Letter of Introduction to Software Developers

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Overview of this work
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Subject:A New Development in System Theory with BIG implications for the IT industry.


I write to inform you of some developments that may be of interest to you or you may know of others who would be interested. They arise from the field of system science and have implications in all fields that deal with systems, but particularly in those dealing with information systems, such as software engineering and the IT industry in general. These developments lead to a low level enabling technology that is effectively a subtle paradigm shift within the very concept of computation and may give rise to new IT methodologies.

In the course of some metaphysical research I developed a mathematical formalism called System Matrix Notation (SMN) which provides a general system representation, analysis and simulation framework. SMN is a fusion of concepts from system theory, linear algebra, probability theory, information theory, computer science, metaphysics, quantum physics and group theory. This mathematical formalism is amenable to efficient implementation in software thereby creating a dynamic and interactive context for system engineering and analysis. This is a low level enabling technology that allows one to represent, simulate and analyse systems of any kind. It is like advanced computer animation, however not for the outer appearances of systems but for their deep casual structure and behaviour.

SMN is in essence a model of general distributed computation; it is a general information processor that can structure, organise, distribute and transform information of all kinds in a massively parallel manner. SMN provides an abstract network of nodes and relations and it implements the dynamic causal connectivity within that network. This general structure can be imbued with any meaning that one can imagine, from abstract system models, software, multimedia, Concept Maps or Topic Maps (i.e. XTM, a new XML format) and so on. Who knows what ingenious uses may be found over time.

This capacity is theoretically conceptualised and harnessed using the conceptual language of system theory and could be represented as an interactive environment within which a user could visualise and interact with systems as dynamical information constructs. Within this environment they may integrate the power of SMN with their other information tools and with their wider context. It would provide a unified space within which to bring all of the elements together and wherein to develop an increasingly complex and powerful methodology of system engineering.

SMN can be efficiently implemented as a software application that provides one with a metaphysically coherent information space within which systems may exist and interact. These are artificial universes that we may interact with, or technological extensions of our own universe. It reifies the concept of cyberspace as a tangible coherent space with a deep metaphysical structure. The algorithm can also be implemented directly in-silicon thus allowing for system simulation chips. Furthermore, the parallels between SMN and quantum physics may indicate the way toward a method for the general programming of a quantum computer, thus allowing us to create fully interactive metaphysical spaces into which we could teleport quantum states, and eventually even ourselves thereby experiencing them as tangibly as we experience this 'physical' space. Through SMN we may better interact with information and given that everything may be conceived of as information we may potentially interact better with everything.

This technology builds upon previous advances in computing and coordinates and extends them, thus augmenting the previous developments by providing advanced methods for the construction and analysis of complex dynamical systems that arise from deep system theoretic principles. With further development it could thereby transform the 'art' of software engineering into an exact science, thus allowing for the development of systems who's complexity was previously prohibitive. It would also allow for the development of fault tolerant systems who's entire state space could be systematically determined in advance without exhaustive and ad hoc testing procedures, thus all possible error conditions can be accounted for.

Furthermore, SMN forms the core of a metaphysical paradigm that I call Information System Theory or Idiomatic System Theory (IST), which is a conceptual framework that describes the implications that SMN has on our understanding of the nature of systems and information spaces of all kinds. IST is still in development and yet to be fully integrated with other paradigms, but it will likely have far reaching ramifications.

IST is a conceptual framework that provides a system theoretic metaphysics of the nature of reality; it is an extension of General System Theory. Through successive permutation levels this metaphysical basis can be built up into a complex and coherent philosophical system that could accurately incorporate the detailed complexities of the world without introducing spurious distortions that arise from our ignorance or prejudice. Such a philosophical framework would provide a coherent unified conceptual foundation for science, spirituality and engineering, or any conceptual frameworks attempting to represent, comprehend and interact with any aspects of reality. Through IST we may better understand the overall structure and dynamics of that which we call 'reality'.

The final result of this would be a system theoretic metaphysical and philosophical paradigm that gives us a deep understanding of the nature of ourselves and our world and also a practical technology to allow us to communicate and utilise this deeper understanding. IST indicates the way toward the philosophy and SMN indicates the way toward the technology.

I have been pursuing a deep metaphysical understanding of my world for over thirteen years and I have been working on this full time for close to five years but mainly on the theoretical, metaphysical and mathematical aspects. However I have developed some software prototypes of the core algorithm and also some high level designs of the overall application, which I currently refer to as SOME for System Oriented Modelling Environment. I am gradually developing an interface into the simulation space that will allow users to interact with all levels of the virtual reality. I offer what information I have to the world and I will also collaborate with others who wish to work on the development of these ideas or adapt them for use in their own work. I hope that there are people in the open source or free software communities that are able to comprehend these abstract ideas and to see the vast potential that lies within them. I also welcome enquiries from commercial companies as well.

Such a program would allow people to dynamically interact with complex system models that exist and interact within metaphysically coherent spaces and which manifest complex and coherent behaviours. It would, for example, be ideal for the development of interactive games and any type of virtual reality. But also for any type of abstract information space; and any type of computer program is essentially an information process operating within an information space. It would allow people to tangibly experience aspects of system science and would lead to a growth in the understanding of complex dynamical systems, thus leading to better management of such systems. This includes the systemic health of natural environments, organisms such as ourselves and human societies. One could model dysfunctional scenarios and diagnose where the problems arise, or one could merge various perspectives and discover the underlying scenario and then analyse how the perspectives diverge and where misunderstandings arise. The potential is enormous.

There is a description of the general mathematical foundations in the document:
http://www.Anandavala.info/TASTMOTNOR/Finite Discrete Information Systems.html
where there is a description of the overall algorithm and links to the source code for the 'core' prototypes.

The source code can be accessed via:
http://www.Anandavala.info/TASTMOTNOR/SMN Code.html

I have used the programming language Euphoria so far since it is simple, powerful, fast and intuitive but ultimately a 'free' public domain language would be best.

There are some general comments at:
http://www.Anandavala.info/TASTMOTNOR/Finite Discrete Information Systems.html#System_Oriented_Modeling_Environment

The general scientific analysis can be accessed via the page:
http://www.Anandavala.info/TASTMOTNOR/The Mathematical Analysis.html

and the broader work can be accessed from:
from here there are essays discussing many aspects of the world view that arises from the SMN / IST paradigm.

I hope that you will peruse this work and ascertain whether it is of benefit to you and let me know of any questions, comments or suggestions.

John Ringland