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More specifically, science relies on one particular direction of that tricky notion. That is why we imagine an outer, physical world against an inner, mental one, and we say that molecules contain atoms.
As practical as these presumptions are, it is legitimate to imagine them in reverse. Doing that doesn't remove our experience and theories. On the contrary, it can help us understand their limits.
Thus, impansion is a paradoxical idea rooted in the same point that gave rise to science. It invites us to review our immense theoretical background and fold it outside in like a sock.
Playing impanders is like jumping to the other side of the scientific mirror. There, imagination and critical thought are our only tools. Fortunately, the border is populated—indeed, constituted—by conceptual limits documented in diverse fields. Impansion offers a common name and practical solutions to these limits.
-The simple contains the complex.
-The small contains the big.
-The past contains the future
With some practice, the apparently opposite perspective becomes more natural and coherent than the original, which is never lost. Indeed, both views integrate into a more fulfilling experience.
This kind of paradoxical thinking requires patience and effort. However, carefully designed pictures and animations can make the path more accessible. That is why I have spent more than a year learning to produce my first animated videos. I hope they will inspire an intimate insight into critical thinkers.
Now, we can also play impanders, overlapped observers constituting an eternal whole ruled by balance. It is a pretty different view of the same evidence.
We should ask which makes more sense right now—from an ecological, global point of view—but first, we must become masters of impansion. Humans must know they have a choice to make a choice.
So, shall the scientific community acknowledge a new worldview coherent with all our data? Shall scientific disseminators fix the current radical, biased perspective of nature? Shall humanity, at last, be honest with itself? And, more importantly, shall you help me find a positive answer to these questions?
Excerpts from the book
“We need different, mutually inconsistent metaphors to conduct experiments and understand their results.”
“The possibility that every future takes the form of some inner black hole is very poetic but, at the same time, absolutely logical.”
“Theoretical physicists whisper, ‘Light says what spacetime is.’ Applied physicists shout, ‘Light does what spacetime says!’ Both are plausible, but you cannot argue them before the same judge, especially in the same trial.”
“Nature would respond as a hamster wheel to intergalactic trials, revealing that space travel is a meaningless concept. However, we are not trapped in a cage because, as said, our future is not outside us but inside.”
“Imagine that the counter of a clock continues ticking long after human life becomes extinct. It does not matter how many ticks it makes. Whenever equivalent complexities come into existence, their science must assign 13.800 million years to their universe.”
Live and death
“Conception and death can only be events in the third person. It is the only way to link them to a clock or a calendar. Thus, births, deaths, Big Bangs, and Big Rips are not objective points in a time arrow. Instead, they are equivalent metaphorical concepts”
“The Earth can be a flat surface, a perfect sphere, or a geoid interacting with spacetime geodesics, depending on the context. It can also be a subjectively wrapped harmonic structure in a sizeless and timeless whole. None of these perspectives is more truthful than the others because all are metaphorical.”
An intermingled multiverse
“The idea of separate universes does not originate in physics equations but in the set or container metaphor that gave rise to modern logic and mathematics. Once we believe in objective containers and time arrows, we tend to imagine parallel or consecutive universes and despise intermingled ones.”
“Do solitons break a preexisting matter or either signal the rise and fall of a subjective material experience? Both ideas are valid metaphorical descriptions of what we see and calculate.”
“For impanders, postural experience and gravitational effects are two sides of the same coin. It is unnecessary to divide our experience into some internal and external worlds and prioritize one of them.”
“Once reinterpreted according to impansion, the empirical evidence is overwhelming. Our phenomenal experience consists of the intersubjective construction of individual bodies in relative motion plus their apparent relative distances and durations.”
“’Emergent’ is a critical word. It pertains to a scientific paradigm called emergent systems or nonlinear science. Emergence and impansion are complementary concepts. Thus, an impanded structure would see other impanded structures emerge from nowhere.”
“Impansion is compatible with a historical experience. It just dispenses history from objective time arrows.”
“Our deep contradictions about the mechanisms of evolution are entirely natural if ‘mechanism’ is just a metaphor.”
“Big Bangers are children playing cops who defend the scientific law of the fittest; impanders are children playing outlaws that believe in justice.”
“For impanders, there is no difference between perception, action, and conceptualization because there is no difference between the self and the world.”
“Metaphors create all meanings, create all similarities, and define all our reality.* After all, impansion is about what you want or need to stress, not about how things actually are.”
*Adapted from Lakoff and Johnson, Metaphors We Live By, 1980, ch. 27.
“Impansion suggests that any language we could find in the universe or invent, formal or natural, will necessarily be a wrapped or circular system of metaphorical concepts. From this perspective, science is not a heroic quest for absolute truth but a coalition of practical quests for partial, self-contained truths.”