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Universal Properties

Monotonous, Periodic, Fractal, Interesting, Chaotic

Does this mean the local universe will repeat? No, not precisely at least, or maybe a couple of times, but not forever. Because there is no perfect periodicity either. Another platonic idea.

Atomic clock (Ye Group and Baxley/JILA). The best ones as of 2022 deviate by less than a second in 20 million years. However, to put that to a larger perspective, this clock would be off by more than 15 minutes since the beginning of this universe, violating the academic quarter.

If you look at the works of John Conway, Stephen Wolfram and others, there seem to be five classes of things: Monotonous, periodic, fractal, chaotic and…

View into a 3D fractal. Fractals can be created in any number of dimensions. There are numerous fascinating 4D fractals (animations) to be found on any video streaming site, as well as one- and two-dimensional ones.

And then there is also something very strange, like John Conway’s Game of Life, that sits in the middle between fractalness and chaos. Let’s call it “interesting“.

A 3D cellular automaton with initial conditions resulting in a growing structure. Don’t let the symmetries fool you. These automata can proofably produce everything you can think of. They are turing complete.

However, monotony and periodicity are the same, mathematically and logically, and both do not exist in reality. They are platonic. Pure randomness also doesn’t exist. The only currently usable sources of alleged randomness come from such real world objects, the physics of which we don’t understand well enough to predict.

Graphical representation of an artificial random number generator. This shows that even our best random number generators have obvious regularities, which in information sciences are called pseudo-random for exactly this reason.
(From “Two-dimensional pseudo-random coupled map lattices system based on partitioned elementary cellular automata
and its dynamic properties” by Dong Youheng, Zhao Geng and Ma Yingjie.)

Quantum physics (which is incomplete at best, plain wrong possibly, despite being our most precise theory of local small scale physics) assumes that there is something like pure randomness, but if that were the case, order starting at a scale that is just slightly larger should not exist.

What we see instead are almost perfect symmetries everywhere, and we have no way to explain how these could arise from randomness. And even worse, we also have a hard time explaining any randomness arising from the laws of quantum mechanics. To me this means, quantum mechanics is a way to describe these symmetries and derive or predict, but not to explain, despite all attempts.

Funny, right? Why? Maybe it is ALMOST, not total randomness underlying the quantum world. Pure random is another platonic idea. As you see, we keep confusing our theoretical models with the reality they intend to describe, a pattern we repeat when trying to explain our consciousness.

So, we are either in the regime of fractalness or of interestingness. However, fractalness is just a subset of interestingness. An interesting ruleset can produce all possible fractals, local monotony, local periodicity and even local randomness to the extent that is possible. Fractalness on the other hand can not give rise to that many other things, and is certainly not complex enough to explain most of the effects we see. Fractalness is however often behind what we interpret as periodicity.

READ ON: So “where” are we?