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Fractal Duality and the Nature of the Universe

19 replies on 2 pages. Most recent reply: Oct 16, 2011 11:42 PM by Eoin Griffin

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Dale Asberry

Posts: 161
Nickname: bozomind
Registered: Mar, 2004

Fractal Duality and the Nature of the Universe (View in Weblogs)
Posted: Dec 22, 2005 7:20 AM
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Summary
For those following my blog, you know that my academic experience resulted in a degree in Physics. Even though I professionally engage in programming, I would prefer to play in the world of physics.
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[Ed.]Sorry for the misleading summary that went out... didn't realize until after I hit submit that I meant to change the summary.[/Ed.]

Not long after graduating, a friend pointed me to "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert Pirsig. It was a very mind-opening read, but, to cut to the chase, it got me to thinking about the nature of the universe. I've been particularly stumped with current physics thinking about particle/wave duality. There is something about it all that just "bugs" me. My brain just can't accept the human tendency to completely break ideas down into component parts. My brain just keeps taking me back to where we need to be able to hold both concepts in our mind AT THE SAME TIME. The reason why physics has been stuck with this for the last 100 years is because these really smart people haven't done it, both, at the same time...

Ok, so particle/wave is one thing... not sure exactly what that means, but it's a starting point. In a simplified essence that my brain can hold, that duality is probably more easily stated as matter/energy. I'm not sure why, but the first thought that jumped into my head was space/time. Is it the same thing as matter/energy... hmmm, yes - and no! What about other levels of organization in the universe... molecule/reaction, social groups/communication, and so on? It seems that at different levels of organization, this same pattern emerges. No matter how I conceptually zoom in on the universe, there it is. A self-similar system - a fractal. Dual natures encompassing a single phenomenon.

This fractal duality concept extends through the universe at many levels of complexity. The static aspect captures stable states, the dynamic aspect disrupts and moves between stable states within the duality's realm of influence and each aspect of the duality can morph from one aspect to the other.

Another feature I recognized is that, amazingly, the higher order complexity fractal duality "behaviors" are intertwingled with and driven by the lower order fractal duality behaviors. Viruses interact in social populations, photons interact with cellular organisms, and so on, all of these intertwinglings creating diverse new kinds of fractals!

Interestingly, the higher order dualities rarely appear to intertwingle in the lower order dualities and when they do, it is only in a limited fashion. Organization at the higher orders need to have 'knowledge' of the lower orders to effect them. The greater the knowledge (sustainable fractal pattern), the more adept the manipulation of the lower order duality.

As for knowledge, it also seems that the lower order sustainable fractal patterns are 'unaware of' the higher order fractal patterns even though they are a necessary component. Is this a "can't see the forest for the trees" effect?

Hmmm.


Vincent O'Sullivan

Posts: 724
Nickname: vincent
Registered: Nov, 2002

Re: Fractal Duality and the Nature of the Universe Posted: Dec 22, 2005 8:58 AM
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Not so much a 'blog' as a 'blurt' so I know I should leave it be, but I just can't resist...


> Ok, so particle/wave is one thing... not sure exactly
> what that means, but it's a starting point. In a
> simplified essence that my brain can hold, that duality is
> probably more easily stated as matter/energy. I'm not
> sure why, but the first thought that jumped into my head
> was space/time. Is it the same thing as matter/energy...
> hmmm, yes - and no! What about other levels of
> organization in the universe... molecule/reaction, social
> groups/communication, and so on? It seems that at
> different levels of organization, this same pattern
> emerges. No matter how I conceptually zoom in on the
> universe, there it is. A self-similar system - a fractal.

Other than being organised as pairs of words I'm not sure I see any connecting pattern between the things you describe. A particle/wave is a single 'thing' that we sometimes describe as a particle and sometimes describe as a wave simply because neither description is adequate on it's own. Thus the duality exists in the description not the phenomenon. Matter/Energy get paired because they are things that can be converted from one to the other. Space and Time are things that can't be interconverted, as far as I'm aware. A reaction is a description of the behaviour of molocules, not a thing in it's own right. And so on...

You seem to be creating patterns from 'vague simularities' where the simularity is nothing more than */*.

> hmmmmm

Indeed. :)

Matt Hellige

Posts: 24
Nickname: hellige
Registered: Dec, 2005

Re: Fractal Duality and the Nature of the Universe Posted: Dec 23, 2005 2:00 AM
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You might be interested in Going Beyond the Pairs: The Coincidence of Opposites in German Romanticism, Zen, and Deconstruction by Dennis McCort. It doesn't really explore the manifestation of non-duality in physical systems, and I have various problems with the book as a whole, but it's fun and it's thought-provoking.

I also highly recommend Being and Ambiguity by Brook Ziporyn, but while it's better (and even more fun) it may be even less relevant.

James Watson

Posts: 2024
Nickname: watson
Registered: Sep, 2005

Re: Fractal Duality and the Nature of the Universe Posted: Dec 23, 2005 11:54 AM
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> Other than being organised as pairs of words I'm not sure
> I see any connecting pattern between the things you
> describe. A particle/wave is a single 'thing' that we
> sometimes describe as a particle and sometimes describe as
> a wave simply because neither description is adequate on
> it's own.

Moreover, neither has anything do with reality. It's just how humans described it because quantum laws are so out-of-whack with our normal experience of the natural world.

It similar to the (criminally thought-deprived) 'standard' theory of quantum mechanics. We cannot accept that particles can be in two places or states at once so we say the 'waveform collapses'.

> Thus the duality exists in the description not
> the phenomenon. Matter/Energy get paired because they are
> things that can be converted from one to the other.

There is only energy. Matter is an illusion created by the interaction of forces.

> Space
> and Time are things that can't be interconverted, as far
> as I'm aware.

Some theorize that time is just another dimension but that we perceive it as something different because the way we traverse through it in one direction only.

My personal feeling is that we break things down in to pieces because our brains lack the power to conceptualize things that are more than a little complex. Very little of our brain power goes to what we call 'thought'. Most of the power goes to signal processing and system (body system) management. Humans, even the geniuses, are not very smart in terms of raw processing power. Without abstraction we cannot understand the universe.

Dale Asberry

Posts: 161
Nickname: bozomind
Registered: Mar, 2004

Re: Fractal Duality and the Nature of the Universe Posted: Dec 29, 2005 8:08 AM
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I guess I deserve this. Oddly, programmers (in particular) too often discuss topics and/or issues well outside their understanding as if they understood. The unfortunate part is that they really believe that they understand. Those who are aware clearly see that they don't understand even the basics.

Dale Asberry

Posts: 161
Nickname: bozomind
Registered: Mar, 2004

Re: Fractal Duality and the Nature of the Universe Posted: Dec 29, 2005 8:22 AM
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> You might be interested in Going Beyond the Pairs: The
> Coincidence of Opposites in German Romanticism, Zen, and
> Deconstruction
by Dennis McCort. It doesn't really
> explore the manifestation of non-duality in physical
> systems, and I have various problems with the book as a
> whole, but it's fun and it's thought-provoking.
>
> I also highly recommend Being and Ambiguity by
> Brook Ziporyn, but while it's better (and even more fun)
> it may be even less relevant.

It's interesting that mystics are able to intuitively see duality. The downsides with mysticism and intellectualism is that both camps refute the other. I think the only reason mystics have not been able to see duality in physical systems is due to the heavy reliance on intellectual deductivism behind physical science and the mystics' renouncement of it. Intellectuals renounce mysticism simply because they can't deductively prove it. I have real issues with this since I doubt much of anything in the universe can be "proven". In physics classes, I quickly learned that real systems, and the equations that describe them, are quite literally unsolveable. Every problem I ever solved was nothing more than a gross simplification of the real system I was modeling.

Dale Asberry

Posts: 161
Nickname: bozomind
Registered: Mar, 2004

Re: Fractal Duality and the Nature of the Universe Posted: Dec 29, 2005 8:24 AM
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> Not so much a 'blog' as a 'blurt' so I know I should leave
> it be, but I just can't resist...

Interesting that you say this since it's taken me nearly a year to write this entry ;-)

James Watson

Posts: 2024
Nickname: watson
Registered: Sep, 2005

Re: Fractal Duality and the Nature of the Universe Posted: Dec 29, 2005 9:41 AM
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> I guess I deserve this. Oddly, programmers (in
> particular) too often discuss topics and/or issues well
> outside their understanding as if they understood. The
> unfortunate part is that they really believe that
> they understand. Those who are aware clearly see that they
> don't understand even the basics.

What are you talking about? It appears (to me) to be an extremely arrogant and rather foolish thing to post. Do you know what backgrounds all the posters on this thread have?

James Watson

Posts: 2024
Nickname: watson
Registered: Sep, 2005

Re: Fractal Duality and the Nature of the Universe Posted: Dec 30, 2005 9:53 AM
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It occured to me that there is no physics in this blog entry. Just armchair philosophy.

Perhaps it's fitting that the next entry in Google for 'fractal duality' after this page is:

http://www.prophetsmanual.com/content/index.cfm?navID=8&itemID=8

Matt Gerrans

Posts: 1152
Nickname: matt
Registered: Feb, 2002

Re: Fractal Duality and the Nature of the Universe Posted: Dec 30, 2005 3:48 PM
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I like this one better: http://www.wakeuplaughing.com/ (Swami Beyondananda).

By the way James, this seems like a pretty arrogant statement: "There is only energy. Matter is an illusion created by the interaction of forces."
Can you prove it? How do you know there is energry, even? Isn't kind of funny to say there is only energy and there is no such thing as mass, when engery is defined in terms of mass (as well as space and time)? What about space and time? Or are you saying only space, time and engery exist and mass is derived from them? If so, how do you know that?

By the way, my new years resolution is to lose some energy * time * time / (length * length).

Matt Gerrans

Posts: 1152
Nickname: matt
Registered: Feb, 2002

Re: Fractal Duality and the Nature of the Universe Posted: Dec 30, 2005 3:54 PM
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Oh, by the way, if there is only energy, shouldn't you say that matter is an illusion created by the interactions of forces over distance? (not over in the divided-by sence, by the way). Or does it matter?

James Watson

Posts: 2024
Nickname: watson
Registered: Sep, 2005

Re: Fractal Duality and the Nature of the Universe Posted: Dec 30, 2005 4:49 PM
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> I like this one better: http://www.wakeuplaughing.com/
> (Swami Beyondananda).
>
> By the way James, this seems like a pretty arrogant
> statement: "There is only energy. Matter is an illusion
> created by the interaction of forces."


How is is arrogant?

> Can you prove it?

No, my physics beyond undergrad studies merely a hobby, like our host. But then again, no one has proven general relativity or quantum mechanics either.

> How do you know there is energry,
> even?

You can call it what you want, but on a quantum scale, the distinction is really arbitrary. What we call particles are really bundles of smaller entities trapped by strong forces. Widely accepted quantum theory says quarks are there at the bottom but cannot show this to be the case. In String theory, (the only real contender for a unified theory at this time) the smallest entities are Strings and they make up all particles including what we call energy and what we call mass.

> Isn't kind of funny to say there is only energy
> and there is no such thing as mass, when engery is defined
> in terms of mass (as well as space and time)?

You are talking about formulas and quantities. I am talking about concepts. Strictly speaking, in physics, formulas are descriptions, not definitions. We don't define our universe, we describe it. Math tends to be the best way to do so.

> What
> about space and time? Or are you saying only space,
> time and engery exist and mass is derived from them?

I'm saying that mass is a way humans intepret the universe but it's an artificial distinction that results from our experience of the universe. If you keep looking at smaller and smaller particles inside subatomic particles, there are no little hard balls.

Maybe this will help, when we say mass is converted into energy, all that really has happened is that the 'substance' that makes up the photon or whatever has been released from it's embrace with other similar entities.

On a macroscopic level, the ground you stand upon is mainly empty space. The reason you do not fall through it is because of the electromagnetic forces holding it together and resisting the force your weight exerts upon it.

> If so, how do you know that?

How do you know the earth revolves around the sun? How do you know that E=mc²?

James Watson

Posts: 2024
Nickname: watson
Registered: Sep, 2005

Re: Fractal Duality and the Nature of the Universe Posted: Dec 30, 2005 4:56 PM
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> I like this one better: http://www.wakeuplaughing.com/
> (Swami Beyondananda).

That looks like some sort of Indian version of a minstrel show.

The thing I find funny about the site I posted is that it reads (to me) a lot like this blog entry:

"Fractal definition is description of ONE reality, which is infinite number of relatively different fractal forms, all of which are its perfect replica and that precedence of one over another is an illusion limited by its passage of time and/or its size, because space and time are two equal fractal opposites."

Vincent O'Sullivan

Posts: 724
Nickname: vincent
Registered: Nov, 2002

Re: Fractal Duality and the Nature of the Universe Posted: Jan 1, 2006 7:10 PM
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> > Not so much a 'blog' as a 'blurt'...
>
> Interesting that you say this since it's taken me nearly a
> year to write this entry ;-)

Sorry, no offence intended. :)

Vincent O'Sullivan

Posts: 724
Nickname: vincent
Registered: Nov, 2002

Re: Fractal Duality and the Nature of the Universe Posted: Jan 1, 2006 7:15 PM
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> It's interesting that mystics are able to intuitively see
> duality.

Up/down, in/out, good/bad, black/white, etc./etc., I too see duality everyday. What I don't see, though, is where a 'mystical' element comes in.

Do mystics intuitvely see triality and quadrality, too?

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