The Digital Integration of Conceptual Form
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Reply to Alex Shkotin, May 11, 2021

Thank you Alex, much appreciated.

I am looking carefully at your comments, and want to respond. But first, I want to just briefly outline what seems to be “happening” for me.

I have been involved with these general subjects for a long time, as an independent (non-institutional) speculator and theorist. In various sporadic but often inspired bursts over the years, I have worked hard on these themes, working with high-grade technical literature (teachers like John Sowa), and continuing to explore the hypothesis that emerged for me in the early 1990’s after years of study, many text books, and at one time 200 Scientific American reprints on everything new in mathematics and computer science.

The idea I call “synthetic dimension” began to appear for me in the late 1980's – as a general-purpose constructive element – a “building block” -- an algebraic concept from which, it seems, I could “construct” or “define” just about every concept in basic mathematics, semantics, epistemology, category theory, cognitive psychology, etc.

A “synthetic dimension” is broader class of dimension which include normal “quantitative” dimensionality, but which can be expanded to “qualitative” dimensionality. The connection between quantitative measurement and qualitative measurement is a huge divide in the sciences. It’s the basic distinction between “the sciences” and “the humanities”, and wars have been (and are) fought over this borderline.

Every dimension is a range of value. A “synthetic dimension” is defined as a dimension where the values or units of the dimension have themselves an implicit algebraic decomposition. The value or units are composite and complex objects, which must be stipulated in particular instances (this is another reason we have hundreds or thousands of special-case working ontologies, instead of one master-principle from which, under common discipline, they all emerge).

When looked at from a high and simplified level, this theory seemed to propose that “everything (all concepts, ideas, mathematic structures, concepts, abstract objects) is made out of synthetic dimensions, and synthetic dimensions themselves are made out of synthetic dimensions.” It was “turtles all the way down” in a closed-loop circular recursion.

This was exciting and persuasive, but bewildering and maybe a little crazy-making. This is just too much. But it remained irresistible. I needed to “prove” this somehow. I needed to get a definitive statement, something irrefutable. I stared at that issue for a long time. I built several projects and wikis to contain this bewildering ambition. I kept attacking the issue, but it was like climbing Mount Everest, and I always had to stop somewhere and get back to reality. I did end up letting it go for a long time. Let it cook. If it is worth anything, it will come back.

So I continued to build various database projects, often concerned with collaboration of various kinds, vaguely aware of this supposed grand scheme in the back of my mind. In 2016, I built another framework on my “” domain, taking on this idealism and ambition in the context of global-scale social change. This project – though it too never hit the required level of “proof” and did remain scattered and fragmented – did enable me to get many of the important elements of this project into one database framework. So, this framework did gather up hundreds of elements, on a single web-page: In its “ontology only” format, the link is

This project, too, was somewhat dazing. I need to “get on top of this thing” – but I keep falling. I am not strong enough. Is this ever going to happen?? I kept building various projects, and in July of last year, as a faithful and appreciative subscriber to Ontolog, I started building the first version of “Integral Ontology”. This was a database intended once more to gather the elements in one place. I pushed this project, and did get a pretty good comprehensive statement put together, but it remained limited, fragmented, and too ambitious. And earlier this year, I came back to that project with new energy, and started updating it. As I kept at it, the design quickly became simpler (divided into “themegroups, themes and terms”) – and I kept refining the database system as a kind of convenient word processor designed to take on big chunks of text. Somehow, for some reason, I am pushing that framework pretty hard today.

The advantage of this system is – it’s a fast and convenient way (with sustained effort) to gather up everything that is involved, across a very wide spectrum, and define it all in a consistent orderly context that is easy to work with and search. So far, the what I am accomplishing does still remain prone to the fragmentation issue – it is “Too Much” to try to pull together, and does vastly exceed “normal human cognitive bandwidth”. “You’d never get away with this in academia or industry” But something is pushing, getting stronger.

This morning, I did write yet another fast review of Synthetic Dimensionality and its extreme claims for comprehensive inclusion – “all the stuff it claims it can do and how it proposes to do it”. I’m guessing I will stick with that in a few more bursts. It does feel rather “on top of” this complexity. “Put it all in one place and show how all the pieces fit together as one unbroken unit” – kind of like completing a vast jig-saw puzzle. Wow.

But this is one step at a time (“action is sequentially linear”). “Does the universe really want to do this?” Well, right now, it’s almost beyond intention. For better or worse, it’s just happening, one step at a time, almost “by itself” with no intention or motivation except to follow the lead. This email is another step.

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Tue, Jun 15, 2021