Born to Do Math 174 – Manifestations of Universe Construction Possibilities: Non-Catastrophic Inconsistencies and Rules

In-Sight Publishing

Born to Do Math 174 – Manifestations of Universe Construction Possibilities: Non-Catastrophic Inconsistencies and Rules

June 22, 2020

[Beginning of recorded material]

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: So, you read something about Wolfram and a computational view of things. What is it?

Rick Rosner: Wolfram is like the Terrence Malick or the Quentin Tarantino of math. He believes in cellular automata as a way to understand the world. For people who are not familiar with that, they were big in the 80s, where you set up some simple rules in the form everyone has seen them at all. You set up a 2-dimensional grid, like on graph paper. You colour in a couple of squares. You see what happens when you set up rules for what squares become coloured next. If you start with 3-coloured squares and each square touched by 2 coloured squares becomes coloured itself, then a pattern begins forming. There is an infinite number of rules to set up. Wolfram played with this endlessly.

He found certain rules produce very complicated patterns, changing patterns, patterns that move, patterns that shoot off little space ship looking things. All this was with the idea in mind that the universe is probably predicated on some simple rules. If you can find those rules, then you can find out how the universe works. It is like a modern version of a Unified Field Theory. You try to find the simple things behind the universe that generate the complexity that we see in the universe. So, he brought out a book. Anyway, he impresses a bunch of smart people as a very smart guy. He has a super fancy App called Mathematica allowing you to do complicated math with simple tools.

Most recently, he has announced a crowdsourced physics project to come up with the rules that make the universe. He says since everyone is home with the coronavirus; everyone who is able to can work on this. The rule tools that he seems to have generated are based on networks of relationships among elements. These networks or relationships are depicted via things that look like Feynman diagrams You’ve got points. They’re connected by arrows. Each of these diagrams is a point in the development of a universe over time. So, it goes from simple diagrams to more complicated networks of points and arrows, which are determined by the rules for relationships among the elements.

He says that he and his team have produced a lot of physics type behaviour. They have seen in the universes as they unfold gravitation and electromagnetism and, possibly, 3-dimensional space. The problem they are having is they don’t know what networks of relationships generate what would eventually become a universe that looks like ours. All this, to me, and you’ve looked at it, and so to you; it looks promising.

Jacobsen: Yes, it keeps to low dimensionality in each format as if they are trying to grasp to higher dimensionality. Wolfram mentions this in the paper. It has some very appealing elements at grasping what the real world is like.

Rosner: What you were mentioning, what these universes generate, some of them, they want to exist in more than 2 dimensions, but don’t go crazy and to dimensions more than 3. Some of these universes seem to like 3-dimensionality. It seems like something is here. You get simple relationships, which become complicated and seem physics-like. I think that harkens back to IC. In that, we have kind of anything goes as long as it’s self-consistent as a stab at systems. We know counting numbers and more complicated math pop up in a lot of contexts because numbers are self-consistent in a lot of really simple and direct ways.

Yes, you have Godel’s theorems that say mathematics can’t be proven perfectly consistent, but simple mathematics; a bunch of it can be proven to be consistent. It is only when you get to more complicated implications that math becomes complicated enough that you run the risks of inconsistencies. Although, no critical inconsistencies have been discovered. Is that pretty much Godel?

Jacobsen: Yes and no, it comes down to having a consistent system within itself while incomplete.

Rosner: The system can’t prove itself consistent.

Jacobsen: Yes, if consistent, then incomplete. If complete, then inconsistent.

Rosner: But for kitchen math or grocery store math, addition and multiplication, all of that stuff you can prove a lot of consistencies.

Jacobsen: The universe can deal with contradictions. It probably needs more consistencies than inconsistencies to function.

Rosner: There’s some rule that we’ve been poking towards, which is the principle of distant inconsistency. It is inconsistencies don’t necessarily matter as long as they are far enough away from the nuts and bolts of the universe, day to day workings of the universe.

Jacobsen: If something works in and of itself, and if another thing doesn’t, then let’s hope the latter is far away.

Rosner: Sure, for the turtles all the way down thing, it is hard to account for existence without some infinite number of frames. You go back to this apocryphal story, maybe, from thousands of years ago in which someone invents a theory of the universe with the universe sitting on the back of a turtle. Then someone asks, “What’s that turtle on?” They respond, “Another turtle.” The questioner asks, “What about that turtle?” The person exasperated says, “It is turtles all the way down.”

We postulate the universe is made out of information and the hardware that supports this information is probably in an armature universe, another universe, that supports the universe that we perceive. It prompts the question, “What supports that universe?” It leads to an infinity of armatures that contains each universe. The answer might be the contradictory nature of what you have in an infinity of turtles might be so far away – an infinity away, in fact – that it doesn’t affect the self-consistent nature of the universe in which we exist. The flies in the ointment are so freaking distant that the universe can operate in a largely self-consistent way without some potential contradiction scuttling the universe, as long as the universe has a finite duration and a finite number of elements.

Similarly, when you look at the Wolfram thing, he is looking for and his people are looking for a specific set of rules, where it might be that it is a “catch as catch can” universe. Rules that don’t lead to catastrophic inconsistencies can generate a universe. It’s likely that the set of all sets of non-catastrophic rules may converge around a familiar kind of physics. I remember 30 years ago trying to track down a paper by Hawking that says that there is a parallel between Knot Theory and cosmology, where you could build a universe from sliding knots in from the edge of the universe.

Where the knots reflect relationships amongst the elements of the universe, the universe becomes has so many knots from being thrown knots for billions of years which creates this self-consistent structure. It might be that Wolfram’s approach fits into the same bucket. As long as you are building from relationships among elements and slide in more and more relationships from the edge as your universe develops, you will end up with something like a universe as long as your elements are in the aggregate squeeze contradictions to the edges or prevent contradictions from being entirely corrosive.

[End of recorded material]


Rick Rosner

American Television Writer


(Updated July 25, 2019)

*High range testing (HRT) should be taken with honest skepticism grounded in the limited empirical development of the field at present, even in spite of honest and sincere efforts. If a higher general intelligence score, then the greater the variability in, and margin of error in, the general intelligence scores because of the greater rarity in the population.*

According to some semi-reputable sources gathered in a listing hereRick G. Rosner may have among America’s, North America’s, and the world’s highest measured IQs at or above 190 (S.D. 15)/196 (S.D. 16) based on several high range test performances created by Christopher HardingJason BettsPaul Cooijmans, and Ronald Hoeflin. He earned 12 years of college credit in less than a year and graduated with the equivalent of 8 majors. He has received 8 Writers Guild Awards and Emmy nominations, and was titled 2013 North American Genius of the Year by The World Genius Directory with the main “Genius” listing here.

He has written for Remote ControlCrank YankersThe Man ShowThe EmmysThe Grammys, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. He worked as a bouncer, a nude art model, a roller-skating waiter, and a stripper. In a television commercialDomino’s Pizza named him the “World’s Smartest Man.” The commercial was taken off the air after Subway sandwiches issued a cease-and-desist. He was named “Best Bouncer” in the Denver Area, Colorado, by Westwood Magazine.

Rosner spent much of the late Disco Era as an undercover high school student. In addition, he spent 25 years as a bar bouncer and American fake ID-catcher, and 25+ years as a stripper, and nearly 30 years as a writer for more than 2,500 hours of network television. Errol Morris featured Rosner in the interview series entitled First Person, where some of this history was covered by Morris. He came in second, or lost, on Jeopardy!, sued Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? over a flawed question and lost the lawsuit. He won one game and lost one game on Are You Smarter Than a Drunk Person? (He was drunk). Finally, he spent 37+ years working on a time-invariant variation of the Big Bang Theory.

Currently, Rosner sits tweeting in a bathrobe (winter) or a towel (summer). He lives in Los AngelesCalifornia with his wife, dog, and goldfish. He and his wife have a daughter. You can send him money or questions at LanceVersusRick@Gmail.Com, or a direct message via Twitter, or find him on LinkedIn, or see him on YouTube.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Founder, 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:

  1. American Psychological Association. (2010). Citation Guide: APA. Retrieved from
  2. Humble, A. (n.d.). Guide to Transcribing. Retrieved from

License and Copyright


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


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing 2012-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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