Re: Book preview: Theory of Nothing

From: Hal Ruhl <>
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2005 12:15:36 -0400

At 08:18 PM 9/17/2005, you wrote:
>I wouldn't say a lower level, its more of an alternative route to the
>same point. I get there fairly directly from the observation that the
>Plenitude of all descriptions has zero information (according to all
>observers), so is in effect the simplest possible object.

My approach starts with - I would now say - one assumption and three

Assumption: There is [exists] a list of all possible components of
descriptions [not descriptions themselves - these are derivative of the
list's existence but have a potential [a kernel in my model's lexicon] of
instantations of reality [a "dust in the wind" "physical" existence.]]

This list of fragments of descriptions is my primitive. It has no
information [meaning or boundary potential] unless divided into pairs of
descriptions. The ensemble of all such divisions also has no net
information beyond its inconsistency. This inconsistency is a tag of
information [meaning or boundary potential] attached to the All which is
cancelled by the dual tag of incompleteness attached to the Nothing. Can a
system that is both incomplete and inconsistent be said to have overall

Observation 1: The list can be parsed so as to produce the definition of
[is,is not] pairs. [produce descriptions two by two]

Observation 2: At least one of these pairs is unavoidable [the idea that
there is either nothing or something is replaced with the idea that there
is both simultaneously] and so has a "permanence" derived from the lists

Observation 3: Because of the logical properties of the unavoidable pair
this "permanence" has a dynamic and that dynamic is random because of these
logical properties.

> I also note
>the duality relation that maps the Plenitude to Nothing, hence my
>title "Theory of Nothing".

I am not a mathematician but I have recently explored the idea of
mathematical duality and do not contest at this time that my [Nothing;All]
and your [Nothing;Plenitude] can be considered mathematically dual pairs.

>Constrasting this with your model, you note an inherent contradiction
>in the Nothing not being able to state its own completeness, hence
>immediately necessitating the existence of the "All",

My Nothing and my All are both necessitated by the list, the divisible
nature of lists, and the unavoidable nature of this particular division of
the list.

>which in turn is
>inconsistent. Your claim is that this leads to a "dynamic" between
>Nothing and All.

My concern for some time has been: What drives the "observational"
process? Why do we perceive a succession of events?

My answer is the evolving Somethings. Most Somethings evolve because they
are unlikely to be complete short of when they grow to be infinite
[encompass the entire All]. [I revised my posted model to make this more

>Don't get me wrong, I think your idea has the germ of a very
>interesting idea,

Thank you.

> the problem is I have never really understood what
>your "dynamic" is supposed to be in a timeless world.

The inconsistency of the All makes the dynamic in the All an endless change
absence order. I see this as timeless.

>Nor have I seen
>anyone else on the list grok your ideas and express them in other
>words. This is not a criticism, but does make it hard for me to
>include in an integrated fashion in my book.

I realize that over the years I have explored numerous dead ends and made
many errors in my posts. This naturally leads to confusion in others as to
what I am trying to say. I appreciate all the tolerance and comments I
have received on this list. I have recently managed to compact the
resulting ideas into a two page presentation. Perhaps this is now too
compact, and I welcome any questions.

>I have resolved to include a mention of your ideas in my book,
>although I don't find it an easy task to express your ideas in a way
>that intergrates with the rest of the book.

I have only reached page 63 of your book. Perhaps as I explore it further
I will have comments that help.

However, for now I see my All as similar to your Plenitude. However, one
of my comments re your Plenitude is that it too should have the
"inconsistency" tag which I see as making it an information bearing
object. I do not see it as correct to simply invoke a dual entity [that
may cancel this tag]. This is one issue that I believe is resolved by
starting at a more primitive structure - in my case my list. Further as I
said above I am not satisfied unless there is a "positive" driver for
sequential observation.

>Do you have a write up
>that I can reference - ie a journal ref, arXiv, DOI or even permanent

I am an engineer and my publications have dealt mostly with that
profession. This endeavor is an intellectual hobby. I do own a small
business and might be able to place it on that web site - a dot com site -
once I am satisfied with it. That could last as long as the business
maintains the domain name. I do not know how to otherwise publish it.

>(I am reluctant to refer to URLs, as these are less permanent than
>others, but in some cases necessary).

I had that experience when I co-authored a Law Review article re complexity
and the law with my brother who is a Professor of Law. I had some
additional commentary [including a very very very early and thus error
filled version of my model] and the article cited the URL which was lost
when I changed ISP.


Hal Ruhl
Received on Mon Sep 19 2005 - 12:46:33 PDT

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