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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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Recent Additions: New and Updated Entries in the Past 60 Days
Displaying entries 1 through 15 of 58 found.


Planetary Prodigy: A Global Sapiensphere Learns by Her/His Own Self

A Learning Planet > Original Wisdom > The Book of Nature

Armstrong, Karen. The Lost Art of Scripture: Rescuing the Sacred Texts. New York, Knopf, 2019. In her latest erudite treatise, the British polyscholar worries that the religions of the first Axial Age – Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in the west and eastern Hinduism, Buddhism, and Chinese beliefs have sorely lost their way as they became removed from an original numinous wisdom. These early texts have now been mistranslated, misunderstood and co-opted to serve all manner of counter mayhem. Herein ecumenical sections proceed from Cosmos and Society to Mythos, Logos, Sola Scriptura and Sola Ratio as it surveys the long arduous course of our human expressions. Her claim is that archaic passages out of context, as fundamentalists revert to, nor centuries of mechanical science (Bacon, Newton) or philosophy (Nietzsche), which have come to atomic and cosmic naught, will ever serve and save us today.

Akin to Allan Schore (2019), Karen Armstrong’s insightful reprise and revival is to weave in the dual brain hemispheres, guided by Iain McGilchrist’s 2009 tome, with their right relational, holistic vision and left discrete detail complements. And as Jessica Riskin’s 2016 science history cites, again all the index names are male. What is needed is a recovery of primal prosodic rhythm, active rituals, vital stories, so as to reconnect with an ineffable divine oneness. By these lights and more, we might be able to animate profane mechanism with a once and future sacred significance.

In recent decades, neurologists have discovered that the brain’s right hemisphere is essential to the creation of poetry, music and religion. It is involved with the formation of our sense of self and has a broader, less focused mode of attention than the left hemisphere, which is more pragmatic and selective. The right hemisphere has a holistic rather than an analytical vision; it sees each thing in relation to the whole and perceives the interconnectivedness of reality. It is at home with metaphor, in which disparate entities become one, while the left hemisphere tends to be literal and to wrest things from their context so it can categorize and make use of them. (5)

Scripture, therefore, began as an aristocratic art form. A scripture can be defined as a text that is regarded as sacred, often because it was divinely revealed, and forms part of an authoritative canon. Our English word for it implies a written text, but most were originally composed and transmitted orally. “Scripture” was often sung, chanted or declaimed in a way that separated it from mundane speech, so that the words – a product of the brain’s left hemisphere – were fused with the more indefinable emotions of the right. Scripture was essentially a performative art, and until the modern period, it was nearly always acted out in the drama of ritual and belonged to the world of myth. (10-11)

A Learning Planet > Original Wisdom > World Philosophy

Schwartz, Michael, et al, eds. Dancing with Sophia: Integral Philosophy on the Verge. Albany: SUNY Press, 2019. An original collection that reflects on Ken Wilber’s decadal scholarship by the subtitle name (search). While we appreciate Wilber’s project to reweave perennial, psychological and holistic themes (search), an issue arose with this book. While the name Sophia represents the Greek goddess of wisdom, and has been availed by many endeavors, here all fifteen writers and editors are men. On a December day of impeachment hearings, when a report issued on the long Afghan war concludes it was blundering carnage, an essential woman’s philoSophia is absent.

An Organic, Conducive, Habitable MultiUniVerse

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology

Bartelmann, Matthias, et al. Cosmic Structure Formation with Kinetic Field Theory. Annalen der Physik. 531/11, 2019. A ten person team from the University of Heildeberg and ETH Zurich offer further ways that this KFT mathematical conception, initiated by the lead author and colleagues in the earlier 2010s, can be seen well reflect and explain the variegated shape and course of celestial topologies. Search the arXiv eprint site by Bartelmann and the KFT term for much more.

Kinetic field theory (KFT) is a statistical theory for an ensemble of classical point particles in or out of equilibrium. We here review its application to cosmological structure formation by adapting it to an expanding spatial background and the homogeneous and isotropic, correlated initial conditions for nonlinear cosmic formations. Three approaches are developed which rest either on expanding an interaction operator, averaging the interaction term, or resumming perturbation terms. (Abstract excerpt)

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology

Poulin, Vivian, et al. Early Dark Energy can Resolve the Hubble Tension. arXiv:1811.04083. We cite this entry by Johns Hopkins University astrophysicists including Marc Kamionkowski as an example of the incredible abilities of worldwide research teams with instant shared contact to seemingly quantify any depth and reach of any universal phenomena. In perspective, we peoples seem to be carrying out an intended task, as yet unawares, of cosmic self-realization and individuation. See also Cosmological Constraints from the Hubble Diagram of Quasars at High Redshifts by G. Risaliti and E. Lusso in Nature Astronomy (3/272, 2019) and Have Dark Forces Been Messing with the Cosmos? by Dennis Overbye in the N. Y. Times (February 25, 2019).

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > cosmos

Andrews, Robin George. A Dance that Stops 2 of Neptune’s Moons from Colliding. New York Times. November 21, 2019. The volcanologist and science writer (see his site) comments on Orbits and Resonances of the Regular Moons of Neptune by Marina Brozovic, et al at JPL, NASA, and SETI Institute including Jack Lissauer in Icarus (338/Art. 113462, 2020). Mathematical forces seem to be at work amongst the 14 moons and counting of this gas giant outer world which serve to direct orbital traffic so they stay in their lanes.

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > cosmos

Hooper, Dan. At the Edge of time: Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe’s First Seconds. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019. The University of Chicago astrophysicist dutifully retraces cosmic history from quantum gravity (10-43 sec), grand unified (10-35 sec) and inflation eras on to quark-gluon plasma, protons, neutrons, atoms, dark matter phases all the way to today, some 13.8 billion years later. But for this natural philoSophia site, we ought to reflect upon our auspicious Earthwisw ability to be a genesis universe’s way of respectively realizing itself.

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > cosmos

Moradt, Rahim, et al. The Newborn Black Hole in GRB 191014C Manifests that it is Alive. arXiv:1911.07552. We cite this entry by International Center for Relativistic Astrophysicists Network (ICRANet) researchers including Remo Ruffini for its radical revision of what constitutes a cosmic “black hole.” Ruffini, now 77, was a 1971 coauthor with its co-conceiver John A. Wheeler of Introducing the Black Hole in Physics Today, so he has been along for the ride. In this paper, rather than drawing everything into itself, as long held that BHs do, via worldwide mathematical theories, this common celestial event ought to rightly be seen as an energy exporter. By this diametric view, these pervasive, phenomenal loci play a vital role in life’s occurrence, evolution and our collective witness. See also Inward Bound: The Incredible Journey of Massive Black Holes as they Pair and Merge by Fazeel Khan, et al at 1911.07946.

The popular view that black holes (BH) are dark objects, a sink of energy rather than an energy source, arises from three assumptions, that they are (i) in vacuum, (ii) in a flat space-time, and (iii) stationary. As a result, the search for a mechanism to extract the energy from a BH, able to power gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and active galactic nuclei (AGNs), has been unsuccessful. Here we show that an electrodynamical process of BH energy extraction occurs in the "inner engine", composed of a rotating BH in a background of low-density ionized plasma and an ordered magnetic field. The blackholic quantum of energy is emitted in the entire Universe in view of the cosmological presence of GRBs. This suggests the intriguing possibility that, rather than representing the end of life, BHs may have a relevant role in the evolution of life in our Universe. (Abstract)

Finally, we would like to remark that, the emission of the blackholic quantum of energy, 1037 erg, with a timescale of 10-14 s, occurs in the entire Universe in view of the cosmological homogeneous presence of GRBs. This suggests the intriguing possibility that, rather than representing the end of life, BHs and their linearly polarized “blackholic quanta”, may have a relevant role in the creation of the DNA and of evolution of life in our
Universe. (4)

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > cosmos

Vazza, Franco. How Complex is the Cosmic Web?. arXiv:1911.11029. We cite this by a University of Bologna astrophysicist as another example of innovative, sophisticated methods by which to simulate and describe the entire spatial and temporal reach of the celestial universe which our collective sapience has found itself. How fantastic is it that in a few decades our phenomenal species seems innately capable of, seemingly made for, such observances. We also note that some forty years after Erich Jantsch’s 1980 work The Self-Organizing Universe (search), it is now been proven that this dynamic creativity is how nature works.

The growth of large-scale cosmic structure is a beautiful exemplification of how complexity can emerge in our Universe, starting from simple initial conditions and physical laws. Using cosmological numerical simulations, I applied tools from Information Theory to quantify the amount of complexity in the simulated cosmic volume, as a function of epoch and environment. The most complex environment in the simulated cosmic web is found to be the periphery of large-scale structures (e.g. galaxy clusters and filaments), where it is greater than more rarefied regions. (Abstract)

The Universe that astrophysicists routinely analyze gives a spectacular example of such emergence from simple initial conditions: somehow the Universe could self-organize on an enormous range of scales without any external intervention, transitioning from the smoothest and simplest possible initial condition (a nearly scale-invariant background of matter fluctuations) to a majestic hierarchy of clustered sources. (1)

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > quantum CS

jaeger, Gregg, et al. Second Quantum Revolution: Foundational Questions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. 375/20160397, 2016. GJ, Boston University, Andrei Khrennikov, Linnaeus University, Sweden and Paolo Perinotti, University of Pavia, Italy introduce a special issue to survey this 21st century and 2010s conceptual frontier. Some papers are Quantum-like Dynamics Applied to Cognition, Contexuality in Canonical Systems, and Quantum Potentiality Revisited. See also The Second Quantum Revolution: Challenges of Molecular Chemistry by Matteo Atzori and Roberta Sessoli in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (141/29, 2019) for another use of this phrase.

Recent theoretical and experimental successes in quantum physics are considered by many to be forging a second quantum revolution. These successes clearly indicate that important quantum technological improvements are on the way. However, many important foundational issues in quantum theory have not yet been clearly resolved, e.g. the quantum measurement problem, the justification of the application of the quantum formalism for macroscopic systems, the possibility of going beyond quantum theory, quantum non-locality, the relativistic treatment of entanglement and an indisputable understanding of the probabilistic structure of Bell's argument.

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > physics

Ansari, Mohammad and Lee Smolin. Self-Organized Criticality in Quantum Gravity. Classical and Quantum Gravity. 25/095016, 2008. Perimeter Institute theorists advance an early glimpse of nature’s actual innate tendency to seek and maintain itself in an active balance between two coincidental, often complementary opposite states.

We study a simple model of spin network evolution motivated by the hypothesis that the emergence of classical spacetime from a discrete microscopic dynamics may be a self-organized critical process. Self-organized critical systems are statistical systems that naturally evolve without fine tuning to critical states in which correlation functions are scale invariant. We study several rules for evolution of frozen spin networks in which the spins labeling the edges evolve on a fixed graph. We find evidence for a set of rules which behaves analogously to sand pile models in which a critical state emerges without fine tuning, in which some correlation functions become scale invariant. (Abstract)

Animate Cosmos > Organic

Branscomb, Elbert and Michael Russell. On the Beneficent Thickness of Water. Interface Focus. October, 2019. In an 80th birthday festschrift for the NASA astrobiologist Michael Russell, he and the University of Illinois biochemist (search) wax over how amazing is it that life’s fluid bath seems to inherently possess extraordinarily ideal properties so as simple and complex cells and peoples can come into being.

In the 1930s, Lars Onsager published his famous ‘reciprocal relations’ describing free energy conversion processes, which assumed that the fluxes involved in the conversion were proportional to the forces driving them. For chemical reactions, this condition holds only for systems close to equilibrium. Soon thereafter, it was observed that in some biological conversions both the reciprocal relations and linear flux–force dependency appeared to be obeyed no matter how far from equilibrium the system was being driven. No explanation for this ‘paradoxical’ behaviour has emerged and it has remained a mystery. We here argue, however, that this anomalous behaviour is simply a gift of water, of its viscosity in particular; a gift, moreover, without which life almost certainly could not have emerged. (Abstract excerpt)

Animate Cosmos > Organic

Hazen, Robert. Symphony in C: Carbon and the Evolution of (Almost) Everything. New York: Norton, 2019. The veteran geochemist director of the Deep Carbon Observatory at the Carnegie Institute, Washington and prolific, collegial author (search) writes a lyrical tribute to the most important element for the biochemical evolutionary occasion of creatures and peoples. He is also a member of a symphony orchestra as a trumpeter, so chose to arrange the work in four Earth, Air, Fire and Water movements about these prime ways carbon serves this purpose. He also led the discovery (RH 2008) of the vital role played by diverse mineral surfaces in life’s origin, whose compositions are seen evolve in tandem with biospheric and atmospheric systems (see VI. B. 1. Geosphere).

Hazen goes on here to consider a “second genesis” on myriad exoplanets, which would have a unique mineralogy but, akin to George McGhee 2019, would largely retrace and repeat the same oriented development. In so doing, he notes that Jacques Monod’s 1970 claim of chance accident over innate necessity is a false dichotomy (also McGhee 2016). While local contingency is rife, these relatively inanimate and animate materials evolve and emerge from origins, through many organisms, and unto ourselves as if along a guiding course. See also Carbon in Earth edited by R. Hazen, et al in the Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry (Volume 75, 2013) for earlier views. As one peruses this luminous edition, a 21st century revolution to a truly organic ecosmos with life and persons written in becomes increasingly, profoundly evident.

Animate Cosmos > Organic > Biology Physics

Klosta, Daphne. As Above, So Below, and also in Between: Mesoscale Active Matter in Fluids. Soft Matter. 15/8946, 2019. After a decade of diverse particle (molecules, colloids, microbes, swimmers) studies, a University of North Carolina biomaterials physicist extends the approach onto macro systems such as bird flocks, insect swarms and whale pods. By so doing, it is found that the same phenomena can be observed at each and every wide scale and instance. Into the 21st century this traditional adage can gain its worldwise quantification. See also The Most Active Matter of All by Nicholas Ouellette in the new Cell Press journal Matter (1/2, 2019, third quote).

Living matter, such as biological tissue, can be viewed as a nonequilibrium hierarchical assembly, where self-driven components come together by consuming energy to form increasingly complex structures. The remarkable properties of such living or “active-matter” systems have prompted these questions: (1) do we understand the biology and biophysics that give rise to these properties? (2) can we achieve similar functionality with synthetic active materials? Here we study active matter in liquids and gases for aquatic and avian movements with finite inertia and expect collective behavior to emerge by way of nonlinearities and many-body interactions. The organisms/particles can become quite complex leading to flocking states and nonequilibrium phase transitions. (Abstract edits)

Nature has perfected obtaining robust collective behavior and global order from simple local interactions. The challenge for us is to engineer similar systems at various scales that are composed of many agents, ranging from self-propelled nanoparticles in solution to cars in traffic, and to be able to control their emergent collective properties, their emergent “intelligence.” Our group does computational research on active matter and related topics in order to bridge the gap between emergent phenomena, smart materials and robot swarming. (DK lab website)

The term “matter” encompasses everything from molecules to mountains. It also includes living, sentient beings. If matter composes all physical things, and materials science considers the behavior of such things, can materials science describe the most active matter of all? (Ouellette)

Animate Cosmos > Organic > Chemistry

Ghosh, Abhik and Paul Kiparsky. Grammar of the Elements. American Scientist. November-December, 2019. Once in a while, a truly unique contribution comes to light. Here an Arctic University of Norway chemist and a Stanford University linguist, each veteran scholars, make a good case that Dmitri Menddeleev’s periodic table drew inspiration for its form and phrases from Sanskrit. It seems that both he and Otto von Bohtlingk, who wrote a German edition about this ancient Indian script, lived in St. Petersburg in the 1870s and knew each other. Akin to Antoine Lavoisier who used linguistic metaphors, its tabular frame and generative grammar, traced to the 4th century BCE philologist Panini, served as an initial guide for sorting and arraying the 70 or so atomic elements at the time. See also Mendeleev’s Predictions: Success and Failure by Philip Stewart in Foundations of Chemistry (21/1, 2019), Challenges for the Periodic Systems of Elements by Guillermo Restrepo in Chemistry: A European Journal (November 2019), and Mendeleev and earlier The Periodic Table by Subhash Kak at arXiv:0411080. At its 150th anniversary, this deep affinity reveals an innate connection between chemical matter and linguistic forms, so as to infer a textual uniVerse which we peoples seem meant to learn, read and write.

Animate Cosmos > Thermodynamics

Conte, Tom, et al. Thermodynamic Computing. arXiv:1911.01968. This is a report from an NSF supported CCC (Computing Community Consortium) workshop held January 3-5, 2019 at the Prince Wakiki Hotel, Honolulu. Some 40 expert invitees such as Jim Crutchfield, Lidia del Rio, Massimiliano Esposito, Ilya Nemenman, Gavin Crooks, Seth Lloyd, and David Wolpert came together to scope out the necessary transit from earlier macro stages (see Abstract) into deeper energetic, complex, intrinsically self-organizing domains. Its opening phase revisited contacts between physics, information, and thermodynamics over 200 years in a table which runs from Carnot and Babbage through Gibbs, Boltzmann, Turing, Shannon, Prigogine, onto to Hopfield, Landauer, and Hinton. Current interfaces are then noted between past and future via a passage from classical to thermal to quantum methods. In sum, the endeavor continues to trace a path to better mimic natural cosmic, biological, and neural processes.

The hardware and software basics laid in the 20th Century have transformed the world, but the current paradigm faces limits from several perspectives. In terms of hardware, devices have become so small that the effects of thermodynamic fluctuations take over, which are unavoidable at the nanometer scale. In terms of software, our ability to imagine and program implementations are challenged in several domains. These difficulties - device scaling, software complexity, adaptability, energy consumption, and fabrication economics – have run their course. We propose that progress in computing can continue under a united, physically grounded, computational paradigm centered on thermodynamics. We propose a research agenda that accordingly involves complex, non-equilibrium, self-organizing systems in a holistic way that will harness nature's innate computational capacity. (Abstract excerpts)

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