The Universal Membrane – part two


The Universal Membrane – part two

By Robert M. DePaolo

Certain Systems…

A basic component of Information Theory is “noise,” which refers to un-systematized elements without a regulatory code or repeatable, predictable interactive capacity. Information is always defined as a reduction in noise – which is often expressed as “uncertainty.” (Ash, 1990). Once noise is reduced and the structure develops a systematic capacity it will begin to operate by rules, redundancy and predictability, i.e. exhibit poly-stability (which means that some aspects of the system can change without undoing the overall balance in the system.

This is tantamount to what physicists call “symmetry).” In order for any system to become internally regulated, it must first be separated from the tumult of the outside world – without so completely losing touch that it forfeits any chance at absorbing new entropy- preventing energy sources.

The information model appears to affect every aspect of nature. A simple example can be seen in language. Without formal, systemic grammar, idioms, punctuation and other elements enabling people to understand each other’s statements, there would be no language per se – and certainly not the kind that could reach a wide variety of people.

Yet while language is a kind of enclosed system it needs to be able to absorb new idioms and accents to evolve – such as the French influence on English in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest in 1066, which led to its modern form.

The Universal Membrane…

It seems the classical cosmos might also operate as an information system with two components corresponding to the duality seen in classical and quantum physics. The quantum world, with its mysterious qualities of uncertainty and non-locality, can be said to be “non-membraned” consisting of particles that have not been encapsulated by borders, therefore not homeostatic, i.e. bound by lawful, systemic interaction patterns and integrative functions seen in atoms.

If such a speculation notion has merit, then a question not often asked becomes, what comprises the semi-permeable membrane that insulates the classical from the quantum world and divides the cosmos into two parts?

Since no one has ever actually observed an atom or particle it would seem quite difficult to describe a protective, interaction-forcing membrane that systematizes some but not all components of the universe. Since electrons, neutrons, and a nucleus are trapped within the atom’s membrane – their interactions are in part reciprocal and dynamic.

One could assume that without a membrane the universe would contain no systemic structure or information and that nothing would exist. By the same token, the atomic membrane would have to be semi-permeable – otherwise, energy renewal and the emission of radiation would be blocked and it would decay rapidly. In such conditions, the matter would at best feature a virtual in and out an existence.

The membrane argument (not to be confused with the “brane” theory as derived from string theory) brings up the age-old question of what the prototype universe was comprised of, and how it originated. This writer cannot provide a ready answer but one can speculate.

If a “cosmic lipid” made possible in the classical world, it would have required an initial component or starting point, simply because in order for any system to develop requires a prior availability of raw materials. Thus one might assume the universe was never “nothing” but rather an initial (eternal?) quantum state featuring constant perturbations typified by non-locality.

In that state virtual exit/enter particle reactions would have comprised a pre-informed cosmos. Without a membrane, there would have been no systems, no redundancy and thus no laws of nature. Consequently, there would have been no time, space, locality or redundant interactions. The primordial universe (if indeed one can call it that) would have been nothing more than a probabilistic state of a-systemic noise.

Whatever this pre-temporal, pre-massive, pre-spatial thing was, it was not responsive to laws, even gravity. The essentially para-physical nature of that proto-universe implied here can perhaps explain its isomorphic distribution regarding temperature and matter. If a-systemic particles can be everywhere, why not isomorphism? After all, skewing of the matter is at the root a function of distance and time – here there is no time or distance. (Perhaps part of the confusion is based on our assumption that there is a finite quality to the speed of light.

To a particle moving at that speed it would seem time would not lapse, thus neither would there be any spatial extension. It might also explain the mysterious things known as dark energy and dark matter, e.g. the reason we cannot see either is that they are a-systemic remnants from a quantum state that cannot be localized with regard to time and place and thus can be anywhere, at any time.

Why would that be true? Possibly because the presence of space and time- which are inherently redundant via lawful movement and topographic sequences – only came to exist with the advent of systemic atomic structures. In other words, no system, no space, no mass, no gravity and no time.

That lends itself to further speculation. For example, when we look out at the cosmos is it possible we are looking at two worlds; not in the form of extra dimensions or multiverses but instead at a dualistic world, one aspect of which has time, space and order, the other having none of those qualities which we can only perceive and measure by chance.

The Odd One Out

If some series of events did lead to the creation of a systematizing cosmic membrane that could explain some aspects of the cosmos including how the central forces originated. But those were mostly close-up forces that had to interact materially to exert mutual influence. Gravity is a different animal. The question is… why?

The use of the principle of parsimony might be helpful here. A simple explanation might be found in its range. Newton demonstrated that gravitational pull is determined by mass and distance. Einstein demonstrated that the curvature/ indentation of space created by objects depends on their mass and can extend over long distances (a shot put tossed into a pool of water will create a larger ripple than a golf ball – assuming both are tossed with the same or similar force).

Thus by it very nature gravity has extraordinary spatial influence and despite its ostensible mystery, it might be exactly what Einstein said it was- a spatial/temporal phenomenon. As such it has great potential contact with a larger swath of the universe as it transfers from one attractive body to the next. That in turn would expose it to more cosmic fields, including both the systemic and quantum (non-systemic) fields.

In simpler terms gravity could be considered a hybrid force, influenced by both the systemic and quantum “landscapes” within the cosmos. It might create attractions within the systemic (classical) world but also interact with non-systemic, timeless, not-spatial fields where it would be at least partially, timeless, non-local and so perturbed and a-systemic that it could both push and pull – thus the rapid expansion of the universe. In that context, one might assume that in areas of space with the least systemic topography, gravity would have a tendency to behave in quantum, uncertain ways.

Back to the cosmic membrane. What could it have been? A form of matter – perhaps a hydrogen membrane arising from the cooling of the particles and energy sources? Or perhaps an energy-capturing mechanism like the Higgs field; creating a wave-like vibratory or magnetic shield around particles by which to house the atom’s components without prohibiting the absorption of renewed energy sources?

Since physicists still have difficulty differentiating between matter and energy, particles and waves the answer to that question seems at least as hard to resolve as the search for the origin of life. In that case, this is just another attempt (by an amateur theoretician) to provide conceptual unity between two of the greatest forces and creations in nature; the biosphere and the universe.


Ash, R. (1990) Information Theory. Dover Publications Inc. New York

Bohm, D. (1986) A New Theory of the Relationship of Mind and Matter. Journal of The American Society for Psychical Research. 80 (2) April 1986 p. 128

Ikehara, K. GADV Protein World Hypothesis on the Origin of Life. Origins of Life Evolution of Biospheres. Dec. 2014 Vol. 44 Issue 4 pp. 299-302

Marshall, M. DNA Could have existed long before life itself. Aug. 2012 New Scientist

Pietsch. P. (1981) The Quest for the Hologramic Mind. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin. p.78

Pribram, K. The Neurophysiology of Remembering, Scientific American, 220 January 1969. pp. 76-78

Talbot, M. (1991) The Holographic Universe. Harper Perennial

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