Monday, 1 July 2019

Born to do Math 126 - Predecessors: Terra-Formed, Stellar-Formed, and Galacti-Formed

Born to do Math 126 - Predecessors: Terra-Formed, Stellar-Formed, and Galacti-Formed
Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner
July 1, 2019

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Are there any intellectual predecessors who we should be giving more credit?

Rick Rosner: There are all the IC people. It from Bit like Wheeler and Ed Fredkin and a bunch of people whose names I do not know because I have not read up on it much lately or at all. All the universe as giant computer people.

These are part of this. The universe as information people are part of this. Then information theory people that include Norbert Weiner and Claude Shannon who are part of this. You cannot have a theory of the universe as information if you do not have a theory of information as a thing. 

It helps if you have a mathematical model of it, which is what Wheeler and Shannon gave us. They had predecessors. But I don't know who they are. Also, certain science fiction writers who are part of this. I would think that Larry Niven at some point.

There have been a series of books that include civilizations hiding out in black holes trying to get past some choke point in the universe, like the collapse of the universe, by hiding out in a black hole. Ideas like that. That civilizations can interact with the universe on a large scale is a predecessor to some of that stuff that we're thinking.

Anyone who has tried to deal with infinite recursion in trying to think about the universe, which is the old joke of "turtles all the way down." That we have cited a gazillion times. That doesn't even cover it all. The theorists of consciousness - both right and wrong, including the more modern ones like Max Tegmark and anybody who thinks they have a theory.

People like Minsky. Anyone who thinks they have an information-based view of consciousness. Including those who think that consciousness and examine how consciousness works, the brain researchers who found that a lot of conscious decisions happen after the unconscious decision that initiated the action that was apparently decided consciously.

So yes, all of those people and more.

Jacobsen: Who has a different approach similar to IC approach that would still be a possibility, a standard materialistic framework?

Rosner: I think all the It from Bit people are all a little bit off. I think information resides in the system of particles that we have - protons, neutrons, quarks, photons, neutrinos. But those things don't easily equate to bits, to the computer equivalents. 

They can't really be called equivalents because they don't really equate. The particle system that occupies the natural world, comprises the natural world, is able to contain information, but, perhaps, not in the neatest bit-wise, byte-wise, way that computers contain information.

Lately, with Lance, my brand has been being underinformed. Because Lance will attack me 'cause he knows a lot of stuff. But what he knows are these bullshit conservative arguments, I will not be equipped to respond to fight them and call them bullshit, except to call them bullshit - other than that they come from the conservative side and support bullshit points.

They are probably cherrypicked and have been spun to ignore a lot of the points that are being made, but because I am underinformed. I do not know what the legitimate counterpoints are. I will say that my brand is being underinformed.

Jacobsen: When does physics become chemistry?

Rosner: When you have enough constituents, when it becomes easier to talk about what is going on in chemical terms rather than in the bare bones physics terms, it is the same for when physics becomes biology. 

There are a lot of biological processes that you can talk about without going all the way down to the quantum principles. You can talk about stuff that a 3rd grader might know. That hemoglobin in the blood captures oxygen molecules and carries the oxygen to the body to use in burning fuel. 

I just said that without mentioning any quantum mechanical principles. But I know that the hemoglobin molecules do some weird quantum mechanical stuff as they snap open and shut. When they're shut, they accept no oxygen molecules. 

But an open and expanded hemoglobin molecule has four oxygen atoms that it has captured, the guy who owned the only gym that I ever belonged to; he was a researcher in hemoglobin. He was trying to capture hemoglobin molecules at the time of capturing the four oxygen atoms.

That was in the 70s, maybe even the 60s. They could never find an intermediate hemoglobin molecule. It was either collapsed with no oxygen atoms or expanded with four oxygen atoms. There was probably some quantum stuff going on there that they did not have the technology to get it at that time, in the 60s and 70s.

I do not know the state of it now. I am sure there is a lot of quantum stuff going on with oxygen capture with hemoglobin. There are many things that you can say without going into the quantum mechanics of atom capture.

Similarly, all of these other disciplines become these disciplines when it is easier to think about and talk about them without going to the base level quantum mechanical phenomena.

Jacobsen: What does this modern understanding of the world - in quantum terms, in information terms - do to all these traditional religious views? This materialistic view of the world now.

Rosner: We talked about this before. You talked about the God of the Gaps. The more the materialistic view of the world accounts for things, then the fewer things have room for mysticism and religion, except as moral systems and as overarching metaphysical systems.

Let's talk more about some of the aspects of the growth of order.

Jacobsen: Sure, we can even pivot. If we look at some of the standard answers in some of these older philosophies, they try to account for things in vague, mystical, and non-technical ways. How does an IC approach to order differ from them? What is an example of it?

Rosner: An IC approach to order draws huge connections between order and information. The more order, the more information, the more matter, time, and space, it is all part of the same package. As we were discussing in the last session, it, maybe, allows for the growth of local order - planet-based, evolution-based - as part of the overall increase in the order of the entire universe, especially when local order expands to mess with the macro affairs of the universe.

That all processes, which increases order, increase the precision and fidelity with which the information is modelling something or computing something. It makes the universe more fine-grained and more accurate in doing whatever tasks it's doing.

The contributions of local order, planet-based, are small until the civilizations that thus arise start messing with the macro features of the universe, which means that it might be a falsifiable thing or an idea, a principle. I don't know because IC isn't far enough along. It might be that IC implies the long-term survival of civilizations and the increasing reach of civilizations across solar systems and then parts of galaxies, and then entire galaxies, and not exactly empires.

Because empires along the lines of Star Wars do not feel computational. Maybe, we are being fooled by the computational trend that civilization has taken in the Computer Age. But that seems like a permanent trend.

You would kind of think that the large-scale movements and expansions through galaxies would be in pursuit of computational goals. For instance, if the scale of space is shrunken and usable without obliteration in the blackish hole that is in the center of a galaxy, then you, maybe, want to get to the center of the galaxy and understand the physics of it.

Because if the speed of light stays roughly the same and the scale of the universe is shrunken in a huge blackish hole, or if the speed of light outside of the blackish hole is the same but the scale of space is shrunken, then this means that you can get more matter in a smaller space, more precise matter, and you can do computation faster because, eventually, in non-shrunken space computers run into limitations because of the delays in signals travelling through the computer.

For example, if you build a Dyson Sphere that is one big computer at the radius surrounding the Sun, that means that it is 500 or so seconds - that radius is 500 or so light seconds. That is, to send the signal from the surface of the Earth to the Sun takes about 8 minutes, in a Dyson Sphere that is a computer that has a radius of 8 light minutes is going to have significant computational delays among the various nodes of that huge ass computer; but if you can find an area of space where the speed of light or the speed of signals are the same and the scale of space is shrunk 100-fold, then you can reduce computational delays by 99%, which an advanced civilization might be interested in.

An advanced civilization might be interested in facilitating the survival of the structures of the universe, so that it doesn't get crushed in some kind of collapse as galaxies run out of fusible matter and begin to collapse. A falsifiable claim or a falsifiable test might be to look for it, instead of terraformed, stellar-formed, or galacti-formed bodies in ours and other galaxies, which would be something at the center of the galaxy.

We wouldn't know what we were looking for. But would we be able to see the signs of engineering? Is the flatness of the universe - the closeness of the universe forming, though I do not know how this has been adapted with recent models of cosmic expansion - associated with this? I grew up with the knowledge of the universe balanced between being completely open and completely closed.

It had this precision of not being to open or closed to continue expanding forever or to collapse in on itself. Could this flatness be a consequence of the information or simply the behaviour of an expanding structure? Because expanding space tends to kind of smear anomalies versus the average recessional or apparent recessional velocity of every point in the universe, the anomalies of local bodies tend to fade away as those bodies use their excess bodies to travel over large amounts of time to travel to where their recessional velocity matches the apparent velocity of that part of the universe.

It is like a firework. An explosion goes off, say a firework goes off at five different points and five different explosions in the shell that goes into the air, and immediately after five things explode, you have things hitting each other.

But as the explosion goes on, the points at which things hit each other are at a smaller radius than the stuff flying outward. You end up with something that looks fairly regular and spherical as everything flies outward.

The difference in the original locations - the five bags of explosives - become less and less consequential as the radius of expansion get bigger and bigger proportionately to the original explosion of the explosive shell. So, the big banginess of the universe could be a natural consequence of expansive dynamics.

Or it could be a consequence of the consistency of information, or it could be something that could be aided in some areas by galacti-forming, which is a dumb term that I made up. There should be a better word with better Latin. But civilizations nudging large objects, e.g., black holes, stars, clusters, using the technology that might be at hand for a civilization that has been around for 200,000,000 years to smooth out the universe, where you don't get collapses.

I don't know what galacti-forming might look like. It might look fairly natural. When you're dealing with super large objects, it is the problem of "how do you deal with an asteroid that may crash into the Earth?" The kinetic energy of an asteroid is such that you can't just bat it away even by shooting a bunch of nuclear weapons at it. You have to find it when it is far enough away that your nuclear weapons, rockets, or whatever, can nudge it slightly, so the slight nudge is sufficient to have it miss Earth.

Because you don't have enough energy to fight the asteroid when it is ten minutes from crashing into Earth. Similarly, you can't just push black holes around. But a quasar is a type of black hole, I think, where the radiation escapes the poles. You might be able to nudge the black hole around so the jets of radiation or the streaming matter coming out of the poles of a quasar point in a direction you like. So, it hoses down something else that you would like to mess with.

But that kind of messing with megastructures. I don't know how we would look for that. I don't even know if it would be reasonable to look for it. But it is a possibility in a science fictioney way.

[End of recorded material]


Rick Rosner

American Television Writer
Rick Rosner

(Updated March 7, 2019)

According to semi-reputable sources, Rick Rosner has the world’s second-highest IQ. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. He has received 8 Writers Guild Award and Emmy nominations, and was named 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Registry.

He has written for Remote ControlCrank YankersThe Man ShowThe EmmysThe Grammys, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He worked as a bouncer, a nude art model, a roller-skating waiter, and a stripper. In a television commercial, Domino’s Pizza named him the "World’s Smartest Man." The commercial was taken off the air after Subway sandwiches issued a cease-and-desist. He was named "Best Bouncer" in the Denver Area, Colorado, by Westwood Magazine.

Rosner spent much of the late Disco Era as an undercover high school student. In addition, he spent 25 years as a bar bouncer and American fake ID-catcher, and 25+ years as a stripper, and nearly 30 years as a writer for more than 2,500 hours of network television. He came in second or lost on Jeopardy!, sued Who Wants to Be a Millionaire over a flawed question and lost the lawsuit. He won one game and lost one game on Are You Smarter Than a Drunk Person? (He was drunk). Finally, he spent 37+ years working on a time invariant variation of the Big Bang Theory. 

Currently, Rosner sits tweeting in a bathrobe (winter) or a towel (summer). He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, dog, and goldfish. He and his wife have a daughter. You can send him money or questions at LanceversusRick@Gmail.Com, or a direct message via Twitter, or find him on LinkedIn, or see him on YouTube.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing
In-Sight Publishing

(Updated September 28, 2016)

Scott Douglas Jacobsen founded In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott:


[1] Four format points for the session article:
  1. Bold text following “Scott Douglas Jacobsen:” or “Jacobsen:” is Scott Douglas Jacobsen & non-bold text following “Rick Rosner:” or “Rosner:” is Rick Rosner. 
  2. Session article conducted, transcribed, edited, formatted, and published by Scott. 
  3. Footnotes & in-text citations in the interview & references after the interview. 
  4. This session article has been edited for clarity and readability. 
For further information on the formatting guidelines incorporated into this document, please see the following documents:
  1. American Psychological Association. (2010). Citation Guide: APA. Retrieved from
  2. Humble, A. (n.d.). Guide to Transcribing. Retrieved from
License and Copyright


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at and


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

No comments:

Post a Comment