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Brain, Universe, Internet governed by same fundamental laws, suggests supercomputer simulation

26 November 2012
by Will Parker

By performing supercomputer simulations of the Universe, researchers have shown that the causal network representing the large-scale structure of space and time is a graph that shows remarkable similarity to other complex networks such as the Internet, as well as social and biological networks. A paper describing the simulations in the journal Nature's Scientific Reports speculates that some as-yet unknown fundamental laws might be at work.

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Here's the law

It has to do with what is, exactly, existence.

If you break down a thing by cutting it in two, and then cut that in two, etc. until you can't cut it anymore, you arrive at the classical notion of the 'atom'.

Assuming said atom, how is it defined? It's position? Well, there may be a 'grid', a 'space time continuum'. This is the theologian's argument for God's existence. I believe that absent direct evidence of such an outside 'grid' we should keep looking.

What about other atoms? Position vectors connecting every atom to every atom? This is the eastern, interconnectedness, cyclical universe idea. Here's the problem: Imagine each atom defines one other atom, and is defined by a third atom. In the end, you have a large circle, perhaps infinite. Nevertheless, this circle, or totality, becomes itself a higher order 'atom' that requires definition. Doh! Back to the starting point.

Let's break it down. What is the alternative to existence? Non-existence. So we have to define existence by defining also non-existence. Non-existence, by definition, cannot be defined. Hmm. However, what if non-existence could be defined by its relationship to existence? What???

It's like this - a thing is what it is, as compared to what it is not. We are comfortable assigning a definition to a thing, saying what it is. What about what it is not?

Well, instead of worrying about placing some other entity in that slot, what if put 'non-existence' there. Look I'm not great at explaining this, but here's how it works:

A thing has defined characteristics, which are connected to how 'non-existence' is perceived when it relates to existence: CHAOS. A thing, described by its connection to chaos, randomness, etc. is that things POTENTIAL.

So an entity, in order to be properly described, must be considered as the union of what it is, and what it could be.

Philosophically, this is the union of its analytical and contingent components. Obviously, analysis can't determine the outcome of the contingent. But when understood as potential, one begins to see the light.

For example, using numbers as units in math, I believe, has led to the error proven by Godel: that mathematics is either inconsistent or incomplete. I think the operators more closely approximate actual existing 'units'. In fact, I think units are more like linear transformations rather than explicit quantities.

That one reform to mathematics would give it great ammunition to describe the complexities we encounter in modern research.

But there's a political implication. Most central authority and schemes of centralized government - to include all of the vast and confusing philosophical, economic, and historical justifications - rely on analysis. There is an attempt to take a complex dynamic thing (society) or an evolving self-justifying cause (free will and human identity) and bind them to a specific analysis of utility or form. Understanding that analysis, academically, only captures 'half' of the universe is the key to understanding the flaw.

For the Randians: this was also Kant's error, equating analytical reason with all reason and thereby concluding that reason didn't capture real reality. Same process and error as Godel.

Fascinating Paper

It suggests the question to me(among many):
Does the internet, trust networks, et al, follow the fundamental laws, or just designed that way because the brain was. After all, we use that brain for designing things.

I don't think the actual paper (I did read it) suggested the universe is a computer simulation, though I personally find that an intriguing avenue of thought, if only as metaphor.

Just open the box and see

I have an easy answer

If the question is whether we only perceive and understand what we do because of how our brains are built?

The answer is that if something beyond the capacity of our brain to understand existed in reality, then we would perceive its effects on things we do understand. We would be able to conclude: we don't understand that. Not in the sense of we haven't figured it out yet, but that we have proved conclusively that it is non-understandable. And in fact, I highly doubt that such a conclusions would be accurate. If something has an effect on things we understand, then some component of it - the part that affects us - is understandable, if not at least random in the pure sense.

Next: if there is no effect we can perceive, then it is as if that thing does not exist. The brain, our universe, etc. are all that is.

Instead, I think there is just a certain 'way' to existence that has to do with what identity and definition mean. And those laws are fundamental. There is an alternative, I guess, but it's big dark blackness that is as infinitely consuming as it is infinitely minute. In other words, who cares about that anyway?

That was the Easy Answer?

"Relatively" speaking, I know it was. ;)
It could be that the structure in designed complex systems is a manifestation of this thing we can’t or don’t yet understand.

And, of course, that’s the part from your reply to the post. Politics. Science is the attempt to define something. And, Science has arrogance that, indeed, it can define that(whatever). Is that politics or humanity? Could the desire to define things be another manifestation of that underlying structure? The desire to impose order on chaos? Is that what the universe itself is trying to do? Maybe the universe also figured out that defining nothing was futile. “Bang.. Now, why didn’t I see that before?” :)

Existence simply is since, from the perspective of those in it, there is no alternative. Existence contains what we know (as a universe, not as a person), nothingness contains everything else.

What can we really learn about the system with only tools that are found or created inside it? When our very thought process is built in that system. Isn’t that what Gödel was saying, basically?

Your ideas of linear transformations remind me of a paper I read on quantum gravity. They attempted to reconcile it using a quanta based system. Linear transformations would simplify their theory immensely, and be very hard to accept to a quanta based community. Seems they don't want to accept the "fabric of space/time" as acting like a fabric, they want an accurate thread count. ;)

Could the blindness to seeing the Gestalt of a situation, both political and scientific, be another expression of the underlying order that we don't fully understand? Could the fact that we have the word Gestalt be an indicator otherwise?

Just open the box and see


It's all algorithmic based frequency loops.

They that give up liberty for security deserve neither.