Is there a name for "unifying theories of the Universe"? For example, I'm a fan of the free energy principle, which roughly states that human brains—and by extension, the Universe—are trying to reduce uncertainty. My contribution is the idea that our universe is fundamentally a ratio between liquidity and optionality:

The magic of our universe is embodied in a physical hierarchy, from neutrino to Neutron star, where at each level, we see the same beautiful pattern: many, mostly uniform objects interacting with each other, forming a foundation for complexity at the next level. For example, the elements in the Periodic Table are distributed logarithmically in the Universe, which just so happens to be important for our version of conscious complexity. If there were only one type of atom in the Universe, for example, that wouldn't be good. If all the atom types were uniformly distributed, that probably also wouldn't be good. And if there were only 80 atoms in the Universe instead of 10e80, that wouldn't work.

This pairing of lateral combination with telescoping vertical combination, similar to Russian dolls, appears to be the most fundamental properties. If you had to boil this down to a few "atomic" components, you'd say that our universe has an incredible amount of liquidity and optionality.

If you had to boil this down further, you'd probably eliminate the concept of higher or lower, and instead focus on linkages between "things" that could be modeled as expressions of liquidity and optionality, with liquidity mostly overpowering optionality, roughly in a ratio of 100 to 1.

"Liquidity" means the ability of like to link with like. "Optionality" means the ability of like to link with unlike. There is probably some sweet spot between the two. But the liquidity of many water particles combined with few organic molecules do interesting things when faced with the big bowl of gravity that is Earth.

And the result of this should be clumping, which is what makes our universe interesting: clumps of order, in a hierarchy, leading to bigger clumps, like when kids play with slime.

Also of note: liquidity and optionality are important concepts in finance, and are also the essence of capitalism, a possibly not-so-surprising echo of the fundamental structure of the Universe.

(Cross-posted on Philosophistry)

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