Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

UFOs a la Valleé

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The Brainsturbator advances the “Chronon Theory“, quoting Jacques Vallee’s “Associative Universe”:

Time and space may be convenient notions for plotting the progress of a locomotive, but they are completely useless for locating information. What modern computer scientists have now recognized is that ordering by time and space is the worst possible way to store data. In a large computer-based information system, no attempt is made to place related records in sequential physical locations. If there is no time dimension as we usually assume there is, we may be traversing events by association. If we live in the associative universe of the software scientist rather than the sequential universe of the space-time physicist, then miracles are no longer irrational events.

That’s very nice food for thought, as Brainsturbator goes on and also quotes other heterodox ideas about time and events like those of Barbour and Jung, all very much following ufology a la Valleé.

I find those speculations very interesting, but one fundamental weakness about them is their emphasis on our consciousness. Like New Age interpretations of Quantum Mechanics, that somehow turns fundamental limitations in our knowing about subatomical phenomena into theories of how we actually control everything with our minds; I think they turn our ignorance about our own consciousness upside down.

You may advance the idea that time doesn’t exists, that our counsciousness may be the ultimate knot that links everything together and ends up creating everything. Fascinating indeed. But then you may discover just how much our consciousness is limited, and very unlike what we think about it.

For instance, just watch this amazing card trick:

Then read this theory of how our perception really works. And read Dennett, Damasio. Even if you don’t agree with their views on how our mind works, the fact is that it doesn’t work at all like the fundamental and ultimate organizing piece of the Universe.

Rather, the evidence suggests consciousness and free will may be an illusion themselves, which means that the idea that UFOs or time itself may be illusions created by it is just saying that everything is an illusion, which does not help much.

But the link between coincidences and the mind is indeed something very important, because finding coincidences is part of the illusion that generates our consciousness. When we are puzzled by a coincidence, it’s just that we are exercizing the very fundamental function that generates our mind, which is, to find relationships between things.

This materialistic vision of mind and consciousness may look depressing and boring, but if you really understand it, it has implications as far reaching as the New Age ones. For instance, it may just be possible that the illusion of consciousness may arise among other things. And not just extraterrestrial life or artificial robots. More about that on a following post.

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Posted in Fortean,Skepticism,UFOs | 2 comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Thirtyseven September 6th, 2007 11:38 pm

    Thanks for the link to the O’Regan/Noe paper, that looks very tasty.

  2. […] dissenting opinion from forgetomori: I find those speculations very interesting, but one fundamental weakness about them is their […]

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