The Verification Coordinate

© February 2002- August 2008 Paul Cooijmans

Long ago I discovered that an important condition in the approach of philosophical and physical problems is to never assign reality to what cannot be verified (or falsified, measured etc.). In other words and more specific, only what can be verified by aware beings exists.

This axiom may be seen as a variant of Popper's falsification requirement, which says a theory must be phrased so that a possible counterexample will disprove it. It also vaguely echoes quantum physics and, even more vaguely perhaps. Descartes' "I think therefore I am".

Recently I have pondered the idea of quantifying this verification criterion, to thus have greater control over its effect. I imagine this will eventually lead to answering essential questions like "Why does everything exist (as opposed to non-exist)?" and "Why are the conditions in the universe such that life can evolve?".

I am aware that the "anthropic principle" offers valid explanation for such questions ("If conditions were different, we would not be here to ask that question"), and am seeking to further quantify and specify in that direction to see if essential problems can be formalized completely in a sufficiently powerful system.

What I propose is to assign to any event in space-time a verification coefficient, which may also be seen as a "coordinate" next to the usual three spatial coordinates and the time "coordinate". This coefficient indicates the amount of awareness by which an event is verified. As we cannot physically measure awareness, and as a psychometric measure of it is still under development (See my articles on creativity and genius), I will for the moment use the reciprocal of the occurrence frequency of an individual's (yet to be made measurable) psychometric awareness, and sum those for events verified by multiple individuals. The exact formula for each individual's value is (p = proportion outscored):

vt = 1/(1 - p) - 1

So the vt (verification term) for an individual with awarenes at .99 would be 99; For one at the .5 it would be 1. The vc (verification coordinate) for an event verified by three individuals at .5, .98 and .999 would be 1 + 49 + 999 = 1049.

Basic axiom is that if for any event vc = 0 , that event does not exist. This implies the universe and the awareness in it must "start" at the same "point" in the five-dimensional grid (Note this is not an actual point in space or moment in time). In other words, the "Big Bang" not only initiates space and time, but also awareness. To avoid confusion I introduce the term "truth" for a 5-D space-time-vc coordinate set. The Big Bang thus becomes the Initial Truth.

I realize this is hard to accept for who is used to thinking in terms of a reality existing apart from aware verification. To help understand, consider this: The possible universe fragment from the traditional Big Bang to the beginning of awareness has no absolute existence, and our possible competing theories about it that are equally consistent with the verified facts are equally likely.

The same goes for subatomic particles too small for us to be observed yet. They have no absolute existence, and competing theories equally consistent with the verified facts are equally likely. Once they are observed and verified, as science advances, they come into existence. The exactness of our thinking and instruments determines the exactness of reality itself, because awareness, in the form of the verification coordinate, is interwoven with space-time.

Then to the idea of a parallel existence of all possible universes, each slightly different and some of which containing awareness, which is sometimes proposed as an answer to the question "How come there is life in the universe?". As the verifcation coordinate is 0 in the universes without awareness, they do not exist. The vc sure cuts out a lot of deadwood.

Concluding, my idea is to regard the aware observation of time-space events as being interwoven with those in a time-space-vc matrix of "truths". I suspect it is possible to express vc in such a way that it behaves as a true Euclidian dimension, similar to the way time is related to the "fourth dimension", also called "imaginary time", which is expressed as √-1ct (root minus one times speed of light times time), thus resulting in the (imaginary) metre for a unit and being compatible with the three spatial dimensions. Note this is not the same as saying vc is a Euclidian dimension, just as the Euclidian nature of imaginary time does not imply that time itself is Euclidian.

The ultimate unit of awareness will therefore be the metre. Awareness essentially represents extendedness in one of the five dimensions of the matrix of truths. In this respect I mention my article "The Time Window", published several years ago in a few I.Q. magazines and recently revised and on my web site here.

This article, The Verification Coordinate, is the first official publication regarding the concept in question, and any terms and units used in it may be revised in the course of further research.