This page is for questions, comments, suggestions, and discussion about the CTMU, Chris Langan and his work, and the wiki. To start a new topic, just add a section at the bottom. Remember to sign your posts by typing four tildes (~~~~). There is a separate board for off-topic discussion.
- 1 Discussion Board
- 2 Theories' Demands on the Mind
- 3 Newcomb's Paradox
- 4 Existence of God
- 5 Mathematical Exposition of the CTMU
- 6 Change Logo?
- 7 Need Extra Information?
- 8 Asmodeus
- 9 SPSCL Page
- 10 Make Me... Smart is incomplete
- 11 Design for a Universe scrubbed
- 12 New page created: "Common CTMU objections and replies"
- 13 Off topic
- 14 The People Speak
- 15 Independent Movie and public info on Mega Foundation
- 16 A Chris Langan comment I found
- 17 Off-topic board
- 18 CTMU Diagrams
- 19 Can someone explain Chris' resolution of Newcomb's Paradox?
- 20 ARN Threads
- 21 Extended Family
- 22 A question about self
- 23 CTMU and the Mind
- 24 Reddit Debate in CTMU Sources section
- 25 The Examiner
- 26 CML Conference
- 27 Ben Goertzel's Comments on CTMU
- 28 CTMU and Quantum Theory etc.
- 29 CTMU, Psi and Nonlocal Mind
- 30 The Problem of Empirical Induction
- 31 Name of the CTMU
- 32 god, morality, logic, consciousness
- 33 CTMU MooC
- 34 Looking for Contributors For Teleologically Put
- 35 How does conspansion explain cosmic acceleration?
- 36 Telic
- 37 Help me, Help you
- 38 Further CTMU/Langan Interpretations
- 39 Genealogy Of The CTMU
- 40 What's next? A book?
- 41 October 2016 update from Langan
- 42 Definitions Of CTMU Concepts on this Wiki
- 43 Problem of Moral Luck
- 44 Top-Down Planning
- 45 Where is Noesis 73?
- 46 Can We Get a Page on Theodicy?
- 47 Preserving Langan's Quora and Facebook Writings
- 48 The Universe As a Computer Simulation
Hey, well done on taking the initiative to set up this wiki page. I'm very interested in the CTMU and recently purchased Christopher's (I feel like I know him) book "The Art of Knowing"(AOK). Given that many of the topics in AOK are the germs of ideas that are fleshed out more thoroughly in the CTMU itself, I thought that a discussion of them might lend some foundations to the thoughts of anyone who isn't familiar with the CTMU. So, I'll set up a few discussion topics and this thread can be used for more general chat about the Board. Bob (talk) 20:37, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Theories' Demands on the Mind
I'm curious as to how this relates to the tautological nature of the CTMU. The mind = reality principle seems to set up the foundations for a tautological theory, but I haven't read the CTMU in a while (because exams are coming up!) and I'm not clear on exactly how this works. Any thoughts? Bob (talk) 20:37, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
- Hi Bob! Langan's first published paper on the CTMU, twenty years ago, was titled "The Resolution of Newcomb's Paradox". In it, he introduces the paradox as a conflict between two principles of rationality, "the maximization of subjective expected utility" and the "dominance principle". He then presents a computational model intended to relate these principles to each other and resolve the conflict.
- In this setting, the predictor and the player are modeled as sub-automata of a global stratified automaton Γ. The predictor occupies a higher level of the stratification than the player, giving the predictor a mechanism of control and prediction of the player's thought and behavior. From the player's perspective, the dominance principle, though valid in the absence of higher-level influence like that of the predictor, is itself "dominated" by the utility principle when such influence is involved. The player should therefore take one box only. Langan closes the essay by characterizing the CTMU as a metaphysical generalization of this resolution. Tim Smith (talk) 22:16, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Existence of God
I have a question about your CTMU. Is your theory dependant on the existence of God being assumed? Now I don't mean "implied" by your theory; I mean the input in which your theory requires for it to be correct -- that being the existence of God. To me this ontological argument just doesn't bridge with our "external" output of reality, even if it is governed by perception, truth, logic... ect. I believe that there still exists this gap, or logical barrier in which one just can't discern beyond mental capability that, God exists.
My question is: how are we suppose to discern, from a kind of external reality that, a God exists? Would we (the describers) have to exist in the present, without drawing such inferences like telic recursion, conspansive duality... ect?
I understand that you think everthing is internal, and that reality is externalized or distributed by perception, and thus God exists. But how does God externalize us? Reality and existence are different in the sense that we must have a way to distinguish existence in a realm of reality, other than relying on systems like tautology, logic or anything (which is not absolute, for example duality does not always exist by its given definition) that is of nature to a mind that your theory is dependant on.
- I'm not Chris Langan, but I'll try to answer your question. :) The CTMU is not dependent on the existence of God being assumed. In fact, Langan claims that the CTMU is assumption-free! Rather, the existence of God is something that the CTMU is supposed to prove. As to how we can discern that God exists, Langan gave an idea of the proof in an online chat at ABCNEWS.com back in 1999:
Hi Chris -- how do you think you can prove the existence of God using mathematics?
You have to prove that the universe is a self-referential system. Then you have to examine the attributes of this system, analyze the system to determine how it behaves. It turns out that in certain ways it behaves mentally like a mind. The natural question to ask then is: whose mind are we talking about? The answer to that question is the mind of God.
Hi Chris, you mentioned that the universe behaves in certain ways like a mind. Can you elaborate on this?
The mind works according to the principles of mathematics, including inductive and deductive logic. This goes back to Kant who held that the human mind has categories of perception and cognition. These categories are constraints on phenomenal reality. But phenomenal reality is the only reality we can know. Therefore, constraints on mind function as constraints on reality and systems that function according to similar constraints are similar in function.
Mathematical Exposition of the CTMU
On the "Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe" page it says that Mr. Langan says he "can reduce ['The Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe: A New Kind of Reality Theory'] to variables and functional, operational and relational symbols." Has he published such a mathematical exposition of his theory? If so, could you please direct me to it?
- As far as I know, he has not published such an exposition. He has written that "important technical works by authors without academic credentials and affiliations are unlikely to be published or cited" in academic journals, and that the "prospects are especially dim for potentially “game-changing” work that is perceived to run afoul of academic orthodoxy". Nonetheless, in a discussion last year, he indicated openness to the possibility:
However, if anyone knows of an academic journal that handles such matters differently but is nevertheless well-respected by most academics, just spill the beans and I'll be happy to drop the editor an email. (I’m out of the academic loop, so I don’t exactly have such information at my fingertips.) While I personally don’t see an immediate need for a flurry of pro forma chicken-scratching, I’m getting a little tired of this nonsense, so just point out the journal, and if I find it suitable, I’ll be happy to provide plenty of mathematical squiggles in which even the most hard-boiled CTMU critics can finally soak their aching heads.
- If you know of such a journal, feel free to tell him about it :) Tim Smith (talk) 16:56, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
- Well, I've been following it since the late 90s :) Feel free to contact me on my talk page. If you want to discuss the theory, though, it would be better to do it here, so that others can participate and benefit. You might also try the CTMU Facebook group, some of whose members have a comparably firm grasp of the material. Tim Smith (talk) 15:00, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
- Thanks for the suggestion. That particular image is likely to be copyrighted, though, and was adapted from a diagram used by John Wheeler. To change the logo, we would need an image which can be released under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license used by this wiki. Tim Smith (talk) 16:50, 9 May 2013 (UTC)
- Hey, I've replicated the diagram and uploaded a proposed version of the logo: http://ctmucommunity.org/w/images/d/d9/Newlogobig.png. I can also provide a .svg file if anybody wants to modify. ModestEnthusiast (talk) 23:35, 14 May 2013 (UTC)
- Ha, nice! Sure, it would be good to have the .svg file. The MediaWiki FAQ says that "A good logo size is 135x135px or one of 150x150px or 155x155px if you don't care about legacy skins." Once you have a suitable .png, you can upload it on top of the current one using "Upload a new version of this file". That should change the logo for the wiki (you might have to refresh/restart your browser). We can always change it back or tweak it as desired. Tim Smith (talk) 16:55, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Need Extra Information?
I have access to papers, documents and articles about the CTMU and its author, which are now offline for whatever reason. We're talking about brand new data. Tons of it. MD Wach (talk) 22:07, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Does anyone know about the Asmodeus, and DrL Wikipedia discussion affair? I have little doubt about the true identities of these two nicknames. Yes, they're respectively Chris and Gina. (DrL= Doctor Langan) Just read Asmodeus' Introduction section. So many coincidences. Asmodeus literally squashes Byrgenwulf in this formal debate. DrL, Asmodeus' partisan, also contributes actively. From what I've read, both Asmodeus and DrL get banned because of editing. Referring to his continuous editing Langan states: As regards the editing of existing articles, the rules of Wikipedia, while discouraging "conflicts of interest", explicitly allow the subjects of Wikipedia articles to remove defamation and correct falsehoods regarding themselves, their ideas, and their activities. Yes, that's right. He and his wife get banned by following the guidelines and rules written and exerted by the very Wikipedia's administrators! Little wonder why they (admins) behave this way; especially when hear what Langan says about them: Suffice it to say that Wikipedia's worst problem is not cranks and their theories, but its huge and growing population of anonymous trolls, vandals, and fake "experts", many of whom function as Wikipedia administrators. Notice that Langan has never started the discussion at Wikipedia. In fact, he says: Lest anyone be given the wrong impression, neither I nor my wife has ever introduced an article on me or the CTMU to Wikipedia.
What a mystery? Nearly everytime Chris engages in a converstion with somebody, it takes a little time to call it a disaster. Given his background, one has to wonder if he might be coming from another (intellectual) diemension. By the way, look at this discussion. It's a discussion between Russell Fred Vaughan, Ph.D. and Chris. It's embarrassing. We're talking about a guy who has PhD (in engineering), and he literally struggles to come to grips with what he is presented. Notice that Langan is trying to use the soft language with him. In a way or another, that discussion explains a lot!
- It's alarming. I've engaged in a few online discussions a/b the CTMU. One notably involved someone who presented himself as a Ph.D in Mathematics and yet he was unable to wrap his head around the idea that any scientific theory must conform to binary logic. This is a claim that is so self-evident that I felt condescending just writing it and he still refused to accept it. Whether he was truly a Ph.D or not is almost beside the point, as I did sample some of his other posts and he showed some competence in higher level mathematics. It's not that Langan is coming from another "(intellectual) dimension", it's that people are deeply confused w/r/t foundational math, formal theories, and logical systems in general. Cdipoce (talk) 18:58, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
I remember the Asmodeous incident from way back, and had saved this comment made at the time apparently by Mr. Langan:
"Caution - this article is misleading An interesting little article, if only because it is almost completely misleading in its references to me, my wife, and my ideas, and the use of those references to exemplify Wikipedia’s problem with “narcissistic cranks” and “questionable theories”. The actual facts of the case cited by Mr. Farrell can be found in pages accessible from those linked above, and they do not weigh in Wikipedia’s favor. Suffice it to say that Wikipedia's worst problem is not cranks and their theories, but its huge and growing population of anonymous trolls, vandals, and fake "experts", many of whom function as Wikipedia administrators.
Lest anyone be given the wrong impression, neither I nor my wife has ever introduced an article on me or the CTMU to Wikipedia. Those articles were authored, and signed, by others with no known connection to us. As regards the editing of existing articles, the rules of Wikipedia, while discouraging "conflicts of interest", explicitly allow the subjects of Wikipedia articles to remove defamation and correct falsehoods regarding themselves, their ideas, and their activities (obviously, prohibiting such corrections could lead to serious legal and ethical difficulties for Wikipedia). Although the Wikipedia Arbitration Committee does not always respect those rules, certain militant editors and outright trolls who had been pseudonymously using the encyclopedia to attack my reputation and ideas were ultimately warned to desist by the head of the Wikimedia Foundation.
Of course, like everyone else, those who run Cosmos magazine are welcome to their opinions, no matter how uninformed or premature they may be. However, I respectfully suggest that its editors, editorial advisors, and executives be a bit more careful regarding the possible long-term effects of such disparaging articles. Responsible intellectual commerce has no room for veiled accusations and snide insinuations like those exemplified above.
Incidentally, should any scientist or philosopher on the staff of Cosmos ever wish to take open, reasoned, non-pseudonymous exception to any technical statement actually made or written by me and invite a response, I welcome him or her to do so. If nothing else, the readers of Cosmos might find such an exchange instructive. But in any event, rumor-based, content-deficient articles like this have very little relevance to science, cosmology, or anything legitimately related to them.
Christopher M. Langan
Submitted by C.M. Langan on 5 August 2007 - 6:38am. reply" http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/features/online/1339/in-wikipedia-we-trust?page=1
The SPSCL Page should either be removed or more clearly elucidated. As it stands now, the content simply describes why reality *is* a language, not *what* the nature of that language is (i.e., what is a Self-Processing, Self-Configuring Language and why is reality isomorphic to it). Cdipoce (talk) 19:17, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
Make Me... Smart is incomplete
For those of you who have watched the BBC documentary Make Me... Smart originally on TV, that is in its original version, might have noticed that the same documentary available on YouTube under the name of can you become smarter?, lacks at least a scene. The original version, presents a scene in which Mr. Mosley has a conversation with Langan and 3 other (supposedly) Mega Foundation members in a bar, over a beer. I just wanted to inform you that the version of that documentary, linked on this wiki, isn't the original one. Michael (talk) 13:22, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
Design for a Universe scrubbed
Looks like Langan changed the title, or the entire plot, anyway view it for yourself: http://megafoundation.org/MegaPress/Titles/download.html
Whoever wants to make the necessary changes, feel free...
One outside the Ultranet can only wonder exactly what the book will entail, it may or may not be a successor to the un-published 'Design for a Universe'. One could argue two things:
I. The lack of critical success and hatred towards to CTMU from people in cyberspace has resulted in a partial or complete abandonment of his works regarding the CTMU.
II. The original title went through a name change, which isn't un-common, we have seen this before with the original CTMU acronym variants.
I have often wondered whether the book will provide greater insight into the CTMU, provide a extremely simplified overview for every audience, or detail complex scientific and mathematical concepts that draw on a range of issues, including the CTMU.
A large section of the Mega Foundation website hasn't been renovated, largely due to other projects, namely advanced research projects allegedly being undertaken by the Society, a large part of that research appears to be neurological in nature, most likely being spurred for by Dr. LoSasso.
I believe option two would be the most logical, total or partial abandonment of an amazing theoretical framework seems illogical at it's most benign.
Lastly, I believe CML's cover for the novel appears to be an interstellar cloud, which hints at the suggestion of cosmology, metaphysics, etc.
- Hello, JT1480.
- Actually, as Langan stated in ABC chat transcript, and elsewhere, CTMU like any other reality theory , is a continuous "work-in-progress".
- He had re-written his book twice, and that was in 2000(!)
- I'm not sure Ultranet members would know much more, since I know some of them.
Reasons why I think option one is very unlikely:
1. In 2012, he said on a forum that his book will likely be published in a year or so.
2. Last year in a radio interview, he said "he spends several hours every day developing the theory" (which implies that the delay is not related to lack of interest).
3. For his upcoming radio interview on June 15th, his page says his book is "soon to be published".
There was a discussion with Chris and the ISCID, titled 'Toward an Ultimate Theory of Reality', I believe that it will indeed feature Cat Mew (got me saying it now), content.
You may want to convert the .php file by visiting it with notepad (Windows), then saving it as 'all files', (anyname).html if you use another operating system you can always research how to change a file extension.
Genie makes an appearance too, I'm not sure if you already have the convo linked on the sources page.
"Just as scientific observation makes demands on theories, the logic of theories makes demands on scientific observation, and these demands tell us in a general way what we can observe about the universe. In other words, a comprehensive theory of reality is not just about observation, but theories and their logical requisites. Since theories are mental constructs, and mental means "of the mind", this can be rephrased as follows: mind and reality are linked in mutual dependence on the most basic level of understanding. It is this linkage of the abstract and the concrete, the subjective and the objective, the internal and the external, that constitutes the proper focus of reality theory. The CTMU is a theory of reality tautologically developed along these lines."
Chris' new book could come out in physical format too. In his latest interview Chris stated that he tries "to figure out how to print, publish and distribute it..." That could be saying something. Michael (talk) 21:05, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
New page created: "Common CTMU objections and replies"
Click here: Common CTMU objections and replies
This section has been moved to off-topic http://ctmucommunity.org/wiki/Meta:Discussion/Off-topic
The People Speak
I enjoyed it, and was happy that I got to ask my question! (I didn't call a second time, so I don't know why they mentioned me again later in the broadcast.) I laughed when he congratulated the caller for choosing the right theory to fixate on :) What did you all think? Tim Smith (talk) 02:24, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I missed the first part, although I did record and upload it, I disliked the BBS website, due to the fact that I can't find the recordings of the interview and I couldn't get PalTalk to work. I didn't have any real questions. I prefer the Dyson Sphere idea, rather than the 'alien' question posed by one subject. I thought the interview was overall good, I'm glad that there was advanced notice, I'm also glad that there wasn't crazy callers, like in one of his previous radio interviews. One negative would of course be the mis-pronunciation of 'Langan', radio hosts tend to pronounce it 'Lagn'. It could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to talk to Langan, so it's good you got to ask your questions. I also found it great that more autobiographical information was added, and I'm happy the book issue was basically closed by Langan himself, lol. --JT1480 (talk) 02:40, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
- @JT1480 "BECAUSE THEN JESUS WOULD HAVE TO BE A WOMAN"....lol Dylancatlow (talk) 17:09, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I wait BBS to realease a podcast of it. When I hear him talking just about anything, it's hard to object. He's so right. I'd like to have a vis-à-vis conversation with him one day. One day perhaps, I'll interview him. If so, I'll let you know. Michael (talk) 12:46, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
- I very much agree MD! I found it very interesting that the entirety of Christian scripture can be interpreted within the CTMU (although, I sort of already noticed that). This almost seems to demand an explanation of its own. Dylancatlow (talk) 14:13, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
By the way, I didn't know that Langan could prove that P≠NP. If so, he should send the proof of it to CMI, at least on a experimental basis. 1 million dollars would take his foundation to the next level. To wit, Wiles' attitude is quite off-putting, not to mention irrational. Michael (talk) 15:36, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
- His solution would probably be predicated on CTMU-related concepts. In order to get the million dollars, he would probably need to promote the CTMU enough such that he wouldn't need the money. Dylancatlow (talk) 15:22, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
- As Langan stated, he may not submit it due to the fact that the panel review board is bias towards academia, I also believe than Langan wouldn't like the idea of anyone stealing his work, that's why he only really publishes the CTMU on his website. --JT1480 (talk) 15:34, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
- The rules say that proposed solutions may not be submitted directly to CMI for consideration. Rather:
Before consideration, a proposed solution must be published in a refereed mathematics publication of worldwide repute (or such other form as the SAB [Scientific Advisory Board] shall determine qualifies), and it must also have general acceptance in the mathematics community two years after.
- One possibility would be for Langan simply to post his solution to arXiv.org. That's what Perelman did for the Poincaré conjecture, the only Millennium Prize Problem to be solved so far. His articles there drew attention, he was invited to give talks on them, his proof was fleshed out and verified by other mathematicians in refereed journals, and eventually he was awarded the prize (which he declined!). Perelman was already well-established in academia when he put his proof online, though, so things might play out differently for Langan. But at least arXiv.org would give him a public timestamp in the event of a priority dispute. Tim Smith (talk) 16:07, 20 July 2014 (UTC)
- If Chris Langan posted a putative proof of P≠NP on Arxiv.org, plenty of us would take the time to check it; and if it seemed correct, it would get attention, lead to invited talks, etc. etc. It's hard to get anyone to pay attention to mathematical metaphysics; but a solution to a classic math problem will get plenty of attention, once even a handful of mathematicians start hinting it may be correct... -- Ben Goertzel
I enjoyed it of course. I was surprised to hear his comments regarding 9/11; he hedged his bets by saying there's not enough data to proclaim that it's an 'inside job', but he seemed to imply it was a plausible theory--I find this ridiculous. Otherwise, he was his usual brilliant self. I was texting questions, but unfortunately they were not used. If he appears on the show again I'll try phoning in. I have a question that's become an obsession and attempts at formalizing his theory have hit an absolute roadblock because of it. Cdipoce (talk) 18:32, 22 July 2014 (UTC)
- 9/11 was an inside job, and anyone who thinks otherwise is incompetent. Anonymous (talk) 21:51, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
@Tim it's plausible, however I believe his main focus is basically the CTMU and projects being undertaken by the Mega Foundation. He used to go to collaborative discussions with people outside the high IQ community, think of the modern day TedX talks, he just... Sort of stopped doing it, he's getting old.
I honestly don't know if he will release half of his works he has privately undertaken in his lifetime.
@cdipoce well, there have been reports of insider threats, and there has been insider threats for decades. Insider trading is basically confirmed to have occurred during 9/11. That's not to say that Bush and the 'elite' were all behind it, but AQ and other groups may have had access to US Government facilities or held clearance to those areas. Washington Post did report some time ago that the US Government was hunting a classified terrorist organization, it's unknown where it operates or what groups make it up. Knowing Snowden, he probably has that information somewhere, considering he's only released 0.5% of the total stolen data.
Anyway, I actually did have a question, I forgot to mention it at the time, I wanted Chris to elaborate on psi phenomena, specifically the outer-body experiences he's had. --JT1480 (talk) 08:58, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
- Discussion of OBEs continued at /Off-topic#OBEs.
Independent Movie and public info on Mega Foundation
There is also apparently a 'podcast' page that may be made on the site, hopefully Chris' publications get widely accepted, so more donations can chime in.
A Chris Langan comment I found
This section has been moved to off-topic http://ctmucommunity.org/wiki/Meta:Discussion/Off-topic
Someone should make a CTMU forum, great place to discuss everything off-topic.
- Isn't Tim Smith il padrone around here? I don't think many people have an account on this wiki, and most of those who do, are seemingly self-moderating. And, most most active users are handful. I don't think we need a vote for that. Michael (talk) 17:54, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I thought it was, I honestly prefer free hosting websites, many sites now-a-days seem to disappear if money isn't paid, anyway, if you would like to make one, feel free. --JT1480 (talk) 18:09, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
I went ahead and created a subpage for off-topic discussion. Go wild :) Feel free to move any off-topic material from this board to that one to get it started. Tim Smith (talk) 19:35, 23 July 2014 (UTC)
- Yes, I think these are helpful and they look nice too. Good work, Dylan! Diagrams are a great way to complement our explanations on the wiki. I like the first two. The third one is a bit unclear: could you clarify what "X (definition)" means? Tim Smith (talk) 17:35, 31 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Tim! The third one is meant to depict the following idea:
"Suppose that there is some degree of noncorrespondence between cognitive syntax and perceptual content (observed phenomena). Then there exist items of perceptual content which do not correspond to or coincide with cognitive syntax. But if these items do not coincide with cognitive syntax, then they are unrecognizable, i.e. inobservable (since cognitive syntax is by definition the basis of recognition). But then these items are not included in perceptual reality (the set of observable phenomena), and we have a contradiction. Therefore, perceptual reality must coincide with cognitive syntax."
In other words, "X (definition)" could stand for anything . For example, denying that a proton equals its description amounts to the assertion that proton =/= proton.
By the way, I made the diagrams using google docs. They are very easy to make if you ever want to make one yourself. If you can think of any other CTMU concepts that could use diagrams, please post them on my talk page.
- Here we have to be careful. On the syntactic level, a description is necessarily isomorphic to that which it describes (because they occupy the same reality and therefore share a common syntax), but on the semantic level, illusion and falsehood become possible. The description equals its object only up to the validity of the description. Maybe the diagram could have two parts. The first part would show that when a description only partially describes its object, they neverless share the same underlying syntax. The second part would show that when a description wholly describes its object, they are identical. Tim Smith (talk) 00:45, 3 August 2014 (UTC)
- "but on the semantic level, illusion and falsehood become possible."
- I thought by that, Langan meant one's interpretation of a given description could be false (e.g. "an assumed veridical mapping of personalized fantasies onto general (perceptual) reality"). Or is that what you meant by "The description equals its object only up to the validity of the description."?
- "Maybe the diagram could have two parts. [...]"
- I'll try to improve it.
- Yes, that's what I meant. In logic, another way to say that one's interpretation of a description is false, is to say that the description is false under that interpretation. Remember that "description" is essentially just another word for "theory":
A theory can be good or bad, fanciful or plausible, true or false. [...] But doesn’t that essentially make “theory” synonymous with “description”? Yes. A theory is just a description of something.
Show them to a random person who knows little on the CTMU and see what they think. You may have to simplify it for the general audience. I do like them though, good work.
Enjoy these links well you can. I got the idea off Michael, it's easy to just open the directory.
http://imgur.com/a/HgBnW/all - photos of everything Chris, from childhood, to reading material, to few diagrams.
Interestingly enough, if you look at the YouTube videos that feature Chris, they often film inside his house, if you pause it at his chalk board, you will see a cube and something close to regarding quarks. I believe it's this image here: http://i.imgur.com/Dy6sl0J.jpg
Can someone explain Chris' resolution of Newcomb's Paradox?
That was helpful, thanks.
In the Scientopia discussion, the poster going by the username "Rubix" linked several forum posts about the CTMU that Chris made on the ARN Intelligent Design forums. Here are those links:
Chris, what's your position on ID in biology?: http://www.arn.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=205060&page=135&fpart=all&vc=1
"Hidden Variables” and ID’s Scientific Advantage: http://www.arn.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=190012&page=0&fpart=all&vc=1
Can DE Really Pass as Science?: http://www.arn.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=190027&page=0&fpart=all&vc=1
Does anyone really undertand CTMU?: http://www.arn.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=190043&page=0&fpart=all&vc=1
Geometry = Logic? Not Exactly: http://www.arn.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=190064&page=0&fpart=all&vc=1
Photosynthesis Analysis Shows Work of Ancient Genetic Engineering: http://www.arn.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=234677&page=0&fpart=all&vc=1
(personal?) question for Chris: http://www.arn.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=12&Number=238026
ID, Science, and the ID critics: http://www.arn.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=190095&page=0&fpart=all&vc=1
A serious question about Humo(u)r: http://www.arn.org/ubbthreads/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=190090&page=0&fpart=all&vc=1
As you can see, all of these are dead. I remember looking at them a couple years when they weren't. They were very interesting. For example, if I remember right (I sometimes confuse Chris's posts at ARN with his posts at ISCID), Chris made an analogy between a flatlander's trying to prove that he couldn't have a digestive tract since it would cut him clean in half and our trying to prove things about reality with the CTMU. I'm posting here in the hope that one of you will be able to find the old posts through HTML magic.
- Hi, Anonymous. If I'm not mistaken, Chris has written over 200 posts on ARN. I think the ARN website has gone through maintenance, or changed it's directory listings. So unless ARN killed it's boards/forums, Chris' posts should be available somewhere. By the way, I contacted ARN regarding this issue. Michael (talk) 11:27, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
One year after Chris passes away, should we post his extended family on here or Wikipedia? I have it... I'm not sure how many fans he may gain with the release of his book, so I think we shouldn't release any of his relatives names until a year after his passing, to protect them. Agreed? Thoughts? --JT1480 (talk) 15:15, 10 August 2014 (UTC)
A question about self
Out of all the people I could have been, why am I me? Why am I conscious of this consciousness and not another consciousness? In other words, why does "I" refer to my mind, and not another mind.
- This is a great question. The surprising answer is that in fact, there is ultimately only one self, and it is shared by all individuals. This is an old idea with antecedents in Eastern philosophy. Thus, while you seem to be conscious only of a single person's experiences, this is an artifact of that person's brain, which has access only to the experiences recorded in it. When having a Dylan Catlow experience, you have access only to other experiences of Dylan Catlow, and don't remember having experiences as anyone else. When having an experience as someone else, you have access only to that person's experiences and don't remember having experiences as Dylan Catlow. But it is the same One Self which has all the experiences, which is the "subject" of all consciousness everywhere. This follows from syndiffeonesis: putatively separate selves belong to a common medium and are therefore not absolutely separate. We can stratify the self and speak of individuals and "levels" of self, but there's ultimately just one self. And that's you (and me). In the CTMU, this idea is called distributed solipsism. Tim Smith (talk) 22:50, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply. I don't see how this answers the question though. I agree that there is only one true self, and that the self I'm referring to is superficial (and that *everyone* feels it), but I still don't understand why I'm aware of *this* superficial self, if that makes sense. Could it be that since "you" have no specific identity outside of "yourself", there is nothing "about you" which exists apart from yourself (I'm speaking in terms of superficial "self" of course). I'd love an answer from Langan on this.
- Yes, it would be interesting to get Langan's response. But I think what I said does answer the original question, which was: "Out of all the people I could have been, why am I me?" Or in other words, out of the set of all conscious experiences that people have, why do I experience only the subset associated with the person Dylan Catlow? The answer is that actually, you experience not just that subset, but the entire set of all conscious experiences. It just seems like you only have Dylan Catlow experiences because, while having a Dylan Catlow experience, you only remember other Dylan Catlow experiences. Similarly, while having an experience as another person, you only remember that person's experiences. Thus, the question falsely presupposes that your self is identical to a particular person, when in fact it is distributed over all people. Once this is understood, the question goes away.
- Of course, you could still ask, given that I have the entire set of all conscious experiences, why is this particular experience that I am having this one, and not one of the others in the set? E.g., why is this Dylan Catlow experience a Dylan Catlow experience and not, say, a Chris Langan experience, given that I have both? But this is like asking why 1 equals 1 and not 2. Each experience in the set has its own identity. In having each experience, you distinguish it from the other experiences in the set, but that is just part of having the experience, and you do it for every experience in the set. Here I don't see a problem. The problem was due to the assumption that you are a particular person and have only that person's experiences. This inexplicably ties your self to just one person out of many. Once that assumption is dropped, we get a nice symmetrical picture with one self having the experiences of all people. So I think that the "one self" idea does resolve this problem. That the CTMU accommodates this resolution is a strength of the theory. Tim Smith (talk) 06:27, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
- I know this discussion is old, but I haven't seen a particular thorn in my side about this addressed. I can understand the one "Self" concept. However, time and its experience still lock me up in loops of thought. How come all I experience is NOW? Does the Self always experience, err...experience as Now? This seems to make it a serial and, perhaps, sequential array of experience. However, for others to have the Self experience them and events in this reality to occur concurrently among us, then two different timestreams seem to be operating. Is this telic recursion? I think you can see where issues of paradox, determinism and other weird stuff can propagate... BRA1N-b0X (talk) 06:11, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying what you mean. I'm inclined to agree with you now. On an unrelated note, could you look over a debate I had, and tell me if my understanding of the CTMU is correct? I did a lot of arguing in the comments section as well. Thank you. http://www.debate.org/debates/God-exists/97/
- I read the debate and I think you displayed a sound understanding of the CTMU. Tim Smith (talk) 17:54, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
This is typical non-positivistic CTMU nonsense. IT DOESN'T MAKE A DIFFERENCE whether you think of there is one self or many. Appealing to some "common medium" is arbitrary, it's like saying, "There is only one species because we can find common features between any pair of species." Sure you can, but that's not how people use the word "species"! Similarly, in some contexts it can be more useful to say there are many selves, and in some it can be more useful to say there is just one self. It's a stupid philosophical issue, and you can change your point of view on it freely because it makes no difference in your sense perceptions.
- On the contrary, it does makes a difference in your sense perceptions. It makes a big difference: it determines which sense perceptions are yours. If your self is limited to a particular person, e.g. "Anonymous", then you have only that person's sense perceptions. If your self is distributed over all people, then you have all of their sense perceptions. Thus, your set of sense perceptions changes dramatically depending on whether there is one self or many. Further, which sense perceptions and conscious experiences are yours determines which utilities are yours. Since utility is essential to rational decision theory and ethics, the philosophical issue of the nature of the self actually has consequences for real-world decision-making.
- To say that "there is only one species because we can find common features between any pair of species" would indeed be a misuse of the word "species". After all, there are already other words (e.g. "genus", "phylum") to describe higher taxonomic ranks; "species" is reserved for one level in this hierarchy. However, "self" is different from "species". Properly understood, "self" is a primitive philosophical concept which denotes an indexical subject of experience. Although it is commonly assumed that the experiences had by any one self are tied to a single individual, e.g. a person, this is not required by the definition. In fact, as I mentioned above, the idea that there is only one self, distributed over all individuals, is an old one with antecedents in Eastern philosophy.
- Regarding logical positivism, it may be less at odds with the CTMU than it seems. In logical positivism, statements about the world, to be meaningful, are required to make a difference in perception. In the CTMU, reality is defined on relevance to perception. That is, in the CTMU, reality consists of (1) perceptions plus (2) all relevant supporting structure. Where they differ is on the nature of the supporting structure: in the CTMU it is metaphysical, whereas the program of the logical positivists was to dispense with metaphysics. For a nice retrospective on that program, see this interview (in four parts) with one of its leading exponents, A. J. Ayer. Near the end, he says that its most important defect was that "nearly all of it was false"! Tim Smith (talk) 22:33, 7 July 2015 (UTC)
- No one has anyone's sense perceptions but their own, no matter how many parapsychologists say otherwise. The parapsychologists are wrong, and they do bad science. I will never have your sense perceptions, and you will never have mine. But even if I did, would it mean that every person has access to many selves? Depends on your point of view. A solipsist would say no, because there is only one self anyway, and it's mine. Even if I dreamed of a certain room, went to your house, and saw that my dream matched your room exactly as you saw it at the same time as I had my dream, it would still not prove that every person has access to many selves to the solipsist! But you don't have to be a solipsist. It could be a Fight Club scenario, maybe we're really two aspects of the same person. When you let go of sense perceptions as your point of reference, this is the sort of nonsense that you get.
- Which utilities are yours in the arbitrary framework of the CTMU is not important for ethics. Ethics should be understood through superrationality, which Douglas Hofstadter first wrote about in Metamagical Themas. The original idea only applied to symmetric games like the prisoner's dilemma. Superrationality dictates that two perfectly logical players mutually cognizant of their perfect logic in a prisoner's dilemma would agree to cooperate because they'd both reason that, since they are both perfectly logical, they should come to an identical conclusion about what to do, either both cooperating or both defecting. But since the former option maximizes each player's utility, they choose to cooperate. In fact, even with a relatively low probability that the other player is superrational (dependent on the exact payoffs), a superrational player will choose to cooperate. Notice that this sort of reasoning would apply even to a player who is only self-interested but who is perfectly logical. Superrationality was extended to asymmetric games by Ron Maimon, you can read about it here. The idea here is that you should behave as if an all-knowing being whose utility is maximized when all players play ethically in all games (this is actually a first-order approximation, because the utility of the players might be modified in light of this notion, but it's close enough) had an absolute answer to what you should do. This is how you arrive at the notion of God. Again, it doesn't actually require that other people's utilities are yours, that's irrelevant. Spock could arrive at the same notion of God.
- A. J. Ayer doesn't know what he's talking about. All the philosophers either died or abandoned positivism, whatever, they're a bunch of politically schmoozing sellouts. Positivism lived on among the physicists, although they don't like philosophy much, so they usually don't know that what they believe is called positivism. Positivism is completely correct, the CTMU is nebulous and not even wrong, and you should go do something more useful than running this wiki.
- I realize you've been invested in this idea since the '90s, but look, it's not going to go anywhere. I was invested in it for some years myself, I was one of its biggest defenders in online discussions, I'm the same Anonymous from Scientopia and An American Atheist, and now I do more productive things. Please, go prove a new theorem or discover a new law of physics or something, don't waste more time on this. Anonymous (talk) 00:56, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
- Don't worry, I have a life outside the CTMU, as you can tell from how long it sometimes takes me to reply ;)
- A self has only its own sense perceptions and other conscious experiences, by definition. The question is whether there are multiple selves, each with experiences tied to some individual (e.g. a person), or whether there is one self whose experiences range over all individuals. Let's be careful to distinguish "self" and "person". As I said, "self" is a primitive philosophical concept which denotes an indexical subject of experience. By contrast, "person" is a fuzzier notion applied to any cognitive system exhibiting sufficiently advanced behavior to be characterized as "intelligent", "self-aware", "rational", etc. We are interested in the relationship between the two.
- Parapsychology is irrelevant here: if you dreamed of a room in my house just as I was seeing it, that could indicate a paranormal flow of information between our two persons, but it would not, in and of itself, mean that we share the same self. Similarly, if you never have such a dream, that would not mean that we have distinct selves. To definitively relate persons and selves, metaphysical (e.g. CTMU-style) reasoning is required. As for solipsism, recall that Langan's term for the relationship of the self to the individual is "distributed solipsism". In conventional solipsism, the one self is inexplicably and asymmetrically tied to a particular person, with all other persons taken to be philosophical zombies or to have no independent existence at all. In distributed solipsism, the One Self is distributed over all individuals, and everything is nice and symmetrical.
- Regarding "superrationality", in extending it to asymmetric games, the post you linked invokes Rawlsian symmetrization, "so that the players are equally likely to play in any position". While such symmetrization may be rational if you don't know which position in the game you will occupy, if you do have such knowledge, symmetrization requires a justification. The post you linked provides none. By contrast, under distributed solipsism, the justification for symmetrization is that all players share the same self, and therefore share utilities; it is then in each player's self-interest, properly understood, to maximize utility across all players. Spock could arrive at this notion too, once he discovered the CTMU ;) Tim Smith (talk) 22:44, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
- Well, in Star Trek IV, there is the following exchange:
- Vulcan Computer: What was Kiri-kin-tha's first law of metaphysics?
- Spock: Nothing unreal exists.
CTMU and the Mind
In the CTMU we can see works that relate to a higher self, and Chris has talked about "using your minds will to create things".
I am wondering what Chris means by using your minds will to create things, and also if the human connection to God's mind can be trained, and if so how?
Reddit Debate in CTMU Sources section
-  Reddit debate
You're right because that user was me. I'm no longer a supporter of the CTMU. I think it is silly and think Langan should've gone into math or the sciences instead. Anonymous (talk) 21:16, 4 July 2015 (UTC)
The Examiner has just done a small article on Langan and his CTMU. If you watch the video on the link, don't bother reading the comments. http://www.examiner.com/article/the-software-of-life-argument-for-an-intelligent-designer-part-eight --JT1480 (talk) 01:03, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
- Thanks for the link, JT.
- As for the article itself: he admittedly doesn't understand the CTMU, nor does he fully endorse it, but he cites it nonetheless because of Chris' high IQ score and that his theory is friendly to God. I don't want to skewer people that are supportive of the CTMU, but this mindset is just the flip side of the dogmatic-materialist coin. It consists of a blanket appeal to authority, where the authority is established as such for dubious reasons (e.g., IQ scores or academic affiliations), and this particular authority is then held above others simply because the authority's conclusions correspond to the one's own (often baseless) internal biases.
- The other thing I noticed is that he characterizes Chris as an "unabashed intelligent design proponent", which I guess is true, but the CTMU's brand of ID is almost certainly not what he thinks it is. Cdipoce (talk) 14:14, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, but we (CTMU Community members) rarely do see a mass understanding of the CTMU, online. From MarkCC, to the GrumpyAtheist, to a small portion of YouTube members. I mean... they're usually out of their depth, because the majority doesn't really have an understanding of the large number of topics that make up the CTMU.
The fact that Chris has received so much distaste from the "scientific" community is enough proof to conclude he's a genius ;)
I am curious to read Design for a Universe: it's well worth the wait.
This link http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/iq-and-id/ say's CML "presented a lecture on his CTMU at ISCID’s Research and Progress in Intelligent Design (RAPID) conference" in 2002. Does anyone know anybody from ISCID who may have videotaped the conference? --JT1480 (talk) 10:27, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Ben Goertzel's Comments on CTMU
I made some brief comments on CTMU here:
A brief comment on academia and CTMU. I think CTMU fits within the scope of what academic journals would publish, but the style of exposition in the current write-ups is not quite right for academia. It's a shame that academia sometimes puts form over substance, but of course, academia is not the only part of human society to do so ;-p ... Much of what one learns in grad school is not just declarative content, but "know how" regarding how to present stuff to academics in a way they will be biased to take seriously...
Also, a comment on set-theoretic foundations. I think one way to more fully formalize CTMU would be using non-foundational set theory (e.g. as developed by Aczel). This is the approach I took in formulating "infinite-order probability theory", for example... Or see Barwise & Etchemendy, "The Liar"....
As I said in my blog post, I think CTMU is an interesting mathematico-metaphysical model and it feels generally intuitively right to me. Most parts of it are familiar from various other places, but it's a novel coherent combination of ideas.... Whether it's the "right" coherent combination of ideas I'm not so sure... To an extent that's an aesthetic judgment; to an extent it's a question of whether it proves fertile -- i.e. of whether CTMU ends up leading to interesting further developments. If it does, then it's in some deep sense "right" (this is basically Lakatosian philosophy-of-science... in which a research programme is judged in large part on its generativity).... [When I get time I will write up my own metaphysical theory in detail; it overlaps with CTMU greatly but formulates some things differently and has different emphases...]
- Thanks for dropping by, Ben, and for the thoughtful comments here and on your blog. You write that the style of exposition in the current write-ups is not quite right for academia. On the other hand, (mainstream) academia may not have been the target audience for those write-ups ;) Perhaps CML would adopt a different style in the event that he submits something to a mathematical journal, a possibility to which he has indicated he is open. I hope that one way or another, he manages to make more material available. Like you, I am "curious for what comes next" :) Tim Smith (talk) 09:38, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
- Tim: A math journal would need theorems and proofs, yeah. I don't know what an academic philosophy journal would need beyond a bunch of references, but I never read academic philosophy journals and find modern academic philosophy pretty much a morass of boring crap anyway.... I would just like to see CTMU written up more accessibly so that more people would be able to understand and build on the ideas.... Making more academically-acceptable write-ups may not even be the best path to this... Bengoertzel (talk) 02:35, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
- Yes, actually one of the goals of this wiki is to help make the CTMU more accessible. The idea is that through successive editing by different users, the wiki would explain the CTMU in a different "voice" than Langan's. Hopefully, this would get his ideas across to more people, while remaining faithful to the theory. We have made progress in this direction, but there is a bit more work to do ;) Tim Smith (talk) 16:30, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
CTMU and Quantum Theory etc.
I am curious about the connection btw CTMU and quantum theory...
The real mystery of quantum theory, from a math perspective, lies in the use of complex rather than real numbers to quantify probabilities.
Scott Aaronson makes this point very concisely here,
and some deeper related math is here
and some of my own related musings here
I note also the hypothesis here
that an observer should be understood as a system identification algorithm, and quantified using algorithmic information (aka Kolmogorov information, aka the length of the shortest program for producing the observer)
The paper says
"System S is called quantum with respect to observer X if K(S) < K(X), meaning that X will be able to maintain a complete list of all its degrees of freedom. Otherwise X is called classical with respect to X."
which has the consequence (among others) that
"An element of reality that may become an object of quantum mechanical investigation can be defined only with respect to a class of not very different observers."
Anyway I wonder what CTMU has to say about these aspects of QM. It's not clear to me, though admittedly I haven't thought about it very long or deeply.... Anyone have thoughts? Bengoertzel (talk) 02:47, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
CTMU, Psi and Nonlocal Mind
Hello CTMU community, whoever/wherever you are ;) ...
I am editing a book titled "Psi and the Nonlocal Mind", a sequel of sorts to
(which dealt only with empirical data, not theory)
It will be a collection of papers exploring possible theoretical explanations for psi phenomena, and focusing on explanations related to "nonlocal mind" in the universe...
It seems to me that CTMU has something to say about this
If anyone is interested to write a chapter for the book exploring the potential of CTMU for explaining why psi phenomena exist, and why they have the (sometimes pretty weird) properties they have, that would be interesting to me...
- You are right that the CTMU has something to say about this topic, and I think it could be a good fit for your book. (I assume you mean the first quarter of 2016.) For a taste of Langan's perspective, check out Altered States and Psi Phenomena (Part One) and Altered States and Psi Phenomena (Part Two). Langan says there that he constructed the CTMU partially in order to clarify things regarding his own experiences of these phenomena.
- Of course, Langan himself would be the right person to contribute a chapter about psi and the CTMU. To contact him, try the e-mail address at the bottom of the first page of this paper. (Let me know if it doesn't work.) This sounds like a great opportunity. Tim Smith (talk) 17:23, 24 October 2015 (UTC)
The Problem of Empirical Induction
Hi! First off, I'm going to apologize if this is misplaced or formatted poorly. If so, at least everyone has an accurate first impression :)
I was wondering if anyone could provide some elaboration as to how Chris solved the problem of empirical induction. I saw it briefly alluded to as being delegated to model-theoretic status, but is it possible for someone to elaborate a little bit more on that?
- I can elaborate a little. The problem of empirical induction refers to the lack of justification for generalizing from the part to the whole in the empirical realm. Observation and experimentation, the standard empirical methods of science, may tell us that "all X observed so far are Y", but they do not allow us to then conclude that "all X are Y (across all of space and time)". Because of this problem, we cannot prove universal laws of nature using the scientific method, but only provisionally confirm or falsify them.
- Langan's approach with the CTMU is to circumvent the problem of induction by using deduction instead. That is, he proposes to use the deductive methods of logic and mathematics to draw conclusions about reality. Instead of starting with a limited set of empirical observations and trying to generalize them, he starts with logic, adjoins certain analytic truths (see below), and extracts the implications for the whole of reality. Among the results he claims to have mathematically deduced are "nomological covariance, the invariance of the rate of global self-processing (c-invariance), and the internally-apparent accelerating expansion of the system" (, page 32).
- The keys to Langan's approach are the three analytic principles which he uses to relate logic to reality. These principles are associated with three properties which a theory of reality must inevitably possess: closure, comprehensiveness, and consistency. The principles in question are supposed to be true of reality as defined on the model-theoretic level, i.e. on the level of the general correspondence between a theory of reality, and reality itself. You can read more about them at the Three Cs / Three Ms.
- As a final note, Langan does not claim that at the current stage of its development, the CTMU can be used to demonstrate every empirical truth, and he acknowledges the role that empirical methods may play in refining his theory. Since those methods remain subject to the problem of induction, it is perhaps better to say that the CTMU transcends the problem, rather than doing away with it entirely.
Name of the CTMU
Comprehensive Theoretic Model Of The Universe
Why not call the CTMU this?
- The "Cognitive" portion of the name relates to the character by which it (reality AND theory) is expressed and operated. Reality is very much like a mind and mind is that with which we model reality. "Comprehensivity" falls under the aegis of this, insofar that to fully correlate mind with reality it reaches comprehensive ends in so doing. "Cognitive" therefore includes "comprehensivity" in this description. Also, the original title is "Cognitive-Theoretic" and thus makes "cognitive" wed to "theoretic" in its label, denoting their interdependence and "comprehensivity" tied together. The original title manages to comprehensively say these things already, basically. BRA1N-b0X (talk) 13:47, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
- However, I do see what you're driving at with regard to a definition of "comprehensively". In particular -- comprehending or thoroughly understanding with one's mind; having an extensive mental range or grasp, as of a particular subject or many subjects. However, the "mind" portion of the definition which bears relevance is embedded within, whereas the general thrust of the CTMU is to first establish the mental quality of reality. One must define mind first, after all, then how it acts comprehensively. A change in title as such would likely occlude the intent. At least, this is my interpretation of Langan's intent. Does this make sense? BRA1N-b0X (talk) 14:00, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
god, morality, logic, consciousness
Hi. I've been trying to understand the CTMU, but find it can be challenging. Maybe somebody here can shed some light on the following questions:
1) Langan seems to suggest that everything that exists is perceived. Perception seems to be the act of registration that distinguishes existence from nonexistence. Is this accurate?
2) Langan speaks of an afterlife. What is the mechanism by which the representational self that inheres in my neural networks might survive the death of my brain?
3) There is much talk about laws and syntax. Is he suggesting that the language of logic created itself out of unbound potential and that the universe and its evolution just sort of logically follows from that language?
4) How does the CTMU solve the problem of evil? Why does the universe seem so indifferent and mechanistic if it is the mind of god?
5) What implications does the CTMU have for morality? What are the CTMU's criteria for right and wrong, in practical terms,and why?
- I'll take the first one ;) Langan does not say that everything that exists is perceived. Rather, he says that everything that exists is perceived, or is relevant to perception. That is, reality consists of (a) perceptions, and (b) all relevant supporting structure. For example, if you see an apple fall from a tree, your perception of the apple qualifies as real by (a), while the law of gravity that caused the apple to fall qualifies as real by (b). Perception is indeed an act of registration that distinguishes existence from nonexistence, but each perception "registers" not only itself, but any further structure needed to support its existence, connect it to other perceptions, and fit it consistently into the rest of reality. Since reality is defined on perceptual relevance, anything not "registered" in this way is unreal. Tim Smith (talk) 16:10, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
- I can take a crack at the question(s) of morality in relation to the CTMU. First, it's best to establish what one can attribute as evil or good. Is there bedrock to this relationship that can withstand relativism? If reality is the mind of God, then are there absolute values or is this all just God "making up his mind" and working the kinks out? Is there anywhere in-between? Langan has often asserted that there is absolute truth and logic's identity is truth. Can good and evil be logically derived and given solid ground on values from absolute truth(s)? How can we begin to quantize this? We need to look at what maintains the integrity of consistency and cohesiveness, which has values based on reality's power of self-determinacy. Reality itself must be able to plot its own course and provide for itself the means to do so. There is nothing outside of reality to impart values nor lend a hand in furthering those goals. The CTMU characterizes the universe's/reality's/God's primary goal as the maximization of "generalized utility". There is everywhere this striving for evolutionary types of progress. Teleology distributes responsibility for this task among all scales and stratifications. Human beings are endowed with the wherewithal to partake in the generation of telesis. Of course, our share is limited by space, time and circumstance, so mistakes are simply part of its perfection, you might say. How does one balance this power? There should likely be axes of invariants on which pivots can be anchored. We generally might call these "consequences". The deep dualities of reality underpin its success and failure, but in the effort of fairness, "rules" are in place with which to moderate this. These are the physical laws that one might thereby label reality as "mechanistic". As partakers of telesis, human beings are in their way fractal pieces of God and are in a way acting under that authority. One can attribute this portion of human existence as that which God partakes in WITH them. He is putting himself under his own rules. He takes part in all our trials and tribulations. He faces all the constraints that arbitrate reality to maintain consistency and cohesiveness along with those he gives the power with which to face them.
- I hope that didn't get too convoluted there. Perhaps someone can refine or correct me on this, but there is actually a lot of interrelated concepts that makes summary difficult for me to attain, so I apologize. (My formatting could probably use some attention, too.) BRA1N-b0X (talk) 01:54, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
How would someone go about designing this?
I am suggesting that there be a organized attempt to design a MooC based off the CTMU.
The CTMU obligated under moral law, to be accessible to the less fortunate.
The aim of this MooC is to allow the person
This website will allow you to create a MooC based off the CTMU. http://nuvarsity.com/?utm_source=quora&utm_medium=mcgen
There is this: https://www.learndash.com/5-mooc-building-platforms/ --Tristin (talk) 11:37, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
Looking for Contributors For Teleologically Put
Hello. I am a CTMU supporter based in the SEA region.
The website is teleologicallyput.wordpress.com
This is the wordpress version of the CTMU.
How does conspansion explain cosmic acceleration?
How does conspansion explain cosmic acceleration?
Wouldn't this be one of the most profound observables of the CTMU?
If we're talking about layering the inside of a balloon, space shrinks too, no?
If everything speeds up when smaller, which is the same as saying everything goes the same rate but space shrinks, then yes, acceleration does occur, because shrinkage occurs at a constant rate. But how could internal organisms know if the space between things was shrinking proportionally?
If galaxies are drifting apart from each other, then the spatial relation between them is growing, and the objects themselves are shrinking, but space remains constant (relative to previous time) If objects are being described inside previous objects, and their relative positions remain constant, this results in inner expansion, I guess. But distance in space remaining constant doesn't seem to mesh with the "layers inside a balloon" formulation, in which it too would get smaller proportionally.
I read something about the way light passes through previous layers being the explanation, but I don't understand it.
Don't get me wrong, I understand that if a man in a room is halved in size at a constant rate, the room appears to be accelerating in growth. But by "room" here, we're talking about the distance between galaxies. If things that are not held together in space relative to each other by gravity (like the earth and the moon, which seem locked into place relative to each other) accelerate as they move away from each other, why wouldn't that apply to, say, a satellite we launch outside of the solar system as much as to galaxies drifting away from each other? Does it?
And to Tim, who I presume is the most likely to answer the question, please try to explain it like you're explaining it to a total idiot, because you probably are :)
- By definition, reality contains everything real, so there is nothing outside reality. Where the universe is identified with reality, there is nothing outside the universe. This means that the universe cannot expand, because there is nothing for it to expand into. Instead, we have conspansion, in which objects shrink relative to the invariant size of the universe, giving the appearance of expansion to internal observers. The expansion appears to accelerate because the rescaling uses a constant fractional multiplier, as in your example of the man in the room.
- As to what shrinks and what doesn't, Langan was once asked about that, and said that objects shrink, but space does not shrink except in areas where there exists a force field strong enough to make it "object-like", in which case it shrinks as well. A solar system and even a galaxy can be considered an "object" for purposes of conspansion, which is why we don't see familiar bodies like the earth and moon, or man-made satellites and probes, all accelerating away from one another.
- Regarding "layers inside a balloon", I think that was just an aid to visualization. Here is the relevant passage from "Physics and Metaphysics":
The idea behind the CTMU is to use advanced logic, algebra and computation theory to give spacetime a stratified computational or cognitive structure that lets ERSU be “inverted” and ERSU paradoxes resolved. To glimpse how this is done, just look at the ERSU balloon from the inside instead of the outside. Now imagine that its size remains constant as thin, transparent layers of parallel distributed computation grow inward, and that as objects are carried towards the center by each newly-created layer, they are proportionately resized. Instead of the universe expanding relative to objects whose sizes remain constant, the size of the universe remains constant and objects do the shrinking…along with any time scale expressed in terms of basic physical processes defined on those objects. Now imagine that as objects and time scales remain in their shrunken state, layers become infinitesimally thin and recede outward, with newer levels of space becoming “denser” relative to older ones and older levels becoming “stretched” relative to newer ones. In the older layers, light – which propagates in the form of a distributed parallel computation – “retroactively” slows down as it is forced to travel through more densely-quantized overlying layers.
- My reading of this passage is that the image of layers shrinking and approaching the center of the balloon is just the first step in a visualization. He first asks you to imagine that the layers grow inward as objects shrink, and then that they recede outward, carrying the shrunken objects with them. Since the layers are infinitesimally thin, the net result is that they are all stacked together at the surface. They are all the same size, but in each subsequent layer, the objects are smaller. Thus, the size of the universe remains constant as objects shrink. Tim Smith (talk) 00:37, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
Edit: Just reread my post decided to include the following, rather intuitive, cheat code: if you skip to the last bit that starts with "long story short", you get the question I intended to ask without all the crap in it :)
One more, and I think this is the big one. Langan points out that Hume's problem of induction means that observation cannot explain the universe, which means logic must be used instead. He also says that the problem of induction means a physical explanation cannot explain physicality, which is also absolutely correct. He then says that the explanation must therefore be telic.
To me, it seems like a leap is made here. There must be a logical reason. Why must it be one of intention?
I've tried to reverse engineer the argument, and it does have some merit, using just Langan's work. For example, if being a language, and thus being a logical process, makes the universe intelligent, it must have a purpose, (because intelligence only exists with purpose) and given an atemporal structure, if that language designs itself to be coherent, it is certainly adept at it, making the fact that its existence is an act of deliberately designed structure clear. That said, any astute reader will realise that I snuck intelligence into the argument as a condition, and then pointed out that intelligence requires volition... which feels like cheating. I mean, I see why a form of internal communication must be intelligent, but I don't know if its origins have to be... but maybe atemporal retroactive causation handles that? I feel like I'm so close, but it's not clicking.
A quick example of an ontological argument that doesn't seem to require volition in a holistic sense would be that non-existence can't exist, so existence-asserting sentience must follow, and reality must thus be configured to be conducive to these, and they create whatever they need to exist in order to percieve, like time and space... namely the stuff delineations are made of. In other words, differences are required for anything to be asserted, and specific combinations of differences (attributes) can accrue to make intelligent beings who create the differences of their origins by perceiving them. Really just a backyard kind of strong anthropic principle, largely inspired/derived by Langan anyway, but missing his central argument of a holistic form of volition. And the fact that differences exist in description (language) and can be reduced to a common medium of communication (language) is 100% Chris. I'm not saying that the quick hypothetical argument above about non-existence not being able to exist is a real ontological argument; I'm just using it as an example of what I'm not sure if... or rather, where Langan ruled out: a non-volitional reason for existence.
This is long winded, of course, but this is the discussion section... is my excuse anyway
Long story short, I don't know how Langan deduced that the reason for existence has to be telic. Obviously we know wants are not synonymous with ability, and I'm not sure why ontological ability would be different. It seems like there could just as easily be some reason reality had to exist, and all else follows. Chris has been too insightful about too much to not have an answer to this, and obviously he's saving the technicalities of telic recursion for his book, but the CTMU paper itself says that the explantion for physical reality must be telic with such an air of obviousness I feel I must have missed something.
Help me, Help you
Hi, this is Drew from Kansas City, Mo. I restumbled upon a news video of Mr. Langan talking about CTMU but this time I was more cognitive to comprehend it's gravity... Just starting to dive into his work, however, I thinking I've been contemplating it already. Please, whomever, read my draft and respond in kind but feel to call me batshit crazy for I am not an expert in the myriad of fields referenced.
Further CTMU/Langan Interpretations
I am (as maybe others might be) interested to know Chris Langan's and/or CTMU's integrative capacity and interpretation of certain other theories and ideas currently out there. The three that I am most curious about are: Tom Campbell's MBT and its simulation model, Bernardo Kastrup's "More Than Allegory" and his psychological model of reality, and the Urantia Book. The thing about the Urantia Book I'm interested in seeing Langan's/CTMU's take on is the Urantia Book's claims of scientific validity, the possibilities that descriptions of the universe are likely or not or meritable at all, and reinterpretation of the language it uses.
Feel free to add to this list, if you want. Anyone with thoughts on the matter can offer their own and doesn't necessarily have to come straight from Langan's fingertips. I know he's a busy guy, but I have too many questions to not, at least, try to get some vetting done on them. (I would, of course, be thrilled if he did offer his thoughts.)
- In addition, I wonder if Langan is familiar with Terence McKenna. The two of them place a lot of emphasis on language. Mutual insight into the matter might be of some worth.
- I made a new page where we can compare the CTMU to other theories, like the ones you mentioned. Everyone, feel free to work on it! Tim Smith (talk) 08:21, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
Genealogy Of The CTMU
Could we get something like this made but for the CTMU? :)
What's next? A book?
I've been following the CTMU for years.I'm wondering what is Langan's next move? Anybody has any idea when the new book will come out (or if it comes out at all)?
October 2016 update from Langan
Hi, I just found this short video and text interview of Langan:
Definitions Of CTMU Concepts on this Wiki
Most CTMU concepts have their own page where it is explained and/or defined.But I noticed that many of them are rather short and rudimentary (was this made on purpose?).Is anyone interested in me going through all Langan's stuff in the next few months and adding all the instances where he defines/explains a concept X to the page whose subject is concept X? (e.g X = UBT or X = Syndiffeonesis, etc...)
I don't want to deform the good work others have put on this website so I'm asking y'all if you'd be interested.I'm an obsessive person and am very organized, so I could make this happen.
- Hi Ray! That sounds useful, and it looks like you've already gotten started. Ideally, we want to go beyond just quoting Langan, and give our own explanations of his ideas. But a definition is a good place to begin. If we could add some intuition or motivation to the definition, that would be even better :) Tim Smith (talk) 04:23, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
- Dear Tim, I agree that this site should be more than an organized collection of Langan quotes, but since Langan created the CTMU, his definitions/explanations should be made available on each page.That way, when a member shares his own interpretation of some concept X, other members can still go back to Langan's definition/explanation and judge the merit of the original member's interpretation.Also, it's easier for all members to come up with their own interpretation if Langan's own words are available in an organized matter.By the way, the definitions I provided are the short definitions found on the teleologic page, but I do plan on eventually including much longer definitions/explanations, mostly those found in his main 2002 paper.RayC (talk) 18:18 4 december 2016 (UTC)
Problem of Moral Luck
Can we get a page or at least merely some dicussion on this?
"Because an ultimate theory must accommodate every valid theory pertaining to every part or aspect of reality, it must be approached in the most general terms possible. It must also be formed from the top down rather than just from the bottom up, as it is easier to maintain initial coherence as specificative distinctions are added than to create it ad hoc by cobbling together distinct entities. This means that we must begin with a perfectly general theoretic identity and work inward"
- What's to expound upon? I guess in taking on a reality theory it is best to start with reality and take it apart by exclusion, instead of build through inclusions. The Reality Principle, as you probably know, seems to begin this way. From there, extrapolation provides exclusivising filtration. However, as is evident in the CTMU, there is massive duality. (Perhaps "complimentarism" is a better word for what I mean. It's a neologism meaning, loosely, "two or more things mutually supporting their respective existence or non-existence".) So, the top-down approach may be strategy to best form a whole picture through contradistinction with the rest of the world addressing reality with a bottom-up approach. BRA1N-b0X (talk) 08:24, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
- After a little perusing, here is more CTMU-related information, using the correct terms and not my neologisms... :) I hope it helps! Constructive-filtrative Duality BRA1N-b0X (talk) 17:51, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
Where is Noesis 73?
Chris's reply to Rick Rosner is specifically about Ricks comments made in issue 73 of Noesis however that particular issue is not available on the Mega foundation discussion. Does anyone know where it is? Why it was removed? Or if not, what in particular was contained in it? What where Ricks main critiques?
- I haven't seen that issue, but the Mega Society's "about" page says:
We are working to put past issues of Noesis and its predecessor, the Megarian, onto the Web. Anyone interested in working on this project should contact the Internet Officer.
- You can find contact information for the Internet Officer near the bottom of this page.
- Other missing issues which may contain CTMU content include 47-49, 71, 126, and 130. Tim Smith (talk) 20:44, 31 May 2017 (UTC)
Can We Get a Page on Theodicy?
Preserving Langan's Quora and Facebook Writings
Could we make sure that Langan's recent writings on Quora and Facebook are preserved like his forum postings from years ago were preserved in The Portable Chris Langan? Sewsasha (talk) 03:24, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
I cannot preserve the Facebook writings under any alias since I have apparently been banned by Langan for trolling, however I don't mind assaults on my credibility, I am used to being derogated by certain persons. However, I would suggest learning what he has published rather than trying to "follow" all his posts around the internet, some of which, who knows, may have been posted under pseudonyms which he would rather not reveal, or under his own name which he has since decided to omit for whatever reason. What I do know is that I am happy to continue reading the published writings and to not let comments from its unique author misshape the landscape of its global self-utility.
For example, I have preserved the blog posts which have since been deleted (or hidden) by “Brandon Clifton” a profile on Facebook who used a graphical editor very similar to the one Mr. Langan uses in ANKORT, and which “Albert Fils-Aime” also has used. I have not seen anyone else use that font for drawing pictures. I will keep them unless I find a good cause to share them. I am not an NSA stylometrist who has the statistical resources to analyze writing samples, so I cannot do justice to my intuitions that there are certain common tones and phrases used by Mr. Clifton and Mr. Langan for example, such as the term “misinformation”. I have every reason to believe that he has since opened a verified account. Mr. Langan also made the following comment about me (02/21/2014) in his Ultranet group on LinkedIn, for context. In some of his private correspondence I noticed him misquote me at times to make a point about his impression of my efforts to defend his work. Hence, my refusal to be treated like his “sock puppet” in more recent confrontations on Facebook. I was young when I first read the CTMU, I “turned on, tuned in, and dropped out” and didn’t pursue higher education as a result of not wanting to be considered an “Acadummy” by Mr. Langan. I can only warn you, like he has himself, of the economic injustice you are doing to yourself by trying to be considered self-righteous in one’s poverty. While I can deal with slight contradictions or contradistinctions in another man’s point of view, I cannot consider him a “Messiah” to himself or anyone else, except Orwellian Farm Animals perhaps.
Animal Farm by George Orwell | Characters https://youtube.com/watch?v=g6a5HYBFObY
1984 by George Orwell | Characters https://youtube.com/watch?v=5OVyaky0bf8
At least as of January 31, 2014 Mr. Langan sent me the following email regarding Facebook after I asked him if he was using a pseudonym on that website, I have plenty of other emails which I have no reason to share at this time (on “algebraic self-duality as the ultimate explanation” to Mr. Langan by email and as an palindrome to Mr. Clifton on his blog, along with the extensional/intensional approach to types/attributes), including other standard terminology and commonly accepted ideas I brought up to him or his possible sock puppet, before they made an appearance in his “Introduction to Mathematical Metaphysics” paper. I am open to providing straightforward “information” to those who think I am “nonplussed”. I also noticed certain parallels between Mr. Langan’s concepts in a simpler language in some Baha’i writings, which I noticed around 2011, I was raised Christian myself, and I don’t intend to promote or proselytize any particular religion except that there are some coincidences to be found. I apologize for the poor Wiki formatting.
“The "debate" to which you link wasn't much of a debate, was it, given that the person arguing against the CTMU apparently had no idea what it is, and nobody argued in favor of it. I'll merely remark that the only way to show that the entirety of mathematics "can be built up out of set theory" (as conventionally interpreted) is to simply define "mathematics" on that criterion. In addition to corralling mathematics in a rather tight and uncomfortable space, that would immediately preclude an adequate mathematical treatment of metaphysics.
Incidentally, I'm not sure what the "Facebook incident" was; I've never belonged to Facebook. But I did hear at one time that I had multiple accounts there. ;)”
“For those who don't know him, Hamid is one of the best and most tireless CTMU commentators out there (hello, Hamid).
However, owing to what I suspect this “debate” contains, we need some boilerplate. I learned long ago that any mention of the CTMU in public amounts to an invitation ... but unfortunately, not an invitation to rationally discuss the CTMU. Instead, it is usually taken as an invitation to insult and defame its author (me), usually by anonymous trolls who have not the vaguest idea what they're talking about in the field of metaphysics, physics, mathematics, biology, or any other field except "advanced trolling". In fact, trolling is often why the invitation is issued in the first place.
If someone other than me shows up to counter these insults, the "defense" usually goes something like this: "Langan may not be quite as dumb as he looks, but so what? There's simply no denying that he's mean, egotistical, and doesn't explain himself very well. But hey, people, can we just ignore Langan for a minute and have a talk about metaphysics?"
With all due respect to my "defenders", I derive little solace from such defenses. Perhaps they're better than nothing, but not by much. The end product is still a pile of systematic character assassination by the nameless followers of various high-profile atheistic imbeciles whose public images have been inflated, usually by Academia, Inc., vastly out of proportion to their collective acumen, and who are too smug, resentful, and/or pusillanimous to discuss my work with me under their real names.
The situation is such that on various websites whose titles misleadingly contain words like "physics" and "science", but which would be more honestly accessed through URL's like "atheists_on_parade.org", "marching_materialists.net", or "dummies_r_us.duh", so-called CTMU discussions occur which contain no valid information on the CTMU. What they contain, predictably enough, are blanket dismissals, snide canards, and hateful insults by morons who obviously don't qualify to shine the shoes of anyone who actually understands anything.
I shudder to think of the effect that such nonsense may have on those who are fooled by the titles of these websites, and assume that they reflect an informed consensus. In fact, one might as well expect a blast of scientific or philosophical insight from the National Enquirer, the Sunday funnies, or a glistening smear on the outhouse wall. While some troll is sure to observe that the CTMU has no high-profile endorsements - how could this possibly be the case if there were anything good in it? - the point is academic. That is, it is 100% the doing of academia, which has denied me its credentials, its interest, and its attention despite the fact that there isn't an academic alive who can argue coherently against the content or utility of my work. By Christopher Michael Langan”
The Universe As a Computer Simulation
Langan as Asmodeus wrote, "The CTMU does not make assumptions; it works from the inarguable fact that the universe exists, and that we are observing it." If it is an undeniable conclusion that reality is real, then how would you respond to Elon Musk who said we are "probably" living in a computer simulation? Bobby76 (talk) 08:19, 17 May 2018 (UTC)
"If it is an undeniable conclusion that reality is real..." of course it is. "Reality" is defined as all and only that which is real. If we are "living in a simulation" in the sense that the life you and I experience is a program running on a vast machine, 1) that machine relies on some external operating system, programming language, physical chassis, or other operational medium while reality as a whole (by MAP) CANNOT rely on anything external whatsoever and must theoretically be treated as fully intrinsic, reflexive, and external undefined and 2) that machine would be real, so "we are... living in a simulation" does not contradict "reality is real" or even "the life you and I experience is real" because the simulation would be real. The CTMU actually describes reality as a "Self-Simulation", running inside it's own contents. Pineapple (talk) 13:59, 11 January 2019 (UTC)