"Matrix Thinking" -- History of the book

"Matrix Thinking" originated as a book draft written in 1992. Twenty-two years later, in 2014, the views and concepts expressed in this draft are still holding up well. In the re-working of the original book into the present suite of articles, no substantive changes at all have been made. Changes to linkages and chapter headings have been limited to those needed for the new presentation format.

The original plan was to publish "Matrix Thinking" in two parts. Book I was written and a draft circulated in 1992, published in parts in 1995, and finally published as a printed book in 1997. The contents of all these 'editions', apart from correction of typos etc, was essentially the same.

Part 2 was planned and projected, and a Contents List for Book II was included in Book I. In the event, the planned 20 chapters of Book II were never written or published. Some of the intended contents of these chapters may appear as web articles on this site in the future.

Below are reproduced the 'Fore Word' which appeared at the start of Book I, the 'For Now Word' which appeared at the end of Book I, and the Contents list for Book II, just as they were printed. It will be apparent that the material listed for Book II never eventuated in the planned form.

Fore Word

"The art of discovery is to to see what everybody sees, and think what nobody thinks"

The Origins of Matrix Thinking

This book grew out of my previous book, Nuteeriat [Reference 17]. In Nuteeriat I was able to present a rather new picture of the Earth, its history and development, and its interaction with its living inhabitants.

The book looked at three broad divisions of the Earth's development. First there was the Physical Earth, the result of the operation of the physical laws of nature upon the substances and energies of the planet.

Then there was the Biological Earth, showing the development of life on Earth and its interaction with the physical components, and, further, the back-influence of the biological elements on the physical world.

Thirdly, there was a brief and hesitant entry into the Intelligent Earth, the ever more powerful influences of intelligent species, in particular man, upon the physical and biological components of our planet. In this section I was able to bring forward perhaps generally unappreciated evidence of the profound changes wrought by man upon our world, not just over the last few hundreds or thousands of years of his existence, but far, far beyond, back into the time when man, as the creature we recognize as such, was in his earliest beginnings.

The broad-spectrum, synthetic approach used in Nuteeriat was able to yield a rich haul of new ideas about our world. In the words of one reader, it was able to bring out "many new truths". None of these was actually claimed as a 'truth', but instead was presented as a 'Proposition' -- an Aunt Sally put up for questioning, testing, rejection, or tentative acceptance, to stand or fall on its own merits.

This fertile approach to looking at the world was, in fact, Matrix Thinking, although it was not named as such in Nuteeriat.

Throughout its history the scientific world has, in some times, advanced through brilliant feats of deduction, and in others been held back and diverted from progress by entrenched concepts, which have fallen from acceptance only after prolonged assault by the new ideas and reasoning which replaced them. Moreover, science is no stranger to the prejudices, politics, and emotions which have such a major influence in the social world of man.

In Nuteeriat I put forward the suggestion that, if the approach used could be used successfully in the so-called 'hard sciences' of physics, biology, and the like, could it not also be applied in the 'soft' sciences of politics, law, sociology and their sisters? The present book is the response to that question. It will be for the reader to judge the success of that application.

What's in the Book

The broad plan of the work is a conventional one. Successive chapters look at what is meant by Matrix Thinking, how it fits in with existing philosophical approaches to the world, and how it can be applied to yield general conclusions, rules, laws, about the makeup of the Society of Man.

The total work consists of two separate parts, called Book I and Book II. In one departure from general practice, the chapters in these books are numbered like the rooms in a multi-storey hotel, so the third chapter in Book I is Chapter 103, the sixth chapter in Book II is Chapter 206, and so on.

A fundamental feature in the development of the topics covered is the progressive introduction of new entities, new or re-formulated concepts which will be put together to form a composite whole -- the components of a Matrix Model. In gaining a better understanding of how parts of our universe operate, the development of suitable entity models is often an essential first step for success.

As an example, in the history of discovery of the properties of matter, a fundamental step required for understanding these properties was the postulation of an entity which was assigned the name 'atom'.

Similarly, in developing an understanding of how human diseases act, a fundamental first requirement was to suggest the existence of entities named 'germs', as the active agents of diseases. In neither case was the exact definition or description of the relevant entity needed, what was important was to put in place the concept. Increasing knowledge of the entities, and their definition and classification, could and did follow only when their broad existence had been accepted.

And so, in moving to build a greater understanding of human society and how it operates, the first steps will involve extraction of the essential entities involved. Once this has been accomplished, a start can be made on setting down the properties and classifications of the entities, and thought given to how they interact. Gradually we will build up a model of our Matrix, and begin the slow process of refining and improving this model to the point where it can be practically applied to tell us more about our world.

Later, in Book II, the framework or machine so erected will be applied to specific areas of society to yield various conclusions about each of these areas -- economics, politics, business, education, law, entertainment, the 'arts' and sports are among them. Scattered throughout the chapters, at appropriate places, are formal 'Propositions' put up for criticism by those who feel inclined.

These Propositions vary enormously in importance and relevance. To give some measure of my own assessment of their importance, most are followed by a number of stars, increasing with importance.

It is perhaps inevitable that some of these Propositions will offend, annoy, or arouse antagonism in some. In a recursive twist to the book, I will also be looking at reasons why the mere presentation of such ideas can arouse antipathy and approval both.

Many of the Propositions presented will be simple. For this reason, they will be open to attack as being simplistic. My own feeling is that we should never underestimate the power and importance of simplicity. After all, five simple symbols, in the form E=mc2, changed our world forever.

Ambition and Scope

The aims and scope of this work are very broad. On the theoretical side, the Matrix Model which is developed is underlain by the skeleton of a Unified Theory of human society. And on the practical side, a Matrix Toolkit is developed which goes some way toward providing a mechanism, first for the analysis of aspects of society, and then for the construction and revision of societal interactions. These deal, not exactly with human behaviour as such, but more with the interaction of other elements of society which will themselves be exposed in the following treatment.

All these things are only different facets of a whole which I may refer to simply as The Matrix. All are part of what might be described as a powerful Intellectual Engine, one which, if it were a nutcracker, should be capable of cracking some pretty hard nuts.

Nevertheless, it should be emphasized that this Engine is but a prototype. I hope that its release to the World will encourage others to descend upon it, take it apart, improve, update, and extend its various parts, and perhaps even replace it completely with something better.

So this book attempts to dive into some pretty deep waters -- the reader is advised to plunge only when equipped with the lifebelt of commonsense and the scuba gear of logical reason. In its consideration of society, this book is not about what is moral, but about what morality is; not about what we should do, but about what we could do; and in the final analysis, it is about what "we" means.

And now, on to the fray . . .

* * * * * * * * * *

For Now Word

"I call the points where a rapidly developing technology takes off and starts to displace its predecessor 'technological transitions'. Rarely do leaders of the last technology play a significant role in the next; they've usually become encumbered with a superstructure focused on managing a mature market, incapable of acting with the rapid pace that's needed to develop the new market".
-- John Walker

Here endeth the First Part. In Part II of this book, we will go on the second leg of our tour of discovery, visiting all the various fairground tents in which the sectors of our Matrix World are accustomed to accommodate themselves.

With us we will take the apparatus and engine of Matrix Thinking which has been built up so far. While as yet only a working prototype, fresh out of the engineering workshop, this engine should be a useful device with which to check all the spruiking and publicity handouts which the different tents provide. While it may be necessary to make a few changes to the engine on this tour, they will only be of the nature of running repairs, needed to get us to the final point in reasonable shape.

As for you, the reader, until the time upon which you commence that second leg, look around you. If you have got this far in the book, you should have already acquired a number of new perspectives on the world. Use these perspectives to examine and bring out the inner mechanisms of everything you encounter -- what you observe at work and at home, what you see on television, what you read in newspapers and books, what happened at the club.

In my last book, Nuteeriat, I justified the use of data drawn from all parts of the world, from television programmes and phone calls and newspapers and personal observation as well as the approved sources of refereed journal articles, on the grounds that the book was a work of synthesis, and a work of synthesis had to draw from disparate areas, almost by definition.

In Matrix Thinking, my justification for using the same wide net is different. Here these newspaper articles, these reports, are not just evidence of work being carried out, they are also the data itself. Not only the contents of a particular newspaper report, but also the existence of it, is part of the Matrix swirl in which we live. Reach out and touch it.

Elsewhere in this book I have remarked that the usual time taken from first exposure of a basic new concept to its practical and common use is close to 40 years. In so far as this book may contain new concepts, this does not seem promising for their acceptance, or even their critical examination. Usually there is an entrenched inertia.

Fortunately, there are two sets of circumstances where the "40-year rule" does not seem to apply. The first is where the new concept happens to fill a real hole, rather than needing to push aside an existing concept. This happened, for example, with the Bohr theory of the atom.

The second is where the new concept has the immediate prospect of making money. Since many of the ideas put forward here have to do with money, as one form of infocap, it seems to me that if these ideas have any validity, those who are more astute than me will soon work out ways in which they can be applied to generate money. And good luck to them.

Writing this book has changed me, changed my views on many aspects of the world. Perhaps it may change you too. I would like to think that it could be of value in attempts to improve our world a little, through improving our understanding of that world.

David Noel
Perth, September 1992

* * * * * * * * * *

Contents -- Book II

Mid Word
201 Matrix Economics
202 Inflation and Currency
203 Taxation and Motivation
204 Language and Communication
205 Politics and Nationality
206 Peace and War
207 Law and Compliance
208 Education and Learning
209 Agriculture and Land Use
210 Business and Employment
211 Sport and Entertainment
212 Music and Performance
213 Fine and Coarse Arts
214 Science and Research
215 Health and Medicine
216 Ecology and the Wider World
217 Religion and Belief
218 The Supernatural and Parapsychology
219 Philosophy and Matrix Thinking
220 Looking Back
After Word
Appendix: Infocap & Synenergy Dimensions, Structure, Embodiment
Collected Propositions

Go to the "Matrix Thinking: How Society Works" Home Page

Versions 1.0-1.2, printed editions (Matrix Thinking Book I, BFC Press, Australia, 1992-1997)
Version 2.0, 2004, PDFs etc on World Wide Web (http://www.aoi.com.au/matrix/MT.htm)
Version 3.0, 2014 Jul 14,17. Reworked from parts of "Matrix Thinking" as one article in a suite on the World Wide Web.