Please read this as an outline of a research program. This is a rough sketch of what I want to write about in the future.
Unification is not about nature
Unification is not about nature. Nature is unified anyway. Unification is about finding a common mental framework for our models of nature.
Unification principle used by physicists
Physicists unify different descriptions of nature by using the symmetry concept. In Physics symmetry means invariance. By discovering symmetries they prove that seemingly different theories are actually equivalent. They also explain certain aspects of nature by saying that there was a symmetry before but now it is broken.
The unification perspective I am suggesting here cannot be described as a symmetry or invariance. This is a different mental framework that has the potential to unify various theories in different branches of science.
Horizontal and Vertical Attributes
Horizontal attributes are associated with collectivity and multiplicity. They are attributes of the group behavior. Horizontal attributes are about the cross-sectional universe.
Vertical attributes are about individuality, individual histories and individual characteristics. Vertical attributes are about the idiosyncratic behavior.
I hope that scientists and philosophers identify such pairs of attributes in their own fields.
The most general horizontal/vertical pair
We can think of many horizontal/vertical pairs in different branches of science. The most general pair is
Note: Collectivity is not Unity. Unity lies in the dimensionless existence where the horizontal and the vertical meet. Remember, Unity is beyond attributes whereas the horizontal/vertical pair concept is all about attributes.
Horizontal and vertical attributes are supposed to be orthogonal. The term “orthogonal” means “90 degrees.”
Orthogonality is a measure of independence. If there is perfect orthogonality there is no coupling between the attributes of the pair.
Coupling between individuality and collectivity
If there is any coupling between the supposedly independent attributes of the pair the angle between the vertical and the horizontal lines will no longer be 90 degrees and therefore individuality and collectivity will no longer be orthogonal in the official sense. But, they will still maintain their differences in perspective.
All entities are mixtures of individuality and collectivity
Horizontal and vertical concepts will find expression in an entity. Cosmos is an entity, virus is an entity…electron is an entity. All entities are mixtures of vertical and horizontal attributes. All entities exhibit individuality but they also belong to various groups.
My individuality depends on my history; where I was born, the family I grew up with, the schools I attended, the jobs I had, the genetics I inherited, the books I read, the people I met, the people who influenced me. My individuality depends on my personal history in this lifetime and perhaps to some degree on my history in other lifetimes. I have many characteristics that are unique to me but I also have many characteristics that I share with my family, and other groups. As Thomas Merton said “no man is an island.” We all interact with the society. The point is that some of our attributes are “individual” in character and some are “collective” in character.
An elementary particle’s individuality depends on its intrinsic attributes such as mass, electric charge and spin; but it also depends on the environment. For example, if the particle is confined to a small volume of space then it exhibits quantum mechanical behavior which is a type of “collective” behavior. Yesterday I wrote about theorized entities called “Unparticles.” I can imagine unparticles oscillating between individuality and collectivity. There are many examples from the physics of condensed matter that demonstrate the transitions between individuality and collectivity.
Time is a consequence of individuality
Time is a consequence of individuality. We can also say that time is a result of individuation. This is the same as saying that time is an objectivation. Time manifests as the particle behavior emerges. Time manifests as individuality increases.
More individuality –> more information
More collectivity –> less information