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notes on associative universe

from Jacques Vallee’s Dimensions:

Time and space may be convenient notions for plotting the progress of a locomotive, but they are completely useless for locating information. …modern computer scientists have long recognized that ordering by time and space is the worst possible way to store a lot of data at high speed. In a large computer-based information system, no attempt is made to place related records in sequential physical locations. It is much more convenient to sprinkle the records throughout storage as they arrive, and to construct an algorithm for retrieval based on some type of keyword or on “hashing,” a procedure where the record index is randomized. Probability serves as the link between something objective, the record location, and something subjective, the request for retrieval…

From fusionanomaly’s Jacues Vallee page:

So reality is like a computer database in that the right search word or “incantation” might cause a piece of information–a UFO or ghost or other anomaly–to materialize. If you think of [reality] as the software for the universe, all it would take is for someone to change a comma in the program and the chair you are sitting in wouldn’t be a chair at all. The major benefit from this model is that it handles anomalies very well. Coincidences would be a normal expectation. If you address a database with a request for anything with the word “pool” you will get ads for sunscreen, lotions, billiard balls and an investment prospectus or two. In parapsychology, gifted subjects may be forcing similar coincidences between separate locations or separate minds. One way of testing the theory, by the way, is to create massive informational anomalies and see what happens when they collapse. You could enhance remote viewing experiments, for instance, by loading the site with large quantities of data about highly unlikely events or situations, then quickly erase that data to collapse the singularity.

from Steve Mirzach’s “UFOs in the Age of Information”

The theory of space and time is a cultural artifact made possible by the invention of graph paper. If we had invented the digital computer before graph paper, we might have a very different theory of information today… what modern computer scientists have realized is that ordering by space and time is the worst possible way to store data… if there is no time dimension as we usually assume there is, we may be traversing incidents by association; modern computers retrieve information associatively… if we live in the associative universe of the software scientist rather than the Cartesian sequential universe of the spacetime physicist, then miracles are no longer irrational events… at a time when we are beginning to suspect that computer-based network communication may create altered states conducive to psychic functioning, a new type of physical experiment is becoming possible… these experiments would aim at probing the reality of information-handling by the brain through associative constructs. The SRI experiments with Swann and Price suggest that remote viewing is based on an addressing scheme. Is it possible to promote coincidences and peculiar effects by systematically creating physical structures serving as information singularities ? Consciousness could be defined as the process by which informational associations are retrieved and traversed. (Jacques Vallee, Messengers of Deception)

But I want to particularly focus on a key concept that Vallee stresses here and elsewhere in his work: that UFOs focus as a kind of cybernetic control system…

The Internet allows us to look at UFO reports across space and time, possibly even allowing us to discover a third kind of patterning – associational or informational linkages to particular keywords, kinds of places, or other “Name Games” which Fortean researchers often delight in. These “Name Games” have led some UFO researchers to consider ways in which the phenomenon may have links to another global cybernetic system – Lovelock’s “Gaia,” the biospheric meta-system which seems to maintain the Earth’s climate within tight boundaries.

The paradoxical nature of this information seems to point to some deeper truth than vast extraterrestrial conspiracies. It points to the role of the human consciousness in organizing complex and contradictory information into a coherent whole. It points to a reality which is socially constructed through communication and interaction between human beings with different semantic structures for organizing their perceptions. It points to the dramatic ways in which science and technology seem to be transforming fundamental concepts of epistemology and ontology. The medium is the massage…

So there are two simultaneous trends in the “noosphere” of UFOlogy at the moment. Ultimately, they point to two different ways of looking at information. There’s the paranoiac view of information, which is that you have to learn as much as possible about the Other while minimizing what they can find out about you. Information is a weapon, a strategic resource, a commodity, your best defense against a potentially hostile enemy. Deception is essential. The other is the pronoiac view of information, which might be summed up as the idea that information is negotiated between equals in open dialogue, and increases in value when it’s shared and is open-ended, leading to more questions and more dialogue rather than rigid answers and aggressive conflict.

Although deception may be integral to the UFO phenomenon, it may be the kind used by Zen masters. Literal-mindedness, attachment to concreteness, obsessive focus on the letter rather than the spirit of truth, and fundamentalist dogmatism prevent people from thinking. The Trickster figure in many cultures pulls the wool over peoples’ eyes, and plays tricks on them, because it’s the only way to start tugging at the lenses of their consensus reality. Clowns in many cultures are sacred figures, because their antics and games help people to loosen their grip on “sacred cows” that prevent them from grasping the truth. The Trickster is no angel, and he isn’t always beneficent, and he often causes people a lot of grief and pain, but he is necessary.

Brainsturbator’s More Chronon Theory: Jacques Vallee’s “Associative Universe” covering a bunch of the above and more

A dissenting opinion from forgetomori:

I find those speculations very interesting, but one fundamental weakness about them is their emphasis on our consciousness. Like New Age interpretations of Quantum Mechanics, that somehow turns fundamental limitations in our knowing about subatomical phenomena into theories of how we actually control everything with our minds; I think they turn our ignorance about our own consciousness upside down.

Rather, the evidence suggests consciousness and free will may be an illusion themselves, which means that the idea that UFOs or time itself may be illusions created by it is just saying that everything is an illusion, which does not help much.

But the link between coincidences and the mind is indeed something very important, because finding coincidences is part of the illusion that generates our consciousness. When we are puzzled by a coincidence, it’s just that we are exercizing the very fundamental function that generates our mind, which is, to find relationships between things.

This materialistic vision of mind and consciousness may look depressing and boring, but if you really understand it, it has implications as far reaching as the New Age ones. For instance, it may just be possible that the illusion of consciousness may arise among other things. And not just extraterrestrial life or artificial robots.

Dennis & Terence McKenna’s Invisible Landscape (via brainsturbator post above)

the complex symbol systems of alchemy are but one example of a property that seems to characterize mind in general: that is, its tendancy to construct symbolic totality metaphors. The constructs of the mind are, by and large, couched in symbols. Even “raw” sensory data is seldom experienced without symbolic interpretations, associations and judgements. This tendency of the mind to symbolize, to organize experience into meaningful, coherent pattern is indicative of its ceaseless effort to somehow “encompass” reality, to construct a suitable model of the self and the world. This quality of mind is seen best of all in the dynamics of unconscious processes, in dreams, vision and trance.

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