Can the Universe Be Broken Down Into Pure Mathematics?

Can the universe be broken down into pure mathematics?

Arguably, yes, but that doesn’t disprove the existence of a conscious equivalent of light that is sufficient to itself. [1]

So, for example, Emily Dickinson achieved Nirvana. [2] The chemical reactions within her nervous system helped mediate that.  You can represent those chemical reactions with mathematical formulas. However, a mathematical equation representing Nirvana is still not the same as experiencing Nirvana.  (A mathematical equation representing the chemical reactions involved in the experience of an orgasm is obviously not equivalent to having achieved orgasm.)

Additionally, the mathematics involved would be unimaginably complex.

Levels of conscio-attainment from highest to lowest:

  1. The realm of spirituality beyond conception
  2. The realm of spirituality that still involves conception
  3. The realm of art
  4. The realm of philosophy
  5. The realm of science
  6. The realm of mathematics [3]

The higher levels of conscio-attainment involve higher levels of neuro-computation.  Irreducible complexity exists within computer and neuronal computation. [4] We can discuss irreducibly-complex computation where even a few parts of the machine or system out-of-place destroys functioning.

Advanced irreducibly-complex neuronal computation creates experience, awareness, and consciousness.  (If I put a pole through my brain, most of my brain is still intact, but I’ve destroyed enough of the machine that the irreducibly-complex programming required for consciousness is destroyed.)

It takes extremely high levels of irreducibly-complex computation to create experience, intuition, logic, awareness, etc.  It takes extremely high levels of irreducibly-complex computation to even allow me to read the words on this page.

The best computers can now beat humans at chess.  Computer programs for chess are more advanced than our neuronal programs.

However, the highest levels of elegance in computation go beyond how many simple computations can be done over and over again.  The highest levels of elegance in computing involve increasingly advanced levels of irreducibly-complex computations.

A high number of repetitive lower-level computations is not equivalent to a higher-level, irreducibly-complex computation.

(A million Playstation 1’s running at the same time cannot provide the experience of playing a Playstation 4 game.  Only an actual Playstation 4 can provide that.) Continue reading


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What do you mean, “save the planet”?

We’re in serious trouble — for a short rundown, read this. It sounds pompous, but “saving the planet” is a convenient shorthand for tackling the complex set of environmental and technological problems we face today, such as:

If you believe some of these problems are important, and you want to solve them, we can use your help.

How can scientists and engineers help save the planet?

Many of the problems we face are fundamentally political in nature. But the world can’t wait for politicians to take action. There are lots of things scientists and engineers can do now, such as:

How will the Azimuth Project help?

The projects listed above are just a few of the many that are already underway. How will the Azimuth Project help? We’ll catalyze these efforts by making it easier for scientists and engineers to tackle environmental problems. We want it to be easy for them to:

  • see the overall structure of the environmental problems we face
  • access detailed information on all these problems
  • learn about open questions
  • find good projects to work on
  • find the people who are working on them
  • find relevant technical information
  • discuss ideas with people in many different fields


  • compare the merits of different strategies.

So, our goal is not to replace or compete with existing sources of information, but provide a synoptic view—a bird’s-eye view—of the information that exists. Specialists already know the facts in their own speciality. We want to make it easy for any scientist or engineer to understand the whole problem of saving the planet, and understand specialist literature in many subjects. After all, saving the planet is perhaps the ultimate interdisciplinary problem.