Date: Sat, 30 Dec 2000 15:56:30 -0500
Reply-To: Quantum Approaches to Consciousness
Sender: Quantum Approaches to Consciousness
From: uzi awret <awret@EROLS.COM>
Subject: [Q-Mind] Steganogramic representation of the baryon octet in
cellular automata.- Joel Isaacson.
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[Brian Flanagan]
Many thanks to Prof. Emeritus Joel Isaacson for his stimulating
and insightful paper linking topics in crytography, cellular
automata, microtubules, fractal geometry, and quantum-mind research.


From: Joel D. Isaacson.
Subject: Steganogramic representationof the baryon octet in cellular




Joel D. Isaacson
I M I Corporation, 20 Crestwood Drive, St. Louis, Missouri 63105,



Simple computations, such as those performed by one-dimensional
cellular automata (CAs), are known to produce unexpected
complexity in many instances(ref. 1). Many people experimenting with CAs
in the last twenty years or so are prone to suggesting, mostly on
intuitive grounds, that hiding among the vast number of possible
CAs are a few simple ones that may very well be "ultimate models
for the universe" (ref 2). In this report I show how a simple
cellular automaton unexpectedly encodes the baryon octet of elementary
particle physics. In ref. 3, I discussed the relevance of the
instant CA to elementary processes of visual perception, and in
ref. 4 this CA was linked to dialectical processes. The
confluence of such diverse models in one trivial computation is
unexpected and intriguing. I submit that something very
fundamental is unfolding here and respectfully invite from readers
critical evaluation of my findings.


My main aim here is to unfold unexpected complexity that is
embedded in a certain pattern that is quite similar to fig. 1, by
showing that it includes "surreptitious," or steganogramic (Note 1),
representation of the baryon octet of elementary particle physics
at the quark level.
Note 1: Steganography, a part of cryptology, is a mode of concealing

the presence of some "secret" information, sometimes in the body or
context of "open" information. For example, some people hide text, such as
e-mail, as white noise among the pixels of digital pictures transmitted over
the Internet. The visual quality of such pictures is unaffected, so
that an interceptor has no basis to suspect the existence of any
additional information beyond the picture itself. Concealed information may or
may not be protected in addition by encryption. A steganogram is a
message whose presence and meaning are hidden by means of some steganographic

means.In ordinary encryption situations, the cryptanalyst is aware of the
existence of the encrypted message and has access to it in order to
attempt decryption. In cases of steganograms, the cryptanalyst may not even
be aware of the presence of a concealed message, which may compound the
difficulty in uncovering such information. Thus, for example, from a
purely cryptological point of view, the breaking of the genetic code
was a case of cryptanalysis, while discovering a representation of
baryons in an innocuous cellular automaton is a case of breaking a steganogram.
[End Note 1]


Because of the difficulty with formatting in html, this paper in its entirity has been put into a PDF format and is available at



The set of all k=4 r=1 one-dimensional CAs includes 2^128 (or
3.402823669209*10^38) possible rules. Because of this huge
number, very little is known about the behaviour of the vast
majority of these CAs. Back in 1964 I selected out of these a
particular CA, i.e., the one governed by tetracoding, for study in
the context of computer analysis of digital images. It turned out
that, if a digital image is very "thin," i.e., one-dimensional, a
minimal condition for perception of any patterns in it is the
ability to make distinctions between neighboring pixels in the
image. Therefore, making and recording such distinctions is the
essence of tetracoding. When tetracoding is applied to initial
finite strings of arbitrary symbols, and then recursively to their
successors, all having the same fixed length, very interesting and
unexpected patterns emerge. Some of these are reported in ref. 4,
where the more intriguing patterns are those that mimic patterns
of the Hegelian dialectic (Note 3).

Note 3: Hegelian dialectic is an influential, yet controversial,
philosophical doctrine that holds that the universe operates,
through-and-through, according to complicated schemata of interacting
opposites and their continual mediation. My discovery, in the early
1970s, of these kinds of schemata in the patterns generated by
recursive tetracoding had been totally unexpected and inexplicable.
In combination with the more recent discovery (May 1997) of baryon
representations among the very same dialectical patterns, the
effect is compounded manyfold.
End Note 3]

In this report I used a degenerate case of image processing, where
a digital image comprised of an arbitrary single pixel is the
initial input to recursive tetracoding, without constraints on the
lengths of successive strings. What one sees in fig. 2 then is a
display of structures associated with a "degenerate" analysis of a
single-pixel image. This kind of analysis is seemingly trivial
and inconsequential, by ordinary commonsensical intuition.
Therefore, the fact that the baryon octet was found encoded in the
wake of this kind of bizarre processing deserves special
attention, I think.

bj: One would like to see a group-theoretic treatment here--it seems
as though some relation to the SU(3) group (which is thought to
govern baryons) might well cast some light on what is going on, here.
Also, a (trichromatic, dynamic) fractal of the kind described would
be of great interest.

To drive home my point, I offer a bit of folk wisdom, cited from
an ancient Eastern tale. A poor peasant approached the Buddha and
said: "Oh, wise and mighty Buddha, show me how do I get to know
all there is to know?" The Buddha pointed to a single piece of
dung on the path and said: "Meditate on that -- it will come to

I propose that, at a minimum, when attempting to perceive but a
single speck of something, we mentally activate a process that is
similar to fig. 2. Now, (as if by Leibnitzian pre-established
harmony) this very act of elementary perception turns out to
subsume a steganogramic representation of elementary particles at
the quark level, albeit without awareness thereof. My conjecture
then is that acts of elementary perception involve mental, or
abstract, structures that are remarkably similar to the most
fundamental structures that our science ascribes to matter at the
quark level; which is very close to saying that here and now we
are pointed in the direction of an intersection between mind and
matter, in the context of this simple and innocuous cellular

In closing, I point out that the demonstration of the above-
described steganogramic representation of the baryon octet is
entirely independent from the validity of any proposals in regards
to elementary principles of perception, and certainly also from
any Hegelian conceptions. I submit that, on its own merits, said
representation is a significant finding in regard to heretofore
certain concealed connections between cellular automata and
fundamental physics.



Dear Joel;
Since 1972 I have been working on a principle which I once called the operating principle of the universe.

I have a paper I wrote at

In which I write about a "notational device" I invented

I have online several quotes which lead up to this conclusion at

You may be particularily interested in those at the end.

I usually don't refer to the Hegelian Dialectic simple because it has no explicite reference to the relationship between the opposites, in spite of the fact that Hegelian philosophy is about relationships...

Note 3: Hegelian dialectic is an influential, yet controversial,
philosophical doctrine that holds that the universe operates,
through-and-through, according to complicated schemata of interacting
opposites and their continual mediation. My discovery, in the early
1970s, of these kinds of schemata in the patterns generated by
recursive tetracoding had been totally unexpected and inexplicable.
In combination with the more recent discovery (May 1997) of baryon
representations among the very same dialectical patterns, the
effect is compounded manyfold.
End Note 3]


Subj: Re: This and that, in a relationship, is something else and so forth
Date: 01/01/01 2:34:26 PM Central Standard Time
From: (Joel Isaacson)

Thanks for your note! The collection of quotes is very apropos.
Also read your linked article, and I notice the "tetronic notation" that
you had invented. My impression is that you have been (still are?)
aligned with a direction that is quite consistent with what I am pointing
towards. Keep at it!


-- jdi

From: Joel D. Isaacson.
Subject: Steganogramic representationof the baryon octet in cellular



Hello, thought the following might be of interest.



Thanks, Brian. I think Tom was the first to contact me over the weekend.
Also received some useful comments from others, including Dimi Chakalov,
"Calico", and Chris Lofting.

Tom asked me to read some of his earlier stuff on "tetronic notation"
and things of that sort, which I did, and then I encouraged him to
"keep at it." As I told Tom Sunday, my impression is that he has been
aligned generally with a direction that I am pointing towards in my recent
q-mind post.

I'll respond below to some of Tom's comments.

[Tom Mandel]


>The Hegelian Dialectic Joel refers to is actually only one among many
>other ontological philosophies that express the same category of, well,


This is absolutely correct. In the history of thought, East and West,
and in-between (including religion), there are numerous ontologies that
are dialectical to various degrees. These include the ones pointed out
below by Tom, and quite a few more (and not to ignore Plato...)


>Nicholas of Cuza expressed it as Coincidentia opposotorium. Heraclitus
>expressed it as a union of opposites, and used fire as an example of
>their relationship. Empedocles expressed it as a tetronic concept with
>his whole composed of stuff, the boundless, the relationship and the
>whole. But even before them it was expressed in the Tao te Ching,
>specifically in Chapter 42, "The begot One The One begot two The Two
>begot Three The Three begot the Ten Thousand Things..."


Of course! But the subtle difference is in the mode of expression of
these ontological ideas -- i.e, through the autonomic processes of
an artifact, rather than "idle" verbal speculation. In Ref. 4,
I wrote (Col. 22, lines 23 - 33):

"...the present [paper] includes, and this specification
discloses, the first and only existing symbolic and
operationistic (as opposed to merely 'verbal') system,
further embodied in digital hardware technology, that
captures dialectical logic. The significance of this
can be assessed from the fact that the quest for embodiments
of dialectical logic is as old as Plato and as current as
present-day structuralism, best exemplified by the more
recent work of Jean Piaget on the origins of natural
intelligence and on, so-called, 'genetic epistemology'."


>So this is not something we can say is "new." It's also mentioned
>in the Kabbala, where it is expressed as a geometrical progression from
>point to line to area to volume, exactly as Fuller described his


Again I agree. There is nothing "new" about dialectical processes,
per se. What is new in my q-mind post is a link between elementary
particles processes and dialectical processes that is emergent (as
distinct from pre-programmed), of its own accord, from certain
elementary CA processes.


>This ontology, however, does require a new kind of thinking.
>Instead of thinking in terms of taking apart into smaller parts,
>the new thinking requires a putting together into wholes. Ackoff describes
>this as down and up thinking.
>Analytical and synthetic.


I couldn't agree more.


>In the scientific sense, this new thinking is regarded as systemic
>thinking. Thinking in terms of systems. What Joel has found, is an
>interpenetrative example of the general system principle at work.


Thanks, Tom, for making this observation.


>But remember, it is not the opposites that are ultimately important,
>rather it is their relationships and as Ludwig von Bertalanffy
>expresses it, "Compared to the analytical procedure of classical
>science with resolution into component elements and one-way or
>linear causality as basic category, the investigation of organized
>wholes of many variables requires new categories of interaction,
>transaction, organization, teleology..."
>In short, the NCC is not a thing, it is their relationship.


I don't quite know what "NCC" stands for, but I think I understand
the gist of the above comment, and I generally agree with it. From
prior private e-mail discussion with Tom, I understand that he
laments Hegel's neglect to zero in specifically on the substance
of the *relationship* among the elements in his elaborated
dialectical system. Something I can readily sympathize with...

Now, a little diversion, but we'll get back to *relationship*
soon enough, I promise.

In re Hegelian dialectic, many people take "opposites" to mean some
kind of meanspirited strife or struggle, more along the line of
Marxist dialectic of class struggle... It need not be so! All one
needs is elementary local discrimination of differences
that is quite neutral and has nothing to do with struggle. (In Note
3, I was deliberate to call those "interacting opposites"). That
discriminating function, applied recursively, invariably generates
Hegelian-like dialectical patterns. I can't help it, Tom can't
help it, Hegel can't help it, or, for that matter, no one else
can help it; for it is an established fact that this is what
"recursive tetracoding" is doing as a matter of course, like it or

Now, let's examine that "discriminating function" -- what motivates
it, and where does it come from? As I relay in the q-mind post,
at the time I settled on that function (1964) to drive my CA, I was
working in computer analysis of digital imagery (aka visual pattern
recognition (PR)). It became quickly obvious that without local
discrimination among neighboring pixels nothing can be accomplished
further by way of pattern recognition, at a much higher level.
So, that function became, trivially yet axiomatically, the cornerstone
of the system I was successfully developing. I was also interested
in a pattern recognition system that would be as close as possible
to *natural" PR systems; and bypass, if possible, all notions of
mathematics and even programming! [More like what Penrose would
propose today with his "non-programmable" and "non-computable"
elements in consciousness and cognition...]

Well, the retina gives us a model for such a system, and so does the
immune system, at a lower level. In both, making local binary
distinctions of same/not-same are crucial and fundamental. It turns
out that biology, and cognition as well, are pervasive with local
discrimination functions, which are BTW fairly stable. And, of course,
these functions are generally carried out through biochemical means,
and NOT through numerical computations! So, "recursive tetracoding",
while, of necessity, is implemented in Ref.4 through electronic
means (binary logic, and all that), it in fact directly mirrors far
more fundamental biochemical events that have nothing to do with
numerics and such. (BTW, the patent in Ref. 4 claims biochemical
means as preferred implementations.) So, the "opposites" manipulated
in the dialectics of "recursive tetracoding" are no more in mutual strife
than are two receptors in the retina which are hit by differing light

Back to "relationship" which interests Tom the most. First, it
should be made abundantly clear that "recursive tetracoding" is
NOT Hegelianism and Hegelian dialectic is not "recursive tetracoding."
These are two distinct systems that have been observed to exhibit
certain striking similarities. But one is an operative technological
artifact, and the other is verbal expression of speculative
philosophy. I can vouch for the first, but have nothing to say,
or defend, in regard to the second. Please note that all I say in
the q-mind post is that some patterns reported in Ref. 4 "mimic
patterns of the Hegelian dialectic."

In Ref. 4, I set forth the "tetracoding" string-manipulation
operation is excruciating technical detail. What leads to the
definition of tetracoding is a detailed discussion of "strings".
In that discussion, I am emphatic about the primacy of RELATIONSHIP
above all else, in the entire autonomic string-manipulation system
disclosed therein. Excerpt (Ref. 4, Col. 4. lines 9 - 31):

"In the present invention a mark [generic for *any* symbol,
signal, or "element"] is normally considered only in the
context of other marks, including blanks; consequently,
marks are reduced to essentially syncategorematic entities,
or even weaker. When marks are taken individually or even
in combination, any meanings, significations, or other
semiotic properties are normally disregarded.

A mark is normally considered in terms of its RELATIONS to
its two neighbors, a "relation" taken to be binary
distinction/indistinction; namely, a mark is said to
be "distinct" from a neighbor if it is distinguishable
from the neighbor (by some comparison means); otherwise
it is said to be "indistinct" from the neighbor.

Clearly a relation between two marks is symmetric, or
mutual. The essential information in a mark string
(or any string [this refers to "fantomark" strings,
a "metaphysical" notion, see Ref. 4 -- comment added
here by jdi]), from the point of view of the present
elements in the string.

This information can be encoded in a number of ways
which are essentially equivalent, or commutable into
each other, and thus reducible to a single encoding
method. The two techniques below, describing "streaking"
and "tetracoding," disclose the essence of said encoding."

I think that I delivered amply on "relationship" in my dialectical
system, and I think that Tom will agree too.


-- Joel


The following letters are included here because they are appropriate to the discussion of "tetronic notation"



<< Subj: Re: (no subject)
Date: 01/01/01 5:05:12 PM Central Standard Time
From: (John Kineman)


I took a quick look at the web site and your notation. I need to work with
it a bit to fully understand it, particularly the circular causality
diagram. However, here's some initial observations.

First, yes, I think this does mesh with Rosen's analysis nicely, and I
suspect at this point that each can inform the other, if it turns out that
one isn't contained in the other. Both are based on the basic
complementarity of things, as you suggest, and both invoke the idea of the
"third side," i.e., the relationship. Your diagram of the wavicle on the
left with a mirror diagram leading to "notation" on the right seems exactly
the modeling relation where on the left we do analysis to deconstrucut the
natural system into arbitrary parts, then on the right we do synthesis to
construct a science of explanation by putting the parts together again.
Because of complexity (Rosen) we know that the analysis-synthesis process
does not commute, but we are constantly seeking commutation. Rosen then
draws the lines of "encoding" and "decoding" to describe the relationship
between your left and right diagrams.

One advantage I've found in Rosen's diagram is that it implies nested
levels of reality. In other words, your third thing is not of the same
logical type or at the same logical level as the original two sides of the
coin. The wholeness is at a "higher" or more complete level of system. So
while the traditional analysis breaks all "things" into other "things" of
identical type, Rosen's construction implies levels of different logical
type. Yours does too, but I think you have to be careful about the types of
things that are included in your pairs - as we discussed. Rosen limits the
pairs to ontological or epistemological pairs, i.e., bridging two domains
of reality to create system levels. Yours may be more general, but in that
case one needs to state the rules. Perhaps you do that. I have to read more.

But, in any case, by all means you should continue to develop it and
promote it! How else will others benefit from it? How else will you be led
to those critical junctures that allow you to improve it? That's where I
disagree most with Don. I don't think there should be one view, but that
there should be a process of integrating and relating them that balance a
process of bifurcating multiple views. Life itself is a constant coming
together and going apart.

Date: 01/02/01

John, thanks for the encouragement. It has been a long and lonely road. I think you are right, the time has come to promote (my) tetronic notation so that others may benefit. I've also improved it by replacing the vertical bridge with a narrow oval.


I think I began in ernest at Asilomar in 1999, where I read a paper which spoke of how I arrived at this conclusion (written up in 1994) . It was well received, everyone clapped afterwards, and Bai.Guohua came up to me and said it was great. Your letter was not the only one I received on New Years Day, I also got one from Joel Isaacson telling me to "keep at it". Seems he discovered through his research of CA, that this principle is well as he puts it - "I submit that something very
fundamental is unfolding here "
See his note 3 just below...
(Full text is at )

It s sad, though, that Bertalanffy, who arrived at the same conclusion, albeit tentatively, is not given the credit and consideration for what he has done.
It a funny thing though, after the dust settles on this one, those who have renounced/ignored all my efforts to credit Bertalannfy with this too, will come up to me and say that he wrote about it first. Betcha..


PS Sorry Bob, for this mess, but...