August 22, 2014


The Theory of Potential & M.I.T.’s Finest

Conceptual Theorist David Birnbaum proposed a cosmological theory in 1988 which the elite American scientific establishment has steadily been edging-up towards. Birnbaum's construct is the Theory of Potential. Per Birnbaum, eternal Quest for Potential (shorthand notation: Q4P) harnessed the eternal aspects of Physics-Math and ignited the cosmic order (see www.TheoryCore.com).

Per Birnbaum, what he labels Complexification (or shorthand notation: C+) - the drive towards ever-greater complexity/sophistication/richness/variety/wondrousness – is the day-to-day dynamic driving this cosmic advance. Another way of looking at this is that Complexification (C+) is the ‘handmaiden’ of (overarching) Quest for Potential (Q4P).

The cosmic goal? Ultimate Potential; the ultimate panoply of the extraordinary; the ultimate gamut of infinite Complexification. And what does Birnbaum label this goal/horizon? Extraordinariation (or E+ for short). See also www.Extraodinariation.com

So, per Birnbaum, infinite Quest for Potential (Q4P) – via its handmaiden Complexification (C+) – drives the Cosmic Order onwards Extraordinariation (E+). Or symbolically, Q4P > C+ > E+. This formula is referred-to as Potentialism’s SuperLaw. See also www.PotentialismTheory.com

Subsequent to Birnbaum's landmark November 1988 Potentialism work Summa I (Ktav Publishing) – followed by Summa II, March 2005, and by Summa III, January 2014 (the latter two published by New Paradigm Matrix Publishing) – two other directly relevant cutting-edge cosmological theories with variations on C+ have appeared. MIT's Seth Lloyd (2006) and MIT's Max Tegmark (mid-2014) have both subsequently proposed breathtaking – but dovetailing to Summa – cosmologies in their respective works, Programming the Universe by Lloyd (First Vintage Books), and Our Mathematical Universe by Tegmark (Knopf).

To Lloyd, the universe is fundamentally computational/information processing; to Tegmark the universe is fundamentally a (dynamic) mathematical structure.

To Birnbaum, either Lloyd or Tegmark – or a hybrid thereof – can be right regarding 'the mechanics' of the universe; however, their early 21st century constructs are, in turn possible mechanistic extensions of the prime fount/drive of the cosmic order, Birnbaum's proposed infinite Quest for Potential (1988).

Conceptually, if the universe operates as a dynamic quantum computer per Lloyd, Birnbaum's Q4P both architectured it, and is ‘providing the juice' to run it and advance-it forward. Conceptually, if the universe is a dynamic mathematical structure per Tegmark, Birnbaum's Q4P designed it, and, again, 'provides the juice' to run it and advance-it forward.

The unclosed gap – already previously neatly closed by Birnbaum’s infinite Quest for Potential (1988) – in either Lloyd’s daring theory (2006) or Tegmark’s sophisticated Theory (2014) – is the classic ‘Eternal Origins’ question: What actualized – and drives-forward – that which you posit as centerpiece? What actualized and now drives-forward Lloyd’s universe-quantum-computer? What actualized and now drives-forward Tegmark’s universe-mathematics structure?

Birnbaum’s own (1988) theory is not plagued by the ‘Eternal Origins’ question, because Birnbaum did not start penning his Summa Metaphysica treatise until he was sure he had a powerful resolution of the issue in-place in the metaphysical construct. Indeed, ‘Eternal Origins’ is a key front-and-center pivot of his Theory of Potential.

So why, indeed, is Birnbaum’s Quest for Potential exempt from the ‘Eternal Origins’ dilemma? Because by definition Potential/Possibility is eternal; given that we actually have a universe, is it then not self-evident that Potential/Possibility is/was eternal? Put simply, it is hard to argue that Potential/Possibility has not been eternal, given that we now have reality, for better or worse. If we must choose an eternal dynamic, argues Birnbaum, our optimal choice (by definition and self-evident) is potential/possibility. And indeed, Birnbaum posits his Quest for Potential (infinitely iterating and telescoping-forward) as the core cosmic dynamic.

Thus, Birnbaum’s 1988 Theory of Potential neither fights nor challenges Lloyd’s 2006 theory nor Tegmark’s 2014 theory. Rather, Birnbaum’s theory – or at least the mechanistic zone thereof – is nicely filled-in by the landmark works of Lloyd and Tegmark. Both Lloyd and Tegmark are holistic – embracing a fully integrated universe – as per Birnbaum. Birnbaum’s conceptual drive for infinite Potential wraps nicely around either Lloyd’s quantum-computing universe or Tegmark’s mathematical structure universe – or around both of them in tandem.

Birnbaum was viciously attacked for first proposing this holistic/integrated cosmic order in 1988. At that point, Randomness theory (i.e. all is random chance, happenstance) reigned supreme in academe; at that point it was the ultimate heresy to propose a holistic/integrated cosmology with drive and direction.

Centered at academically powerful Oxford/Cambridge, Randomness was the ‘bully on the block’ – until it received a conceptual shock from Birnbaum’s Theory of Potential; Randomness then received a political/scientific/physics shock from the double-barreled assault from MIT’s Lloyd and Tegmark – which provided quite-formidable ‘covering fire’ to Birnbaum’s holistic/integrated Potentialism.

Now, both Lloyd and Tegmark look at cosmology (pretty much exclusively) through an academic science/mechanistic lens. Birnbaum certainly wants academic science ‘on board’ so to speak, but believes that one has to transcend its confines to truly ‘crack the cosmic code.’ From Birnbaum’s perch, current academic physics/mathematics alone cannot account for the full, pure extent of the complexity/extraordinary, which pervades the universe.

Potentialism is fundamentally a science-based cosmology. But, per Birnbaum, ultimately the cosmic order is not ‘mechanistic’ at its core; rather, at its core the universe is quite ‘profound’. At its core, there is a so-to-speak “X-factor”, a key concept/dynamic transcending classic academic science and philosophy.

Birnbaum relentlessly sought-after that X-factor/profound core; meaning, a core dynamic transcending the confines of classic contemporary scientific-academic thinking. The conceptual theorist’s conclusion: infinite Quest for Potential (infinitely iterating and telescoping-forward).

MIT’s Lloyd and Tegmark provide Birnbaum with crucial political-scientific ‘covering fire vis à vis the Randomness crew; in turn, Birnbaum provides ‘the boys from MIT’ crucial ‘metaphysical conceptual cover’ filling-in the ‘key blanks’ in their respective theories; in particular, Messrs. Lloyd and Tegmark, just what ignited and drives your conceptual mechanistic structure? All three theorists now find themselves in a synergistic mutually-nurturing political-scientific-conceptual relationship.

How did we get from ‘almost nothing’ x billions of eons ago – to Beethoven? By random chance? No, not by random happenstance. Rather, follow the Birnbaum-Lloyd-Tegmark metaphysics road map and discern a cosmic journey – from ‘almost nothing’ to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony.





Cosmology, Metaphysics & Philosophy: See sample testimonial on Summa Metaphysica, David Birnbaum's philosophy treatise:


“Each thought leader [Birnbaum of Manhattan(1988, 2005) and Lloyd of MIT(2006)] individually proposes a ground breaking solution. Both of their respective solutions are original, but are nevertheless eerily inter-related and parallel.”

- Frontiers, Dec 21 / 2013

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