Non-Linear Us

Nature is not nature, ever since there are humans, and they think. Earth has been terraformed, made into a garden, a human garden, in the last few million years. By ours truly.

Neanderthals started to used coal (lignite), 80,000 years ago.They also domesticated (that is, modified) European wolves, and invested in real estate, by exterminating Cave Bears.

Thus, following “nature” is a non-linear activity, as, by following nature, we also follow the new nature we deconstructed and rebuilt, that is, we follow ourselves.

Linearity Is The Penultimate Mathematical Simplification

Linearity Is The Penultimate Mathematical Simplification

The simplest thing is to view all causes as constant. The next simplification is to view them as linear. After that quadratic, cubic, and all powers etc… The exponential, an infinite sum of powers with fast decreasing coefficients, grows as fast, at any point, as its own value. So it’s all over nature.

“Following nature” thus does not just mean hugging trees. It also means dealing with trees the old fashion way: cutting and burning them, to favor plants and animals human beings were involved with (fires in Indonesia are contributing at least one gigaton of carbon to the atmosphere in 2015, making them an appreciable source of CO2). “Following nature” also means using genetic engineering on plants and beasts alike.

Nature has been artificial from even before the rise of civilization. Prehistoric men in Europe already conducted advanced and successful surgeries, from trepanations, to amputations, complete with anesthetics and antibiotics (parts of that knowledge got completely forgotten during the European Middle Ages… to this day!) “Facts” nowadays are all what influences humans, because they, in turn, change nature. Including hopes, systems of mood (“austerity!”, “Islam!”).

The fundamental calculus assigned to (say) Stoics, is the fundamental calculus of humanity. To mostly quote Massimo P’s “New Stoicism, Part IV”:

“physics” (i.e., natural science and metaphysics), “logic” (i.e., logic, epistemology and psychology), and “ethics” (i.e., ethics)… the first two are instrumental to the third one: one cannot decide how to live (the proper domain of ethics) if one doesn’t know how to reason well (logic) and doesn’t also know whatever we can know about the reality of nature (physics). This implies that whenever our understanding of physics changes we need to update our beliefs accordingly, and then examine (via the use of logic) whether and to what extent that also affects our ethics.”

Human evolution discovered, so to speak, this virtuous spiral of understanding and behaving. The species modified itself accordingly, it became that spiral. it is now more energetic than ever.

One cannot read morality straight out of scientific facts, because facts are about the world, and the world is about what we constructed. Thus the calculus of human hope, desire and risk evaluation has to be factored in… And it keeps on changing, the more it reflects on the agitated waters of its darkest soul.

Fundamentally, then, the human species is immensely adaptative (see future Martians): to act, human agents consider human minds, and what their activities wrought (nature). We can call ourselves new names, but our new game is the same as our old game: changing the rules as we see fit, the more we learn, and the more we change nature.

There is no general theory of non-linear mathematics. How could there be? It would be as having a theory of us. Yet we are all about the changes we decide. And how do we decide? This is not an obvious question, it has hounded fundamental physics, ever since the EPR paper of 1935. It is so non-obvious that it is the last loophole to check in the Non-Local aspect of the universe. See the New York Times, October 21, 2015: “Sorry, Einstein. Quantum Study Suggests ‘Spooky Action’ Is Real.”

To quote from there: “the National Science Foundation has financed a group of physicists led by Dr. Kaiser and Alan H. Guth, also at M.I.T., to attempt an experiment that will have a better chance of ensuring the complete independence of the measurement detectors by gathering light from distant objects on different sides of the galaxy next year, and then going a step further by capturing the light from objects known as quasars near the edge of the universe in 2017 and 2018.”

Translation: our presumed influence on the universe is so vast, subtle and pernicious, that quasars apparently receding much faster than the speed of light, are called to the rescue of physicists who want to make sure they reach beyond man, to an unspoiled universe.

We are everywhere we look, at least in our terrestrial neighborhood. Everywhere we reach, human influence has already changed everything. It’s not just about the melting icecaps.

Patrice Ayme’


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18 Responses to “Non-Linear Us”

  1. gmax Says:

    Didn’t you say you did not quite finish the masochism essay? You have turned us non-linear! Non-linear masochists? Does that explain Nazis obsessed by Jews?

  2. brodix Says:


    Are you sure we are the puppet masters of nature and not the puppets?
    Much as in the west, we consider society to be a function of individuals, rather than individuals a creation of society.
    Nature generated the faunal brain as a response to linear motion, given that flora have no need for one. So naturally our thought is linear. Yet we exist in a reality, atmospheric, geologic, solar, galactic, that is thermodynamic. All the individual actions are balanced by the equal and opposite reaction of the larger cycle, as energy expands outward and mass coalesces inward.
    And that linear brain exists in a thermodynamic process, from blood pumping and circulating through it, to the feedback of information and expression from and to its context.
    Its been pointed out to me that in the East and in Native America, the past is seen as in front and the future behind the viewer, because we know the past and see what is in front of us, while the future and what is behind us are unknown. This is actually a more accurate view than the western notion of the future in front of us, as we travel linearly toward it. As in this context of which we are part, the information of prior events is carried to us, then passes, to further, future observers.
    So there is a general theory of non-linearity, called thermodynamics.
    The next question is whether we really are the apex, the apex predators in a collapsing ecosystem? Or is this stage just the crust, the husk over some deeper teleological process, where the planet is evolving and testing a central nervous system. Not one that is linear, because the earth is not going anywhere, but one to serve that other, primary function of the central nervous system; To protect and preserve the whole organism, as humanity keeps bumping against its terrestrial limitations and through constant feedback comes to realize the greatest good for humanity is the greatest good for its world?

    • Paul Handover Says:

      Patrice, brodix articulates many of the reactions I had to your post, but so much better expressed than I ever could have done. I have always thought that the natural forces on this planet could only be defined by science up to a certain point.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Paul, I just turned the computer on, after a well deserved 17 hours rest… I will thus answer you, through Brodix. If you will allow me the following, though:

        “Science” is what is known for sure. So “science” is always up to a point. Beyond that, philosophy.

        A best illustration of that is High Energy “Particle” physics. It’s incredibly cocksure and arrogant… But they don’t know what they are talking about, LITERALLY. A philosopher (who knows physics) such as yours truly sees this (thus making no friends), but the puppets (to fame and “career”) there, don’t.

        • brodix Says:

          I found this interview with Carver Mead to be an interesting insight on where quantum physics might have gone, if it hadn’t been so obsessed with point particles. To quote;

          “Right, that’s what I was brought up on-this little grain of something. Now it’s true that if you take a proton and you put it together with an electron, you get something that we call a hydrogen atom. But what that is, in fact, is a self-consistent solution of the two waves interacting with each other. They want to be close together because one’s positive and the other is negative, and when they get closer that makes the energy lower. But if they get too close they wiggle too much and that makes the energy higher. So there’s a place where they are just right, and that’s what determines the size of the hydrogen atom. And that optimum is a self-consistent solution of the Schrodinger equation.’

          • brodix Says:


          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            Whatever “size” means. Non-Locality shows “size” has to be re-interpreted. Amen.

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            I used to think Quantum Physics could have gone differently. Now I am not so sure. De Broglie presented his (ebauch of a) theory, but was barred by the likes of the (arrogant and wrong) Von Neumann. However then a valuable tangent developed, Quantum Electro Dynamics (QED), invented by Dirac. This was a very deep revolution the philosophical conclusion of which has not been drawn.

            QED, and, more generally, QCD, detain very deep truths.

            I am sure Quantum Physics will be overcome. But to demonstrate what we mean by that, in other words to describe a theory BEYOND, we need technology which is BEYOND. Aspect, and Haroche in Paris, developed new technologies for their fundamental Quantum experiments. New tech will bring new drastic experiments.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        The meaning of “sure” may, and will, vary. Certainty is a metascientific problem. Literally, since it’s connected to the incompleteness theorems (Godel, etc.) of… metamathematics.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Hi Brodix, sorry about the lack of feedback, I was off the Internet for 17 hours… Mental cleansing of sorts.
      I did not go into puppetry too much. Of course we are in and of nature. My point, though, is that nature out there is thoroughly manipulated by man. Paul Handover from Learning From Dogs actually use a human created species (of sorts), dog, to illustrate a sort of better sort of nature…

      But that nature, dog, is itself the fruit of conscious mental selection by men over maybe 100,000 years, and thus tens of thousands of generations of “dogs”. So the “integrity”, as defined by “dog” was actually selected by human beings…

      OK, just getting warmed up here…

      The “in the West” statement of yours, is mainly an Americano-American illusion. In France, that individuals are created by society is viewed as obvious. And that this ought to be resisted, even violently resisted, a moral duty. Even French Justice holds this to be true, and considers it when sanctioning…

      • brodix Says:

        America is a cresting wave. Hopefully those with their finger on the big trigger don’t decide to go out in a blaze of glory, like some high school shooter.
        So hopefully this will lead to some period of deep reflection on just where the planet is heading. It would be interesting to try to develop a public forum with the very premise of discussing what is to happen, after this capitalist bubble pops.

        • Gmax Says:

          Cresting wave? America is THE superpower. Not cresting, still going up, and up and up. In whichever way, however terrible

  3. De Brunet D'Ambiallet Says:

    Can you justify your assertion that the “exponential is the most important functions of mathematics”?

  4. Transgender, Transreal, & How Pluto Profits | Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] and the one which always wins. Yet, we control it, to a great extent now, because we are the nonlinear species, ready, even mandated, for immortality. Not that we have a choice.  Humanity is the […]

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