idea of what you would enter into the process so it would generate a application system such as my proposed Colab Studio.

In these three posts you have tried to share with me your core idea. Even though I am unable to follow your argument mathematically, I do hope that you are right.

I some sense, what you propose seems rather straight forward. How do others with you mathematical and computer skills respond?

jorl, I don't think it would be worth your time to attempt to get me to comprehend you more mathematically - I don't believe I would be a rapid learner. This is not to say that I wouldn't be pleased to comprehend your work - I would. But, I believe Glisten and I can work with you without having to fully comprehend the mathematics.

Have a few days resting you mind, or exercising it exploring other domains.

12:03 AM ET (US)
General comment
Hello Larry,

I hope I'm not providing too much information, I am assuming that with your background in physics these things will be easily comprehensible to you and perhaps even quite interesting...

It just occurred to me that there is an important point on which I haven't provided any information, which might lead you to think that the SMN approach is very inefficient. I will endeavour to explain why it is not.

In the brief explanation of the core work I used matrices as an explanatory framework to explain how the interconnections between systems can be modelled. But the SMN algorithm doesn't use standard matrices. If it did then, for example, for 1000 systems it would need to represent a 1000 x 1000 matrix and with each iteration it would need to compute 1,000,000 interaction channels, most of which would result in null interactions because either the systems don't interact at all or even if they do there is no information flowing between them in that particular moment. This would be VERY inefficient.

To represent the system interconnections the SMN algorithm uses sparse matrices, where only non-null elements are stored. Hence if the 1000 systems form a simple chain only 1000 interaction channels would need to be represented instead of 1,000,000.

This alone would still be inefficient if all 1000 interactions channels needed to be processed with every iteration because typically, not all channels would be active in any given moment.

For example, imagine that the chain of 1000 systems forms a kind of information 'pipeline' along which a pulse of information travels. Information enters the first system then flows to the second, then the third and so on. In this case only one interaction channel would be active in any given moment.

The SMN algorithm uses what I call "energy flow processing", where only the interactions that need to be processed in any given moment are processed. Very simply, if a system’s state changes we just look at that system’s output interface (matrix column) to see which systems depend on that state and only re-compute those systems.

In the case of the example of 1000 systems forming an information pipeline, because SMN uses sparse matrices and energy flow processing, instead of having to process 1,000,000 interaction channels in each iteration or even 1000, the SMN algorithm only processes 1 interaction channel per iteration.

The use of sparse matrices and energy flow processing introduces some complexity into the algorithm but the computational savings can be immense.

Of course, if the 1000 systems really were all interconnected and all interacting in every moment then there would be no saving, indeed there would be an extra overhead from using sparse matrices and energy flow processing. But in general systems most systems that humans might care to model have a modular structure, their interconnections are quite sparse and in any given moment only a proportion of the interaction channels are active. For these applications the algorithm is very efficient.

If full efficiency is required then even the small overhead can be avoided by designing and testing the system in SMN and then extracting out all the interaction paths into what I call a "black-box of spaghetti". Instead of using SMN to manage the system interactions during run-time, all the interaction paths are mapped out using SMN and then stored as computational paths which are represented as raw binary code. This is not yet implemented but I have in the past explored how it could be implemented.

This "black-box of spaghetti" then behaves exactly like the SMN model would behave if it was animated by the SMN engine, but it runs as fast as the computer can possibly run. This gives the benefits of SMN design and analysis, which allows us to create complex dynamical systems, and it also gives us zero computational overhead. In fact it can often run even faster than conventional code because the computational paths can be pre-optimised in the SMN design phase.

Because of these factors the SMN approach can give us greater ability to work with complex systems whilst still being quite efficient.

I am also working on a multi-threaded version of the algorithm. SMN is highly amenable to parallel processing, where we can even assign a thread to each virtual system. This would then allow it to take full advantage of multi-processor computers and computing clusters. Hence for large scale supercomputer applications it can run very fast, simulating billions of virtual systems at millions of iterations per second.
02:30 AM ET (US)
General comment
Hi guys :)

Hope you're both well... I'm very happy :)

The SMN-Engine is built and running well. This is probably about the 10th time that I've built the engine over the years but this is by far the best version yet. Using C was complex but the results are excellent...

To gauge its speed I created the simplest possible model, which simulates conserved fluid flow between two reservoirs. With this model it runs at 3 million iterations per second on my laptop. This means that on a machine with a 2GHz processor it can handle approximately 120,000 simple systems and still appear smooth to the user. This algorithm can also be implemented on a chip, which would run a LOT faster, but that is for the future...

The engine can theoretically process over 4 billion different models, which are simulated in parallel. Each model can contain over 4 billion different systems.

Users can add and remove models and systems without any comprehension of the underlying framework, they just give each model and each system a unique identifier and all the interconnections are handled by the engine. Each model is a self contained virtual universe, but using sysWraps they can interact with each other and with the outside world.

One aspect of interaction functions (f_ixy) that I didn't mention in the previous brief description is that the systems have full control over how they present themselves to other systems and how they observe other systems. For example, consider people, person A might be very verbose when talking to person B but be very brief when talking to person C. Likewise, person C might listen very closely to person A but person B only catches a word here and there. Hence person A expresses a lot to person B but most of it is lost as entropy because person B isn't paying attention.

In this scenario the matrix row is the input interface and the matrix column is the output interface. A system has control over the input functions in its row and the output functions in its column and can dynamically change these. The many system's rows and columns are overlapping, i.e. one system's column crosses all other system's rows and vice versa, hence each matrix element has both input and output functions. Whenever a system experiences another system's state (vector element) this state is first processed by the observed system's output function and then processed by the observer's input function. Hence f_in( f_out( state )) is the full interaction function.

There is still a lot more work to be done before it becomes a useful technology but the core of the core is implemented.

I will next develop some slightly more complex models, first in line is a system of classical objects in spacetime that interact via gravitation and electromagnetism, then maybe a simple machine like a vending machine for drinks and then some simple software.

Eventually I'll use SMN to create a system design suite with which people can create, analyse and deploy system oriented software. This would also be a general system simulator that can be used to model, design and analyse complex dynamical systems. The design program itself will be a virtual system animated by the engine. This will be a big project - I will hire some people to help get it off the ground and when it is developed enough to be recognisable to people I will start up an open-source project to fully develop it.

But right now, I'm going to have a rest for a couple of days!

Peace :)
09:34 AM ET (US)
General comment
Hello Larry (nuet),

Sorry for the delay in replying. To use a narrative device of yours from an earlier conversation, all of my clones have been totally occupied working on the programming, but in response to you comment "jorl, I am not clear as to what are your CORE R&D projects." one of these clones will now take some "time out" to attempt to explain a little of what the "core work" is...

It revolves around the iterative equation "v = M.v" where v is a vector and M is a matrix. From this arises all of the principles of "general system theory" and also "general massively-parallel computation". This will be explained a little below.

Depending on how one conceives of this equation, different scenarios arise. The scenario that relates to metaphysics/physics is where M.v is standard matrix multiplication. If the data in the vector and matrix are probabilities (where each column sums to one) then we get general quantum systems. If the data is 'real' numbers then we get general classical systems.

But the scenario that I am developing in software is where M.v represents generalised matrix multiplication and the data is any arbitrary binary data or program data.

I'll first explain what I mean by "generalised matrix multiplication"... For example, if we have the 2x2 matrix and the length 2 vector:

[ m_00 m_01 ] [ v_0 ]
[ m_10 m_11 ] [ v_1 ]

The equation v = M.v, using standard (mathematical) matrix multiplication gives us:

v_0 = (m_00 * v_0) + (m_01 * v_1)
v_1 = (m_10 * v_0) + (m_11 * v_1)

However generalised matrix multiplication gives us:

v_0 = f_r0( f_i00(m_00, v_0), f_i01(m_01, v_1))
v_1 = f_r1( f_i10(m_10, v_0), f_i11(m_11, v_1))

The functions f_ixy are any 'interaction' function that models how system x interacts with system y.
The functions f_rx are any 'response' function that models how system x responds to its interactions.

In standard (mathematical) matrix multiplication all the functions f_ixy(a, b) = a * b; and all the functions f_rx(a, b) = a + b;

But in the generalised case these functions can be ANY arbitrary function and they can be different for each interaction channel and each system response.

This set of functions describes how each system interacts with all other systems, responds to those interactions and changes state accordingly. By iterating these equations the model simulates general system interactions.

This is why I say that SMN (system matrix notation) can connect anything in any way.

In the software that I am developing:

The data in the vector can be any binary data or pointer to any function. It may be a simple character string, or colour code, or function that sends and receives system state to an external system. This latter case I call a 'sysWrap' function because it 'wraps' an external system and allows it to be represented within the simulation, thus allowing it to participate in the simulated system dynamics and also be controlled by the simulated system dynamics. The external system could be a button or dialogue box, etc which is part of a piece of software, or it could be another whole program, or a piece of electronically controllable machinery from a printer to a chemical factory. In this way SMN can serve as the core of a program, an operating system or a control system.

The data in the matrix can be any binary data and the interaction functions f_ixy can be any arbitrary function. It might be a simple attenuation function that causes a system to focus on some systems more than others, or it might be a complex function that processes the data stream in arbitrary ways.

The f_rx response functions can be any function that implements how the system processes the data that is available to it and changes its state according.

The SMN simulation engine will operate on void* pointers, so it doesn't know or care what the data or functions are, they are all just binary data to it. It is within the functions that the data has meaning as a character string or a bitmap image or a function that does such-and-such. In this way I am creating a general simulation engine that can operate on anything at all.

Using this approach, complex software systems can be created and integrated into complex networks of systems, thus allowing us to create software that was previously mind-boggling, but is now able to be easily comprehended, designed, constructed, debugged and analysed. It also makes possible, relatively codeless-programming where the programmer only needs to create a system model and rather than then having to translate that into computer code, the system model can be directly animated, thus creating the 'program' from the model alone, without any coding. The individual interaction and response functions still need to be coded, but as we develop a repository of useful basic systems these can be simply placed into the system model, hence the 'programmer' just uses a GUI to create a system model and then runs it without any need for coding.

This approach represents a massive paradigm-shift in computing. Rather than think of computers as fast calculators or document processors - they are instead virtual universes containing a world composed of virtual systems, all of which interact according to the principles of general systems theory. Any software can be developed in this way and many things that were previously impossible due to their complexity will become possible.

Something like Collab Studio could be implemented if we stop thinking within the 'document' paradigm and we re-imagine the whole situation in terms of a complex system of interacting items of information that are interlinked in meaningful ways and with which people can dynamically participate and co-create.

In the case of metaphysics/physics SMN also represents a massive paradigm-shift. Rather than think of this universe as an "objective physical universe" it can be thought of as a virtual universe containing a world composed of virtual systems, all of which interact according to the principles of general systems theory.

Whilst the metaphysics/physics scenario is the most profound and the most interesting, most people find it totally mind-boggling because they still believe in the idea of an "objective physical universe" and of "me as a being in a material world". These are real 'experiences', but they are not 'physically' real, just as the document you are now reading is a real experience of reading a document but there is no physical document. It is all 'virtual'.

I have made some progress with the physics scenario, showing how quantum and relativistic phenomena naturally arise from computational constraints within the "reality simulator" and I have also made conceptual contact with the Planck constants. But there is a LOT of work to be done before the SMN approach makes firm contact with traditional physics.

The SMN-oriented world-view also helps explain many so-called anomalies on the cutting edge of science, such as "quantum weirdness", the results of recent experiments into mind/matter interaction and so on.

I have also made some progress with the metaphysics scenario, showing how all the core concepts of eastern mysticism and some of the concepts of western philosophy can be explained using the SMN approach. But there is a LOT of work to be done before the SMN approach makes firm contact with mysticism and philosophy.

Developing the metaphysics/physics aspect of SMN requires collective effort. It is too much for one person working alone to accomplish. Hence for now I will develop the software scenario. Once it "gets out there" as a new information technology (system-oriented programming instead of object-oriented) then people will become more familiar with the general principles and will find it easier to apply those principles to metaphysics/physics and their own lives.

I will be keeping quiet about the metaphysics/physics aspect when first releasing the software, because there is so much confusion and prejudice surrounding those subjects. I will present it purely as a new and useful computational technology until it begins to gain some momentum and then gradually release information about the rest.

Anyway, that's a very brief description of the core of my work. All of the metaphysical assertions that I make stem from this core and can ultimately be backed up by it. But whilst Glisten and I are the only ones who understand this core it is not very productive to make metaphysical assertions. Hence I have returned to focusing on developing the core in such a way that in future many people will be able to understand it. Then it will be productive to make metaphysical assertions and they will be understood as being scientifically meaningful assertions that are open to rational enquiry rather than just as vague and incomprehensible statements of personal belief.

Ultimately, the core of the work aims at laying down some foundations upon which a future unified science can be built. This can provide a coherent basis for civilisation as well as new technologies that will help us comprehend and manage complex systems.
Edited 09-01-2008 09:43 AM
Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
03:24 AM ET (US)
General comment
/m14 jorl, I can't believe its only 2 days since you posted; it seems like a long time and that I have been delinquent in not responding sooner.

I too am exploring putting more focus on Core R&D, although I keep shifting as to what that is. I will not attempt to share my big ideas until I have the media and tools to be reesee. This does not preclude our dialogs on such ideas. However, I realize that I need considerable seafing to create the requisite "reesee media and tools". I will not be seafed unless I construct the scaffolding for it. I've been attempting for weeks to compose a moderate length outline of the features I envision needed for the "reesee media and tools" - but it turns out to be a much bigger challenge than I expected.

In enhanced creative periods I can grok the whole, from tiny details to the synergy of major sub-systems; but am unable to create sems in this condition. Yet, I get a very strong sense that NOW is the time.


jorl, I am not clear as to what are your CORE R&D projects. I list what may be components:

1) Seven Steps To Unified Metaphysical Awareness -- I see you have done more work on the table and text - which I should study again. What do you intend for this if not to share with others? Maybe it is an inner scaffolding for you.

2) "My main aim for creating SMN software is to show that it works and that it is useful - I have found that trying to get it out as a mathematical model and scientific methodology is futile because people's minds refuse to even think about it, and even when a very few try, their minds are full of too many pre-conceptions to be able to comprehend it. But if it is out there as a range of useful software applications and a new software engineering paradigm, then people will look into it in that context." I have the same feelings towards my "reesee media and tools"; working prototypes may be needed.

I need to make another run at SMN Software. I only skimmed through your material weeks ago, and I thought I got a very rough idea of what you are attempting. But I may be way off base. I can't imagine how SMN Software would help in developing a Colab Studio. I would be pleased to share with you my ideas about Colab Studios and other software tools I think we need.

3) Developing your version of "reesee media and tools" for better seafing your own work and for eventually seafing the sharing of it with others.


"I don't hold out much hope of communicating with anyone else that I know of (there may be others but I don't know who they are)."

jorl, I hope we are not the only ones. I could make a list of about 10 persons I believe we would resonate with IF we could capture their attention and they would be willing to put interacting with us as a major priority. I, myself, have not attempted to contact these persons until I have appropriate scaffolding. On the other hand, there may be many people we have not heard of - and, in time, we could develop a PRSOS system to find them and reach them.

I am now reading "I AM A STRANGE LOOP" by Doug Hofstadter. I had a week interacting with him decades ago, and from his books and talks was greatly impressed. He is very busy but seems to make time for what he detects is important. "I" in the book title is the concept behind the word "I", and he has some very interesting ideas about mind, self and consciousness. He has considerable expertize in mathematics and computers (AI - non traditional). He writes with humor and leads readers step by step through increasing complex variations of his ideas that may be a lesson for us.

Substance - Substantial - Rock Bottom - Concrete - Solid

Can an ontology harbor two distinct substances? The controversy over the "duality" of mind and matter as two competing "substances" hints to a deep seated resistance to dual substances.

I personally don't seek a long-term valid ontology. Although I find ontology and epistemology merging, I tend towards the latter. Ontology, to me, is a useful, temporary frame for organizing for practical action.


The "jorl" constructed within "nuet" detects (from nuet's perspective, making no attributions to the real jorl) a strong emotional resistance to "material substance" so that the ontology of

"the fundamental 'substance' is information (discernible difference) which exists, not in physical space and time, but in a computational-like state-space and iteration-cycles. As the information flows it creates experientials and these are assumed to be somehow 'physical'. A good analogy to contemplate is to imagine being a sentient character within a virtual reality world. It is in one sense, all just information flowing in complex ways, but on another level it looks and feels like a conscious experience of a physical universe. The virtual reality is symbolically contained (simulated) by the information process."

Yet, when we dialog on this, as in your quote above, are we not forced to use a naive reality perspective -- where the sems are truly abstract and not "material", but our activity depends on the temporary, approximate, "material substance" frame. You may be able to totally abandon this frame when exploring inward, but I feel that it is not yet time (in human evolution) to share without "naive materialism". Your inner insights may convince you otherwise, but I have not yet had those experiences.

jorl, is nuet correct in inferring that you anticipate a major phase shift in the deep fabric of reality, after which even the laws of physics may have changed? I have my own thoughts on this, considering 2012 prophecies, crop circles & UFO phenomena, our Crisis of Crises and the global breakdown of human minds, etc.

"My own approach attempts to avoid ALL materialist assumptions and to work with PURE information, patterns, processes and experientials and to model how a compelling experience of an 'objective physical universe' can arise from these things alone." I propose there may be a difference between a conceptual model you may create that avoids ALL materialist assumptions, AND how that model may be experienced. George Lakoff and others propose that all human experience is grounded on metaphors of body in motion and manipulating a naive realism world. The analogy may be made with Quantum Theory and the Correspondence Principle, human observations are limited to classical scales.

I can speculate that while developing our inner worlds we can create a new set of metaphors that might replace the body metaphors. This could become manifest when embedded in virtual reality simulations.

Enough for now -- nuet
Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
08:20 PM ET (US)
General comment
This doc is paired with another doc: SEAFING DIVERSITY.

04:39 AM ET (US)
General comment
Hello Larry (nuet),

I have been rather preoccupied by massive changes in the general focus and direction of my work - I have been reorienting away from trying to communicate the results of the work so far, and back towards continuing the core research and development.

However the points that you have been raising show that there is a strong likelihood that you and I are in fact able to communicate about things in a meaningful way - hence I would like to keep open a channel of communication with you (and Glisten) - but I don't hold out much hope of communicating with anyone else that I know of (there may be others but I don't know who they are).

I have got a little behind in our current conversation but I'll try to catch up a little by commenting on a few points, which I very much agree with.

I forget in which posting you made the comment but I recall you at some point stating that sems (within our minds and within our culture) are all that we directly have access to, this is also the essence of the bottom row in the table (link). What most people call the 'world' is just the set of sems via which they interpret their experiences and communicate them. Beyond or beneath this 'world' there is a lot going on, which can be studied and understood but only if we get beyond believing that the sems are the "things in themselves".

In /m12 you say regarding the semantic web "I sense the efforts are both too ambitious and not considering the user. Or, they limit their view of the user as IBM did when they limited the use of computers to large corporate business tasks."

I agree, in my understanding the main point of the semantic web is to make the internet 'machine' operable - hence the users that they target it at are not humans at all, or even human organisations, but computers.

The main aim of the semantic web, in my understanding, is not related to searching or to helping individual humans communicate with each other, but to making the information content on the web machine comprehensible. At present it takes a human to decode the information in order to turn it into meaning. The aim of web ontologies is to make the human decoding process redundant because the machines can process meaning without us and make decisions and so on without the need for any direct human input. The main context in which this is being developed is the automation of business processes and institutional logistics and decision making - including government decision making.

Although it is mainly directed at being applied in this context, the underlying technology can also be used to help individuals communicate more intelligently with each other.

In /m13 you say "Since experientials are "real", that we experience "matter" as a category of experientials - is an illusion, does not make them less "real"; but it stirs up what the word "real" means"

I very much agree, that is the main point of the whole table. All rows are 'real' in some way but there are several types and degrees of 'realness'. I feel that what you hint at with the words 'sems' and 'experientials' relates to something that I call "symbolic containment" in relation to individual consciousness - but the model described in the table proposes that there is also symbolic containment on several deeper levels.

In /m13 you say "A more gutsy construct is "substance" - a quite useful tool. Substances occupy space over time and when probed exhibit consistent properties, which systematically change on changing the environmental variables for the substance. Pieces of substance share the same properties."

Yes, I agree. In my own models the fundamental 'substance' is information (discernible difference) which exists, not in physical space and time, but in a computational-like state-space and iteration-cycles. As the information flows it creates experientials and these are assumed to be somehow 'physical'. A good analogy to contemplate is to imagine being a sentient character within a virtual reality world. It is in one sense, all just information flowing in complex ways, but on another level it looks and feels like a conscious experience of a physical universe. The virtual reality is symbolically contained (simulated) by the information process.

You say "Humberto Maturana proposes that the world of physics doesn't need the construct of an "objective physical universe". He comes near my view that the empirical foundation of science are patterns in data and not what is observed. Yet, Maturana insists the scientific explanation must include a mechanistic causal model."

I agree with you both. Shroedinger also held the view that 'pattern' is fundamental whereas the concept of 'matter' is just an assumption based upon macroscopic sensory experiences. When I say that 'information' is the fundamental substance, this is equivalent to saying that 'pattern' is the underlying substance. Also what I metaphorically refer to as 'computation' (or information process) is what underlies the phenomenon of causality.

My own approach attempts to avoid ALL materialist assumptions and to work with PURE information, patterns, processes and experientials and to model how a compelling experience of an "objective physical universe" can arise from these things alone. That is what SMN does. It is a pure information process that operates as a reality generative process that creates a context in which systems experience themselves as entities in a 'physical' universe that has all the fundamental properties of our own situation.

What you say about Collab Studio also resonates with me. In the past I have given quite a lot of thought to the idea of creating something that sounds in many ways quite similar to Collab Studio. This wasn't primarily because I thought it would be useful - but instead because I was looking for useful things to make using SMN. SMN is ideally suited to creating such things. It is a way of interconnecting anything with anything in any way, either statically or dynamically, and getting them to interact and integrate into a supersystem with complex causal behaviour, which the user can interact with.

Now that my focus is returning to the core research and development I will be reviving the software development process and Collab Studio is a likely candidate for an application to make using SMN. I am not yet ready to begin the design phase for particular applications but in future I would like to discuss the details of your vision for it.

I am presently contemplating the low-level details of constructing the core SMN-engine, such as what language it would be best to develop in, what graphics libraries, and so on. I have previously developed SMN in Euphoria (this was good for research), but for full production and deployment I think C would be best.

My main aim for creating SMN software is to show that it works and that it is useful - I have found that trying to get it out as a mathematical model and scientific methodology is futile because people's minds refuse to even think about it, and even when a very few try, their minds are full of too many pre-conceptions to be able to comprehend it. But if it is out there as a range of useful software applications and a new software engineering paradigm, then people will look into it in that context. Then those people will be one step closer to understanding a mathematical model of the information theoretic nature of reality. Hopefully this will someday penetrate into the ivory tower of physics and people will contemplate it as a mathematical framework within which to study the universe, not as some naive idea of a 'material' universe, but as an information process that gives rise to physical-seeming experientials.

I see many parallels between your thinking and my own - and you have the subtlety of mind to be able to communicate about these things - which is SOOOOO rare. I hope I have the subtlety to be able to keep up my side of the conversation.
Larry VictorPerson was signed in when posted
04:09 AM ET (US)
Regarding item 50
/m9 /m10

It was my intention to hide the conventional identity of the "things" until their strange properties were cited. My approach in 1994 to the fundamental reality of text http://ourworld.cs.com/larryvictor137/RelDocs/isss94af.htm seemed to confuse most readers.

I explore word clusters, for example:

material, matter, substance, essence, object, particle, field
mechanical, mechanistic, organic, holistic
qualia, property, aspect, variable, pattern system
mass, momentum, energy, entropy, space, time
population, ensemble, identity, probability, distribution

These are not little balls of meaning "existing" in relative isolation from each other. They in constant fluctuation and overlap.

But, "where" do they exist? This is a query, not a question, play with the options. How does the pattern of a symbolic character differ from the distribution of grains of graphite on the textured fabric of paper?

Doug Hofstadter explores how we can identify different letters in a wide and wild diversity of forms. http://www.stanford.edu/group/SHR/4-2/text/hofstadter.html . I play with the idea that "words-in-the-brain" are like strange attractors in chaos theory.

Very early I accepted the view that "matter" was a mental construct. Since experientials are "real", that we experience "matter" as a category of experientials - is an illusion, does not make them less "real"; but it stirs up what the word "real" means, and what have we to say about the word "meaning". Essays titled "the meaning of meaning" only stir the pot.

A more gutsy construct is "substance" - a quite useful tool. Substances occupy space over time and when probed exhibit consistent properties, which systematically change on changing the environmental variables for the substance. Pieces of substance share the same properties.

Today, there is a major scientific & technological discipline about the nature of MATERIALS. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materials_science . The study of materials is a very real human enterprise.

To me, the query about the reality or existence of "matter" hinges on the query about how we use these two terms: "reality" and "existence". My perspective today is that language dialog on this query leads us into endless loops. The latest book by Doug Hofstadter is titled: "I am a Strange Loop". I travel this loop frequently,

I personally associate "the material world" with "the world of physics". Physics doesn't need the concept of matter as substance at its foundations. The concept of mass does not imply matter. Humberto Maturana proposes that the world of physics doesn't need the construct of an "objective physical universe". He comes near my view that the empirical foundation of science are patterns in data and not what is observed. Yet, Maturana insists the scientific explanation must include a mechanistic causal model.

As I understand jorl, in reaction to the gross misuse of "naive materialism" (I fully agree) he seeks a basic metaphysics where the concept of "existence" excludes the construct of "matter". That jorl's metaphysics is "universal", "absolute" and "eternal" I cannot say - as these terms lead me into even deeper quagmires. It may be that the formalism of jorl's metaphysics (such as his SMN models) can lead to the derivation of pseudo realities like materialism.

Elsewhere I started to propose that "naive realism" can be a useful frame when discussing inter-subjective reports of sensory observation of a common stimulus environment. This is the world of other animals, as we today think of their worlds. Our brains evolved to work with "naive realism" -- which was OK until we expanded our horizons beyond the immediate sensory -- and began to use language in reference to situations not directly observed. Here naive realism gets one into deep trouble.

I speculate that in attempting to make sems comprehensible, the concept of a material substrate for the abstract (Platonic) symbol might prove useful. The steps in coming to view Science as based on the study of data, and not "objective phenomenon", and the unique view of sems as replicating with perfect identity and fully capable of being observed by many at different times and places, and where the study of sems meets the old scientific assumption that observation won't disturb the observed. The observation of sems does not disturb the sems -- it might disturb the material substrate. That the material substrate may not exist, from a certain metaphysical perspective may not be an important issue here.

Jorl, I believe there is much more to your metaphysical insights that what I have described above. I believe you are considering major shifts or phase changes in the very fabric of reality - whatever that is. You feel open to pursue this by declaring materialism unreal. I can see that to get others to learn about your insights they will have to transcend naive materialism - and I might agree. However, I am not sure many will welcome having their material substrate dissolve under them.

This is what I was sinking into on my few bad trips; I felt the very structures of my being disintegrating and with no sense of what might come next. Many of the marathon encounter sessions in the 1960s destroyed the belief foundations of participants during the session, and let them go home without security. Many never recovered.

My idea of sems can be viewed from different levels. In one it is but a practical strategy to enable dialog to be more focused and accurate. At a mid level, sems become the substantial framework or galdeeing scaffolding for global human change. At a higher level, sems are viewed as early precursors of a new reality radically different from any contemporary or historical realities.

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