Substrate mind and the super organism 2010


Edited 9/11/10 3:39 AM
by bobnewmanemailetgeemaildatcomski -- you're welcome

Table of contents


In a nutshell

This hypothesis takes the position that there is intelligent life on earth right now that is greater than human in terms of complexity and ability to change its context. It is more intelligent then any single human being, and it is far more complex. Civilization is a super organism. It consists of people, technology, culture, and all the resources that are available to it. It is a living system, but outside of biology studies. It displays patterns of consumption, utilization and excretion, or otherwise repurposing; as well as complex change of its habitat, learning, growth, adaptation, natural selection, fragmentation and integration for self interest. 

Further, the civilization super organism (CSO) in this description provides a concept and a structure for related ideas. Also it borrows from complex systems, biology, evolution, sociology, and attempts to integrate any other classical science. It is not the result of reproducible experiments but rather an integration of a part of our observable universe as we understand it.

Some hopes for this paper

To demonstrate the CSO consider human history for a sense of growth and change. Under good growing conditions, it scales like a simple biological colony (fungal, bacterial, plant, or animal population). The suggestion of CSO is that it is no less intelligent and purposeful than its constituents, especially since the constituents are already accepted as intelligent and collectively have a great deal of knowledge and resources. Its relatives might be the large multinational corporations, and cities. There are minds all along the spectrum of complex systems; the human brain does not hold a monopoly on playing host to a mind, as is classically held.

There is currently a problem of defining what is a mind and how it works. We want to build one, have a comparative framework, and be able to read and write to one. The current state of science on mind may suffer from being stuck on semantics and philosophy -- the CSO model, among others (eg. AI, complex systems), may help to dislodge classical anchors. The error may be using conventional analysis to localize mental activity, where activity may very well be cascades across the substrate in waves that interact with themselves, loosely put. This is a vastly disparate position to the progress in other sciences and technological developments, where analysis and engineering work well -- they work well for tightly coupled and relatively very deterministic systems. To study the nature of the mind as a thing to be reverse engineered and scalled may benefit from a step back.

Brain like substrates should not be held as unique to the human mind (a common notion is that the human brain as the peak of complexity, just because it is more evolved than other animals where the proof is in the impact that human activity results in, locally and globally), especially if they are not unique to the human subset (a super computer that is something like a system with internal activity waves where energy is resupplied externally) -- look up and down the scale, not just down with an biased model where complexity simply peaks in the human brain (a human centered view is a historic cliche, especially in time localized popular culture in any era) where a minor genetic tweak over time results in a super predator that also results in emergence (where the system as a whole starts to produce other results that break linear comparative predictions -- look at the effects of today's civilization compared to that of any other, in any other major time frame). To hint that group dynamics has something to do with it would be a laughable understatement. Rather than continuing mind research (and related science) by staying on the human mind, we might get unstuck by looking up and down the scale of structures and build a comparative view -- which incidentally integrates scalability and complexity, and something else that is the product of it. Further, according to some in the singularity camp, this may be an opportune moment in human history to watch a special emergence where there is rapid development in science, technology, and a global culture, when higher structures and comparable phenomena would become especially visible.

We accept that the mind is an emergent property of a somewhat rewritable structured substrate and its cumulative life situation. It is like a general processor. It plays out an incident, by taking sensory input and reacting. It uses a common internal model (calibrated by cumulative experience, the theory of mind, and logic), or a simulation; it interacts with itself and translates that to the external situation. This is all orthodox except for the internal simulation model. Simulation, or even concurrent simulations (actual multitasking, not in the buzz word sense), is somewhat unorthodox but overcomes the mind body problem as well as unifies psychology (the conventional thinking mind) with neurology (the substrate that correlates with experience and psychology) and possibly everything between (by way of structuring information processing -- which is to be looked at later).

With a jump to incidental benefits of rethinking the fractal mind (up and down the scale), a treatment for economic underdevelopment may be something like this: exposing a group to a different cognitive, cultural and individual context, reinforced with supply (assimilation by normalization) -- where other approaches failed to improve a condition, such as a systems approach (logistics), political negotiation (leadership), or emergence (ghost in the machine). Additional abstractions should shed light on why such puzzling conditions are persistent and universal across the world and history (does the SCO have competition, and we can actually watch it play out with the benefit of history) -- this inability to harmoniously integrate valuable human resources (finding suitable, dominant, predatory, or pathogenic protocols). If these models hold up then a world view will also be indicated.

Part 1 -- Observable patterns

Layers, encapsulation, and exchange

Organisms to super organisms

Relatively large organisms are a collective of smaller living units. If a cell is the smallest unit of organism (without splitting hairs about different kids of bacteria, viruses, and DNA) then a macro animal is a super organism. In turn, human collectives resolve to super organisms at the scale of civilizations -- keeping in mind that the civilization includes all the living people plus culture (information residue from former people, their minds, individual activities, and collective behaviours) and technology (accumulated information repositories, engineered methods for working and organizing, and tools that extend natural ability; delineations and semantics beside the point). So there is a lot there to integrate, but it plays itself out regardless. The accelerating prowess of the civilization super organism is indicated by observations of its behavior, including the consumption of surrounding resources and effective changes in the landscape, the projection of its activity to novel reaches like space, and a seemingly accelerating propensity to self reference (eg. discovery and the internet).

The human person became a unit for this super organism substrate at some point. This may not have been initially clear, especially during prehistoric times (because the numbers were so few), but nothing else came forward so humans stepped into that placeholder. Later, culture, civilization and protocols became able to hijack persons (in terms of what they do and think). Protocols need hosts for expression (like DNA needs material for expression).

Culture and the individual resemble the chicken and the egg problem. On a vast scale people are born into culture, and culture directs birth; on an individual scale, the substrate breeding apparatus seems to have much smaller origins that is DNA. Simulation experiments could establishing the sequence substrate resolution, as well as the stack of simple objects that provide the substrate layers.

Intelligence spectrum across life

A substrate of neurons does not not necessarily make a mind hosting brain. Natural brains have neurons deposited in specific patterns, caused more or less by DNA expressed in situ. A soup of neurons do not self organize into anything like a mindful brain. The DNA for developing useful brain features is a product of evolution, and hence very specific. The development is further spurred by the neural network's alignment with sensory input, endocrine dynamics, and other real world developmental factors such as alignment with other environmental and social structures, and ability of supplies. A pattern perpetuating process (from DNA and upwards) is naturally selected for specific systemic resolution (modes of survival within a civilization), including defensive behavior that maintains internal integrity for continuity and generosity that benefits collectives.

Any neural structure coding would have undergone generations of selection for assimilating input streams to withstand contemporary hazards. This would result in a fairly useful structure for input acquisition and processing. Noticeable basic functions include abilities to: assimilate resources, move away from harm, extend useful methods by multiplying the bodies that hold this ability with allowance for variation, or by grafting colonies (eg. integrating mitocondria, hosting good bacteria, relationships, immigration, multinational companies), or by reformatting contiguous substrates (eating food, socialization, education, international treaties, war). These types of patterns repeat in cells, humans and the super organism.

At the gene level the system demonstrates learning by adaptation and passing on what was learned to continuous generations. At a higher level, an animal learns and passes on information to future members by way of culture and institutions. The carrier varies based on scale, but information passes in many parallel parcels, from one to the next, and over time and geographical areas.

Our need to pin point causation leads us to a false range of choice. An organism has different faculties, like for coding and changing as opposed to survival by trying many different environments -- to make many off offsprings (insects) conducive to migration and gaming evolution, or to make resiliant offsprings (trees) with a battery of defensive features. The faculties calibrate for the organism's limitations (eg. tree resilience vs insect resilience). Also the larger the system, the greater its internal redundancies and propensity to reinvent solutions.

Another commonality is specialized structures. Do specialized structures (organs) advance the organism to do as said above? It seems so. The ever more sophisticated brain, training, culture/technology, including institutions and activities that extend reach or consolidate resources, and multiply internally in a useful way.

It would also appear that the communication configurations and protocols are like abstracted organs. They require supply chains, similar to other body processes. Extending body spanning network structures seems to improve the mobility of the whole body, and at a larger scale ability to perform basic functions.

Technologists had hoped that assimilating nodes by getting people online was a driver. A revision would elaborate that getting the right kind of people online to form correctly functioning structures would be more accurate (matching skill and ability features from the pool of nodes to specific tasks). With the benefit of time, it seems that nurturing a generation batch is not a long time frame for the process. Getting ever more people online, getting them to adopt the network and its ways has incidental effects, such as spurring technology advances by way of demand, and augmenting the propagation capacity by sharing knowledge, improving the support network, supply chain reconfigurations and ultimately a kind of ubiquity of whatever it is that is visibly good. Previously interesting parallel processes include globalization of normalized living standards and democratic governance, literacy, survivability, and supply chains.

Reach across substrate layers

People have direct physical access to their cells, with an ability to manipulate them to some extent. Acting in concert, with the aid of protocols (eg. legal contracts, participation in the economy, and following self interest) people collectively can: deposit vast amounts of material to construct large installations (cities), fabricate relatively small objects (microchips) and probe even smaller (LHC), see big (astronomy) or small (biology).

Taking this as a universal, other layers should be able to do this also. DNA has very direct influence on the larger organism that it creates, and how smaller building blocks are consolidated. Civilizations influence policy for channeling money to science, education, health, economy, that how people live and how various smaller objects are treated (eg. eradication of disease causing pathogens, what we eat, what parts of the ecosystem are reformatted and how).

The limits of our understanding are self imposed by our culture, and direction. Nonetheless science and culture continues to cut inroads, expanding understanding or at least driving activity. Patterns for predicting future development emerge and go on to underpinning large scale human and civilization activities that in effect reach into higher and lower scales. DNA influences the kind of though that humans can entertain by determining their ability; in turn, the resulting collective ability determines what DNA is propagated -- although these are two arbitrary points on a localized complexity stack, just to illustrate a cross feedback.

Civilization complexity

Restating a problem

Existing modular systems, like the nation state system, make poor use of their substrates. This general claim is illustrated by dysfunctions like the recent economic free fall, inability to assimilate valuable immigrants, political pressures, and the like. Like a continuation of the feudal system, they are almost certainly guaranteed security from other states; some areas are much more agile than others; borders are mostly permeable to commercial activity and culture (carriers like the media and tourism are also commercial). So why not allow for consolidation of human resources? Inertia and reluctance -- if change is not foisted then it is innately resisted. 

China illustrates an relatively exciting exception. It has a drive for urbanization (not unlike the industrialization era of the west); to consolidate adaptable human resources into urban scale structures indicates the presents of something like willfulness to do this (capital was placed on the board as sinkholes for activity); an implied net gain (otherwise why do it); a proof of existence (valid because it is resolved to such a structure in the real world). Under other structures there is no such willfulness (like in the US); compatibility issues (intra EU language barriers and migration limitations); far bodies are not good candidates for consolidation (eg. San Fran or NYC). But China at this point could and subsequently did integrate at such a large scale.

Where large scale human movement is for the time impractical, other overlays address integration; like supply chain networks, media and internet (hardware and telecommunication provisions, both powerful economic drivers, later joined be e-commerce).

Integration seems like an obvious choice when thinking about super groups and the benefits. The growth of magacities is a proof of existence for this choice (integrating otherwise more vulnerable communities piece meal). Urbanization is another such proof, abandoning decaying ghost towns or low yield farms for improving one's life in the big city. The old model still holds. However, the developed world looks to have mostly peaked (the GFC saw a slight shakeup, where potential ghost towns resolved and people abandoned them more quickly than would have otherwise).

The expectation of new technology is to cause change, or to speed up this process, especially when there is so many people available for reallocation toward more massive population bodies. A new economy is based on x. The protocol is what we do to get basic provisions: sustainable food, affordable home, meaningful work. The pace of change and scale of cities make steady improvements, so expect more of it. A radical departure would need totally different conditions, like going into space environments, where advances would feed back to earth cities, and in turn drive further advances. Another radical departure is a kind of gamification of existence, where people apply most of their effort to virtual objects and dataset crafting -- in the traditional sense this is making intellectual property.

With the great variety and volume of advanced activity it would seem that game changing protocols are being constantly tested for successful breakthroughs.

People as a collective brain

People are to a civilization as cells are to a human. People are stocked with cognitive talents and other abilities. Hence groups and civilizations include the product of the sum of available human resources by other available resources (eg. classical capital and classical raw material), with non linear effects.

The brain is said to be the smartest conventional substrate. It tends to present one outward personality. The person's willfulness of mind is projected via the body to do work and change its environment to be more compatible, or more in general to be used as unit of resource toward something bigger.

As there are individuals, there are groups acting collectively, hence produce a much greater change pressure on objects that get worked on. This applies to a body of cells that combine into organs and systems optimized for functions. Again individuals consolidate into communities or organizations. If the average human brain has a nominal cognitive ability, then it follows that a global community of the current population has much more of this ability (by the order of magnitude proportional to the human population, or some non linear approximation). Historically when communities were small there was no visible indication (unlike moving mountains, there may have been some minor landscaping) to demonstrate the effects of a potential super organism. However at 7 billion people, the substrate is comparable to a super brain. This may even be conservative as it denies possible non linear performance scalability. Nonetheless, the super organism must surely be a host substrate for a personality of sorts, if not also other overlays.

Hence the common assumption that the brain is the most complex structure that we know it is inconvenienced by comparative analysis. Nor that it is the most intelligent, as it is only one in a sea of many such like. The brain may be relatively dense compared to similar structures on same scale (not counting computer processors, but these are dissimilar objects), and integrate many cells. But a neuron cell can have only some number of combinatorial states to do with its connected peers (a large number), while a person can have relatively countless combinatorial brain states with even more possibilities to do with interacting with other people. The civilization with all of its constituent brains is clearly more complex, and more full of intelligence and character or potential.

There is a problem interfacing between machines and people, and people and other people. Reframed, there is ample and persistent opportunity to improve interfacing, especially based on the state of the the art in technology and protocols, culture and methods (all essentially the same thing but challenging to model -- as a matter of abstraction and perspective, it could be that the universe is an object to be interacted with by a person's mind, further more to be internally simulated, but that's another restatement of the problem). The driver for change is an improvement in time efficiency, richness of expression, search and relevance, or otherwise gaining omnipotence, omniscience, and such like. The objective is to maximize effective contribution to the collective. Culture extends individual ability. In turn what the collective gains is something else.

Willful capital

Billionaires apply civilization systems to generate usefulness, wealth and value, with efficiencies and externalized costs. Later some of that accumulated wealth is redirected back into the system, tagged with a kind of intelligence from the founder. A trust or a foundation tends to have multiple directing minds and a charter of some kind (the codified subset of willfulness or motivations of the founder). The result is non for profit activity that tends to benefit the community, with prudent cost management, favoring results over bureaucracy, and proper oversight by trusted directing minds with a balance of speculation and prudence.

The current group of people who are created equal (the billionaires) seem to indulge in creative processes, hence the results for their money are not easily comparable, but they do tend to align pooled resources, expressed by the application of money and direction to a task. The willfulness of these persons outlives them, so the idea or concept that passes through incidental participants enjoys longevity, and through underlying pools of capital that translate the idea into activity. 

Some hopes for the CSO

  • This could provide an insight or a direction to addressing annoying observations.
  • Conflict between super organisms could be explained in terms of competition for resources, predation (when there is a difference), courting (when there is tendency for integration).
  • Under utilized human resources, or inefficient use of resources in general, could be helped by identifying better activity sink holes -- ultimately raw material to the super organism.
  • To overcome the problem of unemployment or bad employment, substrate farming could offer a scalable solution.
  • If cyber assets do away with scarcity, and can be usefully crafted for the usefulness of the super organism, then watch what is being created, or otherwise create it. Only the creative capacity and activity is a scarcity, but that might change over time.
  • Monitoring edge activity for economic exploits, to find what the super organism seems to want and engage in the activity with hopefully fast growth.

Part 2 -- Substrates and modes

Mindful substrates

Substrates resolution 

In a linear and finite view, to resolve from an starting state to an end state (eg. big bang to some theory of everything, high density fuel to uniform entropy). A more detailed example (not so linear and without finite start and stop points) like a regular closed room with some air in it, looking at the air particles, there is movement, swirls, and cycles. Heat energy changes throughout the day. There may or may not be minor drafts. The starting state is practically unknowable, and the end state about equally so. Outside conditions are persistent. There is no need to assume any theoretically perfect conditions. So what does it look like? It looks lively: internal particles have their movement patterns; intra day and intra year activity level patterns; there are reactions to effective external perturbations. The air in this box is the substrate, it's resolution is its perpetual pattern of changing swirls. It is a calculator of fluid dynamics, if nothing else.

So, a resolution can be in terms of a start and an end. For continuity, this could be expressed as snapshots where every moment is a resolution to a previous moment, over arbitrary time intervals, with some modeled activity in between. A substrate will have a resolution pattern regardless of which point in time is to be examined.

Translate the substrate to a brain like lump. It has something of a beginning, a venture where material is integrated in accordance to inherent dynamics (eg. DNA, nutrients, in situ conditions). Then it is altered, only somewhat and only in fine detail, by exposure to the outside world and a learning process, resulting in corresponding neural interaction activity. The activity follows daily patterns, yearly patterns, lifetime patterns. Something that represents a mind emerges as another pattern overlay, with something like thought activities, some of which resolve to external action, with feedback. Scaling up to civilizations, agents pool activity as communities; with greater scale there is greater complexity.

The resolution part can be abstracted to some description of the substrate's internal state, all of its activity, its total state, maybe even spawns if it fragments. Leaping further, spawns via n-dimensions can be seen as alternative universes (hosting internal simulations); spawns re-scaled to mind abstractions then can be seen as persons (or personalities to external parties). The substrate is merely the material that plays host to the activity. It is challenging picking specific points on what seems like a fractal boundary.

Character instantiation

Generally we think of the substrate as having linear causality. Something has a relative start, some period of processing and a relative end. A process can span generations of life times, passing from one generation to the next while continuing to be expressed (eg. family values, family businesses, dynasties). But ideas, or life missions can criss cross generations -- a person learns something agreeable, their behavior gets hijacked by the idea, and later looses interest (eg. a sport). This is a start to end process.

Instantiation is where an idea, or a coded mind or mind segment transfers from one body to another -- like a copy of a file that tells someone how to run their life (eg. becoming politically active as a response to an issue, acting out a job role that requires unnatural performance characteristics, or teamwork where the task required is against individual disposition). This is an idea that infects someone and becomes expressed in behaviour.

If we manages to codify a complex character that later appeals to someone, where the recipient takes it to heart and becomes it (with adaptation artifacts), then in a sense a mind had been transfered (eg. hero worship and emulation, mentoring, big brother figure). This is common in religion, academia, or anywhere an exemplary model is followed. A mind package can be formed at any time, and instantiated in a suitable recipient. When an inventor leaves a notebook and a diary, like a message in a bottle later to be discovered by an interested person, or is published and made available to a wide audience, adoption of ideas and personality characteristics with an aspect of the adaptation happens. The idea source and the recipient could span great gaps in time and distance, eventually playing itself out over a time frame, from a segment of a person's life time to national identity spanning generations (eg. Americanism).

To widen the scope, the movie Contact illustrates instantiation, where the message in a bottle is from a distant civilization to our civilization. In the everyday, people receive information from their early life role models and emulating behavior and re-enforcing agreeable values.

Also in part, this is a search for like minded persons, or self selection, where the hosted idea has to match the next person. If extended, it could be a mind farming instantiation, where the self selected persons align into groups that in turn have other performance characteristics (eg. organizations, organized religion, government departments).

Non instantiation may be caused by a lack of suitable recipients (eg. extremism and extremists), a lack of better interfacing that speeds the process (eg. literacy and book reading), internal defenses (eg. suggestibility and compatibility).

Modular groups

A technology for people groups would look like a McDonalds pack: boxed human and machine set (agents and technology), provisiones for the duration of a project (resources), have a defined goal (input), a ghost in the machine like undefined method (processing), and some kind of a result (output), acting like a processor (mind stack). In real world terms, the project is a job that pays, has a duration, a mandate, a pool of resources. This seems like conventional work. Extending the scope: integrate it into society as a method, and incidentally redefine how we live. The group module can be assembled to solve a problem, process information, brainstorm, etc. The output could be decoupled from real time by expending or compressing the time frame and presenting the input as a simulation. Modules could be configured by feeding output streams into a network of other modules and even feedback.

It could be that this is already happening, and much more organic (auto scaling) and adaptive (responsive to circumstances), but mysteriously suboptimal and clearly disappointing (eg. contemporary natural disaster responses, dealing with climate change). Just because we do not like what we see does not mean that the results are wrong, but our assumptions may be wrong.

Human machine duper computer

Individuals regularly augment their brain capacity with computer devices. Organizations augment their employee abilities with networked computers and phones, getting productivity gains internally and competitively improving their value proposition externally. The internet collective seems like a logical step to integrate all compatible human nodes (so far) into a computation and communication cloud -- the almighty dupper computer made of people and hardware. We have this now, but the implications of the relatively new structure are yet unclear. It should deliver a useful model, or otherwise a mode of operation. The duper computer is continually handing down creative data sets about all manner of things including self referencing.

Internal simulation

The external world is simulated internally. People do it when awake or dreaming. Dogs seem to do it when dreaming -- also indicate prediction when playing ball. Machine vision is poor compared to expectation of what features should be picked up. We filter and calibrate sensory input against our knowledge of the world and internal tracking simulations (expectations). The simulation may even be the main part of human perception, calibrated by sensory input, as well as internally informing further cognition and reaction. Work in machine intelligence needs to solve this in order to be effective -- a way that comes to mind is to provide a substrate that can do this, rather than over engineer with algorithms, rules, and data.

The civilization super organism seems to do a lot of internal simulation, and modeling (science, education, fiction). Hence if this is the litmus test for a mind then it must have one. A mind hosting substrate needs to exhibit internal modeling of its external universe. In other words, an intelligent substrate is constantly simulating the external universe, with tracking, and what-if departures.

Simple underlining components

Stacking simplicity

George Whitesides explains that complex systems are simply stacked simplicity. In traditional biology and other sciences this seems universal and obvious, but in science of the mind stacked simplicity is not like lego yet. Some substrates resolve to hold minds while probably most do not to. This is where relatively simple brain cells, combine into brain structures, with responsive and representative connections, eventuating in a ghost in the machine that is something like a personality with free will. The sequence of development does seem to matter.

Are the not so resolved substrates simply temporary dead ends on the fractal boundary (where resolved complexity encapsulates an internal simulation)? Is it a universal that dead ends branch out and continue to evolve, over longer time frames, and trialling different environments and combinations until internal simulation is achieved? Can novel mindful substrates be manufactured in this way? Is the mindfulness and ghost in the machine simply awaiting a science breakthrough?


Can a substrate be tuned for specific performance, or recalibrated locally or across the board to try for effects? This approach could explore the fractal boundary for encapsulation. Alternatively, as a know technique, it could be used to temporarily boost specialized effects, like creativity, or memory resilience, if we only knew how that worked. Again, simulations could find solutions even if you are unsure what you are looking for, you know it when you see it.

Substrate activity as waves

If the substrate is abstracted as flat, or a brain cortex to be laid flat out, adjusted for time, then certain wave resonances and perturbations would play out visually (with the aid of probing instruments). Such a representation could be mapped to a displayable image of what is being simulated. The old approach is to associate localized activity as correlating  to an event, rather than taking a spanning cascade approach.

Multiple personality

If a so called personality exists, or a singular simulation exists, then why not multiple. Multiple concurrent simulations could resolve into singular action by fan-in into body behavior. Multiple possibilities are likely when considering risky ventures, even simple ones like crossing the road. Also empathy may involve concurrent internal representations of people (what we understand of them, and what we would like them to be). A fan-out of personalities could be conjured to deal with a problem, where there is a multiple approach to a solution. This is all in the spirit of internal simulation with applied schizophrenic features. Incidentally this could lend insight to disorders and dysfunction.

Part 3 -- Roadmap

How it started, thinking and assumptions

The beast hypothesis

Civilization, as made of people, exhibits animal behavior. It consumes resources, has internal activities the enable it, and it leaves a mark on its environment. It is beast like in that it seems self serving, predatory, competitive, calculating, and such like.

The Beast Hypothesis 2005 (BH) originally tried to apply anthropomorphism to the global civilization, or overlays of it (like nations or cultures). Later the problem was redefined, and the human part of humanity was sidelined -- why limit thinking to human features founded on classical philosophy? Old ideas (like conflict and motivation) have no special merit aside from the status that people assign to it. As models they should be used incidentally to convey concepts during conversation, and not as a main or final feature.

BH 2005, A lack of a useful model

How is it that society does not seem to host a higher wisdom? If complexity increases upward (from atoms to cells to animals) and intelligence occurs upward, then we should see something at the societal level: intelligence or greater complexity. Yet it seems that there is neither. If that is the case, and inconsistent with the general pattern, then we missed it (lacking methodology, tools, a model). Not to be too harsh, the current models of society (economics, sociology, globalization) are ripe for revision and augmentation, like the jump from Newtonian to quantum mechanics to the standard model (in physics).

After a century of work economics it is still not quite a ripe science; failing to deal with significant economic events certainly undresses the body of assumptions. Not far ahead are the likes of psychology and sociology, where if useful models were established then we would be surrounded by real AI in a land of utopia or something much unlike to where we are today. Issues like resource allocation seem solvable on paper, and everyday people hardly seem like unfathomable entities. Something in our approach must be constraining progress in these areas, unlike the breathtaking successes in more tightly coupled deterministic sciences. The so called soft sciences are proving disproportionately hard in producing clear data and deterministic models and be readily transferable to engineering solutions. On reflection if an analytical approach is failing to deliver then we should try something else to produce the missing breakthroughs. Highly parallelized trial and error seems to work well in nature, so with the aid of every increasing computer power, brute force simulations in an understood framework may be the key. It would be nice to have a unified framework for what we refer to as the mind, be it on any scale, and it seems also reasonable to expect an effective description of this subset of the physical world like the rest. This is a call to fringe and bleeding edge science and an accusation of orthodoxy.

The original BH was a story of people that influenced the course of human history, such as the super rich of today or otherwise the classical ruling class. In point-form a narrative was implied, integrating and acknowledging elements like: pools of money, war, directing minds directing pooled resources, value propositions, observable patterns that can be a guide to profitable ventures, successes for scalability, a classification with classical references, exercise by war relative to scale, collective departure from earth by way of information and dematerialization -- change drivers lead to overall progress, evolution applies to all scales of activity even the very large, peace and war optimize for different change, redundancy for robustness, happiness and mass behavior, pathogen overlays (indulgence, self destructive irrational behavior, sociopaths), shifting the perspective. Where to draw the line between one super organism and another; as overlays, with say, religions, cultures, nations, corporations, institutions? Competition and Darwinian selection should work everywhere. Currently there appears to be a trend for getting people online and connected to the net (hence the rapid spread of internet ubiquity) -- node count seems important (for diffusion and accelerating change).

Then there was an obsession with complex systems and emergence, much later to be resolved as stacking of simple reliable components with behavior protocols. The latter resolves to a deterministic sate, whereas the former resolves to a hit or miss aggregate state.

A obvious pitfall in the hypothesis is that it is based on an arms race philosophy, which is not what science is about -- especially by someone so unqualified for this task as this author. Where philosophy took millennia, science and industry replaced with real value and real knowledge in a relatively short amount of time. Reason alone only presents a proposition; real investigation sorts out junk.

BH Revised

From an intermediate time:
  • composite mind from human agents arising with complexity, aiming to model edge activity to identify economic exploits
  • identify what does the collective creature seem to want based on its trail of historical behavior
  • apply fractal scalability
  • identify mind bearing substrates
  • the hypothesis upgrade path should include long time scales and wide distances, with civilization and world nodes forming a larger network
  • mind by internal simulation, substrate resolution by high rate input over long time
  • static substrate, non motion, non time, primitive dimensional self folding plane, creating an effective universe representation
  • universe, complexity, substrate as an information space, with geometry as the principal expression
  • applying the new activity model replacing failing global economics, where individuals are integrated efficiently, massive parallelized minds with culture/technology protocols and physical connections, and hopefully tipping for the transformation of the collective super organism, like a violent fusion reaction creating a novel material, a kind of processor, and a Kurzweilian singularity of sorts
  • view the collective as inclusive of: all persons, all time, all cultural product(including technology and methods -- if especially brave then include all other dynamics and derivatives, all information passing through our point in space time and possibly all information by some derivative and inference, and then add the other possible entities and them informing the substrate, as we inform it also. we are flatlanders of sorts. -- the last parts are not really important
  • how far can geometric weirdness and fractal complexity go?
  • Vehicles for information diffusion and information work and potential vectors: experts; the work of peak research facilities; science fiction and all cyber punk (online); offline agents, leaving messages in bottles; magacities and general culture

BH started as a frustrated brainstorm. It ended as a scoping problem, or at best a bag of fiction concepts awaiting a sci-fi story.

Points of departure


Consider a substrate as a plane, in the shape of a nice flat napkin, but very wide and rubbery. It represents the potential for a field of force. Now distort it, so that at points it touches other points, like folds. Now, assume that the fabric is more like sand, where the particles can pass one another so that the plane can cross over itself. The interaction at the point of cross over creates a dynamic, there may be collisions or other interactions where energy is exchanged. If the crossover motion continues then we can see something like a cross section or wave progressing, a moving line resulting from the plane's crossover. Now distort the field in many places to various extents; you will find something of a mess of waves, the plane interferes with itself in a multitude of points into lines, the cross over wave propagation seems deterministic with the plane movement. The whole time that this is happening, we are dealing with a geometric shape, with some complex distortion. We can presume that the plane is not necessarily in the shape of a napkin at all, but maybe, say bubble gum or foam or a cloud; by any means a relatively very large and complex plane, in a way larger than the cosmos that it expresses -- the cosmos would just be the cross over points. To guess further, why not the electric field and the magnetic field being just such a plane coming in on itself resulting in quanta of energy and then the larger particles. The dynamic of this system is also following a substrate resolution, where external complexity is modeled internally, along a fractal boundary.

An alternative to vast distortions is that the plane density is not uniform. Worse still is the prospect where the geometry is hopelessly complex; however at localized scales, predictability is relatively manageable. This is yet to integrate time and movement. This does not help to advance provable or predictable phenomena. There are some things that the geometry holds as true, while the rest are imaginary and not realizable. Again, simulation is a key tool.

Timeless like geometry 

To explain a phenomenon we tend to employ philosophy, rather than what is observable in nature which is geometry. Geometry seems to be the stuff of reality -- everything has a position relative to everything else. But brains are optimized for a cognitive approach, conducive to employing philosophy for shortcuts. It transforms it into language and ideas to deal with it further and to communicate it, because of efficiency in processing in the derivative form. Consequently the brain's approach is responsible for inertia and error resulting from the process. Is creative progress fast enough? At this point the super organism model is invoked because it spans time more comfortably then a single life time or even a series of generations. A geometry approach to resolution could be faster, or even instant. Our creative limit is the product of our indoctrinated brain, set up for philosophy, which peaked already. Hence useful novelty will come from a different process.

We want fractal consistency. We want the atomic unit of the brain substrate that can host a mind. If we have that then we can build a brain -- a structure driver would also need to be built in, as well as connectivity to a real world sensorium. We can study it and interface with our own minds. We can tinker with our own brain as we learn. We can study and tinker with other brains, which sounds ethically murky, even if the substrates are engineered and disembodied; we can identify the super organism's components at any level; we achieve fractal consistency for all levels.

Fruit flies are almost identical to humans in DNA terms, relative to the large volume of coded data. DNA evolution along normal progression, at some point shoots off to become the blueprint for large life forms, although the size of the animal is not the issue. Life forms that correspond to our size appear abundant, while others not so much (with the naked eye, or by people in their traditional state) -- like bacteria, regardless of being inconceivably abundant (microbes are practically everywhere). We disregard all other life forms because we need tools and technology to notice them, the very small; also like the very large, the very fast, the very slow that do not interact in our activity space. The Cambrian explosion and evolution are also life behaviors that benefit from indirect observation that requires labor, methods, and a certain state of civilization. We look for mindful behavior patterns along space time traces, that way the observer will not be confused by scale (too large or too small), shape (not fitting our expectation), or time (where no activity is visible in real time).

The challenge is to find a starting point for the underlining geometry and to follow it.


Everything in the world can be put in terms of information. So much that when science explores physics and arrives at ever smaller particles, that the larger particles are just information about the placement of smaller particles and their dynamics. If to do away with the levitating turtle problem, then it is information all the way down the a fractal boundary (where complexity does not have bottom or top limits). An incidental byproduct is information reacting to information creating new information. The geometry and substrate then becomes information. Regardless if that is a fact, as an abstraction with it's own tools, like others it may be useful for specific types of problems.

On revision the what underpins what problem unexpected geometries rather than every smaller particles. As with perhaps branes theory, our particles may be an information manifestation of some other phenomenon. It is easy to increase the information of a system by just adding more twists, or worse by giving it a fractal geometry.

Group containerization experiment

To enlist some number of persons, under the auspice of a military unit (a preexisting siphon for funding, activity, and misc experiments), assure meaningful work, personal security and food. Start by installing a cluster of 1000 groups, a task and protocol, networking, feedback for altering internal protocols and methods. That is in a way, a flexible bureaucracy with nothing to do but some nominal systematic activity. Leave them for a period of 1 year, and see what happens. Adjust it to low costs by way of paying very little or nothing, but assuring future options like education or future paid work; just some initial ideas. Manage outside interference that would spoil or hijack the batch. Treat it like a biosphere experiment. Manage internal misdirection by initial group selection. Try different things multiple times. At signs of success replicate and continue to scale up.

This is similar to a state sponsored academic industrial complex, where the student body is the substrate to watch. Clearly some substrates gravitate to more interesting results than others. There seems to be opportunities for spurring various substrates to self organize, and watch for results. Ideally the results would spill into society.

Why have it? To solve hard problems, to increase problem solving capacity. Incidentally it would absorb all the excess humanity, steal from conventional economic activity where there is low value, polarize and maximize deployment of certain type of human resources (personality types). It could reformat civilization for high performance, departing rapidly from the wait and see approach of current methods; like technology and other advances in modern history.

These could be cooperatives, winning resources for themselves, and spreading.

Simulation and held beliefs

Show that 3d space, our physical world, is a construct and there is no such place at all. Find that other abstractions also hold, and contradict our 3d abstraction, therefore casting doubt on everything that we hold as true -- although multiple abstractions can be valid. If our brains process our inputs as if by adaptation to our world, merely as a matter of efficiency then our perception is what we get. Since we evolved, many cultural abstracts were added, to which we learned to adapt and continue to add -- such as mathematical and geometric constructs, world view models, and rich expressive language set.

Trans time communication

Something like time travel is simply waiting and arriving at a future point via real time. To jump to a future point requires that a subsystem stops processing information internally and disallows external influence on internal processes, in something like a bubble of safety. To slow time requires a speed up of internal processing. To jump back is a matter for speculation.

There is no going back in time exactly, but rather selecting an alternate past by selecting a specific present or future that would have been the product of the desired past, or to toy with the 5th d. More realistically to rewrite history in a conventional sense, selecting winners and writing them up as such (revisionism). To have enough options for history revision, it is required that a large pool of options pre-exist at least from the point of departure and up to the point of selection.

Drive to pursue an interest

What causes a substrate to have an effective drive unrelated to basic functions? If people are pattern seeking creatures, and entertain internal simulations of the external, then the drive to perform non essential functions is to augment the internal simulation with more information, as feedback from the external. Or, no drive is required because the system is deterministic. For example: a child of a gender stamped brain (genetics and corresponding childhood treatment), infused with an structured education (via an education system), a formative lifetime of semi structured experiences (in a localized culture), a sequence of also structured inspirational occurrences (being shown important things at the right time), will inevitably lead to an adult with a correspondingly predetermined world view (also accounting for world view bias), and hence resulting motivations and interests and behavior appear to be bound and predictable. 

As we are confined to wrapping our heads around 3d (with stopped time, allowing for inspection) and motion (watching for change features), it would be interesting to model this in 3d -- a multidimensional splat represented as a 2d star spanning across time. One could expect something like a key signature of related blobs. Other signature generating models may also be interesting -- applied to any personality.


It would be good to have better modeling tools, with intuitive user interfaces, pallets, transforms, filters, view ports, etc. If chaos is deterministic then predicting resolutions or relative linearity is a tool job. It is all meta data, or otherwise data, hence data tools are the right tools.

Stuff on earth is visible, measurable, and most immediately usable. The brain, as understanding the substrate to the point where it can be replicated seems like a common goal. There are a lot of brains in operation in nature that we can see and have some access to them, yet we cannot willfully replicate anything like the result. Probably doing it wrong.


Our civilization seems to be ever more adapt to do interworld communication. A civilization as a thinking organism has the drive to learn and interact with others alike. Without technology we could process a direct artifact, within our primitive limitations. With technology we could model the information and decipher it. The other civilization could simply dump the lot in a signal, like in scifi stories. Of course signal exchange overcomes issues of exchange of material. Also, staying open about the nature of the external source, taking an extra step into the what-if, the information could have already been deposited near us, we just have not found it yet. As for the night sky, a catchall observation should pay close attention to time windows when the sender is ready to send and the receiver is ready to receive. This in a larger universal topography like somewhat deterministic dendrite shoots in their context. Why would there not be a galactic organism.

On inter world communication, time frames, and recipients, there could be countless recipients, some sooner than others. Messages can be received long after a the source expired (because of interstellar distances).

Neo forces

The cosmos is an information plane (or some construct) to which all things are tied. Things express their position on the plane, including the state of a cursor's force combinations, and some kind of change or movement that can be compared over something like time. All levels of complexity unfold onto the plane. For the system to work in a way consistent with our understanding we need to invoke some neo forces: time, matter, activity.

What happens when we remove one force? Without time: future, past and present are concurrent, and there is no change, resulting just the original singularity (with whatever geometry). Without matter: activity and time are not mitigated resulting in non expression. Without activity: matter stays within the original singularity.

Are the forces concurrent at each point on the information plane, only differing in value? If I have a particle of mater and a particle of activity (a consequence of another particle of matter on the information plane in a different position), nothing happens until I get a particle of time. Hence the 3 forces are required for an expression on the information plane. 

All cursors (points on the plane) sustain their information. An increase or decrease in information would cause and inflation or deflation of the infoplane. When the plane is of constant size then information is conserved, neither added nor removed, but only moved to other cursor points. This results in movement, and consequently time for mitigation. Something like activity would be like a geometry that compels the change. This is disturbing if the geometry is fractal because it would require instant infinite expansion to contain a limitless fractal boundary, but regardless.

Replace the term plane with substrate, activity with geometry, and get rid of time and movement as they are deterministic with respect to the substrate and its geometry. Now we can restate the problem of modeling the universe in terms of geometry. This could be a good step because now we can apply our geometry tools (mathematics) to it, and develop newer tools to study the problem.

Maybe time is not a force rather matter has a constant speed that activity can be expressed on. If a particle travels in a straight line then it is at the speed of light. If it changes direction as rapidly then it is effectively still, but still traveling, only in small circles. If photons are electrons (pardon) and photos travel straight and cross vast distances quickly then electrons orbit a nucleus and on our scale remain in place.

Fractal singularity

Matter is constant but distributed unevenly within a singularity. At least something like matter or energy whatever is applicable to a singularity state. Hence a singularity holds information by way of a fractal cursor, and incidentally can expand or contract its information capacity by way of changing it's complexity. If it was to hold an evolving universe then the complexity would increase, and information indicating movement would be incidental. The fractal nature also indicates a lack of floor, and ceiling by inference because a relative point on the fractal is arbitrary. Let the singularity be a substrate with geometry.

A comment on time and rate

In matter space, all particles change state deterministically with propagation waves. The information or complexity of the wave varies deterministically based on prior state and what directly impacts it. Like the ocean, waves tend to travel at constant speed (with respect to the medium and its dimensions), passing a kind of energy. The time abstraction comes in when the observer is in a different relative system and the observation can see intersections between the wave and some fixed object and can measure it according to the observer's clock or sense of time. If a surfer was on a big wave (where not much else is seen) and traveled it across an ocean then there would be no sense of change while having an internal impression of timelessness. Time would seem to slow down and drag on (discounting any rush from the surfing activity, which can be factored out with a different thought experiment where the observer is in a white room with no references other than an internal sense, no sense of tiredness, and no day light). 

Where two wave systems intersect they create a point of reference. Two points of reference create movement -- where one point serves as a reference, while the other moves relative to the first. This gives us a motion system -- it has movement, but not yet a sense of time. To get a sense of time, take one motion system that will be the observer, and bring to it information from another motion system.

A person's internal sense of time comes from thought, based on internal simulation, evolved to correspond to real time (external). Internal neural waves resonating in the cortex giving us our sense of cognition and time. It is hard to imagine that you could have something like internal dialog (without internal vocalization, which would slow the process down to a normal speech rate) that is orders of magnitude faster than what it is normally -- but this might be worth exploring for faster than real time internal simulations that could manifest in when you just know something is tricky. In any case, our sense of time is difficult to trick because of our many and habitual ways to calibrate for real time.

These underlining waves move at light speed and with the galaxy spinning though space relative to a fixed object. Sub atomic reactions are quite instant, and chemical reactions are also incredibly fast, so how is it that human cognition seems so slow? Maybe because of the scale to which we are adapted -- tiny creatures like ants have relatively incredibly reaction times, as was their adaptation requirement. A super organism's adaptation requirement for reaction time is relatively cosmic, hence it is likely to think and act slowly -- this is to be remembered when searching for it.

Critical mass

The reason why we are not detecting other worlds and advanced signals is because: successful societies that reach a certain stage of development tend to self destruct or break apart; they become internally focused; they interact with the rest of the universe by observation and probing alone, have no intention to boldly go. That we can observe a lot of the universe from our modest point indicates that the nature of the cosmic fabric is that all information passes via our point (or any point). Information passes directly though line of sight, or indirectly by interacting with object that we can observe. We can see everything from here so there is no point to boldly go, especially since it is so difficult and slow compared to the speed of light for observations.

Pre Prototype 1

While on the train returning from town, thinking that I have not produced any badidea material this year so far (Feb 2011), fearing that a creative ability had deactivated, started coming up with this for BH/CSO (refer to other document): two driver hunch: 1) to seek enlightenment: for the system to internally simulate external phenomenon with predictive accuracy; this is like philosophy, learning, cultural advancements; 2) to provide security: the arrangement of immediate systems to produce surpluses; this is the pursuit of conventional wealth.

These are easily already observable at the human behavior level, hence testable-like. To test CSO at other levels, these 2 drivers would have to be satisfied. Fortunately companies, organizations and nations already exhibit these qualities. Short term test challenges include machine substrate minds, and something crossing civilizations; though for the former a working prototype is required, while for the latter, a model is first required. If it fits this mold then it passes as intelligent.

A challenge is producing a model of intelligent substrates and prototype for future applications. What are the qualities of individual members? It would have to be something to do with information processing and external communication, not unlike simple neurons, people, groups, organizations.

The prototype for intelligent substrates would include the following. Self replicating nodes capable of information processing and connectedness. An environment resembling real world, where there are driver pressures, opportunities to quash, survive, thrive.

When asked if that is all there is to life and existence as we know it, then yes, that is all. The dramatization of life experience by way of time localized perception, cursor/information models, or individual actors experiencing life and free will ideas, then it is a seemingly blissful, tormenting, or neutral series of time localized reactions. Refer to other points of departure.

Localized entities (like people), firstly have limited cognition to operate at higher levels easily, that is to integrate prediction models and information. Second, apparently natural selection pressures optimize for processing at the conventional level, at least pre Kurzlelian singularity (K-s). K-s, regardless of K's rendition or Moore's Law, is a drive to produce higher information densities and corresponding processor power, with incidental surplus-like producers (as above). On the K-s metaphor (just for fun), the prediction of the content of the singularity is limited from an external perspective, as no conventional signal is emitted. Past the event horizon, after an information transformation, having a suddenly far higher information density, where perhaps a new universe is qualified, with it's own simulations.


As individuals co-opt slaves, so too governments co-opt populations; midrange, companies co-opt workers. Perhaps democratic-like states level out power distributions by way of good governance. The only even ground is between level peers; all other dealings are power relationships. What undermines power relationships include: environmental chaos, revolts and power struggles, culture and technology, and commerce. 

Does a willful CSO have a preference for a mode of change or otherwise? The existence of a range of concurrent scenarios implies that no. The novelty is still technology and a technology culture. Hence change is persistent, but unevenly distributed. It affects culture and behavior of the underlying substrate (people and everything to do with people).

Example: if a traffic active GPS handset (like android) can facilitates traffic routing decisions and collective metropolitan traffic behavior, then the behavior is effectively taken over by a cloud based entity (in any sense). Other technology, like "social media", can similarly take over the behavior of the classically co-opted individuals, groups, classes, or substrates. 

The relative indicators include for co-opting include: individual usefulness driver (the the result yields a more useful result then it is likely to be co-opted), value/wealth/market/economic driver (economically developed populations yield more to the co-opters than underdeveloped; conflict occurs when there is a power struggle that changes relative peer levels), increase in processing capacity driver (improving the rate of throughput).

There seems to be a driver for increasing capacity of human machine clusters in the form of: industry call centers, governmental intelligence processing centers, military/paramilitary processing centers, and a console interfaced culture (gaming and internet media consumers). This facilitates, hence indicates, a drive towards high socio/techno/cultural integration, and high efficiency human clusters (urbanized or urban-like) or increasing density for processing; also increasing information/technological skillfulness of members, low maintenance expense (high density housing, better service delivery; also shift to green technologies and behaviors that require far less inputs hence expenses). 

The combined results incidentally resolve the unemployment problem of the industrial era (because of scalability of labor integration and creative outputs). There may be a clear shift away from an appetite for consumer goods, to be replaced by an appetite for information and virtual experience, which scale easily. A culture war (where the theater is the hearts and minds of members, whose behavior is co-opted) may be the melting pot of an information based society and economy or aggregate activity -- subject to Moore's law.

Random ideas

  • Test models against a comparative matrix.
  • Apply a behavior overlay, like languages and expression models, and see how it alters internal models (eg. humor, abstraction, how can meta cognition be facilitated, and where does it happen).
  • People as databases, walking queries able to interrogate their knowledge bases.
  • Bio mimic brain technology.