Neglect of Higher Dimensional Solutions to Territorial Conflicts


Anthony Judge | Laetus in Praesens - TRANSCEND Media Service

Conventional Dependence on “Flat Earth” Thinking Ignoring Insights of Mathematics and Physics


22 Jan 2024 – The world is currently witness to multiple territorial conflicts, some of which have endured over decades. They include: Russia-Ukraine, Israel-Palestine, Korea (North and South), China-Taiwan, Kashmir, Sudan, Yemen, and the like. There is increasing concern that these could trigger conflicts of global proportions. As territorial conflicts these are typically discussed in two-dimensional terms, readily caricatured as “flat earth” thinking.

There is clearly a need for urgent consideration of alternative ways of imagining such challenges — for which no new possibilities are apparently envisaged. This is exemplified in the case of Israel-Palestine at the time of writing (Netanyahu tells US he opposes creation of Palestinian state after Gaza, The Guardian, 19 January 2024). A similar situation is evident in the case of China-Taiwan and the Koreas (China calls Taiwan’s 2024 election a choice between peace and war, CBS News, 12 January 2024; Unification with South Korea no longer possible, says Kim Jong-un, The Guardian, 16 January 2024). Other possibilities were the focus of an earlier presentation (And When the Bombing Stops? Territorial conflict as a challenge to mathematicians, 2000).

By contrast, at the time of writing, it has been announced that artificial intelligence (AI) has detected very large numbers of “new structures” (AlphaFold found hindreds of thousands of potential new psychedelic molecules, Nature, 18 January 2024; Google scientists discovered 380,000 new materials using artificial intelligence, SciTechDaily, 16 January 2024). Potentially far more tragic is the use of AI to detect and suppress perspectives contrasting with a singular mainstream narrative (The Repressive Power of Artificial Intelligence, Freedom House, 21 November 2023). With the current focus on only two problematic possibilities of territorial configuration, how is it that no detectable effort has been made to use AI to discover “new structures” by which to transcend territorial conflict?

Mathematics has long had recourse to multidimensional frameworks (3D, 4D, 5D, and more). Physics asserts the necessity for “extra dimensions” offering 10-dimensional frameworks (or even 26 dimensional) as a means of capturing the complex nature of the reality in which people dwell. It is unclear to what extent such thinking is considered relevant to the territorial conflict conventionally discussed in 2D. More specifically the challenge would be how policy comprehension of the mathematical generalization from 2D to 3D (or more) could be rendered comprehensible to those focused on 2D, especially if viable solutions are only evident in 5D (or more) as might be suspected. Are the aspirations of global sustainability appropriately conceived with “flat earth” thinking.

The issue has long been framed in fictional form by those with some mathematical skills (Edwin Abbott Abbott, Flatland: a romance of many dimensions, 1884; Dionys Burger, Sphereland: a fantasy about curved paces and an expanding universe, 1965; A. K. Dewdney, The Planiverse, 1984; Ian Stewart, Flatterland: like flatland only more so, 2001; Rudy Rucker, Spaceland: a novel of the fourth dimension, 2002). Aspects have been been a focus of commentary (Ian Stewart, The Annotated Flatland: a romance of many dimensions, 2008). The popular imagination has long been attuned to “hyperdimensional” travel across the universe.

For many the primary reference to “higher dimensionality” is through religion, theology and prayer (Prayers in Times of War and Civil Unrest,; Walter Rodgers, Conflict Resolution begin with Prayer, Christian Science Sentinel, 30 March 2009; Faith leaders prioritize prayer amid Israeli-Hamas conflict, Washington Informer, 18 October 2023). Little attention is however devoted to the higher dimensionality implied by mathematical theology (Mathematical Theology: future science of confidence in belief, 2011).

In the light of the many assertions that the current governance situation is complex, even “multidimensional”, it can then be appropriately asked when “multidimensional” solutions have been envisaged for territorial conflict — and where such possibilities have been neglected and ignored, despite extensive media coverage of conflict fatalities. Can it be argued that such coverage is effectively a reinforcement of “flat earth” thinking? Are references to “multidimensional” to be recognized as characteristic of cover-ups justifying oversimplification?

In addition to the unresolved territorial conflicts at this time — and those actively anticipated — such questions are especially relevant to the dimensional articulation of the UN’s planned Summit of the Future (2024). This is currently framed by a report of the UN Secretary-General regarding the nature of future global cooperation (Our Common Agenda, 2021).

Unfortunately conventional use of “common”, as an expression of aspirations to “unity”, can be readily recognized as a simplistic approach to universal agreement (The Consensus Delusion: mysterious attractor undermining global civilization as currently imagined, 2011). As mathematics and physics have demonstrated, achievement of “unity” and “unification” is particularly challenging when envisaged as a possibility of “lower dimensionality” (Engaging with Elusive Connectivity and Coherence, 2018). The many calls for “unity” — especially the challenge of the (re)unification of divided countries — could then be seen as a failure to recognize the problems and potential of its higher dimensional nature.

The challenge of “unity” can be otherwise framed through the archetypal Gordian Knot:

Curiously the period is also witness to widespread concern regarding the dangers to human society from artificial intelligence and its rapid advance. There is a degree of irony to the regulatory response to a facility acclaimed for its multidimensional capacity is framed through what amounts to conventional binary thinking, as can separately argued from an ethical perspective (Just War Theory as an inspiration for “Just AI Theory”? 2024).

Despite the acknowledged capacity of AI to handle multidimensional information, exemplified by strategic skills in chess and the game of go, there is little trace of its relevance to the Gordian Knot with which global governance is faced. The following exercise follows from the range of possibilities explored separately (Artificial Intelligence as an Aid to Thinking Otherwise — but to what End?, 2023; Sustainable Development Goals through Self-reflexive Root Cause Analysis, 2023; Coherent Reconciliation of Eastern and Western Patterns of Logic, 2023; Simulating the Israel-Palestine Conflict as a Strategy Game, 2023).

The following questions were variously put to ChatGPT (Version 4.0) and its associated facility (Scholar AI). The method used follows from previous experimental exchanges documented separately (Psychosocial Geometry and Dynamics of Collective Memory, 2024; Comprehensible Configuration of 8-fold Patterns in 3D: cognitive potential of polyhedral coherence, 2024).

In contrast with those interactions, the nature of the responses appeared to manifest a degree of avoidance, accompanied by default recommendations that the matter be referred to specialists. This avoids the issue of whether or not higher dimensional approaches to the complexities of territorial conflict have indeed been considered by those with the relevant expertise. Although the exchange was initiated using the Scholar AI facility, this crashed repeatedly and finally limited its responses to ever more succinct replies. The exchange was continued with ChatGPT.

The increasing reticence of ChatGPT on certain subjects would of course follow naturally from the recently announced partnership of OpenAI with the Pentagon — (OpenAI quietly removes ban on military use of its AI tools, CNBC, 16 January 2024; Brad Stone, OpenAI is working with US military on cybersecurity, Bloomberg, 17 January 2024). This transition featured in an announcement by OpenAI at the World Economic Forum. Given the primary agenda of full -spectrum dominance, how AI may be used to inhibit any higher dimensional reframing of those binary conflicts ensuring unipolar global hegemony is of increasing interest.


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