“Spiritual” Mathematics and Determinism

Readers may be interested in the following Facebook conversation I had with Joel Morrison, who is currently reading UCT and is quite the conceptual artist and Renaissance man. He has a Blog at SpinbitZ and a book at http://spinbitz.wordpress.com/. Joel has thought long and hard on many of the subjects that we have been discussing. In particular, he is a believer in infinity, which also puts him at odds with today’s regressive physics and possibly on track to become a univironmental determinist in due time. What stimulated the following exchange was Joel’s highlighting this new-agey book: 

My first comment was:


Joel’s was:


Don't worry, Glenn, I share your wariness over anything "spiritual". And I tend NOT to absolutize either subjective or objective pole. But then I find both poles interesting. To me "spirit" just refers to the deep infinity at the heart of awareness, and the focus on growth. This does look [like an] interesting juxtaposition, however.

‎"Spirit" is the motion of matter.

To me it's very simple. If you look at it from the outside, you experience or conceptualize it as matter-in-motion. And if you look at it from the inside, as the matter-in-motion in question, you *feel* the what-it-is-like-ness of *being* this infinite depth of activity, which we then call "spirit". The two are just the core modes of any perspective because all perspective is fundamentally nucleated, as in your univironmental determinism, they always have an inside and outside component.

The key to reconciling this, as with so many other dichotomies, is the acceptance of deep infinity. An infinite aspect of animation or motion is inconceivable as anything but spirit, imho. It's just an outside view of it, i.e. objectivity and science, as opposed to the direct experience of *being* it.

What is to reconcile? What is the dichotomy?

The dichotomy is that both subjective and objective perspectives have value, and we tend to favor one over the other and absolutize them. Some people say it's ALL matter (...in motion, if they are sophisticated enough) and others say it's ALL mind. Dichotomy, or duality, comes from taking any concept to the absolute scope of the ONE-ALL. The reconciliation comes in the recognition that the absolute cannot be contained by any concept, mind or matter, etc., and critically here that subject and object are symbiogenetic. There are no outsides without insides and vice versa.

Which is perhaps just a restatement of your principles of uncertainty and interconnection (iirc). It is deep infinity which opens the channels for communication between artificial categories of perspective and engenders the conceptual play in real difference and univocity.

We handle this stuff with the Fourth Assumption of Science, inseparability (Just as there is no motion without matter, so there is no matter without motion). Only indeterminists think that there is a mind-brain dichotomy. They have written a gazillion worthless words about it. It is a big part of their side of the determinism-indeterminism philosophical struggle.

Ahh, inseparability not interconnection. Thanks. But it's interesting that indeterminism, as used today in e.g. complexity science, is essentially infinite determinism. The problem is that, and which gets to my point, both concepts of determinism and indeterminism in common parlance are of the finite variety. When you take determinism to the infinite, as we see in Prigogine's "active matter" and Bohm's infinite causation, determinism and indeterminism (in the complexity science use) become indistinguishable. Infinite determinism is indeterminism, and vice versa. Only the finitists find a dichotomy here between them. ;) This is the kind of reconciliation that deep infinity brings about.

The point being that the "indeterminists," as the "idealists" and "subjectivists" had valid points in their perspectives, because they were fighting against, ultimately, a foundationalist and finitist worldview which negated the reconciliation, and actually generated the dichotomies. Once that foundationalism is gone, the terms need updating to a radically new substrate. Typically those who prefer "indeterminism" don't understand that infinite determinism provides all the functionality they are seeking. And those who prefer "determinism" don't recognize that at the heart of finite determinism is the radical indeterminism which, ironically, the finite indeterminist is fighting against.

You say “Infinite determinism is indeterminism…” Totally disagree. Classical determinism was finite; univironmental determinism (UD) is infinite. UD is consupponible with "The Ten Assumptions of Science" (TTAOS), while indeterminism is consupponible with their opposites, which include finity. Determinism (both the finite variety and infinite variety) states that there are material causes for all effects and that there is no free will. Classical determinism incorrectly claimed that there actually were finite causes for each effect. The Uncertainty Principle produced a dilemma for mathematical idealists and classical mechanists such as Einstein, because this meant their equations had to be imprecise. They had a choice: either uncertainty was subjective or causality was subjective. In maintaining that uncertainty was objective, they were able to claim that causality was subjective—a big favorite of indeterminists everywhere. By not following Bohm, they were able to keep finity, the foundation of Standard Particle Theory (SPT) and the BBT, the linchpins of regressive physics.

I suspect that our differences are based only on the meaning of the word “determinism.” The first is objective: “To deter” means to prevent the continued motion of a microcosm; the second is subjective: “To determine” means to obtain a finite bit of information from a microcosm. Not being solipsists, UD folks don’t see this as being paradoxical in an infinite universe and certainly don’t believe that it could produce free will. The Second, Third, and Eighth Assumptions tell it all in their consupponible elegance:

Causality (All effects have an infinite number of material causes)
Uncertainty (It is impossible to know everything about anything, but it is possible to know more about anything)
Infinity (The universe is infinite, both in the microcosmic and macrocosmic directions)

You are right that indeterminists objected to the reductionism of classical mechanics. Nevertheless, in all those complaints you will not find any that suggest that the remedy is the expansionism of UD or neomechanics.

BTW: Any chance that I could use this conversation in my Blog? Ok to use your full name?

You can use it once you understand my view, which is clear that you do not when you say "totally disagree" with me while I agree entirely with your disagreement. Because what I am not saying is "Infinite determinism is finite indeterminism," nor did I say that "finite determinism is finite indeterminism." What I did say is much more subtle and easily confused. It is essentially this. When you take determinism to infinity, what you end up with is indeterminism in the true form that the indeterminists are seeking in their rejection of FINITE determinism. So infinite determinism is indeterminism only because it is NOT finite determinism. It is finite determinism that the indeterminists reject, NOT infinite determinism, which they would embrace if they could understand it, which they could if they could get beyond their dogma.

 So, to put it simply, I mean simply this. Infinite determinism equates to indeterminism in the sense that it produces the uncertainty at the heart of indeterminism in practice. So it actually satisfies any real-world use of indeterminism as we find in, say, complexity science and quantum physics.

 So long as you represent my view as in agreement with univironmental (and infinite determinism), as it actually is (which is what the equals means), then feel free to use any of this and my full name.

‎"You are right that indeterminists objected to the reductionism of classical mechanics. Nevertheless, in all those complaints you will not find any that suggest that the remedy is the expansionism of UD or neomechanics."

This is true, yes. They just recoil at the reduction, generally, and don't really understand how to remedy the situation. It's a rare individual, such as yourself, Bohm, or Prigogine, that understands the value of deep infinity to that end.

In SpinbitZ I have a principle called the Principle of Absolute Reversal which shows that when you take a concept to the "absolute scope" you inevitably end up invoking its opposite. This is a case in point. The same thing happens with other key fundamentals, like objectivity and subjectivity. When you do it consciously, you simply find the reconciliation in a nondual integration. And this is key to moving the argument forward, instead of this constant back and forth. I have discussed infinite determinism with indeterminists and indeed shown them that their view is fully supported by infinite determinism. And I am at once both, so it's readily apparent to me. Indeterminism, in the finite sense of determinism, does not solve the issues of free-will etc, which they suppose it will. But infinite determinism does.

Thanks. Will do. You are more optimistic than I am. Indeterminists, by definition, believe in free will, which assumes that some effects do not have material causes. Some folks even claim to accept 95% of the TTAOS. This is, of course, a contradiction. One either accepts infinity (The universe is infinite, both in the microcosmic and macrocosmic directions), or one does not. Even accepting micro or macro and not the other is a contradiction.

 You could comment that my view is expressed more fully in my book SpinbitZ, which is found at my site: http://spinbitz.wordpress.com/SpinbitZ

‎"The inborn capacity to understand through the eyes has been put to sleep and must be reawakened" -- Rudolph Arnheim

Yes, I also think that infinity solves the free-will issue, as in my above comment. The resolution is contained in the principle of infinite determinism, and in the Univocity Framework. It is basically this. A will that is not immanently caused is a will that doesn't exist. The problem is that we assume that will must be absolute when in reality EVERYTHING, including will, and freedom, is a relation. An absolute will is a categorical or "scope" confusion. A violation of univocity. Freedom comes in owning ones immanent causes, not in simply not being caused. If I am a being with an infinity of causation, and I own that infinity, then I am my own cause. As such a being, I am fundamentally unpredictable even to myself, and I cannot determine my own causes, or the true depth that I am as an infinite being (in the immanent sense in UD). That's another view into the sense in which infinite determinism equals indeterminism. There is no finite list of causes to be found for any entity, or its will. And it is free to the extent that it owns its causes, which is always relative, and never absolute.

‎"Indeterminists, by definition, believe in free will, which assumes that some effects do not have material causes."

They assume this simply because the implicit understanding of "materiality" is foundational or immanently finite, not to mention the solid bias of the kinetic-atomic and ultimate particle view. They again reject finite determinism, not conceiving of the radical implications of determinism or materialism taken to its ultimate ends into the absolute.

Glenn, here's a simple way to understand what I mean. "Infinite determinism equals indeterminism," not in the sense that things are not caused, but in the sense that there are too many causes to be determined by representation (which gives rise to Uncertainty), and in the sense that there is no final or foundational cause. This is the trans-foundational sense in which many "indeterminists," such as complexity scientists use the term 'indeterminism,' and the only real sense to be made of it. Acausality simply solves nothing in science, or any other field, other than to vaguely point from transitive causation into radical and infinite immanence.

 BTW, I am still pushing through, and really enjoying your Universal Cycle Theory book.

Indeed, deep infinity is the emptiness in fullness.

The reason it makes sense to think of mathematics in spiritual terms, to me, is because mathematics gets to what I call the "x-interface," or the "crossroads of the ontic-epistemic and subject-object polarities" (they are actually orthogonal). Mathematics gets to the proto-conceptual and proto-ontological roots of thought, the roots and interface of evolved self-similar representational resonance with reality, which explains its "unreasonable" efficacy.Bottom of Form

1 comment:

Bill Howell said...

Hi Dr. Borchardt-
It’s always fun to revisit your blog and catch up on the plethora of interesting comments that build up. The discussion between you and Mr. Morrison's caught my eye. I’ve read about an experiment which monitored brain waves and found that the precursor signals in the brain just prior to the physiological response that tells a finger to push a button actually precedes the mind’s conscious awareness of the thought or decision to push the button. This experiment was cited as proof that ‘free will’ is a delusion.

I’ve observed (as I’m sure you have) that people will often get so caught up in their personal problems that they don’t see solutions that seem obvious to an outside observer. It occurred to me that the concept of ‘free will’ is a label we use because our minds are simply not able to (consciously) see the interconnections (i.e. the causality) that exists between various factors involved in the decisions we make. If we are incapable, or unconscious, of these factors, the resulting decision would seem like ‘free will’ rather than something deterministic. Chaos theory demonstrates how things which appear chaotic can actually contain patterns (i.e. order). The pattern only appears to be random because of the limited ability of our minds to perceive the order that is embedded within the chaos (hence the distinction between the words ‘chaos’ and ‘random’). I suspect this is a due to our (i.e. the human being’s) limited ability to think non-linearly. (BTW, a civil engineer once told me that non-linear thinking is something that geologists have a greater ability to do than most folk :-).