Re: fire Muscle and Fitness article
Date: Thu, 05 Jul 2001 00:05:32 -0700
From: Kevin Langdon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: fire Muscle and Fitness article
At 10:13 PM 3/26/01 -0500, Chris Langan wrote:
> Kevin Langdon has promised to offer "proof" for the following
> statements made about me and/or the Mega Foundation on his
> personal web site.
>> 1. This group is a hybrid, partly a high-IQ society and partly
>> a cult surrounding Chris Langan
> Prove that the Ultranet is "partly a cult", and that any member
> thereof regards himself as a cultist or me as a cult figure.
No. I will prove only what I said. In a separate document, I have
correlated some characteristics of the Ultranet and the so-called
"Mega Foundation" (the distinction is academic and doesn't cut
any ice with me, as I'm not an acadummy ;-) ) with characteristics
believed by experts to be the earmarks of a cult. It scores a little
below the "full-fledged cult" level. And I said *partly* a cult. I am
making this material available as a part of my defense against Mr.
Langan's complaint against me to the officers of Prometheus.
Cultists rarely regard themselves as members of a cult. They think
they're normal and the rest of the world is crazy. Or they simply
know the periphery of the cult and do not know that its core is
> 2. ...and his strange theory, the CTMU, which he claims resolves
> all paradoxes and offers answers to all the problems of physics,
> mathematics, ethics, and religion.
> Prove this,
The CTMU, or *Cognition Theoretic Model of the Universe*,
is reality theory at it s most advanced. To put the CTMU in a
nutshell, it is based on three general metalogical principles
which, though formulated within ordinary, two-valued logic, allow
ordinary logic to "bootstrap" itself to the status of metalogic.
. . .
Together, these three principles--the "3 M's"--imply that *space
and time* are self-resolving paradoxiform generalizations of
*information and cognition* respectively. Specifically, they
imply that space is distributed cognitive potential with respect
to parallel relations, and that time is the cognitive evolution
parameter of such relations. In light of the ultimate indistinctness
of reality from a true theory or "theoretical language" of reality
. . . this implies that reality can be conceived of as a *SCSPL*,
or *Self-Configuring Self-Processing Language*. *CTMU
reality theory is the study of SCSPL architecture and dynamics*,
with "space" and "time" respectively being the structural and
grammatical aspects of SCSPL syntax. Since nothing short of
SCSPL contains the whole logical apparatus for interpreting
physical intangibles like quantum spin magnitude, dealing with
such concepts in any lesser context (as some of us are trying to
do) amounts to groping in the dark.
. . .
Once one understands a little bit about CTMU structure, one
can begin to make provable statements about philosophy, math
and science that the average academic in these fields would
reflexively regard as "impossible" or "unknowable". But that's
fine, because should such a weighty personage dare to argue
beyond the walls of his own little ivory-tower worm casing, he
could not be quickly squashed by anyone not afflicted with a
similar degree of intellectual bankruptcy. So it's really very
simple: until such a person puts on an uncharacteristic show of
superior reasoning, the CTMU stands pat.
. . .
The SCSPL reality-paradigm is terminal in that it is both monic
and logically inclusive of any other paradigm. This is not only
an unprecendented situation, but one that is not subject to
change. To put it bluntly, the SCSPL paradigm is indestructible.
. . .
Standard physics and physical cosmology evolve by
disconnectedly patching together mathematics and observable
reality. Rising above this process, the CTMU deals with the
overall integrity of the mapping thereby created. Standard
cosmology pursues a detailed mathematical description of the
origin and composition of the universe while explaining neither
mathematics nor the nature of its correspondence to reality.
The CTMU, on the other hand, displays this correspondence
in an advanced logical setting designed to resolve paradoxes
that ordinary cosmology cannot even begin to handle, thus
making the TOE self-contained and internally consistent.
. . .
To put it even more succinctly, because the sum of valid
human perceptions (replicable sense data) constitutes a "true
(albeit disorganized) theory of reality", *to state that there is
no such theory is to deny the very existence of reality*. Thus,
what the CTMU says about reality is apodeictically *implied*
--"East Coast" [i.e., bogus] "Noesis" #139, March-April 1998
From "Time Out of Mind," on one of Chris' CTMU Web pages
[The CTMU is] A cross between John Archibald Wheeler’s
Participatory Universe and the Stephen Hawking-James Hartle
"imaginary time" theory of cosmology proposed in Hawking’s
phenomenal book A Brief History of Time,
It should be interesting to see what these gentlemen have to say
about Chris' book.
the CTMU resolves many of the most intractable paradoxes
known to physical science while explaining recent data which
indicate that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate.
Better yet, it bestows on human consciousness a level of
meaning that was previously approached only by religion and
mysticism. If it passes the test of time – and there are many
good reasons to think that it will - then it will be the greatest
step that humanity has yet taken towards a real understanding
of its most (or least?) timeless mystery.
Many other examples of Chris' grandiose claims are available.
> bearing in mind that any reality theorist, cosmologist or "theorist
> of everything" claims that his or her theory is capable of
> accommodating answers for all of these problems as parts of the
> reality, cosmos or "everything" to be explained.
These other theories are subject to the same massive skepticism
in the scientific community that Chris' theory meets with here. No
"theory of everything" is currently regarded as adequate, as the
proponents of the theories admit; those who claim that their
theories *are* adequate are regarded as marginal at best and
cranks at worst.
Talent is often to be envied, and genius very commonly to be
pitied. It stands twice the chance of the other of being in a
hospital, in jail, in debt, or in bad repute.
--Oliver Wendell Holmes
> That is, show how my claims for the CTMU exceed those made,
> explicitly or by tacit definition, for other "theories of everything".
I don't have to. I didn't say anything about those other theories.
> 3. Dissent is strongly discouraged.
> Prove that "dissent is strongly encouraged" within the Ultranet, or
> that the Ultranet is repressive in any way.
That's what *you'd* like to prove. I said that dissent is strongly
*discouraged*. Steve Coy has produced a good deal of evidence
of that. We have also been treated to informative reports by people
like Sol Waters, Jim Ferry, Guy Fogleman, and Paul Johns. And I
have heard horror stories from people whose names I am not at
liberty to mention. Gina is the main netcop, letting those who cross
her invisible line know, in no uncertain terms, that they'd better
clean up their act, but Chris clearly supports her policies.
Criticism of Chris Langan, the CTMU, or the organization(s) is not
tolerated unless it is very mild.
> 4. The Ultranet practices "affirmative action" for women
> Prove this, bearing in mind that "Affirmative Action" is the name
> of a program explicitly based on racial discrimination in the
"Affirmative Action" is conventionally used in a broad sense that
includes all set-asides and preference programs based on either
race or sex.
> [Note: We do interpret the IQs of women within the bio-
> statistical population to which they belong by definition, namely
> the set of women. What remains to be proven is that this describes
> Affirmative Action, and that we are attempting to re-engineer
> society to better the vocational prospects of any social minority.]
Again, you are asking me to prove more than what I've said. The
term "Affirmative Action" is perfectly appropriate for the practice
you described above.
> Failure to prove all four of these statements will result in a
> reiteration of my existing demand that the link to Kevin's page be
> removed from the Prometheus Society web site, and possibly in
> a demand for renewal of expulsion proceedings against Kevin
I don't give a rat's ass what Chris demands. I have evidence to
support my characterization of the Ultranet as "partly a cult" which
I am quite confident would stand up in court. This is obviously the
only one of Chris' contentions worth a second look--and not much
of one, at that.
The stuff that Chris has mentioned is really just details. What he really
objects to is my negative editorial stance--but that's the free speech
It is also worth noting that Chris does not have "clean hands," having
recently collaborated with Gina LoSasso in disseminating material
attacking Steve Coy on the Web and the fire list. What he's had to
say about Steve sounds an awful lot like the negative shit he's said
> My best regards to the new Officers.
> Chris Langan
And mine as well.
At 03:31 PM 3/27/01 +0200, Rostam Seddiq wrote:
> Hi Chris and Kevin,
> this moment seems to be as good as any to comment on some of
> the recent exchanges in general and Kevin's personal views at his
> website in particular:
> Not sure how high the level of distrust is by now so I would like
> to state some facts: I am a member of the Ultranet/MF but do
> not hold any position within the Megafoundation. I live in
> the Ultranet in person, nobody asked me to supply these lines.
I believe you.
> email@example.com [Chris L.] schrieb am 27.03.01:
>> Kevin Langdon has promised to offer "proof" for the following
>> statements made about me and/or the Mega Foundation on his
>> personal web site.
>>> 1. This group is a hybrid, partly a high-IQ society and partly
>>> a cult surrounding Chris Langan
>> Prove that the Ultranet is "partly a cult", and that any member
>> thereof regards himself as a cultist or me as a cult figure.
> There is no cult. I would strongly resent such a movement and
> have commented likewise on the Ultranet. Chris rarely posts at
> the Ultranet, so if there is any influence I have not experienced it.
Have you criticized Chris and Gina there? As long as someone is
no threat he is left alone.
>>> 2. ...and his strange theory, the CTMU, which he claims
>>> resolves all paradoxes and offers answers to all the problems
>>> of physics, mathematics, ethics, and religion.
>> Prove this, bearing in mind that any reality theorist, cosmologist
>> or "theorist of everything" claims that his or her theory is capable
>> of accommodating answers for all of these problems as parts of
>> the reality, cosmos or "everything" to be explained. That is, show
>> how my claims for the CTMU exceed those made, explicitly or
>> by tacit definition, for other "theories of everything".
> As others have commented it is not possible to judge anything
> which has not appeared yet in public fully.
Then why is *Chris* putting forward such lavish praise of his own
work while witholding the substance of it? This kind of immodesty
and secretiveness is highly negatively correlated with making sense.
> It seems sensible to ignore any claims as to what the CTMU can
> or cannot do and to reserve judgement.
That is exactly what I've been saying. If Chris stops putting forth his
positive judgements I will stop providing the other side.
>>> 3. Dissent is strongly discouraged.
>> Prove that "dissent is strongly [dis-]couraged" within the Ultranet,
>> or that the Ultranet is repressive in any way.
> I have not been subject to any harrassement within the Ultranet/MF,
> there is no repression that I am aware of. On the contrary the
> atmosphere on the Ultranet is quite positive and constructive, the fire
> list in comparison is quite vicious when some people (including Chris
> and Kevin) post here. One of the reasons I have not been posting
> much on the fire list is because of this atmosphere. I must say that I
> am surprised that so many intelligent people have seemingly nothing
> better to do than insult each other - but it seems to me that there are
> ulterior motives at play (and this is none of my business).
Sure it is. *Whose* motives are ulterior is the heart of the dispute here.
My motives are very simple: I am interested in the search for truth and
in subjecting all proposed ideas to trial by criticism. I'm for scientific,
as opposed to political, psychometric standards. And I'm opposed to
those who would exclude rank-and-file members from organizational
decision-making and censor that which is not legally problematical.
I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every
form of tyranny over the mind of man. --Thomas Jefferson
It is unacceptable to me not to oppose any form of oppression in
these societies, as tolerance of any such thing is, to put it mildly, not
a sign of intelligence. You haven't made waves, Rostam, so your
personal experience isn't necessarily the whole story.
> Of course you can all say so what, who cares what I have to say,
> then again this is my view and might serve as a mirror since I am quite
> neutral to your personal feuds.
I care what you have to say. There's more chance to get somewhere if
these discussions involve more than two participants.
> Fred made a suggestion to implement a list for more business or
> personal issues (if I remember correctly) and that seems to be a good
Possibly, but these matters tend to come up in the midst of discussions
of other topics.
>>> 4. The Ultranet practices "affirmative action" for women
>> Prove this, bearing in mind that "Affirmative Action" is the name of a
>> program explicitly based on racial discrimination in the workplace.
>> [Note: We do interpret the IQs of women within the bio-statistical
>> population to which they belong by definition, namely the set of
>> women. What remains to be proven is that this describes Affirmative
>> Action, and that we are attempting to re-engineer society to better
>> the vocational prospects of any social minority.]
> I will not comment much on gender [sic] issues - as there has been a
> long discussion on this list and others and I have nothing much to add.
> Some differences are obvious and recent research including brain scans
> do actually show different processing in women and men - which might
> conceivably translate into differences in observed behaviour.
Conceivably? You need to get out more. :-)
The differences are undeniable. But that doesn't mean that men and
women should be evaluated differently based on the same test scores.
That's unfair, prejudicial, and self-defeating.
> On the other hand there is a huge overlap in our behaviour when
> compared to other species on this planet and it might be argued that
> the differences are minute and primarily socially induced. Depending
> on the perspectives both sides are right to a certain degree. Trying to
> negate all differences seems to be illogical.
But nobody is doing that.
> It is a highly emotional debate of course, so I will leave it at that.
Thanks for your comments, Rostam.
At 11:39 AM 3/29/01 -0500, Chris wrote:
> Since I'm against the corruption of youth, I'd like to address Kevin's
> ridiculous comments to Jens regarding a subject about which he is
> obviously both pathetically ignorant and ready to grind his ax.
> On Wed, 28 Mar 2001, Kevin Langdon wrote:
>> At 01:45 PM 3/28/01 +0200, Jens wrote:
>>> conspansion ....
>>> why should it not be an claim equivally as valid as expansion?
>> The scientific idea known as "the expanding universe" has great
>> explanatory power and is well confirmed by real evidence.
And the CTMU has *not* been so confirmed.
> No it isn't. Nothing that leads to logical inconsistency is "confirmed
> by evidence". Expansion leads to logical inconsistency analytically.
At most you can say that all the members of a particular family of
expansion models lead to a certain class of logical difficulties. The
models may be generalized in some way that gets around the problem
or entirely new models of expansion may be devised. To say more is
mathematically and physically naive.
> To wit, if there were something outside reality that were sufficiently
> real to contain the "expansion" of reality, it would be contained in
The idea that the universe needs something to expand into is also
mathematically and physically naive, as Guy, Penny, and Jim have
pointed out. And the standard balloon-inflation analogy makes use
of a hypothetical fourth spatial dimension. This is hardly radical, in
light of the much larger numbers of dimensions posited in various
physical models today.
> That's a contradiction; ergo, the hypothesis is false. The only
> answer: conspansion. Conspansion must hold at the highest (most
> basic) level of reality on unassailable logical grounds.
There seems to be a bit of a . . . *gap* . . . there. . . .
>> "Conspansion" is just a funny made-up word.
> Again, no. It means "material CONtraction qua spatial exPANSION".
So it's the opposite of "extraction"?
> The suggestion was first made by Sir Arthur Eddington in 1938, but
> although Eddington thought it interesting enough to mention, he never
> fully developed the implications. The implications are far from trivial,
> but Kevin evidently lacks the intellect to understand why.
I ask the Ombudsman to take note of the above in the context of my
recent complaint, and the officers to take note of a clear violation of
the new guidelines. (Mr. Ombudsman, please do not participate in
deliberations and decision-making by the officers collectively about
this or any other matter, in order that you may be free to respond to
complaints about such actions without a conflict of interest.)
>>> the basic reasoning of chris is (as i perceive it) that there is per
>>> definitonem no reference frame to which an expansion could be
>>> told apart from a conspansion.
>> Then what makes it different?
> (1) It changes the relationship of space, time and matter, leading to a
> whole new model of spacetime, even as it helps clarify the relationship
> between mind and reality; (2) it is free of paradox; (3) it has many
> important philosophical implications that Kevin evidently lacks the wit
> to understand.
So you say. But none of these points has been proven to the satisfaction
of any reputable physicist (1) or any reputable mathematician (2). [The
nonexistence of any such thing as a reputable philosopher makes it hard
to get a reading on criterion (3). ;-) ]
> (We know this because, although I've been trying to explain these
> implications for well over a decade, Kevin might as well have had his
> head in the toilet.)
Swimming with the toiletfish. How refined.
Once again, I ask the Ombudsman and the officers to take note.
>>> though a conspansion probably feels a little more wacko for
>>> humans that rather think of themselves (of their physical bodies)
>>> as not stretchable (i.e. as constant in relation to space. ;-)
>> That's not a problem for those who have already learned that the
>> earth is not flat, as it appears to be, that all matter is mostly empty
>> space, contrary to appearances, and that heavier-than-air objects
>> can fly. It's just a question of:
>> 1. Fully defining the theory in English (with appropriate
>> mathematical extensions).
>> 2. Making empirically-testable predictions based on the
> That depends on the nature and scope of the theory. We long since
> arrived at a point where reasoning about the universe requires trans-
> empirical (i.e., model-theoretic) methods.
Yeah, right. See how well "non-empirical" goes over out in the real
> Unfortunately, Kevin doesn't know the meaning of "model" or
> "model theory" (a fact that was empirically established on Megalist
> several years ago).
Characteristically, Chris ignores my arguments then repeats his original
bullshit. Chris mixed some specialized terms from mathematical logic
(e.g., "surjection") in with his bizarre neologisms (e.g., "incoversion").
I took logic 40 years ago. It's no wonder I didn't know which was
which. I was just trying to figure out what the hell he was talking about.
Obviously, others have had the same problem, because no one is
stepping up to respond to my challenge to someone other than Chris
to explain the CTMU in English.
Compare this passage from a message, dated January 17, 2000, titled
"Spirituality vs Belief" but actually having to do with the single question
Chris missed on his second attempt at the Mega Test:
No - it was the question you can't look up in the dictionary and
whose answer you wouldn't know without extensive exposure to
statistical termnology...perhaps the worst (most poorly designed)
item on the test. Because it relied to an improper extent on the
subject's exposure to a particular technical discipline, it was pretty
much worthless for measuring intelligence. So the way I see it, I
got what amounts, for all practical purposes, to a perfect score on
the test (there was another question almost as bad, but since the
answer can easily be found in a foreign language dictionary, a
somewhat better case can be made for its inclusion).
>> 3. Carrying out experiments which confirm the predictions
>> of the theory.
> See above.
If a theory doesn't make any predictions about the real world, why
should anyone give a shit about it?
>> I would accept either an explanation of something that is
>> convincingly important and true to me or one that convinces
>> the scientific community. Until then, there's no reason to regard
>> Chris' theories as more than speculation.
> Nonsense. Reread my first paragraph above. But just to see whether
> Kevin has any supporters, would anyone like to take over Kevin's
> side of the argument for him before he louses it up even more than
> he has?
It's Chris' argument that's been loused up and Chris that loused it. I've
just made it a little more visible.
>>> kevin, does that suffice? ;-)
>> Certainly not. None of the three criteria above has been met.
> I think you get the picture, Jens. Kevin is not a person whose opinions
> can be trusted on such matters, and the vast majority of Prometheans
> know it and would privately tell you the same.
Chris, the mindreader.
And what does the trustworthiness of my opinions have to do with
whether Chris' productions meet the three criteria of empiricism I
> In a word, he doesn't know what he's talking about, never has, and
> never will. But until the day he gasps his last, he will never, ever shut
> up. Forewarned is forearmed.
Chris can't compete in a fair debate. And he's willing to go to great
lengths to shut his critics up. But the emperor and the logician are both
naked and Chris still hasn't met his burden of proof that the CTMU says
anything new, significant, and useful.