In this post, I share, in narrative form, the glimpses that I have had that the ToK System provides an important piece of the puzzle toward a unified theory of everything. Before I do so, I need to be clear that I am not a mathematical physicist, and I do not speak advanced mathematics. As such, I do not make strong claims about the strong version. Nevertheless, the connections have been such that I believe the strong version might be true. When I first developed the ToK System, I spent an enormous amount of time reading up on and digesting conceptual models in physics. I did so for two reasons. First, and most important, it was crucial to me that the vision I was developing was consistent with physics. Second, I came to believe that the ToK offered a crucial perspective that was missing in all mathematical physical theories…and that is a theory of the knower. Specifically, the ToK System locates the scientist and scientific theory in the context of the physical universe. (These slides capture some of what I am talkin about…Knowledge Vectors).
One of the first connections I made was seeing parallels in the structure of the joint points. Recall that the joint points are links between the dimensions, thus there are four foundational joint points, between Energy and Matter (Quantum Gravity); Matter and Life (Modern Synthesis); Life and Mind (BIT) and Mind and Culture (JH). I noticed that the Modern Synthesis, BIT, and the JH could each be conceptualized as a unit of information (genetic, neuronal, symbolic) that was operated on by a macro-process of selection, (natural, behavioral, justification). That parallel made me wonder about Quantum Gravity. Of course, the quantum can be conceptualized as the smallest unit of information, so that fits. But what about gravity? Could that be conceptualized as a macro-level selection process?
Thinking about the universe as a wave of energy-information gave me an idea, namely I started thinking about gravity as a form of regression to the mean. Regression to the mean is a statistical phenomena that pertains to random forces and extreme scores. My idea was to imagine all matter in a state of quantum variation or flux. Mass could be conceptualized as clusters of information (kind of like the N in a research sample), and the distance between masses could be thought of as their “co-relation” in spacetime. I sent this idea to John Wheeler (the famous physicist who coined the term black hole), and I was pleased (and somewhat surprised) when he wrote back, calling the idea of gravity as regression to the mean intriguing. He told me it was foundationally congruent with his argument that we need to move from “It to Bit” (i.e., from things to information) in how we think about the universe.
It was during this time that I was thinking about behavior as the flow of energy information, and that the fundamental task was to determine the foundational behavioral frequencies underlying all change processes. That is when I started getting involved in string theory, which is the notion that strings coiled in hidden dimensions represent this foundational bedrock.I spent a lot of time exploring the standard model of particle physics, and developed some diagrams on the Standard Model that I was proud of because they conveyed a lot of information in an accessible way. If you look at those diagrams, the spiral shapes inside the particles represent the connection to string theory.
(note in the equations that follow, ‘p’ is pi, i is the square root of negative one and e is the natural log constant…I could not place the symbol in the text)
In 2001, I developed what I called a PseudoProof. This emerged from three lines of thought: 1) using the ToK to link measurement to observation with its theory of the knower; 2) seeing the fundamental questions in quantum mechanics as connecting to my basic definition of behavior; and 3) my conviction that the foundational unifying concept is behavioral frequencies ala string theory. I considered the formulation 2 p i f = 1 to be a metaphorical representation for connecting these domains.
But then, in 2003, I made a connection that made me wonder if it was possible that it had meaning above and beyond my own intuition. Specifically, I realized that 2 p i f = 1 could be connected to the Euler Identity. The Euler Identity (e^pi + 1 = 0) is one of the most fundamental in all of mathematics because it joins e, pi, i, 0, and 1 into one symbolic representation. (Here is the way they connect: Euler Dear Dr).
The ToK System depicts the relation between the physical, biological, psychology, and social sciences. And it argues that it aligns, in one system, the central insights of Einstein, Darwin, Skinner and Freud. By seeing a connection between 2p i f = 1 and the Euler Identity, I had connected physics to mathematics in a novel way.
For me, e^pi + 2p i f = 0, is my “equation” for radical mathematical humanism. It connects me to mathematics via the Euler Identity, connects me to science via the f, which represents the behavioral frequencies mapped by the ToK System, and it connects me to humanism, insofar as the connections I have made here are more intuitive and subjective and part of my story than they are mathematical physical truths. But it nevertheless is my story and thus my truth at the level of human narrative.