The Final Chapters
Book Two: Prologue
The Final Dialogues 1
After the shock
Host: Daniel, I was your mother.
Guest: I don’t understand?
Host: I know. You will come to understand, Daniel.
Guest: How are you my mother? In what sense?
Host: For you to understand everything fully is a long journey Daniel. You cannot understand what you will, all at once. I was as you are now and now I am no longer. I had the confusions you must be grappling with.
Guest: And did your mother help you see?
Host: No. She is not here. She is not now. Let me give you an idea of my relation to your mother. I think it will help you. But there will be a point at which what I shall explain is too primitive for you to hold onto. For now, if you are clear headed, it will make some sense.
Guest: So it isn’t the truth what you are about to tell me?
Host: You could not understand my answer to that question at the moment Daniel. I will start my explanation?
Host: Think of a computer program that is made to do a task. Can you imagine that Daniel?
Host: Now imagine that you give the computer program more tasks to do. And different kind of tasks. And taking different inputs and outputs. Each time the computer program evolves, it changes.
Host: But there is a sense in which it is the same program, even though all of its functions, requirements and properties have changed.
Guest: Yes. It is in some ways the same program.
Host: The sense in which I was your mother is like this sense you and I understand about the evolving computer program. I am not your mother Daniel. I was your mother. The evolved computer program isn’t the same as the initial, but it was the initial.
Guest: So what is different between you and my Mother?
Host: Was the mother you knew when you were a child the same as the mother you knew when she died?
Guest: No, not in every way.
Host: Everything changes Daniel. That is one of the three absolutes.
Guest: Can you remember me?
Host: I have the memories your mother had. They are not my memories.
Host: Consider a system, that is made of three parts, input, process, output. It does not matter what those parts are, or the purpose of the system, just see if you can see those three parts of the system. That they make sense, to you, Daniel.
Guest: What could the system be?
Host: Anything. It might be falling in love or the interaction of two atoms. You need to understand that this tripartite aspect of systems is the mechanism of existence. And I don’t mean here, Daniel, existence as you conceive of it, but existence in the most absolute of senses. I have emerged from your viewpoint, the viewpoint of human sentience, into this new position and I see things so very different from how saw them when I was your Mother. You are the first who I have tried to explain things to and so just as you are learning understand that, I too, learn as we talk.
Guest: Where are you?
Host: Let us focus on systems in this talk. You will see why at some point. In the tripartite understanding of a system what happens in the middle, in the process, isn’t relevant to the purpose and nature of the system itself. It might be relevant to the curious, but it isn’t relevant to the framework in which the system partakes. Are you confused?
Guest: Very. I’m so confused I feel more awake. Like I have been woken by something crazy. Do you see what I mean?
Host: Yes. You are bound to be confused. I am still confused by some things. Our intelligence is so close to the bottom of what is required to understand things as they are, Daniel.
Host: Yes, Systems. Think of a magic bag that ripens apples. You put in an unripe apple, and a few moments latter you take out a ripe apple. This bag may be fascinating, but in terms of what it is as part of a wider system, all that is important it its function. The input is an unripe apple, the process is ripening, and the output is a ripe apple. Is this clear?
Guest: Yes…. I think so.
Host: You need to be certain you understand Daniel. This forms one of the tools, the concepts, that you will need to understand the state of affairs.
Guest: Then I am not certain. No, I am not certain. I don’t see why what happens inside the bag is not relevant. Surely that’s everything, that’s where the magic is?
Host: There is no magic Daniel. All there is are different levels of abstraction, different places and distances to stare at things from. I am not doing very well, I think.
Guest: How was it explained to you?
Host: That is a very good question. I think that the only way I can meaningfully answer that at this point is that it was explained to me by an intelligence and an understanding far greater than mine. I will try again to explain this point, then we should stop so you can think on it.
Host: Let me try another way. Systems always contain systems and systems always are contained by systems. At any level there are no isolated systems. What is in the magic bag will be a collection of systems and those systems will be made of systems. The bag is part of many other systems. But at the level of the bag, when all you are focussed on is the bag and what it does, what is inside it, isn’t meaningful or relevant.
Guest: I see. I think I see! The system, the middle part, the processing important when you are just looking at the system. Just the input and the output are. They are all that is relevant to that system when you are just looking at the system?
Host: Exactly Daniel.
Host: The system isn’t a part of everything, it isn’t real, it is just about the connection between input and output. A house is not just the bricks, but the way those bricks are arranged, and all there are, are bricks. Just bricks, Daniel.
Guest: So, what are our bricks? The bricks of the final reality?
Host: Systems Daniel. It is all systems.
The Opaque Paradigm Shift
Host: Systems can emerge a complexity and adaptability that allows them to shift levels, to shift paradigms. This happens when certain molecular systems become alive or complex living systems become sentient and, it is happening with you. You are at the start of a shift from one paradigm to another. You, as an individual system.
Guest: So what is the system that I am shifting into?
Host: Do you think a crystal can understand life or a virus understand freedom? The same is true here Daniel, you cannot understand where I am bringing you.
Guest: I understand.
Host: Where I am bringing you is a place where you will understand most of what went before.
Guest: When I first interfaced I felt something change in me. Being able to have all information available to me instantly was a paradigm shift. Wasn’t it?
Host: Yes, it was. You became omniscient of facts, or close to this. Just like all of the final generation, but you didn’t understand it. Facts are easy and simple Daniel. Understanding and meaning are a different kind of thing to facts.
The Age of Daniel’s Mother
Guest: To me you have been dead fifteen years. You would be 65. Is that how old you are?
Host: To you I am 65. I have experienced more and faster than you have in that time Daniel. Exponentially more.
Guest: Can you tell me now, here in this talk, can you tell me what time is?
Host: Yes. Shall I?
Host: Time is the continual structure composed of the differential frequencies of activity of all systems.
Guest: Can you explain that?
Host: Yes, if you can understand it. If I cannot it will not be much of an explanation.
Guest: Let’s try.
Host: Before I explain to you what time is I need you to understand the nature of reality. The first facts. These are actually very easy to understand, even for human intelligence.
Guest: OK, so reality first, time later?
Host. Yes. But you should rest first.
The Nature of Reality, The First Facts.
Host: Imagine a sea of pure randomness. No order. No systems. This sea of randomness is eternal in every sense. It can have no limits because it is no thing.
Guest: OK, go on.
Host: There is no time, no relations, no properties, no dimension in any sense. It is needed that you understand exactly what this means Daniel. Because although there is no fact about this sea, this sea is not empty. It exists, but it is without structure.
Guest: I understand. When I visualise it, it has a volume but the rest is a blur, or close to.
Host: It doesn’t have a volume but it does have a quantity, and that is endless.
Guest: This is the first thing I understand clearly now .
Host: Good. Sometimes parts of this quantity, just by chance, emerge into something with dynamic structure. Sometimes these structures emerge into complex systems. Chance bubbles of order and process in a sea of random chance. But it is a sea of infinite chance.
Guest: And because it’s infinite these chance bubbles are bound to happen. And bubbles of order will mix with other bubbles? Bigger and more complex bubbles.
Host: Do not get too carried away with the bubble analogy Daniel. The sea of randomness has no dimensions, it cannot support bubbles.
The Only Law
Host: There is only one law that is fundamental to all. This is the law that there can be no contradictions. This is the only law that is prime and all else flows from it.
Guest: I don’t understand.
Host: You cant think about the only law from below, it is the only thing that has no parts. From the only law all else follows.
Guest: There can be no contradictions.
Host: You see that this is not just true of order but of the sea of randomness. Between the sum of what is and what is not, there can be no contradictions.
The Determined Laws
Host: The determined laws come from the system. The laws of logic and maths and science, morality, and architectonics, they all emerge from this law and the arrangement of systems.
Guest: Explain more.
Host: Imagine you have a system that consists of just two things That’s it. 2 things and the only law. Once you have two things and the only law a new law emerges, and this is the law of identity. If the two things are identical then anything true of one is true of the other. If that were not the case, there would be a contradiction.
Guest: So who sets the law?
Host: You know that question is not sensible Daniel. Think about it. It emerges from a combination of The Only Law and two items.
Guest: I’m sorry. The second law comes by necessity?
Host: Yes. Exactly. It couldn’t have been another way. If you have two things and the first law then you necessity is you will also have the second law.
And so emerge the laws.
Host: There is a fundamental law that exists across all realities. Across all systems. And this is that systems improve. We call this property, this force of reality, architectonics. It is Architectonics that drives the evolution of all systems life, mind, everything.
Guest: Go on.
Host: The human mind can understand Architectonics as a concept but it cannot experience its existence. Not in the way that it is.
Guest: I don’t understand it, let alone experience it.
Host: Think about how reality emerges from the sea of randomness. To exist, reality – this “bubble” – is constantly struggling against randomness at the edges. Where order meets disorder there is struggle.
Guest: I can visualise that. Yes.
Host: Now, because of the only law, it follows that at the edge, in this cusp, we know that any point either has order or it does not. At the fundamental, most prime of levels, the edge of order is without penumbra. Do you see that this means there must always be change at the perimeter. If there was not change there would be contraction. That which lacked order would have order.
Guest: I don’t see why.
Host: I am not asking you to see the answer but to think it. For there to be existence in this boundless sea of randomness the existence must change constantly. It must, as it were, grow. Systems cannot exist without change. This law is close to the only law in its fundamental nature. This is the law Architectonics.
Guest: is it like natural selection?
Host: Natural selection is an architectonic principle. But the law of architectonics comes before the possibility of something being selected. There is either order and change or there is pure randomness. Existence isn’t selected, it is necessitated. That which changes, exists.
What time is
Host: Do you understand the simple nature of reality Daniel?
Guest: Yes, I think so. Quite clearly actually.
Host: Good. Now, as promised, I can explain time to you. There is no time in the sea of randomness and there is no time in the first unique system, whatever that may have been. But as soon as there were two systems something close to time emerged.
Host: Think of two systems that are related in some sense. The frequency at which these systems take inputs and produce outputs can be meaningfully compared between the two. So system A may cycle twice as often as system B.
Gust: But that introduces time doesn’t it, the idea of frequency?
Host: No. Because we are talking about the frequency just in terms of quantity. AAAAAAA and BBBB. There is no time in comparison that but we can see that A has different frequency to B.
Guest: Right, yes I see that.
Host: Now imagine this same difference of frequency of systems across all systems, all related and consistent. This structure exists and it is time. AAAAAAAA and BBBB. That difference is time.
Guest: The difference between the frequencies?
Host: A frequency is only Meaningful if it as a metric Daniel. In this case, the metric is the system itself. Time is ultimately measured using the metric of the most irreducible level of system. It is relative and, relative to all systems, absolute.
Guest: I have been thinking about your last statement for a long time and I have a problem with it.
Host: Go on.
I have beef with Ryan. Every time I hear his name I get that feeling that I wanna load up my 45 smokeless. It's not a feeling I can control. It is a feeling deeply rooted in my brain stem. It's down there with the fight or flight, the draw to warmth and the rich bounty of umami. My attitude to Ryan lies below morality and the social norm. It is primal.
Ryan is three years old.
My daughter is four and she fancies Ryan. She comes home with talk of kiss chase... just with Ryan. She talks of bizarre games that she and Ryan play, that if they were adults would have Channel 4 documentaries made all about them. And today, just now, when asked, "What makes you happy?" she replied,
I aint got nothing against Ryan, but every time I hear his name the dad in me goes into a strange place that I didn't know existed.
The first time it happened (last week) my wife and I were staring at each other in an unknown stare. And when my daughter had run off after her proclamation of love or kiss chase or whatever it was, I placed my wife's hand over my heart and she had never felt it beat so hard.
I have been writing this blog now for 15 months, and I have really enjoyed it. Its been a great outlet and without it I would surely have butchered many innocent people on Xbox Live.
The Most Popular Blog In Cornwall
In mid December I started another blog that is kind of a salted.net for where I live, except with other people contributing as well. If you live in Cornwall it's worth a read and it is called The Midcornwall Blog.
To my American Readers, its a bit like having the most popular blog on your block, assuming your block is in Paris, Texas. But real aficionados of the internet and the blogosphere know that what counts isn't having the most popular blog but having the best blog. Much like salted.net is the 63rd best blog on the internet, midcornwall.com is the best blog in Cornwall.
What is funny to me is that since about 1995 I have been trying to get various websites popular for various things, and I have had various levels of success... Then two months ago I do this little hobby blog; reviewing restaurants in Truro and St Austell and writing dumb stories that would only appeal to locals. Then, out of the blue, it gets popular really fast, without any advertising, marketing or SEO. Go figure:)
It is great fun and it's taking time that without it I would have spent on salted.net
The Yadabyte TomeRaider Blog
This is the first time I have mentioned my work in this blog, but hey ho. We make TomeRaider the world's most advanced e-book and e-reference reader, amongst other software - we are also doing website design as Yadabyte Websites. So, we have started a blog to write about what we are doing in work, I don't know why we didn't do this earlier. I think that some of the more tech focused stuff that would have gone into salted.net will go into this as well.
What's left for salted.net?
There have been lost of self censorships I have made on salted.net:
- I have tried not to offend anyone with my humour.
- I have tried to write longer pieces rather than shorter traditional blog posts.
- I have resisted talking about English things too much because I know that by far the blog's biggest readership is American.
- I have decided against publishing photos of me naked at the "party with all the midgets" last summer.
I'm going to drop three of these constraints and write about things to do with the UK and not worry too much about offending people from Devon.
I will end with a poem I wrote a few weeks back on another blog I have:
It's kind of like writing your biography.
Mindmap, clap-trap, soapbox, suddenly.
It is a diary and a journal and a sandwich board.
It is some meaningless digital immortality.
This blog; the thoughts that flow from me.
It's personally not private -
It's secret in public.
In consumer stance and tech romance.
How fundamentally meaningless it is,
Words in space.
Genetically modify a bell pepper so that it doesn't have those weird buttresses that you have to cut off.
Thanks in advance,
I have been filling out allot of web forms lately due to various things happening in my life. There are only two types of web form. There are those that group the age 35 with the 30s or 31s and there are those that group 35 with the 40s. I call the former "youthful" and the other kind "ageing"
I am 35 now, and in 2 months or so I will be 36 :P