The Instigator
Koinotely
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
black_squirrel
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

The Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU) is True Metaphysics

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after 1 vote the winner is...
black_squirrel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/11/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,008 times Debate No: 45211
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (62)
Votes (1)

 

Koinotely

Pro

"My opponent is MIA, but if anyone else wants to discuss CTMU, challenge me.
...
I will argue that Chris Langan's CTMU theory is not brilliant. This theory seems more like metaphysical diarrhea to me," - black_squirrel
http://www.debate.org...

I noticed the above debate recently, and posted some comments there as well.

I've always been interested in philosophy and religion, but through various experiences became disenchanted with both, I found them to be overly encumbered by their own historiography or metaphorically rendered in such a way which didn't readily lend themselves to deep logical analysis. However the CTMU is focused on metaphysics, and in keeping with its tradition, bridges false dichotomies toward a point of mutual commensurability.

"Metaphysics is that portion of philosophy which treats of the most general and fundamental principles underlying all reality and all knowledge.
...
Aristotle himself had referred to that portion of philosophy as "the theological science" (theologik), because it culminated in the consideration of the nature of God, and as "first philosophy", both because it considered the first causes of things, and because, in his estimation, it is first in importance." - Catholic Encyclopedia

Since (as its title implies) the Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe is concerned with reality as a subject in its own right, as well as the scope of our knowledge of it, then metaphysics is indeed a relevant place to begin.

"Say that there are two true but different theories of metaphysics M and M", one or each of which contains information inferentially excluded by the other. Call all such info "d". Since M, M" are both true, and the distinction between two truths is itself a truth, d is true. Since metaphysics is comprehensive over reality by definition, it can exclude no real truth. But at least one of the pair M, M" excludes at least a part of d. So at least one of the pair is not a theory of metaphysics, and the assumption that two such theories exist is self-contradictory. This implies that there is at most one true theory of metaphysics."
http://megasociety.org...

"Every syndiffeonic relation has synetic and diffeonic phases respectively exhibiting synesis and diffeonesis (sameness and difference, or distributivity and parametric locality), and displays two forms of containment, topological and descriptive. The medium is associated with the synetic phase, while the difference relation is associated with the diffeonic phase (because the rules of state and transformation of the medium are distributed over it, the medium is homogeneous, intrinsically possessing only relative extension by virtue of the difference relationships it contains). Because diffeonic relands are related to their common expressive medium and its distributive syntax in a way that combines aspects of union and intersection, the operation producing the medium from the relands is called unisection (un). The synetic medium represents diffeonic potential of which the difference relationship is an actualization.
...
The greatest theoretical advances have typically been associated with two complementary processes, reduction and extension. The conceptual components of a theory are reduced to more fundamental components, and the theory extended by the emergence of new and more general relationships among them."
http://www.megafoundation.org...

I will share some ideas, terms and a formula which helped me clarify a few of the basic concepts, and refer diligent researchers to the book, "Moonshine Beyond the Monster: The Bridge Connecting Algebra, Modular Forms and Physics". For the right-hemisphere dominant I also rendered some concepts as metaphors.

Koinotely refers to the "common expressive medium", "synetic medium", or "diffeonic potential". It is produced by "unisection".

Isotelesis refers to the "diffeonic relands" or the "actualization" of diffeonic potential. It is produced by "reverse unisection".

If unisection is thought of as the fusion of parts, reverse unisection could be thought of as the fission of "wholes".

Koinotely refers to Conterminality and Isotelesis to Coextensivity, telesis being the common component, the former is concerned with connectivity and coherence while the latter with self-similarity and consistency. The self-similar motif is reminiscent of the flower of life, though with 19 non-overlapping "isotelic" circles (local telors) packed into 1 "koinotelic" circle (syntactic unisect or global telor) which covers them all, the circles and their constructive-filtrative layering can be thought of as spheres or hypersurfaces if you can see it as such, this relates logic with resources (as in the linear logic program uniting logic with linear algebra) or state-syntax duality with the packing-covering duality, where issues like optimization and the conservation of freedom (and information) become relevant. As far as self-determinacy is concerned, the diameter of the larger circle is defined in terms of the smaller circles, and the space for the smaller circles are defined in terms of the larger circle, with each circle being 5 sub-circles wide, and simultaneously/reflexively, the number of circles definable within 1 circle is 19. 19x5=95 represents "teleoplection" or the entanglement of local (isotelic) and global (koinotelic) utility functions, (what is globally optimal is automatically locally optimal due to a property of convex geometry). Teleoplection is a self-dual relation/process (as are Chu Spaces), and is involved in how complexity arises from simplicity from/through self-consistent entanglement (or coherent inner expansion/decoherent requantization of subjective/objective states in syntactic operators). The fractional multiplier 5/19 (koinotely/isotelesis) and/or conversely, 19/5 (isotelesis/koinotely) is representative of the scale invariance and the universality of conspansion. Visually, inscribed in each circle and sub-circle are 19 circles per 5-diameter circle, when/where circles overlap they create new inner expansive domains which add circles or constraints/subtract space or freedom while contracting/expanding as they divide diffeonetically/multiply synetically, with outward inductive and inward deductive processes mirroring each other. So each circle can be considered koinotelic within its own domain, while being isotelic to a higher and/or for a lower level domain. This can be formulated as koinotely(isotelesis)=isotelesis(koinotely). On the left side of the equation, koinotely distributes over isotelesis, acts as the "memory" or model of past/present domains topologically including the right side of the equation, where vice-versa, isotelesis distributes over koinotely, "anticipating" or modeling the "future" as a codomain of the "past/present", it descriptively includes the left side, where abstract potentialities are rescaled as they are actualized in situ.

Some preliminary ideas. Money (or abstractly, "utility" is a means for voluntary exchange which measures how much an "agent" is willing to give up in order to acquire some intrinsic/extrinsic motivator) is like a common denominator which allows for the exchange of values. If "spending/selection power" is thought of as a resource such as "freedom", then in order to be meaningful or useful, it could be subject to the laws of conservation (or global symmetry principles), such as energy, where one has to generate it in order to spend it (according to relative entropy). Although transformations among parts take place at varying scales of resolution, the self-consistency of the whole is maintained. As in the whole number "1", which as a resource may be divided and subdivided. The act of dividing resources is dually the process of multiplying functions, or similarly, the act of subtracting freedoms is dually the process of adding constructions. The whole is adjoined to its parts on all scales, while the parts are relatively disjoint from the whole. While some rules of exchange are reversible, others are not. The current monetary system can be thought of as "Abelian" which means that various dependencies among transactions are not relevant to the value of the outcome. However the paradigm of "non-Abelian money" is also worth considering for certain kinds of transactions (perhaps in triple-bottom line accounting, or mechanism design).

A brief sketch of an economy informed by "spiritual" concepts may be to consider these parts as instead, "letters" or "utils" of an alphabet which form "words" or "entangled utility functions".

"Abstract laws are more general than the concrete, physical matter-and-field systems that obey them. If we divide reality into the concrete, and the abstract but non-concrete, math falls under the latter heading due to its generality. That is, concrete physical reality exemplifies mathematics, but mathematics is not confined to any particular physical model; equivalently, the laws of physics are a mere subset of the laws of mathematics. So mathematics inhabits a higher (or alternatively, more basic) level of reality than the material world.

Since the human mind can reason both inductively (from the specific to the general) and deductively (from the general to the specific), it spans both levels. Therefore, mathematics is mental as opposed to merely physical in nature. Because, as we have just noted, the laws of physics are a mere subset of the laws of mathematics, and because (as you write) the laws of nature are discovered, not invented, physical reality is ultimately mental in character as well. However, although this applies even to gravity, we are corporeally locked into a physical compartment of abstract mental reality within which we are not free to treat gravity as a mere "concept". This helps explain why we can't fly by the power of thought alone."
http://www.megafoundation.org...
black_squirrel

Con

A true theory of metaphysics?

I do not dispute that CTMU is metaphysics. When I described CTMU as "metaphysical diarrhea", I meant that it does not have much value. But some of my criticism will apply to metaphysics in general. If physics is a painting, then metaphysics is its frame. The frame enhances the painting, but its value is very small compared to the value of the painting.

However, the title of the debate claims that CTMU is TRUE metaphysics.

PRO (citing Langan): "Say that there are two true but different theories of metaphysics M and M", one or each of which contains information inferentially excluded by the other. Call all such info "d". Since M, M" are both true, and the distinction between two truths is itself a truth, d is true. Since metaphysics is comprehensive over reality by definition, it can exclude no real truth. But at least one of the pair M, M" excludes at least a part of d. So at least one of the pair is not a theory of metaphysics, and the assumption that two such theories exist is self-contradictory. This implies that there is at most one true theory of metaphysics."

From this, I understand that a "true theory of metaphysics" is a theory from which one can derive all true statements, and nothing more. It is questionable whether such true theory of metaphysics exists. At least I doubt if there exist such a theory that has only a small number of principle from which one can derive everything that is true. My opponent claims that CTMU is such a true theory of metaphysics. I will show that it is not, at that some parts of CTMU do not make much sense.

Unfortunately I have run out of time for round 1. Fortunately, there are 4 more rounds, in which I will discuss in more depth the shortcomings of CTMU.








Debate Round No. 1
Koinotely

Pro

The relationship between metaphysics, mathematics and physics is quite interesting. My opponent compares physics to the content of a painting and metaphysics to the "frame". However this metaphor could be extended to include the framer/painter, the paintbrush, the design and material of the frame, and the act of observation in the conception, production and interpretation of that painting.

This leads to J.A. Wheeler's insight:

"All things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe... Observer participancy gives rise to information; and information gives rise to physics."
http://jawarchive.files.wordpress.com...

Langan refers to Wheeler's paper in his 2002 PCID paper as a starting point for "Reality Theory", since it traces physics to information and information to observer-participancy or "transductive algebraic syntax" as Langan would describe it.

Some "attributes" of this painting may be objective in one sense while simultaneously being subjective in another. Some attributes, such as the order of events, can change depending on which perspective it is observed from, while others are invariant under a change of basis. For example, the extensive properties of a formula which is graphed may differ depending on whether it is described in terms of Cartesian or polar coordinates, however the properties which inhere within the formula itself are intensive, and do not depend on the values which are given to its variables or the configuration of coordinates in which they're processed.

"Beauty" is a classic example, which has been judged according to various criteria such as symmetry, unity in diversity, or the complementarity of form and function.

In musical harmonies there is often an obvious architecture or syntax for the arrangement of notes or states of sound as produced and perceived, but beauty is often said to only be in the eye of the beholder. The deeper issue here, is the falsehood of "absolute moral relativism". This relates to the commensurability of values in co-varying "psycho-social" frames of reference, which Langan discusses in his paper, The Resolution of Economic Paradox: Toward a Theory of Economic Relativity.

In physics, attributes may be defined in terms of extensive values such as length x width, where changes in either quantity effects the value of the attribute "area". However the "values" of the attributes of this painting may also vary in terms of each other, such that some overall quantity or quality is conserved or globally invariant in such a way that it acts as a principle normative complementarity, so relative to each other the length x width may vary while taken as a unit they conserve that particular attribute of the whole.

Some attributes have intensive values which may be expressed as ratios such as color, which itself does not increase or decrease with size but proportionate densities.

If we are actually living inside that painting called "physics", one should acknowledge that it is embedded in a realization space or its meta-syntax which would be the syntax of "mathematics", so if we want to precipitate understanding of that meta-reality, which involves the "physics" of the paintbrush and the painter which are less bounded and have more degrees of freedom.

In the CTMU, the "frame" or "boundary" of metaphysics would be syntax, the painting of physics is its content. The boundary of syntax does not exclusively determine the content, since the content to some extent determines the boundaries of syntax. However this self-determinative relationship involves two phases, the boundary itself which topologically contains or configures the painting, and the contents of the boundaries relative to each other which descriptively "fill-in" the boundaries of the canvas.

While I could go on about how the "compatibility relations" of bialgebras could be useful in modeling "incentive compatibility" and the partial ordering of preferences or "types" in mechanism design theory, however rather than using "types", employing extensive sorts (scaled or weighted "utility") and intensive properties (scale-invariant or didense topoalgebras), which relate to Lambek's pregroups and their grammar have left/right adjoints, and the isomorphism of inward/outward modules in Pratt's algebraic formulation of the Yoneda Lemma, or self-reference in terms of automorphism groups as they relate to Langan's space-time-object triality, which would shed some valuable light on the mysterious relationship between finite algebraicity and infinite modularity, or finite alphabets and infinite productions...I will refrain from expounding further on my own insights on the relative value of CTMU, until my opponent builds a substantial case.
black_squirrel

Con

Langan's CTMU theory is not very valuable. The goal of theories in physics and mathematics is to explain difficult and complicated theorems and phenomena in terms of weaker statements and principles. However, it seems that CTMU seeks to obfuscate rather than to explain.

signs of obfuscation

1. Impenetrable terminology

In order to describe his theory, Langan uses an excessive amount of terminology. Sometimes introducing new terminology cannot be avoided. However, the clarity of Langan's expositions suffers greatly because of all the new words he invented. A sentence like:

"Hology is implied by MAP because reality is closed under composition and attribution; it is implied by M=R because reality is composed of syntactic operators with generalized mental or cognitive functionality; and it is implied by syndiffeonesis and MU because it is an expression of the relationship between the global spatiotemporal medium and its contents."

is almost impossible to read. Some of the terminology is explained, but often this is done poorly. Imagine 59 pages of sentences like this. Certainly not an invitation to learn about CTMU.

Again, such an excessive amount of terminology is not justified. The article reads like an advanced scientology manual. (I suppose that Scientology could be considered a competing theory. In fact, there are some signs that Langan's ultranet is a cult like scientology - but less extreme. [2])

2. bluff your way into mathematics

The entire article [1] reads like an exercise in "bluff your way into mathematics". A lot of mathematical principals are cited, but Langan does not go into depth about any of them. Essentially the whole article [1] is 59 pages of definitions, and hardly any logical deductions.

----------
I am sorry to say, but some of the arguments my opponent wrote suffer from the same kind of obfuscation.

1. Impenetrable terminology

I merely repeat PRO's argument without further comments, as the excessive terminology speaks for itself:

PRO: Koinotely refers to the "common expressive medium", "synetic medium", or "diffeonic potential". It is produced by "unisection".

Isotelesis refers to the "diffeonic relands" or the "actualization" of diffeonic potential. It is produced by "reverse unisection".

If unisection is thought of as the fusion of parts, reverse unisection could be thought of as the fission of "wholes".

Koinotely refers to Conterminality and Isotelesis to Coextensivity, telesis being the common component, the former is concerned with connectivity and coherence while the latter with self-similarity and consistency. The self-similar motif is reminiscent of the flower of life, though with 19 non-overlapping "isotelic" circles (local telors) packed into 1 "koinotelic" circle (syntactic unisect or global telor) which covers them all, the circles and their constructive-filtrative layering can be thought of as spheres or hypersurfaces if you can see it as such, this relates logic with resources (as in the linear logic program uniting logic with linear algebra) or state-syntax duality with the packing-covering duality, where issues like optimization and the conservation of freedom (and information) become relevant. As far as self-determinacy is concerned, the diameter of the larger circle is defined in terms of the smaller circles, and the space for the smaller circles are defined in terms of the larger circle, with each circle being 5 sub-circles wide, and simultaneously/reflexively, the number of circles definable within 1 circle is 19. 19x5=95 represents "teleoplection" or the entanglement of local (isotelic) and global (koinotelic) utility functions, (what is globally optimal is automatically locally optimal due to a property of convex geometry). Teleoplection is a self-dual relation/process (as are Chu Spaces), and is involved in how complexity arises from simplicity from/through self-consistent entanglement (or coherent inner expansion/decoherent requantization of subjective/objective states in syntactic operators). The fractional multiplier 5/19 (koinotely/isotelesis) and/or conversely, 19/5 (isotelesis/koinotely) is representative of the scale invariance and the universality of conspansion. Visually, inscribed in each circle and sub-circle are 19 circles per 5-diameter circle, when/where circles overlap they create new inner expansive domains which add circles or constraints/subtract space or freedom while contracting/expanding as they divide diffeonetically/multiply synetically, with outward inductive and inward deductive processes mirroring each other. So each circle can be considered koinotelic within its own domain, while being isotelic to a higher and/or for a lower level domain. This can be formulated as koinotely(isotelesis)=isotelesis(koinotely). On the left side of the equation, koinotely distributes over isotelesis, acts as the "memory" or model of past/present domains topologically including the right side of the equation, where vice-versa, isotelesis distributes over koinotely, "anticipating" or modeling the "future" as a codomain of the "past/present", it descriptively includes the left side, where abstract potentialities are rescaled as they are actualized in situ.


2. Bluff your way into mathematics

PRO writes: I will share some ideas, terms and a formula which helped me clarify a few of the basic concepts, and refer diligent researchers to the book, "Moonshine Beyond the Monster: The Bridge Connecting Algebra, Modular Forms and Physics". For the right-hemisphere dominant I also rendered some concepts as metaphors.

Pro cites here the book [3]. Being I dilligent researcher, I checked the book. The book is absolutely legitimate, fairly advanced book in mathematics. It concerns the Monster group which is the largest finite simple group, and some of its representations (the "Moonshine module"). The problem is: How does it support any of Pro's claims. It seems completely unrelated. The terms koinotely, synetic, deffeonic, isotelesis, conterminality, unicsect, telor, etc. do not appear anywhere in that text.

PRO: While I could go on about how the "compatibility relations" of bialgebras could be useful in modeling "incentive compatibility" and the partial ordering of preferences or "types" in mechanism design theory, however rather than using "types", employing extensive sorts (scaled or weighted "utility") and intensive properties (scale-invariant or didense topoalgebras), which relate to Lambek's pregroups and their grammar have left/right adjoints, and the isomorphism of inward/outward modules in Pratt's algebraic formulation of the Yoneda Lemma, or self-reference in terms of automorphism groups as they relate to Langan's space-time-object triality, which would shed some valuable light on the mysterious relationship between finite algebraicity and infinite modularity, or finite alphabets and infinite productions...I will refrain from expounding further on my own insights on the relative value of CTMU, until my opponent builds a substantial case.

This sounds like more math name-dropping to me, but I would be interested to see how all these different areas are related.



Proof of God?

Langan claims that he has a proof of God. But his argument is basically the old teleological argument. Langan claims that everything must have a cause, otherwise it is "magic". But if we define this cause as "God" then we have merely replaced "magic" by "miracle".

Also, Langan assumes various "principles" that seem far from evident to me. He chooses these principles on philosophical grounds, but these principles are not proven using rigid mathematical/logical arguments.

Given the large number of definitions and presumption, there does not seem to be a lot that can be explained with CTMU. And the things that can be explained, are more or less already contained in the assumptions.




[2] http://www.polymath-systems.com...
[3] Terry Gannon, Moonshine Beyond the Monster: The Bridge Connecting Algebra, Modular Forms and Physics, Cambridge University Press. http://f3.tiera.ru...(CUP,%202006)(ISBN%200521835313)(493s)_MP_.pdf




Debate Round No. 2
Koinotely

Pro

My opponent goes on to cite an article from the Mega Society written by Kevin Langdon, who after various personal differences with the man, interprets Langan's style of "charismatic authority" as the founder of a new high-IQ "social network" to that of a cult leader. Having visited the Ultranet forums in the past, I did not see any evidence cult-like behavior, actually it's more like a supportive group for gifted individuals who don't necessarily have an outlet to share and collaborate on various ideas. What the Mega Society-Mega Foundation split shows me is that smart people are prone to developing big egos. However Langan has acknowledged in an interview that it's not healthy to allow oneself to have a "big head".

I am willing to admit that Chris Langan may be prone to lacking certain social skills, however I attribute this to the harsh experiences of his upbringing as a severely gifted individual who was not able to acquire even the most basic provisions at the lower levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs growing up, resulting in him becoming inured to the rejection and alienation.

Personally I interested the message of the Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU). I think it's fascinating how the medium for this message has overcome various life challenges and I hope that his case is studied by sociologists seeking to better understand this phenomenon of our society in which people like Langan have slipped through the cracks of the system and have been summarily swept under the rug. He is an autodidact, so to some extent that requires one to try to understand him in his terms. Fortunately his writings are quite coherent and mutually consistent. There are many interesting parallels with on-going developments in academia which I've noted above. Even though some may find his style of presentation distasteful, this still does not address the substance of his ideas.

---

My opponent claims that the CTMU is intentionally obfuscative, difficult to read, does not conform to the criteria of mathematics, and is not worth attempting to understand. In particular, he jumps to a quote without mentioning the definitions for the terms described earlier in the paper on what is meant by the principle of "hology" (or self-composition). This indicates to me that my opponent is not actually interested in understanding the CTMU for what it is, and instead seek to show how it is impossible to understand after jumping ahead without a proper introduction to the subject.

Rather than using my style of explanation on what is meant by "hology", I think my opponent would find these papers more interesting:

http://goertzel.org...

http://www.goertzel.org...
black_squirrel

Con

1. Impenetrable terminology

As I have written before, it seems to me that the CTMU theory uses terminology that is unnecessarily complicated. Perhaps Langan's is trying to cover up for the lack of substance, or maybe he is just a logophile [1].

PRO: My opponent claims that the CTMU is intentionally obfuscative, difficult to read, does not conform to the criteria of mathematics, and is not worth attempting to understand. In particular, he jumps to a quote without mentioning the definitions for the terms described earlier in the paper on what is meant by the principle of "hology" (or self-composition). This indicates to me that my opponent is not actually interested in understanding the CTMU for what it is, and instead seek to show how it is impossible to understand after jumping ahead without a proper introduction to the subject.

My opponent wrongly assumes that I skipped ahead in the text [2]. Although some of the terminology is defined before, it is difficult for the reader to remember all the terminology. For example, Langan uses the words synetic, and diffeonic. These words cannot be found in any dictionary. Langan does define these words, but they are merely synonyms for sameness and difference. But why would he not use these more common words then?

Another word that he uses, topological, is not defined anywhere in the text. This is a word that is not often used outside of mathematics. And within mathematics it has a very specific meaning. But in mathematics it refers to a topology. But the topology used is not described anywhere in the text. According to Wheeler's "it from bit" doctrine, reality is discrete. So the topology Langan is indirectly referring to must be the discrete topology, but such a topology is rather uninteresting. On the other hand, Langan also cites algebraic topology, where he illustrates "the boundary of the boundary is zero". Algebraic topology for discrete topological spaces is trivial. But his examples suggest spaces that are not discrete. But then it is not clear how it fits in with the "it from bit" doctrine.

But my opponent is perhaps more guilty than Langan if it comes to obfuscation. The excerpt that I cited in the previous round contains a lot of terminology that is unclear to me and most likely to the voters here as well.

2. Bluff your way into mathematics

PRO still has not explained how the book [3] supports his argument. Does PRO agree that book [3] that he cited has nothing to do with his argument? Also, I am waiting for my opponent to explain how CTMU is related to compatibility relations of bialgebras, the Yoneda Lemma etc.

PRO: There are many interesting parallels with on-going developments in academia which I've noted above.

Such parallels only exist in a very superficial way. It seems to me that Langan borrows various concepts/results from various areas of mathematics and physics and puts them in a different context for which these concepts no longer make sense. For example, he uses the idea of "boundary of the boundary is zero" in algebraic topology, and gives his own esoteric spin on it to make a principle that he claims is valid in a much larger generality.

PRO: Even though some may find his style of presentation distasteful, this still does not address the substance of his ideas.

If one goes into more depth of the CTMU theory, then it becomes clear that it does not have much substance. At best, it is an unproven philosophy. The obfuscation does not necessarily invalidate the theory. But given that the theory does not have much substance, it seems that the obfuscation is a means to cover up for the lack of substance.

3. What is CTMU good for?

Langan makes strong claims about CTMU:
"The CTMU is a theory of reality, or TOE, that has been constructed according to this blueprint. If, as a rationalist, one insists that absolute truth and knowledge are exclusively mathematical, then the CTMU is mathematics; if, as an empiricist, one insists that they reside exclusively in our direct perceptions of reality, then the CTMU is embodied in our direct perceptions of reality (including our direct perceptions of the comprehensiveness, closure and consistency of reality). The truth, of course, is that by the method of its construction, it is both. But in any case, would-be pundits who cling blindly to folk-epistemological "absolutes" like truth is never more than provisional, science is inherently without stability and there are no such things as absolute truth and knowledge are urgently in need of an intellectual awakening, and until it comes, should refrain from disseminating their irrational opinions to others who might gullibly mistake them for fact. Such truisms have their contexts, but these contexts do not include the highest levels of discourse regarding truth and knowledge, and they do not include the CTMU."
(TOE=Theory of Everything)

It is not clear exactly what CTMU can be used for. Even though it is supposed to be a TOE, one cannot derive any useful physics theories from it. If TOE would contain general relativity, quantum physics, string theory, or theories that can replace them, then it indeed would be very useful. But it is not at all clear how CTMU can help develop such theories that have predictive value. The CTMU does claim to have a proof of God, and that would be useful. However, this proof is just a version of the traditional teleological argument and is really nothing new. So at best, CTMU is a philosophy and a way to look at the universe, and not anything special.

















Debate Round No. 3
Koinotely

Pro

My opponent inappropriately describes Wheeler's suggested "clues" in his paper, "Information, Physics, Quantum: The Search for Links" as a "doctrine", he is apparently unfamiliar with how cybernetics has given a scientific formulation of teleology, or how "models" have "intended interpretations", or that "God" is a reference to the "Ultimate Truth and Reality". Apparently my opponent believes there is no such thing as truth or reality, which makes any effort to elucidate these concepts for him quite futile. While I don't care who wins this debate, I do care if people actually want to understand.

While I am eager to share my ideas with others, and how the CTMU has inspired many of them, I do not think my opponent would appreciate them so I will refrain from sharing more for the time being.

However I can refer my opponent to the following paragraph:

"The CTMU says that by its self-generative, self-selective nature, which follows directly from the analytic requirement of self-containment, reality is its own "designer". Other features of the generative grammar of reality imply that reality possesses certain logical properties traditionally regarded as theological or spiritual, and that to this extent, the self-designing aspect of reality is open to a theological or spiritual interpretation. The CTMU, being a logical theory, does not attempt to force such an interpretation down anyone"s throat; not all semantic permutations need affect theoretical structure." - Langan, PCID 2002, pg. 12
black_squirrel

Con

PRO: My opponent inappropriately describes Wheeler's suggested "clues" in his paper, "Information, Physics, Quantum: The Search for Links" as a "doctrine",...

I mentioned the "it from bit" doctrine. From Meriam-Webster:

Doctrine: a set of ideas or beliefs that are taught or believed to be true

With doctrine I simply mean a "principle". No negative connotation was intended. Other people also refer to the "it from bit" doctrine, not in a negative way:

"Wheeler (1990) has suggested that information is fundamental to the physics of the universe. According to this 'it from bit' doctrine, the laws of physics can be cast in terms of information, postulating different states that give rise to different effects without actually saying what those states are. It is only their position in an information space that counts. If so, then information is a natural candidate to also play a role in a fundamental theory of consciousness. We are led to a conception of the world on which information is truly fundamental, and on which it has two basic aspects, corresponding to the physical and the phenomenal features of the world."
David Chalmers, [2],[3].

PRO: ...he [=CON] is apparently unfamiliar with how cybernetics has given a scientific formulation of teleology, or how "models" have "intended interpretations", or that "God" is a reference to the "Ultimate Truth and Reality". Apparently my opponent believes there is no such thing as truth or reality, which makes any effort to elucidate these concepts for him quite futile.

Well, if you define God as "truth and reality", or as a bowling ball for that matter, I would have to agree with Langan and you that God exists. Such an abstract definition of God is not very useful, and does not have any practical applications. It does not tell us that there would be any way to communicate to God or that praying is useful.

Although I think that truth and reality are useful concepts, I am not necessarily convinced that these are absolute. Also, I am not convinced that a Theory of Everything exists. If CTMU is such a theory, then I gladly learned it. I have already spend some time trying to understand it, but from what I have learned so far, it does not seem to be the real deal.

PRO: While I don't care who wins this debate, I do care if people actually want to understand.

PRO: While I am eager to share my ideas with others, and how the CTMU has inspired many of them, I do not think my opponent would appreciate them so I will refrain from sharing more for the time being.

I would appreciate it, but I cannot promise that I would not criticize it. So far, my opponent still has not addressed my charges of obfuscation/bluffing. I do care about this debate, because I have already spend quite some time researching it.

PRO: "The CTMU says that by its self-generative, self-selective nature, which follows directly from the analytic requirement of self-containment, reality is its own "designer". Other features of the generative grammar of reality imply that reality possesses certain logical properties traditionally regarded as theological or spiritual, and that to this extent, the self-designing aspect of reality is open to a theological or spiritual interpretation. The CTMU, being a logical theory, does not attempt to force such an interpretation down anyone"s throat; not all semantic permutations need affect theoretical structure." - Langan, PCID 2002, pg. 12

I guess that Langan is backpedaling here from the claim of having a proof of God. So he claims to have a proof, that is open to the interpretation of a proof of God - if one is willing to define God in sufficiently abstract terms such as "truth, logic, reality".


Since my opponent has not given me much to respond to, I will add some new arguments.


CTMU is not a recognized theory

CTMU is not a theory that has been accepted by the scientific community. For example, none of his writings have been published in mainstream scientific journals. The one paper we have cited several times appeared in PCID: Progress in Complexity, Information, and Design. This is a journal that publishes papers on Intelligent Design "research", but is clearly not mainstream. Of course,
Langan blames this rejection on academia:

"In short, academia has arrogated a position which it is not necessarily able or entitled to fill, and may in the process be disseminating misinformation and misleading the public. This situation is especially serious in those fields for which standard scientific methodology is inadequate or inappropriate. There can be little argument that organized higher education is a social necessity, and that the world's colleges and universities have been integral to many of the benefits presently enjoyed by society. But the popular respect and power with which society has repaid it have made it dangerously forgetful ... forgetful that its own value resides largely in the genius of individual minds that exist independently of it."
--Christopher Langan [4]

Still, I believe that if CTMU has scientific value, then scientists would jump on it. If the presentation of Langan of his ideas is unconventional, I am sure someone would translated it to the proper scientific language and conventions. So far, one cannot even say that Langan's theory is controversial, because it has been more or less completely dismissed by the scientific communities.

CTMU proof of intellectual superiority?

Now Langan does not get his credibility from his education, since he is a auto-didact. Instead, he leans on his alleged high IQ for his credibility. It seems that much of his following is not in academia, but in the high IQ community. Some people call Langan the "smartest man alive" which seems to be an exaggeration. He estimates his IQ between 190 and 210. That seems a little high to me, because there have not been enough people that have been subjected to IQ tests to conclude that a certain person is more than 6 standard deviations from the mean. Anyway, his "megasociety" is part a society for people with high IQ's, and partially a platform to spread his CTMU ideas. For an interview, see [5],[6],[7] (3 videos).

Langan claims that he has never met a person as smart as himself. If anyone would claim that they were as smart as he is, he would not necessarily subject them to an IQ test. Rather, he would judge their intelligence by their theory of reality, and by their understanding of his theory of reality (CTMU). (see [7] (third video) at 8:20)
So, it is perhaps understandable that the CTMU theory is obfuscated. If no-one understands it, it will prove the intellectual superiority of Christopher Langan.

I think that Chris Langan is trying to compensate for his rejections in academia earlier in life, by playing the "high IQ" card. But this is just speculation on my part. But I encourage anyone reading this debate to listen to the interview and make up their own mind. Anyway, he is an interesting character -- more interesting than his CTMU theory.


[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] Chalmers, David. J., 1995, "Facing up to the Hard Problem of Consciousness," Journal of Consciousness Studies 2(3): 200–19.
[4] http://www.megafoundation.org...
[5]
[6]
[7]








Debate Round No. 4
Koinotely

Pro

While I could go much deeper on the topic of discussion, the CTMU, my opponent seems more interested in its author than his ideas. Through a combination of ad hominem, red herrings, and guilt by association, my opponent has sought to prove that the CTMU is absolutely worthless. However I consider it as the most condensed summary currently available of a wide range of ideas that an independent investigator of truth can find on the internet. While this debate is only a battle, the war has only just begun.

"Since one could go on for pages, it seems a little premature to be calling Tegmark's theory a TOE (or even a reasonable TOE precursor). And although I 'm not saying that his theory contains nothing of value, I'm a bit puzzled by the absence of any mention of certain obvious mathematical ingredients. For example, topos theory deals with topoi, or so-called "mathematical universes" consisting of mathematical categories (mapping algebras) equipped not only with the objects and morphisms possessed by categories in general, but special logics permitting the assignment of truth values to various superficially nonalgebraic (e.g. "physical") expressions involving the objects. Why would any "TOE" purporting to equate physical universes to mathematical structures omit at least cursory mention of an existing theory that seems to be tailor-made for just such a hypothesis? This in itself suggests a certain amount of oversight. Tegmark may have a few good ideas knocking around upstairs, but on the basis of what his theory omits, one can't avoid the impression that he's merely skirting the boundary of a real TOE.

In contrast, the CTMU deals directly with the outstanding paradoxes and fundamental interrelationship of mathematics and physics. Unlike other TOEs, the CTMU does not purport to be a "complete" theory; there are too many physical details and undecidable mathematical theorems to be accounted for (enough to occupy whole future generations of mathematicians and scientists), and merely stating a hypothetical relationship among families of subatomic particles is only a small part of the explanatory task before us. Instead, the CTMU is merely designed to be consistent and comprehensive at a high level of generality, a level above that at which most other TOEs are prematurely aimed.

The good news is that a new model of physical spacetime, and thus a whole new context for addressing the usual round of quantum cosmological problems, has emerged from the CTMU's direct attack on deeper philosophical issues."
http://www.megafoundation.org...
black_squirrel

Con

Pro's burden of proof was to show that CTMU is True Metaphysics. Here, true metaphysics means a unique theory that explains everything, a Theory of Everything (TOE). Langan, the author of CTMU, claims that CTMU is such a theory, and that this theory gives mathematical proofs of the existence of God, and the existence of souls, the afterlife etc. My burden of proof is that Langan's claims are exaggerated. CTMU is at best a philosophy, but it has little practical application and certainly does not have a valid mathematical proof of God.

While studying some of Langan's text on CTMU the following two observations became clear to me:

1. obfuscation: CTMU contains a lot of terminology. While terminology in mathematical and philosophical text cannot be avoided, the terminology in CTMU seems to be excessive. This is actually, also one of the reasons that it has been difficult to discuss CTMU. Any citation from CTMU would contain a lot of terminology that it would be difficult to follow for anyone who is judging this debate.

2. abuse of math: Langan claims that CTMU is essentially "logic", or an extended version of it. However, CTMU clearly does not have the mathematical rigidity that one would expect from a logical/mathematical text. Principles that are valid in some strict mathematical context, are often used in a different context where those principles are not necessarily valid. One example is the "boundary of the boundary is 0" that is valid in algebraic topology, but not really beyond that. (This "boundary of the boundary" principle goes back to Wheeler, but Wheeler's text is essentially a philosophical text meant to inspire, but not necessary meant as a mathematically rigorous theory. Langan, on the other hand, does make such claims about CTMU.) CTMU combines many theories in mathematics and physics, but all in a superficial way.

My opponent has used a similar style, using obfuscation and abuse of math:

1. obfuscation: Well, I challenge anyone following this debate to understand what PRO wrote:
"Koinotely refers to Conterminality and Isotelesis to Coextensivity, telesis being the common component, the former is concerned with connectivity and coherence while the latter with self-similarity and consistency. The self-similar motif is reminiscent of the flower of life, though with 19 non-overlapping "isotelic" circles (local telors) packed into 1 "koinotelic" circle (syntactic unisect or global telor) which covers them all, the circles and their constructive-filtrative layering can be thought of as spheres or hypersurfaces if you can see it as such, this relates logic with resources (as in the linear logic program uniting logic with linear algebra) or state-syntax duality with the packing-covering duality, where issues like optimization and the conservation of freedom (and information) become relevant. As far as self-determinacy is concerned, the diameter of the larger circle is defined in terms of the smaller circles, and the space for the smaller circles are defined in terms of the larger circle, with each circle being 5 sub-circles wide, and simultaneously/reflexively, the number of circles definable within 1 circle is 19. 19x5=95 represents "teleoplection" or the entanglement of local (isotelic) and global (koinotelic) utility functions, (what is globally optimal is automatically locally optimal due to a property of convex geometry). Teleoplection is a self-dual relation/process (as are Chu Spaces), and is involved in how complexity arises from simplicity from/through self-consistent entanglement (or coherent inner expansion/decoherent requantization of subjective/objective states in syntactic operators). The fractional multiplier 5/19 (koinotely/isotelesis) and/or conversely, 19/5 (isotelesis/koinotely) is representative of the scale invariance and the universality of conspansion. Visually, inscribed in each circle and sub-circle are 19 circles per 5-diameter circle, when/where circles overlap they create new inner expansive domains which add circles or constraints/subtract space or freedom while contracting/expanding as they divide diffeonetically/multiply synetically, with outward inductive and inward deductive processes mirroring each other. So each circle can be considered koinotelic within its own domain, while being isotelic to a higher and/or for a lower level domain. This can be formulated as koinotely(isotelesis)=isotelesis(koinotely). On the left side of the equation, koinotely distributes over isotelesis, acts as the "memory" or model of past/present domains topologically including the right side of the equation, where vice-versa, isotelesis distributes over koinotely, "anticipating" or modeling the "future" as a codomain of the "past/present", it descriptively includes the left side, where abstract potentialities are rescaled as they are actualized in situ."

2. abuse of math: To support his theories, PRO writes:
"I will share some ideas, terms and a formula which helped me clarify a few of the basic concepts, and refer diligent researchers to the book, "Moonshine Beyond the Monster: The Bridge Connecting Algebra, Modular Forms and Physics"."
However, it is clear to me that this book has NOTHING to do with anything PRO is saying. This was clearly a case of bluffing by citing a fancy sounding math book. My opponent has not refuted this.

Other objections that I had:

3. proof of God: Langan's proof of God is just the usual teleological argument. Perhaps he can show with cybernetics that there could be a first course, but that does not mean that there was one. And Langan also seems to equate "God" with "truth", "logic" etc.
sure, logic exists, but that is not the concept of God that most people have.

4. not accepted: CTMU is not a widely accepted theory. This does not necessarily prove that the theory is wrong, but it is perhaps an indication. The theory is not so new, and has been out for more than 10 years. This is enough time for scholars to have had a good look at it.


rebuttals:

PRO: Through a combination of ad hominem, red herrings, and guilt by association, my opponent has sought to prove that the CTMU is absolutely worthless.

Langan, CTMU, and the megafoundation (the High IQ society that Langan founded) are closely related. For example, Langan uses the megafoundation as a platform for CTMU. Also, Langan seems the ONLY person contributiong to the CTMU theory. (In comparison, even though Einstein is considered the originator of relativity theory, there are many physicists that have contributed.) Langan says, that he judges other people's intelligence by whether they understand his CTMU theory. I think that CTMU may be a vehicle for self-promotion on the part of Langan. I only talked about Langan himself in round 4 as a possible explanation why the CTMU seems to obfuscated. I guess this can be construed as an ad hominem, but so be it.

In the last round, PRO cites Langan on a TOE of Tegmark. I have no idea how this is related to our discussion, because I have never defended or even mentioned Tegmark's theory.

debate

At several occasions, my opponent has refused to engage in this debate, and has blamed ME for it:

PRO: I will refrain from expounding further on my own insights on the relative value of CTMU, until my opponent builds a substantial case.

PRO: While I am eager to share my ideas with others, and how the CTMU has inspired many of them, I do not think my opponent would appreciate them so I will refrain from sharing more for the time being.

PRO: While I could go much deeper on the topic of discussion, the CTMU, my opponent seems more interested in its author than his ideas.

Debate Round No. 5
62 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Koinotely 2 years ago
Koinotely
"In the mid-1980s, Gerhard Frey, Jean-Pierre Serre (former IAS Member), and Kenneth Ribet (former IASMember) showed that the Shimura-Taniyama reciprocity law, if true, would imply Fermat"s Last Theorem. Motivated by this, in 1995, Andrew Wiles (former IAS Member), partly in collaboration with the author, established many cases of the Shimura-Taniyama reciprocity law and hence finally proved Fermat"s Last Theorem.

Meanwhile, in the mid-1970s, Robert Langlands (Professor Emeritus, School of Mathematics) had the extraordinary insight that the ideas of Eichler, Taniyama, and Shimura were a small part of a much bigger picture. He was able to conjecture the ultimate reciprocity law, an enormous generalization of what had gone before, which applies to any number of equations, of any degree in any number of variables. In the last ten years, using the ideas introduced by Wiles, there has been much progress made on Langlands"s reciprocity conjecture, but much more still remains to be done."
https://www.ias.edu...
Posted by Koinotely 2 years ago
Koinotely
"First of all, there are a few different kinds of pregroups. The one to do with grammars is rather popular, but this isn"t it. I"m talking about pregroups as defined by John Stallings, sometimes called S-pregroups by unimaginative people.

Stallings introduced pregroups as a reduced word structure for a group, the idea being that you just write down the bits of a group that don"t act nicely as a partial multiplication table, and then analyse that. His major result was that up to a process called interleaving, all the pregroups representing a particular group have the same form, so the idea was a goer.

His student, Rimlinger, then simultaneously advanced the field enormously and wrote one of the worst maths books ever, "Pregroups and Bass-Serre Theory". He showed that every pregroup represents the fundamental group of a graph of groups, and vice versa."
http://checkmyworking.com...
Posted by Koinotely 2 years ago
Koinotely
"The contraction and expansion relations are sometimes called Ajdukiewicz laws."
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by Koinotely 2 years ago
Koinotely
A Characterization of Convex Surfaces which are L-Sets
http://www.ams.org...
Posted by Koinotely 2 years ago
Koinotely
An Introduction to Partially Ordered Sets and Sheaves

"The text is a graduate level presentation of sheaf theory over topological spaces and its generalizations to presheaves over semilattices, Heyting algebras and frames. The development of a Model Theory..."
http://books.google.com...

How G"del Transformed Set Theory
http://www.ams.org...

"This handbook is the definitive compendium of the methods, results, and current initiatives in modern set theory in all its research directions."
http://books.google.com...

"ZFC, NBG, and MK have models describable in terms of V, the standard model of ZFC and the von Neumann universe. Now let the members of V include the inaccessible cardinal _4;. Also let Def(X) denote the [6;0 definable subsets of X (see constructible universe). Then:

V_4; is an intended model of ZFC;
Def(V_4;) is an intended model of NBG;
V_4;+1 is an intended model of MK."
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by Koinotely 2 years ago
Koinotely
On Certain L-Functions
http://www2.maths.ox.ac.uk...
Posted by Koinotely 2 years ago
Koinotely
"Finally, one more remark for people who want to go further. Near the beginning of this essay, I said "as soon as we pick units of temperature, temperatures are elements of an R-torsor". We need to pick units of temperature to know what it means to "add 1" to a temperature. So, where should we think of temperatures a living before we pick units? We should think of them as living on a line whose symmetries include not just translations but also dilations - in other words, the "stretchings" or "squashings" that result from a change of units. Picking an origin reduces the symmetry group to just dilations - and indeed, there's a distinguished choice of origin, namely absolutely zero. Picking units reduces the symmetry group to just translations, giving us an R-torsor - and indeed, there's a distinguished choice of units, namely Planck units. Picking both lets us think of temperatures as real numbers. This combination of translations and dilations arises because R is not just a group, but a ring. So, there's a more sophisticated concept than that of "torsor" allowing both translations and dilations whenever you start with a ring."
http://math.ucr.edu...

The Reciprocity Obstruction for Rational Points on Compactifications of Torsors under Tori over Fields with Global Duality
http://emis.mi.ras.ru...

"The Local-Global Principle that was discovered in the 1920s by Helmut Hasse (so it is also known as the Hasse Principle) was the first major discovery that pointed to the utility of p-adic numbers."
http://www.cut-the-knot.org...
Posted by Koinotely 2 years ago
Koinotely
Cortical Prediction Markets:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com...
Posted by Koinotely 2 years ago
Koinotely
Naming Infinity
http://www.math.nsc.ru...

Compactness and Contradiction:
http://terrytao.files.wordpress.com...
Posted by Koinotely 2 years ago
Koinotely
"Intentional mental states are not observable by means of the sense organs, are directly accessible only to their owners, and do not occupy space, yet they nevertheless possess a structure which functionalism and the RTM sets out to capture. The proposal made in this paper entails that this structure is part of the dual structure of the physical universe."
http://mccabism.blogspot.com...

"Instead of the holographic AdS/CFT duality, Nima envisions an ultratwistoholographic AdS/CFT/T-theory triality. Stay tuned. "
http://motls.blogspot.com...

Inertial Types and Automorphic Representations with Prescribed Ramification:
http://www.math.ucla.edu...

Billiards and Moduli Spaces:
http://youtube.com...

Symmetries & Groups
http://youtube.com...

What's going on with the topology of recursion?
http://www.library.utoronto.ca...

Train tracks and the Mirzakhani volume recursion:
http://www.ams.org...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
Koinotelyblack_squirrelTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: A very long, wall-o-text style debate. I had hoped that Pro would actually offer a support for CTMU, as thus far I have yet to see anyone actually seem to do so, despite the fact that several people seem to support it. However, having read the whole thing, at no point did Pro offer an argument supporting the resolution. Con may have complained about the presentation and about the writer, and those may be insufficient to justify disbelieving the theory. However, they do provide a context and were worth bringing up in general as points for Con...particularly since Con had not been presented with any real case to rebut. Pro, it was your job to support this as "true metaphysics". You failed to do so. Arguments to Con for Pro's failure to support his resolution. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.