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The Multi-verse according to Ben

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Ostronomos, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. Ostronomos

    Ostronomos Active Member

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    Monday, October 19, 2015

    Langan’s “Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe

    Someone pointed me recently to Christopher Michael Langan’s long paper on his CTMU -- Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe. I took a little time today to read it over, and here are some of my thoughts....

    This “new model of the universe” has received little if any scrutiny in the academic literature, but it has gotten some media attention in the past, due to its author being an interesting character — an especially high-IQ individual who is also a body-builder and has worked throughout his life in blue collar jobs rather than becoming an academic or a corporate researcher…. (Outliers of this sort tend to interest me personally, as I was a semi-prodigy myself in youth, generally waaaaaay ahead of the curriculum while going through school, and finishing my undergrad degree at 18 and my PhD at 22 ... and before finally deciding to finish my PhD and become an "official researcher" I often considered taking a pure-maverick approach similar to Langan's....)

    In capsule summary, Langan views reality as a language for talking about itself, to itself. He understands time as an emergent relationship between different languages, “later” ones along some “emergent timeline” extending previous ones. He looks at series of languages as progressing toward goals that are expressed as maximization of “generalized utility functions.” In this view, mind and physical reality are seen as part of the same set of networks of linguistic relationships. Individual minds are connected with the universal mind, and with physical entities, via linguistic relationships.

    He expresses these interesting ideas (and many more details, and some points my crude summary above skips) using a lot of idiosyncratic terminology, plus some reasonable mathematics…

    One term he uses for his model of reality is: a ”Self-Configuring Self-Processing Language" or SCSPL

    The only thing in his model that really rubs me the wrong way is his placing a “utility function” in a central role. This seems a limiting perspective, as Weaver and Viktoras pointed out in their recent paper on “Open-Ended Intelligence.” But in this regard, Langan is more mainstream than me; the reinforcement-learning perspective is very popular in AI right now, and optimality principles have been central to physics for centuries…

    Other than that, the overall framework he posits makes sense to me.

    As Langan himself affirms, what he’s putting forth is a philosophy, not a scientific theory. It’s not really a new kind of “theory of everything”, it’s a mathematically semi-formalized metaphysics…. If his theory hasn’t attracted much attention yet, I think this is not just because of its author's "outsider" status, but also because almost nobody cares that much about formal metaphysics these days…. Current culture focuses mainly on practical things; and those concerned with metaphysics are generally new-agey and experientially-oriented, not formalism-oriented.

    A few further detailed comments follow below…. These are basically my own notes upon reading Langan's paper, rather than a structured formal critique or response, so take them for what they are...

    The Multiverse According to Ben: Langan’s “Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe”
     
  2. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    From Wiki: "
    "Langan has developed an idea he calls the "Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe" (CTMU)[3][6][8] which he maintains "explains the connection between mind and reality, therefore the presence of cognition and universe in the same phrase".[9] He calls his proposal "a true 'Theory of Everything', a cross between John Archibald Wheeler's 'Participatory Universe' and Stephen Hawking's 'Imaginary Time' theory of cosmology"[3] additionally contending that with CTMU he "can prove the existence of God, the soul and an afterlife, using mathematics."[1][4] Even so, Langan does not belong to any religious denomination, explaining that he "can't afford to let logical approach to theology be prejudiced by religious dogma".[9]

    Langan's support of conspiracy theories, including the 9/11 Truther movement (Langan has claimed that the George W. Bush administration staged the 9/11 attacks in order to distract the public from learning about the CTMU) and the white genocide conspiracy theory, as well as his opposition to interracial relationships, have contributed to his gaining a following among members of the alt-right and others on the far right.[10][11] Journalists have described certain of Langan's Internet posts as containing "thinly veiled" antisemitism[10] and making antisemitic "dog whistles".[11]"

    Langan's occupation is given as "horse rancher".
     
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  3. Ostronomos

    Ostronomos Active Member

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    Thank you for reassuring me that those who have little or no understanding of the reality of God have little or nothing of worth to contribute. On an interesting note:

    re.Comment 3: Quantum & Astronomical oddities such as non-locality, wave/particle duality, & accelerated expansion are all implied & logically explained by the CTMU, thus it is a more generalized theory than the theories which generated & failed to logically explain the oddities. What's needed today in Physics is to unite the micro & macro scale theories, and this can't begin until Theory itself is formally addressed, viz. by the extension demanded of them by the CTMU. BTW, this also applies to the development of AI, as it can't be developed until Theory itself is formally understood by science.

    As someone who has entered a state of awareness fit for communication by a God-like Being, I can attest to the fact that the universe not only processes information, it redirects the information through various broadcasting mediums both as technology and living organisms.

    The omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience that is oh-so vitally displayed by the universal mind can be understood as a language of reality or SCSPL that is talking to itself, about itself. Hence my passion with Langan's CTMU.
     
  4. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    That's all right, Spellbound. Now I know who you are, I can adjust my responses appropriately.
     
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