A new way of thinking.
The truth can be known. The world can be understood.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A synopsis for Volume 1 is encompassed within the synopses for each chapter of Volume 1. See the links below for these synopses:
A synopsis for Vol. 1/1.1-4.1 is encompassed within the synopses for Chapters 1 to 3 and Subchapter 4.1 of Volume 1. See the links below for these synopses:
While the Preface [pdf] provides a broad overview of the book, Part I, Chapter 1 provides the Introduction to all four parts of it; this begins to get into more of the details. (Be sure to check for the availability of Free Access to sections of Chapter 1 before purchasing. Some of these sections are referred to below.) One of the primary goals of the Introduction is to explain the meaning of the book’s title and subtitle, including why such diverse topics as the universe and civilization are covered.
So what could the universe and civilization possibly have in common? Both are a system. And in subchapter 1.3 it is explained that whatever general laws of systems there are, they must apply to both. This leads to the phrase, Laws of All systems.
These general laws are not made up rules. They are truths about systems that always apply, have always applied, and will continue to apply, as long as there is a system to apply them to. These laws and the models that stem from them amount to what the book calls the Theory of All—a superset of the so-called theory of everything physical. That is, this new Theory of All not only encompasses everything physical. It also includes nonphysical entities, or anything that is a system—which is just about anything one can think of.
One crucial aspect of many of the Laws of All is that they reveal just how fragile systems are. Often we take our lives for granted while forgetting the Grim Reaper at our heels. Similarly, level-headed politics often devolves into children squabbling in a candy store while the larger system has its way with us. Left unmanaged, the system decides the course. And its sights are always set on the end of the road—death. But as with our physical lives, it is common for us to pay little attention until the scythe is heard scraping at the door.
This gives rise to the notion of an approaching dark age of civilization, which is described further in the second subchapter, 1.2. While the general laws suggest the outcome if we do nothing or if we fail to manage properly, they also provide hope for applying them to bring about the antiscenario: an approaching enlightened age. The prospects for this are not nil. But without sufficient knowledge of systems to steer us clear of “black holes,” the book’s analysis of the socio-politico-economic backdrop repeatedly finds unexpected ways that the system may do us in.
Another major area in which these system laws were applied in the book is toward arriving at a deeper understanding of our physical reality—our universe—which is also a system. As detailed further in subchapter 1.4, physical systems lend themselves to more detailed tests and measurements than the “soft” systems of society. In some cases, this can lead to a more thorough understanding of systems in general, which is then applicable to the system of civilization as well. Given the advancements toward an age of darkness cited in subchapter 1.2, it behooves us to seek more understanding of civilization’s systems any way we can.
Subchapter 1.1 summarizes the results of the book’s expedition into the physical truth of our reality. This subchapter begins by defining major quests of physics, which the book presents findings for in Parts II and III. These are just a few of the secrets of the universe the book reveals before the end of Part III. See subsubchapter 1.1.3 for a long list of the physical phenomena that the book’s new models describe at a more fundamental level.
Based on the models of nature presented, the outset of the Introduction also explains that some of the amazing technogear of the Star Trek saga appears possible, at least in theory. Rough descriptions are provided in numerous cases before the end of Part III. New possibilities for generating energy are also proposed, some far out, but some perhaps closer to home.
Scientific experiments will, of course, be required to confirm or modify all of the theoretical results presented in the book. However, in many instances, they rely on experimental data already taken. While this doesn’t amount to proof, the models devised are generally based in fact, and not merely a product of imagination.
Part I, Chapter 1 makes clear that topics in science can range from those studying the hard systems of the physical world to those studying the soft systems of the civilized world, e.g., social, political and economic systems. And due to the common nature of systems at a general level, the diverse perspectives of both hard and soft science can be crucial when seeking new scientific understanding. In Part I, Chapter 3, it is also explained how the two icons of history that put together the current model of gravity, Newton and Einstein, each held a view of geometry that was widely diverse from the other. Yet these differing perspectives were needed to arrive at what we currently know about gravity.
This brings us to Part I, Chapter 2, where the diversity between perspectives of engineering and science are presented. While it is written from the perspective of the author’s background as an engineer, this presentation helps illustrate the advantage of having diverse psychologies in a group. As will become clearer in Part I, Chapter 3, how we think is crucial to our success at arriving at new knowledge and at managing systems. And a key to this is seeking diverse and open-minded perspectives.
In Chapter 2, the diversity of an engineering perspective is brought to bear in the analysis of problems in social, political and economic systems. For example, in 2010, underwater cameras flooded our minds with the effects of an unstoppable hemorrhage of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. So coupled with $145-per-barrel prices in 2008, one might begin to think that the system would be turning more forcefully to other options, such as nuclear power, to fuel the economy. But then in 2011, we witnessed what was arguably the worst nuclear disaster in history in Japan.
So what now? Our choices are limited, and it takes decades to develop alternative infrastructures. But high-priced energy is not consistent with economic growth. Yet as natural resources dwindle, the law of supply and demand remains steadfast. Later in the book, open-minded areas of energy research based on the findings of Part III are presented.
While most probably don’t considere it, neither engineering nor science is devoid of social, economic and political dimensions. There are actually branches of science covering each of these. But more broadly, new findings in any branch of science can have profound effects on society as engineering puts these findings into practice. As such, both scientists and engineers grapple with ethical problems from time to time in hopes of avoiding “islandsrdquo; like Dr. Moreau’s.
Even more commonly though, engineers must consider ergonomics as well as economics in their creations. And politics and economics often enters into the fray when it comes to seeking funds for scientific endeavors, which may very well find that there’s nothing to find. Still, there are distinctions between the thinking employed when trying to arrive at new and working scientific knowledge for society and trying to apply knowledge to make new and working utilitarian systems and devices for society. Naturally, this can lead to diverse perspectives.
Ockham’s razor is a general method of thinking that suggests considering simpler theories first. Formally, the statement says that we should not add any more entities to the mix than are called for. In Part I, Chapter 3, the Eyes-of-Truth principle takes this to a new level by suggesting that we should actually try and reduce the number of entities. Two diverse methods of accomplishing this are presented. One is firmly united with thinking of systems in general terms—a major theme of the book.
While none of this guarantees arrival at the truth, the Eyes of Truth was nevertheless employed numerous times while researching the topics of the book. So many examples are provided within. One initial example in Chapter 3 occurs when condensing the definition of a system.
Chapter 3 covers a general group of laws that fit under the heading Laws of Understanding. Within this are Laws of Delusion and Laws of Uninformation. The concept embodied by the latter will be discussed shortly. The former is based on the inherent imperfection that must exist in any system. And it implies that we must devise robust methods that constantly reexamine our positions for flaws. Inevitably, they exist. The sooner we accept that, the sooner we can graduate from our existing array of delusions to arrive closer to the truth.
Many times the mechanical steps toward societal advancements are more or less straightforward. The true challenge is psychological—getting the mind to believe it. Short of that, the jump up to the next plateau may not be taken for decades, or centuries—or ever. Just consider the centuries between man’s interest in the heavens and the invention of a relatively simple instrument, the telescope.
History shows that there were more than 1400 years from when Ptolemy refined the ancient theory of an Earth-centered universe to the invention of the telescope used by Galileo to prove the Sun-centered system of Copernicus. Copernicus developed a detailed model worthy of study that implied the need for a new instrument to investigate and learn something new. Prior to that, the typical mindset was probably something like, “There’s nothing more we need to know on that front.”
Although in hindsight we can clearly see today that the Ptolemaic system is a fallacy, the model was nevertheless able to predict planetary motion with some degree of accuracy. A model doesn’t have to provide a description that matches reality perfectly to be accurate. And given some level of accuracy, at the time insufficient thought was invested in further exploring this matter, and perhaps many others as well. This all likely factored into the causes for what followed: the Dark Ages—centuries of uninquisitive thinking with little advancement in fundamental knowledge.
Ironically, Ptolemy himself wrote a book titled Optics. And glass lenses were around hundreds of years before his time, if not a thousand. So it would be a great stretch to say that the technological leap to a practical telescope warranted another 1400 years of research and development. Instead, it seems more likely that no one saw a need with Ptolemy’s theory firmly in place. Moreover, once Galileo collected the physical evidence of this new profound truth of the 1600s, he risked torture and execution for pronouncing it. Belief can be a very powerful force, including when what you believe is wrong.
The above is not meant to imply that the telescope is not an ingenious invention. Often, it is the simplicity of solutions that makes them ingenious. But innovations get squelched when a need is not apparent. Conversely, they flourish when the needs are genuine. As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” For example, after reading became more popular due to the arrival of the printing press, the demand for corrective lenses soared. Not coincidentally, the telescope was later invented in 1608 by manufacturers of eye glasses. But it could just as easily have been invented a thousand years prior by a broad group of astronomers dissatisfied with the predictive errors in the Ptolemaic system.
Based on analysis in Part II of LAWS OF ALL™ Book 1, today we lack the apparatus that might capture the breaking of the “light barrier,” despite that Part I suggests such advances are in great need. Just based on the evidence of history alone, a shortfall in fundamental advancements paves the way for a dark age. If we don’t move forward, more than likely we move backward. But who will fund the design and development of this technology when the modern-day consensus sternly resists such heresies about time, space and light? Why does one need to invent a new “telescope” when the existing evidence already suggests the image of the world it will provide? As discussed in Part I, subchapter 2.5, this is not to say that such resistance is without reason or purpose. History is littered with bad ideas we’re better for not adopting. Nevertheless, the bar is set quite high. And it might never be reached if, instead, civilization breaks its “sustainability barrier” first.
Thankfully, freedom of speech has progressed greatly since the time of Galileo. However, there are still system powers to contend with. And given a strong enough dose, physical evidence is still not always enough to turn around opposition to a new idea. More details of the psychological aspects arising out of the Laws of Delusion are presented in Part II.
The concept of uninformation is a new cousin of disinformation and misinformation. While at any time we must consider that the information in hand is erroneous, uninformation forces us to consider that large swatches of news on any topic remain to be discovered. This should, of course, prompt the system of news gathering to go and look diligently for it. But in practice, the search for ever-higher profits takes precedence.
This built-in economic incentive for news publishers often produces a systematic deception wherein we expect that the news presented to us is based on reasonable means to gather evidence and arrive at the story’s kernel. But instead, many times we don’t even hear the story. It’s like we’re walking around with a bag over our heads and don’t even know it.
The writers of the U.S. Constitution went out of their way to insure that a free press could not be undermined by the government. This was wise since a democracy cannot function properly if the people are set adrift without a rudder that comes from knowing what’s going on. If it’s a good thing, we may want to instill more of it; if it’s a bad thing, we might need to limit it. But if we simply don’t know, the system is helplessly carried off by its own Dark Currents into deep waters from which it may never recover—a dark age of civilization.
Despite these consequences, nowhere does the Constitution say that the government must force free press upon its citizens. Yet short of that, it seems that the almighty dollar can easily “take over.” And with the passiveness of uninformation, it is difficult to even see when this has taken place. While the founding fathers thought to allow the government to regulate commerce, what regulator would ever work to change that which few see exists in the first place?
Absent reliable facts, Laws of Uninformation are all the while at work guiding the system to an unhappy place. Moreover, these laws are themselves subject to uninformation effects. One apparent outcome is that when people’s news diets lead to “malnutrition,” a wave of opinions swells in to wash the mind into polarizing points of view. Sound politics and the art of negotiation are replaced by sabotage and ill will. Glaring problems are left unsolved indefinitely. The fabric of society becomes frayed. Corruption and decay set in. This is the beginning of the end…
If ever there were a need for a new understanding of understanding, we’ve reached it. The Laws of Understanding make clear that we’re constantly seeing things that aren’t there, and also constantly not seeing things that are there. Arrival at the truth requires effort that should forever be applied. Coupled with knowledge of the laws, the Eyes of Truth provides strategies for applying this effort so that more-effective solutions to problems might be revealed.
While Part I, Chapter 3 burrows down to causes and effects of uninformation, Part I, Chapter 4 analyzes a multifaceted example of it in economics. This investigation uncovers startling facts about huge metamorphoses taking place in the U.S. economy and elsewhere since the beginning of the century. This leads to a series of findings in economics, some of which are unprecedented. And the effects of the changes weigh on freedom, national defense, working wages, and the standard of living. Despite all of this, most people are uninformed.
Terrorism certainly poses great risks for civilization. But analysis of public data in Chapter 4 is able to show in more-precise quantitative terms just where the current economic environment is leading us. Along with many other supporting points presented in Part I and beyond, this validates the subtitle of Book 1 with regard to an approaching dark age.
Years after the Great Recession, many people are still left feeling like their lives are in a recession even if the economy no longer is. Many know instinctively that something is fundamentally broken but are unable to put their finger on it. Chapter 4 explains what’s behind this. And it isn’t some sort of socio-psychological problem. There are clear economic problems causing social problems causing political problems and, ultimately, causing geopolitical problems—and probably psychological problems to boot. Tectonic shifts are underway. Chapter 4 acts as a much-needed “seismometer.”
Economically speaking though, if the country’s output is growing, then few experts are apt to push hard for alternatives. But if they were more informed that the morphing of the economic system that’s underway does not bode in favor of the social system or political system, then they might work more passionately toward a different outcome. Instead, uninformation blindly steers us on…
Even with detailed knowledge of what’s wrong, simple solutions are not apparent. But if we are generally uninformed, our only hope is that the system will self-correct, which appears unlikely given the nature of the underlying cause. And left unchanged, the trends suggest the eventual dissolution of freedom as we know it. This is an ironic thought, since it appears that freedom is what set us on this course. Chapter 4 examines this counterintuitive dichotomy in more detail.
There’s been the agricultural age. There’s been the industrial age, the atomic age, the space age, the electronic age, the digital age, the computer age, the information age, and the Internet age. What age will come next? An Uninformation Age? A dark age? An Amusement Park Age? An automaton age? An Age of Distractions? An Age of Global Challenges? From the analysis in Chapter 4, it appears that the answer may be any one of these, as these are the trends. But are any of these valid successors? It does not appear so. And the consequences are grim.
It has been known for some time that automation puts people in manufacturing out of work. This trend has led many experts to conclude that all job losses in manufacturing are natural as part of a normal transformation to a service economy. But as we all know, everything that is natural is not good. In fact, sometimes nature produces deadly poisons. If a policymaker asks an economist about this, they are apt to provide an objective response based on the raw U.S. economics data, as one would expect. But policymakers need to also ask sociologists and geopolitical scientists so as to consider the larger system of society as a whole and its overall stability in the world.
Judging from the current state of things, it doesn’t appear that these questions are getting asked. Chapter 4 will present such answers in exquisite detail. They point to what’s wrong with the U.S. economy and why these problems are leading freedom to ruin and to worldwide upheaval. This is another critical detail of uninformation not often heard amongst experts.
Technology continues to advance. The rise of virtual digital assistants that are able to answer spoken questions on any topic has been remarkable. And autonomous vehicles are coming on the heels of the hybrid car from the last decade. But this raises a question: While automation continues to replace millions in manufacturing, how long before these two new technologies alone put millions of workers in the service sector in “dry dock”? This would put an enormous strain on an already stressed socioeconomic system. Will dysfunctional, polarizing politics be capable of managing such destabilizng problems that pit machinery against humanity, business against workers, and the economic system against the social system?
Productivity: Most don’t know what it is. But it is, ultimately, what sets wages and the standard of living. And most are also probably unaware that its growth rate in the U.S. has dropped precipitously this century, which could do more-significant economic damage in the years ahead. While there has been no widely accepted explanation, Chapter 4 details a cause based directly on government economics data that accounts for a significant portion of this mysterious drop in growth rate. Another cause, also supported by data, is provided as well, which may explain the rest of the mystery. Given these causes, constructive ways that might increase productivity can be considered.
Globalization and Technologization: Both have the power to propel mankind to new and dizzying heights, even beyond the solar system. Yet both also hold the power to oppress if misapplied. And these are both not only complex entities, they both also constantly change. This makes it difficult to predict where the icebergs lay before us, or where the sinkholes will next open up. The world and its freedom face daunting problems that seem to underline the need for a new understanding of its systems if workable solution strategies are to be found. Chapter 4 ends the first volume in a book series that attempts to provide this new level of understanding.
See links to synopses of additional sections of Chapter 4 in the Table of Contents for this page.
With all the wiz-bang gadgetry of the twenty-first century and the digital age, you might think that it’s tools that sets us apart from the animal kingdom. But no, believe it or not, even some animals make tools. What sets us apart is language and culture, more specifically, the language of expression in the arts and entertainment. Animals can manufacture tools, but show me one that’s written a concerto. Such moving pieces calm the savage beast and inspire yet greater works to come out of the human soul.
Fortunately, the West excels at the creative arts, because manufacturing is slowly becoming somewhat of a lost art. But there’s much more to the story. Manufacturing is far more than a business endeavor for entrepreneurs, or a career for the technically inclined. Manufacturing breeds activity into an economic system. Without this activity, growth slumps, recessions become more frequent, and the business minded look for their warm-blooded operations to take root in more-fertile “rice paddies.” So economic growth becomes anemic. People lose their jobs and health insurance and also become “anemic.” Consuming less, the economy loses more red blood cells in a vicious cycle. Is a Global Outsourcing Age truly a viable successor to the industrial age?
Covering the Chapter 4 theme of uninformation in economics, Subchapter 4.1 finds that the U.S. is headed toward what is dubbed an Amusement Park Economy: an economy heavily mobilized toward the softer assets of entertainment and leisure with great diminishment in the hard assets of scientific research, engineering and physical production. But while this has huge negative implications for the U.S. and the West going forward that are discussed later in Chapter 4, this topic is virtually unknown to the masses, including the ironic millions already servicing this growing softer side of the economy’s “underbelly.”
Subchapter 4.1 begins the journey of Chapter 4 by analyzing and tabulating historical data to find a trend that is unprecedented, one that goes beyond the long-term decline in U.S. manufacturing. It’s hard to argue with a trend supported by public government data. Yet with uninformation abounding, there can be little understanding that might lead to a reversal of fortune. This subchapter begins to inform any that will listen.
Sections of Volume 1, Chapter 4, will be published sequentially. So a complete version of Volume 1 will not be made available until all sections of Chapter 4 have been published. However, a Vol. 1/1.1-4.1 offering will be made available for purchase prior.
In general, the front and back matter may not reflect sections of the volume not yet published. Also, the Index may include some cross-references to unpublished material not yet in the Index. And some of the listings in the References may be for citations in unpublished sections.
To maximize functionality, the citations below may be updated from what appears in the book. Mainly, this refers to changing web addresses when needed. Please report any dead or inaccurate links to the Webmaster. Be sure to state which Book number, Part number and Volume number, or provide a link to this page.
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The link below leads to the list of cross-references from LAWS
OF ALL™ Book 1, Part I, Volume 1. Bear in
mind that the list only includes cross-references to material
already published. As such, it will be updated as additional volumes
of Book 1 are published.