The idea that the secrets of particle physics are encoded in cellular automata is, if that's possible, even stupider than the Torah Code superstition, which it somewhat resembles, because it's at least not inconceivable that Someone manipulated an otherwise arbitrary string of Hebrew characters to conceal Their message. Isaacson is obviously very sincere, but also obviously a complete crackpot.
I propose that, at a minimum, when attempting to perceive but a single speck of something, we mentally activate a process that is similar to fig. 2. Now, (as if by Leibnitzian pre-established harmony) this very act of elementary perception turns out to subsume a steganogramic representation of elementary particles at the quark level, albeit without awareness thereof. My conjecture then is that acts of elementary perception involve mental, or abstract, structures that are remarkably similar to the most fundamental structures that our science ascribes to matter at the quark level; which is very close to saying that here and now we are pointed in the direction of an intersection between mind and matter, in the context of this simple and innocuous cellular automaton.
Of course, in fairness to Isaacson, it should be pointed out that most of the papers presented at that conference seem to be the work of crackpots.
(Via an Australian correspondent, who shall remain anonymous.)
Posted at August 27, 2004 09:18 | permanent link