Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Coming to terms with a radical possible new view of life

Months ago, a guy named Kafatos urged me to write a paper on “the time machine of consciousness.” I felt a duty to respond, because I had put a lot of energy before then in understanding the physics of time, the mathematics of neural networks and brain models that really work, and in coming to terms with the full depth of our first person experience of life. The paper I wrote was deeply shocking to the orthodox – but at the same time when they screamed, a request arrived out of the blue from Russia, and I sent a revised version, now in press, in English and in Russian. To the orthodox it may be shocking, but in my view it is a calm unification of thought, which is something this troubled world badly needs at this time. Lots on the meaning of life, of sanity, zhengqi and so on.
However.. life itself is not by nature static. There are new developments in the basic physics here, which suddenly are not quite so calming as they seemed at first.

What are these new developments? They are not really the strangest mathematical fantasies that many think of these days when they think of basic physics, fantasies which give a feeling of Fu Manchu narcissistic glory to  some of the authors because no one else can understand them, not even they themselves. No, this is the “humble’ world of empirically-based fundamental physics. This is the world I sang to my granddaughter about a couple of months ago: “one little, two little, three little photons…”
A few months ago, I worked out a new simple mathematical model of what really happens to one little photon as it passes through a very common kind of object – a polaroid polarizer. (Like some sunglasses.) To test the model, you need to do an experiment with three entangled photons, but that’s already being done. (I am waiting for permission to find out what happened… but in any case people need to do a lot more of that kind of experiment anyway, to develop some new technology.)  If you empathize a little with that little photon…. It has four choices at any moment: (1) to change its alignment to match the polarizer, and then get absorbed into heat and nothingness; (2) to realign itself exactly perpendicular to that alignment, which can be a wrenching and “expensive” change; (3) to stay as it is for one more instant, despite heavy pressure not to; (4) to “scream” that it doesn’t want to be in the situation in the first place, and retroactively make it less likely to happen at all. That fourth choice or term in the equation is the key to understanding what we now call quantum mechanical phenomena – what Kimble of CalTech has called “putting weirdness to work.” Reality is weird, and we have to accept that.

But how weird? I thought that the new three photon experiments would prove that the weirdness of the universe is far less than we had thought. Ultimately, we may be able to get back to the nice, clean, beautiful image of Einstein, where it’s all real, no magical “condensation of the wave function,” even just three dimensions of space and one of time (With a little wiggle room like what EDinstein talked about sometimes).

But.. between the first version of my paper and the second, I did have to add a new paragraph/section about a caveat. As I thought about that little photon… it reminded me a lot about what I was going through, as new polarizing forces affect life in the US government. (Those realities are more shocking to me than anything I say here today, but I am not posting on THEM!) But I don’t have that type of inner “scream” option… or do I? I start to wonder. The new section … is it the tip of an iceberg? But this morning I ask: am I avoiding reality not to face up to it}?

Our lives often seem to follow scripts or stories. I am amazed at times how powerful stories can be in shaping our lives, and our entire world. I real many science fiction stories, in part to stimulate my imagination and in part to avoid becoming too captive to any ONE story (as people do who do not read so many). Long ago, for example, I read the book of Genesis and the Ambder Chronicles of Zelazny – which were truly beautiful poetically, but which I never took even HALFWAY seriously. (By contrast, I have taken Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged and the Book of Revelations halfway seriously; each is an antidote to some degree of the excesses of the other, but I have taken some work by Dan Simmons and Orson Scott Card more seriously.)

But now… I do begin to wonder.
The new physics is similar to Feynman’s in a way – where reality is in 3+1 dimensions, but everything that happens is based on an interplay between what I call “scenarios” and he calls “paths.”
But here is the zinger: we think of ourselves as realities, as part of the final scenario. Isn’t that the way it is, in an Einsteinian kind of universe? But what of that poor little possible photon? Can entire MIND states and life states also inhabit scenarios, where they FEEL as if they were the one reality (in a universe where there IS only one reality in the end across space-time)? Indeed they can. The math is pretty clear, once you start to really understand what it means. EVEN in Einstein’s mathematical vision of one objective reality… the emergent outcome for folks like us.. is that the phenomenon of mind in such a universe, with the full symmetries we know of now… is that we are very much like the people in Zelazny’s Chronicles, shadows in shadow scenarios. I am not yet at the point of seeing any reality in those parts of his stories which get to primal chaos and such (as in Genesis!)… but.. the idea that WE are parts of scenarios… takes some adjusting to.

So many meanings to the word “shadows,” not all the same…
But are we all shadows in the way Zelazny talks about?

Who knows? Right now I know it’s time to get back to bed, and then adapt to whatever this morning brings. I am not about to jump whole hog into another story, but it wil be tickling my mind as I do what I must, and I remember other stories.


PS Speaking of Atlas Shrugged.. I received a great call yesterday from an old friend in Michigan, where we talked about a new engine... and about the time he report to John Von Ndeumann's daughter. He mentioned her book, "Martian's Daughter," which I ordered yesterday on Amazon to be sent to my older daughter, based on some things he said....


Jan. 28, Wed, 5AM:

I have not fully absorbed this new possible viewpoint (possible? the math seems to say more)..
but it evokes many associations and memories.

First... it reminded me of the time at Lawrenceville, when I took advanced mathematics courses
at Princeton, when I seemed to understand math pretty well, but wasn't sure what to make of some "simple" nonlinear partial equations, the kind of things Einstein had studied. I wondered: "Do people really understand these things?" I didn't know the half of it until this past month! Embedded
in what seem to be such innocuous things... is a lot more than I had any appreciation for before...

It reminds me of my quest for reality in physics... how it began in the summer when I worked at the RAND Corporation just a few blocks from the beach, entertained at times by Ellsberg's circus bouncing up and down loudly in the corridors for anyone with eyes to see. I was thinking ahead to my personal future, which didn't seem to align with RAND quite as much as I had hoped.. RAND wasn't what I had hoped... I wanted to help with important larger things, but I also knew I had to be realistic about my own personal comparative advantage, in mathematics, even though I no longer thought of mathematics as a goal or religion in itself. I remembered Von Neumann's thought that three major areas where new math could make a big difference is in more unified understanding of three things -- mind, life and how the universe works. So I borrowed a book from the RAND library on quantum mechanics, to see what I could see, and maybe help prepare for me to pursue that path, in my forthcoming PhD program at Harvard. As I read that book, it seemed to \assume some very confused thinking, in need of some straightening out... and aty Harvard, more and more, restoring Einstein's vision of reality seemed to be correct, worthy and interesting... if extremely challenging.

So in a sense... this year... I finally FOUND that reality, that authentic, credible 3+1-dimensional reality that Einstein talked about. 'Yes there is an objective reality, but no, we are not part of it." OOPS!

All of a sudden, I find myself in Plato's cave... and we, from monkey brains to noospheres, are all just the shadows projected into the cave! (Again, please be careful with this word "shadow." Like "consciousness" and some other tricky words, it has multiple meanings, each worthy of analysis, but not to be confused with each other! )

It starts.. like Alice in wonderland.. chasing not after a rabbit, but after a photon... where does it go when it seems to do peculiar things and vanishing acts at times? And realizing: "Hey, I am not less than a photon. What it does, it could do too." Indeed I could. A typical earthy neurotic
could easily swell up with delusions of godhood, if he saw he or she could do a few of the odd things I have done on occasion. But then as I look at the whole picture, I see what it really means... yes, the manipulation of shadows is easier than the manipulation of reality would have been... because they are shadows.

It also reminds me of a quiet thought which has come at times to the back of my mind, more often this year than before... people have so MANY holy trinities.  (A high up in India was not amused when he mentioned the trinity of Vishnu, Brahma and Siva, and I told a story about the other holy trinity of mommy, daddy and baby.) I was thinking.. for me it is more like noosphere (which some call 'Gaia"), galaxy and... cosmos or universe. I knew that the optimization equations which seem like our best model of the universe logically imply "more intelligence than intelligent systems" in a way... only in a way.... but now I realize that gthis is more operational than I thought, that it is not intelloigence as we know it, but it does have the power to generate complex structures in a way even more powerful than what we see in things like noospheres. (Yes, earth has just one, but there is the galaxy out there, folks. Virtually all your spiritual experience, from high to low, is just one window into one little noosphere. For the most part, your "gods" or saints are just archetypes within one little noosphere.) And suddenly.. the greater world makes us the same kind of creatures the old Hellenes thought we were, buffeted not between literal gods or archetypes... but clusters of scenarios. Not our stories, but objective scenarios...


Time to go back to a relatively normal day, packing up... tying up loose ends... addressing a few scenarios..

Well, one more thought. Part of my concrete duty today relates to the work of an important famous guy named David Deutsch, from Oxford. A wonderfully creative guy.. but I didn't really believe we have evidence in physics of anything as complex as what he describes in his book The Fabric of Reality. Now... it seems there may be more complexity, similar in spirit, but more like a Jack in the box, all compressed into a tiny space, objectively.  Hmm. When do we start turning on the music?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

various thoughts -- packing up, principles of economics threatening us all, old letters, ODE

Streams of thought as I pack up...

Friday the 13th of next month is my last day at NSF. By then, I lose both my office (a major place for holding lots of books and files, with unique important information) and my access to a workable copy of Adobe Acrobat to clean and compress scanned files.
For many days past, and many to come, my top focus is the never-ending task of scanning, digitizing, mostly tossing out also refiling boxes and boxes of paper, due to retirement – losing both office and access to a working version of Adobe Acrobat.
But as I do this, huge volumes of thought still pass through my mind. So many things which did not end as hoped (whether “won” or “lost”), so many areas where the scanned record is maybe 10% of the real record and half of what I hope it will be when I am done \-- and utterly misleading. And lots of lessons learned.
Among these past threads are ideas I had which could have been the whole life’s career of a  normal successful academic, which in turn is much better then the majority who essentially had no new ideas at all.  By majority’s rules, I am penalized in many ways for being different, as if it would help the others to reduce my effective output! But when the many feel they are uncertain about survival itself in a very tough competition (and well meaning nutty ideologues strive to make that worse), it is not so surprising that they keep trying to change the rules to get int the way that way.
Whatever. Among the loose, misleading idea threads…
Back in 1964, when loosely supervised at UPenn, I put lots of effort into several things, one of them being an effort to solve some polynomial type ODE; in a general from, like Riccati, but also negative powers After transformation after transformation, it seemed to form a pattern. On some ways, like turning a Rubix cube. One simply could not “get out of the box” with certain classes of transformation. It seemed to me that I was getting a glimpse of a formal structure, like a transformation group but with modifiers making it more like an algebra than a simple group. Later, when I decided that I simply did not have time to nail this down myself, I submitted a “problem” to American Math Monthly to try to pass it in. They (like a reasonable percentage of the many people I wrote letters to when young) responded bonestly, but couldn’t make anything of what I sent. Now I know much less of the specifics I knew then (50 years ago!), but even so this feeble paragraph I am writing now conveys more of what I found than what I wrote when I knew more! And now I would know much better how to explore this territory, in part because I have learned the specific skills of creative science (and requirements of human audiences) much more than then. In part because my work on extended P representations (Both published and unpublished) gives some clues. But I also have even more of an issue in prioritizing time than then. So I write this, and plan to move back to the urgent packing.

If I could afford to, I would also write a lot on trust, and what my experience shows about that. Not enough time.

Another thread is with Milton Friedman, where there were several iterations. In cases where I got somewhere, it usually took multiple iterations anyway. It is enough to succeed in the end. But often I only continued enough to satisfy me, and did not continue with most threads. As is appropriate – focus demands that one continue a priority line, and a careerist would say I should have done more of that, not less. My values are different, but I still have to prioritize. That’s drinking from a firehose 101 – work hard to cope with more but always avoid instant drowning, hopefully via things Valliant would call… more positive defense mechanisms. And structuring.

With Friedman… I eventually explained clearly enough how imperfect competition is NOT just a matter of a finite x% loss in output and productivity. It is a loss in the rate of growth. Did I miss my chance to become the Joan Robinson of growth economics, as I had the insight and the math and enough communication ability if I chose THAT as my focus? I suppose. It is really all so obvious (to someone with a “sane” way of thinking), yet the misconceptions are all SO pervasive! Today I think of it with the aerospace industry serving government; then I thought more of the transition from dark ages to era of economic growth (e.g as Hanseatic League benefits from competition). Ojutput at t+1 is reduced RELATIVE to the base one sets at time t, due to Joan Robinson effects, and part of that reduction involves less growth in the base which would have put one in a different position and allowed one to go still further in the next time period. Accumulation of capital and of skills and of human base all suffer… and I see that happening now to a lethal degree in many area of the US economy and society now!

Dishonorable or unconstrained competition can also be problematic. Max Weber’s insights are analogous to LeCun’s convolutional networks – a clear and useful example of a more general principle. Is there hope that cultural change, tied to real spiritual energy in the noosphere, could save us from the doom it now seems to be leading us to? Maybe. Worth trying, to some degree, for many reasons on many levels.
By the way, compressing and digitizing important stuff at home is also a way to keep more of the various fields of science and society I have been involved in. So of course, lots of 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

France’s 9/11: listening to the voices of the people

The voices of the people were a real zinger last night.
One voice: “This is a day which will live in infamy. It will live in infamy not only because they declared war, but because the Presidents crawled over to the radio, and announced they their plan to stay in bed, roll over, and then go play golf somewhere with rich buddies.”
Another “voice,” an image from a 1950’s B grade sitcom: A funny guy with an accent in the desert says,”Yes, boss, we really declared war. We took over the crusaders’ last main base in Nigeria, their only remaining source of oil other than the US itself, which may soon go out of business. We took over Tripoli. And now we pulled a Pearl Harbor on the very center of their civilization, and published a mein kampf about how we plan to take back that continent which is rightfully ours. But, no, they still won’t even get out of bed. What can we do? Maybe we should just shrug our shoulders and go ahead and clean it all up.”
In a variation, a reply to this image: The boss takes off his hood, smiles, and reveals a face something like Palpatine of Star Wars or Cheney or one of the Koch brothers and says: “Don’t worry. It is all set.. My time is coming soon.”
What to make of this?
First I should say that I view it as a real sacred duty for some of to listen hard to the voices of the people, even when we do not like all of what we hear. In the 1990’s, there was a time when many said “The voice of the people is the voice of God.” Not exactly, but please don’t just throw away that thought..
When religious or antireligious activists try to pin down where I stand on the great cultural wars of our times, I usually reply (except in China) that I am a Quaker, or Quaker Universalist. These answers have many advantages, one of them being that they are true, even though they are far from being the whole truth.
Many religions formally believe in a million sacred things, which members pick and choose from as they will. Traditional Quakers, as in Friends General Conference (and the writings of Rufus Jones which I never read but which sound like the real culture), essentially believe in one common principle: the value of working the listen as well as one can, in weekly meeting, to “listen to the voice of God” – while also connecting as deeply as possible with other people, and seeking the light. That’s it. All else is what different people choose to build on that simple but challenging foundation.
I take that seriously, and do try to learn how to listen. I have also worked pretty hard to master the intersection of a lot of tough intellectual subjects, and, to be honest, did spectacularly well in some school stuff starting back around when I was 8 years old. But I suspect that sustained progress in those areas has depended a lot on my ability to “cheat” by being able to hear what a professor was really thinking, by being able to really listen to the views of people speaking in NSF panels, and even, with effort, to probe into the thoughts behind some of what I read. By nature, I started out like a bull in the China shop, with levels of testosterone and “yang” ‘way beyond the norm (very helpful from ages 8 to 14 or 15), but I was lucky to have a mother who said “Ferdinand, learn to smell the flowers,” and my intellect itself really understood the need to cultivate empirical data. It understood that effective small groups need to adopt a culture where everyone tries to listen to everyone, where there is a real dialogue.. and where everyone accepts the responsibility to listen, to reflect very seriously, and to communicate with a kind of deep honesty. (Sometimes NSF encourages that, but some myopic careerists  give priority to other agendas.)
And so.. There are levels and levels of learning how to listen, and it is natural for us to strive for the highest that we are capable of. Quaker universalists are a strand of Quakers who believe in reading and listening far and wide, tolearn as much as possible from the totality of our shared human experience. (I received a weird phone call from Macedonia the other day, from a guy high in Greek Orthodox, who had a nice metaphor about trying to be like a honeybee, buzzing from flower to flower. Nice metaphor, though the human version of buzzing is not exactly the same as listening. Real bees do listen to each other, however.)
As I read widely…. Many years ago, I read a lot of the writings of a Quaker named H. Spencer Lewis, who decided to work hard to develop a more systematic approach to teaching people how to listen. I can’t say more right now, because it’s time for me to stop typing and listen to my wife. Among the many interesting things he talked about (some of which I agree with more than others, and some of which I find more useful and stimulating than other parts).. was a specific idea of “cosmic consciousness”..

But it seems I must cut it off right now. Sorry. Best of luck. How does this connect to the new movie Ju[iter Rising? How could I know, since I haven’t seen it yet? Best of luck indeed.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Meaning of the destiny term Z of quantum physics in human life

Years ago, Albert Einstein made a typical human kind of error in trying to understand quantum mechanics. Einstein famously said “common sense is nothing but a collection of prejudices acquired before the age of (16).” But he himself fell victim to the same kind of thing. When his own mathematics showed us the symmetry of the universe in time and in space, and in forwards time versus backwards time… he did not assimilate the implications in his gut. He proposed an experiment, the famous Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen experiment (later refined into the “Bell’s Theorem” experiments), which would disagree with quantum mechanics, ONLY on the assumption that physical effects can only march forwards in time, never backwards. His common sense was proven wrong… but his mathematics still works, as I have shown (see www.werbos.com/quantum.htm).

But last year I made the same kind of mistake myself.  I too failed to fully appreciate how rich the phenomena can be which emerge in a universe with just three dimensions of space and one of time.  I even felt there seemed to be a big contradiction between my direct experience of life and what would be possible under that kind of theory of physics.

Now I know better. There is a certain term, Z, which appears BOTH in the Feynman path version of quantum mechanics and in my new stochastic path version. The math of these versions is similar on the surface, but they lead to different predictions (and different options for technology). Still, both have this term Z.  In “common sense” (a different kind of common sense, which I should perhaps call “inner subjective understanding), Z is a destiny term. Understanding Z, in your gut, is like understanding destiny and what it really means.
The new story about Z reminds me a lot of the story of another simple-looking mathematical function, J, which I learned about as an undergraduate at Harvard, in the 1960’s.  Feynman’s Z is known to lots of people now, just as J was well known in the world of optimization and optimal control back then. Engineers would say “Oh, J is just a minor technical term we use in solving inventory control problems. It’s basically just ‘cost to go.” But in trying to understand how intelligence works in the brain, I was the first to realize that J, or approximate J, is actually the mathematical basis of what we call hopes and fears, and “secondary reinforcement.” Hopes and fears are absolutely central to the human  mind. It’s a lot more than inventory control. (For more of that story, see the Handbook of Reinforcement Learning and Approximate Dynamic Programming, edited by Lewis and Liu, from IEEE/Wiley. Or just look at www.werbos.com/mind.htm.) Understanding hopes and fears and how they work is really essential to understanding any kind of mind or brain. Now – it turns out that Z is just as important, and more than I appreciated before this past month.

Is it possible to “change the past” in a really significant way? I basically assumed it could not be possible, in a 3+1-D universe. Like Einstein… I misunderstood my own math. I thought that the science fiction novel Chronoliths gave a good picture of what that math tells us. I thought that that my 3+1-D math fit what Connie Willis called “the Oxford standard model of time travel” in her two-volume novel Blackout/AllClear. But now I know better, simply because I worked out an example. Of course, I am only just BEGINNING to know better, and I don’t claim to have the new deal totally mastered! Lots more to learn better!
In a way… I owe thanks to Bernard Widrow, Marlan Scully and Chris Altman for jogging me in ways that helped me understand better. (If you google on either of the first two names, you will see I have reasons to be very grateful for the gentle guidance I received from them.)

Widrow and Scully both gently suggested a general approach to coming down to earth from the worlds of mathematical abstraction which were the main foundations of my intellectual life. Scully’s encouragement got me to work out the concrete examples of a new formulation of physics which I have written this past year (as well as publish more details of a new type of P formalism beyond the scope of this simple blog post).  Following that track, I forced myself to do the mundane job of  working out the continuous time equations for what happens to a photon going through a polaroid type polarizer – a rather mundane thing, but someone had to do it, and I was unable to get anyone else to do it (though I tried).  The equations which I came up with are explained in some detail in a paper posted at vixra.org, and in a more complete paper forthcoming in the International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos, March 2015.

As I worked out those equations… I could not help empathizing a bit with that poor little photon going through a polarizer. After all, Washington D.C. is also a very polarizing environment. That’s not a joke. It’s very serious.
To make it work, I had to be very clear that the photon essentially had three possible actions it could take, aside from doing nothing, at every instant of its life in that polarizer. It could spin itself around to perfectly match the spin that the polarizer wanted of it. Or it could go 90 degrees against the prevailing direction, and get totally eaten up. Or it could “scream” that “I don’t want to be in this situation”, and change the destiny term Z such that this whole scenario would be much less likely to arise in the first place. In a sense, it could change the past (with some probability) to prevent the situation altogether.

I did not take this serious at the time, but it seemed like a wonderful joke. New forces have appeared in the executive branch of the US government this past year, which are very much like that polarizer. What to do, when facing a choice between totally aligning with the spin of the new order, or being eaten altogether?  Certainly the option of screaming inside myself  was part of the game. (But actually one must be very careful about doing that, “even just” within one’s own mind.)

But now, as I reflect on other situations… I realize… why should human minds, in their fullest capability, be less capable than photons?  Even if we give up “multiverse” theories of physics, which assume that parallel time tracks really do exist… the mathematics of multiple scenarios competing for probability (either in my stochastic path physics or in the more classical Feynman path physics) can have a similar effect, to minds embedded in such a universe. The weird thing is that this is true even if the stochastic path effects result from “deterministic” models like the mathematics of Einstein! If you ever feel a bit nervous looking at Einstein-type nonlinear field equations, and you worry that you might be missing something… please remember that even Einstein himself did not fully understand all the implications of equations which he himself formulated!

And now… as I have other things to do this New Year’s day, let me just repost an email I sent a day or two ago to Yeshua Ben David:
Good morning, Yeshua!

Today, in the time when I still have energy to think out of the box, my priority is to rewrite that cosmology paper on consciousness and the physics of time, to try to improve the impact somewhat. But before I do... it is interesting to think a bit more about the larger picture. 

I am very grateful for a tolerant ear, of someone who will be willing to put up with someone who does not see reality in the same way as many others.

Centuries ago, if a person rejected every part of life that he could not yet understand in a fully mathematical way, he would not be listened to much. he would be lucky to survive at all. Yet, as our mathematical knowledge has grown... a good thing... there has been a bad side effect of people rejecting and forcibly ignoring all else. I often think about George Valliant's discussion of the various types of defense mec hanisms which pervade our culture. I see such bad tendencies in myself too... but, being aware of them, I at least try to keep them under control while so many others fall gleefully into things which may destroy them... and the rest of us as well.

But... beyond what I understand mathematically... well, there is also a zone of things I can understand but not discuss.   

Sometimes I feel so frustrated with the DOZENS of levels of compartmentalization which seem necessary in today's world here -- some due to differences in disciplines, some cultures, some matters of safety.

Yet... many years ago, I was an active member of the Rosicrucian order, and read through a lot of their old stuff, which includes stuff going back millennia. I remember one viewpoint... that the lowest level stuff is open, and ALSO the highest stuff, because it gives positive benefit for those who can truly understand it and not so much harm to those who don't. "The middle stuff is the problem," they said.

Our mathematical understanding of intelligent systems in general -- brains and minds and what we could build -- is one of the most important threads for the destiny of the human species. Yet, in the larger space, I do not really know where we are going with that thread.

Back in 1991 (I think, after IJCNN Seattle), I listened to advice from Boeing, and saw Terminator II. I am glad I did, even though I did not enjoy the movie. I have a post on that on my obscure personal blog. Since then, I have been fully aware of a need to walk a tightrope... to try to develop the kind of mathematical understanding which would be crucial to full human potential and spiritual existence, while avoiding the dangers of losing the human species. Thus I put major effort into promoting the COPN topic at NSF, focused on developing that understanding. (see www.nsf.gov.)

When the attack of 7/14/14 hit me, in this place... well... I have not yet fully absorbed all the many-level implications of that huge shock. I certainly do think of it as a multi-level situation, where it would be misleading to think only of one level.

On a deep level... the attack did occur just hours after my return to NSF from WCCI, and a major implication will be to terminate not only intelligent systems technology but also central elements of hope to understand the brain better.  (Of course, many will still wave the flag of these things, as well as the flags of openness and transparency and accountability and the future of humans in space and so on... but accomplishing things in reality requires a wee bit more than PR.) I have wondered very intensely: should I take this as a signal that I was walking a bit too close to one side of the tightrope, risking negative misuse of knowledge? Several lines of evidence supported that. Though I have also wondered: why then, would reality tolerate the intense efforts, just as dangerous, to develop "Star Wars clone army" brain helmets?

In the meantime... I understand time a little better this week than I did two weeks ago. Perhaps I ought to put in a paragraph or two in the revised paper to give some hint of that better understanding.

At www.werbos.com/quantum.htm, I give the link to the directory where the slides and audio of my Australia talk are located. But I also have some level of draft of my work on CMRFp, the new continuous time model of polaroid type polarizers, which is also posted at vixra and in press at IJBC. In the past two weeks, I have had a chance to digest more fully the meaning of the new math.

In the past, I have wondered at times: is it possible to change the past or not? Of course, we have not seen anything at all like that in the physics lab. Following the constraints explained by Thomas Kuhn, for third person science, we basically cannot even discuss that subject  in normal scientific venues.
Yet on a first person level... I have a list of about eight personal experiences which seem to say that maybe we can. That is one of the main reasons why I report the feeling (in my time/consciousness paper) that there is only a 10% chance that the cosmos is only 3+1-D.  

Yet now, for the past two weeks... I now realize that the emergent phenomena possible is a large, complex 3+1-D space are much richer than I had assumed... even though I was aware of more richness than most people already. I am reminded of the time when I was very young, when I saw the theorem that the even numbers are a subset of all integers... AND VICE-VERSA... by the curious was that holomorphism can work with infinite systems. 
In "reality", in a 3+1-D universe, only one scenario becomes real... yet the set of scenarios... well, all the scenarios are "partially real" in the sense that they interact, as per the "destiny term" Z. For intelligence embedded within that kind of universe, it can OPERATIONALLY be like a type of many-worlds situation.
I was more right than I realized at first, in empathizing with that little photon with the power to just dial down the entire scenario. Z is "just a scalar" -- but so is J in dynamic programming. Scalar functions can contain a lot of information, though I suppose I still have a lot to learn about that. Just as DHP goes 'way beyond HDP and TD and Q, perhaps a gradient form of Z could be of use in better understanding destiny effects and interfacing with intelligence. 

But I digress.

I stopped to get a decaf coffee... and received an email from IEEE about some kind of message from Elon Musk. Back to Terminators...

When I saw Terminator II,. it was a high-impact experience for me, because so many of the details exactly matched what I was actually starting up at that time. Even the evil nanorobot looked like an exact morph between me and the guy from Cyberdyne I was funding to develop a new robot arm . I tried to calm myself down... and recalled that the movie must have been filmed before all these new things had happened... and then, the final scary thing for me was to see the final emphasis, that the information was being sent back through time in order to help people prepare. (later, when I met Luda, she reminded me at times of Sara... but that was later.) I knew enough about the physics of time to take that a bit more seriously than most people would.
 At some level, my sense for several years was that it was a near thing, in actuality, and that we actually narrowly avoided something which "actually happened" at some level, like a living scenario.

This past year... I began to downplay that idea... since I have learned some crucial tricks which I didn't know back then, important to really fully doing the scariest stuff. (Yet even what I knew then could be very scary even now in the wrong places and the wrong hands).  


And then, last Saturday, the final event for us in a long family Christmas sequence (unless we will get a visit from others in College Park).

My eldest son drove me and Chris to a 3D IMAX showing of the Hobbit, the final episode. Mostly just relaxing fun, typical stuff... though I could draw a crude analogy to the dwarf place under the mountain and the place where I am sitting now, and my hope to get out before the various armies start killing each other. But ...before that... multiple 3D IMAX trailers for things to come.

One -- a major new remake of the Terminator II kind of story. This time, the evil robot is Asian. This reminds me... the events of 7/14/14 will thoroughly expunge the relevant technology in the US, but China is moving ahead faster than ever, now WITHOUT whatever steering influence I might have had, and Xi Jinping is clearly having some difficulties in coping with the tightropes he needs to walk.  It is more than a balancing act really, as there is also a need for synergy between things being balanced; a fuzzy middle is not the highest form of harmony. They have not been able to think out of the box more effectively in learning lessons form Hong Kong (which SHOULD be less painful for them than 7./14/14 was for me... but it takes special discipline to be truly constructive in the face of such pains.)

OK, that was a zinger.


well... there are levels and levels in the noosphere, even of this narcissistic silly little blue marble. And thoughts from other levels, however compartmentalized, do tend to have reflections at times, to leak out. I THINK I saw a trailer... about a new movie from The Matrix guy... about discussions beyond this marble of "the harvest." Interesting. I wonder.

But now...   back to the task of the morning.

Best regards,


P.S. The afternoon will be more technical things... from computers to packing up to nanofabrication. This email is my new "NSF alter ego," though maybe my access to it at NSF will be compromised if I install Thunderbird as my client for it at home; NSF permissions will not let me use Thunderbird here. So many levels of compartmentalization! 
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