On trying to follow Edward Fredkin…

Edward Fredkin, Carneigie-Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA

Articles & Books: A New Cosmogony, Finite Nature
Homepage: Digital Philosophy
Google Scholar

Tweet: February 22, 2018 @ 5:16 PM (Updated: 4 February 2022)

“Ed Fredkin! He lives. Great to see you online. I have recently posted my 2012 letter to you: (a link to this page) which is accessed from here: https://81018.com/alphabetical/ as well as from articles that I’m working on: http://81018.com Planck’s numerology is still alive!

I awoke thinking about this 2009 quote in your Twitter account, “The meaning of information is given by the process that interprets it.” I wanted to ask, “Does light interpret space and time? Do dimensionless constants interpret mass and charge? Do ratios interpret? Is interpretation always a hypostatization?”

First email: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 5:08 PM   Update: Feb 22, 2018

RE: Planck length, 202.34 notations and nesting and combinatorial geometries

Dear Ed:

This will be a peculiar note and I apologize in advance.

Our introduction was through Ted Bastin in 1979 when he was our guest in the South End while visiting at MIT and Boston. At that time you and I spoke over the telephone on a couple of occasions regarding Ted’s schedule.

I got to know Ted through Quantum Theory and Beyond; and through Ted, I got to know H. Pierre Noyes and David Bohm.

In 1980, I diverged. I should have knocked on your door. Your vitae is far more fascinating than I had ever anticipated. Instead, I went back to a company that I had started in 1972 (it was primarily a service bureau based on the IBM System 34, then /38 and AS/400). We made a few bucks selling our own home-cooked version of word processing to 10,000+ business around the world (competing directly with Wang).

Later, while creating a two-tiered distribution system for IBM (as a consultant), I also got them to be the founding sponsor of our weekly, half-hour television show about best business practices as well as entrepreneurship, ethics, and generosity. That went on for over 50 seasons on PBS-TV stations throughout the USA and via the VOA-TV on thousands of stations around the world.

It was a good run.

We sort-of, kind-of slowed down; I am in the process of “giving” the show away while living in New Orleans in our “own home” for the first time in about 20 years.

I was helping out a nephew and took over this high school geometry classes for a day. We were talking about the platonic solids and I had them making very large models with clear plastic tetrahedrons and octahedrons (that I personally manufactured from my own molds). At one point, we made a pseudo-dodecahedron of twelve pentagonal clusters of five tetrahedrons. Of course, it was a bit sloppy, but I was delighted to find so many odd tetrahedrons and an icosahedrons (of twelve tetrahedrons) in the center.

I asked the kids, “How may steps within would we have to go to get to the Planck length?” I did not know, but assumed the number would be quite high. I borrowed from base-ten scientific notation. Remember Phil Morrison (MIT)? He used Kees Boeke’s little book, Cosmic View: The Universe in 40 Jumps, to do his own book, The Powers of Ten. With our 2″ tetrahedron, using base-2 exponential notation, we were at about the 45th step going within when we found the fermion. In another 67 steps, we were inside the Planck scale.

At that point, we reverse ordered the sequence and just used the Planck length, multiplied by two and then kept right on multiplying until we were in the vicinity of the Observable Universe. There were just 202 notations.

Why haven’t we seen that chart anywhere? Is it meaningful? Can geometries be consistently and meaningfully extended throughout it all?

Before going much further, I am checking with my wisest friends and family to see if this resonates at all? If so, I would appreciate chatting with you about the work it has opened up for me. Thanks.

Most sincerely,
Bruce E. Camber
(at that time there were a few pages about it on our television show’s website)
Today it has its own website: http://81018.com


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