Turtles all the way down

Crank call to SETI? Irritating press requests about new age "cult"?

Search for life in the universe: length/energy scales

Sedimentary layers, infinite recursion

The use of statistics in studying: quantum mechanics, states

Quantum non-determinism vs. chaotic behaviour

what-is-life: Negentropy tendency towards determinism, the clockwork universe

Covid 19 / pandemics

  • the ultimate "startup"
  • unprecedented scale due to ripe material conditions
  • agriculture & current climatic stability


“Rootless urban elite” - state evasion in the present, vs "running for the hills" (away from valley civilisations) in the past


  • symmetries, conservation laws
  • money, the universal exchange medium vs light (speed), the universal constant

External rules vs internalisation of state impositions (Foucault?) quantum-scale life became ruled by law only because of continued acquiescence, despite retaining "non-deterministic" nature

Carbon/silicon configurations (silent spring?)

The grid: Foucault (is there a predecessor to this?) vs Planck length

BBC: Mind & Quantum

(Warning: eyeroll-worthy subtitle)

Orch-OR draws on Penrose's suggestion that gravity is responsible for the fact that everyday objects, such as chairs and planets, do not display quantum effects. Penrose believes that quantum superpositions become impossible for objects much larger than atoms, because their gravitational effects would then force two incompatible versions of space-time to coexist.

Cites Penrose a bunch of times (idk what the deal with microtubules is)

Incompatibility of physics across length scales (quantum vs relativity); incompatibility of social arrangements across population scales (dunbar's)

"observation changes the result"

  • "Somehow, reality emerges only in relation to the results of ‘measurements’." emperors-new-mindch. 6
  • "reality" is what we choose to measure
  • presence/awareness of metrics changes behaviour (e.g. exams: studying for the test vs studying for understanding, gaming emissions tests, esg indices)

"Pure subjectivity"

Arguments against: whys-of-philosophical-scrivenerch. 1

Importance of alternatives

For interference to occur, we must ensure that the passage of the photon through the slits remains at the quantum level, so that the two alternative routes must both contribute and can sometimes cancel one another out. At the quantum level the individual alternative routes have only amplitudes, not probabilities.

emperors-new-mindch. 6

'"Objective" vs "Measurable"'

Big crunch

Diversification / Homogenisation

cf 202107101558-convergent-divergent-thinking

No alternatives / no planet B

what were the prokaryotes thinking as the eukaryotes appeared on the scene, and seemed to be taking over the world?

it's true that we have no planet B. our situation is a little different than when other living beings were coming to spread across the face of the earth, in that whereas before we had always had backups and fail-safes and eggs in many, many baskets, we humans in "civilised" societies are putting our nest-eggs in the system of global capital, betting on and sustaining the system to get rich. a system that's showing its cracks, coming apart at the seams, dams bursting under the floodwaters of the deluge of human tragedy after man-made tragedy.

it is true that no one alive on the face of the earth today is safe from calamity, that there is no room left for difference. but we forget that we don't just live here—we live also in the now, and in the capacious future there is plenty of room to stretch out. even if (when finally?) we get wiped off the face of this earth, hoisted on our own petard, there, beyond the rivers north of the future, planet B will be waiting. whether we live to see planet B is up to us.


why does the universe need to be "consistent"? why does a timeline need to be "consistent"?

quantum superposition <-> the many contradictions of life



"there is no alternative"

the one way street of "development" & capitalism

gravity: attractive force only, quite unlike the attractive + repulsive dual action of the other fundamental forces

Addiction is passion’s dark simulacrum and, to the naïve observer, its perfect mimic. It resembles passion in its urgency and in the promise of fulfillment, but its gifts are illusory. It’s a black hole. The more you offer it, the more it demands. Unlike passion, its alchemy does not create new elements from old. It only degrades what it touches and turns it into something less, something cheaper.

hungry-ghostsch. 9

A human community, then, if it is to last long, must exert a sort of centripetal force, holding local soil and local memory in place. [...] For although our present society does generate a centripetal force of great power, this is not a local force, but one centered almost exclusively in our great commercial and industrial cities, which have drawn irresistibly into themselves both the products of the countryside and the people and talents of the country communities

work-local-culturep. 155

the other wind - the spiral of addiction

"You know why the black hole as metaphor is so popular? [cite-needed] It's because gravity—the defining force of the black hole, from which nothing escape—is the only fundamental force of the known universe that only attracts, and never repels. It's pathologically incapable of saying no. "No" doesn't exist in gravity's dictionary. "No" does not compute. And the only time gravity relinquishes its hold, in the form of 'virtual particles' as the black hole evaporates, nothing of the original things that fell in remains—least of all information. It's pure energy and matter that it spits back out, all perfectly interchangeable. It's all noise, no signal." (black hole information paradox?? to verify what the current view actually is)

cf also 202112142020-definition-negation


"They’ve been right under our noses all this time—well, when I say under, I mean, they were our noses." - ???

"They died so that we might live" - cult member

"[...] anthropomorphizing subatomic particles [...]" - some mathematician

"Having divided ourselves up into social quanta, snipped up the threads of our social relations, we now find it now impossible to reconcile with the gravity of our statist reveries"

"Reality itself is reductive" ("But now, reality has become one or the other. The procedure R has been effected." — emperors-new-mindch. 8)

To look into

  • SETI & cranks
  • Climatic stability (since last Ice Age)
  • Clockwork universe
  • Carbon, special properties of


what-is-life Schrödinger, Erwin. 2012. What Is Life?: The Physical Aspect of the Living Cell ; With, Mind and Matter ; & Autobiographical Sketches. Cambridge University Press. ↩︎ 1

whys-of-philosophical-scrivener Gardner, Martin. The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener. ↩︎ 1

emperors-new-mind Penrose, Roger. 1999. The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics. Oxford University Press. ↩︎ 1 2 3

hungry-ghosts Maté, Gabor. In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. ↩︎ 1