BEYOND THE STANDARD MODEL OF UNIVERSAL AWARENESS
COMMENTARY ARCHIVES, 14 Mar 2010
Being Not Even Wrong?
Produced on the occasion of publication of a review of commentary on the Sokal Affair hoax perpetrated by physicist Alan Sokal and of the commissioning of the Inter-Academy Council to review IPCC processes of climate scientists in the light of the Climategate Affair.
Vast amounts of public funds are expended by cosmologists and astrophysicists on understanding the origins of the Universe — in determining what happened in the first few seconds of its existence and how, thereafter, the Universe became organized in the way we know it. Their preoccupations are with what occurred far away and some 14 billion years ago — before some 170 billion galaxies were formed, some composed of one trillion stars. The quality of the data which they are obliged to gather in elaborating hypotheses for further testing might be said to be of a similar order to that required in detecting the existence of al-Qaida and in determining its nature.
Following decades of research, a Standard Model of the evolution of the Universe has been developed from a compromise between the observable data and the known physical constraints — in the light of the coherence of the associated mathematics. The Standard Model combined with General Relativity is currently the best explanation of how the Universe works — although it has inadequacies. New data, together with questions regarding the coherence of the mathematics, has resulted in the Standard Model having to be adjusted to accommodate other hypotheses. These include the existence of dark matter, dark energy and a dark force. For consistency, it is recognized that dark matter is necessarily many times more prevalent than matter as it is conventionally known. There is no agreement on the nature of such matter, such energy or such force. It is recognized as a measure of human ignorance regarding the nature of the Universe. The drama of the situation might be said to have been elegantly expressed by Donald Rumsfeld (The Unknown, 2002).
The following is an exploration of the correspondence, equivalence or isomorphism between the beginning (and development) of the Universe and that of any individual suddenly awakening to daily life — notably in the first few seconds — and the progressive organization of the surrounding universe as subsequently experienced.
This exploration necessarily incorporates dimensions absent from the methodology of physicists — for whom any explanation, and the process from which it develops, is necessarily extra-systemic or in some way meta-systemic, not to say irrelevant. Their explanations are not self-reflexive, as required by the arguments of Douglas Hofstadter (Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, 1979). Any aspiration to universal recognition through a Nobel Prize — for discovery of a Theory of Everything — is of course absent from a coherent cosmology, as is any such theory itself, whatever its inadequacies.
The following argument considers the possibility that the tortuous explorations of complexity by physicists (in explaining the Universe) and the ineffectual strategic preoccupations of global governance (in response to a crisis of crises) may both be indicative of cognitive avoidance of epistemological panic in the face of an emerging memetic singularity. Are we witness to the systematic deployment of fig leaves in the face of psychohazards?
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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 14 Mar 2010.
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