Spiral Time, the first notebook in the Author’s over 3000 page ‘scientific’ opus, laid the groundwork for much of what came next. Rather than only dealing with Spiral Time, this relatively brief essay was the initial exposition of the young author’s model regarding a mathematical system (Data Stream Dynamics) and its relationship to human behavior.
Time Ecology Theory: Its Implications for Behavior is the subtitle of the 36-page work. Time Ecology is the name he gave to the model he was developing to understand the relationship between data streams, mathematics and living behavior. The model has definitely undergone many refinements and name changes, as we are about to see. However, the model is still intact after almost 3 decades – not just intact – but instead growing stronger with each new insight. In this sense, the model is actually anti-fragile.
His 1994 Eco-Time Theory has been extended to include new phenomena. Yet the mathematical system (DSD) remains the same. Indeed our current 2023 Information Digestion Model employs the exact same mathematics. In between (2010), we developed yet another model (Triple Pulse) also based in DSD that deals with yet another set of phenomena, both behavioral and biological. Each investigation resulted in models for living behavior that is based upon a mathematical relationship with data streams, as revealed by DSD. Same mathematical system DSD –– just different perspectives.
Not only has the original mathematical system remained intact throughout the decades, the Spiral Time Notebook introduced and developed some constructs that are incredibly useful. For instance, the rediscovered bi-dimensional time can be applied to each arena of focus that I have visited in the last thirty years. Let’s examine each arena in turn.
1) Data Stream Momentum deals with the interaction between Activities/Events, for instance the relationship between Sleep and Creativity, or Work and Science. To this end, the Notebook develops the notions of Time Momenta and Time Density. These significant constructs are part of the mathematics of habit formation. They only operate in time’s vertical dimension. In contrast, Matter only operates in the horizontal dimension.
2) Triple Pulse Studies deals with the quality of the Event, for instance the quality of a Creative Session. To this end, the Notebooks develop patterns of correspondence between Attention-related behavior and the two primary forms of DSD, i.e. the Pulse and the Triple Pulse. Neither of these mathematical sub-systems operates in or applies to Matter’s horizontal time. Rather both the Pulse and Triple Pulse only operate in and apply to Life’s vertical time dimension.
3) The Attention Realm develops the notion that our Cosmos consists of three interacting realms of existence – Molecular, Subatomic and Attention. Bi-dimensional time enables us to distinguish the Realms. Why? Each Realm has an entirely different relationship to time: the Molecular Realm forward horizontal only; Subatomic all directions horizontal; Attention forward-backward vertical. We developed this idea in an earlier section.
Perhaps of more significance, Attention’s mental energy is required to generate time’s vertical (spiral) dimension. Without Attention, Spiral Time simply does not exist. Attention sustains, intensifies and nurtures this dimension of time that is unique to living systems.
Exclusively material systems do not have Attention. No Attention, no Experience, no vertical time. Experience is the glue that holds the vertical time dimension together. Without Attention generated Experience, vertical time does not exist.
In effect, Attention imparts existence to an imagined reality that provides the primary motivation for our behavior and enables us to survive. In fact, all living systems must engage with spiral time in order to survive. Simply said, Attention [by Attention we mean the Attention Synergy] provides meaning, hence value, hence existence to time’s vertical dimension.
4) Information Digestion Model develops the notion that living systems have an information digestion system in addition to the usual biological systems. The material component operates in horizontal time, while our information digestion system only operates in vertical time dimension.
According to our ID Model, Living Systems employ the Attention Synergy to digest the information contained in data streams. Along with Attention, this Synergy consists of Feelings, Intention and Mind. Further to digest data streams, Attention employs an image overlay process, which is simulated by the LA. All of the Synergy’s components only operate in time’s vertical dimension.
5) Bio-Evolution of Info Digestion develops the notion that biological systems have evolved to take advantage of our info digestion system. Put another way, Evolution exploits the full potentials of the LA and its mathematical system DSD.
We present three examples in support of this proposition. Our Sleep Biology System (Dement’s Opponent Process Model) forces us to take full advantage of rhythms of the Triple Pulse. Our Attention system (Posner's Attention Model ) takes advantage of the LA’s Decay Factor to focus and relax Attention. Further associating pain with shrinking Deviations (a DS Derivative) could have been a major factor in the abrupt leap in human evolution. After a certain point, artistic expression began to blossom and early humans began traveling over the entire globe. (See Boredom Principle: Notebook 4).
School children are taught that evolution does its magic via random physical mutations. These mutations and the evolutionary processes that choose them operate in Matter’s horizontal time. Our examples indicate that evolution also exploits the mathematical potentials of Attention’s patented image overlay process (mathematized by the Living Algorithm and DSD). Recall that Attention’s IOP only operates in and actually generates vertical time. The inference is straightforward. In addition to horizontal time, evolution also operates upon vertical time.
There are a variety of models associated with DS Dynamics. Let us compare and contrast them.
The first proposed in 1994 is the theory of Ecological Time, which is developed in the Spiral Time Notebook. The theory proposes an explanation for a widespread phenomenon that influences nearly everyone at one time or another. Simply put, Eco-Time is the common process by which Actions compete for limited Time, e.g. a day. Simple. For example: Screen time frequently collides with face-to-face interaction.
The Notebook addresses the question: By what process do they compete?
With each repetition, the activities accumulate what the Author calls Time Density. This Time Density has Momentum that wants to persist. As the Density accumulates with repetition so does the so-called Time Momenta.
Due to this increasing momentum, we have an almost irresistible urge to maintain High Density Data Streams associated with repetitive behavior. The Author initially calls this tendency Flow, as it occurs almost automatically. A more familiar name for Flow would be the momentum of Habit.
Let us examine the tenets of the Habit-forming Process.
1) Every action we take has forward momentum associated with it. Establishes a probability of behavior P(B).
2) Every time we repeat a behavior, the momentum increases.
3) The momentum has an energy that seeks to repeat itself. P(B) increases.
4) The more regularly that we engage in a particular behavior, the more likely we will repeat said behavior. Increases P(B) probability of behavior.
5) Due to this behavioral momentum, it behooves us to be careful in engaging in behavior.
6) An understanding of the energy of this momentum aids us to choose more sustainable and beneficial behavior patterns.
7) We can understand this behavioral momentum through DSD.
8) Why? DSM ≈ Behavioral Momentum – parallel/metaphorical logical structures
9) Why? LA ≈ IOP; math system parallel with ID system’s fundamental process
10) Why believe? Abundant evidence supports.
To change this Flow (the Behavioral Momentum), we must exert Willpower. For example, if we regularly overeat or overexercise, it takes will power to resist this urge.
The logic of Material momentum is very similar. An external force is necessary to change an object’s momentum. In Eco-Time, external Will is necessary to change the probabilities of Behavioral Momentum.
Time Ecology only focuses upon how much time is spent upon a behavior, e.g. riding a bicycle. These considerations have nothing to do with the type of activity or the quality of the session. As far as Time Ecology is concerned, an Action is just an ongoing, ordered stream of numbers. Nothing more, nothing less.
All 3 investigative phases belong in the same set. Each participates in the same iterative process (the Living Algorithm). Each is based upon the same mathematical system – DSD. Each system, i.e. Time Ecology, Behavior Dynamics and Info Digestion, only applies to or operates in Time’s vertical dimension.
Despite these similarities (belonging to the same set), each of the 3 phases has a different focus. Plus, each utilizes a different feature of DS Mathematics.
1) Eco-Time: Repetitive Events > Habits
DS Velocity – Momentum
Operation of System, no change
2) BD – Attentional behavior, Biological Systems and Evolution - Experience
Pulse: Repetitive Events > Experiences
DS Acceleration – Force
Changes the state of the System; Memory; Reorganizes matter
3) ID System: Info Digestion, the Attention Synergy and the LA.
Experiences are food for Mind.
Experiences are the basis of Memory, context, meaning and value.
It is evident that my investigation encompasses a diversity of disciplines. Despite this diversity, DSD with its multiple aspects unites my entire body of work under a single umbrella.
Let us revisit the Event, a technical term in our ‘Science’ of Info Digestion. It is an important concept than applies to each of the four arenas in a different way. Although the concept has remained the same, the dimensionality has increased tremendously.
In our initial 1994 Ecological Time study, an event was simply a data point in a stream of data that quantified the amount of time (hours) spent engaged in a particular activity, e.g. practicing music. The events in this study were expressed in the form of hours per day (hrs/day).
To be part of a data stream, an ‘event’ was not a stand-alone special occurrence, but rather a repetitive behavior/activity that consumed a significant amount of time on a regular basis, e.g. Sleep or Exercise. Further in order to quantity it with a number, each event had a relatively distinct, though not necessarily precise, beginning and end.
Initially we examined the relationship between Work time (waiting tables) and Creative Time (Art, Music, Science …). How does the increase or decrease in hours spent upon one activity influence time spent upon the other activity? What does the data stream reveal about the action – its stability, volatility, trends, expectations? However, the overall aim of this initial study was to examine how actions competed with each other for the limited resources of a 24-hour day – hence the designation ecology.
2) Triple Pulse: In our subsequent 2010 Triple Pulse study, we attempted to understand how to maximize the quality of the event, especially the creative session. What happens when the creative session is interrupted? What are its limits, i.e. when too long or too short? What part does sleep play? What are the parameters associated with downtime?
Same ‘event’, but our focus shifted from ‘competition between actions’ to the ‘quality of the session’.
3) ID System: When pondering the whys behind the startling correspondences between our mathematical system (DSD) and empirical data, an equally startling concept emerged from the depths. Was it possible that living systems actually employed Data Stream Dynamics to digest the information contained in data streams?
Same mathematics, same data streams, same events, but now we were studying this synergy’s relationship to all living systems, not just humans. Events that are measured in hours morph into images with multiple dimensions. According to our developing model, Attention then overlays these data stream images on top of each other to form models and memorable experiences. It seems that the algorithm that generated our math system (LA) is the mathematical realization of Attention’s image-overlay process
In this phase, single dimension Events are generalized to multi-dimensional Images and Human Activities are generalized to Living Experience. While the basic mathematics of data streams remains the same, it too has been expanded beyond its original limited boundaries.
4) Info Bio-Evolution: Accompanying the notion of an ID system is Evolution, our fourth arena. The questions become: Is there any evidence that evolutionary processes taken advantage of our ID system? If so, what features of Attention’s image overlay process (LA) does natural selection exploit to further the chances of passing on our gene pool? How does evolution enhance the quality of an Event? What are the evolutionary consequences of associating pain or pleasure with the features of an Event?
From a simple repetitive human activity measured in hours, to a living image that generates models and is the basis of Experience, an Event has become, in this last study, something that evolution exploits for the survival of the species. While still the same mathematics of data streams and the same ‘event’, both have been generalized and expanded far beyond their original boundaries.
Summarizing: each of our studies focuses upon Events in a qualitatively different way.
1) EcoTime: Competition between Events that are associated with specific Actions.
2) Triple Pulse: The quality of Events, disassociated from the Action
3) Info Digestion: Events as Images – Mind’s Food & the source of Experience
4) Bio-Evolution: evolutionary processes take advantage of the DSD, the mathematical system associated with a stream of Events.
As discussed, the LA’s mathematical system, DSD, has many applications. In a prior section, we associated three of these arenas with the Author’s three books.
To refine understanding, let us contrast these 3 arenas in more depth – disassociate them from the books for clarification. Following is a table that summarizes some differences in the three arenas of focus – 1) Mathematics, 2) Action, and 3) Focus.
Math: DS Velocity
Action: Establish, maintain & change
Focus: Habit Patterns
2) Pulse Theory of Attention
Math: DS Acceleration
Focus: Experience, Inspiration & Mastery
3) Biological Systems
Math: DS Analytics
Action: Take advantage of DSD
Focus: Evolution & Living Systems
The previous section spent some time on the first arena – Eco-Time/Habit Formation. Let us examine the third focus territory – Biological Systems – in more detail.
Why is DS Analytics associated with this arena?
One of the prime tenets of the ‘Science’ of Data Streams is that Life employs math (LA) to analyze data streams. Mind, a component of Life’s Attention synergy, analyzes DS Analytics to make better decisions – choose between alternatives. On the most basic level, Mind employs the Predictive Cloud, three of the DS’s central measures, to describe the current DS Propensity. This description of the current moment enables prediction, thereby anticipation, of the next moment. Knowledge of a DS’s Predictive Cloud narrows the range of expectation, thereby reducing energy expenditure and increasing the possibility of success.
On a more complex level, Mind generates correlations between Data streams. These comparative figures enable living systems to better interact with their surroundings and align with Group behavior.
These correlations also enable Mind to create more complex images, by connecting corresponding data streams to a more comprehensive image. For instance, the sights, sounds, smells and emotions of a single individual could all be a part of a single image.
In such a way, DS Propensity, along with DS Content results in DS Identity – the association of a distinct identity with multiple data streams. For instance, the smell of a single molecule associated with food could then be linked together with multiple other data streams to indicate a fly, perhaps if you are a frog, or a hamburger, if you are in the mood.
Let us return to the basic statement. Mind employs DS Analytics, not the Raw Data, to make better decisions – choose between alternatives. For instance on the most fundamental level, Mind has some control over the focus of Attention, e.g. whether to shift or sustain on a particular DS and for how long. This talent, when used wisely can maximize the number of integrated Experiences. This is important as these optimal Experiences are the food of Life’s ID system. Not the Raw Data; Not the DS Analytics. Yes DS Experiences.
Evolution takes advantage of the unique features of this Mind-Analytic process to heighten the possibility of passing on gene pool and fulfilling potentials. Let us see how natural selection operates upon the LA’s mathematical system, DSD.
1) Sleep: According to our model, Sleep tares the ID system of extraneous noise – more specifically undigested DSs. This Taring enables Mind to achieve a higher concentration of mental energy, In turn, this higher level of concentrated mental energy enables deeper insights and integration of knowledge. This increase in mental power enhances our cognitive abilities for problem solving, which, of course, enhances the possibility of survival.
The Biology of Sleep articulated by Dement’s Opponent Process Model enforces Sleep’s Taring process with a biological system that pervades the entire Body on multiple levels. As an indication of the system’s power, we can’t reduce our Sleep time. Despite all attempts to the contrary, sleep always catches up to us. Evolution spent millions of year developing this biological system, as many birds and mammals also slumber in a vulnerable, unconscious state for a third of every day.
2) Attention: Posner's Attention Model is considered a scientific 'fact'. The system takes advantage of the LA’s Decay Factor to adjust the focus of Attention, narrow or broad. This enables Attention to concentrate on details and current immediate trends, or on the general characteristics and long-term trends. This invaluable talent is an incredible tool as it can both conserve mental energy and heigten our analytical talents. The ability to control the focus of Attention is an invaluable tool. Again this system of Attention permeates our Body. Having spent millions of years on its development, evolution must have considered it fairly important.
3. Boredom Principle: Random time or divine coincidence associated pain with shrinking deviations and natural selection jumped in and held on tight. The pain of shrinking deviations could also be called boredom with the same old thing. This discomfort and dissatisfaction with the old stimulates change, diversity, exploration, and art. The Neanderthal didn’t have it and were content to stay in the same location with minimal changes for a million years. Early homo species didn’t have it either. But when homo sapiens got it, what an explosion in exploration and art, which is still going on as we write.
By taking advantage of the LA’s many features, Evolution was able to increase our mental power (sleep); provide us with a new cognitive tool (focusing Attention); and a new motivation via pain and pleasure (Boredom). Data Stream Dynamics provides a plausible mathematical model for each arena.
Karl Popper, a noted 20th century philosopher of science, developed the notion that the best scientific theories and conjectures must be falsifiable. In other words, making a meaningful statement is to negate something else. To posit a loving God is to entertain the notion of a vindictive God. To test a hypothesis is to try and establish an alternative. If the inverse square law for gravity is true, the inverse cube or any other exponent is not true – false.
However if a theorist can see, for instance, class struggle, racism, sexism, repressed sexuality, everywhere, then the theory is not testable. If it is not testable, it is not science.
Popper did mention a notable exception to this rule of testability/falsifiability – Evolution. While it has great explanatory power, these is no way to test/falsify natural selection in an experimental setting. Evolution just takes too long.
Indeed, biologists and even the educated take evolution via natural selection as scientific dogma. Because so many phenomena have been explained by natural selection, all biological phenomena1 are the result of natural selection - goes the logic.
This reasoning is an example of what Popper calls ‘authoritarian science’. Why? One explanation blocks out all other potential theories. Previously it was the God hypothesis; now it is the Science hypothesis. Both are a type of religion, in the sense that True Believers take the Central Dogma of their school of thought as fact. Examples to the contrary are either viewed as anomalies or rationalized away with some arcane and convoluted reasoning.
Rather than be a blind Follower of the scientific or religious priesthood, we prefer a different stance – the same as that of Medieval scholars. This stance is based in the humility of ignorance, rather than the intellectual or spiritual arrogance of certainty. Rather than seeing a principle everywhere and in all things, better to analyze where it applies and where it doesn’t apply. For instance, it is easy to believe that the Universe, the God principle, is filled with loving kindness when all my faculties are working properly. However when in the midst of excruciating pain that passes a certain threshold, this hypothesis falls apart. At this point, existence is filled with misery and suffering rather than boundless joy and energy.
Similarly, while evolution does explain countless phenomena, it stumbles when facing the origin of life – when inanimate matter becomes cellular matter. Rather than admitting that evolution doesn’t explain how the first bacteria came to life with all its systems in place, most, if not all the followers of scientism, hold that all phenomena fit into the Evolution Box.
Why do evolutionary biologists and the educated public hold so stubbornly to this dogmatic stance? Presently there is no alternate theory, but the God theory. Dogmatically refusing to admit the possibility of a higher power, they attempt to cram everything into one box. Yet this holistic peg does not fit into the atomistic hole.
Popper states that the ultimate problem of science is balancing/reconciling or resolving our supreme wisdom/understanding with our limitless ignorance. Rather than getting stuck in Dogma and certainty, we must instead reside in the fractalized boundary between Understanding and Ignorance. This is the realm of science, i.e. critical analysis and problem solving – the only place to be.
Rather than reject new theories out of hand because they don’t fit into the current Dogma Box, real scientists at least entertain the possibility and attempt to prove the newcomer wrong. They achieve this by devising rigorous tests to verify, invalidate or force refinement. Novice theories, especially, tend to overclaim.
In the last few years, I have attempted to introduce my Information Digestion Model to many, or maybe just a few, noted scientists. Wrapped up in their specialties, they ignore my findings – too far from established theory to even entertain the possibility. Don’t they realize that the function of the scientific endeavor is to entertain and criticize new theories? Ignoring blocks growth in understanding – a prime flaw of Authoritarian Science.
Acknowledging the possibility of God does not block progress. Asserting the absolute supremacy and truth of scientific knowledge does.
Like evolution’s natural selection, our ID Model has great explanatory power. Intriguingly, the data sets of the two perspectives have many overlaps and intersections. Indeed natural selection operates upon our ID system to enhance survival possibilities.
Like evolution, many features of our ID Model are not falsifiable. Despite this lack, both evolution and the ID Model are scientific theories. Both models can be tested as to where they apply and where they don’t – identify the limits of their utility. Their virtue is that they both describe distinct processes that apply to a wide range of otherwise unexplainable phenomena.
As with evolution, explanatory power trumps the ability to falsify.
Dawkins in his book ‘The Selfish Gene’ even applies this reasoning to the interactions of inanimate matter that supposedly lead up to the earliest life forms. Many scientists continue to pursue this train of thought – the application of evolution’s natural selection to the origination of Life. Absurd from my view.