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30th November 2006 | Uncompleted draft

Diversity of Understandings of any Universe of Information

from matter-as-information to cosmic consciousness

-- / --

Annex 1 of Towards an Astrophysics of the Knowledge Universe: from astronautics to noonautics?

cult cat ***


As noted above, the following approaches to understanding any universe of knowledge -- however it is termed -- are considered indicative of the the challenge as much as variously offering insights of different kinds of relevance. A major reason for this overview is to indicate the extent to which there is an increasing degree of formal similarity, and/or overlap, that is evident (or claimed) between:

Clustered understandings of a "universe of knowledge" (tentative)
. (A)
non self-reflexive

pattern recognition

relativity effects
Universal machine
(as logical matrix of information algorithms)

World soul
Gaian mind
World mind
Anima mundi
Ecology of mind
Planetary consciousness
Anthropological matrix
(relevantial universe)
Universe of spirit
Universal mind
Gnostic Logos
Omniscient mind
Cosmic consciousness
Net of Indra
Noetic gnosis
Material universe
Electromagnetic universe
Biological universe
Global modelling
Knowledge organization
(classificational universe)
Cultural universe
Collective intelligence
Personal universe
Mundus imaginalis
(relational universe)
no relativity
no entanglement
Observational universe
Information system
Universe of cyberspace
World Wide Web
World system
Global Brain
Semantic web
Global electronic mind
Universal values
Global ethic

A1: Observational universe / Documentation / Information system


A2: Material universe

Electromagnetic universe see Davis 62

A3: Universe as information

Universe as information (perspective of physics)

A helpful overview in Future Feeder; Journal of Architecture and Information (2005, 1) states:

Much of physics and cosmology now thinks of information as ranking with matter and energy as a fundamental property of the universe. With this ranking comes the notion that information can be transformed (including to and from matter and energy) but it cannot be destroyed...

This leads to speculation that the universe is constituted of 2D membranes (i.e. information), and that our 3D world is a holographic projection from such a membrane. If information is the fundamental constituent of reality, there might be implications for how we understand every aspect of reality, from physics to architecture.

This view may be partly traced back to Alan Turing, now seen as a precursor in the new field of philosophy of information (cf Luciano Floridi, What is the Philosophy of Information?, Metaphilosophy, 2002, (33), 1/2)

Reality is then understood to consist of mass, energy and information. Like light, which is either a particle or a wave, information is then either mass or energy, depending on the way it is measured or observed.

Various authors as schools of thought associated with this perspective focus on themes such:

Universe in a computer: a programmed universe

Universe: cellular automata

Physics From Fisher Information

Universe as information (perspective of biology)

Universe and order

David Layzer. Cosmogenesis: The Growth of Order in the Universe. Oxford University Press, 1991

B1: Infosphere / Cyberspace / World Wide Web

B2: Knowledge universe

Knowledge universe (classification / order)




Farzam Arbab. Promoting a Discourse on Science, Religion, and Development. THE LAB, THE TEMPLE, AND THE MARKET Reflections at the Intersection of Science, Religion, and Development Edited by Sharon Harper © International Development Research Centre 2000 [text]

The situation calls for a fresh look at the universe of knowledge and for a new way to bring together its diverse elements in curricula that respect the wholeness of knowledge yet anticipate specialization at a later stage. The focus of each set of interrelated educational activities should be the development of one or more capabilities -- scientific, artistic, technical, social, moral, and spiritual -- endowing the individual with the understanding of concepts, knowledge of facts, and mastery of methods, as well as the skills, attitudes, and qualities he or she needs to lead a fruitful life. Specifically, in this age of transition, it is imperative to endow youth with a twofold moral purpose: to take charge of their own intellectual and spiritual growth and to make significant contributions to the transformation of society.

Knowledge universe (information retrieval)

Karin McGuirk. Information Science and the Configuration of Meaningful Information. University of South Africa, 2004 [text]

The way we organise recorded information (as configured and then represented phyically) can also influence our view of ourselves, the world and others. It is important that we have awareness of such an organising system as only a representation (and even manifestation) of the knowledge universe, and that it is not that universe itself. We are not prisoners to it, but retain the choice of configuring meaningful information, and because our world of knowledge is vastly expanding due to development in ICT, it becomes even more imperative to be able to configure meaningful information. That is, configuring as an active verb, and not as a passive receiving of meaningful information.

Knowledge universe (semiotics)

Edwina Taborsky. The Methodology of Semiotic Morphology: An Introduction [text]


At the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the BSC, in 1989, Paul Bouissac, quite appropriately, evaluated the results of the first eleven Bochum colloquia as follows: 'At a time when the universe of knowledge seems to be driven toward an indefinite, fractal expansion, with the consequence that specialties are pushed further and further apart, BSC indefatigably, with Promethean courage and lucidity, attempts to mend the torn fabric of a unitary science' (in Koch: 1989 [Perspektiven]: 113).

Davis (98-99):

But it wasn't until the twentieth century that information became a thing in itself... what was once merely a category of knowledge began to mutate into a new unit of reality itself, one that took its place alongside matter and energy as one of the fundamental building blocks of the cosmos. If electricity is the soul of the information age, information is its spirit... Information emerges in the spark gap between mind and matter... the constantly shifting borderlines around the term have lent the concept an incorporeal mystique; despite its erstwhile objectivity, information has become an almost luminscent icon, at once fetish and logos. Straddling mind and matter, science and psyche, hard drives and DNA, informastion hascopme to spawn philosophies both half-baked and profound, while also reconstructing, perhaps dangerously, our images of mthe self and its cosmic home

B3: World Soul / Anima Mundi / Anthropological matrix

Anthropological matrix: Erik Davis cites Bruno Latour (We Have Never Been Modern. Harvard University Press, 1993)

premodern and indigneous people wove everything, whether nature or culture, into an immense collective network of mind and matter that he terms the anthropological matrix. Elements thereof are best understood as "hybrids", that he calls "speaking things", both natural and cultural, real and imagined, subject and object (TechGnosis, p 15)

Fraser Golden Bough

Anima Mundi: The Hermetica pictured the cosmos as a living soul, a magnetic network of correspondences that linked the earth, the body, the stars, and the remote spiritual realms of the godhead. This anima mundi could be accessed and tweaked by the symbolic rituals of ceremonial magic, even by a deeply pious Christian Neoplatonist like Ficino p. 44 davis

This "enchanted but dynamic cosmos" of Renaissance Heremeticists is central to the work on archetypal psychology promoted by James Hillman and Thomas Moore to counteract the "withering anomie of modern life" p 44 davis

C1: Global brain / Semantic web


C2: Personalized Group/Individual knowledge "universe"

Metaverse: The word "metaverse", without capitalization, is becoming a general term for the "universe within a universe" of a fictional work that is created by extremely popular fandom.

Alan Richmond. Towards an Astrophysical Cyberspace: The Evolution of User Interfaces [text] will synergize a powerful astrophysics environment.

Dynamically Gated Conceptual CommunitiesAstrophysical metaphor for evolution of gated conceptual communities ... "Theory of Everything": Within such a dynamically evolving knowledge universe, ...


Information and black holes

Black Holes and Information
'In 1997, the three cosmologists made a famous bet as to whether information that enters a black hole ceases to exist -- that is, whether the interior of a black hole is changed at all by the characteristics of particles that enter it. Hawking's research suggested that the particles have no effect whatsoever. But his theory violated the laws of quantum mechanics and created a contradiction known as the 'information paradox.''

See Stephen Hawking's web site at

For the latest, see:, July 14, 2004
'After nearly 30 years of arguing that a black hole destroys everything that falls into it, Stephen Hawking is saying he was wrong. It seems that black holes may after all allow information within them to escape.

It might solve one of the long-standing puzzles in modern physics, known as the black hole information paradox. In 1976, he calculated that once a black hole forms, it starts losing mass by radiating energy. This 'Hawking radiation' contains no information about the matter inside the black hole and once the black hole evaporates, all information is lost.

But this conflicts with the laws of quantum physics, which say that such information can never be completely wiped out. Hawking's argument was that the intense gravitational fields of black holes somehow unravel the laws of quantum physics….'

For full article:

The Truth Is Still Out There
In an op-ed piece in The New York Times on August 3, 2004, Paul Ginsparg, professor of physics and information science at Cornell University, describing the background of the issues:

'… Near the end of a small meeting I attended in 1993, the question of 'What happens to information that falls into a black hole?' arose, and a democratic method was chosen to address it. The vote proceeded more or less along party lines, with the general relativists firm in their adherence to causality, and the quantum field theorists equally adamant in their faith in unitarity. Of the 77 participants, 25 voted for the category 'It's lost;' and 39, a slight majority, voted for 'It comes out,'' (that it re-emerges). Seven voted that the black hole would not evaporate entirely, and the remaining six voted for an unspecified 'Something else.' …'


Universe of knowledge (fractal?)

Each one of us carries within us a complex universe of knowledge, life experience, and human relationships. Each individual is gifted with unique insights possessed by no one else. Almost all of this rich treasury of information is forever lost to mankind when we die.

Comprehensibility of the universe

The Universe, the Eleventh Dimension, and Everything: What We Know and How We Know It Book by Richard Morris; Four Walls Eight Windows, 1999

The Comprehensibility of the Universe: A New Conception of Science Book by Nicholas Maxwell; Clarendon Press, 1998

Conceptual astronautics / navigation

Surfing: My fingers glide across the universe of knowledge A click,and

Jere W Clark. The Role of Unified Science in Vitalizing Research and Education [text]

Designing a Vehicle for Mental Space Travel

It is common knowledge that the outstanding achievement of man to be recorded in history for the year 1969 is expected to be the consummation of interplanetary space travel. This year has indeed been a great year not only for the four moon walkers but perhaps even more so for the designers, producers, testers, launchers, and controllers of the space vehicles involved in these ventures.

Today-four days before the end of the year, 1969-- we have met to test in a preliminary way, and to consider launching, a still more powerful and important kind of vehicle for space travel. This is a vehicle for what might be called "interdisciplinary mental space travel." Indeed, this vehicle is an interdisciplinary conceptual model whereby a specialist's mind can take flight to, and land on, distant intellectual planets, and return laden with a cargo far more valuable than moon rocks or gold dust. Although this special kind of space vehicle is not so romantic as those used by the moon walkers, it is far more important to the destiny of man--and much less costly.

Unique Capabilities of Mental Spacecraft

Fortunately, our mental space vehicle can have built into it a number of additional capabilities which the physical spacecraft do not have. As a stepping stone into the question of how an interdisciplinary conceptual model of unified science can vitalize education, we might note some of these unique qualities.

l. Exploration of Social Space

One of these extra capabilities of this conceptual model is its capacity to explore the galaxies of social space (as well as the galaxies of physical space). This model can link the various social disciplines with each other and with the natural science disciplines.

People as Stargates: an alternative perspective on human relationships in space-time, 1996[text]

Entering Alternative Realities -- Astronautics vs Noonautics isomorphism between launching aerospace vehicles and launching vehicles of awareness

General systems


C3: Conscious universe

Universe of spirit: Davis 63 -- theosophists

Universal enlightenment: Tesla 88-89


Robert Neil Boyd. The Consciousness of the Universe

Universe of Consciousness

Gerald M. Edelman, Giulio Tononi. A Universe of Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination. Basic Books; 2000 [review]

Quantum consciousness

Richard P. Dolan:

G. Globus, "Quantum Consciousness is Cybernetic", Psyche, 2(12), August 1995.

Universe consciousness / Cosmic consciousness

Cosmic Consciousness- is science closing in

Definition: A non-physical perception that one is connected to the consciousness of other beings and places elsewhere in the universe. [text]

Conscious / Self-aware / Intelligent Universe

S. Hameroff and R. Penrose, "Orchestrated reduction of quantum coherence in brain microtubules: A model for consciousness". In: Toward a Science of Consciousness-The First Tucson Discussions and Debates, Eds. S. Hameroff, A. Kaszniak, and A. Scott. MIT Press, 1996.

S. Hameroff and R. Penrose, "Conscious events as orchestrated spacetime selections", Journal of Consciousness Studies, 3, 1, 1996, pp. 36-53.

S. Hameroff, "Funda-mental geometry: The Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR model of consciousness. In: Geometry and the foundations of Science: Contributions from an Oxford Conference honouring Roger Penrose. Oxford Press (1997).

Stuart Hameroff. Could Life And Consciousness Be Related To The Fundamental Quantum Nature Of The Universe?

H. P. Stapp:

P. A. Zizzi. Emergent Consciousness: From the Early Universe to Our Mind NeuroQuantology,Vol.3(2003)295-311

Goswami, Amit. The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World. Putnam Publishing Group, 1993.

A. Goswami, M. Goswami, R. E. Reed, and F. A. Wolf, "The Self- Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World", Ed. J. P. Tarcher (1995).

M. Kafatos, B. Nadeau, "The Conscious Universe: Part and Whole in Modern Physical Theory", Springler-Verlag (1990).

Kurzweil, Ray. 'The Intelligent Universe'

Kafatos, Menas, and Robert Nadeau. The Conscious Universe: Parts and Wholes in Physical Reality. 2d ed. Springer, 2000.

Lothar Schäfer. Quantum Reality and the Consciousness of the Universe. QUANTUM REALITY, THE EMERGENCE OF COMPLEX ORDER FROM VIRTUAL STATES, AND THE IMPORTANCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS IN THE UNIVERSE Zygon, 41, September 2006, p. 505; 41, 3 [abstract]

Dean Radin:

Alexandre V. Boukalov:

Doug Renselle. Research Review of David Bohm's 1980 Paper The Enfolding-Unfolding Universe and Consciousness. In Lee Nichol, The Essential David Bohm

Nova Spivack, Simulated Universes and the Nature of Consciousness Minding the Planet June 2005 ** camp

Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner. Consciousness and Quantum Mechanics: The Connection and Analogies The Journal of Mind and Behavior, Summer 1999, 20, 3, pp. 229-256

Symbolic universe

Jack A. Palmer, Linda K. Palmer. Evolutionary Psychology: The Ultimate Origins of Human Behavior. Allyn and Bacon, 2001 [Consciousness and the Symbolic Universe]

World mind

Universal mind

Global brain

Universal mind




Miscellaneous / Misleading

Knowledge Universe, Menlo Park: $1 billion tech training and consulting company Michael Milken

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