-People in Houses-
Figure Head begins his career doing statistical analysis of complex matrices then fuses fractals with chaos theory and proves Euclidean geometry incompatible with Einsteinian relativity. He even publishes outlandish proofs for Riemann’s hypothesis and Goldbach’s conjecture involving logarithmic properties of infinite infinities in determining prime probabilities. The institution frowns upon his conclusions and shrugs them aside, but he continues to fund his research travelling as a motivational speaker.
Tonight’s talk: Apeirophobia - The Fear of Infinity
“Good Evening folks. Forms are a fallacy of human perception. We label repetitive manifestations necessitated by the system as separate but similar entities when in fact nothing is separate and so everything is similar. The Universe, everything that is, Our mass of matter in motion perpetually molds and shifts, adapts and changes, repeats as a constant result of itself, but never fully separates into an other. It is One. You and I, the stars and space.
If you blur your vision enough, forms disappear and you are left with nothing but a mass of color in motion. There is no word that describes the blur, but perhaps you make one up. Then you make a habit of making up words for blurs and start recognizing similarities - you label tree blurs, rock blurs, other animal blurs and maybe even atom blurs. This allows you to compare and categorize, make judgments, and express artistic concerns about the blurs, but the fact remains that the boundaries between blurs are perceptual, not actual. We know no two trees, rocks, animals, or atoms are exactly alike, but if no two things are exactly alike, We have no way to measure what constitutes one thing or it’s other. If no two things are exactly alike then there must be only one true form that is everything.
We know that sub-atomic particles are constantly in motion, but on a smaller scale than We can perceive. We know that the planet beneath Us is constantly in motion, but on a larger scale than We can perceive. We know the Universe is perpetually changing and in motion, but We perceive most things as unchanging and still. Then We use language to label this fallacious stillness. We recognize similarities in the stillness and create categories and definitions. We forget all about Our faulty premise and attribute a priori importance to these forms We perceive; though in fact knowing no two things are truly separate and everything’s constantly moving.
Asbestos and Pin Head walk in the auditorium's side entrance and have a seat. “You there, how many numbers are there between 0 and 1?”
Asbestos smiles and answers. “There are no numbers between 0 and 1.”
“That’s right. Now how many between 1 and 2?”
“None again, unless you count decimals.”
“So there are no numbers between consecutive numbers in Our counting system unless divided into fractions of themselves. Decimal point included, how many numbers between 0 and 1”
“After the decimal there are an infinite number of numbers.”
“So integers perceived as whole remain consecutive, but once conceptually fractionated are necessarily separated by infinite possibility. Thank you, Asbestos. Once you divide perception into forms, once you give separate labels to pieces of the same pie, you’ve begun a necessarily infinite regress of division. We’re all baked into the pie already trying to cut Our custard reality into manageable chunks, but meanwhile We’re forgetting about Our whole number before the decimal point.
Since math involves manipulating quantities, it assumes there is more than just a oneness to all existence. Numbers like words allow reality to be divided and regrouped. Math is a game like language, and mathematicians are numerical poets expressing Our quantitative perceptions.
As for language, it gives some permanence to an ever-changing universe. And there is comfort in the permanence, but also stagnation. Change is a necessary element in perfection, and We’re all part of the perfect equation.
We don’t perceive Ourselves as such, but humans are over 70% water. So suppose you’re standing in the ocean, where do you draw the line between the water that encompasses you and the water that composes you? As you stand, the ocean sinks into your pores, gets swallowed and lodged in your orifices. Meanwhile thousands of skin cells and millions of your molecules float away into the ocean. At what point does the ocean start being you and when do your skin cells start being ocean? For that matter, why is your water alive but the ocean’s isn’t? But that’s a whole other issue.
Even if your water’s not wet standing on dry ground, every millionth of a second, trillions of your atoms are replaced by surrounding atoms. Then as you breathe, you become and feed upon on the molecules around you. When does the air cease to exist out there and become part of you? When it passes your lips or when it hits your bronchioles or only when the alveoli suck out the sustenance?
Food, air, water, bacteria, everything that surrounds you is constantly coming into and leaving from your body. In fact, you preserve your human existence by consuming these things around you. You even eat the lives of others in such a way that it’s impossible to say when the things you consume stop being deliciously prepared plants or animals and start being you. Is it the first greasy atom that interacts with your Kentucky fried fingers or the first savory swallow that shrinks through your sphincter or only when the proteins and complex fats break down and feed your hungry cells?
At what point are you separate from everything else in any meaningful sense? There is no you in you and there’s no out there out there. There is only one life, one consciousness, one source of matter and energy, and it is eternal and it is everything. It is God and you are God constantly creating the world anew every instant.
When writing this lecture, my word processor kept showing a grammatical mistake when I typed the tautology nothing is nothing. It suggests I replace the second nothing with anything. Nothing is anything.
Scientists see no boundary to the Universe, no center of expansion, nor do they know what the Universe is supposed to be expanding into. But it’s both necessary and contradictory for there to exist infinite nothing outside a finite Universe. Thereby inflationary cosmology’s potential something they call nothing defies its definition upon existence. The only reconciliation is to agree with my word processor. Nothing isn’t nothing. Nothing is anything, and the anything’s infinite.
Now, this is important.
Big bang theorists think the Universe is finite yet began as an infinitely dense, hot and infinitesimally small singularity. The theory also maintains that since then, the Universe has been expanding and cooling. This means shortly after the space-time singularity, certain aspects of the Universe (heat, density, and size) somehow changed from infinite to finite. We must either accept this mathematical impossibility, or that space-time singularities are extremely small, hot, and dense, but are not infinitely so. And if this is true, it means at some measurable heat, size and density, all physical laws break down. Like at 100 googolplex degrees, 100 googolplex grams per negative cubic centimeter all laws of temperature and density hold, but at 100 googolplex and 1, everything changes allowing space-time itself to enter or exit existence.
Big bang theorists also think the Universe is between 10 and 20 billion years old, yet We’ve recently discovered huge galaxies and quasars 15 billion light-years away from Us. Based on Einstein and Hubble’s own equations, this means that fifteen billion years ago, the fabric of space-time was stretched at least 15 billion light-years across, and gigantic celestial bodies were already formed. These are both quite incompatible with current inflationary cosmology. To top it off, We can’t observe the red-shifting of galaxies beyond the Hubble radius because they’re approaching and possibly breaking the light barrier at the very bounds of Our perception. Theoretically We’re left with few options. Either galaxies break the light barrier past the Hubble radius where We’ll never see them or they mysteriously disappear for another reason, because We don’t yet see a boundary, just the infinite anything.
Everything in space rotates round bound in elliptical orbits or swings unbound in parabolas and hyperbolas. The Earth spins on its axis at 1000mph, around the sun at 66,000mph. Our solar system orbits the Milky Way at 500,000mph and the galaxy speeds through the known Universe at 1,000,000mph. Then the known Universe likely orbits another, larger, more central entity at even greater speed etc. I highly doubt this fractal trend of orbital motion ends in the mysterious non-orbital expansion from a singularity. And if so, what resultant force from the big bang is responsible for beginning both space-time’s expansion and matter’s orbital motion? For the outward expansion of space-time and the orbital motion of matter to co-exist in the same Universe, the original acting force either exerted its power in a spiraling, circular pattern, or matter mysteriously developed the motion on its own.
Whichever way, the spiral and other fractal shapes, are abundant in nature, and I suggest the logical progression from quantum physics to cosmology suggests not the expansion of a singularity that defies causality, physics, and mathematics, but instead a timeless, fractally infinite and infinitesimal Universe in perpetual centrifugal motion around itself.
Logically, if you divide a second in half and in half again and again, this process continues forever. Likewise, if you divide a chunk of matter in half again and again, there should always be half your last division left over. And mathematicians agree that any number but zero may be divided ad infinitum. Quantum theorists, however, think the process of dividing time and matter reaches its end long before infinity. At some point far past their ability to see, they claim there’s a fundamental particle of matter and a fundamental unit of time of which there is nothing smaller or shorter.
Since it’s crucial to higher math, but impossible to prove or disprove, mathematicians assume infinity in their equations. Likewise, science can never prove nor disprove the necessary fundamentality of any supposed fundamental particle, but every time someone gets a new microscope they think they’ve found the end. I propose instead of always supposing they’ve reached the limit, why don’t scientists take after mathematicians and assume infinity in their experiments? By all means continue the further telescoping and magnification of matter, but concede that each time We’ve seen further into the macro and micro-unknown, technology throws down the gauntlet, and God picks it up with seemingly infinite resources, from galaxies and quasars to stars and planets, moons down through molecules to atoms and protons and quarks and gluons and so on and so forth. The fractal unknown forever taunts Our limited perceptions from afar, no matter how deep We reach, so why not assume infinity until We’re somehow given real reason not to?
Science can only prove what We can test with tools and Our senses, but it’s more likely that ultimate answers lie far beyond Our perceptions and any tools We can fashion to aid them. Even if some Unified Field Theory proved perfectly consistent with Our every observation, I’d still be suspicious of some finite answer’s eerie consistency, and forever wonder if something undetectable lay one step further. Personally the only Unified Theory that satisfies my deepest concerns is Infinity as Truth in all facets of existence. Matter is infinitely divisible, time is eternal, and speed is limitless for something We can’t see. I present Infinity as the Anti-Unified Field Theory, a concept We grasp but can’t understand - it dangles around Our minds taunting Us with its necessary Truths but never allows Us access to it’s eternal complexity, like God.
The blasphemy scientists are committing is eliminating the infinite aspects of Our Universe. Einstein thinks light’s the fastest thing, Planck thinks strings are the smallest and shortest things, Hawking thinks the big bang’s the first thing, I think they’re all limiting themselves trying to stop one step before infinity.
We’ve already observed instantaneous, non-local correlation in entangled particles, some physicists insist there exist tachyons faster than light, others say halos around black hole event horizons break the barrier due to time dilation. Whatever the explanation We keep pulling over for Einstein’s ultimate speed limit. Then quantum theorists step-up and create one-dimensional superstrings that walk the Planck between quantum mechanics and Einstienian relativity. Finally, cosmologists and astronomers play their finite observations in rewind and find a Big Bang Beginning as inexplicable and unsatisfying as you’d expect from science.
The frantic search for fundamental particles, universal boundaries, other endings and attempts to finitize the Anything into sets of symbols shows a human fear of infinity that’s driven many crazy. Reality may be finite and expressible, but if it isn’t then We’ll all die believing whatever current chaotic theory they throw at infinity instead of honoring its integrity, by believing it over any inconsistent set of finite meanderings.
Why is it that so many truly important math equations, scientific theories, and philosophical refutations end in an infinite regress? We always take this as a sign of failure when it could be the answer popping up over and over again. Science, Mathematics, and Philosophy give opposite requirements for proof and Truth. For a scientific theory, mathematical formula, or logical argument to be proven it must contain the ability to be falsified so that experimentation can further refine it’s validity. But Truth by necessity cannot be disproved, and thus would not contain the ability to be falsified. So if Truth was looking your theory straight in the eyes, the institution shuts it down - an unfalsifiable theory cannot be tested and what cannot be tested cannot be verified true. So if ultimate Truth lay in infinity, which I assure you it does, science will never concede it; it’s up to you.
The origin of the Universe endows necessary Truth on one of two equally unfathomable options: an uncaused cause or infinity. Rationally they are mutually exclusive but equally valid - neither makes sense, and one of them is right. Thus a rationally based decision to your personal opinion of the origin of the Universe leads to an impasse.
Emotionally, however a decision can be made for, infinity feels awe-inspiring in its complex simplicity whereas an uncaused cause is an incomprehensible paradox and feels like betrayal. A first cause is a He, She, or It out there above rationality and causality, necessitating hierarchy on nature. But infinity is Us, Our Universe, all matter in perpetual motion and interaction together. You know where I stand. Plato said there’s too many slaves in caves; I say there’s too many people in houses these days. The walls are keeping Us separate and the roofs are scaring out infinity. Goodnight.”
The crowd disperses and Asbestos catches up with his old friend Figure Head. He invites him to a church gathering at the library on Sunday then sends Pin Head on special assignment to deliver word of the gathering to another friend.