Sunday, 19 February 2017

VIRTUAL REALITY

The following is the gist of a topic currently featured in the 21st  revised edition of V.H. Ironside, Behold! I Teach You Superman :



            “It is the stillest words which bring the storm. Thoughts that come with doves’ footsteps guide the world.”
Nietzsche

                The language of physics is pre-eminently mathematical - the necessary foundation of all other enquiries. Speculation takes a new direction. Propositions become self-evident. Necessity precedes analysis. And that, precisely, is what I myself mean by virtual reality: the dynamic embodiment of a
conclusive idea. The raw material of creative thought one might say, rather than a mere interpretative model of the universe.
            The mind’s relationship to time and space is fundamental. Which is one of the reasons why the virtual particle belongs more to the history of human epistemology than to the slow, discontinuous evolution of the physical sciences. In fact, what seems to be an inherent uncertainty in our knowledge has nevertheless profound implications for the conversion of pure energy into matter where none existed before. All material knowledge is subject to space and time coordinates, and to acquire a grasp of the uncertainty relations between position and momentum, or between energy and time, the concept of structure arises as an unavoidable consequence. The virtual particle, consequently, is not a casual product of the ambiguity crisis, but its very nature. It is the meaning and the means of creating itself.
            It takes some explaining, but the answer to what seems to be the very creation of charged material particles out of electromagnetic energy, appears to lie in the basic principles of human understanding. Which is to say, that we have an existential, static-Euclidean need for logical consistency; and that - like the demands of relativistic invariance - remains constant regardless of any transformation in our conceptual circumstances. Hence, the microscopic differentials between time and mechanical energy arising from the invariant nature of two different descriptions of reality that combine to create a significance for the subject – taking care of the ‘hard problem’ of philosophy, or how mind becomes matter. In fact, there are elementary reasons for this hypothesis of material self-creation when applied to a universal principle of physics whose conceptual activities produce measurable properties, though suffice it to say here that there is nothing absurd in the notion of ‘form without matter,’ or that the nature of consciousness itself may involve a quantum process.
            On this contention rests a substantial part of my case.  The uncertainty is not a mnemonic malfunction, it is a transformational mechanism. Or, perhaps, a knowing nod to a reality which consists of a cloud of probability; that is to say, in a combination of all possible states of being. More specifically, the current theory of matter formation is essentially just a quantitative reflection of our ‘psychological’ understanding of the uncertainty relations between two mutually exclusive models of
energy and time. Indeed, the utopia of modern elementary particle physics has no difficulty in perceiving that virtual propositions are contingent, perhaps, but not illusory; that they belong to the conceptual, not the a posteriori mode. That, even considered as virtual, it is nevertheless perfectly
proper to say that they are a priori concepts, connected to the world of reality in a manner in which it becomes essential to the proper understanding of the reciprocal relationship between uncertainties in measurement to realise that the inherent dynamism is not in the substance but in the mind.
            And so the world awakens as a conundrum, and its destiny accomplishes itself not just in cosmological invariances of time, but in conjunction with the conceptual evolution of strictly circumscribed micro-material relations. Relations, in fact, which also form the basis of practically all theories by which processes involving elementary particles are gradually transformed into the four-dimensional building-blocks of conventional space and time.
            Thus, assisted by a mathematical calculus of unrestricted power, the entire universe becomes a dynamic piece of virtual reality. A dynamic idea one might say. For whether we talk about a process of radioactive decay that takes billions of years, or the emission of light that requires less than a micro-second, for the sake of an easy generalization it has become possible to say that describing the particle is but a description of our knowledge. Indeed, it is critical to note that virtual particles are instruments and not ends in themselves – a kind of triumph of method over truth. For if one looks
closely at the empirical clues for the decryption of virtual particles, the mechanics of a very deep and inherently discerning principle are clearly apparent in a formative process whereby cognition is subject to the same uncertainty relations as all other collateral components. More specifically, there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that cognition itself  is the driving force behind this elevation of certain indefinite or indeterminate categories to an essentially anthropocentric view of reality, giving constitutional authority to ever more rarefied perceptual levels.
            Part of this is prescriptive. Part of it pure bluff: organic and inorganic life evolving one with another in a house of the mind. Indeed, we seem to be confronted with aspects of the sub-atomic phenomenology that display many analogies with human psychology.  Having been allocated exactly the properties necessary to provide such an analogy, and considered thus in functional terms, all of those properties are therefore virtually necessary and may no longer said to be illusory. The observation at last equals the prediction.  It is the generation of a material particle by a mental cause. The culmination of an association created from an illusion. As a matter of fact, there is clear affirmation that during the long evolution of the Universe the growth of complexity has progressed to include not just elementary particles but rather the appearance of underlying principles of symmetry and teleology; which is to say, the explication of phenomena by the purpose they serve rather than by postulated causes. 
The culmination of an associated created from an illusion !


No comments: