31 January, 2015

The Invisible (yet active) Contents of Empty Space

Following a long investigation into various phenomena revealed since the discovery of the Quantum over a century ago, it becomes increasingly clear that the anomalies that came up could only be addressed in a scientific, explanatory way by the assumption of a physical substrate filling all of so-called Empty Space.

Of course, such a substrate was not an original idea, for it seems an inevitable conception when attempting to explain what actually and persistently happens there, so it has come up before. At one time all scientists believed in such a substrate, which they called The Ether, and though it was entirely a theoretical construct, it did seem to answer many of the questions posed by phenomena of Empty Space.

Indeed, it was on the basis of a conceived-of Ether that James Clerk Maxwell derived his equations of Electromagnetism, which are still used to this day.

But, that theoretical medium was never found! Try as they might, the scientists involved could find nothing that actually fitted the bill, and the whole concept was simply dropped.

Yet, similar undetectables have always been considered, and new ones are added to the list of necessary substances all the time to “theoretically” explain anomalies – from Dark Matter to Dark Energy, and invisible Dimensions galore.

Frankly, there has to be something out there, which is both susceptible and positively reactive, yet cannot, by the usual means, be positively and directly detected. As a theoretical exercise, therefore, this researcher attempted to devise a particle, which was of no net charge, no magnetic effects and remarkably no apparent matter content either. Clearly, the only way, such an entity could possibly exist, was by it being composed of other sub particles with opposite properties, which effectively cancelled out, within such a stable union.

Now, there is a well-established model that could be used as a starting point. It is, of course, The Atom!

It may not, initially, seem appropriate, until we consider its Form and its widespread occurrence throughout the whole of known Reality. In the simplest case, the Hydrogen Atom, it consists of a positively charged proton, orbited by a negatively charged electron. And this delivered a neutral entity, but with an evident net Mass and a magnetic dipole effect.

But, it is remarkably stable, and its two elements are kept apart, in spite of their opposite charges, by the relative speeds they had, on first encounter, which was transformed into the speed of orbiting, and thus kept them apart.

It is not an unusual pattern, for, as we know in Cosmology, Stars, Planets, Moons and even Galaxies follow very similar stable patterns indeed. The question becomes, “Could we construct another joint particle, on the model of the atom, which could cancel out all the properties of its component parts, and thus become undetectable?”

For, if the two components were of exactly equal size and opposite charge, both the net charge and the magnetic effects in the combined particle would be zero.

All that remained and spoiled our intentions was the unavoidable and eminently detectable Mass! Clearly, the question presents itself, “Could we have sub-particles of directly opposite matter types?”

For example, if we used one electron and one positron, with one of ordinary matter and the other of antimatter, perhaps the result might be an undetectable joint particle?

But, not only that!

As with the atom, it could also contain extra electromagnetic energy in the very same way, by the promotion of the orbits to a higher energy level. And, in the same way could release that energy via the demotion of such orbits.

Doesn’t this ring a bell?

Have we not defined a physical Photon?

It would be undetectable as a particle, but could carry energy within it!

But, as well as existing as a “disembodied” quantum of energy, it could also exist everywhere without that extra energy, and be totally undetectable: it could be the basis of an undetectable substrate – as an Empty Photon?

Now, this entity, or something very like it, might well answer quite a few questions currently unexplained in Modern Physics. And, one famous experiment literally cried out for such an entity. It was, of course, The Double Slit Experiment.

But, to play a role in that experiment, this particle would, somehow, have to be literally everywhere, forming some kind of substrate. So, it was, therefore, conceived of as forming a “Universal Paving” composed of these particles – not a liquid or a solid, put a Paving of descrete particles in a close-packed formation, actually filling all of Space.

The problems and anomalies of the whole range of Double Slit Experiments were tackled with this paving as a universal intermediary, between the missiles fired at the Slits, and finally recorded upon an ultimate detection screen, and everything was causally explained!

Yes, absolutely everything, including the vanishing of phenomena when things were attempted to be detected in various regions of the experiment.

Compared to the usual Copenhagen-based standpoint, with its Wave/Particle Duality and Possibility Mathematics, this alternative was infinitely preferable, and didn’t involve the idealistic retreat of the Copenhageners. It was, indeed, worth investigating, and delivered a theory containing more Objective Content than that which it replaced.

As always, of course, such a theory cannot claim to be the Absolute Truth, but using the criterion of containing more Objective Content, it had to replace the usual theory!

The most important unexplained phenomenon in Nature is surely the Propagation of Electromagnetic Energy (such as Light) through totally Empty Space.

Could our suggested paving of these undetectable particles fit the bill? The answer was, once again, a resounding, “Yes!” For, the quanta of electromagnetic energy could be passed on from unit-to-unit, in a bucket-brigade fashion, and the renowned, but unexplained, constant Speed of Light, would now be merely the speed of transfer from one particle of the paving to the next.

And, to cap it all, this actual particle has been observed in the Tevatron at Fermilab, and there termed the positronium

And though, in those circumstances, it was shown to have an incredibly short lifespan before it dissociated back into its components, that is what you would expect there, and it was an assumed stable version that would play the role within such a universal structure as a general paving of Empty Space.

Now, before everyone has a fit, let us be clear what has been achieved here.

It was from the outset a theoretical construct to see if something like this had legs. The positronium (or neutritron, as its devisor has called it) may not be “the Truth”!

But, something like it may actually be involved.

And, as it has turned out in this continuing line of investigations, this particle alone cannot be the sole ingredient that fills the whole of Empty Space, for, in spite of its successes, it has also failed to explain (with its current composition) several other major questions that also have to be answered for such a space-filling substrate.

For example, it cannot explain Fields, both electrical and magnetic, and even more importantly, it cannot explain Gravity.

Yet, why should such a substrate be so simple?

Why should it contain only one kind of elementary unit?

We have a good, general analogistic model, involving the cancelling out of properties via mutually-orbiting sub particles.

Could not space be filled with a variety of such undetectable units, but with different contents and modes of existence? Using the same basic premises, it is surely possible to devise other joint particles with different properties to the neutritron, which because of their differences may well be able to deliver the as yet unexplained features?

The necessary theoretical line was obvious. Could we devise other undetectable particles, which could deliver the other phenomena?

And, in the initial attack upon electrostatic fields, it was attempted using this time, the pair of mirror-image joint particles, which in equal numbers, and moving about randomly could also be effective en mass – for they would cancel out over the population instead of within each and every joint particle. And, by making the joint pairs those of unequally-sized particles, these could deliver effects that the neutritrons could not.

Now, this research is still in the early stages, but already several concepts have been considered – the static paving AND the randomly moving, gas-like entities.

But, as with the matter states of Solid, Liquid and Gas, we can conceive of different states or phases, which could act together to ultimately deliver all the phenomena occurring in Empty Space.

The research proceeds!

Transcending Levels

How Hierarchies of Level are created & Transcended in Explanations

The current work on Abstraction, as published in the latest Special Issue of the SHAPE Journal (January 2015), was, and could only be, the first step in a long and difficult journey, for as with external Reality itself, there is NO direct causality between its fundamental, basic particles, and the most advanced level features that occur therein. That is not to say that there are no causal connections, of course, but they are by no means unitary or direct.

Just as efforts to explain the origins and properties of Living Things in terms of elementary particles, or even the last immediately prior Level before Life, is impossible, as it is also never achievable to explain Thinking in similarly related lower order terms – even cells and synapses will not deliver what is required.

As in Reality in general, there is an undoubted hierarchy of Levels involved, each with its own system-dependant forms, which are never mere summations of totally unchanged basic units from one level directly producing the next!

For one thing, any significant developments always require revolutionary events – usually termed Emergences, and these involve not only entirely new structures at the new level, but also, though the lower producing level continues to exist, it is significantly changed in various ways, first by the cataclysm, which precipitated the transformation, and thereafter by the new level above it. Once a new level is established and stable, the level that led to it no longer exists as such.

Indeed, these Emergent Interludes are so revolutionary that they cannot be explained directly in terms of what came before in the immediately prior Level. Indeed, those parts of the old, which were radically changed by the processes involved, were so initially dissociated as to be consequently reconstructed upon entirely new lines, as a consequence of the transforming event, as to thereafter no longer able to play the same role. The emergence not only creates the New, but also changes and limits the old too.

And, any attempt to explain that transformation in terms of what currently remains at the lower level, will be impossible, never mind the complex following sequences that would have also been part of the whole Event.

Some examples of this are well known, such as the impossibility of explaining Life from currently non-living situations at the lower Level. And, of course, our present task, that of dealing with Consciousness is another.

Now, the direct proof of these assertions is the unavoidable division of studies into different subjects – like Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geology are not just difficult problems, delayed until some time in the future, when they evidence will be available for them to be tackled, but are, each and every one, a reflection of the emergence of entirely new Levels, with wholly new properties and laws as also are, crucially, the top-down transformations that are the inevitable results of such events.

Now, though some simple features are so explained, all the important ones are not! But, what confuses this is the simultaneous existence of the various, relatively independent Levels. For, if a lower Level were to be removed, there is no doubt that all the Levels above it would vanish too.

It seems to be a contradiction, but it is usually explained in terms of the relative independence of the Superstructure and the Base. This occurs in all aspects of Human Culture, so we are certainly familiar with it. And, it is often used as an argument against the Marxists, by saying that they cannot explain their own existence with their “strict determinist ideas”.

Though, such an argument is clearly not well-founded, as it is ONLY the Marxists, who know about and study Emergent Interludes (Revolutions) that occur in all levels of Development.

Indeed, the realisation of the occurrence of these crucial Events throughout Reality in Development was recognised first occurring in the Development of Human Societies, which suffered totally transforming Revolutions. And, in studying these throughout History, thereafter led to a wider application, across the board, in all Developments in every area of Reality.

Of course, knowing something of Stabilities, Crises, Dissolutions and trajectories of Change is never sufficient. These have to be unearthed in all areas of study – in their own terms.

But, without a doubt, knowing what cannot be done focuses our attention on the areas, which can be investigated, and also philosophically changes such investigator from pluralist to holist, and equips them to look for the key impasses, via which all progress can be made.

Finally, as many failed attempts have proved conclusively, the task of explaining how a Level emerges from a lower level ground turns out to be impossible by the usual means, and with the usual assumptions.

Attempts made by using the currently existing features of an evidently lower level to explain the creation of the new one above it will always be impossible.

And the reason for this is simple!

On creating the new Level, the Emergent Interlude, which achieved it, not only built the New, but first had to dismantle literally all the control features of the prior stable Level causing its dissociation as a System, and hence removing all inhibitory controls, and hence enabling the wholly New to emerge.

With the so-called “policeman processes” dismantled, numerous new proto systems quickly developed, and competed, until the ultimate victory of one, or of a related or coordinated set, changed a complex, competitive situation into a single system with its own control processes to maintain its dominance.

Thus, not only was a new self-maintained Level established, but it also via top down controls, changed the still existing lower Level.

It was no longer that which had precipitated the Emergent Event.

Hence all attempts to use a current lower level to explain the one above it is bound to fail, for it isn’t the one that was involved in the transforming Interlude!

22 January, 2015

You think there's a multiverse? Get real (Review)

A Major Misconception of the Heavens
(and everything else too)

The article entitled One True Cosmos in New Scientist (3004), by physicist Lee Smolin and Brazilian philosopher Roberto Mangabeira Unger, is a significant step in the right direction in Cosmology, but their sound suggestions are not, as yet, sufficient to cure the malady that today infects current ideas in this area.

Nevertheless, it is Mangabeira Unger’s philosophical contributions that are crucially important and necessary, for they display a clear, outsider influence to dispel the navel contemplation now rife in Cosmology.

For, it is definitely in the area of Philosophy that Modern Physics (and its ever more dependant offspring, Modern Cosmology) that the major inadequacies most certainly lie. The main point of criticism is correctly directed at the concept of The Multiverse, and their clear condemnation of such a stance as unscientific is certainly correct.

Their arguments upon that position need no added amendments from this philosopher-physicist. But, their criticisms constitute only a first and essential step. No mention is made of The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Theory, and the massive retrenchment that it caused in Modern Physics, or, indeed, the whole idealist fiasco of Wave/Particle Duality. The errors exposed here are too narrow to account for the major diversion that has been instituted over the last century.

It has to be the case though, that the standpoint these critics describe, must also infer further consequent criticisms, which have certainly not been elaborated upon in this article. What is also spelled out, however, is what they call the "Newtonian Paradigm", which they see as a method developed for the investigation of local subsystems, which are in Cosmology wrongly applied to Super-systems on a Cosmic scale. But, the errors involved are in fact much more fundamental than that.

For what has become the norm in Science is the isolation, filtering and necessarily rigorous farming of experimental Domains (subsystems), in order to investigate them. And, what is involved, in that, isn’t just a matter of taking a subset of Reality to investigate. What is always achieved amounts to a great deal more than a mere artificial isolation of a natural subsystem. Every such Domain is always significantly changed - not only have many factors been purposely removed, but those remaining have also been artificially controlled, expressly to produce an unnatural, yet revealing context – tailored or farmed to clearly display a previously only glimpsed (and, in this special context, easily achieved) sought-for relation. Yet, what can then be extracted is NOT what was acting in the original, unfettered Reality-as-is: is, always, a produced simplification and idealisation, of what was originally glimpsed.

Now, this is absolutely crucial, but also, in order to assume that what we finally have in our hands is exactly what was acting in the natural unfettered situation, we have, in addition, to assume the Principle of Plurality. Otherwise, we cannot make all the extensive, consequent reasoning that follows.

For example, what is finally extracted is assumed to be a Natural Law – and ALL naturally occurring situations are assumed to be mere summations of such Laws, and also that NONE of these are in any way changed by that process. The Principle states that all such factors are both separable and unchangeable contributions.

So, what are the consequences of such beliefs? It means that if sufficient farming of appropriately designed and produced Domains are carried out, a whole set of these eternal Natural Laws will be put into our hands to explain literally all associated phenomena. But then, a following step is also crucial! For, it is assumed that all phenomena can be built solely out of these Natural Laws by mere addition.

But, it just isn’t true! For, if it were, you wouldn’t need technologists at all. Neither would you need experimental scientists to construct appropriate experiments revealing these “Natural Laws”.

So, though I commend the argument about subsystems in this article - it is, as I have explained, a much more important problem that has been revealed, AND must, somehow, be transcended!

The crucial underlying Principle of Plurality, which not only sees Reality as analysable into separable eternal Laws, but also sees these as permanently fixed. Philosophically, that makes these “Laws” primary, and NOT caused by their context. This is an idealist position! And, if they do NOT reveal actual eternal Natural Laws, but instead only actually arrange Domains of Reality to artificially deliver what seem to be such, then, they have not so much revealed, as at least partially constructed, what we end up having in our hands.

And, this means that the processes involved – The Newtonian Paradigm – which constitute, in fact, the standard experimental methods of Science – do not reveal, but only “deliver”, due to the carefully arranged Domains.

And, what they deliver are NOT the eternal building blocks of Reality.

Yet, of course, they are still eminently useable! For, we not only construct the appropriate Domains in order to reveal these “Laws”, but also construct the very same Domains in order to effectively use them! So, the Paradigm stands.

It is OK for technologists and product producers, but, it is just terrible for those attempting to understand Reality. Ever-better theories are undermined from the outset.

The next criticism in the article concerns the so-called “special nature” of our Universe, when compared with what can be produced by the known set of”Laws of Physics”.

Indeed, starting with such Laws, it is considered almost inconceivable how we could ever have arrived solely at the Universe we now quite evidently have. So, to attempt to explain that anomaly, the scientists felt they could do no other than put forward the conception of the Multiverse, for within that, every conceivable Universe is possible, so ours would be included. Among the infinite number of all possible Universes, produced by random mixes of “the Laws”, if all were worked out, would, in time, turn up ours as one of the set.

But, our Universe isn’t a "special case": It is, indeed, the only one there is.

Comparing it with a set of laws in all their possible configurations means nothing. The whole trajectory of such reasoning is seriously lacking, on so many levels. Everything from the idealist stance of the laws coming first, to the incorrect assumption that they are fixed, and finally to the belief in the Principle of Plurality – they produce results that constitute a mere house of sand!

There is no proper reasoned case for The Multiverse: it is merely a formal sticking plaster to cover a real gaping hole in our understanding!

The criticisms involved are not just many and varied, but are cumulative – each one precipitating more, and as soon as one brick is shown to be dodgy, the whole edifice comes tumbling down.

So, that being the case, major changes in the assumptions and principles we employ must be implemented.

The problem is, “Where to start?”

It can only be at the level of an alternative underlying Principle to that of Plurality, and, historically, that has always been the Principle of Holism, which is defined by - Everything affects everything else!

All things are variable, including the relations between things.

Laws don’t determine contexts, but contexts make Laws!

And, with such a World, only a single trajectory was followed, giving us the one Universe we now have. BUT, any assumption of straight through causality is also wrong. Analysis is always a simplification, and universal Reductionism is a myth!

Lastly, and most importantly, development isn’t incremental, but involves long periods of Stability interleaved with short dramatic interludes of revolutionary transformations.

The so called Newtonian Paradigm is only usable in constructed and maintained Domains, and the real changes that occur can only be addressed by studying and understanding Emergences, where all significant qualitative change occurs!

[Indeed, though the philosopher in this fruitful pairing clearly insists upon variable Laws, he does not see development via revolutionary Emergences, but entirely incrementally, which significantly alters his suggested solutions to these philosophical and scientific problems. So, to some extent, his attitude upon this reflects his political stance and activities as a government Minister in a capitalist government in Brazil]

One sound conclusion of these writers is that our conceptions of scientific laws do need revising significantly.

That conclusion is explained by = “discarding the assumption that the same kind of laws that work on the scale of small subsystems of the World, will work, scaled up, at the level of the whole Universe.”

Of course, as already explained above, there is a great deal more to it than that. All our laws are predicated upon differently constructed and constrained Domains. But, if, in addition, they are also included in Hierarchies of Systems in Reality – each with its own laws, then but only then, would I be inclined to agree with them.

Yet, the initial creation and subsequent evolution of such hierarchies must also be explained, and this can only be achieved by the occurrence of Emergent Episodes – Revolutions, which are clearly rejected by these writers.

The point is made by these writers about how the “Natural Laws” can be used to deliver an infinite number of non-existant Universes, but the “Why?”, appended to this, is inadequate – merely stating that they cannot be applied to things as large as the Universe, for that simply does not cover sufficient ground!

For, the real reasons are far more basic and explicable!

The Laws extracted by the usual means are NOT the driving essences of the Universe, but simplified and idealised Abstractions – arranged for in tailor-made Domains, and not about unfettered Reality at all, they are only about Pure Forms alone that can be extracted - and in so doing defining a different World, in which only pure forms exist, a non-real World, which I call Ideality!

So, the laws we extract, manipulate and even use are merely Laws of Form and certainly NOT the comprehensive creators of all of Reality.

We have a name for such studies limited to such a world: it is termed Mathematics.

And, this must be the most damning criticism of Modern Science: it has abandoned concrete materialism for formal idealism!

For, its Motive Forces of Reality are deemed to be the Formal Relations – the “Natural Laws” – farmed-for in all experiments, and involving only Pattern – without physical, causal explanations, and hence these are not about concrete Reality-as-is. No wonder such theories get nowhere: they are not what we assume they are!

Finally, the writers conclude that a new principle must become the basis for a New Science that we require to tackle the Universe. But, as they are not clear what the Principle was that they were assuming, they are not yet in a position to define its alternative. That mistaken Principle was not merely about local subsystems rather than Universes, but about ALL scientific investigations. It is the Principle of Plurality.

And, the new alternative has to be that ancient Principle, which is both the opposite of Plurality, and also has, in a contradictory way, been the essential ingredient in all the best scientific explanations throughout its history. It is , of course, the Principle of Holism.

What is required is the extension of traditional holistic explanations to also devising, carrying out and interpreting experiments. And we are still a long way from that!

Sadly, in identifying three principles, which, it is suggested, will lead to the way that these writers suggest is essential, include one which constitutes, in fact, the main problem with the current standpoint. For they insist - namely “Mathematics is not a description of some, separate, timeless, platonic Reality, but a description of the properties of one Universe”.

No it is not!

On the contrary, what they say it is in that statement, is simply not true. We don’t seek mere descriptions but causal explanations! So, in spite of a really valuable intention, they end up shooting themselves in the foot.


May this philosopher/physicist suggest some areas, he has already contributed to this problem, over the last six years, in the pages of the SHAPE Journal on the Web.

They are:-

The Theory of Emergences

The Theory of the Double Slit


A Hero of Holism – Yves Couder

Myths of Tegmark

Brian Cox’s Theory of Everything

Truly Natural Selection


Marxism I, II, III

Analogistic Models

The Superstructure and the Base.

My work (Jim Schofield) can be found at the following sites:

SHAPE Journal
SHAPE Channel on Youtube

21 January, 2015

The Nature of Abstraction

...Or how we internalise the real world

We have, on one hand, an Independent Reality, and on the other our Abstractions from that Reality, converted into forms that can exist in a Mind - as some analogue of those things extracted from that complex world.

And, if we define Abstractions NOT as real features of concrete Reality, but instead, as simplified and idealised reflections in the Human Mind (by which we mean attempts to internalise and understand real phenomena), we have to be very clear what it is that we think about.

For, we definitely assume that we are thinking about the concrete phenomenon that we had observed, but of course, that isn’t entirely true! We can never pack into our mind the full contents of those phenomena, but only a reflection of them, determined by the mirroring implement we use, and manipulative processes based upon previous such extractions.

Now, there are many things to consider with such internalisations. Quite apart from the social verifications, that make final forms common to many minds, we still have to explain why such abstractions are so useful, as well as what they actually consist of, and what they constitute as a whole collection (or even some sort of “system”) within their current residences within our minds. Indeed, this has been realised, time and again over millennia, and has caused Humankind to oscillate regularly between the true basic standpoints of Idealism (there is only the mind) and Materialism (there is only matter). For the accurate communications of one into the other seem to be impossible! But if we stop at merely calling them invented constructions of thought, it would get us nowhere. We would inevitably end up in pure Solipsism, with no concrete gains with respect to the relations of these things to a most certainly existing concrete Reality.

There is undoubtedly, some form of relation between them, and the Reality from which they were extracted and then reconstructed. These objects of the mind will be imbued with two sets of determinators; first, the real world things that elicited them, and second the properties and stored experience of the mind itself. And, they are certainly NOT the same.

The problems arise from both the processes involved in that internalisation, and also in the capabilities of the mind in making relationships relevant to that outside world. There can be no doubt that there has to be some measure of Objective Content in an Abstraction. Something of the Real World must be capable of being both reflected in and stored in the Brain, with enough correct Objective Content to be at all useable.

Yet, this will have to, somehow, include features of that real world situation in forms suitable for processing in the mind, but they will always be guaranteed to be insufficient to completely reflect those real world situations. The fact that anything can actually cross that divide is something of a miracle!

However, the actual processes of simplification and idealisation are gradually becoming clear. The myth of internalising Absolute Truth is also demolished totally. Whatever we internalise will be at best the maximum Objective Content currently possible. That is entirely what we deal in.

Now, let us be clear - not only does the Human Mind perceive real world phenomena, but it also devises and directs real world actions too. So, whatever internal processes the Mind is capable of, they will have been generated by a long history of such interactions, not only by the individual concerned, but in what has been coded for in that person’s genetic material, and what has been settled on in discussion with others in the same social group.

It is just such a nexus of internally present capabilities that deal with perceptions, and determine the kind of abstractions that can be involved. But, they will all be purely cerebral concepts. So, how can they possibly contain any concrete objectivity at all?

Clearly, minds have a history of development, and are certainly NOT wholly internally determined. For, any animal to survive, and even prosper, this internal processing unit just had to reflect the outside World very well indeed. It was certainly a product of evolution, and in the case of Humankind, perhaps the most important. Well, there is a category common to both Thought and Reality - It is Form!

When we say that there are TWO objects – that is both meaningful in the real World, and in Thought. Formal relationships are quite capable of being conceived of in the case of “TWO” – because it is simplified – totally drained of everything other than its “twoness”. And, also for other formal extractions, because they too are always idealised – that is converted from real world determinators, with all their variability, development and depth, and turned instead into fixed, pure forms. These can, indeed, be elements of Thought!

Remarkably, there are rules, which pertain in the real world to do with form, though they are NOT eternal laws, but current relationships in a constantly varying World.

But, and this is crucial, Humankind has found ways of making them appear eternal, by holding a context as still as possible, after also removing as many affecting variables as possible. Humans have learned to tailor or farm Reality so that these formal relationships appeared eternal, and could be internalised in Thought, though stripped of all but a simplified and idealised remnant. Once internalised in Thought, they had to become totally ossified into static or “eternal” things that never changed.

However, this transformation isn’t a ruining tragedy, for as the farming of situations in the real world proved, even such idealised versions can be close to what actually occurs there, but will only remain appropriate there for a time, or alternatively, if the real world ideal context is maintained throughout any actual use.

So, what the mind does in making Abstractions, is it takes a kind of selective snapshot of an aspect of Reality, suitably simplified and idealised and made still, which can then be thought about and related to others, in a World which can exist in Thought – a World of Pure Form alone.

This philosopher, Jim Schofield, has given this category of Thought the name – Ideality, because it is not a mere collection of abstractions, but an actual idealised System of such formal relations, with its own rules and laws. But, they are NOT the same as the forming rules in unfettered Reality, which are never eternal, while those idealised in Thought certainly are!

The usefulness is like the use of a photograph in understanding a scene. It certainly does not lie. But, it is a restricted and ossified view of Reality, telling us something about that frozen moment: a perception. And, we must make an initial effort to decode what is actually going on in this process. This must be tackled before we move on to the next Phase; the Human Mind is not a fixed machine, but a part of Reality subject to evolutionary development and will change in it’s features, facilities and powers, as a result of it’s successful experience in the Real World.

11 January, 2015

Qualitative Abstractions and Emergences

The latest issue of the SHAPE Journal is on Abstraction. From a beginning some years ago, with The Processes and Productions of Abstraction, this theorist has now made another foray into this subject, this time going well beyond that initial diagram, and has begun to address Abstraction applied to Dynamic Change too. This following paper shows just where this new turn is beginning to lead.

Qualitative Abstractions and Emergences:

Having more generally addressed Abstraction, though mostly at a single Level, and entirely within a local Stability, we now have to leave the confines of such a pluralist standpoint, and instead, reach further into both Qualitative Changes, and, indeed, what we term as revolutionary transformations that create wholly New Levels – termed Emergences.

The whole methodology of abstractions in Science is locked into a strictly pluralist perspective, which sees all acting relations as entirely separable, and this assumption makes any found relations into fixed Natural Laws. But, actually, such can only approximate to Reality, and limit the applicability to within either natural or man-made stabilities only, and, indeed, can never transcend a Level boundary.

And, Laws at a higher Level can never be explained in terms of the prior “producing”, lower Level.

Indeed, it would be entirely incorrect to see the new Level as a natural causal consequence of the Level that preceded it! This might be surprising, but, in doing so, we are applying what is usually acceptable for within Level relations, to still be legitimate across Level Boundaries, and that is not the case.


It is because such a revolutionary transformation is never a continuous, incremental process, but always involves a truly major crisis and collapse, followed by a fundamental re-building along totally original lines. In other words, none of the factors involved in the re-building would have even been present, as such, in the erroneously-called “producing” Level!

So, we have a major problem!

We have learned how to use the very same methods within each New Level, as were successful within prior Levels. And, though we can get away with this, it will only work for processes entirely within the new Stability. And, we can certainly never fully explain the features of that higher from the lower! Indeed, the source of the newly-created Level is only possible via a situation that the prior Level would never allow – indeed, a general chaotic tumult, in which literally all the characteristic stabilising relations of the prior Level have been totally dismantled! What then occurs is like a rebuilding, not just out of old “bricks”, but also, and primarily, involving entirely new ”bricks” of a new construction.

And, this is why the explanation of events like The Origin of Life, in terms of prior, non-living processes is impossible! The actual basic context has been radically altered and relatively few factors remain unchanged, and even those that do survive intact, and play no part in the features of the new system.

So, what happens in the New Levels of Reality?

They beget their own relations and abstractions, though, once more, we always predicate them upon a totally pluralist perspective. Yet, what can these new ideas mean for the universally accepted Principle of Reductionism – which states that all causal sequences are traceable, all the way down to fundamental particles, and their basic Laws? Obviously, it makes such an assumption totally unfounded and unavoidably misleading!

Now, the real, overall trajectory of Development of concrete Reality is certainly NOT pluralist! It may well involve long periods of Stability, in which Plurality is a fair approximation in local, stable contexts, but each and every epoch will always terminate by being continually undermined, by its own internal contradictions, leading to, first, a major crisis, and then, a total collapse of the stability, into what appears to be complete Chaos! But, such is not our usual conception of “chaos”, in which totally random, undirected processes get absolutely nowhere (for that is yet another kind of Stability, is it not? On the contrary, this real kind of “Chaos” is both the most productive and creative interlude that is possible to exist!

We call such an event an Emergent Interlude!

Yet, thus far, in this account, we have only described its initial catastrophic phase. From the results of that dissociation into a seeming Nadir of Chaos, multiple productive processes accelerate, and begin to associate into conducive, ever-more-complex systems.

Why they happen now, is that all such constructions had previously been prohibited, or even destroyed, in the prior Level Stability, but all of its many restraints have since perished along with the Level itself, and so free-forming sub-systems appear everywhere, usually competing, but occasionally forming ever bigger, conducive super-systems, and ultimately one such system not only grows largest and dominates, but also includes sufficient, destructive sub processes within it, directed at all other non-own-system processes and even systems. So finally, a new overall Stability is achieved on a new basis, with its own Laws!

And, perhaps surprisingly, the assumption of Plurality gets more acceptable again, and the old methodology can be used once more, though, of course, with new components.

Clearly, if anyone wants to plumb the causality of Reality from top to bottom, they will never be able to achieve it, using only a pluralist perspective and methods. The crucial links in the causal changes will occur ONLY in the Emergent Interludes, and it is there that a wholly new Holistic Science must be built – literally from scratch!

New Special Issue: Abstraction

Although the following series of papers addresses the question, “What actually is Abstraction?”, in various ways, we must start by being absolutely clear what Man is always attempting to do with the processes of abstraction that he generally uses. For, he is, quite definitely, transforming what he can somehow extract from concrete Reality into purely, cerebral forms, suitable for “thinking about”. Reality-as-is is far too complex, inter-related and evolving to be grasped formally exactly as it appears. Also, Mankind is NOT naturally equipped to handle such complex things. In spite of this, Homo Sapiens is still well-named. His intelligence was a product of the brain’s evolution, due to its relation to more prosaic and everyday problems of survival. But, he then attempted to apply it to much more general problems.

Classically, throughout his evolutionary development, Mankind did not arrive at the sort of means he required to tackle why things came to be the way that they were. Indeed, to get anywhere at all, he had to effectively “pull himself up by his own bootlaces”, and indeed, somehow, “Make Himself”, in gradually beginning to equip himself to make some sort of sense of his World, via struggling to answer the remarkable question, “Why?”!

Naturally selected-for, as he was, as a hunter/gatherer, there was no mental implements available to tackle such questions, so it, unavoidably, turned into “How?” instead, and even in doing this, he had to both simplify and idealise what he observed, and such a general set of processes is termed Abstraction.

What were extracted from concrete evidence were not the required “reasons”, but instead the Forms suitable to be then thought about – conceptions, idealisations and even all-embracing principles, which he as a hunter/gatherer could think about and attempt to apply, as he did with his hunting.

He began to construct an entirely novel means of doing this via Language, and much later, writing, but the crucial developments were in how he abstracted from Reality, and thereafter, begin to think about such forms. Clearly, initially, all he could do was to attempt to fit the ideas he employed in his daily life to such questions, so all his determinators were like himself – a thinking Man. But, also clearly, the one-to-one correspondence with concrete Reality was impossible. Reality-as-is and the conceptions that Man managed to create were not the same things at all, and never could be. Man managed to reveal and extract ever more crucial aspects, views or components, which were turned into elements-of-thinking, and with his well developed mechanisms of sense, thought and subsequent action, that had been made so by selection as a hunter/ gatherer, he managed to use actions, based upon his concepts, to confirm or deny them to an increasing extent. But, they were always cerebral reflections of real things, so that the Absolute Truth of concrete Reality was never possible to be achieved. Let us therefore see what he heroically did achieve, and crucially where and why he failed!

Read the issue

For more on the diagram "Processes and Productions of Abstraction" watch the video below.

10 January, 2015

The Fall

The Real Origin of the Big Bang? 

Let us assume an almighty collapse of Universe-wide proportions of a prior and flagging Universe, which is finally running out of steam, but still carrying within it the developments and constructions of eons.

Clearly, such a cataclysmic event would have to signal the termination of some prior and stable phase, in which the Universe had been developing within a generally acting set of conditions: the most likely, considering what we know of our presently existing Universe, being one of a long-standing and continuous expansion.

Effectively, only a switch to a new, all-prevailing dominance of Gravity, could cause the termination of that phase, and begin such an all-encompassing collapse.

The universe, throughout its spread, would then begin to fall back, on increasingly more extensive fronts, towards its overall centre of mass. Of course, the question, as to where the collapse would begin, certainly presents the first difficulty.

Close to that centre of overall mass, the effective pull inwards would, necessarily, be small. For, very little matter would be there compared with the universe as a whole. And, also, most of the matter, outside of such a position, would tend to cancel out, leaving only a small imbalance to effect such a pull.

The most likely place, therefore, where the pull towards the centre would all be both one way, and due to the combined mass of the whole Universe, would have to be at the extreme peripheries. For, all the gravitational pull, in such positions, would be inwards, previously overwhelmed by some prior cataclysmic event, which threw everything outwards at a colossal speed and swamped, by that initial impulse, any purely gravitational pulls in the opposite direction. BUT, that event could never be a continuous pressure outward, but something of a short duration, the involved momentum would be continually opposed by the general, inwards pull of Gravity.

Clearly, at some point the expansion would run out of steam, and a switch to a collapse would ensue!

Let us assume, therefore, that the collapse would commence at these extremities. And, as it got closer to the centre of mass, the pulling force would increase, so the fall would continue to accelerate.

But, if that Universe were at all like ours, it would not be uniform: it would consist of innumerable concentrations – from planets and suns, to dust clouds and galaxies. And, if the collapse, from the outer edge, were occurring inwards as some sort of wave, this increasing flow would encounter various differing elements of a fragmentary universe, picking up extra weight, but definitely not uniformly, but instead in various fits and starts – sometimes of absolutely colossal proportions.

It would be like a strong flow of water, superimposed upon a relatively calm pond, but also having various floating centres of different sizes in a relatively stationary ground.

The Fall would not be a simple contraction!

Not only would it cause spinning vortices of some of these obstructions to be created, but it could also precipitate local collapses, and even trigger local explosions and supernovae.

In such tumults, what survives could be from many such sub-phases, and include some surprising survivors too. And, as these would be local any explosions, they would not be sufficient to reverse the speed of the general collapse but would, themselves, be twisted like vortices, creating temporary pauses in the general collapse, and also temporary stabilities within these spinning remnants.

Imagine the event, in all positions, like a fast flowing stream, with individual local obstructions and even explosions, twisted into vortices – all accompanying the general flow.

This indicates that during the fall, many such temporary reversals would inevitably occur, with the effect of breaking up the involved material objects into more and more fragmentary units, but not all of the same minimal size Instead, they would be produced in a diversity of different sub-phases, from different stages of prior development.

Ultimately, we assume a total-universe-involved final crunch, at the centre of its mass, which would result in a final gigantic explosion. But, this would, most certainly, NOT be in a “dimensionless dot” – a Singularity, composed entirely of totally disembodied Pure Energy and nothing else.

Such idealist myths are the extrapolations of Mathematicians, NOT scientists! Clearly, the cataclysm will always precede any such state, and will be diverse throughout its initial execution. The overall result will be generally outwards, but radically altered by its almost continuous and varied sub-phases, all the way down to that final Daddy-of-them-all – the ultimate reverse into an explosion!

This could, indeed, be our famed Big Bang, which would then start a new overall expansion, and the building of a Different and Original, New Universe.

But, as with all such cycles of catastrophe and re-construction, what is produced will never be exactly the same as that which was lost.

Indeed, in spite of the tremendous proportions of the whole Event, it would not start from a single given point in time, but be the final consequence of a whole series of crises, pauses and even temporary rejuvenations.

The final turn around would be the culmination of all these contributions, and would commence in different ways and at different times, until the whole process moves were entirely outwards in an enormous Explosion.

Both the Singularity, and its nature of pure, disembodied Energy are false extrapolations of abstract equations taken well beyond their applicability.

They are Formal Myths!

The actual event has been elsewhere generally traced as a common trajectory in what are termed Emergences, which occur in all kinds of developments, and at all Levels, and none of those investigated are the least like the current consensus by the mathematical cosmologists, who currently rule the roost!

Let us be clear, all sorts of entities, at many different stages of development, WILL come through this gigantic event, and thereafter significantly play a major role in the subsequent developments. At No Point was there only Energy. All strictly pluralist attempts to track the trajectory of the development of the new Universe, from “known” and “eternal” Laws, will never deliver anything of value. They are merely intellectual exercises, based upon incorrect assumptions and principles.

To even begin to tackle the suggested Big Bang, researchers must first turn away from Formal Logic and Pure Mathematics, and begin to study the crucial transforming events of all significant development – the Emergences of the wholly New.

And, no single development path will produce any relevant results. The process will, on the contrary, consist of many diverse strands from the outset, with very different contents, depending upon what happened to those ultimate remnants during the Fall.

The simple bottom-up conceptions, of the pluralist cosmologists, ascribing all subsequent differentiations to initial quantum fluctuations, in an initial Singularity, is clearly unfounded speculation, based entirely on a narrow regime of particle accelerators and atom smashing for their evidence.

IT is the diversity of surviving bits from the Fall that determines these consequent developments. For, that produced final mix, may well include fragments from all sorts of phases, and so the trajectory, of developing competitions and dominances, will be entirely NEW, because of the local unique mixes, and different in different localities, which will then come together to generate new crises and resolutions. Indeed, even during the new general expansion, there will be surprising localities, n that supernovae could be occurring, and local collapses of surviving galaxies completing their final stages of the Fall!

This seems to ensure that though these ideas imply an oscillation between successive collapses and expansions, and, therefore, looks like a never-ending repeat, it will never be mere repetitions.

Every single Universe will, indeed, be different, with its admixture of fragments from diverse phases in the prehistory of the Universe, very different victories in the various competitions, and hence different stabilities will be inevitably established.

It isn’t merely repeating the same every time!

Clearly, the mathematical Singularities play no part in this development, based essentially upon the Theory of Emergences. For, such dramatic transformations never do relate to such formal abstractions, in any known cases! 

For, such Singularities occur when simplified and idealised processes (rather than the actual real ones) inevitably “bomb-out”, and something totally unpredictable from those prior formal descriptions, replaces them. In all real processes, such cataclysms do not totally terminate all previous histories, or deliver pristine and pure beginnings. They will be both dirtier and replete with elements of the past, and will, on turn around, beget a wholly new development.

Science & Thinking

The latest Special Issue of SHAPE Journal (30) is about Abstraction and the primary area in today’s world for such conceptions occurs in Science – a materialist approach to Reality. Nevertheless, what is so carefully arranged for, and then abstracted from, Reality, immediately becomes an object in Human Thought, and hence can very easily elicit an idealist approach, and thus both approaches co-exist within Science, and unavoidably lead to profound contradictions. The following paper gives some idea of what will be addressed in the Special.

What exactly is a supposed Natural Law – indeed, it can very easily be seen as an “eternal and basic element” in the Universe as a whole? Well, if the usual conceptions of the Development of Reality are correct, such things cannot be that, and can only be aspects of a currently established and maintained Stability, and therefore, definitely not eternal.

NOTE: There is a line of thought, that Development is merely increasing complexity, with absolutely nothing lost in the process, but to make Life a mere complication of fundamental particles and their laws is clearly a major and incorrect oversimplification.

And, if that version is correct, the attempt to analyse everything down to such primitives is, in fact, an unachievable myth, and it will lead to the ultimate “chicken-and-egg” conundrum!

Indeed, any such analysis will really be a study of why Stability occurs, and how its consequent “seemingly eternal” laws get established. Yet, using the usual laws taken from such stabilities as a means of explaining their (the stability’s) occurrences will surely be impossible? Such attempts in Philosophy will be like attempting to explain Reality solely via Technology, rather than via Science! Any results will be limited to the stability involved, and not to Reality in general.

Also, significantly, Emergences like those which produced Life, Consciousness and Civilisation will be totally impossible to explain. Indeed, they seem to be “impossible” to actually even occur via the “eternal laws” merely in some highly-complex concert!

Mankind’s reliance upon such views was, of course, historically unavoidable, and his found means of Abstraction – involving both simplification and idealisation of Reality, was bound to carry him into the study of Stability, rather than the infinitely more difficult problem of Development and Emergence.

The crucial revolutions would be inevitably turned into mere rare mixes of eternal laws mechanistically producing a hierarchy of the very same causes and results in increasingly complex situations.

Now, if all this is true, what must Mankind do to break out of this straightjacket, and begin to tackle the currently inexplicable Emergences of the wholly new? Clearly, the initial construction of a new stability must be addressed, and immediately the question must be, “From what?”

Fragmentary studies of different stabilities have shown that you can never get one stability directly from another. The only way a new system of stability can occur is out of something resembling “total chaos”! The transition between consecutive stabilities, therefore, always involves an intervening major crisis; followed by an almighty collapse into chaos, before there can be any chance of a new stability arising.

For, most stabilities have vastly longer durations than the lifetimes of individuals, so they appear to such observers as eternal. That is why you cannot address these questions adequately, unless History is seriously studied, for only then are the necessary questions, and the trajectory of development revealed.

But, this is, in fact, one Level of stability in Reality, going through just such a transition, can, indeed, be experienced, and it is these sorts of cases that have begun to allow Mankind to effectively address such questions. They are, of course, the phenomena of Social Revolution, and also, but at a very different Level, in the Thinking of human beings, for similar transitions take place in attempts at Understanding.

And it was in this area that Frederick Hegel began the study of Qualitative Changes in Thinking, as the first systematic study of any kind of Emergences some 200 years ago. For, once again, in Thinking, such revolutions can, and indeed do, take place, even within the thoughts of single individuals.

So, that is how such considerations first began in earnest to step beyond Formal Logic, into a very different kind of reasoning. Hegel made as his ultimate objective the establishment of a Logic of Change, and made absolutely crucial contributions to the gains and flaws in how we think about things, and even how we generate our own-produced dead ends, and hence deliver seemingly irresolvable impasses.

But, of course, being an idealist, Hegel was bound, in spite of his brilliant discoveries, to be severely limited by the ground on which he was studying these processes. They were all about the Mind!

He did indeed produce the most profound studies of Human Thought, but because of this ground, could do no other than end up with the quintessence of Idealism – his Absolute Idea (effectively, the equivalent in Thinking to Absolute Truth in Science. Both were unachievable myths!

From an idealist standpoint Hegel’s discoveries could not be generalised beyond the confines of Human Thought. But, his most avid disciples were the first to realise this, and the best of them, Karl Marx, realised that Hegel’s discoveries of the methods, processes and ideas involved in the developments in Thinking, could also throw light upon the actual concrete Development of Reality itself.

Both Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace, at about the same time, were realising something very similar in explaining both the Origin of Species and the subsequent Evolution of Life.

So, Marx carried over all Hegel’s gains into a fully materialist stance, which became the basis for a means of dealing with all Creative Developments in Reality, which he termed Dialectical Materialism. Yet, Marx too was a philosopher, and though his contributions were clearly both generally applicable and even epoch-making, the area of study that then had to be addressed was the then dominant disciplines of Science, Technology and Mathematics.

Now, relating discoveries in the trajectories in Human Thinking to developments in concrete Reality is no trivial undertaking, and Marx considered that the most important area was in establishing a dialectical view of Mankind’s Social Development in History, and its significance for that time’s Politics.

Effectively, though he and his colleague Engels did make various significant contributions in the sciences, they were unable to establish the general validity of their methods in Science. The main assault was not carried through to any sort of conclusion.

Now, in one sense, Hegel’s contributions were totally objective. For Man’s handling of all aspects of Reality for they could only be via his Thinking, and Hegel’s discoveries were certainly entirely relevant, even when Man was thinking about Science and concrete Reality in general. Now, as soon as we consider Science, we are, perhaps surprisingly, pulled back from a more general and basic addressing of totally unfettered, concrete Reality itself. For, that is NOT what Science addresses!

Science has a special way of dealing with Reality, for, to make any progress, it first establishes stable contexts to investigate. Indeed, the most significant initial achievement of Science was that it limited all investigations to natural or man-made stable situations only. The first and continuing stage of Science was limited to situations within a Stability! And, the second aspect of the methods involved was that they selectively sought simplifications and idealisations, which were most carefully arranged for, in order to extract them only from such stable contexts. And crucially, it is precisely such versions of Reality that Man then thought about in the usual way (as revealed by Hegel).

Our primitives, upon which we construct causal systems, are things like Charge and Mass – and though we, immediately and unquestioningly accept such as our bases, the warnings of Hegel also resonate here too.

For, he insisted that our assumptions, and even our revealed principles, though clearly useful-within-limits, would inevitably, when pushed beyond their required stabilities, invariably deliver pairs of totally contradictory concepts, which were signals that our arrived-at bases were incorrect.

Let us be clear, what he meant was that the very same bases, would lead to contradictory conclusions, both of which could NOT be true! Yet, without a major transcendence to a wholly new level, we would not be able to proceed, Such Dichotomous Pairs would define the limit to our understanding. And, without the necessary breakthrough, these would cause an unavoidable bifurcation in our explanations. We would simply keep the both! And use, whichever one of the pair delivered some sort of explanation in each and every relevant circumstance. We would pragmatically learn to live with the contradiction unresolved.

And such opposite pairs litter our explanatory narratives, and even lead to the budding-off of subsidiary “sciences” via the more dramatic contradictions.

Even the subject of Physics is now composed of Experimentalists, Theorists and Technologists, who don’t even speak the same languages, and have to be content with the pragmatic offerings of their colleagues without actually agreeing with how they go about their version of the same Science.

So, guess what! Charge comes as positive and negative, while Mass as matter and antimatter. Could these be signals that our very intractable bases are a pragmatic compromise?

And, lo and behold, the whole panoply of sub atomic physics has descended into similar pairings of literally everything in so-called Super Symmetry. So-called impossible to physically explain “properties” also come in pairs, for example so-called “quantum spin”.

We are increasingly presented with the possibility that Science, itself, and most clearly, its assumed basic – Physics, is founded upon flawed conceptions. The one-way, uninterrupted and bottom-up causality, with these as bases, could well be wrong!

And, of course, this diagnosis is daily confirmed by the total abandonment of Explanation at the sub atomic level, and its replacement by form-only equations, let alone an increasingly idealist philosophical standpoint, which all clearly point in the same direction.

NOTE: Indeed Charge and Magnetism seem to be currently developing into a chicken-and-egg situation, and, indeed, stabilities based upon both resonances and recursion (Yves Couder’s work) throw yet another spanner into this mangled mix of “theories”. For, Couder seems to have constructed what appear to be stable entities, entirely out of complexes and interactions of physical oscillations.

It is a significant problem to try to explain Couder’s achievements by the usual means. For, he actually constructs unique stabilities that seem to also have profound significance at the Sub Atomic Level, though achieved entirely within his purely macro-level experiments. The crucial achievement was that of quantized orbits of his “Walkers”, with absolutely NO possibility of an explanation via the ubiquitous Quantum.

So, perhaps surprisingly, materialist Science cannot any longer ignore the gains made by Idealist Philosophy, and especially as the materialists via Dialectical Materialism have long turned their back upon the flaws in the usual scientific approach. So, any demurring of these criticisms by complaining of the mistakes of Idealism, with respect to Prime Movers, cannot be used to dismiss this criticism.

Of course, what it amounts to is realising the unavoidable mis-match between what we reveal, and that we then have no choice in how we deal with it. Answers don’t come “ready-made” within our carefully organised-for simplifications and idealisations. For we had to arrange what Objective Content we could extract into meaningful and increasingly general explanations. It is actually the front-line in changing ourselves!

So, it is not unlike conceiving topology of newly discovered lands. Our initial conceptions will never be wholly correct, and indeed our basic assumptions and even principles will regularly lead us astray, and must be dialectically transcended to re-ground them to allow any further progress.