a Historical Perspective

We’ve spoken about many of the components of Data Stream Dynamics. We have also discussed the notion that the Dynamics of Data Streams and Matter are based upon the same relationships between fundamental concepts. Newton supplied the keys to this interlocking architecture. One of those keys is the notion of Force. To better understand the relationship between Newton’s concept of Material Force and Data Stream Force, let’s examine the discovery of these key concepts from a historical perspective.

The entire process begins with Galileo and his willingness to challenge the wisdom of Aristotle. The information contained in Aristotle’s prodigious writings had dominated natural philosophy in the West for 2 thousand years. Due, perhaps, to the accelerating economic and intellectual vitality of Western Europe during Galileo’s time, many thinkers had begun questioning Aristotle’s teachings.

This was in part due to some obviously false claims made by Aristotle. For instance, he claimed that physical objects fall at a constant speed. This notion is easily dispelled. If we drop a glass from just above the floor, the impact is not enough to break the glass. However, if we accidentally knock the same glass off the table, the impact is enough to shatter it.

Obviously, falling objects do not achieve a constant speed instantaneously. But then how is this speed achieved? What is the nature of this speed of falling objects if it is not constant? Galileo set up some ingenious experiments to explore this question. He came up with some surprising answers that laid the foundations of modern science – the notions acceleration and inertia.

To explore the nature of the motion of a falling object, it is necessary to measure the change of location (∆d) against the change in time (∆t) at a variety of regular intervals. This is the definition of velocity that we mentioned previously (v = ∆d/∆t). However, objects fall so fast that it is hard to get an accurate reading of changes in distance or time passed. To solve this initial obstacle Galileo rolled a ball down an inclined plane. This slowed the descent sufficiently so that he could get accurate readings on the change of location.

Measuring changes in time presented an even greater obstacle, as there were no watches in Galileo’s time. To measure time he placed his finger on a hole in a container filled with water. When the timing began he took his finger off; when the timing was over he placed his finger over the hole again to stop the flow of water. He then measured the amount of water in the bowl to determine how much time had passed. An amazing solution to a seemingly insurmountable technical problem.

He measured the ball’s speed at a variety of different intervals during its descent down the inclined plane. The initial result, which surprised no one, was that the ball moved faster and faster as it moved down the plane. This immediate conclusion dispelled Aristotle’s notion that the speed of falling objects is constant. Ultimately, another inference from the experiment led to the discovery of gravity.

Due to a careful mathematical analysis of the data, Galileo came up with some startling results. While the speed of falling objects is not constant, it turns out that the rate of change of the speed is constant. For instance, the time it takes the ball to travel the first distance is twice what it takes to cover the second increment of space. Similarly the time of the second interval is twice that of the third interval, which is twice that of the fourth interval. Galileo had just provided an experimental example of constant acceleration, the rate of change of velocity.

Startling, but what can you do with it? Nothing yet. However, Galileo’s discovery of acceleration paved the way for Newton’s discovery of force, which in turn laid the groundwork for the discovery of energy. Future generations would exploit these notions of energy to transform and shape our world in ways unimaginable in these early centuries.

Although Galileo’s results were amazing, the way he came up with his results was even more revolutionary. This was one of the first times that mathematics had been used as an effective tool to investigate the changing world. In earlier times Arabs had employed mathematics in incredible ways to describe the unchanging static nature of the Universe. Galileo was probably the first to employ mathematics to describe the dynamics of a changing world. He could boldly assert, and he did, that constant acceleration is an innate feature of falling objects because of the union of mathematics and his experimental results. The implicit insight is that mathematics can be a powerful tool for analyzing change.

The current study is founded on the same principle. While Galileo et al employed mathematics to analyze the changes in the material world, we employ mathematics to analyze the changes in the world of information. We also begin our respective studies with perceived correspondences between mathematics and empirical evidence. Galileo’s results were entirely observational, just as were Kepler’s studies of planetary orbits in the following century. The *Triple Pulse Study*, the initial notebook in our series, is also observational. Patterns of correspondence between mathematics and experimental evidence are established, but no theory is suggested.

Ironically, the results of the Triple Pulse Study have a peculiar symmetry with Galileo’s. Both are based upon acceleration. Just as he found that physical acceleration corresponds with the behavior of material objects, we found that the acceleration of information corresponds with experimental evidence regarding multiple sleep-related phenomena. The current notebook attempts to take the next step from observation to theory. Its inevitable purpose is to establish the theoretical framework that will allow us exploit the notions of Info Force, Energy, and Power to enhance our daily lives.

After discovering that balls roll with constant acceleration, Galileo’s enormous curiosity led him to test what happens when balls of different sizes and weights are rolled down the same incline. In this way he could test Aristotle’s hypothesis that the speed of a falling object is proportional to its weight. In other words, the heavier an object is, the faster it falls. Of course, this hypothesis has many experiential correspondences. For instance, we observe that iron balls fall faster than feathers and, that heavy objects sink more rapidly in water than light objects do.

The results of Galileo’s experiment must have come as a major shock. The initial results disproved Aristotle’s hypothesis. Size and weight had no connection with the time it took for a ball to roll down the incline. The reason for the difference between experiment and experience is that there were other factors at work, not yet known, that slowed the descent of lighter objects, such as wind resistance and shape.

The secondary result was revolutionary and was the other key component in Newton’s discovery of gravity. It turns out that no matter what the size or weight of the ball that they all descended the same distance in the exact same time. To illustrate these amazing results to the public, Galileo dropped two balls of different sizes and weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. To the surprise of the Aristotelians in the crowd, the balls hit the ground at the same time.

Another major implication of Galileo’s experimental results, perhaps the most radical of all, has to do with the concept of inertia. The ancient teaching articulated by Aristotle is that moving objects will eventually come to their natural state of rest. There are myriad examples to support this hypothesis. A ball is thrown in the air. It falls to the earth, rolls a distance, and then stops, presumably all on its own. Humans work all day and collapse into their natural state of rest at night.

There are a few examples that counter this analysis. For instance, a block of ice propelled across an icy lake seems to move forever without slowing down. This common experience leads to the opposing notion. Objects move forever unless something in the environment slows them down. During the Renaissance when Galileo lived, this view was gaining more credibility.

This shift in thinking about an object’s natural state was due in part to the implicit beliefs associated the ancient view. The notion that an object moved, almost consciously, towards a natural state of rest imputed some type of animism to the object. In other words, they were self-propelled like humans. Their movement resulted from internal motivation. Even Kepler, who discovered that planets moved in elliptical orbits about the sun, continued to talk in terms of the motive force of these celestial objects. The humanist thinkers of the Renaissance were disassociating themselves from this Greco-Roman notion that matter was animate – that it had a motive force of its own.

Galileo’s experimental results lent further credence to the idea that matter does not move of its own accord. Balls automatically moved down the incline with the exact same acceleration regardless of individual dimensions. The factors behind the movement of the balls seemed to be external rather than internal. This line of reasoning also leads to the idea of inertia – that the natural state of objects is not rest, but a constant speed, whether stopped or moving.

Let’s examine a plausible chain of reasoning. Objects fall quickest if they go straight down, rather than at an incline. This is why Galileo designed his experiment the way he did. Free-falling objects simply fell too fast for him to get an accurate measurement. Inductive reasoning leads to an inevitable conclusion. The constant acceleration of the ball (the rate of change of its speed) is associated with the slope of the incline. The steeper the slope, the greater the acceleration.

The first inference is clear. The constant acceleration of the ball shrinks as the incline becomes more horizontal. As the incline approaches flat, the acceleration should approach zero. This implies that the ball just moves at a constant speed, not that it stops. This implies that the natural state of objects is not rest, but a constant speed. This is the concept of inertia.

The concept of inertia dispelled the notion that ‘animate’ objects actively seek the natural state of rest. The notion that environmental factors are at play replaced this animistic worldview. External factors replaced internal motivation for falling objects at least. It is no wonder that Newton’s contemporaries recoiled in horror at his theory that objects are attracted to each other from a distance via the force of gravity. It smacked of this animism that they were attempting to get away from. Galileo’s experiment had firmly established that objects do not seek rest. How then could they be attracted to each other? (See the article *Occult Gravity* for a more in depth discussion of this topic.)

Note that the state of rest is also a constant speed. Environmental factors slow down an object until it comes to rest. The object does not seek rest. This statement implies that the state of rest and the state of motion are not different in kind, just degree. In other words, rest and constant velocity are equivalent states – the natural state of an object. Due to these associations, Newton referred to this constant velocity as the state of rest.

The question can then be asked: what environmental factors slow down, speed up, or change this natural state? This question was the key – the magic incantation that opened the door to Aladdin’s treasure-filled cave. The insights spawned by this experiment marked the beginning of modern science. Why?

If, as in the Aristotelian view of the ancients, objects naturally seek a state of rest, then the environment does not play a role. Objects themselves have the motive force. If, however, an object’s natural state is a constant speed, then environmental factors must come into play in slowing things down or speeding them up. If we can identify these environmental factors, then we can also possibly manipulate them to our advantage. This is the essence of the technological revolution.

This revolution did not occur in Galileo’s time. He *only* provided the experimental results that spawned the question. This technological revolution did not occur in Newton’s time either. Newton *only* identified the crucial environmental factors that change an object’s speed. It was another century after Newton that the notions of energy, work and power, which were derived from these original insights, enabled humans to transform their world. It was at this time that engineers began manipulating these environmental factors to human advantage. Yet, it was Galileo’s inclined plane experiments that set the stage by establishing the concept of inertia (that the natural state is a constant speed).

Newton founded his theory of gravity on these 3 concepts derived from Galileo’s experimental results: 1) The acceleration of falling objects is constant; 2) the weight of the object has nothing to do with the speed it falls; and 3) an object’s natural state is one of constant velocity. When Newton said he was standing on the shoulders of giants, one of the giants must certainly have included Galileo.

Copernicus’ pursuit of beauty led to the heliocentric worldview that instigated a brand new investigation. This new investigation initiated the Scientific Revolution. However, Copernicus only suggested the idea that catalyzed the search. Galileo’s pursuit of empirical verification through experimentation combined with mathematical analysis provided the method. It was this step that really initiated the era of modern science.

Not only did Galileo’s insights open the door to modern science, they also introduced a materialistic worldview. Objects weren’t animate anymore, with a will of their own. Instead they were subject to invariable automatic laws – for instance constant acceleration. This perspective, combined with accumulating scientific discoveries of more natural laws, eventually led to questioning the animate will of living systems, including humans. This viewpoint culminated in scientific determinism, a viewpoint championed by adherents of Scientism, a faith-based religion that is related to Science. (See the article, *Scientism, a Civil Religion*, for a more in depth discussion of this topic.)

Copernicus introduced the notion that the Earth circles the Sun. This idea spawned the Scientific Revolution. Galileo’s results and experimental method provided the key that would ultimately unlock the door to modern science. Descartes introduced universal doubt – the scientific skepticism that challenges every current paradigm, no matter how well established. In that sense, this study stands firmly on Descartes’ shoulders.

Not educated in the scholastic community of his day, Descartes just thought about things. Further, he accepted no established dogma as truth. In fact, he attempted to return to basic principles and then used deductive reasoning to derive all his conclusions. His first principle was his famous “I think, therefore I am.” In the same sense, we could say the first principle of our study is “Organisms digest information and so must be subject to the patterns of information digestion.”

Descartes’ exclusively deductive approach to investigation is based upon Euclid’s Elements. Euclid’s highly influential book laid the foundations for geometry specifically, and mathematics in general. He started his system with basic postulates and then employed deductive reasoning to derive theorems with their corollaries to build his geometrical system. Inspired by Euclid, Descartes utilized the same deductive technique, or claimed that he did, to build his system of thought.

This exclusive deductive approach to logic denies the validity of induction. While deduction reasons from basic principles, induction notices patterns in events. In fact, all of us regularly employ induction to sense and respond to patterns of behavior. The scientific method employs deductive techniques to check the validity of our inductive pattern recognition. This complementary relationship is an ideal means of investigation.

The exclusive use of deduction, untempered by evidence, ultimately leads to some strange conclusions. Following is a classic statement of this type. Because living systems consist solely of matter, we can logically deduce that the laws of matter determine the behavior of living matter. Descartes was one of the first to articulate this idea. He stated that our mind and body are separate. Our body only obeys natural law, while our mind is only subject to God. God only cares what we think, for our body moves automatically according to His natural laws. Descartes, further, believed/reasoned that only humans have this relationship with God. Consequently, animals have no soul and no motive force whatsoever.

According to Descartes' influential way of thinking, the world moves mechanically. Only the Human Mind has any relationship with God. However, the Mind has no relationship with the Body. Descartes believed that one event automatically follows another in immediate succession, similar to the colliding objects he studied. This led him to conclude that the behavior of matter, living or dead, is determined by God’s natural laws. For these reasons, Descartes is rightfully called the father of scientific determinism. As might be evident, this study stands in direct opposition to this notion. In fact, one of the prime purposes of our investigation is to uncover how the Mind influences the Body.

A contemporary of Galileo, but unaware of his discoveries, Descartes came at his solutions from an entirely different direction. Instead of experimenting, he thought about things. His thinking, influenced by the issues of his day, focused upon the dynamics of matter. Utilizing his deductive approach he came up with some amazingly accurate conclusions. The one that concerns us here is the conservation of momentum.

After observing collisions between objects, Descartes noted that the total momentum before and after the collision was the same. He defined momentum as the product of the speed and weight of the object. The sum of momentums before the collision are the same as the sum of momentums after the collision. In collisions, at least, momentum is conserved rather than consumed.

Descartes then turned this two-body collision into a universal principle. He accurately inferred that all matter obeys a Universal Law: the conservation of momentum.

“Momentum was the Creator’s own measure of the ‘quantity of motion’ and the amount of momentum in the* universe as a whole* was eternal and unchanging, a demonstration of his rationality and omnipresence.” (**Physics for Poets**, Robert H March, 1970, p. 31)

This was one of those moments in history when the intuitions of a deductive thinker turned out to be totally accurate. (If we substitute Science for Creator in the above quotation, we get a credo for the modern scientist – the belief in the universal laws of nature.)

With an inclination to generalize, Descartes applied this same reasoning to living matter. He believed in the Prime Mover concept, where the Creator sets things in motion and then allows natural laws do their work. This notion is at the heart of scientific determinism, except that the Big Bang is substituted for the Creator. This is just another example of how great theorizers have as many misses as they do hits. They are like the predator who only catches the prey in 1 out of 10 attempts.

Descartes’ unerringly accurate statements about the behavior of matter was another attack upon the then current animistic view of the Universe. Objects did not move of their own accord, but were subject to universal laws dictated by mathematics. His conclusions further supported the concept of inertia (that objects do not seek a natural state of rest but instead move at a constant velocity, unless imposed upon by an external influence, such as a collision.)

Descartes’ mode of analysis has proved to be incredibly influential as well. He isolated the problem of momentum into a two-body interaction and then generalized his conclusions to the* universe as a whole.* Physicists have employed his effective method of analysis (simplification followed by generalization) to this day.

When formulating his theories, Newton employed Descartes’ method of analysis, his concept of universal conservation of momentum, and his support of the concept of inertia. Descartes was certainly one of Newton’s giants. Descartes’ influence upon the philosophy and subsequent development of science cannot be overestimated.

Note however that Descartes did not address the prime question that Galileo’s research introduced. If inertia (steady motion) is matter’s natural state, what environmental factors alter this innate behavior? Descartes identified an additional feature of material behavior – the conservation of momentum in interactions. Yet he did not isolate the factors that would change the steady motion of objects. The insights provided by Descartes and Galileo were descriptive, but did not provide any causal mechanisms. For instance, Galileo observed that balls rolled at a constant acceleration, but did not know why this was so. Providing a causal mechanism (gravity) was to be Newton’s task.

In similar fashion to Galileo and Descartes, the Author began his exploration of data streams with observation and description only. For decades after his initial discovery of the Living Algorithm, the Author only used it to describe his personal data streams. At one point, he even realized that data streams had momentum. He likened this momentum to the strength of habit. He eventually wrote up his insights in a notebook entitled Data Stream Momentum. However, he didn’t really know if there was a connection between the strength of habit and data stream momentum. Nor did he know if there was a causal mechanism that linked them. Even though there seemed to be a connection, he had no idea how the mathematics of data streams could influence behavior. Quoting from the Author's work at that time:

"We can make accurate predictions. Yet we can’t get inside the clock to see how it works. We must be content with observation, prediction, diagnosis, and even prognosis."

It was almost 2 decades before he was able to look inside the clock to uncover a causal mechanism that linked mathematics with human behavior. Science requires plausible causal relationships before observations and theory acquire a deeper significance. For instance, many theorists had proposed the idea that the continents move around, but the idea only entered the scientific mainstream when the causal mechanism was finally uncovered - ocean spreading due to volcanic activity. Similarly, the discoveries of Galileo and Descartes regarding acceleration, velocity, inertia and momentum required Newton’s insights regarding force to reveal the underlying causal mechanisms at work. Let us examine Newton’s contribution.

Galileo’s experiments provided conclusive evidence for several key concepts. 1) Bodies fall at a constant acceleration. 2) This speed has nothing to do with their weight. This evidence is further support for the concept of inertia. 3) The natural state of an object is a constant velocity, whether stationary or in motion. Descartes, after observing colliding objects, came up with his conservation of momentum (weight times velocity). The sum of the momentums of 2 objects before the collision is the same as after the collision. This notion was extended to the universe as a whole. 4) In all collisions and interactions between objects the total momentum remains the same. Both Galileo’s & Descartes’ results and conclusions dispelled the notion that objects are animate and have motive power. Further, the results instead suggested that automatic universal principles govern the movement of objects. Although both men identified universal principles that determine the dynamics of matter, neither was able to address how to manipulate the natural state of inertia or conservation of momentum to human advantage.

Newton took the next step with his 3 laws of motion. 1) The natural state of rest (the constant velocity of inertia) is only changed if a force acts upon it. 2) This force is proportional to the change in momentum (acceleration of mass). 3) For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Simply speaking, force changes the momentum of inertia by accelerating it. Due to Descartes’ conservation of momentum, the forces must always balance each other (equal and opposite). Descartes and Galileo identified innate features of matter. Newton showed us the mechanism by which the natural state of matter is transformed – changing the momentum via Galileo’s acceleration.

These principles combined with Galileo’s results led by logical necessity to the theory of gravity. The momentum of the falling body is changing, as evidenced by its constant acceleration. This result indicates that a force must be acting upon it. It can’t be internal, as evidenced by the fact that the force (the acceleration) is the same regardless of the weight of the object. It must be external. The earth itself must be attracting (accelerating) objects to it. If that is so, the earth must also be attracting the Moon. The evidence supported and refined the theory. The laws of heaven and earth were joined for the first time. The association of acceleration and mass led to Newton’s notion of force. Force applied to falling objects and the Moon led to the universal law of gravity. Newton's notion of force provides an underlying mechanism for Data Stream Dynamics, as well.

Before examining this connection in more detail, let's review our beautiful architecture of dynamics. First the mathematics. Velocity (v) is the change in distance (d) over time (t). Acceleration (a) is the change in velocity (v) over time (t). And Force (F) is what occurs when mass (m) is accelerated (a).

v = d/t

a = v/t

F = m*a

Let's reduce these composite measures to their elemental components. We see that velocity and acceleration are functions of change in distance (d) over changes in time (t). In contrast Force also requires mass (m) in addition to the other components.

v = d/t

a = d/t^{2}

F = m*d/t^{2}

These relationships are shown in the following diagram. The interaction of Time & Distance creates the first floor – Velocity; the interaction of Time & Velocity becomes the second level – Acceleration; and combining Mass with Acceleration creates the third floor – Force. This intricate structure applies equally to the dynamics of matter and data streams.

Let’s apply Newton’s notion of Force to Data Stream Dynamics of the Living Algorithm System. Just as Galileo and Descartes identified inertia as a feature of matter, the Author identified the inertia of a data stream. He even wrote a notebook on the subject, titled* Data Stream Momentum*. This momentum was associated with an inexorable, unchanging habit pattern. But how was one to change the momentum of this habit? What process could be employed to change the momentum of our lives?

According to Newton’s concept of Force, Acceleration is required to change an object’s Momentum. So how do we accelerate a data stream? The prior article, *Data Stream Mass*, suggests that Attention is the ‘mass’ of a data stream. There is evidence that Attention is innately attracted to the ‘acceleration’ of a data stream. (We will explore this notion in more depth in a future article.) When Attention’s ‘mass’ is joined with a data stream’s ‘acceleration’, it creates a ‘force’. We will call it the Force of Attention. The Mass of Attention transforms Data Stream Acceleration into Data Stream Force.

It is this force of attention that can change the nagging momentum of our lives. In fact, data stream dynamics suggests that this force of attention is the only way that humans can take an active role in changing bad habits. Well-established routines don’t tend to go away spontaneously. For instance, Attention must be focused upon correcting bad posture for it to improve. Attention must be focused upon playing an instrument to get better. The process of establishing or eradicating routines doesn’t tend to happen naturally. Habit momentum has an informational life of its own.

We have been talking in abstractions again. How about a picture of data stream force?

Et Voila! Our old friend, the Creative Pulse. We show her in four states, one overlaid on top of the other. The uninterrupted Creative Pulse is the red sector in the background. This is a visualization of her unimpeded Force – the force of a data stream consisting solely of ones. The green and grey overlays are snapshots of what happens when the pure force is interrupted by a string of zeros of a variety of durations, (3, 5, & 7). The longer the interruption, the greater the impact on the potentials of the Force. This reduction reduces our potential to do Work, as we shall see.

Here is another snapshot of Data Stream Force. This data stream consists of a specific string of ones, followed by a similar string of zeros and then ones. Another old Friend – the Triple Pulse.

In the *Triple Pulse Results* article, we examined how interruptions to the natural flow of this force disrupted the ideal potentials. This is shown in the graph on the right. As we shall see in a future article, the diminished Force reduces our ability to do Work.

The ‘mass’ of our Attention transforms data stream ‘acceleration’ into a Force, which can do the Work of changing bad habits and establishing positive routines. But we must play by their rules – bow to their patterns – yield to their influence – catch their waves. How? Check out the next article in the stream – *Data Stream Work*.