Easy, Pickens

T. Boone Pickens is an American original — in a nation known for producing larger-than-life individuals.

I applaud him for his daring, for the breadth of his vision, for the timeliness of his plan.

He is clearly a man of remarkable intelligence — as are George Will and Charles Krauthammer.

None of them seem able to quit emitting CO2. Why can they not see an electric future?

Are they simply too old? Do they enjoy some strange affinity for their fellow fossils?


Fractal Genetics

fractal neural growth

One of the biggest thrills of my life came one day when I got an email from Dr. Andras Pellionisz, whose work with Llinas on ‘tensor network theory’ inspired a generation of neuroscientists, including the Churchlands.

He wrote to tell me how delighted he was with my paper, “Are Perceptual Fields Quantum Fields?”

Pellionisz drew attention early on to the fractal character of dendritic trees.

He then moved on to genetics, where he argued that gene expression is not, as was dogmatically asserted, a one-way street from DNA –> organism, but rather a recursive process akin to the generation of fractals.

This latter work has recently found vindication in the recent discoveries that go under the rubric of ‘epigenetics.’ I am, of course, very happy for Andras, who has since become a friend and collaborator and who is now Director of Genome Informatics at Mitrionics in Silicon Valley.

Now, we learn of yet more recent work on ‘nanotrees,’ which result from crystalline ‘defects’ in nanowires and which exhibit both fractal characteristics and, in some cases, a spiral shape which suggests a kinship with the helical structure of DNA — an aperiodic crystal.

Nanotrees - helical structure?

I wish I knew what all this means, but … It seems clear enough that we have here a direct path from the symmetries of quantum theory thru fractal crystals thru DNA and on up the ladder to fractal neurons — thus lending further plausibility to my thesis that ‘neural form follows quantum function.’

What’s also clear is that these developments open entire new vistas for R&D on medical applications by way of genetic therapies. (Kuh-ching!)

What’s the big idea?


Way back in the 20th century, physics witnessed a number of startling unifications. Einstein brought together both matter & energy and space & time. De Broglie did the same for wave & particle.

Today, many physicists believe that all subatomic particles might well be manifestations of a single object, the string.

Aspects of nature long considered separate and distinct were shown to be different faces of an underlying unity.

Are mind and matter like that? Different ways of looking at the same thing?

A number of illustrious persons have put forward the notion, including Bertrand Russell, Wolfgang Pauli, Herbert Feigl, David Bohm, David Chalmers — and me!

My modest efforts have recently received the recognition they so desperately deserve and I can’t help but feel that the whole world would do well to sit up and pay attention.

On the Unification of Mind & Matter (pdf)

If I have achieved anything, it might come down to this: What if we take a largely unexamined axiom of our science — the notion that colors & sounds & such exist only “in the mind” — and turn it on its head?

What geometry might then result?

Now, to be sure, for many intelligent persons, this move induces a … state of disequilibrium. (Try it!)

But the math and the physics and the neuroscience all seem to work out wonderfully well.

Quanta & Consciousness

Happily, modern technology affords ready means whereby one might subvert the established order, which is always good fun, in any case. And if there’s money in it … well!

Step right this way! Let me buy you a beer!