My criticism of Chris Langan’s CTMU theory

By on April 7, 2011

The following response is a result of a prior interchange that can be found here:

INTRODUCTION

I stand before a rather impossible task, Christopher Langan, author of the CTMU theory, challenged me to refute his writings. I have no doubt that within that challenge is the request that I convince him that his writings are rubbish – and yet, this task is impossible, and as such I do not undertake it. However, I do undertake the task of showing how CTMU theory is fanciful nonsense to the common reader. Mr. Langan laments that I have so much power and he has no room for any rebuttal. If, upon reading this, he wishes to submit a response (via comments section or via the contact section) I will readily post it as a full article. I should also note that his ravings can be found on many of his own sites and it is not as though I am a media giant unleashed against innocent prey. His caricature is quite to the contrary; he is a self-professed genius who has had much exposure in the media.

Mr. Langan also somewhat attempts to trick me, however clever he thinks himself to be. He, with great flourish, challenged me and me alone to debunk his nonsensical CTMU theory, or “a real, high-powered, household-word celebrity atheist to pick up the sword in [my] stead.” For what purpose does he respond to a relatively obscure blog? This is for the primary purpose of publicity. Yet he claims that his work is not popular “because [he hasn’t] really done much to promote it.” What of the television appearances, the numerous websites, and the numerous responses to online criticism? Chris Langan tries to make himself out to be modest, which after even the most superficial of investigations one can see that the ruse is laughable. So, in some sense I have fallen for his game. I have given him additional publicity. And yet, there is a marketplace of ideas and there is not nearly enough mockery of CTMU and the criticism of the “theory” is often coupled with the response that “well, you just don’t understand it.” To emulate him, it is no doubt that the sesquipedalian, obfuscated language is an intentional inoculation against healthy discourse.

LANGUAGE

The language of the CTMU theory is intentionally convoluted. Proponents might plead “but he should not have to be limited to the petty language of the common folk!” There is a problem when not only does Langan select obscure and confusing word pairings, he mixes it in with word pairings for concepts he himself is inventing. What person trying to clearly convey what they mean would mix confusing regular language with the technical terms of an at-the-moment-of-reading invention? In his words, what we all regard as clear and concise language is “clown language.” His language serves two interests, (1) it feeds his superiority complex and (2) it prevents criticism because no one will take the time to delve through 56 pages of this. Let me state clearly, none of this speaks to the truth of his claims. His claims are nonsense for other reasons yet to be stated. This is simply to provide a reasonable explanation as to why this theory has any credit whatsoever, beyond the fact that it is an intelligent design argument (which are arguments themselves without value, yet still lauded today).

MOTIVE

In science, one attempts to fit theories to facts and not facts to theories. True, in science there is, as Neil DeGrasse Tyson puts it, a kind of grasping out that requires guessing. However, none of this reaching and grasping out is remotely akin to what happens in the mockery of a profession that is “creation science.” From his own Q and A section on his CTMU website he explains his position and belief in God:

…this much of it is true: we can attain a state of grace; we can draw near to God and partake of His eternal nature; we can fall from God’s grace; we can lose our souls for doing evil.”

Well, what is the purpose of CTMU?

…Biblical accounts of the genesis of our world and species are true but metaphorical, our task is to correctly decipher the metaphor in light of scientific evidence also given to us by God. Hence, the CTMU.”

He did not create CTMU to prove that God exists, but rather already assumes God and then uses the CTMU to explain him. He also states that (1) God is eternal, (2) there is such a thing as grace, (3) we receive punishment for our sins, and (4) the Bible is inspired by God. Chris Langan clearly think that the Bible is inspired by God and uses CTMU to attempt to interpret the message – what remotely convincing evidence is there that the Bible was inspired by God? As to (3), Chris Langan asserts that souls can be punished, but his theory (from his Q and A section) defines the soul as below:

Human temporal consciousness is the level with which we’re familiar; global (parallel) consciousness is that of the universe as a whole. The soul is the connection between the two…the embedment of the former in the latter.”

If human souls are simply the in between of a “global consciousness” and a “temporal consciousness,” where does the concept of sin come from? How does this extra stuff factor in whatsoever? It’s in the Bible, that’s how.

SUBSTANCE

Let me begin with the falsehoods that are in his introduction and continue forward throughout the entirety of Langan’s paper. Langan attempts to show how processes like evolution in the biological sciences are similar to the structure of the universe as a whole – a synopsis of his work that he himself is not kind enough to share with you in such simple wording. He sets out to solve problems that do not exist. He seeks to resolve the problem of discrepancies between non-physical with the physical and seeks to explain how the universe is intelligently designed (citing, of course, irreducible complexity and specified complexity), which begs the question – he creates the problem that the universe is intelligently designed in order to try to prove how it is intelligently designed. One must concede and should already be aware of the fact that science exists because there are natural laws that humans observe and through observation and repeatable testing science uncovers the natural laws of the universe. Newton and Einstein, to name examples, witness this very order to the universe. I already agree with this premise, yet Langan goes many steps further in what mirrors a similarly flawed argument from complexity.

In his introduction, Langan lauds Intelligent Design as “not preemptively closed to teleological causation.” This is a benefit of science, it is strict about what it discerns to be true or not. He goes on to explain the problems in interpreting the world around us and mentions irreducible complexity, a repeatedly refuted and fallacious theory; this also applies to specified complexity. I will discuss irreducible complexity and specified complexity elsewhere, but an interested reader can easily research this subject. Langan goes on to say that Intelligent Design “[bucks] the traditional physical reductionism of the hard sciences,” which leads me to my next point.

Langan uses as a premise in his work that there is a dualism between the physical world and consciousness. There is no reason to believe that consciousness is a separate plane of reality, and indeed there is evidence to the contrary. Here is an excellent explanation of monism versus dualism by QualiaSoup. I do not desire to go into length beyond this, there is plenty of information on the internet regarding dualism and why there is no reason to believe it, but instead evidence to the contrary. I also doubt any reader that has braved to read thus far cares to hear a long explanation on the topic. Since this dualism runs throughout Langan’s work as a premise, as well as conflating with other types of dualism, his work can be disregarded on this issue alone.

As I previously mentioned, Langan attempts to define a soul in a scientific way based on his theory and then adds to the definition the aspects of sin and punishment. His theory in no way proves that a “global consciousness” punishes for sins. Also, what then, are sins? How do you define them? Morality is not objective. Religious people cannot even agree on what is good or bad, how is it that they have objective morality?

Again, Langan defines this “global consciousness” or “designer” as “God.” Yet, he ascribes more characteristics to the definition than his theory presents. He gets these additional traits from the Christian Bible. The reasons that the Bible are not the word of God, or rather that there is no remotely credible reason to believe so, is too extensive of an explanation to fit within the scope of this response. However, Langan masquerades as though his paper were scientific, with math, an introduction and an abstract – it is not; it is simply a theological attempt to prove the Christian God. Langan states the following regarding theological interpretations of his work:

The CTMU says that by its self-generative, self-selective nature, which follows directly from the analytic requirement of self-containment, reality is its own “designer”. Other features of the generative grammar of reality imply that reality possesses certain logical properties traditionally regarded as theological or spiritual, and that to this extent, the self-designing aspect of reality is open to a theological or spiritual interpretation. The CTMU, being a logical theory, does not attempt to force such an interpretation down anyone’s throat; not all semantic permutations need affect theoretical structure. What it does do, however, is render any anti-theological interpretation a priori false, and ensures that whatever interpretation one chooses accommodates the existence of an “intelligent designer”…namely, reality itself. In light of the CTMU, this is now a matter more of logic than of taste. [bold added]

If reality “is its own designer,” why would one then be required to use a theological explanation for the designer? If the universe designed itself, why must it be a spiritual explanation? Langan’s assertion that the intelligent designer is reality itself seems to lead only to the conclusion that if what he were saying were true, that the designer is inherently a naturalistic phenomenon and by no means a spiritual one. Even if his work were sound, the many conclusions he draws from his work are unfounded.

CONCLUSION

Christopher Hitchens notes to beware of a theory that explains everything, as it is likely to explain nothing, such is the case with CTMU. Langan’s work functions under false, weak, or unproven premises, and even assuming those premises were true (some of which could not be), his interpretations of his work cannot follow from his conclusions. This is also not an exhaustive list of the problems with CTMU. From concluding that a soul is the intermediary between the ‘global consciousness’ and the ‘temporal consciousness’ he somehow reasons that this soul has additional characteristics not described by his theory (capable of being punished, reincarnation, etc.). Langan also ascribes similar additional characteristics to what he calls “God.” Everyone can already agree that there is a kind of order to the universe, in that there are natural scientific laws. Langan might marvel at the low probability that our specific universe would be produced. I employ here a lottery example. If all people entered a lottery and there were one guaranteed winner, the person who won would find it so extraordinarily unlikely that he would think that it was not by mere chance – however, it is a fact that someone would win. With the process of natural selection there could have been infinite other variants of life forms on earth, that poses no problem for evolution whatsoever. There is, however, a problem of why we have anything at all, which Langan’s theory hardly explains. As a final note on the substantive criticism of his work, what is the practical application? Science presents practical applications from its theories. One would think that a ‘theory of everything’, a very theory that attempts to explain all of the major discrepancies would have an application – intelligent design as a whole provides no application. Langan claims “[he has] already used the CTMU for applications that would make the careers of any team of credentialed signatories.” (http://www.megasociety.net/noesis/62.htm). When he published his paper he was explicitly asked what the applications for his work were, his response is below:

As far as wringing practical applications out of it is concerned…well, there’ll be time for that later. I will say, however, that it has a lot to say about “AI”.” (http://www.iscid.org/christopherlangan-chat.php)

Let me diverge from his theory for my final notes. Well, what’s the harm in letting him be? He practices a kind of nonsensical elitism rooted in a baseless evaluation of intelligence. Langan has gone on record as saying the following regarding eugenics among other things:

Chris Langan:

People who wanted to have children would apply to make sure they have no diseases. Why do we have to do it through genetic engineering? Well, we have to let only the fit breed…. Freedom is not necessarily a right. It is a privilege that you have to earn. A lot of people abuse their freedom and that is something that people have to be trained not to do.

Interviewer:

But who? Who does this training?

Chris Langan:

Well, I’d be perfectly willing to do it myself. Just put me in charge.”

Source: http://onemansblog.com/2007/11/06/smartest-man-in-the-world-has-diarrhea-of-the-mouth/

Well, it doesn’t just stop at Langan himself:

Mars Turner: If you were to create a government founded on the belief of the CTMU what would it look like? I created a group called “Republic of ecclesiastical Dukes” to express that thought…

Mars Turner: That is why in the Republic of ecclesiastical Dukes, the ones who understand the CTMU are called “Dukes”, the rest are subjects, the goal is to create as many Dukes as possible.

Source: http://breakfree2energy.blogspot.com/2010/07/ctmu.html

I don’t doubt that many other people have pointed out to Langan that IQ is a meaningless measurement. In his interview he lamented over the fact that Guinness World Records removed IQ from their books because it wasn’t “PC” to use IQ. People don’t discredit IQ because it isn’t PC. Now that Langan has created a poor excuse for an argument for the existence of God, I expect his upcoming book to explain how he is God. In his interview one can only anticipate as much:

Langan: That’s what high intelligence does for you. It allows for you to hold many things in your mind simultaneously and all their interrelationships. I would hope to hold the whole universe in my mind. That’s the dream of a lot of people, a lot of physicists, a lot of cosmologists, a lot of philosophers…and me.

Interviewer: What would it feel like to hold the whole world in your mind?

Langan: It would feel pretty good.

Interviewer: Wouldn’t holding the whole world in your mind make you God?

Langan: As I think I explained, every human being is an endomorphic image of the mind of God. So, yes. Not with the power of God, not with the extent of God, I would still have to be humble in sight of God. But, I would have a certain theic identity. I would share an ultimate essence with God himself.

Interviewer: Have you ever met someone smarter than yourself?

Langan: As near as I can tell, no.

I finish with the same remarks I made to him before, versions of which he has no doubt heard before: Franklin said that genius without education is like silver in the mine; it is unfortunate that Langan didn’t even have the opportunity to tarnish.

Discussion

Franklin said that genius without education is like silver in the mine; it is unfortunate that Langan didn’t even have the opportunity to tarnish.

ME-OWW!

John C.

Actually, the CTMU argues against Cartesian dualism if I’m not mistaken.

This was an objection that I foresaw. If you read through his theory he expressly talks about other forms of dualism. Yet with a passing understanding of Cartesian dualism, reading through the CTMU, one can recognize that he adheres to those principles as well; it is implicit to the metaphysical claims he makes. I am trying to limit my comment responses, and Langan is free to submit a full response that I will post as an article.

Catface

Wow, thanks alot for this! Ive been scouring the web for information about Langan, somehow his whole persona intrigues me. He kind of reminds me of Bobby Fischer, although Fischers genius was shown in his chess, whereas Langans genius seems to be limited to the art of looking up fancy looking synonyms in the dictionary. I think it really is a tragic case, and it makes me sad for him. I fear that Langans delusion of grandour will stay with him until the end. Food for thought: If the CTMU was an attempt to prove that the CIA and FBI was after him, or some other delusion, he might have gotten some help with his condition.

Brian

Thank you for this post. I enjoyed reading it. I tried to read the CTMU with an open mind, and so did not take the fact that it is an argument in favour of intelligent design as a reason to assume that it was wrong before having read it. If I did that, then there would have been no point in reading it at all, right?

There are a number of points that I think need to be made in response to your criticism of the CTMU.

First, you should forestall casting judgement on Mr. Langan’s intentions. The inferences that you’ve made aren’t necessarily supported by the evidence that you’ve adduced to support them. Quite simply, you and I don’t really know what his intentions are. Maybe all of what you say about his intentions are true. There is a case to be made, however, that Mr. Langan is not a “media whore”. The only media exposure which I am aware of him having had has been instigated by journalists and writers who have sought him out for their own purposes (e.g. Malcolm Gladwell). And, as far as I am aware, the only exceptions to this trend are instances where he has been actively promoting the CTMU (as opposed to himself). In these cases, the intentions seemed to me to be eudamonic and not self-serving.

Second, there are a number of points to be made in response to your criticism of the language used.
The fact that he uses neologisms does not count against the CTMU. The current state of language is not adequate for all communicative purposes. Every word was initially coined by someone. Some neologisms were balked at in the past, but have since proven themselves to be quite useful. For this reason, we should not rubbish any attempts to coin new words per se.
Relatedly, just because people find it difficult to understand these new words does not necessarily count against the theory. Nor does the fact that the theory is difficult to understand necessarily count against it. (For what is putatively a proof of the existence of god I’ll happily pore over 56 pages of text. That’s actually minor compared to most other philosophical works.)
Furthermore, we should be mindful of the fact that it might not necessarily be possible to communicate the CTMU in the terms of the layman. That said, I read somewhere that he’s in the process of “decompressing” the theory. That will hopefully resolve some of your concerns.
Your criticism of the CTMUs neologisms might be an argument about the “marketability” of the theory. That obviously presupposes that the theory is something that should be marketed to people. And I can think of many reasons why it shouldn’t be. Maybe it’s best if people go looking for the theory. Also, as I mentioned in the first point above, I don’t think there has been, as of yet, any sincere attempt to do that. So it’s really not a functional inadequacy of the theory to say that most people can’t understand it. Most people can’t understand quantum mechanics, but that doesn’t count against quantum mechanics.
Also, if you analyse the new words that he does coin, I think you’ll find that they actually form central parts of his theory, and prove to be very useful in communicating the theory. The neologism “syndiffeonisis” (I’m not sure I’ve spelt that correctly), for example, is central to his theory.

Third, the CTMU does not assume the existence of God; it proves it. The points that you’ve cited to support this claim have been taken out of context. I couldn’t possibly reproduce the proof here. The best thing to do is to sit down for a day or two and go through the theory very closely. If there are bits you don’t understand then you should read up a bit more about those particular areas. If you send me an email I can refer you to the relevant philosophers, scientists or cosmologists that will help you get a fuller understanding of the subject-matter.

Fourth, John C is correct to say that the CTMU does not presuppose Cartesian Dualism as a theoretical framework. Would you be able to cite the parts of the theory that you think are guilty of this?

The rest of the stuff would probably be better responded to by Mr. Langan himself. I do think, however, that you’ve perhaps asserted things about the theory in a rather offhand manner that doesn’t serve your side of the argument. Perhaps if you provided citations for each of your references you’d avoid this in future.

Really enjoyed this post. Looking forward to the next one.

Brian

There’s one more thing that should be said in response to the first (rather cryptic) comment by Seriph which reads as follows:

“Franklin said that genius without education is like silver in the mine; it is unfortunate that Langan didn’t even have the opportunity to tarnish.”

(I think) this comment embodies a perplexing sentiment that has been expressed repeatedly by journalists and authors who have come into contact with Chris Langan. Langan is an immensely successful and seemingly fulfilled person. It really gets to me that people still haven’t fathomed the value of his contribution to the lot of humankind.

Langan would have been stifled by the mainstream education system. It seems to me that the path he travelled, albeit difficult, was probably essential to his having produced the kind of work that he has. So, indeed, like the effect of taking silver outside of the mine, exposing Langan to mainstream education would have only tarnished his genius.

Robin Marie

I would just like to chime in on the language issue.

To claim that there are ideas too complex or “outside” the limitations of current language is nonsense.

Yes, language is limited in expressing emotional or psychological experience. Things like music can cover this better. But when it comes to intellectual, objective claims about reality, I have never come across a single idea that, if coherent, could not be explained simply and clearly by the language we currently have.

Claiming otherwise reminds me a lot of postmodernists who like to paint their theories with absurdly elaborate jargon. In the past I doubted my own intellect and thought perhaps this was necessary, and that once I became familiar with the ideas, I would understand the terms. But then once I really learned what postmodern ideas have to say, and double and triple checked that I was understanding the arguments correctly, I found out that the fancy language is not necessary at all. In fact, I think obscure or difficult language gets put into use precisely when people are more impressed with the “intelligence” of their own argument than pretty much the rest of the entire world. And when their argument is brought down into simple, clear terms, it is interesting how it can expose how unimpressive it actually is.

The idea that being too obscure or difficult to understand is a *sign* of intelligence is absurd. One of the primary markers of intelligence is an ability to communicate, clearly and accessibly, to almost anyone.

Brian

Hey Robin,
I see where you’re coming from, but I think there may be a problem in your approach. If you are looking to conventional language as a means to determining whether there are things that language cannot communicate, then that is circular reasoning. You’re obviously not going to find proof of things that language (in its conventional form) is not able to communicate in language itself.

I agree with you that there are theorists that use language for the reasons you say, but that does not rule out neologisms per se. There are, and have been, many useful neologisms. For example, without the term “evolution” how would one have conveyed the meaning of that term. Yet that term was of course once coined by someone.

I should also say, that if you go and read the 56 pages of the CTMU you’ll see that this blog has misrepresented what it means by its use of the term “language”. Again, though, it’s not going to be useful to reiterate here what it actually means.

Anyway, thanks for your response. :)

Jason

The CTMU was just a big waste of my time after reading it. I’m an athiest but not by choice. I would LOVE there to be a God that allows us to be living indefinitely and we have this beautiful existence forever. I started out wanting to believe in God or a higher power very much so as a child but never “got it” because I always wanted to understand it which was impossible to understand non-sense. Seeing Santa Clause was a fake at 4 years of age and finding out the same with Jesus etc. as a teen was a huge let down. I just found circular definitions and cloudy explanations that didn’t sit well with my reasoning. I just could not understand how it connected to reality or in other words, the notion of God or Gods or a designed existence never connected to human observations from a logical and observable perspective, only from emotional, wishful thinking similar to Santa Clause. Chris Langan is unfortunately no better than a type of Rain Man from a practical perspective benefiting human kind. His brain is extremely powerful in terms of calculations but is stuck in its own “teleric feedback” loop, unable to look outward and relate to humanity. He is ultimately a distraction for the quest of understanding our Universe. I’m very discouraged by IQ as a measure of practical intelligence.

Robin Marie

Hi Brian – on the point about circular reasoning, this is true enough; but I’m not coming from a theoretical basis, but an experience basis. I have never encountered an idea that required confusing language to capture it; and I am therefore very skeptical that Langan is now the one example where confusing language is required.

It is worth noting that even where the writing itself is confusing – people today do not take easily to Aquinas or Hegel, for example – it is a product of the lingo of the time period and the intended audience, not the ideas themselves. Both Aquinas and Hegel can be described in pedestrian terms. This also does of course beg the question of audience; if Langan’s sole motivation is to put this theory into the world, and if he scorns the halls of official academia and does not feel the need for their approval, why not write in a way where anyone with an internet connection can understand it and, furthermore, be happy to go through 56 pages? I think a criticism Tom is making here about language is that, even if you think his terms make sense and are coherent, the fact that most people, merely a few pages in, can’t imagine wading through the whole thing means Langan has written something that for most people is pretty unreadable. Why would he do this? Why not increase your chances of reaching your goal by being comprehensible to most people?

And yes, sometimes terms need to be invented, but these terms themselves should be easily and quickly defined. Evolution, for example, can be easily defined as a gradual process of change driven by natural selection. “Natural selection,” which is a very literal and straightforward phrase, can further be defined as the survival of some genetic traits over others when confronted with a physical hardship.

Brian

Hey Robin,

Thanks for your reply. I see what you mean about the way that “evolution” can be described by using terms such as “natural selection”, but doesn’t that lead to a regressive reliance on other terms that were once new themselves (and therefore unfamiliar (“confusing”) at their point of creation)?

Accepting for the moment the idea that we’re talking on “an experience basis”, I was quite suprised to read above that you think that Chris Langan is the only person to rely on “confusing language”. I’m sure you don’t really mean that. I’m also sure that the fact that the language seems confusing to you does not mean that it does not make sense, as you seem to be implying. There are plenty of things that people don’t understand, but that doesn’t count against those things, it counts against the mental discipline/focus/work ethic of those individuals. Like I said, I have put in the effort to understand the CTMU and now do. It requires more than skimming through it. It probably also requires some serious introspection on the subject of one’s own “conceptual prejudices”. I suggest that you spend the time to understand it. It really is worth it. :)

Robin Marie

Hi Brian — “I see what you mean about the way that “evolution” can be described by using terms such as “natural selection”, but doesn’t that lead to a regressive reliance on other terms that were once new themselves (and therefore unfamiliar (“confusing”) at their point of creation)? ”

This is highly speculative and not really relevant to my point. If you want to take it back to the beginning of language I would say words were more arbitrary than they were confusing. (Let’s call these hard objects ‘rocks’! Ok, who knows why ‘rocks,’ but everyone knows what we mean by that.) What I was saying is that new terms are really just shorthand for concepts that the language can already handle.

Langan is definitely not the only person to use or rely on confusing language – hence my example of Hegel up there, whose language was so confusing there is a term for it, “Hegelese” – I was only arguing that he doesn’t *need* to use confusing language; just as someone can explain Hegel without Hegelese.

And that is precisely because yes, the content of ideas is not determined by the quality with which they are described. But I am not going to enter into a debate about the CMTU itself. It has just been suggested that the CMTU cannot be explained more simply or clearly, and that I say is poppycock. Even quantum physics, something not easily grasped, can be explained quite clearly, with all sorts of metaphors and examples to make it easily graspable for the average person. While intelligence rates do differ amongst humans, your emphasis on how individuals who see nothing but meaningless semantics and/or unsupported assumptions in the CMTU (which is, I’m sorry to say, most people) simply aren’t trying hard enough, or something to that extent, speaks to a weakness, not a strength, of the CMTU — as it suggests that something involving elitism is going on here. If the only response a minority can have to a large majority is “well, you’re just not smart enough/trying hard enough,” this speaks very poorly to the quality of the argument being defended.

If the CMTU makes sense to you, and you want it to make more sense to other people, you should write up a shortened, clearer version of it, with a glossary clearing defining each term. If its ideas are coherent and logical, this should be possible. As I said before, I have never encountered an idea or argument that could not be cleaned up with clear language — and based on what I have read and learned of the CMTU, I have no reason to think that this differs (especially since I consider the type of writing Langan uses to be a sign against, rather than for, heightened intelligence.)

Brian

Hey Robin,

Actually the point I made is neither speculative nor irrelevant to your point. I just don’t think you’ve fully understood it. This conclusion is suggested by the fact that you’ve invoked the very same regression that I mentioned above once again: you say “the new words are just shorthand for concepts that the language can already handle.” But where did those “simpler” words in the pre-existing language come from. I think, if you think about it, you’ll come to the conclusion that sometimes language that seems confusing needs to be created to communicate new ideas. For this reason we shouldn’t prima facie denigrate the CTMU because it relies on neologisms that might seem confusing.

You say that it is “poppycock” to say that the CTMU cannot be explained in simpler language. I don’t think anyone has disagreed with that in an absolute sense (Langan is currently “decompressing” it). What I disagree with is the idea that because it seems confusing to some people implies that it’s wrong. That’s what has been implied here. And I’m sure, if you consider it, you’ll agree that that’s not true. Calculus, for example, seems confusing to many people, but you presumably don’t think that Calculus is wrong. And this is true of many other things that do make sense but which people find confusing. Comprehension is a function of effort. And effort is usually the missing ingredient where comprehension is lacking. People don’t like to admit this because it’s much easier to be egoic and decry the written-quality/coherence of the subject matter than to go and improve on one’s own intellectual capabilities. I should also say that it’s viciously circular to use what peoples’ current standards of comprehension are as the standard for progress. I.e. if the only standards that we use to determine the merit of work are the standard layman’s/ general populus’ comprehension, then we can never hope to progress beyond that level of comprehension. All work would have to be pitched at that level. Shakespeares’ genius would never have flourished as people would have said his work contains too many neologisms (he virtually created a new language for Hamlet).

Anyway, the point of me responding is not to prove you wrong (I actually don’t like to get into discussions online); I mean this response as an entreaty to you, Robin. Don’t believe what I say, but don’t not believe it. Keep your mind open. Rather than talking “about” the CTMU (in the superficial way that we have been doing on this blog), you should go and read it and try to understand it (as it seems to me that you perhaps haven’t done this yet). Chris Langan is writing a book about it now which will constitute a decompression and elaboration of it, but until then I think it would be a good investment of your time to give it a go. Because neologisms that seem confusing should not be ruled per se (as I’ve shown above), I suggest you use a dictionary (or search up the meanings of the words online) and have a look at some of the decompressed accounts of it that are dotted around the “interweb” (a neologism). :) Bye!

Robin Marie

Well Brian, I am glad he is “decompressing” it, and we shall see what comes out on the other side.

But here we are again: “I just don’t think you’ve fully understood it.” No, I really did. And everything you said in that paragraph. I just *disagree* with the speculation – and it is precisely that, because you certainly weren’t there at the “creation” of language or ‘simple words’, nor to my knowledge are you a linguist.

Shakespeare is actually quite a bad example. (As is Calculus; as is anything because all of these were successfully communicated to the majority of intelligent and educated people.) He wrote for the masses and were easily understood by him. I actually have a poster of many of the terms he coined in my bathroom. Again, just like ‘evolution’ or any other term, they are easily understandable, either on their own (ex: not hard to figure out what he meant by the term ‘eyesore’) or with minimum explanation (ex: “it’s Greek to me.”)

But I’m not suggesting that his theory is wrong because of the language he uses. I am suggesting it is certainly *not* implied that it is *right* because the language is confusing, which is an idea you have flirted with here, directly and indirectly – that CMTU is just so profound, so high above us, that it can’t be captured by clear language. I disagree with this. Learning does take effort for sure, but if most people who put in this effort come out with nothing on the other end – which you need to be aware is the situation here – you have a problem. To simply resort to “you haven’t tried hard enough,” is a cop out, and not an argument. It also cannot be disproved, which is convenient for advocates of CMTU.

Therefore I’d appreciate it if you didn’t resort to implying that because I do not agree with your arguments, I do not understand them. If you are an advocate of CMTU, this is exactly the kind of behavior which drives people away from taking it seriously, as you would like me to do. You have otherwise been polite, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t going anywhere.

Aaron

Stellar. Thanks, Tom, for taking the time and expending the energy.

Scooter

Robin, put your petty ego aside, quit being deliberately obtuse, and take Brian’s commentary at face value.

Many scientific articles are compressed and come across as jibberish to the uneducated. The authors tends to use terms that convey a lot of information in the least space. And *gasp* sometimes, new terms are created. Dense and sometimes even verbose language is needed to convey complex ideas to those who have the capacity to understand them.

You state:

“To simply resort to “you haven’t tried hard enough,” is a cop out, and not an argument. It also cannot be disproved, which is convenient for advocates of CMTU. ”

Ridiculous statement. Indeed, it’s apparent you haven’t read the CMTU. You could disprove the “you haven’t tried hard enough” argument by doing so (and elaborating such in some fashion). The fact that you haven’t naturally conveys the idea that you are being lazy, considering your participation here, or that you don’t understand it. It also brands you a hypocrite.

Ryan

Glad to see you’ve completed the criticism of CTMU, Looking forward to reading Mr. Langan’s response in a minute.

John

CATFACE wrote: “He kind of reminds me of Bobby Fischer, although Fischers genius was shown in his chess, whereas Langans genius seems to be limited to the art of looking up fancy looking synonyms in the dictionary.”

I’m not sure if you were being genuinely compassionate or humorous but BRAVO for this. Is there a synonym for peeing your pants in laughter? :D

Anonymous

I’m bored, so let’s play a game. You have two options: ask or criticize. The former means asking a single question about the CTMU, and you can be sure I’ll answer it. The latter means giving a single criticism of the CTMU, and I’ll try to knock it out of the air rationally. I find this simpler than answering all of Tom’s critique at once. Shoot.

Koin

It’s quite satisfying to see people reject Langan’s work because of its theological ramifications, lets the serious ideas in it go completely ignored, if only people appreciated the applications…less competition.

Anonymous

Does anyone have any questions? I am hungering for a rational debate over the CTMU, as I am a supporter of the theory.

Anonymous

I have to say I’m disappointed that no one has asked any questions, when Mr. Beasley and some of the above clearly don’t agree with Mr. Chris Langan’s views. But let’s skip the ad hominems and get to the point. In Mr. Beasley’s “Motive” section, he makes four points about the CTMU. I proceed to refute these points below.

(1) By Mr. Langan’s definition of God, which in fact is not Abrahamic, God is indeed eternal as God is the highest level of cognition (cognition is stratified in the CTMU). Cognition is fundamentally information processing, and reality cannot verily be accused of not processing information. For this reason, reality has properties akin to a mind, and by dint of this it is termed “God” in the CTMU.

(2) Here “grace” and “virtue” are synonymous. They are simply (globally) teleologically valid states. This begs the question of whence the proposed global teleology arises. Mr. Langan explains that global teleology arises from the fact of a medium possessing all the properties of everything over which it distributes.

(3) This is also true by Mr. Langan’s definitions. If we do something that is not teleologically valid, or that is ultimately detrimental to teleology, we may get cut off from God. It is easy to see why. By God’s will our soul, or connection to global consciousness, may be terminated. After all, whatever reality wills tends to happen and the existence of such a will is explained in my response to (2).

(4) Early religious leaders were people who notice some of the things explained in the most basic levels of the CTMU, and through their tinted lenses of crude, ancient ethics. It is easy to see how such beliefs could have produced works like the Bible and the Quran. Nevertheless, their metaphorical (and metaphysical) teachings were largely correct. Moreover, God can be said to have “inspired” the Bible inasmuch as He, basically being reality itself, caused the Bible to come into existence.

Now that these four points have been covered, many of Mr. Beasley’s other questions have been answered. The concept of sin arises from going against global teleology. Moreover, Mr. Langan does *not* use irreducible and specified complexity in his CTMU, he merely mentions that they are common tools of the ID movement, a point on which Mr. Beasley no doubt agrees. Langan instead concludes the existence of the aforementioned God. I have already explained why this is the case in my response to (1).

The CTMU is a monistic theory, and I would like to hear (or see) the reason Mr. Beasley feels it is not. Mr. Langan dismisses Cartesian dualism by noting that, were it the case, reality could be divided into two entirely separate things (let’s call them A and B). Then an absolute difference relation would exist between A and B, implying a common medium for A and B on which the absolute difference relation is defined. This shows that A and B must both be manifestations of a more general common syntax.

In our Modern English, the prefix “anti-” means “opposed to”. Any interpretation *opposed to* all theological interpretations is false, as some theological interpretations are true. I think this is what Mr. Langan meant. Also, reincarnation plays a role in the CTMU only because all information is necessarily conserved* (as reality is necessarily closed). Therefore, information, including memories, must be injected somewhere else in reality, perhaps resulting in “partial reincarnation”.

Mr. Langan has a say on why reality exists as well. In fact, I will quote exactly what he said in the CTMU Questions and Answers to which he links on his website http://www.ctmu.org.

“The universe can be described as a cybernetic system in which freedom and constraint are counterbalanced. The constraints function as structure; thus, the laws of physics are constraints which define the structure of spacetime, whereas freedom is that which is bound or logically quantified by the constraints in question. Now, since there is no real time scale external to reality, there is no extrinsic point in time at which the moment of creation can be located, and this invalidates phrases like “before reality existed” and “when reality created itself”. So rather than asking “when” the universe came to be, or what existed “before” the universe was born, we must instead ask “what would remain if the structural constraints defining the real universe were regressively suspended?” First, time would gradually disappear, eliminating the “when” question entirely. And once time disappears completely, what remains is the answer to the “what” question: a realm of boundless potential characterized by a total lack of real constraint. In other words, the real universe timelessly emerges from a background of logically unquantified potential to which the concepts of space and time simply do not apply. ”

Mr. Langan considers natural selection to be almost tautological. He merely objects to theories of evolution involving “randomness”, on the basis that “randomness” means either acausality or an unknown cause, neither of which are satisfactory explanations for mutations. Asking for applications of the CTMU is like asking for applications of formal logic. Though there may not be any immediate mechanical inventions stemming from it, it is still extraordinarily important.

Mr. Langan does not himself consider intelligence quotients very important. IQ, as most modern tests measure it, as not general enough. However, one would be more hard-pressed to say the same for g. As explained above, telology is self-actualization, and it is our responsibility to maximize various levels of utility up to teleology. As reality is a self-contained information processor, this self-actualization is in fact self-processing, or self-explanation. All this being the case, it is our responsibility to explain reality, and one can probably see from this point the importance of g. This also shows whence the “anti-dysgenics” view Mr. Langan has expressed arises.

*This is not to be confused with Mr. Dembski’s “law of conservation of information”, which is an altogether different matter.

So, does anyone have any question now?

Dave

What is funny, is that the last post actually talked about the CTMU and not about some personal or vague criticisms such as he is a nazi, or his words don’t make sense, his making it all to difficult to disguise how flawed his theory is, how he is such a megalomaniac . And now, when someone talks about rational arguments about the theory no one replies. When people don’t know the answer, they will simply go into defense mode and say he is wrong because I don’t like him.

Shahzad

To the last Anonymous. Regarding Chris Langan’s objections to mutations being “random”, they aren’t considered by biologists to be INTRINSICALLY random like the randomness in quantum mechanics, they have actual physical causes, the randomness is with respect to fitness. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence to contradict the view that mutations are random with respect to fitness. Also, isn’t the CTMU Global Operator Designer (GOD) supposed to act… globally? Such as selecting laws of physics rather than tinkering with mutations?

Anonymous

So they’re not truly random at all, which is what Mr. Langan has claimed. Also, inasmuch as the mutations are a result of the existence of the Global Operator-Designer, the Global Operator-Designer has caused the mutations.

Graham

The CTMU, like most new theories has both great ideas and subjective ideas.

Also the word “Intelligent Design” is typically applied to religious groups
who seek to refute evolutionary theories.

It’s obvious from Mr. Langan’s discourse, that evolution is not negotiable.
And therefore, his “Intelligent Design” is categorically different.

It would be hard to argue that mutations are not random.
They are the result of a confluence of factors, such as
interstellar events, volanic events, solar events or
genetic aberrations.

Therefore the mutations could not be individually caused, but
rather, are just enabled by the preexisting rules for interaction.

THe Global Operator-Designer may have created the initial conditions
for mutation to occur, but it is doubtful the creator, if there was one,
could or would want/need to interfere in the continuing process.

I doubt that anyone can prove that the universe ‘made up itself’ for no apparent
reason, complete with fundamental forces, rules for interaction, and a seemingly
endless array of task-performing compounds, stellar entities, magnetic arrangements,
energy sources and a periodic table of elements.

But, that is not ‘intelligent design’, in the sense of a teacher telling children in a class
room that God designed the world in 300 BC and fossils were placed there to test our faith.

A different term is needed to address these questions which tug at the very cloth of reality
itself. And, given our limited intelligence, even Mr. Langan’s, compared with what reality
apparently is, we can assume that we will not solve any of these questions easily because we
have no concept of the level of thinking that created them.

But, science has the habit of trying to know something. Of course, to satisfactorily ‘know’
something, you must kill it.

As much as a fear the ramifications of these theories and investigations, I think it is
inevitable they will be found, and our lives will be changed forever.

But, the concept of a ‘personal’ God who can interfere with physics and consciousness at will, simulaneously, everywhere at once, has no scientific basis. No measurements can record
these aberrations, if they were said to occur. People are naturally apophenic and when
something extraordinary happens, they attribute it to the Global Designer Operator.

By the same token, it is not difficult to imagine that there are multiple planes of reality, containing various outcomes existing simultaneously. Or an infinite number of planes
containing everything that ever could have happened or happened under an infinite number
of initial conditions.

Given all this activity, we then understand that a Global Designer Operator/Reality is much, much more akin to a computer program than a person. And that reality IS the Global Designer Operator. Reality is ‘God’, since we inhabit it, and would not exist otherwise.

I have thought of it often, and I believe that reality is actually a computer program, and what’s more, it may have been built by us. A continuing cycle of peaking and restarting.
The internet is an early example of the Global Designer Operator. It tracks objects, their ages, their importance, their relationships and their content. It could very well be that we are slowly building God.

If reality were a computer program, it would be no trouble to insert lines of code here and there, drop a piano on someone there, deliberately blow a fuse in apartment 4B, move a bullet a few millimeters.

But, it is ridiculous to assume, at this point, given what is known, that we were not created by something else.

I would be interested to hear rebuttals regarding the formation of reality by non-intelligent means.

Anonymous

As Mr. Langan has pointed out, uncertainty as you describe it is to be read “self-configurative freedom”. I.e., regardless of it, the GOD is still responsible for evolution. Moreover, it should be understood that the “continuing process” of evolution is merely a part of the creator.

As for reality designing itself, this follows from the state of unbound telesis (UBT) that Mr. Langan has also described.

You also speak of there being “multiple planes of reality”. It should be noted that the existence of a difference relation between these planes implies the existence of an underlying syntax, i.e., a greater reality that syndiffeonically encompasses the planes.

There are several problems with your computation-theoretic model of reality, but I will only address the one, which is debatably the most important flaw. One needs a machine that provides a computational syntax in order to process the data of a computational model. If self-processing is concerned, one quickly arrives at the CTMU, which is protocomputational.

Shahzad

I think Langan sees telic recursion as being responsible for biological mutations, being the generative side of evolution while natural selection is regarded as a filter. But since in the CTMU literally everything real is a result of telic recursion I don’t see why mutations are anything special in that regard. Regardless, there’s still no evidence that mutations are anything but random with respect to fitness.

Whatever the case it’s to good to hear from Langan again. It’s disappointing that most critics of the CTMU have so little to say about what the CTMU is actually saying and would rather abuse Langan than engage with him on his actual ideas.

Anonymous

The point was never that mutations are *special*, it was merely that mutations are a result of telic recursion. I’m glad you see this now. Moreover, Mr. Langan never commented on the correlation between mutations and fitness, which is largely an empirical matter.

As for why natural evolution mirrors cosmic evolution, all systems are necessarily telic recursive or are embedded in a larger system that has the aforementioned property as reality is protocomputational in nature.

And I hope you don’t think I’m Mr. Langan, as I am not!

anonymous123

I really wish Carl Sagan was still here with us.

[...] Still not convinced he is a kook? well here is a nice dissection of Mr Langan’s CTMU nonsense. [...]

M

This was an interesting read, thank you. However, I think this Langan fellow is a bit of a prat.

Oh, and the Anonymous fellow who’s been consistently replying is quite probably Langan under a mask.

Anonymous

As Tom can testify, given his access to my IP address, I am likely not Langan. Nor am I associated with him in any way. In fact, I have only encountered him briefly in forum discussions. I should thus not be taken as a perfect representative for Langan’s ideas, but merely as one who has studied them extensively and who therefore probably understands them slightly better than the Average Joe.

P. George Stewart

Yeah, as others have pointed out, if you can’t start your “critique” without psychologizing, you’re off to a bad start.

This is interesting chit. How do I receive emails when there’s a new blog post?

1Love

To Anonymous who isn’t Chris Langon. If you’re not Chris Langon, you’re channeling Chris Langon. I believe people are natural grammar extractors, and you are talking in the Chris Langon Grammar. Not saying this is a good or bad thing, just pointing it out. Either that or I’m hallucinating which is also likely.

Hey, fuckers. I agree with Robin. Stop bullying her. It’s funny that Robin’s comments are clear and concise and actually make sense while the others grasp desperately at delusions of knowledge. 1Love

Anonymous

“To Anonymous who isn’t Chris Langon. If you’re not Chris Langon, you’re channeling Chris Langon. I believe people are natural grammar extractors, and you are talking in the Chris Langon Grammar. Not saying this is a good or bad thing, just pointing it out. Either that or I’m hallucinating which is also likely.”

I’m not sure I agree. You’ll have to state of what this “Chris [Langan] Grammar” consists.

Samuel

Greetings all,

I also concur with much of Robins position on language. That entire concept of the capacities of language for explanation is an interesting side track in and of its own. There are few examples where language can fail to explain concept. An example, of which there are many, is the Theory of Relativity. The concept of Relativity can be easily explained in simple english, but to truly understand relativity is to know the predictive capabilities of the theory and its relationship to quantitative evidence. For this one has to switch to the more precise language of mathematics. I mention this only to help clarify my point of view below. I do not see how any mathematical argument could be made from Mr. Langan’s work.

As mentioned above, the misleading language, wether intentional or not, may be a communications war crime, but it does not invalidate the arguments that were made with it. The CTMU is a pain in the ass to read, but it can be read and understood.
The problem with the theory is that it fails to invoke a single instance where a scientific experiment, or even a reasonable thought experiment based on experience, could be used to evaluate the claims and posit a prediction based on those claims.
Correct me if I am wrong, or if I have missed something, but this appears to be the greatest problem with the theory. CTMU appears wholly untestable.

Anonymous

I’m still not sure I understand why the language of the CTMU is felt by many to be difficult. Chris uses the occasional neologism, but he tends to make it clear what those mean and they are all defined within his 2002 paper. There may be some prerequisites to understanding certain parts of that paper, but these this applies even more to many important (e.g.) scientific theories.

As for testability, the CTMU is explicitly a metaphysical theory. Moreover, it is completely rationally-derived and therefore tautological. Thus, one should much rather attempt to invalidate it by pointing out any flaws that are present in the reasoning that led to it, than by trying to test it empirically.

Anonymous

By the way, I notice that you’ve referred to Relativity. While the general idea of Relativity can be explained more or less simply, the details of the theory are exceptionally mathematically involved. I find that the same applies to the CTMU. If one wants a simple and general introduction to the CTMU, one should read some of Langan’s essays, if one wants a slightly more detailed introduction, one should read Langan’s paper, and if one wants an extremely detailed work on the CTMU, one will have to await Langan’s future work. However, potential mathematical formalizations of the CTMU make themselves known even in the 2002 paper. Think of the principle of syndiffeonesis, the principle of attributive duality, and the introduction to the SCSPL.

Dark Bowser

First, I wanted to comment on the critique of the CTMU by Mr. Tom Beasley and Mr. Chris Langan’s “formal response,” including my initial reaction to the critique. I want to preface this by saying that I have not yet read the CTMU(it’s just one of those things I haven’t gotten around to, in part, because I wanted to read some other philosophical works first), but I am familiar, and have been for some time, of some of the basic premises of the CTMU and the interesting character of Mr. Langan himself.

Now, when I first stumbled upon the article, I thought “Well it’ll be interesting hearing a recent critique of the CTMU theory,” since I haven’t really seen much news or even discussion on the matter in some time. I start reading, and I see all of these accusations that Mr. Langan is nothing more than a mere bible-thumper, arguing for a monotheistic designer God of said Bible, along with the superstitious notions associated with it, with a large vocabulary(or at least a dictionary and/or thesaurus) and a penchant for complex neologisms. If true, then that would be upsetting, and I’d be inclined to agree with the criticisms of the CTMU. Though I have not read it, as I have mentioned, I am familiar with some of the arguments espoused by Mr. Langan, and it was my understanding that he did not advocate a Christian, or Bible-centric view, of reality at all, nor did he argue for dualism—I was certain I had read he specifically argues for monism. Reading through the comments did serve to clarify that point, and given that, I am in agreement that the original critique was flawed.

But my response for Mr Langan’s own article bodes little better for him; I was dismayed at how egotistical, self-serving, and vicious he came across. Now, I understand that Mr. Beasley made a number of attacks on Mr. Langan’s character, implying that he’s really just a religious crackpot like, I fear, many of the Intelligent Design proponents are. So I do believe Langan was well within his rights to defend himself and add criticism of his own in turn, but I feel that the level to which he elevated it, made his own attacks come across as very petty and even more ad hominem than Beasley’s own article was to begin with.

The larger point is that even if Langan feels justified for responding in kind(an “eye for an eye” so to speak), it’s not really serving to give an impression of himself to his intended audience. I’m going to have to argue that Langan should be speaking less to the author of the original article and more to the internet audience reading it. Even if he’s directly replying to Beasley, the real purpose of having this published in the first place as opposed to private correspondence is to convince and persuade the readers of the original article and the replies to your side of the argument. Although Langan can make the case that Beasely’s argument was filled with ad hominem attacks, is a gross misunderstanding of his CTMU theory, and empty of any real substance, Langan should have been the better man and demonstrated to us, the readers, precisely what the misunderstandings are and to correct them so that we have a fair and justified view of his argument. So I do have to feel even somewhat slighted by Langan’s approach not to be civil and to present substantive arguments for his position for us.

I will also say that people accuse you, Anonymous, of being Langan precisely because you sound very much like him when he deigns to logically address his readers. Whether or not you are actually him, I cannot say with any certainty. You continue to say that Beasley could confirm that you do not have the same IP address as Langan, but Beasley has not done so, at least from what I’ve observed. You’re obviously an intelligent person, so I know that you know that even if you do not, in fact, have the same IP address, that doesn’t necessarily preclude you from being Langan himself.

I actually happened upon another internet article on Langan’s CTMU theory which followed the same formula: an ad hominem attack on Langan, Langan attacks in kind without addressing the deeper points, but with one exception. He seemed to touch upon at least a few of the actual arguments, and made an attempt to correct misunderstandings, in some of the subsequent comments. Even if I feel he could still do more, at least he did attempt to explain himself, so I’ll give him credit for that.

By the way, as a side note, Anonymous; I noticed in that other article in the comments, that you claim to be a Canadian high-school student. If that is true, I am very impressed, and you are a highly intelligent person and I wish you well in life with whatever career you wish to pursue. As a matter of curiosity, if I may ask, what is it you wish to do?

But to make my final comments, while I have not read the CTMU yet, at least from what I have gathered about his theory, I have a similar conception of the universe and “god,” if you wish to call it that, though put much less formally and mathematically. I am aware that Langan, in responding to a question, mentioned that Alan Watts is essentially arguing what Langan is putting forth in his CTMU, and I know that I strongly agree with Watts, so by extension, I think I can agree with at least most of the arguments that Langan makes.
While I do consider myself to be quite intelligent, which I think I can say with some justification, I am not especially gifted in mathematics. At best, I’m above average compared to the general populace, though that’s not saying much. The point is I’m not exceptional in mathematics which means I don’t really cut it when attempting to comprehend particularly abstruse, high-level mathematical content, and hence I also lack the requisite knowledge of set theory to really be able to effectively evaluate Langan’s formally logical assertions in the CTMU.

I will say this though; I find the idea of reincarnation, at least as traditionally understood, to be suspect. Matter and energy are neither created, nor destroyed, and I think I can agree that this would extend to information as well. What I would understand as your “self,” as a differentiated conscious being is essentially extinguished at death. That’s not to say that “you” don’t live on in a loose sense, but I think only in a different way than “you” experience life at the current moment. By that I take a monistic/pantheistic view of the self. As H.P. Owen said about pantheists, I “…believe that there is only one Being, and that all other forms of reality are either modes (or appearances) of it or identical with it.” I don’t think that this has any disagreement with Langan’s conception of reality, but if some feel there is, that’s more likely a possible imprecision in the way I worded it. I just hope I don’t need to explicate the point any more than I have, because I think that it is in accordance with Anonymous’ and Langan’s view and thus needs no further elaboration.

Anonymous

“But my response for Mr Langan’s own article bodes little better for him; I was dismayed at how egotistical, self-serving, and vicious he came across. Now, I understand that Mr. Beasley made a number of attacks on Mr. Langan’s character, implying that he’s really just a religious crackpot like, I fear, many of the Intelligent Design proponents are. So I do believe Langan was well within his rights to defend himself and add criticism of his own in turn, but I feel that the level to which he elevated it, made his own attacks come across as very petty and even more ad hominem than Beasley’s own article was to begin with.

The larger point is that even if Langan feels justified for responding in kind(an “eye for an eye” so to speak), it’s not really serving to give an impression of himself to his intended audience. I’m going to have to argue that Langan should be speaking less to the author of the original article and more to the internet audience reading it. Even if he’s directly replying to Beasley, the real purpose of having this published in the first place as opposed to private correspondence is to convince and persuade the readers of the original article and the replies to your side of the argument. Although Langan can make the case that Beasely’s argument was filled with ad hominem attacks, is a gross misunderstanding of his CTMU theory, and empty of any real substance, Langan should have been the better man and demonstrated to us, the readers, precisely what the misunderstandings are and to correct them so that we have a fair and justified view of his argument. So I do have to feel even somewhat slighted by Langan’s approach not to be civil and to present substantive arguments for his position for us.”

I disagree. I believe that Langan’s defence was completely justified. I believe this for a number of reasons.

1. It doesn’t seem to me that Langan’s defence was intended to be public. Note that it was not posted in the comments and that Tom explicitly stated he had “posted [it] in the interest of fairness.” Note that this also implies that it was not necessarily Langan’s aim to have it published.

2. Langan was motivated to make his defence forceful because he sees Tom as engaging in frankly unethical behaviour. Taken in conjunction with 1, it seems to me that Langan intended to inform Tom of this. I don’t think he was overly concerned with what anonymous users would think. It’s also possible that Langan saw Tom as being beyond quick salvation and gave up on him as a lost cause.

Of course, one would have to check with Langan to see what is really the case.

“I will also say that people accuse you, Anonymous, of being Langan precisely because you sound very much like him when he deigns to logically address his readers. Whether or not you are actually him, I cannot say with any certainty. You continue to say that Beasley could confirm that you do not have the same IP address as Langan, but Beasley has not done so, at least from what I’ve observed. You’re obviously an intelligent person, so I know that you know that even if you do not, in fact, have the same IP address, that doesn’t necessarily preclude you from being Langan himself.”

I will state that I am the same poster Anonymous from the Scientopia discussion. I understand that neither this nor my IP are absolute proof that I am not Langan; after all, I may be lying and using a proxy. I understand that the accusations that I am Langan have arisen because my style of writing is rather similar to his and because I support the CTMU. However, Langan is not the only person in the world who has a greater-than-average command of the English language and not the only person in the world who supports the CMTU. (Of course, these criteria are not mutually exclusive.) Moreover, it makes one wonder why Langan, who has commented under his own name on both this and the Scientopia discussion, would suddenly use a pseudonym, admit to using the same pseudonym in both discussions, and admit to making mistakes in at least one discussion, as I have done.

“I actually happened upon another internet article on Langan’s CTMU theory which followed the same formula: an ad hominem attack on Langan, Langan attacks in kind without addressing the deeper points, but with one exception. He seemed to touch upon at least a few of the actual arguments, and made an attempt to correct misunderstandings, in some of the subsequent comments. Even if I feel he could still do more, at least he did attempt to explain himself, so I’ll give him credit for that.”

Keep in mind that Langan’s replies were originally intended for Mark Carroll and not for anonymous commenters. As the commenters became more numerous, Langan replied to them on occasion, but he made it clear that it was not his intent to correct all their errors, and this he did not do. However, he corrected all the large errors of Mark’s thesis. It almost looks like the discussion will turn into a legal battle now, which is unfortunate. :/

“By the way, as a side note, Anonymous; I noticed in that other article in the comments, that you claim to be a Canadian high-school student. If that is true, I am very impressed, and you are a highly intelligent person and I wish you well in life with whatever career you wish to pursue. As a matter of curiosity, if I may ask, what is it you wish to do?”

Thank you. :) I wish to become a professor of mathematics. I understand that academia has many, many flaws, but I believe that it is still worth making change come to it from within, and this is what I plan on doing. As a professor of mathematics, aside from doing something that I would enjoy, I would be in a position of more than the average amount of respect at my university, given that the academics seen as most intellectual tend to be those working in the “purest” subjects. This would make it all the easier for me to get away with uncommon views apropos academia.

“But to make my final comments, while I have not read the CTMU yet, at least from what I have gathered about his theory, I have a similar conception of the universe and “god,” if you wish to call it that, though put much less formally and mathematically. I am aware that Langan, in responding to a question, mentioned that Alan Watts is essentially arguing what Langan is putting forth in his CTMU, and I know that I strongly agree with Watts, so by extension, I think I can agree with at least most of the arguments that Langan makes.
While I do consider myself to be quite intelligent, which I think I can say with some justification, I am not especially gifted in mathematics. At best, I’m above average compared to the general populace, though that’s not saying much. The point is I’m not exceptional in mathematics which means I don’t really cut it when attempting to comprehend particularly abstruse, high-level mathematical content, and hence I also lack the requisite knowledge of set theory to really be able to effectively evaluate Langan’s formally logical assertions in the CTMU.”

When it comes to mathematics, it is usually possible to become an opsimath, so don’t worry about your current mathematical background. I recommend that you read Langan’s 2002 paper if you choose to read about the CTMU. It can be found at http://www.megafoundation.org/CTMU/Articles/Langan_CTMU_092902.pdf. However, if you’d like a less mathematics-heavy approach to the same, Langan’s essays should suffice. These can all be found on http://www.ctmu.org, if one is willing to check out the links on the page.

“I will say this though; I find the idea of reincarnation, at least as traditionally understood, to be suspect. Matter and energy are neither created, nor destroyed, and I think I can agree that this would extend to information as well. What I would understand as your “self,” as a differentiated conscious being is essentially extinguished at death. That’s not to say that “you” don’t live on in a loose sense, but I think only in a different way than “you” experience life at the current moment. By that I take a monistic/pantheistic view of the self. As H.P. Owen said about pantheists, I “…believe that there is only one Being, and that all other forms of reality are either modes (or appearances) of it or identical with it.” I don’t think that this has any disagreement with Langan’s conception of reality, but if some feel there is, that’s more likely a possible imprecision in the way I worded it. I just hope I don’t need to explicate the point any more than I have, because I think that it is in accordance with Anonymous’ and Langan’s view and thus needs no further elaboration.”

Indeed, your position fits within the CTMU. The essay at http://www.megafoundation.org/CTMU/Articles/Time.html actually contains a discussion of the self that matches your opinion. This is to say that Langan is in accordance with you with respect to the idea that our experience of the self would not necessarily be retained after death.

It has been nice and refreshing to communicate with you.

1. Anonymous does indeed have a different IP than Langan. This is merely necessary and not sufficient to show strong evidence they are different people. Proxy is a very easy concept. But they do indeed have separate IPs and I am inclined to believe Anonymous is not Langan.

2. Langan complained in my original post bringing him up that his response did not have enough exposure. I then promised him that I would allow him room on the same level as me to broadcast his opinions. Langan was entirely aware he would have it republished as an article and even requested the exposure.

3. As for the ad hominem quality of my writing, please do look at how Langan responds to me in my initial article about him. Additionally, the tone of my initial article is due to his over-inflated ego and statements elsewhere on the internet in which he has the same abrasive tone. Langan attempts to drive the conversations deeper and deeper into ad hominem nonsense, to later call them out on using ad hominem against his theory. If you are unconvinced by what I have written, I fully encourage anyone to sit and read the CTMU. Both Langan and I would probably agree on this. Keep in mind my criticism of his language use when reading it, and you might come to realize that this is actually a substantive criticism due to his word games and needlessly complex language.

4. Also, I am well aware of his claims that he adheres to monism and not Cartesian dualism. I find this claim unconvincing and I am furthermore unconvinced that his paper tries to imply otherwise. Simply read the paper, Langan repeatedly works on many unproven or incorrect premises and as I said before his definitions, both of God and terms in his paper, are deceptive. Again, simply read the CTMU for yourself if I have not convinced you.

Chris Langan

Tom Beasley: “As for the ad hominem quality of my writing, please do look at how Langan responds to me in my initial article about him. Additionally, the tone of my initial article is due to his over-inflated ego and statements elsewhere on the internet in which he has the same abrasive tone. Langan attempts to drive the conversations deeper and deeper into ad hominem nonsense, to later call them out on using ad hominem against his theory.”

More ad hominem nonsense from Tom, whose original article and subsequent critique are full of it as well.

In a debate, the knowing use of counterproductive rhetorical tactics (deliberate sophistry, red herrings, straw men, ad hominem arguments, arguments from authority, lies, insults, defamation, and so on) designed to let the wrong party “steal” victory from the true winner, i.e. the rightful winner as determined with respect to content, can be likened to a rhetorical form of premeditated crime.

Given that almost everyone, at one time or another, has used specious or downright underhanded argumentation to get his or her way, one might think that trying to steal a debate isn’t really all that bad. But of course, that depends on the stakes, and the nature of that which is being argued.

If the argument is a spousal disagreement about what to wear to a dinner party, a little “creative argumentation” might be no big deal. But when the argument is about a logical theory of reality which offers the prospect, however slim it may appear, of helping mankind to understand the true nature of its reality, and it occurs in a public forum under the guise of rational analysis, it’s a bigger deal, and “crime” may be a more appropriate description for the use of underhanded debate tactics.

What of self-styled ideological watchdogs who think that a given idea, e.g. the CTMU, is so utterly wrong that it threatens to turn humanity *away* from a proper understanding of reality? Isn’t one justified in saying almost anything to stop this from happening, in the spirit of “the end justifies the means”?

The short answer is no. The only way to get to the bottom of this vast experience we call “reality” is through rational philosophical, mathematical, and scientific discussion unsullied by disruption, distraction, and reliance on dirty debate tactics. Anything else just muddies the water.

That’s why I took it amiss when Tom here, after promising to rationally critique my ideas, instead let fly with a faceful of snide ad hominem remarks masquerading as rational analysis. As explained, I discerned in this the rhetorical equivalent of premeditated crime. In fact, having previously been the target of snide ad hominem remarks from Tom, I saw not only criminality, but thoughtless recidivism.

Now, to deter crime, one does not let a criminal pretend that nobody is onto his game, so that he is lulled into the comforting belief that his theft will go unnoticed. Rather, one lets him know that he has been identified for what he is, and that his act of attempted theft will be clearly identified as such by all concerned … even if ensuring such an identification might be portrayed as “vicious”. It’s a simple preventative application of criminal psychology. Such an application is only rational on the part of any past victim of the criminal in question, especially where the audience may have trouble figuring things out for themselves.

Should I have ignored Tom’s rhetorical “criminality” and taken the opportunity to launch into a constructive CTMU lesson for the benefit of interested readers? Obviously not, without some assurance that this would not merely occasion more rhetorical criminality. Nobody is obliged to let something of value, and something he cares deeply about, be used as a target for inveterate mud slingers, especially when the resulting mud stains may deter others from developing a proper appreciation for it. Educationally speaking, providing unscrupulous people with defamatory opportunities can be worse than silence.

Tom Beasley: “If you are unconvinced by what I have written, I fully encourage anyone to sit and read the CTMU … my criticism of his language use […] is actually a substantive criticism due to his word games and needlessly complex language … I am well aware of his claims that he adheres to monism and not Cartesian dualism. I find this claim unconvincing and I am furthermore unconvinced that his paper tries to imply otherwise. Simply read the paper, Langan repeatedly works on many unproven or incorrect premises and as I said before his definitions, both of God and terms in his paper, are deceptive. Again, simply read the CTMU for yourself if I have not convinced you.”

Should anyone take Tom’s advice and read up on the theory, there are several things to bear in mind.

(1) The CTMU involves no assumptions. It relies on logic, mathematics, and the undeniable facts of cognition and perception. That’s the whole point of calling it a “supertautology”.

(2) The paper unequivocally embraces duality over (Cartesian) dualism.

(3) The language of the 2002 paper is not “needlessly complex”, but quite clear, with simple explanations, and sometimes even graphic illustrations, of key terms.

(4) My definitions of God, which vary in complexity but never in content, reflect various intuitive properties widely ascribed to God over the millennia.

(5) There is not a single iota of intentional deception in any paper I’ve ever written about the CTMU. (The way to prove otherwise would be to offer specific examples of deceptive statements, and show that deceptive intentions are necessarily implied.)

Have a good read.

Anonymous

1. Fair enough, and thanks for confirming that it is likely I am not Langan.

2. In that case, the only advice I can give you is that if you ever contact Langan again, you should attempt to be more polite. I suspect that he would follow suit.

3. As I see it, you made your first post regarding the CTMU because you felt cheated out of your first impressions of Langan once you had looked into his work. However, you did not specifically criticize this work, instead insulting Langan by making him out to be “a Deepak Chopra-esque megalomaniac”. Langan responded in suit, telling you to stop lying about his work on this blog.

You then posted a criticism of the CTMU, only one section of which dealt with the content of the theory. (Note that the language of and motive for the CTMU are not its content. Also note that your introduction does not concern the content of the CMTU and that your conclusion does not offer any evidence for your claims.) In the first paragraph of that section (“Substance”), you introduced your arguments.

In the second paragraph, you suggested that the CTMU is based on Intelligent Design theory, which is completely wrong. Your argument appears to be that Intelligent Design theory was mentioned in Langan’s 2002 paper.

In the third paragraph, you stated that dualism is a premise of the CTMU, which is also completely wrong. You did not back this up with an argument.

In the fourth paragraph, you stated that Langan’s views on souls contradict the relativity of morality. (Note that morality is not necessarily subjective and that you stated that it is. There is a difference between the diversity of beliefs in multifarious cultures and the non-existence of absolute truth regarding morality. However, this is beside my current point, and if you wish to discuss it further you may begin a formal debate with me at will.) You did not back the supposed relativity of morality up with a good argument, instead appealing to the relativity of the beliefs of different cultures.

In the fifth paragraph, you stated that the CTMU “is simply a theological attempt to prove the Christian God”. As you may now imagine, this is also false. However, you once again offered no good proof, instead coupling your argument with a passage that stated the CTMU renders “any anti-theological interpretation false”, which is true, because “anti-theological” interpretations are strictly interpretations contrary to a theological view. That is to say, they contradict the theological view and cannot be used in conjunction with it (as, e.g., naturalistic interpretations can).

Anyway, you wrote the criticism as if its content was absolutely true, and that outraged Langan even more, as he saw that it wasn’t. Langan noticed that you offered no proof for many of your claims, got most of your claims wrong, and believed yourself to be correct about all this. Moreover, he felt that you were being uncivil, and responded in suit, saying that he would not waste any more time on your blog, and thus he left.

This begs the question of whether his “eye for an eye” actions were justified. I still think they were. First of all, as he stated in the Scientopia discussion, Langan is working on making the CTMU more accessible to the public. Once his work is released, the qualms people have will probably disappear. However, for the time being, it is the case that it takes much longer to respond to a critique of the CTMU by answering all of its qualms, whether they are supported or not, than it does to make a shorter reply that tries to teach the author a lesson. Moreover, it should be noted that it was you who started the ad hominems, and even if you were motivated by Langan’s past replies to others who did not approve of the CTMU, it was typically them who were the first to use vitriol. On the other hand, if you were motivated by what you saw of Langan’s work, the vitriol you employed was utterly unjustified.

4. I have read the paper, Tom. For the record, I have arguably read almost all of Langan’s writings that are accessible online, even when they have consisted of (e.g.) mathematical work more closely related to economics than to the CTMU. It is perhaps your turn to be convinced. I thus wish to engage you in a formal debate regarding the CTMU, at your convenience.

Dark Bowser

Well, I must say that I am pleasantly surprised my comment has summoned both Tom Beasley and Chris Langan. Neither have responded in the comments for quite some time, so I did not expect to hear from them personally. But because I have three replies, there’s lot here for which I should respond.

“I disagree. I believe that Langan’s defence was completely justified. I believe this for a number of reasons.
1. It doesn’t seem to me that Langan’s defence was intended to be public. Note that it was not posted in the comments and that Tom explicitly stated he had “posted [it] in the interest of fairness.” Note that this also implies that it was not necessarily Langan’s aim to have it published.”

I imagined you would disagree, but I still stand by what I said. He was completely justified in defending himself, that much is agreed upon, but we do disagree by which means Langan employed to do so. I had been under the impression it was meant to be public, so that is the context in which my response stands. If it wasn’t actually intended to be a public response, then my comments are inapplicable. But Mr Beasely disputes your interpretation and Langan didn’t touch weigh in on that one way or the other, so in my next responses I will assume that it was meant to be public. Langan is free to disclose whether he intended it to be public or not, but if that is the case, it’s interesting to see just how fundamental of a misunderstanding there has been from the beginning of this.

“2. Langan was motivated to make his defence forceful because he sees Tom as engaging in frankly unethical behaviour. Taken in conjunction with 1, it seems to me that Langan intended to inform Tom of this. I don’t think he was overly concerned with what anonymous users would think. It’s also possible that Langan saw Tom as being beyond quick salvation and gave up on him as a lost cause.
Of course, one would have to check with Langan to see what is really the case.”

You have no disagreement from me that Tom was out of line but I don’t see this as merely a “forceful” defense; it became quite offensive as well.

“I will state that I am the same poster Anonymous from the Scientopia discussion. I understand that neither this nor my IP are absolute proof that I am not Langan; after all, I may be lying and using a proxy. I understand that the accusations that I am Langan have arisen because my style of writing is rather similar to his and because I support the CTMU. However, Langan is not the only person in the world who has a greater-than-average command of the English language and not the only person in the world who supports the CMTU. (Of course, these criteria are not mutually exclusive.) Moreover, it makes one wonder why Langan, who has commented under his own name on both this and the Scientopia discussion, would suddenly use a pseudonym, admit to using the same pseudonym in both discussions, and admit to making mistakes in at least one discussion, as I have done.”

Yes, I was quite certain you are the same Anonymous, and so that is why I addressed you as such. While proxy is one such method I alluded to, there is another simpler method Langan could use as well; merely using another computer would do the trick.

But indeed, that is a completely fair and valid point, and I really cannot imagine why Langan would assume a pseudonym if he still comments under his own name. But yes, it is because of your diction, your defense of the CTMU, and that you defend him very adamantly, never voicing a disagreement with Langan. That’s an interesting question though, I think; is there any point on which you would disagree with Langan?

“Keep in mind that Langan’s replies were originally intended for Mark Carroll and not for anonymous commenters. As the commenters became more numerous, Langan replied to them on occasion, but he made it clear that it was not his intent to correct all their errors, and this he did not do. However, he corrected all the large errors of Mark’s thesis. It almost looks like the discussion will turn into a legal battle now, which is unfortunate. :/”

A legal battle? It’s really that bad now? That is unfortunate What is the case, exactly? I did not read through all of the comments on that article because there were so many of them, most were quite long, and about the finer points of set theory and how it relates to the universe. As someone who is not even very familiar with set theory, as I have mentioned, due to my own ignorance of the topic and possible mathematical hebetude, I simply cannot wade through many pages full of criticisms of Langan’s use of naïve set theory; but actually that was a fundamental misunderstanding and Langan was arguing that point in the first place; then the distinction between sets and set theory and axioms’ place; and the fine philosophical point of whether the universe actually IS a set, or can merely be described AS a set, which is then just a useful abstraction to serve our understanding of the universe but has no real bearing on the “actual” universe, which seems very much like a Kantian issue to me. I don’t think I’m in a better position to evaluate whether or not the universe truly is a set, or if the universe can only be described as one, so that is when I stopped reading. I love philosophy and like to think that is my forte, but not so much on the mathematics, unfortunately.

“Thank you. I wish to become a professor of mathematics. I understand that academia has many, many flaws, but I believe that it is still worth making change come to it from within, and this is what I plan on doing. As a professor of mathematics, aside from doing something that I would enjoy, I would be in a position of more than the average amount of respect at my university, given that the academics seen as most intellectual tend to be those working in the “purest” subjects. This would make it all the easier for me to get away with uncommon views apropos academia.”

You are welcome, and I agree that academia is not everything, but it does have some uses. Many use academia merely for a career or self-aggrandizement, which is fine to a point, but I think it is better to also use it in your efforts to be an autodidact—learning is its own reward. You’re right that mathematics, especially pure mathematics, is highly prestigious, but I think you should be more concerned about if you enjoy it. It sounds like you do, so until that stops being the case, you should pursue that. I’m just a lowly psychology student, but I enjoy trying to understand why people behave in the ways they do, and to try to help them as I can. More specifically, I’m in educational psychology, the science of learning, among other things, which is a good match for me: I enjoy it. But on that note, your comment did remind me of a comic I read: http://xkcd.com/435/

“When it comes to mathematics, it is usually possible to become an opsimath, so don’t worry about your current mathematical background. I recommend that you read Langan’s 2002 paper if you choose to read about the CTMU. It can be found at http://www.megafoundation.org/CTMU/Articles/Langan_CTMU_092902.pdf. However, if you’d like a less mathematics-heavy approach to the same, Langan’s essays should suffice. These can all be found on http://www.ctmu.org, if one is willing to check out the links on the page.”

I’m actually familiar with that already: I even have the CTMU pdf downloaded. Why haven’t I read it already, you may ask? I figured I’d read through some other philosophy texts(not that I need to, it’s just simply choosing an order to read them), perhaps on some mathematics and physics(which I actually will need as background), and the fact that I’m juggling graduate school and reading more books than I should be at once, like Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine(or at least parts of it because it is a massive tome), Aristotle’s Politics, and Peter Watson’s The German Genius.

I do appreciate the use of that word “opsimath,” one I’ve never heard before, so I enjoy learning a new word. I also chuckled a bit because of the implication that I am an older individual.

“It has been nice and refreshing to communicate with you.”
Refreshing in what sense?

Now as for Beasley:
“3. As for the ad hominem quality of my writing, please do look at how Langan responds to me in my initial article about him. Additionally, the tone of my initial article is due to his over-inflated ego and statements elsewhere on the internet in which he has the same abrasive tone. Langan attempts to drive the conversations deeper and deeper into ad hominem nonsense, to later call them out on using ad hominem against his theory. If you are unconvinced by what I have written, I fully encourage anyone to sit and read the CTMU. Both Langan and I would probably agree on this. Keep in mind my criticism of his language use when reading it, and you might come to realize that this is actually a substantive criticism due to his word games and needlessly complex language.”

What I’m saying is that neither of you are justified in this behavior. As Gandhi said, the problem with this is “An-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye … ends in making everybody blind.” This isn’t ever really going to end, unless you two ignore each other completely, because you two will continue to feel justified to reply in kind. I can agree that the CTMU is written more complexly than it probably needed to be: I do think that the author should strive to state something as clearly and simply as possible without sacrificing truth and detail. I believe Anonymous stated, at some point, that a glossary of neologisms exists, but I don’t think it’s actually in the CTMU itself, and it would be useful to have. When Langan uses a neologism like, “syndiffeonesis” I can look it up just so that I am sure I know what the author means with a term like that. That being said, I have skimmed over parts of the CTMU, and while the abstract was dense, I don’t think there was anything I read that I could not understand. The set theory component, however, is likely to be an exception.

Finally, my response to Langan:
“Given that almost everyone, at one time or another, has used specious or downright underhanded argumentation to get his or her way, one might think that trying to steal a debate isn’t really all that bad. But of course, that depends on the stakes, and the nature of that which is being argued.”

Regardless of the stakes, I think civility is something that we should strive for, especially when the stakes are higher. Previous behavior does not necessarily justify future behavior if it can be shown to be harmful in some way.

“If the argument is a spousal disagreement about what to wear to a dinner party, a little “creative argumentation” might be no big deal. But when the argument is about a logical theory of reality which offers the prospect, however slim it may appear, of helping mankind to understand the true nature of its reality, and it occurs in a public forum under the guise of rational analysis, it’s a bigger deal, and “crime” may be a more appropriate description for the use of underhanded debate tactics.”

Even a spousal disagreement can have serious repercussions one’s life, commensurate to the severity with which the argument escalates, which is entirely why one should strive to maintain composure and just argue with the facts; not with emotions stemming from wounded pride. Depending on how it is done, and the severity with which it is produced, it can be harmful and perpetuating.

“What of self-styled ideological watchdogs who think that a given idea, e.g. the CTMU, is so utterly wrong that it threatens to turn humanity *away* from a proper understanding of reality? Isn’t one justified in saying almost anything to stop this from happening, in the spirit of “the end justifies the means”?

No, not at all. If your CTMU does reflect misunderstanding of reality, the way to correct it is through proper argumentation and relevant factual evidence, not through libel, because it is the facts and reasoning that are important in understanding “Truth.” This is why I criticized Beasely for not acting properly in his critique.

“The short answer is no. The only way to get to the bottom of this vast experience we call “reality” is through rational philosophical, mathematical, and scientific discussion unsullied by disruption, distraction, and reliance on dirty debate tactics. Anything else just muddies the water.”

Precisely: I am in full agreement, and that is essentially why I don’t agree with how you handled the situation either.

“Now, to deter crime, one does not let a criminal pretend that nobody is onto his game, so that he is lulled into the comforting belief that his theft will go unnoticed. Rather, one lets him know that he has been identified for what he is, and that his act of attempted theft will be clearly identified as such by all concerned … even if ensuring such an identification might be portrayed as “vicious”. It’s a simple preventative application of criminal psychology. Such an application is only rational on the part of any past victim of the criminal in question, especially where the audience may have trouble figuring things out for themselves.

Should I have ignored Tom’s rhetorical “criminality” and taken the opportunity to launch into a constructive CTMU lesson for the benefit of interested readers? Obviously not, without some assurance that this would not merely occasion more rhetorical criminality. Nobody is obliged to let something of value, and something he cares deeply about, be used as a target for inveterate mud slingers, especially when the resulting mud stains may deter others from developing a proper appreciation for it. Educationally speaking, providing unscrupulous people with defamatory opportunities can be worse than silence.”

The way you have framed the options, you can either call attention to it, or you can explicate the true arguments of the CTMU. But I have to emphatically disagree and I argue that these are not mutually exclusive options. You can call attention to Tom’s ad hominem attacks, the fact that they’re irrelevant in a proper argument/critique and have no place here, without also debasing yourself in the process. You yourself just finished saying that you should not sully yourself with “dirty debate tactics,” and I’d include logical fallacies in that category. This seems to be an either/or situation for you: either call attention to it and fight back in kind, OR you can actually address the content of the CTMU. I’ve stated multiple times you have a right to defend yourself, and that I think you could have handled the situation better where you did BOTH, but did not stoop to the same level. If you had politely conducted yourself and done what I just suggested, I think your behavior would have stood in stark contrast to Beasley’s, and it would have to be apparent that Beasely acted inappropriately. Unless you think that most of Beasley’s audience is ideological and will blindly support him in any situation. But even if that is so, consider the new site visitor who stumbles upon this and sees this. I doubt that he’ll be especially keen on reading the CTMU if he does not think much of the author’s behavior. But then again, perhaps you don’t care.

Langan seems to come off with two minds about the CTMU. On the one hand, he seems to have the attitude that if you do not possess the intelligence, vocabulary, and possible mathematical ability to fully comprehend the CTMU then that’s just too bad for you, and you have no business reading it in the first place. But at other times, Langan seems to identify more with the common man, and even if a wide gulf of intelligence may exist between him and the “average joe” on the street, he doesn’t necessarily hold it against them and is willing to help them out. On Langan’s site, there is a question from a man who somewhat self-deprecatingly says he is not particularly intelligent and does not possess anything above a high school education, and probably cannot understand Langan’s theories anyway. But instead of adopting an elitist attitude, Langan highlighted his own lack of formal education, as a means of letting the other man identify with him on some level, before explaining a few aspects of the theory. It’s just something interesting I’ve observed.

Despite my criticisms, on the whole at least, I even like Chris Langan. Whether or not he truly possesses an IQ of 190-210(of which I’m skeptical due to the fact that I think it’s well-nigh impossible to standardize and validate a test attempting to measure that extreme of a trait), he’s still obviously an intelligent guy, with some very interesting ideas, and I still think it’d be interesting to meet a man like Langan someday, although I imagine he’d decline even if there was such an opportunity, because it would be somewhat parasitic, in that I don’t have anything to offer him in return. But if I ever did have the opportunity to do so, I think it’d be a very interesting experience.

It must be awful for an atheist to realize one of the most intelligent guys in the world is a christian. somehow they have managed to convince u that “atheists r smarter than theist”, yet reality is cruel sometimes. This guy is smarter than u and that is a fact, not a belief. deal with it.
regards,
Sir Isaac Newton
(IQ: 190; Religion: Christian)

Phunbaba

He is not a Christian. He already stated elsewhere that he doesn’t belong to any religious group because “he can’t afford to let his logical approach to theology be prejudiced by religious dogma.” He’s no more a Christian than he is a Buddhist or Muslim or Pagan. Do you see him walking around with a bible in hand, preaching God’s Word? No, you don’t. And what does his intelligence have to do with anything? There are people with 190+ IQ’s who are atheists and there are people with 190+ IQ’s who are theists.

The Bible has already been thoroughly debunked and shown to be absurd anyways.
See: http://www.bibletrash.com/

By the way, the 190 IQ for Newton is an estimate, not an actual score. There’s no proof his IQ was that high or anywhere near that high as IQ tests didn’t exist at the time. There are people with higher IQ’s (and higher IQ estimates) who are atheists and non-Christians, like Kim-Ung Yong from South Korea, who is considered the smartest person in the world with an IQ of 210. Academics like Saul Kripke, Edward Witten, and Terrance Tao are all non-Christians and they are at least as smart as Langan. Ed Witten is considered the greatest physicists alive and the greatest physicists since Einstein (and perhaps even his successor) and he is an atheist.

Kim Ung-Yong
(IQ: 210; non-Christian, and the actual smartest person in the world).

Phunbaba

On a side note, it would be interesting to see how fast someone like Langan (or anyone with an IQ of 190+) can learn a new language if they seriously applied themselves and did nothing but study that one language all day long. Savant Daniel Tammet (whose IQ was measured at 155 or so) learned to speak Icelandic in only one week.

Anonymous

I feel that I should state my position with regards to continuing to comment on these debates. To put it simply, while the manners in which others respond to Langan’s work are of some interest to me, replying to everyone’s qualms, though it was my original goal, is time-consuming. I will thus condense my replies significantly.

Dark Bowser, in short, Langan has tried replying in a less aggressive manner to many others before Tom. He has not succeeded at convincing them so many times in the past, that he likely feels he should simply cut to the chase, point out that he’s caught them in the act of deceit, and leave it at that. Whatever the rest of the commenters think will likely be corrected sooner or later when he publicizes his work.

Phunbaba, psychometrics is not simple enough that one can assume, for example, that Kim Ung-Yong is absolutely smarter than Chris Langan, or that he is even usually considered to be smarter than Chris Langan. In fact, Kim’s result was recorded when (a) he was very young, and (b) IQ tests were not as accurate as they are today. It is worth noting that ratio IQ tests were still very popular for children at the time, and that these tests are inherently flawed because they cannot be used to accurately extrapolate IQ into the later years of the child’s life. You see, such tests rely on the formula IQ = 100 * mental age / chronological age, where the mental age is given by the test’s result. Thus, if a six-year-old scores as well as the average thirteen-year-old on such a test, the six-year-old would get an IQ score of about 217. This score will likely not be accurate when that child is (e.g.) twenty years of age, and while still typically corresponding to a high IQ would not necessarily correspond to one about eight standard deviations above average. Of course, there is the question of how well IQ correlates with pure intelligence as well, and I will not discuss that now.

If we are basing intelligence on the ability to come up with important, new ideas, then I don’t quite agree with your statement that, “…[Saul Kripke, Edward Witten, and Terence Tao] are at least as smart as Langan.” While Tao has performed well in mathematics competitions and written some fairly interesting and important papers, he has not done very much if any important work outside of pure mathematics. Similarly, Edward Witten has done work that is essential to superstring theory, but superstring theory necessarily has no logical basis without the CTMU, and does not suffice as a true TOE without a firm, metaphysical backing. Saul Kripke has done some philosophical work, but he has come nowhere near to creating a comprehensive, unifying philosophical framework.

As for language-learning ability, this does not necessarily have a high correlation with one’s fluid intelligence, but probably does correlate well with one’s memory span. From experience, I know that much of learning a language well comes from much memorization, and I suspect that this is easy for most people to see. However, being an extremely creative and intellectually capable individual does not necessarily give one all the powers of a hyperthymesic.

First of all, like some already pointed out the language of some of the posters above is very similar to that used by Langdan, (I am feeling a bit paranoid for saying this but: it also seems as if some of the phrasing is deliberately dumbed down, I say this since I see some unnatural inconsistencies, could just as well be poor imitators).

Anyway, I do research in Artificial Intelligence (in the evil Academia) and I can’t see how I could use this “theory”. When I read papers from computer scientists they are known for being less theoretical than papers in mathematics but compared to what I read in CTMU(?) they are extremely technical.

So, question: How is this related or rather in any way provide anything new for AI?

With all this said, I do consider Langdan to be a good rhetoric.

Anonymous

“First of all, like some already pointed out the language of some of the posters above is very similar to that used by Langdan,”

First of all, his name is “Langan”. Second of all, it is already possible for you to determine that it is at least unlikely that I am Langan. By the way, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a single instance in which Langan denied his identity outright.

“(I am feeling a bit paranoid for saying this but: it also seems as if some of the phrasing is deliberately dumbed down, I say this since I see some unnatural inconsistencies, could just as well be poor imitators).”

You offer no evidence.

“Anyway, I do research in Artificial Intelligence (in the evil Academia) and I can’t see how I could use this “theory”. When I read papers from computer scientists they are known for being less theoretical than papers in mathematics but compared to what I read in CTMU(?) they are extremely technical.”

I assume that you see more mathematical symbols in these paper than you have seen in the CTMU. Given that, you should keep in mind that the purpose of mathematical symbols is to condense a wealth of information. It is possible to write a mathematical paper without using mathematical symbols, but it is tedious. Thus, the relative sparsity of mathematical symbols in papers about the CTMU does not preclude the CTMU’s containing actual and useful mathematical content.

“So, question: How is this related or rather in any way provide anything new for AI?”

The CTMU sets definitive limits on computational systems, and shows that they necessarily give way to so-called “protocomputational” systems.

“With all this said, I do consider Langdan to be a good rhetoric.”

If you don’t consider him a good anything else, you probably haven’t taken close enough of a look at his work.

“Langdan” was an intentional misspell; I wanted to see the reaction, sorry about that.

Very true that it is possible to write something very mathematical without any mathematical symbols at all, but as you state, it would be extremely lengthy. If I read a paper concerning some narrow detail assuming that the reader already knows the subject very well a common article size is 30 pages.

You are again right that I have not taken a close enough look but what I read are mostly Ideas. Ideas are nice and we all have lots of them (perhaps Mr. Langans are much more sophisticated than the rest of us) but they are not of use if you are not able to write something concrete.

You are not a genius for inventing the teleporter (or the helicopter for that matter) just by thinking about a design and idea of implementation. Any kid can invent the teleporter. Ideas, even brilliant ones are abundant.

Again, I have not studied the text well enough but please give me one example of something concrete, a nice solution of an existing problem or even an idea of an solution to a future problem.

I am not being skeptical because the source is “non-standard” I am being it because my impression is that the text is not well written and does not seem to be of high quality. On the other hand, precisely this is what people are saying about Wolfram’s “New kind of science” so it does not imply that it is bad, but it does imply that you have to be much more careful…

Ok, so after actually reading the first part a bit deeper I can say that the whole “determinacy”-framework could be explained the same way using 18th century mathematics, i.e. nothing new there. Further I find basic ideas from control theory and dynamical systems modelling dominating the text.

After about ten pages of what I find to be difficult-to-understand-text that provided me with information I was somewhat familiar with but in an for me awkward framework I stopped reading and skimmed through the rest.

I am not a physicist and I do not know if there are some brilliant ideas in there and even though I would not say that I am an expert in the field, it is still my job to read papers like this all day. With this said, I hope for a comment from Langan, but I am a bit dissapointed for I had higher expectations…

On a side note, anonymous: you were not the poster I believed to possibly be the author of the paper.

Anonymous

“You are not a genius for inventing the teleporter (or the helicopter for that matter) just by thinking about a design and idea of implementation. Any kid can invent the teleporter. Ideas, even brilliant ones are abundant.”

It is one thing to propose a design for a teleporter and quite another to design a teleporter that would necessarily work thanks to the laws of the universe. Note that if one were able to plan a teleporter that would necessarily work, one would not actually have to build the teleporter to have created something truly incredible, and I doubt that “any kid” is capable of this. By the way, Langan’s work is more along the lines of a mathematical proof than a blueprint for a teleporter.

“Again, I have not studied the text well enough but please give me one example of something concrete, a nice solution of an existing problem or even an idea of an solution to a future problem.”

http://www.megafoundation.org/CTMU/Articles/Supernova.html. This is a link to an article Langan wrote that points out the applications of the CTMU to solving various paradoxes of modern physics.

“Ok, so after actually reading the first part a bit deeper I can say that the whole ‘determinacy’-framework could be explained the same way using 18th century mathematics, i.e. nothing new there. Further I find basic ideas from control theory and dynamical systems modelling dominating the text.”

First of all, you haven’t given any explicit examples. Second of all, you are claiming that because an idea can be described in terms of old ideas, the idea is itself not new. Your statement is like saying that because tensors can be represented as matrices, General Relativity was not a new development

“On a side note, anonymous: you were not the poster I believed to possibly be the author of the paper.”

Were you perhaps talking about the poster “Chris Langan”? I wonder what parts of his phrasing seemed “deliberately dumbed down” to you.
.

Anonymous

By the way, the IP of the poster “Chris Langan” has been traced to the area where Langan actually lives. On this [http://anamericanatheist.org/2011/02/07/2011/] page, Tom Beasley wrote, “I can only assert that the IP address posting under his name is from the area in which Chris Langan actually lives.”

Dr. L

I must say after some deeper reading that I am a bit embarrassed now. I assume that the document is some sophisticated joke from Langans side.

Nice trolling from both of you!

Phunbaba

Anonymous wrote: “psychometrics is not simple enough that one can assume, for example, that Kim Ung-Yong is absolutely smarter than Chris Langan, or that he is even usually considered to be smarter than Chris Langan. In fact, Kim’s result was recorded when (a) he was very young”

The 210 IQ is actually what his ADULT IQ is estimated to be. “Testers have only been able to estimate the IQ of Kim Ung-Yong, who was born in Seoul, Korea, on March 7, 1963. His IQ has been placed at exceeding 200. He was fluent in Japanese, Korean, German, and English by his fourth birthday. At four years, eight months he solved complicated calculus problems on Japanese TV. He is considered to be the most brilliant person alive.” – quote taken from the book The Best, Worst, & Most Unusual: Noteworthy Achievements, Events, Feats & Blunders of Every Conceivable Kind by Bruce Felton & Mark Fowler

An IQ test alone can’t necessarily determine who is smarter but Kim Ung-Yong was speaking at 3 or 4 months and reading by the age of 1. Chris Langan didn’t start speaking until 6 or 7 months and he wasn’t reading until the age of 2 or 3. In addition to speaking and reading far earlier than Langan, Kim Ung-Yong was also reading in 4 languages when he was 2 or 3 years old. Langan was just barely starting to read by then. Obviously Kim Ung-Yong was way more precocious so a 210 adult IQ estimate for him is perfectly reasonable. He is actually one of the most precocious prodigies in recorded history. He was far more precocious than Langan and even more precocious than William Sidis, who was also more precocious than Langan.

Other former child prodigies still alive today, such as Gregory R. Smith and Michael Kearney, also started speaking at the age of 3 or 4 months and were reading by the age of 1. The thing is the vast majority of people have never taken an IQ test so we don’t know just how many people would score as high or higher than Langan. Many people alive today are unaware of just how high their IQ’s are, just as Langan was before he took a test. If everyone on the entire planet took an IQ test, there would probably be at least a dozen people with higher IQ’s than Langan.

“If we are basing intelligence on the ability to come up with important, new ideas, then I don’t quite agree with your statement that, “…[Saul Kripke, Edward Witten, and Terence Tao] are at least as smart as Langan.”

Intelligence isn’t just the ability to come up with important, new ideas. Even if it was, there would still be people as smart or smarter than Langan. Intelligence encompasses many things and no matter what definition of intelligence you want to use, there are still going to be people smarter. Whether or not Langan’s ideas are as important or more imporant than the ideas of other geniuses is debatable.

Saul Kripke has done “some” philosophical work? He has contributed to the areas of mathematical logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of mathematics, metaphysics, epistemology, set theory and his complete collected works comprise over 10,000+ pages. Most of his work is unpublished so we have no idea just how important his ideas are. He’s considered one of the greatest philosophers and logicians alive and one of the greatest of the past 200 years. He revolutionized philosophy when he was still in his early 30’s. From what I have read of him, he did seem more precocious than Langan as a child, both mathematically and philosophically. He was already reading the works of Descartes while still in elementary school and he mastered college level mathematics at around the same time. He wrote a paper on modal logic at the age of 17 and it was so good that it was published in The Journal of Symbolic Logic. Professors at Harvard got a hold of it and actually invited him to come teach classes there…at the age of 17. Like Langan, he didn’t learn much in college because he was already so advanced by the time he entered but he stuck around anyways so he could get his degree. He was also teaching courses in advanced logic at MIT while still an undergraduate. I’d say he’s at least as smart as Langan and possibly slightly smarter.

It doesn’t matter if he hasn’t come up with a “unifying philosophical framework”, he already contributed a lot to many areas of philosophy including the philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, mathematical logic, epistemology, set theory, etc.

Same thing goes for Ed Witten. He has over 300 publications comprising thousands and thousands of pages. Many of his collegues have compared him to Einstein and one of them said, “a genius like Witten only comes along once in a hundred years.” Some are calling him the greatest physicist ever, even greater than Einstein. Some of his papers are so complicated that even Nobel Prize Winning Physicists don’t understand them.

Go try reading some of them:
http://arxiv.org/find/all/1/au:+Witten_Edward/0/1/0/all/0/1
They are far, far more technical and complicated than the CTMU.

I’m sure Chris Langan is a genius and probably ONE of the smartest people in the world but let’s not get carried away here, there are people smarter than him. There’s always someone smarter, and Saul Kripke and Ed Witten are probably two of those people. Gregory R. Smith and Michael Kearney are also probably two of those people.

As for Terence Tao, I don’t know that much about him so I can’t really comment but he did teach himself to read before the age of 2 so he was also far more precocious than Langan. He doesn’t need to do any work outside of mathematics. That has nothing to do with his intelligence. He is one of the top mathematicians in the world so it’s ridiculous to try to diminish his status with comments like “he has not done very much if any important work outside of pure mathematics.” He has around 200 published papers and he has won over a dozen math awards including a Field’s Medal so there’s no doubting his genius.

Maybe Chris Langan is a great genius and will be recognized as such in the future, but maybe not. We won’t know how he compares to other geniuses for a long time. But as things are right now, Kirpke, Witten, and Tao would all have to qualify as being greater geniuses than Langan. And so would many other people alive today.

“Saul Kripke has done some philosophical work, but he has come nowhere near to creating a comprehensive, unifying philosophical framework.”

And Chris Langan has come nowhere near to contributing as much to many of the areas that Saul Kripke has. Like I said, 10,000+ pages in the areas of logic, epistemology, set theory, philosophy of language, mind, and math, and much more. He made important contributions to modal logic while still a teenager and he revolutionized the philosophy of language while still in his early 30’s. A 56-page paper by Langan just doesn’t cut it to qualify him as one of the greatest thinkers or geniuses of the past 200 years, let alone one of the greatest geniuses ever. Unless he has many other pages of unpublished writings and contributions, I don’t see how anyone can compare him to the likes of Witten, Kripke, or any number of other geniuses throughout history.

“As for language-learning ability, this does not necessarily have a high correlation with one’s fluid intelligence, but probably does correlate well with one’s memory span.”

Yeah but Chris Langan already stated in an interview years ago that he could “memorize pages of material with ease” when he was in school. Also, in another interview he stated that he can still remember things from all the way back to when he was still a baby…which is strange when you think about it because in that video interview he said he couldn’t remember what he had written on that piece of paper that he lost just a few minutes before.

Reading about histories smartest child prodigies, it seems like most of them did pick up languages really fast. If he can “memorize pages of material with ease” and remember back to when he was a baby then he obviously has a very powerful memory and should have no problem mastering a language in a short amount of time.

Anonymous

“I must say after some deeper reading that I am a bit embarrassed now. I assume that the document is some sophisticated joke from Langans side.

Nice trolling from both of you!”

Way to turn this argument to ad hominems, Dr. L. By the way, I’ve noticed that your username no longer links to a website. Can you explain why this is?

Phunbaba, I was about halfway through a longer response when my browser crashed. This has rather demotivated me, so I will try to boil my response down to its essentials. My attempt follows.

1. The research of modern mathematicians and scientists is extremely specialized. Graduate school tends to prepare one to become extremely proficient in one particular topic, and this is the pattern among many top physicists and pure mathematicians of our day in particular. However, giftedness tends to manifest itself as a capability to use a top-down approach; that is, as a capability to see the big picture and *then* expand upon the depths of its details. It is entirely possible to write a paper on the expression of the Schwarzschild metric in superstring theory, and such a paper would likely utilize many important mathematical details, but it is again one thing to grasp the details and quite another to grasp the direction in which the theory as a whole is moving. Sadly, I must say that it appears rather a challenge for these professionals to examine their theories rigorously on a deep, logical basis before simply attempting to empirically test them if it’s even possible to do so.

2. I question what you mean by “smartest” in this discussion. You repeatedly make comments which imply that doing basic tasks at a young age makes one exceptionally intelligent even in adulthood. The facts are that (a) many of the successes attributed to prodigies at an early age are very difficult to verify, (b) the speed of one’s learning hardly correlates with the general intelligence factor, g, and (c) if one is financially disadvantaged, one is more or less on one’s own for most of one’s education, which was never the case for most top academics of today.

3. You also seem to believe that quantity of work automatically overrides quality of work. You can give me thousands of papers by Kripke discussing the relations between languages and truth predicates, or you can give me one paper by Langan proving the existence of God, and I will consistently pick the one by Langan, not because I am irrationally biased towards his work, but because such work inherently has enormously important consequences for the state of our philosophy and our affairs in the world.

4. There is a difference between attempting to memorize something and not attempting to memorize something. I find it entirely believable that Langan could memorize much information when he tried, but could forget an important idea when he was not actively memorizing it as he worked. After all, as I alluded to earlier, hyperthymesia does not make one a genius nor is it a characteristic of geniuses.

Well the reason there is no website is because I did not enter it.

The way I see it there are two possibilities:
Either you are joking with me and I don’t understand it,
or you are not joking and you don’t understand it.

“Well the reason there is no website is because I did not enter it.”

Fair enough.

“The way I see it there are two possibilities:
Either you are joking with me and I don’t understand it,
or you are not joking and you don’t understand it.”

Saying that my arguments aren’t worth your time doesn’t cut it unless you end up with something to show for yourself.

Phunbaba

1) “However, giftedness tends to manifest itself as a capability to use a top-down approach; that is, as a capability to see the big picture and *then* expand upon the depths of its details.” – Giftedness also manifests itself as the ability to master and contribute to multiple areas. Saul Kripke has not only contributed to many areas of philosophy but he has also contributed to mathematics as well. Ed Witten has also contributed a lot to both physics and mathematics. He’s the only physicist ever to win a Fields Medal. He’s primarily a physicist but his mathematical abilities are matched by very few, so in a way he’s like the Isaac Newton of our generation. This would qualify both Wittten and Kripke as more more gifted and well rounded geniuses than Langan. I’m sure they get the big picture far better than most people can.

2) “You repeatedly make comments which imply that doing basic tasks at a young age makes one exceptionally intelligent even in adulthood” – Most of these people are exceptionally intelligent, even in adulthood. Even the ones like William Sidis, who don’t amount to much, are exceptinally intelligent in adulthood. You can’t say that Terence Tao, Kim Ung-Yong or Saul Kripke are not exceptionally intelligent people. They are some of the smartest people in the world, even now. Someone could say that that Langan hasn’t been that intelligent in adulthood for working as a bar bouncer for so many years, endangering his life for so long for so little. Bar bouncing is one of the more dangerous jobs you could have. I’m not going to bash all of his job choices because he did once work as a firefighter which is a very honorable job, but it just doesn’t seem smart to risk your life and brain power for so little in return. He could have gotten paid a lot more money doing warehouse work which is much easier and far less dangerous than bar bouncing.

To point(s) (a)1: Many of these claims have been verified by the people around them. Gregory R. Smith was speaking at 3 months. Both his parents testify to this and so do many other people around him at the time. You think all these people are lying? Michael Kearney was reading before the age of 1 – far, far earlier than Langan, and this has also been verified by his parents and the people around him. They have pictures and videos of him reading at 1 year old, so these things are actually not hard to verify. The same things are true of many other prodigies. Reading at the age of 3 is not unusual for a prodigy but reading before the age of 2 is highly unusual.

Chris Langan was a child prodigy but he would not be exceptional among child prodigies. People like Gregory R Smith, Michael Kearney, Marnen Laibow Koser, Merill Kenneth Wolfe, Thomas Young, William Sidis, John Barratier, William Rowan Hamilton, Saul Kripke, and many, many others were all more precocious than Langan as children and smarter as adults.

(a)2: If you are going to make the claim that the accomplishments of child prodigies are unverified then someone could turn around and also make the claim that Langan’s 190+ IQ claim is unverifiable because when he first took the mega test (under the psuedonym Eric Hart) he actually got 42 out of 48 right which is equal to a 174 IQ – a score found in about 1 in 500,000 – 1 in 1,000,000. There are thousands of people alive today who would score higher than that. Many people have scored higher on their first attempt. The politician John Sununu got more questions right on his first try.

3) The work by Kirpke and Witten is quality work. It’s both QUANTITY & QUALITY. That’s why they are considered some of the greatest in their field. If you think the work of Kripke or Witten isn’t quality work, then I don’t know what to tell you. There’s a reason they are at the top of their field and respected so much by others in their field and it ain’t just because of the quantity of their work. And you are also assuming that Langan’s CTMU proves the existence of god. You don’t know that for sure. At this point in time, Langan’s work doesn’t even come close to being as important as Kripke’s or Witten’s. The entire physics/philosophical community would agree with that, so your claim of Langan’s work being more important just doesn’t have any weight.

Chris Langan’s work may be quality, but it doesn’t seem to be both quality AND quantity like Witten’s, Kripke’s, and some others. That’s the difference between them. If we go by that then Witten and Kripke would have to qualify as being greater geniuses than Langan since they have both quantity and quality.

Here are some comments about Saul Kripke’s work from some of the world’s leading philosophers.

“A new collection of articles by Saul Kripke is a major event. The older papers are classics, and the newer papers are fascinating. There is an enormous amount of substantial, creative, and insightful philosophy throughout.” –David Chalmers, Australian National University and New York University

“The philosophical world has been waiting for a long time for this volume from one of its greatest thinkers. Several of these classic papers revolutionized a number of fields in philosophy, in some cases even without having been previously published. They are available here for the first time in authoritative versions prepared for publication, alongside other justly famous essays. Simply a ‘must-have’ of analytic philosophy.” –Paul Boghossian, New York University

“Everything Saul Kripke has written is first-rate. Most of it is brilliant. Some of it has been field-changing. Naming and Necessity has a good chance of finding a place in the permanent canon of the history of philosophy. So anything else that Kripke publishes will very likely draw long-term interest. Any serious student of philosophy of language, philosophy of logic, philosophy of mind, or epistemology should read and reread Kripke’s work, including these papers.” –Paul Boghossian, University of California, Los Angeles

“Saul Kripke’s work has significantly changed the way we look at fundamental philosophical problems today. Naming and Necessity helped to shatter a centuries-old consensus on the nature of the fundamental semantical concepts of connotation and reference, as well as challenging received ideas about necessity and contingency. This collection of articles is more than welcome; it is something every philosopher will want to own.” –Hilary Putnam, Harvard University

“A great deal of this work is new-that is, not the classic canonical Saul Kripke everyone already knows about. True, some of it had been circulating in samizdat form. But more often it was just the ideas that were circulating, and whether for broken telephone
reasons, or because the ideas have been evolving, they are oftentimes different (and more challenging) than previously reported. Throughout one finds the trademark Kripkean combination of shining insights with an open-mindedness about what is ultimately to be made of them.” –Stephen Yablo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“I have learned more from Saul Kripke than from any other philosopher of our time.” –David Kaplan, University of California, Los Angeles

Similar things have been said of Ed Witten. Now can you find similar things said of Langan and his work?

If Langan’s papers don’t prove the existence of God then he is seriously screwed because that will mean he has neither quality nor quantity.

“…but because such work inherently has enormously important consequences for the state of our philosophy and our affairs in the world.” – Langan’s CTMU doesn’t seem to be changing the state of anything in this world. The world was no different before the CTMU and it probably won’t be any different after.

4) Why would someone not attempt to memorize something so important that he had written on a piece of paper just minutes or seconds before? People have a much easier time remembering what is important to them. If it was so important then it shouldn’t have been too hard to remember. A really good memory doesn’t make one a genius but most geniuses do have extraordinary memories, much better than
average. Read about Euler, Laplace, von Neumann, Pascal, Gauss, Ampere, Poincare, Thomas Young, ect. All some of the greatest geniuses ever, and all with near-photographic memories. If Langan can “memorize pages with ease” like he claimed, he wouldn’t need to work hard at remembering something, especially if it was so important.

Anonymous

“Giftedness also manifests itself as the ability to master and contribute to multiple areas. Saul Kripke has not only contributed to many areas of philosophy but he has also contributed to mathematics as well. Ed Witten has also contributed a lot to both physics and mathematics. He’s the only physicist ever to win a Fields Medal. He’s primarily a physicist but his mathematical abilities are matched by very few, so in a way he’s like the Isaac Newton of our generation. This would qualify both Wittten and Kripke as more more gifted and well rounded geniuses than Langan. I’m sure they get the big picture far better than most people can.”

Yet neither of them have built a logical framework that facilitates the resolution of any logical paradox like Langan has. Apparently the big picture still escapes them and they are relegated to work on far less important and general problems. As for well-roundedness, Langan has demonstrated exceptional ability in various fields including mathematics, the hard sciences, and economics aside from philosophy. It’s hard to say that Witten and Kripke would do as well were they outside the academic loop, and given the extensive list of academic footnotes in (e.g.) Witten’s work, it is likely that they wouldn’t.

“Most of these people are exceptionally intelligent, even in adulthood. Even the ones like William Sidis, who don’t amount to much, are exceptinally intelligent in adulthood. You can’t say that Terence Tao, Kim Ung-Yong or Saul Kripke are not exceptionally intelligent people. They are some of the smartest people in the world, even now. Someone could say that that Langan hasn’t been that intelligent in adulthood for working as a bar bouncer for so many years, endangering his life for so long for so little. Bar bouncing is one of the more dangerous jobs you could have. I’m not going to bash all of his job choices because he did once work as a firefighter which is a very honorable job, but it just doesn’t seem smart to risk your life and brain power for so little in return. He could have gotten paid a lot more money doing warehouse work which is much easier and far less dangerous than bar bouncing.”

The ability to go through graduate school, read academic papers using one’s knowledge from graduate school, and write similar papers about isolated topics that lead at most to a minor innovation is not as impressive as the ability to come up with a framework for the resolution of all such problems with no formal education. Moreover, when Langan says he fell into that line of work, he means it. When one is at a significant financial disadvantage like Langan was, one takes whatever work one can just to get by. Given the choice, Langan always chose to work at safer locations, but beggars simply can’t be choosers in most such situations.

“To point(s) (a)1: Many of these claims have been verified by the people around them. Gregory R. Smith was speaking at 3 months. Both his parents testify to this and so do many other people around him at the time. You think all these people are lying? Michael Kearney was reading before the age of 1 – far, far earlier than Langan, and this has also been verified by his parents and the people around him. They have pictures and videos of him reading at 1 year old, so these things are actually not hard to verify. The same things are true of many other prodigies. Reading at the age of 3 is not unusual for a prodigy but reading before the age of 2 is highly unusual.”

And neither of these prodigies has shown himself to be capable of the intellectual work Langan tackles. Moreover, I request a source for the Kearney videos and pictures, if you have one. I also request a source for the Greg Smith verification.

“(a)2: If you are going to make the claim that the accomplishments of child prodigies are unverified then someone could turn around and also make the claim that Langan’s 190+ IQ claim is unverifiable because when he first took the mega test (under the psuedonym Eric Hart) he actually got 42 out of 48 right which is equal to a 174 IQ – a score found in about 1 in 500,000 – 1 in 1,000,000. There are thousands of people alive today who would score higher than that. Many people have scored higher on their first attempt. The politician John Sununu got more questions right on his first try.”

1. If the Mega Test was truly as difficult as it claims, repeat attempts, which were allowed by its creator, would not be ‘cheating’ whatsoever and would in fact confer no advantage on the testee. This is because consulting others would be *extremely* impractical for the obvious reason and because mass sources of data were not yet available to assist individuals. Moreover, the test was untimed and unsupervised as well as allowing of the use of books.

2. When Langan first took the Test, the norms were set so that the score he aimed for, being short on time, and received qualified him for entrance to the Mega Society. However, between his application and its receiving, the norms were changed so that it no longer would. Many people took the test again for this reason.

3. Given this information and the existence of the necessary records, Langan’s scores are completely verifiable. Moreover, there is video footage of him writing the WAIS and there are records of his SAT scores. When one looks at the correlations, one gets the claimed scores for Langan.

“3) The work by Kirpke and Witten is quality work. It’s both QUANTITY & QUALITY. That’s why they are considered some of the greatest in their field. If you think the work of Kripke or Witten isn’t quality work, then I don’t know what to tell you. There’s a reason they are at the top of their field and respected so much by others in their field and it ain’t just because of the quantity of their work. And you are also assuming that Langan’s CTMU proves the existence of god. You don’t know that for sure. At this point in time, Langan’s work doesn’t even come close to being as important as Kripke’s or Witten’s. The entire physics/philosophical community would agree with that, so your claim of Langan’s work being more important just doesn’t have any weight.”

Actually, I *am* sure of my claims regarding the CTMU. Given that those are in fact true, the CTMU beats the work of Witten and Kripke in terms of importance by far.

“Here are some comments about Saul Kripke’s work from some of the world’s leading philosophers.”

They’re hardly the “world’s leading philosophers” given that they too have come up with nothing as important as Langan’s work.

“Langan’s CTMU doesn’t seem to be changing the state of anything in this world. The world was no different before the CTMU and it probably won’t be any different after.”

Come now; everything real changes the world.

“4) Why would someone not attempt to memorize something so important that he had written on a piece of paper just minutes or seconds before? People have a much easier time remembering what is important to them. If it was so important then it shouldn’t have been too hard to remember. A really good memory doesn’t make one a genius but most geniuses do have extraordinary memories, much better than
average. Read about Euler, Laplace, von Neumann, Pascal, Gauss, Ampere, Poincare, Thomas Young, ect. All some of the greatest geniuses ever, and all with near-photographic memories. If Langan can “memorize pages with ease” like he claimed, he wouldn’t need to work hard at remembering something, especially if it was so important.”

I suspect that the only sources you’ll be able to find for your claims regarding the capacity for memory that those historical figures possessed will be anecdotal. Langan’s memory has been verified thanks to tests like the WAIS. You’re also raising many assumptions. You are assuming that Langan didn’t often come up with such work, and thus cared for it exceptionally, and that the fight that broke out was not time-consuming or extremely distracting. It is also possible that his work was extremely detailed and that he forgot far too many of these details in the brawl to make use of his new idea.

JIM

This is too funny. Someones got to be right or wrong and no one will ever conceed. Now i know I’m just some dope from nowhereville PA but does it matter. Language is what seperates us from them… whoever they are and you guys are just arguing language. I can’t speak spanish but it exhists for others to communicate effectively with one another. Does Mr. Langan language exhist? I can’t say it does for me but I can say it does for someone. The only reason I know 1+1=2 is because I was told it does by someone else. I’m only writing this to say “Is it possible?” And if it is I believe Chris has come as close as ever to really accepting the POSSIBILITIES of a God that put things in motion and is minimally invasive with His test subjects. Who cares who gets the credit for the discovery of God. Is it really outside the realm of my IQ. Don’t know that either but I am willing to learn about new and dangerous territories that none of us can even fathom. The old saying take what we KNOW and compare it to what we don’t and we all sound like toddlers arguing with their parents.

Anonymous

“Language is what seperates us from them… whoever they are and you guys are just arguing language.”

If you mean that we are arguing “language” because reality is a language, you are arguably correct, but I presume you are actually claiming that the whole argument is a matter of semantics, which is far from the truth.

“Does Mr. Langan language exhist? I can’t say it does for me but I can say it does for someone. The only reason I know 1+1=2 is because I was told it does by someone else.”

This sounds like logical relativism, which is self-contradictory from Jump Street.

Joseph Kemp

I have read several of Chris Langan’s papers on the CTMU. Remarkable.

It is mainly a philosophy theory. Not a physics theory. Physicists who read it tend to have problems with the terminology. Many of the terms are grounded in philosophy/logic, and are foreign to physics.

If you are not a philosopher, you will not understand Chris Langan. End of story. I began reading his theory expecting it to be nonsense. Highly intelligent drivel, from someone who had taken a very basic wrong turn.
It wasn’t that at all.

I have to say that Chris Langan seems to be very significant philosopher of language. He is EXTRAORDINARILY well versed in the literature. Even difficult philosophers, like W.V.O Quine, which many people tend to avoid, seem to be precisely understood by Langan. He summarizes Quine’s work very effectively. And using the Quine-Duhem Thesis (that no theory can be tested in isolation) as one of the foundations of the CTMU is a stroke of genius. You can read of the Thesis here, if you like – one of the simpler parts of the equation:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duhem%E2%80%93Quine_thesis

The CTMU is a THEORY. A POSSIBLE way of describing the universe. Langan’s idea to use a series of tautologies (self-contained, self-descriptive statements) to do this is very clever. What a wonderfully simple idea. And quite unique, to my knowledge.

I am completely shocked at Langan’s comprehensive grasp of philosophical reasoning. It is vast indeed. Even many seasoned philosophers have trouble with Quine and other philosophers that Langan mentions. But Langan seems to comprehend them with remarkable precision. This cannot have been easy to do. I have yet to find a single mistake in Langan’s reasoning. It is powerfully precise.

And ANONYMOUS summarized the theory quite nicely indeed:

“Cognition is fundamentally information processing, and reality cannot verily be accused of not processing information. For this reason, reality has properties akin to a mind, and by dint of this it is termed “God” in the CTMU.”

Langan is merely referring to what can be known rationally. His description of the universe requires logic, very much like that which occurs in thought. Reality exhibits properties of thinking. It functions like a mind. The description of it requires much of the same logic that occurs in thinking. Langan refers to this logic as a direct access to the mind of God. It cannot be shown physically. But it can be shown logically.

This is a remarkable achievement. Langan is only referring to “God” as that which he can reason about from the evidence and from logic itself. Whether this is the Judeo-Christian God is not shown by the theory. This is only rational. Belief in such a God requires faith. Langan is only interested what is rationally available to everyone.

Also, I am interested in who Anonymous is. Anonymous sounds astonishingly knowledgeable, too. Not only in philosophy, but in physics. (He/she quoted Langan on “degrees of freedom,” for example, a remarkably intricate physics detail, which can be seen here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrees_of_freedom_(physics_and_chemistry)

Such erudition is quite extraordinary. I consider myself a very unusual thinker. It is very strange to find other people who happen to think as I do. This has never happened before. I am most certainly not trying to sound arrogant or superior. When progressing into the higher regions of thought, such congruence is very odd indeed.

Anonymous

I am happy that you appreciate the CTMU, Joseph. If you are honestly interested in discussing the CTMU or other topics with me, you can contact me at ctmu.debater@gmail.com.

WhoIsAnonymous

Jason Young? Characteristic acerbity and obvious brilliance suggests so. Kudos Anonymous, whoever you are. Masterful display!

Anonymous

No, I am not Jason Young. Thank you though!

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Michael

Hey ! This is directed at Joseph Kemp and or anonymous. While I haven’t read through the entire discussion board, (it seems like most of it had nothing to do with details of the theory itself) id like to ask you guys a question. Ive just started reading the ctmu and I must say, although Im not versed in the details , I have really enjoyed it thus far ! I’ve been spending day and night researching the background of the things he mentions, and its really been a wonderful, stimulating process. I feel that there is an intuitive understanding to what I’ve read thus far, and its wonderful, and now Im doing my best to fill in the logistics of his theory. the large ideas of his theory are extremely in line with how i myself view reality, such as his theory on Unbound Telesis (UBT), Hology, reality principle, etc. However I ran by a line on page 12, first paragraph, that reads “Some Additional Principles
Although insights regarding the ideal and/or perceptual basis of reality go back millennia, we may as well start with some their more recent proponents for the sake of continuity. First, Descartes posited that reality is mental in the sense of rationalism, but contradicted his own thesis by introducing mind-body dualism, the notion that mind and matter are irreducibly separate. The empiricist Berkeley then said that reality is perceptual in nature, a kind of intersect of mind and matter. This can be seen by mentally subtracting perception from one’s conception of reality; what remains is pure subjective cognition, but without any objective grist for the perceptual mill. (Although attempts to cognitively subtract cognition from reality are far more common, they are a bit like trying to show that a sponge is not inherently wet while immersing it in water, and can never be successful on the parts of cognitive entities.)”

In regards to the last line , when he says, “This can be seen by mentally subtracting perception from one’s conception of reality; what remains is pure subjective cognition, but without any objective grist for the perceptual mill. “, if i generalize it and “say this can be seen by practicing pure awareness, allowing yourself to observe something without labeling it” id be referring to a meditative practice that i practice, as well as many others, and have found to be an extremely spiritually gratifying experience, one that IS possible, and some have found ways to integrate over long periods of time. he say’s, “(Although attempts to cognitively subtract cognition from reality are far more common, they are a bit like trying to show that a sponge is not inherently wet while immersing it in water, and can never be successful on the parts of cognitive entities.)”, it sounds that he acknowledges this practice but says it isn’t possible. is he saying the practice of non-labeling itself isn’t possible ? i know that the practice is possible from my own experience. You two seem very open to what the theory is actually trying to convey, and as something of which has given me great joy to read, and has paralleled to so many of my own ideas, i hope to understand this line, as well as the material more. thank you guys for any input you can give me, much appreciated ! !

are people still talking?

proof by verbosity/ intimidation… vs lazy minds… who is correct? the burdin is in the hands of CTMU advocates to illuminate the difficult to grasp verbiage. or is it that the ideas of “god” presented are too opposed to the critics held beliefes that it is refuted from an emotional stance?

Anonymous

Hey, Michael! I’m glad to see that you’re enjoying the experience of familiarizing yourself with the CTMU. I’ll get right to your question.

When Langan says, “(Although attempts to cognitively subtract cognition from reality are far more common, they are a bit like trying to show that a sponge is not inherently wet while immersing it in water, and can never be successful on the parts of cognitive entities.)” he simply means that cognition is undeniably a part of reality, as any attempt to remove cognition from reality is made by objectively cognitive entities, i.e., entities that process information of any sort in any way.

Anonymous

As for you, are people still talking?, I must make a simple correction to your views. The CTMU is not verbose, and most certainly does not constitute proof by verbosity or intimidation. The number of terms unique to the CTMU is actually much less than the number of terms unique to the rest of mathematics, physics, or perhaps even metaphysics.

"there is no perception or reality without contrast"

lol. Anonymous you are so smart yet you jump to silly conclusions of what is existent in the mind of others. :) I, like you, have undertaken the task of understanding the CTMU. I, like you, am also an advocate of it and have a decent grasp of the material. I was merely braking down the arguments presented on this page in simpler terms. Those arguing against the ctmu assert that it is pseudoscience using the fallacy of Proof by Verbosity/ intimidation as their base. Those defending it assert that those arguing against the CTMU are appealing to ignorance in that “it is commonly accepted in the scientific community that there is no ‘GOD’ (as they define God) and there is no proof of ‘GOD’ therefor the CTMU can not claim truthfulness and therefor must be false”…. this of course is a gross over simplification of the issue but non-the-less still valid. “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”
The CTMU in my mind is a perfectly understandable document so long as you keep in mind Mr. Langans defined terms.
Those arguing against the CTMU are essentially arguing Determinacy and Indeterminacy but fail to consider the “Third Option”… argument from ignorance is a false dichotomy obviously that ignores the “third option” as Langan puts it.

Michael

oh ok, so the expieriance of cognition cant be removed cause the only ones trying to do so are cognitive beings. Thanks Anonymous, happy to know that your still here to generously take the time to explain some of this to me haha ! For the past year or so I’ve been on an Eckart Tolle kick haha i don’t know if your familiar with his spiritual writings, but i seems there are a few themes between his teaching and the c.t.m.u., especially in regards to the universe experiencing itself and unbound infinite potentiality (god). Langan however seems to have found a logical, beautiful, way to express these spiritual themes in logical terms. But i guess you could say that there are many religions and spiritual practices that could be connected to it. Would you by any chance have any recommendations for reading materials that would give me more of a detailed run through of some of his ideas ? Maybe pertaining to epistemology/mathematics/etc ? whatever you think would be good ! haha
theres a “wiki ctmu” page (http://ctmucommunity.org/wiki/Cognitive-Theoretic_Model_of_the_Universe ) that supposedly lists personal recommendations from him, but if you knew some that would be great. Thanks again ! oh and if you are familiar with Eckart Tolles teachings, or the general spiritual idea of conscious beings being able to become aware of a god presence observing the thinking human mind, do you have any thoughts about it ?

Anonymous

Hello again, “there is no perception or reality without contrast”. I admit that, when you wrote “proof by verbosity/ intimidation… vs lazy minds… who is correct?”, I assumed that you were placing the two viewpoints on an equal footing. I see where the misunderstanding arose. Best wishes in your exploration of the CTMU.

Michael, I’m glad that you understand. I am of moderate familiarity with Eckhart Tolle’s writings; I first came across them, incidentally, by dint of a fellow CTMU supporter who, I suppose, is not you. As far as he is concerned, I certainly agree with Tolle’s thesis that there is a teaching, namely the CTMU, that is capable of unifying all faiths and that such a unification would be an essential step in human intellectual progress. Moreover, the theory that we can become aware of a self-observing God through logic is confirmed by the CTMU.

As for reading materials, I think that that wiki page should be sufficient. That said, virtually any book in metaphysics, mathematics, cosmology, cybernetics, theology, can only enhance one’s understanding of (and appreciation for) the CTMU.

Michael

“Moreover, the theory that we can become aware of a self-observing God through logic is confirmed by the CTMU.”

Eckart believes from his experience, that you can experience the “God Awareness” in yourself as a “watchful presence” over the thinking mind. I’ve experienced it through traumatic experiences, when all of a sudden the “voice” (ego as he calls it), that describes or “tells the story” about why the current situation should be felt as bad, or unsuitable, or shouldn’t be happening, goes form being a situation that defines me and should be judged, ( ego, collection of life experiences, idea of materiality being the self, egoic wantings, ) from feeling an observing presence, (in my understanding is the infinite potential, universe, observer), that “observes” my thinking mind. All my feelings about the situation completely dropped, something id never felt before, and i was able to observe the thoughts that were running through my head, in a complete sense of peace. I felt like I was “above” looking down at the thoughts. not thinking about them but just observing them, this experiencing the ego first hand, and this untouchable observer, that i could only be aware of,and experience, but not put into words. From reading the ctmu I feel that this might be the universal observing force in the universe. In regards to the above quotation , i totally understand where your coming from, but to be more specific in my questioning, would, through your understudying of the ctmu, could it be possible to have a first hand experience of observing that “observant non biased force” ? In the sense that we , through experiencing the “good bad” polarity of life, have become aware of the ego minds perception of what it means to be somebody, and then, through a dramatic experience, experience this unbiased non judgmental presence that allows us to view our minds from a higher understanding. I know I’ve had the experience, and can do it when i meditate, and many other people have as well, and the ctmu has come the closest to bringing a logical understanding to this concept. His writings on the moral code and sense of meaning that derives from the theory are the exact feelings that come from the experience I’ve talked about, and when he speaks of the universe experiencing itself i feel like I’m reading a handbook on how I’ve felt haha if this is all to scattered let me know, i feel like I’m treating this “debate page” as more of a blog, but i guess I’m just excited to have found a paper that makes so much sense, and utilizes higher thought. thanks again

Michael

** not just from logic , but from experiencing it first hand. (which the ctmu could logically explain)

Anonymous

Oh, I see. In that case, yes, such an experience would fall into the framework of the CTMU as near as I can tell. That is to say that I see nothing logically inconsistent about your experience off the bat, so yes.

Michael

ok, cool, thanks ! I keep reading and re reading the wiki ctmu summarization of his work, and iv purchased and just finished reading through his collection of essays, “the art of knowing” to maybe get a more basic/elaborate explanation of the terms/ideas he discusses. My brain is officially fried and unusable until my neural pathways further develop from reading all these papers ! ! haha

From what I’ve gathered thus far, it sounds like we are a vehicle for the universe to experience itself. and we consciously partake in creating the structure of the universe, cause through our experiences the universe can decide what is needed for the universe to self actualize itself better.

so is langan supporting the popular idea of the “law of attraction” ? I would never hope to generalize such a comprehensive work in such simple terms, but just for a place of reference before i understand the paper more. the paper seems to say that we consciously have a choice to either create and make choices to actualize the process of the universe expressing it self more efficiently, or take away from that process, but either way, having the ability to consciously create things in our experience i.e.. money, material things. would that be correct ?

IFearNothing

Anonymous, thanks for your gracious contribution via comments and responses. If I may ask you one question, it would be: Do you believe that consciousness survives death? I’ve phrased the question broadly, so any added thoughts would also be appreciated. I offer a hopeful, preemptive thanks.

Anonymous

Michael, yes, the CTMU does entail something like that, albeit in a more precise sense than it is usually formulated.

IFearNothing, you’re welcome. While our notions of “the self” are usually based on the degree to which we can remember our own pasts, the CTMU does imply some interesting phenomena that could be interpreted as falling under the broad heading of “reincarnation”. Here is how Langan put it:

“And since the universe is a self-refining entity, that which is teleologically valid in the informational construct called ‘you’ may be locally re-injected or redistributed in spacetime. In principle, this could be a recombinative process, with the essences of many people combining in a set of local injections or ‘reincarnations’ (this could lead to strange effects…e.g., a single person remembering simultaneous ‘past lifetimes’).”

The above discussion is extraordinary. I haven’t read CTMU in any detail, so I won’t comment on its merits. However, I do find Mr Langam to be extraordinary and am delighted that his ideas have set off a discussion such as the one above.

Regards

Peter Baker

IFearNothing

I agree with thejollypilgrim. While I haven’t read or put in the effort to understand the ctmu paper in-depth – perhaps a combination of laziness, a lack of confidence in my ability to understand it, and a feeling that it isn’t entirely crucial for me to personally understand it down to the core – I do think I grasp the overarching concept and the terms he uses to describe certain aspects (the glossary terms).

Personally, I think Chris has been characterized rather poorly because most people would have only viewed the documentary. I’ve delved a touch deeper through reading some of the Q&As available, and in my opinion he seems to be a rather virtuous person. Many of the things he speaks about regarding a “soul” connection and doing good to uphold it, avoiding harming the teleological goal of the system (universe) ring to the Buddhist teachings.

Anyway, that is some of what I took away from my readings. Also, he seems to be a good person to me, who has made the most of his circumstances. I offer my thanks to Chris for the contribution he has offered, and wish him well.

Thanks for the response Anonymous. It prompted me to do some further exploration of my own, which I found rewarding. Well, I’ve said what I wanted to, so no need for me to further clutter this discussion.

kind thoughts,

Jay

Using the CMTU theory explain to me what is outside of this reality and outside of “God”.

DGB

Not that this page needs even more comments, but I don’t see that this article answers the challenge it was meant to. The closest you came to refuting the CTMU was to point out that it entails beliefs which you expect “the common reader” should reject by default. It may well be true that there is no God, that eugenics is abhorrent and that Langan is an elitist, but none of that informs us as to where his theory fails. Isaac Newton was a creationist, but nobody rejects classical mechanics or the calculus for that reason.

In short I think this article is too terse and not focussed enough to count as full refutation of the CTMU. Whether or not the CTMU is worth such a refutation is a seperate matter; but I don’t see why the author would have wrote this page if the matter is beneath serious scrutiny.

Alan D

I was disappointed to see Langan’s somewhat religious description of the forces of nature and unproven entities like souls. Is nature intelligent or purely mechanical. Do our “souls” outlive our brains? Good questions that may never be answered.

I have a different approach. I simply wonder whether or not the purpose preceded the universe. It is a very valid question when you consider that a universe that can’t even be utilized by simple life has no real purpose for existing. What good is a universe that can’t be utilized in any way or discovered? It may as well be non-existent.

Fortunately, our universe has a worthy purpose, whether or not that purpose preceded it. Life not only utilizes it, it became intelligent enough to discover it, ponder it, and a strong desire to explore every facet of it.

It is that question about purpose, questions about life, consciousness, and how DNA managed to construct such complicated designs without the aid of an intelligence that keep me from dismissing the possibility of an intelligent nature that had a purpose for our universe and just thought it into existence.

Perhaps there’s much more to reality than just our universe. It may be anywhere from .00000001% to 100% of reality. We haven’t a clue.

I’d prefer a reality in which there is more than one universe in which life exists so that there is always a place for life regardless of another universe’s stage of development. The reason why I don’t want an interruption in the availability of life’s necessary ingredients is because I believe we have lived many previous lives and will live countless more. If it can happen once it can happen numerous times in much the same manner in a purely mechanical reality. It may happen on any given living planet in any given universe. What can prevent it? If there’s an intelligent force controlling our lives, all the better. I’ll die firmly believing it’s a win-win, god or no god, soul or no soul.

john doe

Anonymous- i havent read the entire CTMU nor did i get through all of your posts but i got through many and a portion of CTMU. Not silly enough be convinced of spending hours wasting away to understand a philosophy claiming to explain reality but clearly being wholly disconnected from it. Aristotle made a lot of sense with what was known in his day, as his logic was uprecedented for the time. Just because there is much about ‘reality’ that the scientific community is far from understanding does not make CTMU close to a valid premise of reality. It is a philosophy that may be flawless in its logic but founded on wholly false principles. Philosophy has been useless to science for quite a while and its easy to see why this guy doesn’t get any real respect from the educated community.

The point is this, just because his argument is complex and makes sense, doesn’t make it any more probable to be ‘true’ than the story of creation did to people that lived 3000 years ago. It was plausible and by observation it seemed reasonable. I bet you Langan could ‘prove’ taht we will in the Matrix.

Now we know that creation is silly, just like one day we will know more and it will be obvious that CTMU was well thought out, but inherently a joke. Philosophers are a funny breed, too smart and logical for their own good. Pump the brakes a second, this aint avatar.

Graham: in response to “I would be interested to hear rebuttals regarding the formation of reality by non-intelligent means.
“- see richard dawkins The God Delusion homie

Frank Truth

It should not take more than a few sentences to refute CTMU.

1. “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” Einstein

2. Without assumptions, premises, presumptive axioms, and presumtive definitions logic cannot be used to prove anything. You can’t even prove with logic that 1+1 = 2. Two parallel lines never meeting may have sounded like a valid axiom to the Greeks, but the axiom fails if our universe is non-Euclidian. See Bertrand Russel, Godel

Wittgenstein reduces all logic to semantics. CTMU is like trying to prove how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Do atoms exist? Do protons exist? Not if there is some sort of unified field theory. Atoms and protons could be complex distrubances in some multi-dimensional space ala string theory. Nor do they exist if the wave function psi never collapses ala Hugh Everett and Stephen Hawking. Nor do they exist the way they are defined today, if all objects are world-lines or world-branes which exist in time.

Without knowing the true nature of space or time, we really can’t say we know anything with certainty.

The bottom line is logic and mathematics can’t be used to prove anything about reality. What is true in one logic and mathematics is false in another. Predicate logic states no statement can be both true and false. Fuzzy logic states every statement is both true and false. It turns out fuzzy logic is a better fit with quantum mechanics, a world with various shades of gray, a world with different colors. and any reality that is analog, or continuum. Predicate logic is a better fit for a reality that is digital, binary, discrete. In a universe where all truth is relative fuzzy logic is a better fit than predicate logic. Either the earth moves or it doesn’t move. Is this statement true or false according to GR?

My IQ is 90. Chris Langdon’s IQ is off the charts. What does that say about “g” and IQ?

Frank Truth

Half the population of earth hears voices. They think these voices from some external reality instead of their own subconscious mind. People imagine they see ghosts, UFOs, that their parents or loved ones talk to them. They never figure out that these manifestations originate in their own brain. If you start with the premise you are not crazy, then these manifestations must be true. They do seem real to those who experience them.

daniel

The belief in the one god of the desert and the stories of the bible where the beliefs of a tiny pocket of humanity. How can THIS god and these biblical tales be assocciated with a theory for everything. 98% percent of the rest world had different beliefs when the stories of moses started to spread. How can this one god and these biblical tales now be incorporated into a theory for everything?
I dont understand pysics or most or all of what he has written but to claim to know what god is or to even state that a god exists and to attempt to associate it with scientific proof has befuddled the arguement for me, althoigh i have no idea what he is saying anyway. Why must this belief in the god originating from the tiny tribe of the desert in the middle east be connected with a theory of everything? It just stories , like there where gods and stories before that…. Different ones all over the world….
The tribes of south america knew more about the universe and how it worked thousands of years before the tribes in the middle east where spreading the recounts of stories of eden and a flood and the one god. Its a little dogmatic that a theory of everything only describes god as being what is familiar to the theorist.

fa

the credibility of your grasp on the universe and maturity, is defeated when you begin your article, which is supposed to be about logic and reason, by attacking chris on a personal level, and trying to defeat his credibility without sound reasoning. i humbly wish to leave you with a bit of wisdom: playing the devils advocate is a waste of time, ultimately leads to a fore-known conclusion, is childish in nature, and retards progress; that is, progress to find truth.

fa

also, its interesting, and rather intuitive to think about the nature of consciousness/intelligence. ill try not to sound vague or cryptic, seeing as none of you knows me, i have no fear of admonishment. these are simple arguments and with patience and proper thought, can be revealing, or to some, new ideas, and a means to expand the mind.
it seems to me that it is intuitive that consciousness would beget consciousness; intelligence would beget intelligence.
if we were to be living in a truly physical, and natural world(whatever that may mean) i believe it follows intuitively, and quite obviously that we would not encounter anything apart from physical happenings. consciousness being one of them. i don’t believe that information can be the result of random happenings, seeing as how it takes foresight to create information, and seems to need to already be present, or else the information would have no consistency, or direction. If anyone can enlighten me on how consciousness can arise, and would logically arise, through natural means, this would be very interesting to me.

fa

to the author of the article, who has no grasp of purpose (apparent from his conclusion), i would ask him the the meaning of purpose, or the practical application of existence, and then he might understand how silly it all sounds to ask for a practical application for an argument about fundamentals, eternity, and the nature of existence.

fa

another bit of wisdom: humility is the key to honest learning. we are finite beings, and have a finite origin in time, along with the origin of our reasoning. therefore our desires and ambitions, should be speculated upon, and looked at with humble curiousity for what we dont know, and our apparent limitations.

Joseph Kemp

What an interesting discussion.

I still find the CTMU to be utterly unique in it’s formulation.

Computational language theory. Self-referential language and logic. The work of a vast range of philosophers/logicians. And all of it tied together in theory that directs and structures itself.

It’s a remarkable achievement. I’ve never seen anything like it.

I genuinely believe that many people miss the deeper significant of what this theory is supposed to do.

Langan’s ideas on Self-Configuring Self-Processing Language (SCSPL) are intensely original. SCSPL seems to be drawn from computational language theory (from computer science, among other areas).

Langan combines this with elements of computational theory of mind (from philosophy). Also present in the CTMU are myriad other ideas from the Language of Design (a particular kind of reality structuring semantic philosophy) and the work of many modern philosophers such as W. V. O. Quine, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Hilary Putnam, Jerry Fodor, and many, many others.

The uniquely resulting synthesis is a theory that seems to live in its own right. Uttery brilliant. It functions metaphysically like a living thing, and interacts with empirical experience at its edges. Almost like a self-aware Web of Belief, from Quine’s philosophical work on language, logic and metaphysics.

The actual details of HOW this functioning happens are apparently available only in a deep understanding of Langan’s many, many sources. He simply uses the terms. If one has not done sufficient research, the intricate self-reflexive, self-reflecting, self-referential nature of the CTMU will not be grasped.

It is something that will function only in the moving mind of an actual theoretician who conceptualizes it. Crudely like a form of ABSTRACT MACHINE – a type of self-functioning mathematical model of computer hardware or software system from automata theory, which can be read about here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automata_theory

One can also read about the philosophical basis for The Language of Design used by Langan here:

http://www.springer.com/computer/information+systems+and+applications/book/978-1-84882-020-3

And here is a wiki both for the computational theory of mind and for the theory of computation, respectively:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computational_theory_of_mind

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_computation

Put all together, these astoundingly disparate sources form a powerful form of self-regulating, self-structuring theory. This is absolutely extraordinary. Such a theory likely has incredible applications in artificial intelligence, as well as for philosophy and for the formation of other types of theory.

No wonder it is so difficult to understand. It is literally the work of a lifetime. Langan must have spent decades on it. The amount of unification happening within it is shocking to me.

I sincerely hope that someday my own work might measure up.

Michael

Hey Joeseph ! Im extremely interested in Langan’s work, and have been looking for reading materials to better understand his theory in more detail. Thanks for those that you have posted ! If you know of anything in particular, in addition to what you’ve mentioned already, that would be of great use to someone who is passionately interested in figuring his theory out, it would be greatly appreciated ! Thank you !

Graham

Yes, I wish you’d not prefaced your blog in such a way as to be already biased in your assessment. To begin by dismissing Langan’s writings as ‘rubbish’ is a bit self-defeating.

I don’t agree with Langan’s policies on eugenics. I believe he has fallen into the same trap that Ptolemy and Aristotle fell into. Where the justice of the thing is never questioned (then=slavery, now=eugenics).

But I can assure you it is far more difficult to prove that there is no God. (or creator), Whatever the case. It pains me to see Langan perceived as a ‘creationist’ when he is clearly so much more. I regret that his writings will not be fully understood within our lifetime.

Alma

The tone in this article gives me the impression of an angry kid who is upset at the idea someone labeled “history’s smartest man” believing in some kind of god and not an atheist, of which is implied to be the inevitable logical outcome of being ‘intelligent.’

Heyerdahl

I don`t know if the CTMU is true or not.
However, after reading their comments, I`m convinced that Chris Langan is more intelligent than Tom Beasley.

Ln

I’ve haven’t read the theory but I’m pretty sure that u came up with something very similar (although obviously nowhere near as complex as this) when I took wayyy too much Ritalin and some ecstasy. The point being that it was deranged, meglamonical bullshit that I assume everyone believes for a couple if hours if they fuck up their dopamine levels or watever

Ln

Soz that I* came up with and a couple of* hours

antivenom

Reliable information requires evidence when one is deciding on whether or not a thing exists. I do not believe in purple horses. Why? No evidence.

God is not a theory. Evidence is not a theory. Logic is not evidence it is a method. God either exists or God does not exist. A theory is neither proof of nor evidence against Gods non- existence or existence.

No reliable evidence was given in CTMU for the existence of god. Show it to me if you can and I’ll do my best to discern it. I’d like to think that I’m missing something.

How do I know I exist? Not by a theory, not by logic, not by subjective reality. I know I exist because of other people’s evidence.

How will I know that god exists? The same way I know anything else exists, by evidence. I may “believe” elephants exist because everyone else has so much evidence to the point, but I will not know it exists until I see it and touch it for myself.

The first step towards insanity is the denial of objective reality and replacing it with some form of subjective reality.

I think what we really need to do is to see if Christopher Langan can tell us whether these scientists are bullshitting us for grant money:

http://jmp.aip.org/resource/1/jmapaq/v53/i3/p033707_s1?view=fulltext&bypassSSO=1

Wait, what? Christopher Langan is no more a “creationist” than Albert Einstein was. And he’s not really a proponent of intelligent design. His argument is basically that the universe created itself, and oh by the way, it could possibly have an ultimate expression.

Tom Beasley’s interests are not even in conflict with Langans. This is retarded. In fact, if we could somehow get the masses of egomaniacs to consider the CTMU (we can’t), it’s a hop skip and a jump to disbelieving the Christian God.

If Langan ever appears to be catering to Christianity, it’s likely nothing more than playing politics, similar to Gould’s NOMA idea. I actually never encountered any Christian expressions. (Can you link us a few of these?) But then, I felt like I was reading a Wachowski brother brainstorm the entire time I was looking at the paper. So maybe I just missed it.

By the way, check out my blog. I’ve created a novel theory that helps to explain the emergence of narrow-minded religion.

I don’t see why everyone argues with Chris Langan. Even more so, I do not see why atheists would do this! His theory, while original in its derivations, is not original in its premise. He is basically a linguistic philosopher. And he says the world is basically “Isness”. It’s a logically irrefutable claim, since it is at its essence, a hugely expanded tautology.

What is the universe? It is everything that is real. Duh.

“The twentieth-century linguistic revolution is the recognition that language is not merely a device for communicating ideas about
the world, but rather a tool for bringing the world into existence in the first place. Reality is not simply `experienced’ or `reflected’ in language, but instead is actually produced by language. ”

-Misia Landau, another linguistic philosopher

And it’s hard to argue with these people. Basically, they say that the universe is necessarily a linguistic expression. Mathematics are a linguistic expression, too, mind you. So of course so is the universe. It is the self-expression of the language of the universe.

There, someone much less intelligent told you what he thinks, in a nutshell. And he referenced someone smarter than himself but still much dumber than Chris Langan who says the same thing. Then he explained how Chris’s theory must be true because it basically only says things that are self-evidently true. And that’s the somewhat comical genius of his theory. It is the most complex argument that ever essentially said, “the universe exists because it exists.”

Chris Franklin

In my opinion, CTMU boils down to this: Langan is, effectively, “God.”

I find it interesting to see “God” and “An American Atheist” “in-the-ring” on this. “God,” at least, seems to get the reasoning for the contest.

Graham

The eugenics endorsement is troubling … it’s really a threat to humanity even more significant than the A-bomb … Humans are least qualified of all to judge who should live or die. Particularly when these decisions are based on crude political constructs, oppressive religions and warped, misunderstood values. Mythology, fairy tales all filled with warnings against this.

I couldn’t agree more that human beings are terrible judges of who ought to reproduce. However, crude political constructs (like capitalism), oppressive religions (like Christianity), and warped misunderstood values (like racism) already constitute the reasons that people decide to reproduce.

And before you argue that capitalism is an economic system, not a political one, think carefully. How can an economic system not be a political system? One determines who gets power, which is the principle goal of the second. That statement describes the relationship both ways.

People with genetic diseases should not reproduce. Morons should not reproduce. And sociopaths should not reproduce. To be perfectly honest, humans in general should not reproduce. Our ecosystem is already on the verge of collapse due to petty breeding wars and sheer stupidity.

bruce

Lets be completely honest, the implications of Chris langans theory are as such, if his intelligence is legitimate, your anecdotal rants mean nothing. For the simple reason being your insight and depth could never penetrate the brush strokes of a truly gifted individual.
Furthermore if you are justified in making such a brutish claim, I find it highly improbable that Chris will ever concede to such a tyrannical accusation such as this. Summation, you wasted a very large portion of your life exercising the most ironic scenario of
redundancy I have ever had the misfortune of stumbling across. And so have u :(

How we can know that the guy who acclaim to be “Chris Langan”, is the real one?

[Fake] Chris Langan

Well, let’s perform an experiment. Do I appear to be Christopher Langan?

[Fake] Chris Langan

Yes, I do. I can tell you for certain that I am not. You bring up a good point. I guess the only way to know is to have the author verify the e-mail address associated with Chris Langan’s posts. Given that the author gave the poster priority position on the forum, we can assume that the OP saw the e-mail address and decided it was the real Chris Langan. Perhaps he verified it.

If not, then the real Christopher Langan would be sent an e-mail from this website letting him know he had posted, and if the real Chris Langan had not posted, he could just let the OP know he had been impersonated. Of course, this assumes there’s no complicity between the OP and an impersonator. That would achieve the OP’s goal of generating fame through use of the CTMU without risking an intelligent response.

So now we can come to this conclusion. If the person responding as Chris Langan is not Chris Langan, it means a) that the real Chris Langan was too busy and doesn’t care about this site b) that he has been conspiratorially impersonated in order to avoid a real rebuttal which would have been more intelligent than the one given c) that mean the OP is even stupider than it appears.

[Notice: This comment has an e-mail that does not correspond with a known e-mail of Chris Langan, additionally the IP corresponds to Atlanta, Georgia. - Tom]

I have noted in comments, as have others, that I have done my best to verify that the source is indeed Chris Langan. His IP associates with his location, his E-mail is linked to the proper Langan E-mail. I have searched Langan’s communications online and it matches his tone, word usage and general message. There is, of course, a small chance that he is an impersonator — I obviously felt I had enough evidence to conclude that he was not. There has also been no contrary evidence since any of the postings.

You are all free to claim that I do not understand concepts, argue that I am wrong on any points I make, or agree with me but say my route of attack was poor — I would welcome any of these criticisms. However, I have in no way fabricated, at the very least with any mens rea, any information on this website. I allowed Langan a forum for his points of view and I did my due diligence to determine the source. Indeed, instead of erasing your comment I have left it as I believe transparency is generally the best route. It’s not that I feel your criticism is not valid. You are justified in the suspicion, but I have stated previously my response to any similar claims on this blog.

[Fake] Chris Langan

It’s possible and actually quite simple to change an IP address. I just entered your website through an anonymous proxy network. However, the e-mail I gave you is my real one, the one I use for personal things.

Corey

I’m no genius. I also have not read into CTNU extensively, but my biggest question is, what of emotion? I have not heard any notion that touches this. In the sense that by creating a world ruled by logic, as simple as 2+2=4. What happens to our humanity? Although I agree with some of Langan’s concepts, I’m having trouble siding with him on the idea that indifference is a world that we should live in. For the past 2 million years humans have developed thought processing off of complex emotional reasoning. And for Langan to try to fight the notion that our existence is non eternal, for him to want to change that. I find it kinda silly, I have never touched bases with anything in the universe that is eternal. So why should humans? If we live in indifference, what is there to live for? I feel that cognition is rooted with emotion, in the sense that for the past 2 million years humans have built of emotion. Just curious on how CTNU as well as Langan’s own views tie in with emotion, as well as if Langan’s philosophical theory were put into practice… then what? To me this all just sounds like another man that knows a few big words and is trying to set himself apart from the masses. He hasn’t tried to connect with anyone, to me he seems to live within the idea that he is the best he or anyone else have ever seen. He states that the ideal is to create a society where logic is dominant, but the simple notion of him separating himself from societal norms seems contradictory, even quite emotional. He acts like a victim, but speaks like a king. I’m not sure what to take him as.

Really the point of all of this is just to collaborate with more versed individuals on how emotion fits into this…
Any feed back would be awesome!

Corey

And before anyone trys to rebuttle my previous statements, I’d like to add he idea that even with a logic dominant world, logic itself is individualized. For one man it may be logical to try to find a better way of living. For another it may be logical to stay within the societal norm and keep from deviating, as that is the safest. It is hard to picture any environment where everyone thinks under a logical structure. Unless Langan just wants a society of people just like him. Then i see no arguement. Everyone is different. Simply because they think they are different. Just as stated before. The universe exists because it exists. The concepts go hand in hand in the sense that every one of the over 7 billion people on this planet live within their own realities. Wether the reality be that everyone shares one reality, or that everyone has a different one.

Anonymous

Hey Corey,

You write, “For one man it may be logical to try to find a better way of living. For another it may be logical to stay within the societal norm and keep from deviating, as that is the safest.” This doesn’t contradict Chris’s work at all. Deciding what is “logical” for one person depends on that person’s utility function (which gets stratified in a certain way in the CTMU). When Chris talks about a logical society, he simply means one in which everyone is rationally making the best possible decisions. Moreover, the CTMU isn’t deterministic. There’s a lot of room for personality, and emotions don’t get taken out of the mix.

As for your statement, “He acts like a victim, but speaks like a king,” this just isn’t relevant to the CTMU. Chris can speak for his own motivations, but I think I am right in saying that he doesn’t think he’s inherently “the best”. He just feels it necessary to come down on those whom he feels are not being as ethical as possible given their cognitive capacities and capabilities.

John Arcadian

You people, as gratifying as it brings me to reduce this ” jejune rancorous ego feeding” debate. With such humor..which is delight in it’s own fragmented essence.

You’re debating against a ” genius” ( which I’m a genius as well) who believes in engineering a different type of ” breed of human” to run the kakistoracy we are subjected to live in.

It’s only broken down, even by the socrates method to ” ego ” which has no place for God. We’re only biological species, non spiritual in our own right and forms.

So, he was given a bad hand in life, who hasn’t? My life story would triumph his and i’m not going on live Television to even boast such a ridiculous statement.

Philosophers, would even argue that yes, TV may as well be Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, and our biological species concept would even bring to light the subject of, not even being awakened to the ” SUN”

The spirit is felt through acceleration, and previous experiences, felt within the heart. So, it does exist, how ever conceptually not something a ” language” could ever describe.

Language is of the mind , spirit lies within the heart.

Never confuse the two.

andru

How could someone with IQ >195 (like Langan supposedly) say that “reality IS a language” (!?)
It is simply outrageous !
He obviously doesn’t know what a SYSTEM (=OBJECT+FORM) is, and that language is an ABSTRACT FORM. Reality on the other hand is a – WORLD (which is a sort of combinantion of concepts of system or (model of system(s)), and process (or simulation of process(es))
Language is, as an abstract form, just a subset of that world, or any world.
Or a language can be ‘transcendent’ to some world, for example, if SecondLife (= WORLD, existing only on the internet) is written in some (programming) LANGUAGE as C++, this language, since existing ‘outside’ that world (plus ‘inside’ it, but that is less relevant), C++ as language is ‘greater’ than that whole world, since it can ‘make’ many other worlds.
If this person has IQ 195, than true geniuses like Rupert Sheldrake, for example, must have IQ 300 (regardless of being too modest to take credit for it).

andru

system=object=form (the plus sign was a typing error)

phil-opium-tube

When I was a young man, say 1 year ago, I considered the concept of time travel through the medium of dance. And, as I am writing this message from the year 3297, it has obviously worked. Technology and biology are now thoroughly combined – I recently upgraded my body to a Delta 9/4 Combat Typhoon Stealth Anti-gravity spatial vortex manipulator stage 6. This basically means that I can travel anywhere in time and space instantly. Furthermore, I also had my IQ enhanced. The latter is now 2479.

Judy Weismonger

Mr. Langan can be diagnosed as a “well-defended paranoid schizophrenic with a comorbid narcissistic personality disorder.” Such people on the surface appear to be intelligent, but are merely clever in using convoluted, turned back on its self theories, ideas, and language, that upon closer examination is often just garbage. Mr. Langan further demonstrates his paranoid schizophrenia by NOT responding to or correcting any of his ideas that fall under the classification of pseudo science. His teleology is the same as primitive believers, who state that there is a god because a) the bible says there is, and they b) feel god exists. Langan no actual proof of his imaginary god on any level. Regarding Langan’s narcissicism, I would like to know more about his childhood, because most narcissism is a self defense mechanism and an over compensation for feelings of shame and humiliation often suffered in childhood. Ergo, his ego needs to be constantly buttressed by some mechanism (his ideas) that he is superior to all, and thus, also in total complete control, and therefore, no longer vulnerable to his feelings of shame, weakness, and sense of inferiority. Langan’s symptomology is classic. He is not particularly special or insightful and the earth is littered with many who believe themselves superior to all. Paranoid schizophrenics also phrase their theories in such a way, to also attract other insecure and vulnerable people who need to feel special.

Jewdy Bankmonger

“He is not particularly special or insightful and the earth is littered with many who believe themselves superior to all. Paranoid schizophrenics also phrase their theories in such a way, to also attract other insecure and vulnerable people who need to feel special.”

Here’s the irony. This is coming from an adherent of a religion that states all its members are superior to all because God said so. At least Chris beat you on a purported test of intelligence.

mike-angel

not to argue with any of the opposing sides, but I would like to make 1 simple point, the fact of the matter remains that even the smartest man on the planet, no matter who or how precocious they may be, no MAN nor WOMAN will ever hold the answers, all we may ever do is ask the questions, and there remains the possibility that ,one , all, or none of the answers/questions is right or wrong!

Ross Nalland

Anonymous wrote:

“Cognition is fundamentally information processing, and reality cannot verily be accused of not processing information. For this reason, reality has properties akin to a mind, and by dint of this it is termed “God” in the CTMU.”

“This is also true by Mr. Langan’s definitions. If we do something that is not teleologically valid, or that is ultimately detrimental to teleology, we may get cut off from God. It is easy to see why. By God’s will our soul, or connection to global consciousness, may be terminated. After all, whatever reality wills tends to happen and the existence of such a will is explained in my response to (2).”

In the first quote the border between internal and external reality is missing. No subject-object differentiation. This is typical of pathological narcissism. The inability to differentiate also indicates inferior intelligence. Furthermore, we detect poor logic in an attempt to overcome this problem through a negation “…reality cannot verily be accused of not processing information. For this reason…”

The second quote is irrefutable. This means that it has no scientific merit, according to Karl Popper. Alan Sokal has famously written about statements that are wrong, harmful or simply meaningless in scientific terms.

When the feminist Luce Irigaray says that the speed of light symbolizes penetration and oppressive patriarchy she is just as right as Langan when he states that “The CTMU says that by its self-generative, self-selective nature, which follows directly from the analytic requirement of self-containment, reality is its own `designer´”. Or just as meaningless.

“Interviewer: Have you ever met someone smarter than yourself?

Langan: As near as I can tell, no.”

That is why he is holding the door when smarter people stumble out of the bar.

Langan; “…this much of it is true: we can attain a state of grace; we can draw near to God and partake of His eternal nature; we can fall from God’s grace; we can lose our souls for doing evil.”

Based on what? How many points would you score in an IQ test with an answer like that?

Logic we can agree on.

“not to argue with any of the opposing sides, but I would like to make 1 simple point, the fact of the matter remains that even the smartest man on the planet, no matter who or how precocious they may be, no MAN nor WOMAN will ever hold the answers, all we may ever do is ask the questions, and there remains the possibility that ,one , all, or none of the answers/questions is right or wrong!”

1) You are arguing with the side that believes we should take Chris seriously because he is so smart.

2) You are also, ironically, wrong. I see right answers around me all the time. For example, “Do I exist?” A: Yes. “No” is not the right answer.

Anonymous

@Ross Nalland:

Asserting that a deduction I made is “typical of pathological narcissism” adds nothing to this discussion and is downright hostile.

You follow this up by insulting my supposed “inferior intelligence”. Would you really talk to someone like that in real life? What sort of response would you expect in return?

I certainly don’t owe you one.

Ross Nalland

Frankly, it would be pretty difficult to insult your intelligence. In order to describe reality you need to know the difference between description of reality and reality, subject and object, the internal and the external world. Normally, this adds nothing to a discussion. Most people know these things. Not you.

Just as a reminder;

“Cognition is fundamentally information processing, and reality cannot verily be accused of not processing information. For this reason, reality has properties akin to a mind, and by dint of this it is termed “God” in the CTMU.”

The quote is religious dogma fused with postmodern gibberish. Reality can also be accused of not processing information. That part of reality has, of course, properties akin to your mind and the CTMU. God´s Truth or not, this knowledge does not explain reality – the universe. Get it?

Hide behind hurt feelings. It´s not that you owe us anything, as if you had a choice. You don´t have an answer. Simple as that.

Purecano

Quite refreshed to actually see Christopher Hitchens name in this. A true genius. Thanks for convincing me that this is all bable, truly. As Initially I did fall into the trap.

“Christopher Hitchens notes to beware of a theory that explains everything, as it is likely to explain nothing, such is the case with CTMU.”

Heyerdahl

Two both of the Anonymouses above:

Anonymous x said:

“By the way, as a side note, Anonymous; I noticed in that other article in the comments, that you claim to be a Canadian high-school student. If that is true, I am very impressed, and you are a highly intelligent person and I wish you well in life with whatever career you wish to pursue. As a matter of curiosity, if I may ask, what is it you wish to do?”

I am also very impressed.

Anonymous y said:

“Thank you. I wish to become a professor of mathematics. I understand that academia has many, many flaws, but I believe that it is still worth making change come to it from within, and this is what I plan on doing. As a professor of mathematics, aside from doing something that I would enjoy, I would be in a position of more than the average amount of respect at my university, given that the academics seen as most intellectual tend to be those working in the “purest” subjects. This would make it all the easier for me to get away with uncommon views apropos academia.”

I hope you will come back in a few years, with a masters degree or even a Ph.d. in mathematics, and still defend the CTMU. That would really be something.
If you then even would choose to not be anonymous, then the critics would feel uncomfortable, I suspect.

Heyerdahl

Mothra

Why would genius waste time with theology/philosophy, other than its real world application as a political system that produces a sound economy and superior species ?

dan

Langdan was nothing like Bobby Fischer. Langdan has not accomplished anything, Bobby Fischer was the best chess player in the world, and he did that as an American against the Soviets. Then after Fischer crushed his competition he disappeared from public life. It’s an insult to Fischer to compare them.

Langdan reminds me of Kant as Kant was great at writing unejoyable prose nonstop over semantics that really is not interesting.

Mothra

At least he could come up with a superior Blackjack counting system.

Logic we can agree on.

“Langdan reminds me of Kant as Kant was great at writing unejoyable prose nonstop over semantics that really [ARE] not interesting.”

Perhaps there is no superior counting method for Blackjack. And I think he has enough money without needing to confront those gangsters.

Mothra

Is Langdan loaded ? If Langdan hasn’t attempted a new BJ Counting system how do we know ?

Mothra

CTMU is actually quite simple: “The Force Be With You” Langdan was clearly influenced by Star Wars in his youth.

Jesse Franckowiak

Gosh I feel so helpless. CTMU’s obviously right from the perspective of anyone who’s “clued in” so to speak, but it’s going to take years of study to develop a strong grasp on the theory. Meanwhile Chris has to defend his theory more or less by himself..I wonder when Tom Beasley will admit that he doesn’t understand any one of its main principles at all, let alone the full theory.

Jesse Franckowiak

Well, Chris Langan and that Anonymous pig at least. Bless that pig

Heyerdahl

I wish someone were to start a serious debate about the CTMU. I really can`t understand why these debates must consist largely of ad hominem, strawmen etc. and very little about the substance of the CTMU.

When I talk to people, in whatever arena, I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with saying things like:

1. I don`t know.
2. I don`t understand it.
3. I was wrong.
4. I have changed my mind.

Please ask yourselves (everybody above) if you would have a problem with saying such things if they were the case.
If the honest answer to that question is yes…….then WHY ?????

Most of us who debate here probably think of ourselves as above avarage intelligence, or?
Saying things like in 1-4 above doesn`t affect ones intelligence, what it does do however, is send a strong signal of intellectual integrity.

It seems to me that for many people, probably those who base there self-esteem largely on the idea that they are intelligent, admitting to being wrong is as scary as it might be for a male pornstar to wake up in the morning, watch himself in the mirror and realise his member has shrunk to inches during the night.

On a sidenote, I guess many of the people participating here are Americans? I don`t mean to be racist here, but this might be a cultural thing. When I read discussions on youtube, the general impression is that those that are in Norwegian are fare more civil (dare I say intelligent) than those that are in English.

Sorry about that guys :-)
but that is the way it looks.

Kris

Hey, why are you picking on the smart kid? This response, despite having a lot of interesting criticism to the CTMU, flat out sucks. It’s very small-minded and seems almost pathological in it’s aversion towards Mr. Langan. You really are just shouting “JUSTIN BIEBER SUCKS” when you should have been shouting “YOUR MUSIC SUCKS KID”. It’s bullying for sure.

But what can you expect, the cult around people, be it smart people, musicians or black presidents, have a natural tendency to catch peoples’ attention, especially in the last decade or so this has become painfully obvious.

I don’t see what everyone is in a huff about. So what if Chris Langan were right? What does that change? This is the big problem with a TOE. Technically, your entire perception is a TOE, and it does not help you to do anything to know why something red is red.

By the way, does anyone else think this guy is pretty hilarious? Check this out. Here are some quotes from an interview on superscholar.org:

“I’ll be candid. I quickly came to see high school as an extended, survival-of-the-fittest physical combat regimen punctuated by the occasional brief oasis.

*nods*

“But despite occasional incoherent sniping by anonymous Internet gadflies, no qualified individual has ever found fault with [the CTMU].”

Do you think he reads this stuff?

“Theoretical compartmentalization creates the impression that certain parts or aspects of reality are indefinitely related to each other or not related at all, causing rifts and false divisions to appear in our conceptual and perceptual topography, fracturing and fragmenting our worldview. Sometimes, this leads to scientific crises; for example, relativity theory is seemingly impossible to unite with quantum theory.”

This is true as shit.

“It seems that academia, rather than encouraging the participation of anyone in particular, finds comfort in the assumption that no matter whom it excludes and neglects, no good idea can possibly elude it.”

Quote of the century. Check out my blog. I am an academic “rogue,” if you will.

whlr

What Langan seems to gloss over is that earth is a unique entity within the Universe. Because the earth is, as we know it, the only planet in the universe with the elements and features we have come to know, which have given birth to humanity, any theory derived from the observation of our planet, or our galaxy, is so limited in its scope that it can not even begin to encompass what would be considered a proof of the existence of god. Ironically, Langan’s claim that the universe was created by a god does not even consider that a creator could have inserted a clause into his reality that would prohibit any being within his creation from every figuring out the means through which the universe was constructed.

Does Langan study for I.Q. tests? This question deserves more attention than any that the CTMU births.

Heyerdahl

whir

You said:

“Does Langan study for I.Q. tests? This question deserves more attention than any that the CTMU births.”

Langan actually doesn`t really value an IQ-score all that much. The following quote is from him:

“If I.Q. has any value whatever, that value depends on, and is dominated by, the real-world problems with whose solutions I.Q. allegedly correlates. To value I.Q. over its reason for existence would indicate a strange and loopy mentality.”

He said this in the context of criticising the journal of the Mega Society for be to preoccupied with talking about IQ-tests and questions. You can find it in:

Noesis 55 – November 1990
LETTER TO THE NOETIC SOCIETY
from Chris Langan

Just google it.

BTW. The 56 page paper on the CTMU is very complex. I don`t understand it well enough to have formed an opinion on the theory. But I reccomend that you read some of his other writings. Maybe that will change your opinion on him.

Give the man a chance :-)

Heyerdahl

choo

CTMU is obviously pseudoscientific drivel. Have you read the abstract? That isn’t even an abstract. It’s like the guy hasn’t even read a scientific paper. It’s only purpose today is that it serves as supporting evidence that IQ tests yield inaccurate measures of intelligence and are useless measures of potential success in any category other than IQ test taking.

Heyerdahl

choo

If the question was for me, I have read the 56 page paper and most (all) that is available on the CTMU online.

This includes:

– The Theory of Theories
– On Absolute Truth and Knowledge
– Physics and Metaphysics
– Langans Q&A on the CTMU
– The Art of Knowing
and other material.

As I said, check it out. This is hardly written by the “average Joe”.
(I particularly enjoyed “Physics and Metaphysics” myself).

He may be wrong about his lifes work, i.e. the CTMU, but I am convinsed that his level of general knowledge and intelligence is at a very high/rare level. Probably much more so than any of us who are discussing his theory here.

Regarding IQ, Langans quote in my previous post suggests that you two at least agree that IQ isn`t all that important.

Heyerdahl

CTMU on YOUTUBE ?

To anonymous above (the impressive highschool student)

Since you probably understand the CTMU better than the rest of us….
perhaps you could consider making a introductory video on the theory and post it on youtube?

That would help the rest of us to understand it and might help you in defending the theroy.

Just a thought.

Would be really cool.

Heyerdahl

Anonymous

Sorry, Heyerdahl, but I do not think I’ll be disposed to do that for quite some time. It may happen eventually, but I think that you should rather look forward to Langan’s clarification, which will likely come earlier in the form of his next book.

Alan D

The main thing I like about Chris is his realization that reality is “everything in existence.” In other words, reality is a closed system that CONTAINS everything in existence. The conservation of energy law dictates that reality is eternal because it applies to energy within closed systems, reality included. To reinforce that law, something had to have always existed in order for anything to exist. A complete void means perfect symmetry. Since nothing can exist in a complete void, nothing can cause the disturbance necessary to manufacture energy in a perfect realm of nothingness. Therefore, reality could never have been a complete void.

Given that, there is no proof that the basic energy of reality is intelligent. We may never be able to determine that. The order that arose from what appears to have been a completely chaotic beginning of the universe is no proof of an intelligence at work. Given the circumstantial evidence, it does stand to reason that the universe MAY have been intelligently designed. Both sides of that issue have valid arguments, but no concrete proof.

I tend to think that Langan just came out with this intelligent design business because he wanted to make friends. His model supposes that the whole universe can be described by a self-configuring language. Modern physics has begun to support Langan’s claim in a more concrete way. For example, read Krauss’s The Universe From Nothing. Krauss demonstrates that the entire universe emerged from an eternal quantum haze, which would basically be a slew of possibilities. We basically live in a resolution between very small and very large values of zero.

The cosmos are self-configuring because it is possible for it to self-configure, and we just happen to live in the place where that has actually happened. This is called the anthropic principle, which presupposes that we are not special and that we just think we are because we basically won the lottery. It has not been demonstrated to be true, but I am inclined to believe it. This also implies that the universe does not care whether we destroy ourselves or not! It also does not care whether nature accidentally destroys us.

The alternative hypothesis is that we exist for an external reason, but I have no explanation for what that might actually mean.

Kalpesh Soni

Lot of texts exist in east

Try reading ashtavakra gita

Heyerdahl

Anonymous

If your offer of answering questions and critique is still open, I have a question for you. (For the record, English is not my native Language, but I think we will be allright).

Langan calls the issue of determinism vs randomness a false dicotomy, and argues for a third alternative called self-determinacy.

But isn`t this passsing on the explanatory buck and in fact raising the same problem once again?

Wouldn`t explaining the desition made by the entity that does the self-determining (GOD), itself give rise to the dicotomy of determinism vs randomness, or an alternation between the two?

If so, perhaps it is not logically possible to get around this problem?

Thanks in advance.

Heyerdahl

polianalyst

C. Langan [presumably] comments above:

“In a debate, the knowing use of counterproductive rhetorical tactics (deliberate sophistry, red herrings, straw men, ad hominem arguments, arguments from authority, lies, insults, defamation, and so on) designed to let the wrong party “steal” victory from the true winner, i.e. the rightful winner as determined with respect to content, can be likened to a rhetorical form of premeditated crime.”

We’re talking about ideas, practical and theoretical. I theorize (a “working hypothesis”) that relative correctness of ideas can be determined by measuring the relative presence or absence of “counterproductive rhetorical tactics” and that absolute correctness of a theory can be obtained (eventually) through the elimination of such tactics altogether.

So, let’s have some brilliant minds develop some *practical* methods of defining, identifying, labeling, measuring, neutralizing and eventually eliminating (at least in politics and philosophy) “counterproductive rhetorical tactics.” Once that is achieved, maybe the philosophers (and the politicians) can have the field and the “truth” will become self-evident.

On another level, trying to *justify* the existence of mankind, or the supremacy of mankind, or a high IQ, or some sort of supreme being, with complex theories is simply counterproductive– one might say a waste of highly developed neurological development– except, perhaps, as a very expensive form of self-obsessional entertainment..

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@Anonymous.
What differences are there between Spinoza and the CTMU?

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George

Yeah, I have to say I think Tom is fighting an opponent different from Chris Langan. While Langan may posit a sort of Godhead that invokes ideas of religion, his deity is light years apart from the stereotyped fundamentalist, creationist (meaning anti-Darwinian) deity. And I’ve heard a lot of comments very demeaning of philosophy but I think you must understand that even in hard science, philosophy is necessary in a very fundamental way. Experiment and observation (empiricism) are powerful tools but they’re of no use if we aren’t framing our scientific queries in a meaningful way and that requires–believe it or not–some heavy understanding of philosophy and logical reasoning. The Turing test, e.g., I would assert is NOT very sound and NOT very scientific for this reason. Hell, some people could be fooled into thinking a ventriloquist’s dummy was a conscious entity. So, you have to have a way of defining what you’re talking about–when you assert that something is conscious, you need to formulate what you MEAN by conscious and that is essentially philosophical. Anyway, my point being simply that one cannot fully extirpate the role of philosophical reasoning in science–additionally, most anyone would agree that science would be crippled beyond repair without mathematics and mathematics IS philosophy and any mathematician worth their salt would understand this. M-Theory (and its constituent String Theories), which is respected by many scientists and loved by many atheists enjoys no verification by either experiment or observation; it’s respect is largely grounded in mathematical beauty and the doctrine of unreasonable effectiveness (of mathematics). You might just as well beat up on it for the same reasons. Lastly–and to get back on track–I think it’s a mistake to think that the CTMU’s primary purpose is to prove the existence of God. It is a theory of theories, as it’s author proclaims and that is where the crux of its significance lies. This then brings me back to my semi-digression: so, it is (I think anyway and for what it’s worth) an attempt to perfect a fundamental framework whereby a TOE, e.g., could be reasonably placed. It sets forth the components such a theory (whatever it may be) must satisfy and resolve–it makes the question of a theory of everything a more meaningful, more scientifically precise and valid question–and, yes, whether you like it or not, a true TOE must go deeper than the constrained realm of positivism. If you want to stay steadfast to positivism and the scientific method (at least as it is commonly understood), then you won’t be able to render a true theory of everything. If this pisses you off, then don’t try positing a theory of everything–just do rigorous and empirically verifiable scientific works that cover circumscribed domains of the real world–but you will never get a scientifically valid theory of everything by operating that way. If you don’t like empirically unverifiable theories then stay away from theology and, for that matter–at the present time–M-theory too.. ttfn

Seanny Boy

Having just read the entire thread top to bottom, I wish I could suspend time and reply in kind to every post…

But I would like to just say this:

I think the problem most people are running into, having encountered the CTMU, would be “what is it’s purpose”?

I would like to try to answer this as short as possible (I’m at work and can’t spend that much time on it).

In short, the CTMU is a Frame-work for understanding and discussing the relationship of empirical sense-data, with what most commonly can be understand as “consciousness”.

Like any scientific paper, it takes many ideas and attempts to coherently bring together the threads of each to form a tapestry of understanding for those who might take that and expand on it further, or use it in their work.

I think it is a great read for any young physicist, because of the onset of quantum mechanicanical science, we’ve reached a new frontier so to speak in which classical thinking is out the window…. Or so has been the case until now.

The CTMU could be viewed as a sort of launch pad for young thinkers to wrap their heads around so far what has been irreconcilable observation and experimentation.

And for those less privvy to the great works of philosophy, “it” is the root of physics, the grand father of chemistry, and the great grandfather of Biology.

The CTMU is simply enlightening. It is the modern Tao Te Ching.

It is spiritual and cerebral fruit.

In other words, it’s intellectual motivation. It’s a spotlight in the dark. A fog-light for the hazy.

At least, it can be this given the chance.

Look not to the Author, but to the content.

Elliott

To anyone courteous enough to give their opinion. (If this post is even still running)
My questions are off topic but I would like to take the opportunity to ask some questions about my life in response to some of the thoughts this thread has provoked. ( I have no one in my immediate life to ask such questions)
I have now read the thread pretty much from top to bottom and also taken a peak into Chris Langan’s backround.
On the one hand I deeply admire this discussion and see tremendous value in it and I actually had no idea such debates took place but on the other hand I do wonder what the implications of such ideas are for the lay person such as me.
I have pretty much spent my whole life in sports and received no schooling. I gave up sport at age 17 due to the realisation that I was not going to achieve what was necessary to carry on. Carried out my A-levels got good grades, currently (23) studying psychology at university.
My problem is i am now in a system were i lack the skills to immediately succeed and also possibly for any future success within this. However my studies and wider reading have inspired a thurst to learn that i didn’t no existed within me. Can/will someone like me be able to understand CTMU or even contribute to such ideas.
Also Chris’s comment about earning freedom and choice what would constitute that.
Also i think my main intelligence is emotional and practical hence why i’m studying psychology, i read Freud, Adler, Fromm, Maslow and Rogers and find many of my own thoughts imbedded within them. But from discussions like this and others that i have read about i see the value in physics biology and maths (do i go back and start from scratch or should i stick with what i’m good at?)

Sorry to take this of topic and for my disjointed sentences.

I would appreciate any advice anyone can give.

David

Hi,
I have zero feeling of animosity towards those who believe in God(s) through faith or reason or those who do not, but I can’t but help notice from the criticism Langan receives on the internet, it seems to regulary stem from the fact that he purports to have proof regarding the existence of god. This reminds me of a qoute attributed to A.Einstein
‘ You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being’
I think it’s important to realise that Langan isn’t claiming the bible is accurate, or certainly not wholly. And I think its important to look at his theory carefully with an open mind.

ATHEIST

At frist I was ok with it, whatever there atheist’s or whatever the fuck they call themselves now. Everybody is calling themselves something. New word’s are being invented. Christopher Langan is a extremely bright individual. His theory is awesome from a physic’s, psychology stand point and more….. I’m tired of you “atheist’s” at the club, bar, social scene just running your mouth’s. Every one of you mindless monkey have the same routine. I was talking to a girl last night. I was telling her it’s proven……….. All you do is say blah blah blah question after question after question after question. Why, because that’s what you guy’s do to feel special. You guy’s don’t pay attention to anything just question and question. Even when someone present FACT’S, PROVE U QUESTION THEM ETC…. ONE BIG BULLSHIT PATTERN OF QUESTION AFTER QUESTION. I think that’s how you guys feel bright. LAMO. You guy’s are the most arrogant, mindless, annoying troll’s I have ever meet. Example – 1 +1 = 2. Normal person ok. Smart person ok. Retard ok. Atheist well what are numbers? Who made numbers? What is 1? Well how can 1 exist, atom’s aren’t stable.1 what? YOU IDOT’S ANYBODY CAN DO THIS, DO YOUR BLANK MIND’S UNDERSTAND. YOU ARE NOT SMART OR UNIQUE. IT’S A PATTERN CALLED MINDLESS QUESTIONING. 2 YEAR OLD CAN DO IT. DAM U GUYS ANNOY THE SHIT OUT OF SO MANY PPL.

Buster

IQ is quite valid, most other parts of the world utilize IQ test in hiring, but not in the Bolshevik oriented US for obvious reasons. CTMU is just philosophy, a study that lost utility about the 17th Century. Eugenics is valid, but Bolshevik PC still seeks the classless (other than high party officials and uber rich), raceless “ideal” Langan has great brainpower, but he just wants to be a bouncer – it’s his life.

elliott

you may want to add some eastern philosophy in your study mix

find out an art of living center near you and do the happiness program
:)

thank me later

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