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June 28, 2014

Compression, Entanglement and a Possible Basis for Morphic Fields

[From a  June 26, 2014 draft of a letter to Rupert Sheldrake:]

So the universe is analogous to a class of computational processes, some more efficient than others,
 ... at which point I'd like to pause and point out that this doesn't mean that the universe is a computation, or that it isn't, but that it obeys certain rules of consistency that are just like those in some computations, and equally that some computations are also exactly analogous to the rules of the universe, so that if the most efficient way of doing the computational process has certain methods or characteristics, then the operation of the universe will also have analogous characteristics

Compression is the essence of the operation of the computational processes that are analogous to the universe. 

Back to the presentation:

So the universe is analogous to a class of computational processes, some more efficient than others, with the most efficient being heavily favored as representations, which compress natural patterns of evolution of matter and fields so that required resources are minimized to model or instantiate the universe. These compressed representations of patterns have a supra-physical, informational component which is encoded in the thermal radiations of all matter and fields, which cause a cascade of entanglements which in turn have the history of the universe's changing patterns encoded within them. The entanglement of the particles in new patterns with those of past patterns requires the new pattern to be consistent with all the quantum informational constraints of the past patterns. The only consistent universes are those where all the past information from all past patterns is still implicit in each and every new pattern, sub-pattern and interaction. So the past patterns can serve as templates for later patterns, with a size-dependent degree of clarity, as with parts of a hologram, and allow effective compression of all similar situations in the past to each local region of the universe. The thermal radiation information field compresses all similar past situations because it is not truly possible to erase information, but only to turn it into “heat” which is basically just information that one has decided to ignore. Everything in the universe that “stays happened” (as opposed to quantum eraser-type situations) is on the permanent, ineradicable record.

These templates are patterns in both space and time, allowing for example the progressive elaboration of structures in the development of embryos, and so can most effectively be modeled by generative programs which produce the evolving state of the simulation or instantiation, rather than just static data, that is, efficiency implies not just compressibility but minimizing the Kolmogorov complexity of the computational processes analogous to the physical situations. This allows not just physical structures but patterns of behavior and modes of development to be optimized for their analogous computational processes' equivalents of memory space and processing power, and thus gives not just a memory but a super pattern-recognition capability in every part of the universe, which can read a developing situation and compare it with everything in the past light-cone, thus compressing it to effectively require only the new, original information content it embodies to be added to the thermal motions and radiations that communicate past interactions and patterns among the parts of the universe through quantum phases and entanglements' implications. The past patterns it embodies are already in the information field, but each repetition and close variation makes them “stronger”, or more compressed and efficient.

Effectively this is like compression with unlimited side information available. The information capacity of thermal radiation is enormous given it has about 10^19 to 10^21 photons per joule. Even the milli-atto-joules characteristic of the smallest molecular motions give rise to photons. To see the potential power of this sort of compression, movies would be very easy to “compress” to send over a wire if the sender and all viewers already had a copy of every movie ever made as “side information” – only a serial number or tag code would need to be transmitted to “transmit” gigabytes of movie. (But in such a large data set as the the universe's information field there probably is a shortage of short tag codes, codes shorter than the patterns they represent, even though the codes be context-dependent.)

The information field, being in its heat diffusion the same as the wave equation with time replaced by imaginary time, implies that its dynamics occur in imaginary time, which is like a small cylindrical manifold with a particle that changes phase as it spirals along it helically, as in electron zitter motion, rather than staying at one angle on the cylinder as in normal time. (See Zitterbewegung comment on the article on “time crystals” on the Simons Foundation site, reposted here.) It is recurrent time, cyclical time, perhaps not time but eternity. And among the compressed patterns in the information field are all the people who ever lived and every thought and action they ever had or did. Not just the dead ones, either, nor just the distant past, but the past that starts a nanosecond ago, even a yoctosecond ago. In fact, the parts of the future that are implied by the past are already in the field, so it's really somewhat atemporal or eternal.

So the afterlife, precognition, remote viewing and telepathy are implications of this view. It even suggests how it is possible to give a remote viewing target with only an arbitrary code number. The code and the target are physically associated on the envelope or in the computer and the target information is sent via the code in the same way that the movies were “sent” in the example of compression with unlimited side information.

See Daniel Burfoot's book: “Notes on a New Philosophy of Empirical Science” (arXiv:1104.5466v1 [cs.LG] 28 Apr 2011 ) for more down-to-earth applications of the idea of treating science as a data compression problem, compressing vast quantities experience and experiment down to pithy theories and equations.

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