Monday, November 29, 2010

The essence of the theory is essentially theoretical

So getting back to this post from earlier in November...

The premise that lays the foundation for my grand unifying theory is that: No Two Things Are The Same.

I'm working on a catchier set of words that capture the basic idea (you know, for the book title!) but NTTATS more or less communicates the idea.

(used with permission)
People say snowflakes are unique...I'm suggesting that everything is unique.

I also suspect that this idea will resonate with some people as common sense and will strike others as silly.  Isn't that how it's supposed to go with philosophy?

Consider these examples:

The superficial:  no two people look exactly alike...even identical twins evidence some distinguishing characteristics.  No two cups of coffee taste exactly the same, although if they come from a certain national chain, they are likely to taste bad...  No two Thanksgiving dinners are the same (as clearly evidenced by all the complaints as to "why can't it be like it used to be!?")

The harder-to-see: no two thoughts are the two people perceive "blue" the same two games of Catan are the same.  No two loves are the same, no two weather patterns are the same.

At the most technical and nit-picky level, the theory will run into problems of measurement (I actually see in this problem an opportunity for liberation - more on that at a later time) given our inability to measure "quantum" particles.  As far as I understand it, physicists suggest that we may currently measure velocity or location of these tiny particles, but not both.  I'm just going to go ahead and claim this as a victory for my idea.

I would like to avoid trying too hard to guess what criticisms and challenges people will offer...but it's in my nature to worry about just this sort of thing.  So I'll go ahead and throw out one more example/explanation:

No two concepts are the same (similar to the "blue" comment above)...even things like 1s and 0s that would appear on some level to be objectively, Platonically, essentially the same across contexts are not, when you look closely enough.  [forgive me if this seems like splitting hairs; it is like splitting hairs, which one splits to find that no two hairs are the same].

Ok, enough of this for now.


  1. I wasn't able to stop thinking about "numbers" and how they fit into this theory and how some might object to my treatment of 1s and 0s and then, in the middle of a steamy shower, it occurred to me - numbers are not nouns, they are modifiers. You cannot have a "one" must have one OF something.

  2. I think... and don't quote me on this, 'cause I'm supposed to know this and I don't, I just think... but I think ones and zeros are often expressed in voltages. In certain types of circuits, that is. So a ONE may actually be communicated via a 4.7V signal, and a ZERO could be 0.2V, for instance.

    Is this a nice analog (ha) to the idea that we see things with which we're "familiar" (that's a loaded word) and assign to them membership in an Ideal Group, a "apple" membership, for instance, when in fact if we measured it we would almost certainly find it to actually be a 4.7V, or 5.3V, or 3.9V apple?

  3. @Adan...I've read your comment several times, and I appreciate it, but I'm not sure I get it.

    Keep them coming