Incipit Eurycosmos

A human of wacky and adventurous mind stares out into the cosmos (and in, out to the cosmos), doing his best to apprend its breadth and depth – paying attention to his everyday inner and outer worlds, but also to the world beyond --

Beyond what?  Beyond the spacetime continuum.  Beyond the ordinary waking state of consciousness.  And of course -- beyond itself --


NOTE: a slightly more polished version of many of the ideas first developed in this blog can be found in this PDF file: http://goertzel.org/Euryphysics%20formatted_v5.pdf...


WARNING TO THE READER: This blog contains out-there, highly speculative and tentative brainstormy ideas.   If you're looking for certainties or solid science, look elsewhere.  I have chosen to share my early-stage brainstorms on certain themes here, to amuse and get feedback from those who like this sort of shit.  If you don't, there is plenty of other stuff to read on the Internet!

I recall that  my AGI thinking began as pretty much comparably wacky and speculative to this stuff, back when I was 16 years old or so in the early 1980s.  Gradually it got more concrete and refined and practical.  Whether these "euryphysics" ideas will analogously get more and more practical and useful and "real-world", time will tell (well at least, time will tell those aspects of our minds that are locked into the illusion of a time-axis ;D...)


In 2010 I began a blog called “A Cosmist Manifesto”, which later got polished a bit into a book (downloadable from the blog by now).   My goal there was to explain certain aspects of transhumanist philosophy in a straightforward and elementary but no-holds-barred way.

Now I am taking the same strategy again, but with a quite different aim in mind.   Again I am starting a special-purpose blog with an aim of eventually turning it into a book, but this time my goal is not popularization, but rather in-depth intellectual exploration.  There is a body of fairly radical ideas I've been musing on for years, and slowly mentally preparing to write about.  Finally I'm ready to start writing, now and then as a very-spare-time pursuit.  Be aware that the earlier posts in this blog may get revised repeatedly as later posts get written; and that, assuming I do eventually create a book based on these posts, it might present things in a different order, etc.  Basically I am blogging my preliminary-draft exposition of these ideas, as it's a straightforward way for me to gather feedback on the writing as it proceeds.

My topic here brings together several of my interests: the nature of mind, the foundations of physics, and the scientific foundation of psi phenomena and other anomalous phenomena such as instances of apparent survival after death and reincarnation.  My aim to outline a different kind of model of the universe, one that is mostly consistent with physics and cognitive science as currently understood, yet also goes beyond these to embrace and at least partially explain other aspects of the cosmos.

To explain the funny/funky title: “Eury” is a Greek-based prefix for “wide” – so the “eurycosm” means the “wider world”, the whole cosmos including the physical and mental worlds as conventionally conceived, plus more.   The Whole Wide World!

At first I thought to use the word “metacosm” instead, but the meaning of “outside or beyond the world” felt a little too strong to me.   Yes, the eurycosm as I mean it is outside the spacetime continuum as we normally perceive and analyze it.  But this doesn't place it “outside the cosmos” – it is part of the cosmos.   The issue is just that the cosmos is wider, richer, more diversely structured than the parts of the cosmos that contemporary mainstream science generally acknowledges (or than most modern religions acknowledge, for that matter).  I also thought of using “macrocosm”, but I felt it had too much flavor of “outer space” (quantum theory for the microcosm and astrophysics for the macrocosm, etc.).   Here I want to go not just bigger but broader.

The investigation reported here is a cross-disciplinary pursuit.   It has much of the attitude of science, yet explicitly goes beyond the bounds of scientific method as currently understood.  One topic I aim to explore here is how the concept of “science” might be expanded to better encompass eurycosmic explorations.   It also has much in common with philosophy; but I would rather this not be pigeonholed as a work of speculative metaphysics, even though on the surface it may look like that.  My strong suspicion is that, in this case, what looks like metaphysics today, may in a few decades (or even less if we're lucky!) look like guidance for experiential/empirical explorations.   In a late chapter here, I intend to share some thoughts about what such explorations might look like, extending my earlier ideas regarding “second person science.”

The grand-sounding title is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but not entirely; it is proposed with the attitude “Well, why not?”   I have a great affection for the works of pre-20th-century philosophers and “natural philosophers”, especially those who were gutsy enough to propose big grandiose theories of Life, the Universe and Everything.   I understand the value of modern-style hyperspecialization and in my own work on AI, robotics, biology and so forth I participate in highly specialized science and philosophy to a significant degree.  Yet the old style of broad-ranging, integrative thinking does have its own unique pizazz, and at its best it adds a quite different sort of value.

Finally, a few words about feedback.  I am quite interested in feedback on these ideas from anyone who takes this sort of pursuit seriously (or if you don't take these things seriously but your feedback is highly entertaining!).   I'm not terribly interested in feedback from die-hard scientific-materialist ideologues; nor from dogmatic traditionally religious folks who are peeved that my concepts here don't more closely resemble the models outlined in their ancient holy books.  

I have great respect for the practical and theoretical achievements of science; and for the profound insights and spiritual and human values resultant from the world's great religions.   Nevertheless, just as Nietzsche viewed humanity as something to be overcome, I view both contemporary science and religion as thought/belief/interaction-complexes to be overcome.   There's a wider world out there to understand and take part in.   Let's try to understand it with minds as open as we can muster.   The comprehension of broader eurycosmic patterns, within funky little corners of the cosmos like the one in which we find ourselves mostly resident, is itself a fascinating and probably important aspect of overall eurycosmic dynamics.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Ben, great project! I will follow it closely and comment here and elsewhere, share on the social nets and all that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A new book by either you or Dr. Prisco is long overdue. Some of your thoughts appear to me, to overlap, in a venn diagram fashion, what philosopher, Eric Steinhart, has worked on. Steinhart, had an early career in software engineering before he went the academic path to teach philosophy (and it shows!). Do you, Dr. Goertzel want or need any ARXIV papers that touch on the subject matter of this blog, because occasionally, the physics papers seem to? Or not at all? Best wishes for this project.
    Regards,
    Mitch

    ReplyDelete