Asynsis: A New Design ToE
How Phi Flows in Time To Synergise Simplexity into SynPlexity, Most Easily
“The constructal law is the statement that for a flow system to persist in time it must evolve in such a way that it provides easier access to its currents.
This is the law of configuration generation, or the law of design.”
“What I cannot create, I do not understand.”
The #Asynsis principle?
How does Nature Self-Organise her Designs Most Easily?
How does Nature, despite the global trend towards a sea of increasing entropy & disorder, still allow for local islands of exquisite beauty and order?
How (KAM) Number Theory Protects You from the Chaos of the Cosmos — Galileo Unbound
How is Earth protected from being ejected from the Solar System, freezing to a snowball in frigid, sun-less interstellar space?
How does it avoid being constantly subject to fusillades of asteroids, like the one that doomed the dinosaurs?
It’s because Kolmogorov Arnold Moser (KAM) Golden Ratio tori are the most adaptive, most stable, most resilient solar system planetary-moon-ring orbital islands on the very cusp of (and leveraging), dynamical chaos; to agilely maintain that very resilience. It’s because the asteroids are guided away from Earth by Asynsis-Constructal orbital gravitational resonances with Jupiter, as also explained by KAM theory.
This behaviour is true for all solar and planetary-moon-ring-asteroid systems.
After research at the University of Westminster Architecture, Engineering & Computer Science Faculties sourcing the British Library Science collection including KAM papers, first published in 1994 as a new Design ToE; Dynamical Symmetries (now the Asynsis principle, as shared via the South China Morning Post and on TED conferences in 2014), by myself, yours truly, Nigel Reading in AD Magazine, John Wiley & Sons, London; we can now unequivocally say that nature is indeed (as I first conjectured and hypothesised in that AD article), pre-programmed, she has/is an innate generative, recursive telos-purpose code for how far from (thermal) equilibrium dissipative systems are transiently defying & leveraging entropy.
This isn’t a theological argument for an intelligent external creator-designer-diety (although this isn’t an impossibility in the light of simulation and other theories), more for nature being able to bootstrap, an apparent ex nilho extended transient, homeostatic figure, albeit from an infinite, eternal, chaotic multiversal ground.
So the earlier hypothesis is now provided with a further QED, that this telos codes for how nature is self-organising and recursively orchestrating endlessly fecund feedback flows of informational creativity at multi-scales, often with optimal, elegant fractal geometries (in a Darwinian-Lamarckian synthesis); to, via a deterministic Form Follows Flow process, evolve ever more interesting energy into matter forms, so in short, this is how she codes for her self-designs.
This may help explain why the universe is fine-tuned for the existence of life, (and likely teeming with it); full of power-laws, self-organised critical systems, their inherent fractal geometries, and why state of the art AI also features these very same geometries.
And for “Synergise Simplexity,” let’s instead call it a new Dao of Design, a new “SynPlexity” trans-cultural way to unite humanity with a common, universal Gaia geometry-led perspective on our shared, connected & infinitely fecund, diverse (Jupiter-shepherded), SOL(ar)-powered reality.
Nigel Anthony Reading RIBA LEED GA on LinkedIn: #chaostheory #katithanda #gaia #ted #asynsis…
This is an image straight out of classic #ChaosTheory, where the stable attractor on the left is being disrupted and…
SynPlexity is a neologism that merges “synthesis”, “synergy”, “simplicity”, “plexus” and “complexity” into the one new synergising, evocative word that describes the way nature can enfold flows and forms, dynamics and statics, software and hardware, metabolism and body, epigenetics and genetics, genome and phenome; with intricate complexity and sustainable, regenerative connection in extremely simple, elegant ways.
All this while inexorably being subject to the 2nd law of thermodynamics (the uniquely time-irreversible law of physics that corresponds to Plato’s transient, ephemeral low-dimensional shadows on the wall of his Cave allegory).
This universal tendency to disorder, to lower dimensionality; also, seemingly paradoxically, leverages energy and information via optimal, self-referential analogical geometry, that allows system computation, error-correction, recursion and memory while traversing a scale-free mathematical landscape of possibility-spaces; to self-organise, create, and design extended transient islands of order within that flux.
This corresponds to, but cannot possibly attain - Plato’s εἶδος — eidos — those eternal, ideal forms that via energy and information, cast those flickering cave shadows - in a mere simulacrum of the true higher-dimensional reality of the world outside the cave — which is an interesting semi-parallel with the Holographic principle.
It also alludes to the emergent temporal-spatial geometry that we frequently observe in these behaviours, a geometry that in human culture, is often associated with the aesthetics of beauty and efficiency and in the physical, chemical and biological sciences, with optimisation and elegance; with energy-minimisation and the principle of least action.
So let’s talk about Nature’s archetypal fractal form and how it best represents and optimises, energy and information flows in Space and in Time, to create transient islands of Order in a sea of surging entropy tides, inexorably drawn towards Chaos.
Phi, the Golden Ratio has been a Spatial icon of arts, design and architectural beauty and proportion since first references to it in the works of Pythagoras, Plato & Euclid.
But really, looking exclusively at only Spatial interpretations are so last century anyway.
Thanks to the advent of the sciences of Complexity and Dynamical Systems (colloquially knows as Chaos theory), via the new technologies of computer science, which I studied as part of my architectural masters studies at the University of Westminster and the British Library in London; for now we really need to look much more at what nature is elegantly doing in Time.
So what’s the original “no prior art” contribution that the Asynsis paradigm makes to our understanding of the golden ratio?
- Beyond the spatial and statics — how it also behaves in time and dynamics, in both inanimate and animate systems
- How it acts, via being an archetype of self-similarity & an elementary fractal, as an emergent geometric signature & universal numerical constant of nature for the principles of least action and least energy
- How it also reveals ideal geometric (information relational), forms from optimal Constructal thermodynamic, irreversible energy and resource flows
- How it yields Complexity most Simply via Synplexity: leveraging Computational Complexity Universality via its memory, self-observation and error-correction attributes
- How it behaves, via leveraging entropy, the 2nd law of thermodynamics (the only physics law that is not time-reversible, but which can be transiently defied); via the science of complex dissipative feedback systems, as an elementary source creation-code for Emergence itself.
In short, by virtue of being the most irrational of numbers while being unitary, over time, in dynamical systems (navigating the finite & infinite most deftly), it enables nature to source the ready emergence of complexity to be optimally creative yet stable (like the KAM — Golden Orbit — Galileo Unbound example above that literally protects Earth from arcing off into the interstellar void and so from a frozen, sunless heat-death “snowball earth” fate), by accessing broad boulevards of computational possibilities with the least errors and most integrated information retention/self-organisation and self-observation; for the least energy and material cost, in the shortest time.
It’s Asynsis SynPlexity epitomised, the very paragon of good design in nature and culture; and it’s entirely universal, and likely multi-versal/hyper-versal.
This makes it a classical-scale design theory of everything with first-principles geometric origins; but with real world, literally planetary and human scale, existential implications that span from the quantum, classical to relativistic scales — and even to consciousness itself, which may even, via a form of panpsychism, link them all.
And because of this universality, the level of a system’s SynPlexity, be it animate or inanimate, it’s degree of self-organised, self-aware, self-observing Integrated Information; can also be measured by a parameter, also (by no coincidence), named Phi.
Walking the Talk, taking the Theory into Practice
The TEDx Talk: #FormFollowsFlow presentation at the Vine, Hong Kong, 2014
What we’re describing here is an elementary feedback, memory, error-correcting, flow system that displays resilience and adaptivity while skirting and leveraging the edge of chaos; not just a fossil form deposited by those flows; and it’s an effective constant of nature, a source-code for emergence at all scales, including the stellar and planetary-celestial mechanical.
For (a botanical) example, is the entire repertoire of plant phyllotaxis an illusion?
Biomimetics & Biophilia are life itself displaying the Asynsis-Constructal paradigm via growth and morphology in organisms, and via evolution itself in ecosystems.
Consciousness and intelligence, increasing with the evolution of ever more sophisticated organisms over geological time frames (or even hours in the case of current, state of the art AI systems), is another manifestation of the role of SynPlexity in curating, orchestrating & designing greater complexity most simply (by balancing variety and structure), for the least resource and energy cost.
So plants and animals, organisms and ecosystems are telling us something profound, that we need to think harder about the Temporal; about thermodynamics and morphogenesis, as Alan Turning did in his last research on the Fibonacci series, phyllotaxis and morphogenesis before he tragically died at an early age.
We need to look at both the animate and inanimate, at the dynamical and space-time, not just the frozen and static.
It seems the way nature works is to manifest the golden ratio not just as a spatial fossil, but rather as an optimal, emergent temporal, energy flow signature and facilitator of ideally resilient and adaptive recursive feedback loops that (when conditions are right), inevitably design greater complexity most frugally, so also often, most elegantly and beautifully.
This means that the universe (with so many planets in habitable Goldilocks zones), must be utterly teeming with life, and that if there’s a multiverse, our universe itself may be at least analogous to a life form itself, flowing through an arbitrarily larger, multiversal ecosystem.
We need to discern that it reveals (as a frequently emergent geometric pattern — or again, signature), how in nature it behaves as a “principle of least energy/least resource/least time/least action” energy and resource efficiency (& beauty) constant; with profound implications for promoting a more sustainable, resilient, regenerative, circular, feedback-led civilisational path in the face of the unfolding climate (biosphere, economic and so political), crises that we increasingly face.
Much of current debate in the design industries and in design thinking circles, is often over the spatial residue or sedimentary forms of these dynamical flows — so we are missing half the picture (as I’ve been advocating since first publication in AD Magazine, in 1994, based as mentioned above, on Masters studies in Architecture & Computer Science at the University of Westminster, London, followed by an Architectural Association School seminar at the invitation of Tom Verebes and Michael Hensel).
So what the computer sciences of complexity and dynamical systems have been sharing recently is that the golden ratio is one of several optimal, analogical geometric signatures of how nature evolves emergent complexity — how she synplexitises most playfully (but adaptively and resiliently, while also error-correcting, learning and memorising what fitness strategies and tactics work best, an aspect of the golden ratio being the hardest irrational number to approximate with rational numbers, a crucial reason for it’s special, Universality-curating role); most easily, most frugally and rapidly— over time.
It’s a dynamical behaviour, a verb not a noun.
It’s not the phone number, but the very action of dialing.
Here’s how I Tweet it:
#Asynsis #DaoOfDesign on #TED at #TEDxWanchai #HongKong.
A New, Extremely Lean, Mean (#Design) #TheoryOfEverything that applies to the human scale, which makes it both pretty and useful too.
Watch “Form follows flow | Nigel Reading | TEDxWanChai” Video at TEDxTalks
Nigel Anthony Reading RIBA LEED GA (asynsis) on about.me
The very latest examples of these Asynsis principle behaviours (including E8 & ER=EPR, Quantum (Self-Organised) Criticality/Edge of Chaos-Strange NonChaotic Attractors/Poised Realm/Phi-OrchOR/Benford’s Law/Nash-Correlated Equilibrium/KAM Golden Tori, Constructal law, Geometric Unity, Wolfram Physics, the 2021 Nobel Physics Prize, the 2022 Fields Medal and Dynamical Systems Universality), are also often shared here (enjoy!):
So Phi: is a geometric relationship that finds expressions in many fields, including: physics, chemistry, quatum-biology, biology (see Turing & phylotaxis above), ecology, economics, politics and art, not to mention my own field of architecture and design.
Now, in a cosmological-scale irony, the 2nd law of thermodynamics describes how the universe is winding down to a heat death of thermal equilibrium and ever-increasing entropy (which is also described as hidden information, so not just disorder, but a more complex, messy, implicate order).
This is paradoxically, while it’s also incessantly creating local entropy-dissipative structures and systems (extended-transient islands of Carnot cycle time-reversible sustainable order in a sea of Clausius time-irreversible increasing disorder, exemplified by life and consciousness), where, the more complex (and locally less disordered), they are, they actually increase global, universal disorder all the more, by exporting it out of their open, resource and energy processing systems by acting as feedback loops.
So their local fleeting life (examples being a universe, a galaxy, a solar system, a planet, a geochemical cycle, a BZ chemical reaction, a biosphere, an ecosystem, or an organism and its consciousness); actually speeds us to global universal thermal equilibrium ever-faster, because they create and export more entropy into their environments than less complex structures and systems.
One of the key, fundamental temporal-geometric signatures of that optimally complex and time-energy-resource sustainable entropy-dissipation process, via the principle of least action; is the golden ratio in time, which after 30 years of published, peer-reviewed, Arup engineering consultancy all day symposium and Constructal science conference-presented research, beginning at the architecture and computer science faculties of Kingston university, Westminster university with research at the British Library, and University College London; I call the Asynsis principle.
It’s therefore a new iconic, historically resonant paradigm for sustainable, regenerative, biophilic, ecolivable design and development, that applies at all scales (from E8 to Celestial Mechanics and the Cosmological), but which is most directly relevant at the classical-physics, planetary and human scale, where our current biosphere, resource, climate, pandemic and political-economic crises reside.
Incidentally, regarding the cosmological, we know that Black Holes can be seen as time-reversals of the Big Bang, so the fact that they display Asynsis geometries (which are mathematically — strategically poised on the cusp between order & chaos, finite & infinite, rational & irrational numbers and can be seen as elementary, archetypal spatio-temporal fractals); as does the Quantum realm (also described by the related GUT — E8 Exceptionally Simple ToE on ongoing investigation of a grand unified theory successor to Einstein’s final quest and fierce rival of String Theory, by my PSI client and I’m honoured to say, friend Garrett Lisi); is intriguing and another QED for the Asynsis principle being universally innate to, and generally descriptive of, nature.
A practical example of how we at Asynsis walk that TED conferences-shared talk (of how we translate the Asynsis ideal forms theory into Constructal optimal flow practice), is MetaLoop - our #FormFollowsFlow biomimetic, city de-carbonising and de-congesting, zero-emissions, people and green electrons-moving personal rapid transit urban-optimising, productivity and wellness enhancing network proposal to the cities of the world, starting in Hong Kong, Melbourne & Sydney.
Another is Kati Thanda, our most recent proposal to water, green, rewild, cultivate and settle central Australia with new cleantech industries and ecolivable communities, all powered exclusively by renewable energy, in a manner that is fundamentally informed by, and integrates SongLines and the Gaia theory of the great James Lovelock, parsed by First Nations philosophies and invests in their full well being and equitable, just inclusion into modern Australia, entirely on their own SongLines-informed, Lovelockian, terms.
This is how The Voice, well financed and managed in the form of a real, new, ideal community representing today’s fairer, freer Australia, can become another exemplar for #FormFollowsFlow design thinking.
For a new society and political economy based on SynPlexity systems design — an Australian Asyntopia if you like, further refined with the insights of 60 000 years of the world’s oldest continuous living culture, that can teach us so much about how to think of and live on and with this planet harmoniously, without seeing it just as a commodity hoard; as a mere, mute resource cache to rapaciously extract material, profit and power from.
This will be to the tragic nature-defying, hubristic detriment of both Gaia and ourselves, insouciantly ignoring the inevitable nemesis to come if we don’t resile for our current, errant highly unsustainable ways.
The Asynsis paradigm is a way forward out of this danger.
And the simple reason is because it’s the way nature plays with geometry (information, the relationship of relationships), to self-organise the emergence and evolution (through optimised connectivity of possibility spaces — think of the golden orbit on the edge of chaos in KAM theory), of SynPlexity, of synergised simplexity, where agility and resilience are in perfect dynamical balance.
Now that’s a civilisational model that Steven Pinker could endorse.
This dynamic is even literally inside our heads, in the form of how we form our very thoughts via quantum biology, energy and material resource, with matter, to create/instantiate our very pansychic world & moments, a domain of optimal connectivity that we travel and cogitate through (in asynsis-geometry classical analogues of quantum entanglement & complimentarity, best described as a poised realm).