A new way of thinking.
The truth can be known. The world can be understood.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
From managing the economic environment to managing the natural environment, it is not uncommon for our systems of civilization to fail us in a big way. Just consider the lingering effects of the Great Recession and the ongoing effects of global climate change. Despite the efforts of the learned, it is apparent that our understanding is not complete. But what’s missing exactly? It’s the twenty-first century. Men walking on the moon is like ancient history. Engineers have long since connected us all to each other and to the knowledge of the world via radio, television, cell phones, the Internet, pocket pagers, texting, smartphones, social media… And physicists have now discovered the “God particle” no less. So don’t we already know everything? What could be missing from our vast array?
The research for this book began in 2003 as an investigation into the social fabric. What is it exactly? And how does it behave? The goal was to see if a more objective understanding of societal systems could be formulated, one that perhaps transcends politics to show us more clearly what will work and what won’t. If possible, this might help us avoid policies that fail, especially those that fail, and “flail,” miserably.
Very early on in this research project, it was realized that there must be parallels between the social fabric of civilization and the physical fabric of the universe. So an understanding of the latter might lend insight into the former. But just what is this physical fabric? And how does it behave? This book provides fundamental answers that carry understanding to a new level.
From the highest vantage point, the commonality between the social fabric and the physical fabric is that both are systems. This gives rise to the notion of the system fabric, a concept uniting all conceivable systems through a set of general laws—the Laws of All systems. But just what is the system fabric? And how does it behave? This book provides new findings that answers these questions.
Armed with knowledge of the system fabric, and guided by knowledge of the physical fabric, it ought to be possible to gain a firm understanding of what’s going at a fundamental level in any system. This book does not tackle every system. But an entire Part of the book is devoted to analyzing the physical fabric, and an entire Part of the book is devoted to analyzing the social fabric—both from a general-system perspective. And the reader is given some semblance of a skeleton key to unlock the general-system view of any type system they wish to master at a fundamental level. It is from such a view that new insights are born: new understanding, new knowledge, new descriptions, new mechanics, new improvements, new visibility…
With regard to the latter item in the list, modern science already provides us with the ability to predict the weather a week in advance. Just as it is life saving to know ahead when a severe storm is approaching, it would be enormously helpful if social, political and economic systems could be understood well enough to see all the dark storms on those horizons. It is believed that the Laws of All described in Parts I and II provide a more rudimentary perspective from which to see such storms. That is, additional details of how systems live, operate and die provide more knowledge from which to assess system behavior, determine general trends, and predict ultimate outcomes. And as with weather forecasting, with further development over time the predictions may become longer range and more accurate.
Before the advance of electronic digital computers, electrical analog computers were employed to simulate mechanical systems. At a general level, these two diverse types of systems—electrical and mechanical—share commonalities that can be modeled and applied across domains. Similarly, shared traits across all systems allow one to model a known system and apply the results in some fashion to less known or misunderstood systems. Absent the variable of human behavior, processes in hard physical systems are certainly far easier to pin down and model. Nevertheless, a whole new layer of knowledge may be uncovered even for civilization’s nonphysical systems.
The models in this book are generally built atop a reexamination of first principles. As such, Part I begins from scratch. This includes outlining, and in some cases deriving, generally applicable system principles and laws—or Laws of All systems. Part II then attempts to rebuild a workable and sensible reality that applies the findings of Part I. This results in new general system laws that explain, fundamentally, how all systems function, and what all systems are made of. And, among other things, it contends with the relativity of systems, including the branch fathered by Albert Einstein.
Part III builds upon Parts I and II to reveal even deeper secrets of the physical universe. And a wide variety of mysterious physical phenomena are explained at new levels of understanding. For a good summary of these findings, see Part I, Vol. 1/1.1, especially under Vol.1/1.1.3, “Fundamental Physical Phenomena: The Explicable Inexplicable.” (Check under Free Access for availability.) It seems quite possible that, in time, this new understanding could lead to new technologies that are currently reserved for the pages of science fiction. Part III provides some crude descriptions.
Part IV applies Parts I and II, and to some extent Part III, to arrive at a firmer grasp of socio-politico-economic systems from a general-systems perspective. What’s at stake? The very life of civilization appears to dangle. The more one looks into systems, the more one learns how delicate and fragile they can be, especially when we don’t fully understand their depths. Time after time during the research for this book a new pitfall was uncovered that could send our delicate world system into a downward spiral toward a dark age from which we might never return. For more introductory information on this topic, see Part I, Vol. 1/1.2. (Check under Free Access for availability.)
In general, this book does not make specific predictions for the timeline of such a dark-age event. There are too many possibilities and too many variables. However, one possible dark-age scenario that seems to already be well underway is detailed early in Part I within Chapter 4, which includes a mathematical analysis that clearly shows the current trend and projected time frame. Most would also probably be surprised just how unfree the world already is. Part I provides details on this commonly overlooked trait. More generally though, the findings imply that systems constantly work against us toward our undoing. So specific predictions are almost moot.
As our systems of civilization grow ever more complex, we effectively know less and less about them implying that a wide range of problems could lead to our downfall. This requires that we seek to learn the roots of systems from below the ground up in order to defend our existence as a species. The book brings to light such new knowledge. It is hoped that this brings about a revolution in the understanding of systems, which is clearly imperative at this point in human history. The result of such a revolution may be no less than an evolution in human thought and progress on a broad array of fronts—a new enlightened age.
Quoting from Part I, Chapter 2, “The findings of this book represent over a decade of searching, examining, developing and improving. Readers from scientists, engineers, and enthusiasts to policymakers, business leaders, and pundits, as well as the general public, should find themselves intrigued, surprised and inspired as they come across many truths for making the world a better place.”
NOTE: General Information for Book 1 can be found in the next section. Below that are Part synopses and links to Volume Information pages.
“Book 1” in the LAWS OF ALL™ book series is synonymous with volumes of the series that have the subtitle, System Laws Reveal Hidden Secrets of the Universe and Approaching Dark Age of Civilization. Sometimes it is more space efficient to list “Book 1” rather than the subtitle. In other cases, both “Book 1” and the subtitle are listed to clarify that this subtitle is “Book 1” in the series.
The volumes of the LAWS OF ALL™ Book 1 are being published in series. Although the book is meant to be read in sequence, portions of some volumes may also be offered separately.
All of the offerings for a given volume, as well as additional information pertaining to it, can all be found on that volume’s Information Page, which also includes links to purchase each offering related to a volume. Look for the Purchase Information links in the Table of Contents at the top of each Volume Information page. These Purchase Information sections include the purchase links and other details.
Links to lists of Volume Information pages for each Part of the book can be found in the Table of Contents for this web page.
Click here for more-general information About Purchasing through the links on this website.
Below is a descriptive list of features of the book’s chosen implementation. These are features of the book itself, which excludes aspects related to the book’s subject matter.
Broken Into Volumes: The book is divided into four Parts, each one broken down into separate volumes that are of a convenient size to assimilate at once.
NOTE: As used here, the term book refers to all volumes of the LAWS OF ALL™ Book 1. See the book’s Foreword [pdf] for more details on this.
Assists for Reading Volumes Nonsequentially: The volumes of the book are meant to be read sequentially beginning with Part I, Volume 1. However, specific interests and curiosity may compel some to read volumes out of sequence. For those that like a challenge, this is not discouraged. And several features should assist reading volumes in a nonsequential order. These features are described below:
1). Terms unique to the book that come up again in a later volume of it will, generally, also be defined or briefly described in the later volume(s). This will typically be directly in the text at or near the first occurrence in the later volume(s), or in endnotes, footnotes or sidebar sections.
2). Cross-references are used liberally throughout the book. These will help nonsequential readers find prerequisite material that they may have missed or find additional information on a specific topic of interest. See more details on cross-references below.
3). Organization of the book into Parts and Chapters was done in a way that allows some entire volumes after Part I to be skipped at the reader’s discretion. This is discussed further at the outset of Part II.
Cross-References: Liberal use of cross-references point the reader to related material located elsewhere in the book, including in another volume. The implementation of these cross-references is described in more detail in the book’s Foreword [pdf]. A link to the cross-references from a volume will be made available on the volume’s information pages.
Spotlights: Sidebar “keys” called Spotlights provide additional definition and clarity beyond the main text of the book.
Front-Matter Lists: Besides a separate table of contents for each volume, listings of all figures, tables, equations, spotlights, and quotations in the volume are provided just after the table of contents.
Foreword: The book’s Foreword [pdf] summarizes information unrelated to the book’s subject matter, such as mechanical and implementational aspects of the book.
Preface: The book’s Preface [pdf] provides a broad overview of the entire book including some of the background and mindset that led to the research that produced it.
Introduction: Part I to Part IV: The book’s Introduction provides a more detailed overview of the book’s overall contents, need and purpose. The Introduction is located in the sections of Part I, Volume 1, Chapter 1. Check under Free Access for free online availability.
Key Summaries: Select sections of the book are followed by summaries of the key points covered.
Endnotes: Endnotes are organized by chapter in the back matter for each volume and, where possible, include the specific page numbers cited. As an example of the formatting used for this section, see the Endnotes and References for Part I, Volume 1 [pdf].
References: A separate alphabetical list of cited sources is provided in the back matter for each volume. The full title of each article cited is included when available. Enclosing these in quotes facilitates web searches for them. As an example of the formatting used for this section, see the Endnotes and References for Part I, Volume 1 [pdf].
Index: Each volume includes a detailed index that includes intravolume cross-referencing. As an example of the formatting used for this section, see the Index for Part I, Volume 1 [pdf].
Customized Stamping: Some formats of the book’s publications may be custom stamped such as with the buyer’s name and order number. This serves as an added reminder of the content’s copyright protections. But some also like the personalization of this feature.
This book is broken down into a hierarchy of successively smaller sections. For starters, all books in the LAWS OF ALL™ series begin with the series title, LAWS OF ALL™. Each must then have a subtitle to differentiate between books. The subtitle for Book 1 is System Laws Reveal Hidden Secrets of the Universe and Approaching Dark Age of Civilization. This book is then further broken down into separate parts and volumes as follows:
Portions of the book that are smaller than a complete volume are termed subvolumes. The naming convention for subvolumes is based logically on the sections they include. In general, a suffix is added after the volume number from which the portion comes. For example, a subvolume consisting of Chapter 2 in Volume 1 of some Part of the book would be named, Vol. 1/2. To represent a volume in its entirety, no suffix is given, e.g., Vol. 1, which represents all of Volume 1. Note that the Part number must always be specified separately.
A subvolume with subchapter 2.5 would be called Vol. 1/2.5. This represents the fifth subchapter of Chapter 2 in Volume 1. Subsubchapter 1.1.2 would be designated Vol. 1/1.1.2, which represents the second subsubchapter of the first subchapter of Chapter 1 in Volume 1.
A set of sections might also be included in a single file. In this case the naming is done similarly but with the added use of hyphens and commas as needed. For example, Vol. 1/1.1.2-1.1.3, 2.5, indicates inclusion of subsubchapters 1.1.2, 1.1.3 and subchapter 2.5.
Sections that are not numbered, such as the Contents and Index, are named as follows: Vol. 1/Contents and Vol. 1/Index, respectively.
For subvolumes that do not represent a well delineated portion of a volume, the name may be given based on a number assigned in a series of such files. For example, the first and second excerpts in a series might be named, respectively, Vol. 1/Excerpt 1 and Vol. 1/Excerpt 2.
Part I, “Quest for Life,” endeavors to ask, what makes a healthy system? Why do systems die? What makes a system alive? What is life? As surprising as one may find it, this most critical constituent for every individual, organization, and system on the plantet—life—is not well defined. Definitions of life are vague, or even circular. Descriptions lack an understanding from a general-system level. Life is a property of alive systems. But what is this property?
Such gaps in fundamental knowledge are simultaneously steering humanity away from social and technical solutions and toward global instability and inevitable extinction. Part I presents, and in many cases derives, general system laws and principles whose precepts provide the basis for filling in many such gaps. These Laws of All systems help answer the questions posed above along with other crucial questions in hopes of setting a new course, one firmly destined for robust life. The larger groupings of laws and principles covered in Part I include Laws of Understanding; Laws of Diversity, Stability and Longevity; Laws of Immortality; Laws of Rudimentary Concepts; Laws of Life; metastability principles; Laws of Indecision; principle for system improvement; Laws of Quality; and economic laws.
A deeper understanding of life would, of course, not be complete without a deeper understanding of death. Part I develops a model of death that further fuels the derivation of Laws of All systems in Part I and beyond. What may be misunderstood in many cases is that system death is not nearly as unlikely as system life. In fact, the entire system of civilization is at risk of slipping into a dark age of death and totalitarian control should ineffective policies be put in place, or should effective policies be repealed. For an introductory section on this, see Part I, Vol. 1/1.2, “The Approaching Dark Age of Civilization: The Theory of None.” (Check under Free Access for availability.) But Part I, Chapter 4 presents a potential dark-age scenario strongly suggesting that such ineffective policies have already been put in place. Postmortems of the 2008 financial crisis later in Part I and Part II arrive at similar conclusions about the negative effects of ineffective system management.
Consider the enormous strain placed on the world system by the 2008 financial collapse. This could have all been averted were more-effective regulations in place, and were effective regulations not eliminated near the turn of the century. This is not to suggest that totalitarian control should be avoided by enacting totalitarian control. But some minimal level of control is essential if a system is to survive and thrive. This is simply the general nature of systems.
While some system management is imperative, without a proper understanding of policy effects it can sometimes be worse than doing nothing. Policies have been fired off like magic bullets that inadvertently pass through an Achilles’ heel of the economy, turn in midair, and then strike the national “bread basket”—the treasury. Rather than producing the explosive economic growth envisioned in policymakers’ minds, the result is explosive national debt. Since 2000, there have been multiple “bullets.” And there will likely be more without a proper “ballistics analysis,” which Part I provides. While this may not amount to a silver bullet, it may help reduce the number of times in the future that we must “bite the bullet.” And it may allow system managers to take some magic out of the bullets by learning to catch them “in their teeth.”
Policymakers must accept that major mistakes are not that hard to make. Gut feel may have worked when the world was far less complex, but it is no longer cutting it. And there's far too much at risk. Basic laws and principles of systems are being broken. And they will continue to be broken if our primary goal is not to uncover, accept, understand and observe these laws and principles. With deepening problems in the economic system, the social system, the political system and the geopolitical system, above all else a nation's leaders must understand systems in general at a new depth. A superficial understanding tends to only produce superficial results. But truly everyone needs a deeper understanding so they can choose the best leaders as well as manage the systems in their own personal lives.
Right, left, center, independent--no one is infallible. So we shouldn't be deluded into thinking that simply changing leaders, ideologies or policies from time to time will typically lead to lasting improvement. Real change requires new knowledge. And this must be new knowledge that helps prevent errors. The analyses in Part I arrive at such new knowledge in terms of general laws and principles of systems. And this lays the groundwork for yet more new knowledge presented in later Parts of the book.
Why do economies thrive only to falter and sink into a dying state below the growth point? There are trees that live over 5000 years. So clearly, this is not part of some natural order that says all systems must die, even if most do. Before the end of Part I, the book digs down to understand what it is about economic systems that brings about this cyclical upset. And this leads to the notion that if these issues can be more optimally managed, a “superconductive” economy may rest in our future. To this end, some initial methods of stabilizing macroeconomic growth are described in Part I with regard to taxes. They could provide a start. This comes on the heels of data analysis that reveals startling misconceptions about some federal tax systems.
Juxtaposed though with the potential for such superior policies, Part I, Chapter 4 first presents a series of findings in economics whose ramifications suggest that current policies are, effectively and unwittingly, in the process of repealing freedom itself. We may be lulled into believing that freedom is a far more robust entity than it truly is. But is not freedom more like a fine, rare pearl, which is so difficult to find and yet so easily lost? Further analysis involving freedom further on in Part I leads to findings that are equally alarming, if not more so.
Many times has freedom proven its capability at defending itself against outright military assaults. But can it effectively defend against passive economic “assaults” where the enemy may be the system itself? Can it defend against such assaults when most are uninformed of the underlying causes? How could defense strategies even be devised under such circumstances? And why should freedom defend itself when it seems it is living up to the true nature of its creed? Political systems may hold the purse strings of freedom’s defense. But if the purse becomes of de minimis proportions relative to needs, the hands of the political system would be hog-tied.
And economics is only one system. What about free-government systems that are being choked to death by political polarization? They often have trouble addressing problems even when they try to. And what about free societies that are being slowly smothered by dwindling opportunities for upward social mobility? What doesn’t go up has a tendency to go down. And what doesn’t thrive has a tendency to die. The Quest for Life of Part I demands that we answer all these difficult questions posed above.
With little knowledge of general systems, analysis of problems tends to be done from one’s own individual perspective. This is the perspective with which we are most comfortable and familiar since it is the one used on a daily basis. This is how we typically operate. However, personal perspectives can be limiting in scope and often fail to take in the broader picture to see the more fundamental system weaknesses in play. Such deeper issues tend to cause systemic problems, which are best addressed by first understanding them from a general-systems perspective.
Although a perspective based on general-systems analysis is guided by unwavering general-system laws, it is nonetheless foreign to most. So as systems corrupt and falter, personal perspectives remain at the forefront and coalesce around ideological poles. Polarization sets in, then strengthens. Personal views become slanted by the warped gravity of the moment. Facts are buried and ignored. Opinions are crowned king. All the while, systemic problems are left unaddressed and flourish. Thus, solutions to them remain elusive.
A general-systems perspective would instead inform us that polarization is a sign of system instability that we ought to be wary of. Only a fluid-like system lacking hard definition is able to polarize. And once polarized, like the flip-flopping of the Earth’s magnetic poles a state of heightened fickleness sets in that often defies the sensible management of systems: Leaders are elected but they may soon be recalled. Bills are passed into law but they may soon be repealed. Taxes go up then down, then down and up again. Economies roar then whimper. People go from strained finances to living like royalty, then back to pauperdom. Our policies play seesaw. Our governments yo-yo. And our identity is lost. Rather than solving our problems, polarization only saps our strength as the system snickers and has its way with us. Unsolved problems worsen, and our systems weaken and spin rubber toward collapse.
Employing concepts of general systems does not in any way replace or tie the hands of solid scientific research. On the contrary, it can provide a way to see more clearly through the fog that systems often come veiled in and mislead and confound us with. It can allow a way to see the tracks of the abominable “snowman” after the snow has melted. That is, a more fundamental view may be provided that allows one to see through a cryptic system’s “snow job.” This may help steer scientific scrutiny to the right dig sites in a more efficient manner.
The warning signs of a dying system are often well apparent. But as “gray hairs” emerge from civilization’s systems, should we assume it is the natural order? Should we assume that nothing can be done? Should we let nature take its course? The goal of Part I is to present a new way to view systems in terms of governing general laws that allows one to analyze problems and seek more-enlightened solutions without giving in to the natural sway—without giving up before objective thought has truly taken hold. Despite the tombstones of the civilizations lined up in the historical record, our civilization can continue to improve and live on. It may only be a matter of forever keeping in our minds that it also may not.