Number 63

July 1991

**A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JOJO EINSTEIN, STREET
CLOWN
continued**

**By C. M. Langan**

Refilling his maw, he thanked providence for small favors. Why, the kid might even have subjected him to some kind of Ph.D. thesis on the mysteries of Bayesian paradox! Such paradoxes apply mainly to sets of differently-relativized probabilities, not to localized calculations like those involving the die and the box of marbles. A given subject either has information or not; if so, he either has evidence of its relevance or not. If not, it's useless. Beyond observation, he has only CTMU probability theory and telekinesis. At least the kid had seemed to understand that probabilities are by definition relative: none of them remain valid in the event of a loss or extension of relevant data. The only invariants are certainties, and even these finally obey the same logic as probabilities. You can take the objectivity out of the subject, but you can't take the subjectivity out of objective reality.

Hey, maybe the kid's astronomical IQ *had* meant a little something after all. At least the boy wonder had known better than
to fabricate the initial probability distribution. That, mused Jojo as his tongue batted a lump
of Haagen-Dazs around his mouth, would have been like speculating on how many
angels could do the lambada on the head of a pin. Where every initial probability distribution
has an equal claim to validity, *there is
no choice but to settle for their average. * Probability distributions are represented by
curves plotted against the x and y axes, each curve bounding an equal area of
total probability. The average of the
curves is a flat line, and the area beneath it is evenly distributed along the
horizontal axis of independent possibilities, discrete or continuous. The curve isn't bell-shaped, ball-shaped, or
banana-shaped, and Jojo was grateful to have been spared the full
treatment.

Then again, even though the term "average"
reflects the symmetry obtaining among exclusive possibilities in the total
absence of information, it sometimes needs qualification. Say you have a Markovian system of
co-dependent events. You may want to
seek its "attractors" by interpolation and/or extrapolation (which
can also be viewed as a kind of "averaging"). There might be a number of different ways to
do this; which one is best can be known only by virtue of -- you guessed it --
informative data pertaining to the particular system you're observing. Assuming that this system is deterministic,
the attractor guiding it towards its successive equilibria might be
"strange", chaotic, and fractally regressive. That can complicate things. But in any case, the amount and nature of
your information determines not *whether*
you should symmetrize, but merely *how*. No exceptions allowed; by definition, every
probabilistic algorithm involves some kind of symmetry, even at the
deterministic limit where the "probability" goes to unity! The kid had also seemed to understand the
importance of information, and the necessity to symmetrize when you run out of
it. That was impressive, if only because
it isn't clear from the perspective of standard information theory. Info is more than bits of transmitted signal;
it's a dependency relation *recognized by*
an acceptor, and its "transmission" is just lower-order recognition
on the part of any acceptor defined to include the source, channel and
receiver. Information thus describes
every possible kind of knowledge. Since
objective reality can be *known* only
as *knowledge*, it must be treated as
information.

Over the centuries, different thinkers have come up with
some pretty funny ideas concerning what reality "really is", and have
been ridiculed by their children and grandchildren for what they thought. But defining information on cognition, and
cognition as an informative function of information, ensures that whatever *else* reality turns out to be -- ether,
phlogiston, or tapioca pudding -- it can always be consistently treated as
information for cognitive purposes.
Since cognition is what science is all about, what's good enough for one
is good enough for the other. So if the
equation of reality and information is a "joke", reasoned Jojo, our
chuckle-happy descendants will be the butts of it no less than we. And anyway, they'll probably be too busy *crying* about the barren, overpopulated,
tapped-out ball of toxic sludge they've inherited from us "comedians"
to laugh about much of anything.

The cognitive universality of information implies cognitive
symmetry or stasis in its absence. The
counterpart of symmetry, *asymmetry*
("not of like measure"), obtains among variables which *differ*; to be used in any computation,
this difference must be expressed over the qualitative range of a set of
distinct differentiative predicates, or the quantitative range of at least one
differentiative predicate. If you can
specify no such differential scale, then no such scale exists *for the purpose of your computation.* And with no such scale to aparametrize the
function assigning weights to the various possibilities, the function can't
assign different weights. That leaves
you with non-asymmetry or *symmetry*. As information arrives, this symmetry can be
"broken". But information
alone can break it, and you're stuck with it until then.

Sameness can sometimes be deduced, in which case it has
informational value. But as an effect of
symmetrization, sameness means that no differentiative information is
available. Whenever there's no info on
hypothetical arguments, the corresponding variables must remain *open* for computative purposes. Symmetrizing the object variables themselves
-- for instance, by assigning the same content to each of them -- entails the
risk of creating false information; these identical values might be wrong. But symmetrizing on a higher level of
induction -- e.g., by equalizing the *distributions*
of possible values of algorithmic parameters -- leaves the variables open. They remain objectively neutral, unbiased,
and free of potentially misleading false information.

This unbiased neutrality is a rock-hard inductive
criterion. If it orders *crepes suzette*, it had better not get
lumpy oatmeal. And what it craves is the
kind of higher-order symmetrization just described. The distinction between higher-order and
lower-order symmetrization is subtle and easy to miss, which explains why many
probability theorists don't understand how or why they should symmetrize. But then again, your average ankle-biter
doesn't understand why he shouldn't rape the cookie jar before every meal,
either. And that, concluded the clown,
is pretty much the reason why some folks find the "principle of
equivalence (or insufficient reason)" hard to swallow, and why they become
mired in paradoxes that can't be resolved without it.

Yeah, Jojo knew about *Bayesian*
*regression*, a paradox generated by a
pair of inconsistent assumptions. One is
that each one-place predicate occurring in an n-fold observation of r objects
is equally likely; the other is that each n- or r-place predicate involving
these one-place predicates is equally likely.
In the first case, you're likely to observe each possible color the same
number of times. In the second, you're
as likely to observe any subset of colors more or less often than other
subsets. The question is, which
assumption should you make in the absence of definite information regarding
either one? Jojo, who had been kicked
out of MIT for pie-facing the chancellor^{[1]},
didn't need a degree to unkink that one.
All he had to know was *higher-order
predicate logic*, courtesy of that sidesplitting vaudeville-era comedy team,
Russell and Whitehead. Their act, *Principia Mathematica*, had played in
London, Paris, and Reno, and Jojo had it on the original 78.

See, the gist of it was, predicate logic is *stratified*. Each successive order includes all those
below it, but none of those above it.
What that means to probability theorists is as clear as benzene-laced
mineral water: it's impossible to
express dependency relationships which violate this rule, known to aficionados
as the *theory* *of* *types*. It was designed to avoid the negative
circularities called *paradoxes* or *antinomies*. It manages to accomplish this by
"breaking the loop" of language by which such paradoxes are
formed. But here's the sweet part: this
same mechanism also prevents *artificial
tautologies*, circular inferences which justify themselves like so many
philosophers at a teach-off. Jojo
chuckled inwardly: *cogito ergo sum quod
cogito quod sum quod cogito quod*... I think, therefore I am what I think
what I am what I think what... Somewhere
along the line, you've got to admit a little "objective reality" into
the deal! Or, like a snake who lost his
coke bottles, you swallow your own metaphysical tail and roll away into the
never-never land of fantasy and solipsism, a scaly hula-hoop of empty
assumptions powered by a perpetual motion machine.

On the other hand, it's just as stupid to think you're the
Solomon who can meat cleaver a Haitian divorce for the subjective and objective
parts of reality. It takes two to tango,
and this pair dances in a crazy-glue lockstep.
Neither one can even be *defined*
without the other. Kant knew it, Russell
knew it, and even that hilarious Austrian Godel knew it. But quite a few other people didn't seem to
know it. Take, for example, the vast
majority of practicing logicians, mathematicians, and empirical
scientists. Sure, a lot of them paid it
the "correct" amount of lip service... apparently to apologize for
not being able to make any sense out of it.
But it's real clear and real unequivocal, and nobody has anybody but
himself to blame if he talks the talk before he can walk the walk. The whiz kid, who'd started out like some
kind of solipsist, had probably been as thoroughly sucked in by modern
scientific pseudo-objectivism as all those Joe Average "dummies" he
habitually surveyed from on high!

Even type theory itself was in some ways a bust. It was meant to rid logic and mathematics of paradox, but did so only by shifting paradox into the higher realm of undecidability theory. When Godel delivered that little punch line, Russell felt like the joke was on him. That, lamented the clown as he smeared mustard on his next kosher pork delight, was a shame. Had Jojo been around, he'd have reminded his good pal Bert of a cardinal rule of comedy: you have to learn to tune out the hecklers. Hecklers frequently knock comedians for telling jokes over their heads, and science is full of critics ready to pounce on any theory they're too dumb, lazy, or preoccupied to understand. Anybody who comes up with anything really brilliant in this world learns that from Jump Street.

Type Theory can't eliminate paradox, because paradox is a
condition of human mentality. Every
problem on every IQ test ever invented can be formulated as a paradox, and
every solution is the resolution of a paradox.
Man is a problem-creating, problem-solving animal. Eliminate paradox, and you eliminate human
mentality. It was amazing, the lengths
that some of these goofs would go to in order to avoid a little common
sense! Russell could have yanked victory
from the jaws of defeat merely by reformulating the purpose of his theory. Instead of claiming that it *eliminated* all logical paradox, he could
simply have claimed that it placed certain logical restrictions on
paradox-resolution...and therefore on solving the logico-mathematical and
scientific problems that can be expressed in paradoxical terms. *And
guess what, whiz-kids of the world*, thought Jojo as he horked down a
gigantic bolus of garlic and gluten: *that
just so happens to cover problems like my little box of marbles*. Patting his side, he was answered by the
reassuring rattle of ten glass globules.
He silently blessed each and every one of their stony, money-making
little hearts.

Because paradox is a condition of subjective mentality,
being the self-referential basis of temporal consciousness, it also applies to
whatever is observed by the subject -- in other words, to so-called
"objective reality". And to
ice the cupcake, it also applies to the subject's conception of his
relationship to objective reality! That
was Godel's insight. Unfortunately, old
Kurt, in his zeal to yank the banana peel out from under old Bert, went light
on the scientific ramifications of his undecidability gag. This left the audience with a bunch of
cracked and leaking coconuts where their wise and learned brains had been, and
science was able to skate right along like nothing had happened. But see, something *had* gone down after all, and Jojo couldn't decide whether to laugh
or die about it. *But so what*? he thought as he wiped his de-gloved paws on the
window curtains next to his table. At
least he knew he'd always be able to make a buck off it.

But hey, money wasn't everything, even in this city. There were other important things to
remember. Like the purposive connection
between the theories of Types and Relativity.
See, Jojo wasn't the only famous Einstein who shared Russell's concern
with logic. Herr Albert had something
very similar in mind when he adopted the principle of locality in order to
avoid causal paradoxes in which super-luminal agencies make observations and
then change the way they happen. The
basic idea was the same: *effects cannot
negate their causes*. Causes can
negate certain effects by way of promoting others, but not vice versa. And more to the point at hand, the output of
a function or algorithm cannot *post hoc*
tend to negate the function or its parameters...e.g., the initial distribution
on which observations depend. Where the
output has already been observed, this forces the symmetrization of all the
"causes" (e.g., chromatic likelihoods) from which it may have
resulted. Deduction eliminates
possibilities; but whenever an inductive context can be arbitrarily extended
relative to a given hypothesis, the inductive process must respect *all* possibilities by obedience to the
theory of types.

In other words, what type theory said about Bayesian regression was this. Bayes' rule is an algorithm, or complex logical function ascribing one of a set of predicates (probabilities) to a variable causal argument. It was designed not only to derive a conditional probability, but to do so without contaminating relevant data with irrelevant assumptions. The latter amounts to the avoidance or prior resolution of any paradoxical inconsistency between such assumptions and the reality which is being measured: if you assume something that favors any particular outcome representing a fraction 1/n of possible outcomes, you will only be right 1/n of the time. That amounts to a paradox (n-1)/n of the time, a situation that has to be avoided wherever possible.

Type theory avoids it by *directionalizing*
the inclusory or attributive dependencies in the formulation. A variable standing for a color is of higher
type than one representing an object. A
variable standing for a chromatic distribution is of higher type than one
representing a color. And a variable
standing for a probability distribution (of chromatic distributions of colors
over objects) is of higher type than one representing a chromatic
distribution. Each one of these
variables gets to determine those beneath it, but not with or above it. So you can't take an assumption about a
chromatic distribution -- say, that each color is or is not equally likely to
be observed in sampling -- and try to determine the probability distribution
from it. Since Bayes' rule requires
initial information on the probability distribution, you have to forget about
the likelihoods of specific colors and start from the probability distribution itself. That means that where you have no prior
information on the probability distribution, you have to *symmetrize* or flatten it.
Each chromatic distribution is thus equally likely, and the
corresponding range of individual chromatic likelihoods is *open and unbiased*. See,
Ma? No loops.

Jojo recalled a related question involving the states of
systems in probabilistic contexts. Prior
to extended observation, how do you know how to partition the set of
possibilities you intend to symmetrize?
Take an urn containing two marbles.
What's the probability that the marbles have different colors? Are the possible states enumerated
combinatorially: xx, xy, yy? Or
permutatively: xx, xy, yx, yy? Jojo
chuckled, almost choking on a pickled egg.
Probabilities, states, and difference relations compute solely as *information*. In CTMU probability theory, information *about* states is subject to the same
constraints as that expressed *in terms of*
states. There are 3 states in a
combinatorial urn. There are 4 states in
a permutative urn. Since 4 > 3, the
permutative state-set has more information.
*But just how has this extra
permutative info been acquired*? The
down and dirty truth of it is, it *hasn't* been "acquired". It's been *fabricated*.

Most probabilistic algorithms need at least *combinatorial* info to work. If you're going to go without observation and
fabricate information about states, it has to be at least combinatorial. But you don't dare help yourself to *extra* unconfirmed info! So the urn's states are initially
combinatorial, and p = 1/3. In other
words, states defined on individual objects and ordered relations among objects
don't get to determine higher-order combinatorial predicates of whole
sets. Only *observation* is "high enough" to do that. And *that*,
concluded Jojo as he shoveled ice cream in a last-ditch attempt to quench the
egg's fiery -- no, *radioactive* --
aftertaste, was *that*. Glory Be to the CTMU unification of
probability theory and higher-order predicate logic! Trying to get over on the CTMU is sort of
like trying to outsmart yourself: *you
lose if you win, and win if you lose.*
The clown wheezed pitifully.
Where the heck could a mere egg-pickler be getting plutonium-239?

The necessity for combinatorial information in purely
subjective computations is a demand of our cognitive syntax...the way we see
the world and organize it mentally. Such
demands determine all the mathematical models we construct to represent and
simulate reality. Because they inhere in
every such model, they are a basic ingredient in all calculations based on such
models, "objective probabilities" included. The fact is, since *all* probabilities have subjective components, there are no grounds
for refusing to recognize subjective probabilities as "real". Is the above probability highly
subjective? Yeah. Is it only relatively valid? You know it.
But while some bananas are strictly by Goodyear, a chimp has to eat. And the only way to chew this particular
bunch is to recognize that all probabilities regress, on data reduction, to
statements about the semantical relationship of subjective cognitive syntaxes
to that of "objective reality".
Such statements, if extremely general, nonetheless express a real
relationship between two realities, you and your environment. The only way *they* aren't real is if *you*
aren't real. And if you're reading this,
you're as real as Cheetah, Bonzo and all their offspring combined.

The Bayes algorithm is formulated in a certain metalanguage,
and its variables occupy specific levels within it. Any universe to which the rule is applicable
must conform semantically to its internal stratification. By virtue of type, the dependency
relationships among Bayesian variables are asymmetric and directional. This also applies to more specialized rules
like the Schrodinger equation, which are merely empirical-slash-subjective^{[2]} evolutions of Bayes' rule under given kinds of
empirical input. In this sense, Bayes'
rule is the universal first step in scientific inference, and associated at a
very deep level with the human mental syntax itself. That's why Bayesian inference, Bayesian
paradox, and Bayesian regression are central issues in reality research, and
why anybody who complains that they're bored or irritated with these topics
belongs on Monkey Island with the rest of the big time mental heavyweights. And that, mused Jojo, goes double for anybody
unwilling to grasp the topic at even the general level on which he was thinking
about it. He was glad that he could keep
his thoughts to himself instead of having to run a hard-sell on some bunch of
self-styled "experts".

Jojo, who felt himself converging on an explosive disaster
to rival even his Kreemi-Whip nightmare, reflected on the molasses-in-January
speed with which the scientific community often seemed to assimilate
earthshaking new abstractions. Hand them
a gadget or a preformed mechanical principle, and they treat it like a
three-alarm fire in a loaded bank vault.
But hand them a pure, beautiful abstraction, and you might as well
indulge in a little suspended animation while you wait for all the
"experts" to puzzle and grope their ways through it. Even so, it's just a heartbeat next to the
time it would take them to root it out themselves from beneath the tangled
circuitry of fact and supposition that they call "knowledge". It's a practical world, and the reformer of
abstractions had better dress for a long, cold hike to acceptance. Because people want to face their mistakes
and inadequacies about as much as a hundredth-time-virgin bride wants to show
hubby that* Property of Hell's Angels*
tattoo on her creamy derriere.

See, everybody's an expert, and everybody has his or her own
ideas about what is or is not "rational", "imaginable" (see
*Noesis* 58, p. 17),
"possible" (see *Noesis* 46),
"probable", and so on for every subjective context. This can apply even to hard, extensional
contexts like truth and certainty. But
Jojo had noticed that whenever people bother to justify such opinions, they
always fail to come up with anything remotely resembling a formal
derivation. That's because no
categorical derivation is possible with respect to anything but the most
general features of the human cognitive syntax.
Instead, they offer "plausible arguments" on which there
"seems to be a consensus" among like-minded cognoscenti. Translation: mildly denatured *crapola*, with 99.9 percent
certainty.

Jojo, not content to settle for any narrow field of
expertise, was an expert on *experts*,
and knew that no expert could determine diddley except relative to his own
axioms and rules of inference. That
naturally precludes any value judgment on anything involving *additional* axioms, rules, or data. Some things are easily recognizable as
nonsense because they oppose known facts at identical levels of specificity: if
somebody were to claim that the War of 1812 was fought in 1922, he'd plainly be
a bag of gas. But as the situation gets
more complex, it rapidly gets very difficult to make this kind of
determination. If a critic isn't
extremely careful, he risks becoming just another old curmudgeon with
antiquated notions about what rules the universe is "required to
obey".

Take Newcomb's paradox, a *generic* *anomaly* designed
to cut off the ring on such lamebrain arguments. Newcomb's paradox is just an arbitrary
version of a situation that has arisen, and will no doubt continue to arise,
countless times in the always-surprising annals of science: data is received
which appears to contradict a currently accepted set of axioms and rules of
inference. That much is obvious, *since otherwise there would be no point to it*. But the clever way in which the formulation
evokes the issues of free will, rationality, and megabucks seems to have
short-circuited the faculties of many of those who tried to solve it. They treated it as nothing but a real or
phony get-rich-quick scheme instead of as a paradigm for empirical and
theoretical induction! Even when this
big bad paradox was finally resolved by Jojo's personal amigo and
sometimes-biographer Chris Langan, everybody played ostrich, 'possum, and
downright deaf and dumb rather than admit they might have
"overlooked" something. Given
the fact that some of them claimed ultrahigh IQ's and had a lot to lose by
imitating the furniture, Jojo found this...well, *unimaginable*, *improbable*,
and *incredible*. But *true*.
Langan had belonged to a society of whiz-kids when he resolved Newcomb's
paradox and certain other notorious inconsistencies. The poor guy had been led to believe that he
would thus be assured of a fair and insightful hearing for his ideas. But he'd been in for a minor
disappointment. Jojo recalled a few
notable examples: one member had implied that Langan's ideas were less than
original because one partial aspect of them had been "proposed" by
somebody else who apparently had a limited grasp of the logico-mathematical
complexities they entailed...many of which nobody but Langan seems to have even
*considered*. Another had adopted the computative
terminology of Langan's *Resolution* to
undermine the work itself, an exercise in one-man foot-shooting. And yet another had denigrated Langan's
contributions because "others" had expressed disapproval, telling him
that his request for an apology amounted to "killing the
messenger"! Instead of presenting
their arguments in ways that invited a response, these critics all seemed to
dismiss out of hand the idea that any suitable response would be possible. The fact that none of them offered so much as
one unqualified sentence in support of his concise and incisive analyses had
sort of bugged Langan. But it really
shouldn't have. Because if he'd known
whiz-kids like Jojo knew whiz-kids, he'd have expected nothing but the kind of
meaningless and circular bickering he got.
And he'd have made a laff riot out of it, just like Jojo with *his* whiz-kid.

Then again, Langan's critics didn't have to look so *bad*.
Some of their remarks were relatively insightful. The problem was, they offered their
criticisms *after* Langan had already
answered them! For example, it was
remarked -- after Langan had made it clear that the standard type-theoretic
resolution of the Epimenides paradox could be transformed into a resolution
based on CTMU *many-valued logic* upon
real time violation -- that this paradox "would really lead to a
(CTMU-invalidating) contradiction" if one were forced to assign *one of only two* truth values to every
statement. One of the main ideas of the
CTMU, if Jojo wasn't badly mistaken, was to define a paradox-resolvent
stratification of truth functions generating a potential infinity of truth
values (top paragraph, page 9, *Noesis*
44)! Good thing Langan had a sense of
humor.

Part of the beauty of the CTMU was the way many-valued
(modal) logic was so naturally applied to reality in the stratified
computational model. The two-valuedness
of the human accepting syntax delineates only that part of global reality
constrained by human conceptual and observational limitations. For each level [gamma]n of [gamma], there is
an nth truth value. Truth values are
related according to the *inductive*
and *deductive* relationships holding
within and among the levels of [gamma]. Langan had made this as clear as possible,
given limitations in space and reader attention.

Someone else had made the observation that using the CTMU to
resolve Newcomb's paradox was "like using a B-2 for crop
dusting"! Newcomb's paradox, a
conundrum relating physics, decision theory, and the philosophy of free will
within a metaphysical matrix, had defied resolution for over twenty years by
the time Langan wrapped it up. The
reason? *Physics, decision theory, and the
philosophy of free will* is to *crop
dusting* what *botanical genetic
engineering* is to *spreading
fertilizer. * Along with the other
matters to which it was closely related -- e.g., quantum reality -- Newcomb's
paradox had all but smothered to death under a two-decade accumulation of
"fertilizer" before Chris Langan rescued it with his CTMU. It was even denied that quantum non-locality
confirmed the CTMU, despite the equation of non-locality and metrical
violation. Langan had already explained
that metrics, being parts of the computative syntaxes of dynamical transducers,
could be computationally relativized to *nested
transducers* in such a way as to resolve these violations while affording an
elegant explanation of quantum wave function collapse. Man oh man, the trials that Chris Langan had
been made to endure! Genius could be a
long row to hoe for someone with no fat cat academic "mentors"
willing to sponsor his radically superior ideas for a prestigious and
potentially lucrative slice of the credit (funny, thought Jojo, how the sacred
responsibility of such mentors to "protect the integrity of their
disciplines" so often seemed to line up with the protection of their *personal* funding and reputations). The clown suffered silently on behalf of his
sadly misunderstood buddy, who had foolishly dared to weigh in on the scales of
truth with no more than the certainty of being right. Talk about your Don Quixotes!

Yet Jojo, with benefit of hindsight, knew that Langan's
opponents had all been squashed from day one.
Langan's grasp of logic and reality was so advanced that it could be
risky even to get an argumentative *look*
on your face where he could see it, and his critics had argued without knowing
the real extent of his ability. For
example, their journal *Noesis* had
contained several citations of the notorious four-color problem of graph
theory. In one of these, it was
mentioned that a pal of the editor had been working to shorten the computerized
*proof* of the four-color *theorem*.
First, proofs are informational and must be relativized to the cognitive
automata by which the information can be processed. The proof in question involved millions of
logical operations directly unverifiable by any human, and thus proved zilch
relative to human cognitive capabilities.
If the four-color conjecture had become a "theorem", it
existed only for human-digital *cyborgs*
with split personalities whose two faces had no guarantee that they could trust
each other. Second, what Chris Langan
knew about this kind of problem -- and about problems in general -- would
ultimately send most four-color theorists and their machine programs straight
into the academic fossil pit, there to R.I.P. on their tarred laurels.

Jojo wondered how all those megamelons, who were aware of
many of the paradoxes and inconsistencies riddling science and metaphysics,
could by sound or silence reject the most general and necessary model in which
"undecidable" mathematical and logico-philosophical conjectures
become relativizable and solvable. The
situation had been truly bizarre. But what
goes around has a way of coming around, and the Noetic Society later met with a
kind of poetic justice. Chris Langan,
after being criticized half to death by his fellow members, had told them that
they risked wearing "a pair of huge floppy shoes, a red rubber nose, and a
baggy jumpsuit with outsized polka dots and a big round crinkly collar"
for failing to pay adequate attention to his explanations. Jojo stared at his riotous reflection in the
deli window and laughed aloud. *All right, so none of you had a clown suit
to wear*, he thought. *That's okay.
At least somebody can dress the part. And tell when he's playing it.*

See, a funny kind of game had been played right in front of
all their noses, but in such a way that most of them missed it. Langan had been trying to introduce a new
theory, the CTMU. The trick he had to
perform: cram enough *detail* into an *intelligible* but *maximally abbreviated* account of his ideas. He thought he was doing a pretty good job
before a couple of members screamed like wounded peacocks, accusing him of
"long-windedness" and other complimentary attributes. All right, so they didn't care for his way
with words. Facing reality, he bowed out
of the editorship like any duly-chastened "windbag" should have. But then, from the soggy ash heap of
rejection, a *whole new perception* of
the situation seems to have arisen. In
effect, the CTMU was criticized for being *incomplete*
and *poorly reasoned.* Get a load of that! Langan was cut off at the mike, and then
harangued for not finishing his speech (if not for being a loony, slipshod
crackpot to boot).

Now, if there was some *sub-rosa*
agreement that this was the best way to proceed, Langan was not a
signatory. There was no undertone of
cooperation. These people were simply
being *unfriendly* to him, and it
stank. It was bad enough that he was cut
off from conventional avenues; that he had been forced to develop his ideas
utterly without support, acknowledgment, or encouragement. But to give him (or watch him being given)
the bum's rush was something like contemptible, particularly after he had
donated *valid resolutions* of major
paradoxes that nobody else could handle.
If that's the way science is supposed to work, then Murphy's Law
qualifies as a crucial axiom of the scientific method. While this would have come as no surprise to
a long line of intellectual desperados -- guys like Copernicus, Galileo, and
Galois -- it falls well short of the promotional hype advantageously used by
the shiny, impeccably tailored "front men" of academia.

According to them, the academic and industrial
intelligentsia form a kind of "ecosystem" in which the
"Darwinian competition" of ideas results in "survival of the
fittest". The only problem is, these are *fallible
humans*, not natural forces. The
front men even manage to create an impression that where conventional processes
fail to reveal "the fittest" ideas because these ideas are too far
out and iconoclastic, there exist "fail safes" sure to prevent them
from being lost. Fail safes like the MacArthur
Foundation, which at one time was making a lot of noise about searching for
"the new Einstein" in hopes of supporting his research. Unfortunately, in true *catch-22* style, such organizations wouldn't know "the new
Einstein" if he walked up and kicked them in the whoopie cushion. Instead, they rely on the "expert
opinions of established authorities" in various fields. The result? While Langan was crunching
paradoxes, they were fixating on *clowns*. No, we're not just talking silly people; the
MacArthur Prize was once actually awarded to a clown who looked just like Jojo.^{[3]} Jojo had wanted to kick *himself* for missing out on that little opportunity, which would
have catapulted him and his aging mother straight into a cushy condo in
Westchester. But at least he was in good
company: if the MacArthur Foundation had existed in the time of Evariste
Galois, the founder of the modern theory of algebraic equations, it would have
"encouraged his genius" *post
mortem* by at least half a century!

Langan recognized all of this, and coped with the situation
by doing whatever he had to do to support his *own* research. He never
kissed up to anybody, and he never made the slightest compromise regarding what
he understood to be logico-mathematical certainties. Knowing that nobody would stick up for the
truth if *he* wouldn't, he tightened up
his belt and ate crow until the Noetic Society provided him with a convenient
way to introduce it. No doubt about it,
printing his theory in *Noesis* didn't
offer much in the way of amenities. But
it did give him something he might not have been able to get any other
way. That is, no matter who squawked
about his presentation, who objected to his personality, or who might have
adopted his insight without a word of thanks or credit, he had established his
exclusive authorship of what would ultimately prove to be the culmination of
post-Aristotelian intellectual evolution.
It wasn't much, but at least it was something. Langan appreciated the help, even if it *had* been like pulling teeth. And he was *still willing to cooperate* with his fellow eggheads.

Being a realist's realist, Jojo knew that the Noetic Society
was no group of dunces. But it was also
no wellsprings of sympathy and understanding where Langan was concerned, and
Jojo -- when not hard at work on some gobbler -- was a lover of fair play. Chris Langan *was* walking the walk; while the experts exercised their jaws, he
dogged truth and meaning with minimal concern for his own personal welfare.
With so many other birdlings in the nest of science peeping their little
beaks off for food and attention, Langan had been nobody's darling. He was accustomed to paying the price for his
"lone-wolf" attitude. But what
really got Jojo's goat was the way the Noetic Society, which in effect billed
itself as a mutual appreciation society for lonely geniuses at the pinnacle of
human intelligence, had repaid Langan's insight with every particle of
personal, political, and conceptually irrelevant chicken manure it could
generate. Like he was some guano-starved
*bean patch*.

If any Noetic Society members had appreciated what Langan
gave them, they were so intimidated by the chicken-manure *hurricane* he encountered that they scurried for cover like so many
field mice, thus punctuating the hurricane with long spells of arctic
weather. After all, better to be a
one-in-a-million hero than stand with a one-in-five-billion pariah who seemed
to have finished last in the Noetic Society Mr. Popularity competition. The amazing thing about it was, the way Chris
Langan continued to voice respect for the intellects of his fellow members as
they did their level best to frustrate him spitless while sabotaging the
intellectual future of the human race.
How, long after others would have written them off, he refused to
abandon them in the desert of ignorance.
Why, if the clown hadn't overeaten, he would have rushed straight back
to the flophouse and composed volumes of soaring poetry to celebrate the
perseverance of guys like Christopher Michael Chappelle-Langan!

Then the flashbulb of inspiration detonated like a loaded
cigar in Jojo's teeming gourd, infusing him with a new and wonderful sense of
destiny. If that kid he'd hustled was
really one of the smartest people in the world, then Jojo was in the wrong line
of work. Life as a clown had been
good. But his new life would be even
better. Armed with years of experience
as a professional buffoon, Jojo was about to become...a *politician*! He gazed
serenely out the window. It was autumn
in Manhattan, and the Apple was a fat juicy pearl in the humongous gaping
oyster that was the world.

COPYRIGHT 1991 by C. M. Langan. All rights reserved.

^{[3]}In
fairness to this recipient, Jojo seemed to recollect that he had been working
with autistic or otherwise disadvantaged children and was therefore
deserving...even if he *wasn't* a
"new Einstein".