Craig Weinberg

blogger, Multisenserealism.com
Durham, NC, United States

About Craig

Bio

Self taught middle aged suburban guru of non-descript Southern California origin. I work with computer networks, write conjecture about consciousness, and have recently expanded into public presentations and radio interviews.

Areas of Expertise

Philosophy of Mind

An idea worth spreading

I strongly suspect that consciousness and cosmos can be understood correctly as a continuum that makes sense in symmetric-yet-anomalous ways, with each sense carrying perceptual and ontological consequences. Some of the more shocking ideas that have come out of this include:

Light is not photons, and photons may not exist independently of matter.

Space is a true void containing no energy.

Time is an abstraction derived from normalized modeling regularity and rhythm in sense experiences.

Human consciousness has evolved from more primitive forms of awareness, sense, and detection-participation, not from mechanisms, matter, or information.

Sense is primordial and prefigures subject-object duality, spatiotemporal causality, matter and energy.

The Big Bang is not an event but rather a singularity from which events emerge. It should be more properly be considered a Big Diffraction, as there is no event horizon from which any external perspective can escape.

I'm passionate about

Consciousness, Cosmos, Philosophy of Mind.

Talk to me about

What's true.

People don't know I'm good at

I'm a saucier.

My TED story

When I figured out that light and energy in general may is not be literally real as a structure in space, our house was struck by lightning. Through a miracle of unusual circumstances my wife and I were not napping in the bedroom where the lightning struck and broke windows, blew out faceplates and chunks of the walls.

The power was out but my laptop was still running on batteries, showing the website I was browsing before we left to see the movie Inception. It was a website about the life of Nikola Tesla.

Probably not a TED story, but I thought it was an interesting moment.

Comments & conversations

162302
Craig Weinberg
Posted over 2 years ago
If the universe is expanding - what is it expanding into?
I agree that the discovery of the Higgs Boson, or of whatever Higgs-like phenomenon we think we have discovered, will only usher in another era of speculation and uncertainty about the building blocks of everything. As long as we have no theory of awareness, we are looking at a toy model of the cosmos and bending over backwards to make that model's nonsensical conclusions apply to anything other than mathematics.
162302
Craig Weinberg
Posted over 2 years ago
If the universe is expanding - what is it expanding into?
When you say "on a universal scale we don't see any patterns" but then go on to say "We see clusters which all look similar", it tells me that indeed we are talking about two different things. To me, in order for me to say 'we don't see any patterns' means that we don't see anything at all. Randomness is a pattern, especially clusters of similar randomness'. For there to truly be no pattern we could not even see blackness or emptiness. It could only look like what you see now through the back of your head. That you assume that the mind is 'in the brain' also tells me that your model of the cosmos assumes that interior experience is subordinate to, and an imperfect model of an generically real object universe. My model questions that assumption and sees it as an extension of naive realism. While technology has extended our capacity to see and hear, it has also amplified the bias of relying exclusively on those most empirically tangible channels of sense at the expense of all other modes of experience. If you turn it around, it is the world of bodies in space that fails to live up of the much more significant experiences of subjectivity, including 'perfection', rich qualia, etc. Just because they are private experiences rather than public objects, your model disqualifies them to the never never land of less-than-real. If randomness contains any possibility of pattern, especially patterns which live and dream of perfection, then they cannot be said to be truly random. The fact that hydrogen atoms eventually turn into human beings does not mean that any mathematical function that seems to do what hydrogen does may turn into a human being. On the other hand, it is easy if you start from a place of sense, to project appearances of entropy and signal attenuation. What we feel in being ourselves is closer to what the universe is than a map of cosmic dust.
162302
Craig Weinberg
Posted over 2 years ago
If the universe is expanding - what is it expanding into?
"You are confusing "sense" with "logic". The two are different. Sense makes sense because it matches what our senses observe. Logic is entirely within the brain." I try to avoid arguing word definitions, especially about broad informal terms like logic and sense. The word logic can be used in a lot of ways, to refer to logic gates for example. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing that is entirely 'within the brain' except for biochemistry. The word sense can also refer to sensemaking that is entirely mental. Helen Keller made sense of a world that she could not see or hear. Not to criticize you personally, but if your objections to my ideas are going to be based on knee-jerk linguistic corrections then I am already not interested. "There is no singularity. " There is nothing that could prevent the existence of singularity. On some level of description there is nothing except the universe if your description is sufficiently all-encompassing. Singularity is a matter of how you frame the universality of the universe; how absolutes can manifest in the absence of precedent. "We like singularity because it is pure, like the idea of creation" ..".Have a look at the sky," You dislike the singularity because you think that interior realism doesn't need to be reconciled with exterior realism. Have a look at the anthropological data - the universality of holistic models of the cosmos. We are interested in these ideas for a reason. This doesn't mean that kind of truth can be a substitute for science, but neither can scientific data be a substitute for subjective experience. It is the symmetry between them that reveals the whole truth about the cosmos.
162302
Craig Weinberg
Posted over 2 years ago
If the universe is expanding - what is it expanding into?
"Understanding what the nothingness outside the universe is is difficult. " It's not difficult, it is impossible. Understanding why that is a fact is difficult. There is no nothingness. Nonsense is an absence of sense, and nothing is an absence of things. They have no meaning when they are not preceded by sense and things. Sense isn't a type of nonsense. Things aren't temporary non-nothings. I understand that this seems like a step backward to you, but I assure you it isn't. Unfathomable as it seems, I feel quite comfortable in saying that our current model of the universe is as misguided as it was before Copernicus. We are in the dark ages of cosmology - literally. Everything that matters is shunted off to the never never land of 'emergent properties', 'representation', 'information', dark matter & energy, etc. What is left is meaningless quantitative relations of a non-universe we will never experience. My model opens the possibility that our current astrophysical observations reflect a narrow band of perception, no more infallible than any other form of perception we have access to, only its flaws are hidden from us in a different way. The promise of certainty and objectivity has a price. I'm not trying to question them though, I only question their interpretation. Whatever physics can discover fits equally well with my model because I am looking at sense as the sole primitive of nature.
162302
Craig Weinberg
Posted over 2 years ago
If the universe is expanding - what is it expanding into?
Sometimes things that fry our brains seem that way because they don't actually make sense. If we tie string in knots and then take away the string, we can't 'keep the knots'. This is almost a literal description of the 'Emperor's new clothes'. There are no knots-in-string independent of string. I can tie other things into a knot because different materials can produce conditions which we experience as similar or identical. A knot is pattern recognition (and so is the string, ultimately, but on a lower level). As far as nothingness being the engine of expansion, yes, I agree that it can seem equivalent whether the nothingness is conceived of as being an exterior event horizon or an interior multiplication of distances, but because this is happening in time as well, the Big Diffraction model has the advantage of remaining perpetually in singularity. The initial moment of the Big Bang is a single 'now', as much the fullness of eternity as it is each granular instant because there is no external 'not now' outside of it to give it closure. The totality of 'being' is subdivided not by nothingness but by the accumulation of somethingness. The expansion of space is not the important part, it is the meaningless consequence of the retention of eternity. As eternity gets longer, the compass is perpetually opening, but only in relation to itself http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7tm7uz08N1qeenqko1_1280.jpg I agree that spacetime is a kind of nothingness in that it is a true void rather than a plenum of vacuum flux or zero point energy. The potentials and dynamism we think we see in the void are, I suggest, actually within the connectedness of the matter of our instruments (including ourselves). We are pinging the singularity of what we are made of and mistaking it for magical 'dark energy'. More nothing between the stars only means that more time has passed since the last time that the stars were one. There may no such thing thing as an 'increase in nothingness
162302
Craig Weinberg
Posted over 2 years ago
If the universe is expanding - what is it expanding into?
Our perception it what is contracting. I conceive of at sense-motive nature to phenomena in which deepening qualitative richness to persist from the inside out can be accounted for. This is a physical phenomenon, tied to a variable (like Euler's number), the expression of which is subjective by definition. I call this property of cumulative sensory depth 'significance', and its Couchy-like progression of signal elaboration I call solitropy. The more the universe drags behind reminders of all previous states and eras, the more significant each moment of time can potentially be. This is not mere negentropy from an unseen source, I'm suggesting instead a whole other way that entropy might be conjugated. Entropy in either a thermodynamic or information sense does not have a way of distinguishing desirable from undesirable outcomes, yet we do have this ability and value it very highly. It could be argued that other species of animals, and perhaps all entities rely on this to the same extent. With solitropy, (the universal promise of private experience), there is a difference between building up part a city and burning down a whole one, even though they may cost the same amount of energy and produce the same entropy. The clarity of that preference for quality of life and enjoyable experiences over meaningless chaos is what has not been understood yet in physics other than as a superficial function of human evolution. We have spent a centuries on the cold, hard facts of work. Now we need to appreciate the warm, soft fiction of play and how it pertains to awareness. Think then, of a spinning top, slowing down as it rotates in space, but subjectively intensifying in our estimation the longer and faster and more perfectly or interestingly it spins. We get a story out of it, and the cost is that there is a little heat lost, some wear and tear...but the story or play is the purpose for the top in the first place. We know all about work but have failed to discover play
162302
Craig Weinberg
Posted over 2 years ago
If the universe is expanding - what is it expanding into?
"The fabric is an anomaly in the nothingness, it is made of nothingness that has taken on structure. " I understand what you mean and I understand that it is considered a perfectly valid model to explain our empirical observations, but I see it as a total loss. It is a fantasy to explain something that we have interpreted incompletely. Nothingness can't have an anomaly. It is either a thing that has anomalies, which would have to be explained as far as its origin, etc, or it is nothingness, in which case it can never have or be anything. The key to it all is what I call 'sense'. Literally, afferent sensation/detection/integration and efferent participation/motivation/action. Without accounting for these principles in a fundamental way in physics, we will only ever be able to construct an idea of a universe in which we do not experience directly in any way. We wind up with an intangible anti-universe of unexperienced quantities and an anti-humanity of unexplained neural correlate simulated epiphenomena. The reason that we are interested in the universe is because we are in it. Any complete model of the universe must begin with a satisfactory explanation for that fact. What we have now takes that for granted from the start and then builds a model based on reverse engineering facts, leaving our ourselves out of the picture, and effectively painting ourselves in a corner. If we start with the sense relation as primordial and irreducible, then it all makes more...sense.
162302
Craig Weinberg
Posted over 2 years ago
If the universe is expanding - what is it expanding into?
Right. The way I figure it, the cosmos is like a machine or organism that produces significance, order, or 'sense' through privately experienced time at the cost of the production of entropy as a kind of topological exhaust (public space). It sounds crazy, but I think it works, and it explains the existence of order, life, and consciousness in the universe.
162302
Craig Weinberg
Posted over 2 years ago
If the universe is expanding - what is it expanding into?
Is it possible for 'nothingness' to be transformed into a space time 'fabric' of immense weight though? If something has the potential to be converted in any way, then it isn't really nothing to begin with. It's a bit like saying that you are turning the emptiness of a cup into water by adding water to it. In this context, instead of water, we are talking about spacetime itself, so that what it is being added to can't be described as any kind of space or time. In order to make our equations seem to make sense, we have to resort to this kind of handwaving in the direction of 'space except that it isn't space'. Ultimately its just trying to squeeze a boundaryless condition of first cause into some kind of ordinary framework that is familiar to us. We want to try to think of the universe like an egg spreading out on a pan, but it doesn't work. There is no pan and everything that has ever existed, including the ideas of pans, has always only been inside the yolk of the egg.
162302
Craig Weinberg
Posted over 2 years ago
If the universe is expanding - what is it expanding into?
Expansion is a condition that we can relate to because we exist inside of the universe, but since the Big Bang is responsible for generating all of space as well as all of time, then we should understand the universe as a Big Diffraction of a singularity which is as much "everythingness" as it is "something" or "nothingness". Philosophers and mystics have tried to describe this with terms such as Totality, Tao, Ein Sof, Brahman, monad. If we accept the concept of a singularity prior to the Big Bang, such a thing could not exist as we might imagine, as some kind of exploding sphere that we might, as scientific voyeurs, observe from a distance. That is not possible as the singularity prefigures all other things, so that it has no exterior and there is no moment yet in which any event can take place. This is why the singularity could not have been sitting there for x billion years before suddenly exploding, because time, like space, can only exist for something in relation to something else. Imagine a universe with nothing but a ping bong ball in it. There is nothing that you can do to give the ball anything like a position or movement. It's like the old Asteroids arcade game when there are no asteroids on the screen - just a self-centering vector that can turn, but has nowhere to go because there isn't anywhere else to be. Despite what we believe currently about vacuum flux, it makes more sense to me that space is not in fact a plenum (a fullness of intangible immaterial), but is a true void between material-phenomenological bodies. With space as nothing but an expression of scale and distance relations between 'things' and time nothing but a sequential ordering of repeating changes, the Big Bang becomes more of the hub of the wheel of spacetime, having never actually happened but rather is always happening and never happening. The singularity is a floating superlative - a perpetual locus of perpetual 'expansion' (diffraction). We live on its periphery.