Energy is the central concept in physics. Could it also be the central concept to determine truth?
High Energy Physics is, well, about high energy, as its name indicates. All of Quantum Field Theory consists into speculative manipulations about how energy is thought to behave as it flows. This is the theory that, in its most ambitious versions, claim to determine the truth of the world (grandiosely called the TOE: Theory Of Everything).
Don’t laugh! The Ancient Greek philosophers looked at nature to find out truth. What else? So do I.
The Greater Depression (copyright Tyranosopher) is about the lack of decent, rewarding, well paid work. What’s another name for work? Energy. Thus the Greater Depression is all about energy, or the lack thereof, showing up in dearth of work (that is, energy!)
The CO2 crisis is all about energy: we produce most of our energy by burning coal, a method invented by the Romans. Then a stroke of genius, now a perverse twist on the burning of wood by Homo Erectus.
Even love, according to standard evolutionary psychobiology, has to do with energy: it’s about selecting who we view as the most energetic, dominant, provider of life.
Thus, in a sense, everywhere we turn, energy determines the reality, the truth of the world.
Yet, one does not catch flies with the truth. Honey, though, works. Here this word, this concept, again: work.
What has meaning is what works. Get it? A deeper truth than it looks: it relates veracity with the physics of energy. Literally. Philosophy for our age.
Alexi Helligar: “What is truth? We like to think truth is obvious. But the profundity of obvious truths are so difficult to grasp that it takes sometimes multiple lifetimes of wisdom.
We think truth is all that matters. In this we are mistaken. More important than truth is meaning. It is meaning which tell us the next step we must take. The contents of our various religions may not be true, but they are meaningful. The meaningful lie is far more effective to significant action than meaningless truth.”
Patrice Aymé: The truth known to Keynes: ‘in the long run we are all dead’ is very true, but it’s also very much meaningless, when one is engaged in that game known as life. So Alexi, you are very right.
Euclidean geometry is true. But, pushed too far, it becomes meaningless elucubration about Byzantine theorems. There are better things to do (such as the basic theorems of non-Euclidean geometry). Thus, better ways to use one’s energy.
Truth is not obvious, indeed. Great logicians (say Tarski, a Polish (-American) who blossomed two generations after Bertrand Russell) worked hard to establish a better theory of truth. What truth is still pretty much up in the air.
I got logic from Alexander the Great: if it’s too complicated, cut the Gordian knot. Thus, instead of the how-many-angels-on-that-pinhead theories of truth, I propose instead my META theory. META theories are local logical frames that allow to make linear logic in the vast universe of truth. META stands for Maximally Evident Truth Applied. (1)
From my point of view, most modern mathematics is not anymore true than angels on a pin. It’s as irrelevant as angels on a pin. Someday soon most mathematicians will guess and fear increasingly that this is true. Meanwhile they loudly cling to their mom Plato, like frightened new-born monkeys (as my friend Penrose does).
The best argument those who cling to Plato have is, precisely, meaning. The math they have done mean something, somewhere, they argue. “Look at our beautiful theorems,” they say ecstatically.
It’s exactly the same problem as with well-known superstitions. No proof for what they say, but they say it together, sing it together, so they believe it. Whatever “it” is. Belief is much comfortable: it saves energy. Instead of creating one’s own neurological circuitry, one learn to sing it from others (as the Nazis put it: Sieg Heil!) That’s the charm of tribes, their brain energy-saving side.
I propose to forget the error of infinity, this “corruption of the youth“, as a mathematician contemporary of Georg Cantor put it. I propose to concentrate on more meaningful mathematics, precisely. Solve hypersonic laminar flow. Forget what requires ZFC to prove.
Some could sneer that I talk about energy to justify truth, and now I talk about meaning, thus I am all over the place, thoroughly confused.
But not so.
The brain is an energy machine. The brain has interest to believe.
Belief is energy cheap; it basically consists, most often in just repeating what one has heard. As the Wolf put it to the Lamb: ‘On me l’a dit, il faut que je me venge, one has told me that I must avenge myself’. Once the Wolf has asserted the primacy of belief, he can devour whatever he so desires.
Believing is much less energy consuming than thoroughly demonstrating (that’s energy demanding, as it requires to have checked every single logical jump). The brain finds more meaning in models of the universe that require less energy to believe.
For example, once you have decided god explained everything, there is nothing else to figure out. One can be like a dog, and believe everything. So the popularity of god has to do with energy conservation.
A plane is built from the most delicate architecture of entangled truths. Truth is literally what works, i. e., conducts energy with meaning.
Some will object that I make a superficial reasoning by proximity, a topo-logy: a logic of place. Thinking has to do with energy, energy has to do with thinking, so they are the same. No.
What’s a thought? Well, a set of joint brain assemblies calling onto action. (A particular case is an idea, which can be expressed in words, that is, which can be digitalized, and thus can be communicated by voice or the like.)
It requires energy to set-up and be inspected by consciousness, to be made into a communicable whole (even if it’s only self-communication). So the establishment of a thought, and even its sustainability, require energy.
Now, not all and any energy display will be a thought. However, when is a truth correct? When it allows energy to flow in a way that is deemed correct. That is, when it has correct meaning. The later notion is simply tied up, ultimately, to survival of the species.
Thus the architecture of energy, not only describes thoughts, but validates them.
Let’s go back to the idea of High Energy Physics (Quantum Field Theory, QED, QCD, TOE, Super Strings, etc.). Why is it called “High”? Because it’s about high frequencies (the first idea of the Quantum is that energy comes in packets determined by the frequency: E = hv).
So what are we facing here? That thinking is about Brain Energy Physics. That implies both meaning and pleasure, both derivatives to optimizing energy flow.
Truth is the discourse that optimizes the servitude of energy to the survival of the species.
At least, so I propose.
I think, therefore I energize.
Notes: (1) Reading old proofs, I found, to my amazement, that META is close in mentality to the initial proof of Georg Cantor on the uncountability of the real numbers; except I stand that on its head. Fields Medal Tim Gowers has been trying to contradict my reasoning, but I think is objection is devoid of powerful meaning.
Economy ought to be founded on Energy (I’ve insisted, to give economics, and thus society the rigorous foundations society needs it to have). In particular AWE, Absolute Worth Energy.
Absolute Worth is, ultimately, determined by survival. There is a science uniting psychology and economics, that justifies one with the other, and vice versa. The preceding goes much further, as it unites the whole thing, and thinking itself, as a subset of energy physics.