The NPQG Research Institute

I was daydreaming about how it would be awesome to have a research institute dedicated to the study of topics related to NPQG. Then I started thinking about implementation because I like to imagine the future possibilities. How would one go about founding an institution? What would be the charter and mission? How would the organization be designed? I immediately thought about the Santa Fe Institute as an exemplar.

My Dad was the first person to make me aware of the Santa Fe Institute circa when I started working on NPQG in January 2018. Dad was intellectually curious and a voracious reader about the sciences. He had read books and articles about Murray Gell-Mann and was highly impressed. Murray co-founded the Santa Fe Institute. I wrote about Murray in this post: Complexity and Simplicity

Murray Gell-Mann, a Nobel laureate who revealed symmetry and order in the world of subatomic particles and leveled his genius at complex mysteries of life and mind, died peacefully May 24, 2019. He was 89 years old.

Though he was best known for his contributions to particle physics, for which he won the 1969 Nobel Prize in Physics, Gell-Mann wanted to understand the “chain of relationships” that connected the universal laws of physics to complex systems like economies and human cultures. He described these two extremes of interest in his 1994 book, The Quark and the Jaguar, as “two aspects of nature…on the one hand, the underlying physical laws of matter and the universe, and on the other, the rich fabric of the world that we perceive directly and of which we are a part.”

To enable a rigorous study of the latter aspect of reality — the fabric of the complex world around us — Gell-Mann co-founded the Santa Fe Institute in 1984, 15 years after winning the Nobel Prize in physics for his classification of elementary particles. At SFI he collaborated with economists, linguists, biologists, computer scientists, and with other physicists who shared his passion for finding fundamental principles in learning, evolving systems.

“Murray was thinking of complexity from his boyhood days onwards,” said SFI Distinguished Shannan Professor Geoffrey West in a 2015 ceremony honoring Gell-Mann. “It was a passion of his. And in some ways, despite his extraordinary contributions to high-energy physics, to the standard model, to supporting the String Theory effort, he always had this passion waiting in the wings of complexity, meaning how do we understand … all the nonlinear interactions or the extraordinary phenomena growing on this earth. Where did that come from in regard to the fundamental laws of nature?”

It turns out Santa Fe Institute is a nice driving trip from Dad’s home in Castle Rock, Colorado as well as my home in San Diego, California. So we decided to meet in Santa Fe and visit the Institute. They don’t really have a tour or visit program for the public. I wish they did. That’s one thing I’d like to see change. Our GPS took us way out in the hinterland on a shady road to a field. Well, that wasn’t the institute. Serendipitously, on the same shady road we found an artists workshop and display room that my Dad and his partner Dixie had somehow encountered years before but never could find again. We spent quite a while there talking to the son of the artist my Dad had met years ago. Then we continued our journey to Santa Fe Institute after googling its actual address. They don’t make it easy to find!

Frank R. Morris
1935 – 2020

I think my Dad secretly had a wish to bump into Murray during our 2018 visit to Santa Fe Institute. It was a longshot, so Dad didn’t mention it. Unfortunately, the Santa Fe Institute doesn’t have a tour for the public. Yet my Dad, who is curious, said let’s go in to the reception desk. We were there for perhaps thirty minutes, with my Dad exploring if there were any options for the public. We could see there was a wide open unoccupied library within fifteen feet of the lobby so my Dad asked if we might be allowed to go look at it. The receptionist denied our request.

We continued our polite conversation with the receptionist while we explored any possible way to check out the place. Were any public lectures scheduled this weekend? Do they have merch, i.e., t-shirts, jackets, caps with cool SFI logos? Is it always so quiet? Then something interesting happened — various scientists started wandering by the front desk and engaging in conversation. They engaged Dad and myself together and separately. I wasn’t far enough along with NPQG to bring up the subject at all, since everything in physics is so confusing if you approach it top down. Yet still, I enjoyed the friendliness of the scientists. It occurred to me that some scientists might like more opportunity to interact with the public.

Here is the mission of the Santa Fe Institute:

Searching for Order in the Complexity of Evolving Worlds

Our researchers endeavor to understand and unify the underlying, shared patterns in complex physical, biological, social, cultural, technological, and even possible astrobiological worlds. Our global research network of scholars spans borders, departments, and disciplines, unifying curious minds steeped in rigorous logical, mathematical, and computational reasoning. As we reveal the unseen mechanisms and processes that shape these evolving worlds, we seek to use this understanding to promote the well-being of humankind and of life on earth.

Santa Fe Institute Mission Statement

While the institute does quite a bit of work on emergence, I would like to see emergence theory elevated to the mission statement in light of NPQG, because the emergence of complexity from such a minimal set of ingredients will inform the work of the institute. Santa Fe Institute is often referred to as the Complexity Institute and if I had my druthers I’d call it the Emergence and Complexity Institute. After all, the fundamental basis of nature is not complicated at all, in fact it’s rather minimal and elegant — a duo of charged Planck scale point charges in a Euclidean space with abstract absolute time. It is only with cycles of emergence that complexity enters the universe.

Complexity is Not Fundamental.

J Mark Morris
August 11, 2020

Returning to my daydream…. It would be awesome to found an NPQG Research Institute. There are many great institutes for the study of physics and cosmology around the world. You may have heard of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton as well as the Perimeter Institute. Let’s brainstorm ideas for an NPQG Institute!

I would like to start a universal research institution. I am looking for superscalar technology corporations to commit to 10 years of funding at $1B per year. Of course we will welcome other funding and collaboration, but we need to get started on the institutional infrastructure. For example, I’ll be looking for amazingly wonderful campuses around the world where the best and brightest can create, invent, brainstorm, theorize, realize and develop new science and technology that can reduce suffering and improve well being, enable intelligent life to spread throughout the cosmos, and repair and mitigate damage to Earth, our first home.

Mission and Charter :

  • A primary objective is to lead in the foundations of NPQG including
    • Fundamental NPQG theory,
    • Organizational models for effective NPQG enabled research,
    • Open source software and reference models,
    • Education and learning outreach at all levels,
    • Consulting on the recasting and reframing of the GR-QM-ΛCDM era science.
    • Take a leadership role addressing strategic challenges for the fields of physics and cosmology. Key topics might include strategic research priorities, researcher pay, researcher job security, publication model, peer review model, and many of the other aspects of the fields that are broken today.
    • Research transition to applicable technology development
  • People objectives include
    • Treat all individuals related to the institute with respect and honor.
    • Sponsor promising individuals who have been impeded by major suffering or injustice.
    • Avoid or minimize the problems that can arise due to the power structure of the hierarchy.
    • Incorporate some form of Ray Dalio’s radical transparency and associated management philosophies and tools, such as recording each meeting with high quality video and audio.
    • Make physics and cosmology fun!
  • Research Findings
    • Open source
    • Open access
  • Scale
    • I imagine a large scale institute, possibly distributed internationally.
    • A dedicated campus with plenty of acreage for growth.
  • Institutional Models for a Research Institute
    • Here are my preliminary ideas.
      • I am a U.S. Citizen.
      • Neoclassical Physics and Quantum Gravity LLC is a U.S. Corporation
      • I am the CEO.
    • NPQG Research and Technology
      • University sponsorships
      • Corporate sponsorships
        • U.S. Principle Partners
          • e.g., {Alphabet, Apple, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Tesla, …tbd}
        • Foreign Technology Partners
          • e.g., {Foxconn, Hitachi, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony … tbd}
      • NPQG must scale out as rapidly as possible.
  • Funding
    • Open source core sponsors
    • Corporate sponsors
    • University sponsors
    • Donors (directed funding by program)
    • Revenues
  • Location
    • Location would likely be closely related to the institutional model and funding.
    • Perhaps an existing campus could be repurposed.

J Mark Morris : San Diego : California