This site was created at the start of 2013 by me, John Purcell. For many years — in fact, ever since I can remember — I’ve been thinking about physics and trying to reconcile it with what we know of everyday life. There are some mysteries that simply won’t go away; like, where did the universe come from and why do we have feelings instead of being unfeeling automata?
At some point or other, possibly around 2001, I realised that a lot of apparent paradoxes in physics and philosophy start to seem a lot more tractable and amenable to rational enquiry if you drop certain assumptions about the nature of the physical universe. In fact, it helps if you turn your whole view inside-out. Instead of assuming that the physical world existed and conscious beings evolved in it, assume that conscious being existed and gradually evolved a view of the physical world.
At first glance this seems to leave us in an equally baffling state of affairs, and one in which we might start to entertain absolutely any half-baked idea that presents itself. I want to show you through this site that, in fact, you can form a view of the world based on “consciousness” that’s every bit as exact, and in many respects identical to, a materially-oriented view.
The advantage is that a whole bunch of baffling conundrums cease to be intractable paradoxes and become, simply, interesting mathematical puzzles, the solution to which we will surely find soon. It also just happens to be a lot more interesting.
On the other hand, questions such as “is there a life after death” and “can reincarnation occur” become rather open-ended in a way that some might find unsettling.
Just to spice things up a bit, and so that I don’t end up looking like a total loon, I hope to put together a solid introduction to the science of quantum mechanics on this site, as well as posting articles and regular (hopefully roughly weekly) podcasts.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m originally from the UK and spent many years developing computer software for a bunch of companies in the UK and, more recently, The Netherlands, before moving to Budapest, Hungary in 2011. I then created the site Cave of Programming, which currently pays my bills (thanks also the utterly fantastic Udemy.com).
At various points along the way I took a degree in physics, lived in a tent for more than a year, wrote three terrible books, attempted to make a living creating art, prospecting for gold and as an electronic musician, spent a year in Italy attempting to predict the stock market using genetic algorithms and writing unpublishable book number four (on physics and consciousness).
After creating Cave of Programming and being overwhelmed by the wonderful feedback I received from all over the world, something struck me which I had somehow overlooked during my long spell as an office worker, in spite of my repeated attempts to escape from office life: using the power of the Internet, these days we can chose to make a living in almost any way we want to. There are people out there who make a living from putting unusual things in microwaves and videoing it. That’s the power of the Internet.
Perhaps it had been at the back of my mind all along that if I made videos on software, it would be only a short step to making videos about consciousness.