Ask A Genius 427 – Scientific Nihilism: Nihil (4)

In-Sight Publishing

Ask A Genius 427 – Scientific Nihilism: Nihil (4)

October 29, 2018

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Yes. There is another layering on top of that new fuzzy, dynamic set theory. It is based on the information. I think, by the way, as a side note; I think information is important because you can put this in the language of math.

It is not only the 10^85th and the pasts and those single sets of 10^85ths for those sets of possible futures. It would also be the stacking of that, as everything is correlated – as has been said – but some things are more correlated than others. 

So, you have these numbers but they are precise in a statistical sense without being absolute. They would not be 0% or 100%. They would be a fast landscape of ups and downs.

Rick Rosner: Yes.

Jacobsen: It is kind of interesting. I guess it would concretize the imagery given about an information map being laid out, in terms of how 3-dimensional space represents different objects in terms of relatedness to one another.

Rosner: Without understanding what I’m talking about. I have said that the universe is its own map. The universe as laid out may be the richest and most efficient layout of what can happen next, because not everything can happen next under the really fuzzy and f-ed up rules of this set theory, where there is a set of next possible moments.

Jacobsen: It can be seen as a matrix of the elements. You can invent a mathematical symbolism with the sub-numbers and sub-letters stating that this is the most likely possible next state if you were to collapse the set into what is most likely to happen next.

Rosner: There is a consensus or statistical consensus of next possible moments.

Jacobsen: A lot of summing and averaging [Laughing].

Rosner: There are a set of moments that are equally probable, then there are those that are less probable but related. Even though, they are super probable; they are more probable than something that’s even crazier than that.

The Philadelphia Flyers have this new mascot, a terrible mascot who is orange with bug eyes.

Jacobsen: [Laughing].

Rosner: The odds that you flip a coin and it stands on an edge are vastly more probable than that the Philadelphia Flyers’ mascot shows up in your living room. It is not zero but something like a 0 plus a google zero.

Jacobsen: Not the entire thing, but could it be more likely that little itty bitty bits of him pop into the living room.

Rosner: Yes. I read these textbooks that talk about the air in the room evacuating the room. It is possible but highly improbable. But there are usually more likely things happen. You’re in an airplane and somebody shot out a window. There is a cause for that.

You have to wait for the lifetime of a google universe for air to just statistically drift into the corner and suffocate you.

Jacobsen: It doesn’t crash much. The system doesn’t crash much or at all. The contextualize framework of all those together – the gazillion units of whatever time or unit; one of the units can simply wink out of existence.

Rosner: The pog world is limited in time. The simple citizens would not live long enough to encounter a glitch.

Jacobsen: In a normal circumstance, the air could rush to the other side of the room, suffocating the person and then they die. In an airplane, it could be much more likely that it could exist.

But if you take a bunch of armatures, you can take a massive weave of them linked together informationally – and similar to other things rushing to one side of the room, then you could have an entire universe or armature in the massive weave simply winking out of existence as if it never existed in the superstructure.

Rosner: Yes, I think so. To bring this back to religion and belief, it is stuff that we are not capable of definitively characterizing, but that is pertinent to the nature of existence. It points at one of Feynman’s situations, which is that regardless of what we believe now or what I think we will believe in the near future; there might be a new series of discoveries, physical and metaphysical, which will vastly change what we believe into the indefinite future.

Jacobsen: This raises other questions for me. If you take a rationalist or a humanist lens, or an empiricist lens, each takes the no magic position. But they also take the naturalist perspective, which you are taking.

They tend to take meta-naturalism. It is their metaphysical worldview. What an information-based view on the universe takes is an information-based metaphysicalism, that’s not naturalism.

There is a similarity with Newton’s and Einstein’s math working in different frames. It is just that one is a little more comprehensive and contextualizes the operations of the world better because you’re incorporating information theory and communication theory: Big Bang, expansion, deceleration, and the production of natural objects.

Rosner: You can have statistical naturalism, which incorporates tendencies towards order as a statistical likelihood that becomes informationism or the idea that the idea increases in information over time – or the universe is an embodiment of information.

Jacobsen: Typically, what I hear from that camp, which is an important camp from modern science, the naturalism camp, they talk about this as a conclusion of modern science or a principle of natural science.

But science was natural philosophy, so, yes, you will derive naturalism from science. The idea of the universe runs along its course in its dynamics and natural objects rise, run along, and fall away.

Rosner: Nothing means anything. But we have built towards that over the past 2,000 years, which is every time science stuck its nose into the world. It met a pullback in perspective and a reducing of the importance of humanity with the most famous step being the end of the or the replacement of the Ptolemaic System with the Copernican System.

The Earth at the center to the Sun as the center, building to the Big Bang and then us as simply one of 10^22nd stars in a randomly occurring and playing out the universe. So, we are extrapolating that nothing means anything based on all these previous demotions of humanity from the center of existence to just a little blip in this vast universe.

[End of recorded material]


Rick Rosner

American Television Writer


Rick Rosner

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing


In-Sight Publishing


[1] Four format points for the session article:

  1. Bold text following “Scott Douglas Jacobsen:” or “Jacobsen:” is Scott Douglas Jacobsen & non-bold text following “Rick Rosner:” or “Rosner:” is Rick Rosner.
  2. Session article conducted, transcribed, edited, formatted, and published by Scott.
  3. Footnotes & in-text citations in the interview & references after the interview.
  4. This session article has been edited for clarity and readability.

For further information on the formatting guidelines incorporated into this document, please see the following documents:

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In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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