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The Speculation - March 2016

This month I will try to be more systematic in my approach. I recently encountered the “anomalistic” method and that appeals to me in principle, but I must deviate from it in one respect. There is a requirement there that the “claimant” provide the evidence to verify their claims. In my case I am just presenting details of an experience and claim nothing. Any conclusions that I draw are entirely for my own benefit. In fact I have intentionally kept to a minimum information which would enable the facts on this website to be verified outside of it, although I may make them available to anyone seriously wanting to make use of them. My reason for doing this, apart from the privacy of the individuals involved, is to enable biased sceptics to reject my conclusions to satisfy their own needs. We each have our own illusions which make us feel secure and I don’t want to change that. In the novel my counterpart Bernard Fermorick is warned in a document written by himself specifically to remember what appears in “the appendix”. Now in his shoes I see that as a warning to myself. In a summary of the six parts of the entire Hermes Culture story written in December 2011 I refer to part two of the first novel as “the appendix” and mention how the novel ends with appendicitis, referring to the downbeat ending compared to the upbeat one in the first part. This decline comes about because Graham and Lucine have established a reliable way of selectively communicating information from the future to the past, which has a much wider impact on society than previously. There is also mention in the first part that knowledge of the phenomenon is itself a burden. If it were possible to prove scientifically that precognition is a human capability, maybe even a controllable one, then the next step would have to be legal recognition of that fact. Where would that lead? So much of human activity relies on chronology and the orderly flow of information with respect to time. For one thing intellectual property rights would be difficult to prove. In fact the whole concept might have to be abandoned, not that that would bother me much. Information that was strategically important at any time would have to be restricted for all times as well. Precognition is believed to be a short term effect but my experiences span many years, maybe even my entire lifetime for all I know. It appears to me that regardless of the truth about precognition widespread scepticism is probably a good thing.

I have added to the factual section of the website the version of the first chapter written towards the end of 2013. This ends unusually with the author directly addressing the reader, so it gives some insight into my thoughts at that time. It ends with the words “Folly follows a pledge” implying that it might be folly to pledge to accept all that the novel itself implies, i.e. the reality of precognition, as explained above. This loosely translated quotation is allegedly one of the three Greek maxims written on the walls at the seat of the oracle, the temple at Delphi, the other two being “Know yourself” and “Moderation in all things”. When I was writing the novel I had these in mind and all three seem relevant now. Knowing myself is essential to avoid that knee-jerk response of psychologists, confirmation bias. Even they run the risk of this bias if they haven’t adjusted for their own personal equations. My many years spent troubleshooting psychopathic computers have taught me all about mine as those machines reflected my own shortcomings, so I know myself well enough now. In the novel there are references to people’s self-images to reflect this idea. Also moderation is the key to the Frismersk incident there. Only limited amounts of information may be returned from the future to avoid a significant temporal discrepancy. In my turn I have not provided a sufficient quantity of precise coincidences for them to be incontrovertible. I perceive that to have been intentional even though the intention appears to have arisen five years after the act. In the novel the team have to make their intentions clear in “red time”, i.e. outside of normal time, which is apparently exactly what I have done subconsciously. Uncannily the novel persists in documenting its own unlikely creation.

Having established my intentions to be less than convincing to others I will now continue to attempt to convince myself, an unbiased sceptic. I have no doubt that had I been significantly biased towards proving that precognition was involved I would have acted far sooner. On the contrary it was my failure to understand either the novel or my behaviour along with the persistent feeling that I was missing something that eventually directed me to my present course of enquiry once the coincidences began to accumulate. That isn’t confirmation bias but simply testing a hypothesis. Another cause of misconceptions is selection bias, but this could not apply to the novel as it is the only one that I have written. To have selected only some incidents in my subsequent life could have been bias, but I have selected the most significant ones in what is for the most part a very peaceful retirement involving little social contact. Both I and my wife are substantially reclusive, focussing on our solitary interests. This novel itself has been a significant distraction from my other solitary projects. Hence I can see little scope for selection bias anywhere. Unconscious perception, the idea that I could have unwittingly acquired knowledge before the event, is an interesting possibility, but I doubt that it applies to any significant degree. Had I acquired such knowledge earlier I would have acted on it at the time, given that the later acquisition of it was so significant in my life. I doubt that unconscious perception occurs much in situations where one is enthusiastic to know those very facts. Not all facts were that significant though. Could I have found out about a specific cave in Scotland while visiting the area in the 1980s and then forgotten it, for example? I cannot find any records of its existence from the twentieth century on the Internet, so have no idea how recently it was discovered or when that information became available to everyday tourists, given that it was originally only accessible to cave divers. Equally, could I have known about the two women named Caroline involved in the action group to save that folly? It seems unlikely as their campaign had been rolling along for over ten years and we almost never stop in their village, let alone know any of the residents, because it is so difficult to find anywhere to park there. The key to their success was in any case the efforts of the local council to make a compulsory purchase of the property and that was the aspect of the story that we followed in the press, not the activities of that local group. Also, even if the name of either of the women had appeared in the press it was unlikely that both would have been mentioned together or that one would have been identified as also being called “Cee” at the time. These facts only became evident to me from correspondence after the novel was written. Hopefully these two examples demonstrate that I have given unconscious perception adequate consideration in each case.

I must also point out that my knowledge of the entire subject of precognition has arisen as a result of my suspicions and that it was never in my mind before. Most of the technical details on quantum theory that I have examined most definitely need fully conscious perception for me to have a hope of comprehending even a fraction of them anyway. The next possibility, self-fulfilling prophecy must be tricky to achieve when the prophecy itself also remains a completely unconscious one for years. It seems unlikely that I would have discovered the existence of certain desirable people on the Internet through unconscious searches and then unconsciously decided to write about them obliquely in an impromptu novel so that I could later contact them to discover that they had the very things that I’d needed all along even though I couldn’t have known that for sure at the time. All that just to saddle myself with this bag of worms? Why? Apart from this experience I have no interest in the paranormal. I think even if Occam’s razor were seriously blunt it would cut that idea to shreds. In the case of that unique family with the autistic son no prior knowledge could have been possible anyway, I assure you. Could any of this be simple delusions then? I hope not for the sake of the people involved. Did that man on the train really say that his name was Marcus, for example? It doesn't matter actually. If I wanted to find a close match to the name Marcus Abrahams in my 2009 short story then the leader of the Arndt Group, Doctor Markus Arndt, would be a much better choice after my anglicising mind had mangled his name. His group do research into quantum effects on biomolecules apparently, but I wouldn’t want to be accused of selection bias, so will stick to my original story about the Marcus on the train. In truth it was probably a bit of both. Maybe long range precognition needs a boost like that along the way. I apologise for being flippant but I am now running out of conventional psychological explanations. Oh yes, they could have all just been simple coincidences. Really? Please yourself. There are more to come.

During February I have been reading through papers hopefully at the leading edge of research into quantum computing, quantum teleportation and quantum biology. Whether any are just conjecture or well established fact is to a great extent immaterial to me. What matters is that they exist and that the research is evidently incomplete. They leave the possibility of precognition an open subject, for those with open minds at any rate. What interests me is that even here I continue to encounter coincidental connections with my novel, as though it was itself an attempt to express ideas about precognition that are only just forming in my mind. That makes sense to me. If I were ever to attempt precognition I would do so because I was aware that it was possible. Precognition itself permits me to discover that it is possible after, or rather during the period of, the event. That circular logic is itself a typical consequence of precognition. Financial computing is all about doing things at another time, either before or after the real event, so this type of thinking is routine for me. To computers dates are just more data with no special significance. The people who work in offices often have to mentally step outside of real time to do their jobs. That is partly what the novel is about and always has been, possibly to provide a working context for precognition analogies.

To satisfy myself that precognition is still plausible within scientific circles I needed to explore teleportation of information backwards in time and the possibility of quantum processes taking place within the human brain. Both are complex subjects unsurprisingly and I have very little understanding of them, but I have still been able to glean some information from a few papers. One of interest was “Quantum mechanics of time travel through post-selected teleportation” by Doctor Seth Lloyd at MIT and others. This is about the time travel of information, not physical materials of course. The paper refers to closed timelike curves (CTCs), which happen to be modelled very well by Adrian’s analogy of the walker in the snow in my novel. In fact a CTC could very well be the source of “red time” in the novel, an interesting coincidence. Graham’s perception of the engineering level of the time capsule being a spatially warped submarine chasing its future self in temporal circles can also be seen as alluding to a CTC, or at least to some similar time-warped process hidden below the surface in the brain. Graham is also described as a mechanic rather than an engineer just as Doctor Lloyd describes himself as a quantum mechanic. I also easily found a relevant quotation of Doctor Lloyd’s own words, that “The classes of problems our CTCs could help solve are roughly equivalent to finding needles in haystacks.” Oddly that was exactly the type of task that DCI Snow had in the novel. Indeed it was described as his speciality. Curiouser and curiouser. The copy of the article that I found was published in “Physical Review D” on the 13th July 2011, the day before I received the assessment of an extract of my novel from that professional agency. The research by Doctor Lloyd and his team was therefore concurrent with my novel writing. In my reply to the assessment on the 14th I mentioned “the gargantuan nature of my task” adding “It would be very interesting to discover whether there could be a gargantuan solution somewhere down the line.” Well, here I am searching for it some five years later with Doctor Lloyd’s help. How strange, but maybe just coincidence. However, seen now my words from that time don’t sound like those of a novice writer describing his casual literary pastime writing a simple science fiction novel, but that is by the way. The important point is that quantum communication of information backwards in time evidently is potentially possible, if I read the technical information correctly.

Doctor Lloyd’s research then was into more conventional quantum computing, if any of this can be regarded as conventional, so I also needed to investigate the biological possibilities. The prominent work on this has been the “Orch-OR” proposition regarding the nature of consciousness by Penrose and Hameroff, which has been bouncing around scientific circles for many years. So far there appears to be no conclusion either way about whether it is true, but that doesn’t matter to me so long as it remains a possibility. I read through one paper on that subject and only gained a superficial understanding as biochemistry itself is a mystery to me, but one aspect did catch my attention, so I will mention it at the risk of employing selection bias. It was mentioned that the microtubules central to the proposition are Fibonacci series structures, which apparently makes them ideal for quantum computing. I have seen other references to Fibonacci related structures in papers on semiconductor quantum computing elements, so this idea seems consistently held. Certainly as a computer technician I understand the significance of the Fibonacci series in the correction of errors in unreliable communication channels, and quantum computing, being probabilistic rather than deterministic in nature, is highly error prone. In the novel the interface between the human brain and the alien entity Hermes, i.e. the Hermes Culture, is depicted as resembling a sunflower head on Bernard Fermorick’s computer screen. That is a well-known Fibonacci series structure. As a mathematician I could have chosen any one of many other exotic mathematical images to represent the Culture, but actually chose a very simple one that happened to relate directly to quantum computing, even though I have only discovered that fact very recently. I have read that the effectiveness of precognition would be expected to fall off over longer periods because of the increasing errors, so effective error correction would be essential to convey any information at all across a period of years, I presume. Actually I have also read that long term precognition would be inhibited by continual changes in the axons making the logical connections in the brain, which is consistent with my own previous comments on the need for stability of the neuron structure over time, but maybe in my ageing brain some of the axons just aren’t that active. In fact the precognition effect might even be the result of neurons dying, which if true could deter people from trying to acquire the ability intentionally. Whether that has any connection with near death experiences is beyond consideration by me here. Even if I unconsciously made reference to the Fibonacci series simply as a result of my prior knowledge of its use in error correction when writing the novel, there is still the question as to why I would even have contemplated error correction algorithms while writing a fantasy science fiction novel just for fun. Even to me that seems too weird.

While on the subject of Roger Penrose’s Orch-OR proposition I must mention another coincidence which appears to be hallmarked with my sense of humour. In 1996 the philosopher Patricia Churchland threw doubt on the proposition, remarking that "pixie dust in the synapses" was as likely an explanation of consciousness. My novel corrects the erroneous American reference to J. M. Barrie’s work by calling the unknown mechanism that causes the time capsule to work “fairy dust”, but apart from that the details are similar with the English scientist Adrian proposing the idea and the Americans unable to make it work throwing it back at him repeatedly. The search for the true nature of this unknown factor is then central to the story. In reality Matthew Fisher, also at the University of California as is Patricia Churchland, produced a paper on quantum cognition involving Posner molecules in August 2015 which has been favourably received recently. Hence regardless of whether either pixies or fairies are involved the possibility of quantum processes within the brain is still open.

Matthew Fisher’s proposition revolves around the structure of calcium phosphates and the central role of phosphorus in this led me to examine the connections with the ancient Greek mythology about fire. In that Prometheus (literally “he who knows in advance”) gives “the unwearying fire” (i.e. self-awareness or consciousness) to humanity hidden in “a hollow fennel stalk” (perhaps representing the microtubules in Penrose’s proposition). This is apparently equivalent to the Christian story of Eden where Lucifer (maybe a reference to phosphorus) introduces Adam and Eve to the fruit of the tree of knowledge. So now I have made connections between Greek mythology and two aspects of present day quantum science, which apparently proves how easy it is to infer too much from coincidences. At least I can’t be accused of confirmation bias or selection in doing this. I also seem to have missed a trick by omitting any reference to Prometheus from my novel and employing Hermes as a symbol instead. However, maybe more Bayesian logic is required here. The Greek mythology coincidence is completely isolated from any experience of mine and doesn't appear to belong to a larger cluster as with mine, so I see it as sheer coincidence just as I would have regarded any of mine in isolation. Hence I endorse my decision not to mention Prometheus in the novel. By mentioning him and that coincidence now I am avoiding undesirable a posteriori confirmation bias whereas omitting mentioning him in the novel demonstrates a priori confirmation bias, which was evidently always the intent and acceptable. I hope that I have employed those Latin terms from my days as an actuarial student appropriately. The Prometheus coincidence is an indirect one, but I am restricting myself to direct coincidences between the novel and my personal experiences.

There comes a point where one must, at least temporarily, disregard issues of confirmation bias and explore a specific possibility to its conclusion, simply because, as the saying goes, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it’s potentially dinner regardless of whether it actually is a duck. Circumstantial coincidences keep drawing me to the conclusion that the novel is actually derived from possibly as yet unread and maybe even unwritten information on the nature of precognition. Far from working out these ideas by myself I could simply be recalling information not yet acquired from elsewhere. Reading between the lines, the novel suggests that there is some form of mental ability beyond the accepted electrochemical processes within the brain, which latter conform to the usual thermodynamic laws, and that this ability is itself connected to another entity entirely beyond our thermodynamic reality. This ability and the associated entity are not tightly connected to our perception of time, which makes the apparent transfer of information backwards in time possible. There are many ways that we could model this proposition just as there are many interpretations of quantum physics.

Using the many worlds view the external entity could actually be a coherent combination of every possible future state of the brain itself within phase space, which is the scientist’s equivalent of what the novel calls “Eventuality” I now know. This entity would have the knowledge from the present within it through normal channels and could process problems in a parallel manner compatible with quantum computing, the solution being an integrated probability distribution of likely solutions. Fed back into the resident quantum interface within the normal brain this information would guide it towards a likely solution, which in turn would update the future state of the coherent brain and permit it to focus on a more precise set of possibilities. Interestingly that perception tallies with the way that I have perceived my mind to work over many years as it implies that the brain can distribute its activity across time rather than having to react in a strict chronologically causal fashion. Often I have come up with solutions to problems without giving them much conscious thought, “flashes of inspiration” or “ideas off the top of the head”, the sort of thing that we all experience at some time. In fact much of my life and reputation have relied on that behaviour, giving the impression that I am a quick-witted sociable type when I am actually a relatively slow-witted recluse, as my wife will testify. The point is that few people see the aftermath, when I catch up on the thought debt that my occasional sparks of intellect create. Eventually I have to sit quietly contemplating what has gone before, which seems peculiarly unnecessary once the moment has passed and the real world has already reacted. I may even have to sleep on the thoughts to dispel them properly. In a recent TV series on the way that the brain works it was mentioned that the conscious mind sometimes seems to function in arrears of the brain’s reaction to a situation and that this calls into question the need for consciousness. Maybe that is a misconception that arises out of the conventional view of causality. Perhaps it is sometimes necessary to tackle a problem consciously after the event to provide the solution beforehand, thus building a temporary debt in the brain’s “thought account”. Indeed maybe that is why we have to sleep eventually to repay that debt. Clearly that interpretation would not give us the ability literally to change the past if the brain that we perceive is just one element of the coherent whole “out there”, so it only has one vote in the accumulated probability that the coherent mind passes back in time. Even if this appears far-fetched I prefer it to the psychologist’s idea of consciousness just being an onlooker on the sidelines of the brain’s real activities, a view brought about primarily by faith in unidirectional causality. At this point I should mention again the way that my research for the novel chapters seemed to follow their writing instead of preceding it, one of the first clues that something odd was involved.

If the solution to the brain’s incredible abilities were a coherent multiplexed mind in phase space then the perspective of the single biochemical instance of it that we perceive could change radically. One of the issues with retrograde communication of information in time is that straightforward observation of the states of entangled particles does not directly permit this. Two separate observers may both determine those states but still be unable to use them to communicate with each other. On the other hand they could observe the probabilities within a coherent common mind located outside of both their time frames, which would give an impression of communication between them. In the novel Adrian does not explain what the snowfield in his analogy represents. One might assume that it would be something beyond our reality, but the alternative is that it is our reality and the footprints are the effect of the coherent mind on it. I cannot resist inferring from this that while people may delight in making angels in the snow perhaps “angels” actually make people in the snow. I have previously mentioned that concepts may have a better chance of being communicated across time if they have my signature and that droll thought certainly does.

The idea that the brain employs quantum processes to smooth out peak demands across time is reflected in the use of the SMES units in the time capsule to smooth out power demands, these also depending on quantum effects for their operation. In the very first draft of the novel, not on this website, these units were more prominent in the story. One question arising from this idea is what happens when the brain dies with a “thought debt” outstanding, which seems likely in the event of a last minute desperate struggle to survive. The novel poses this question when the capabilities of the capsule vanish leaving behind paradoxical messages from a future which could not have happened. Graham suggests that this is similar to the classic unexpected hanging paradox, where what happens in reality cannot be inferred logically from a hypothetical situation that might occur ultimately. The solution appears to be that some real problems have real solutions that can only be determined through unreal reasoning. I have noticed this when applying abstract reasoning to practical problems in computer systems. My pragmatic sceptical friend at Oxford takes the view that quantum theory is a model that works in explaining chemistry, his subject, so he accepts it as such but does not regard it as a precise guide to any other aspects of philosophy on the nature of reality. Similarly I am just seeking an adequate model to explain my experiences without concern for its ability to explain everything in life.

A key aspect of the second part of the original novel is the strange way in which it ends. This could be regarded as a novice writer’s excuse that everything was just a dream but there is evidently more to it than that. It is true that the entire story could be collapsed into a series of dreams with the time capsule itself being entirely an illusion. Perhaps DCI Snow did fathom out the likely locations of the time bomb while asleep in his car on the way to the Isle of Grain and the diversion to Greenarbour was all in his mind as Graham actually suggested at one point. The story is very much open to interpretation by the reader. Hence following my proposition about actual precognition mechanisms Graham’s death-bed experience becomes something else. Whether it represents actual death, a near death experience or just the death of individual neurons is beyond consideration here. Maybe it is none of these. It certainly seems inconsistent with other experiences in the story, being apparently a reversion to “normality” when no previous excursion from it was evident. Taken in detail, Graham in spiritual form sees a way back through his past life which will permit him to influence the past. This appears to be an analogy to quantum communication being superimposed on a classical communication channel as done in actual scientific experiments. He also realises that he will forget events, i.e. lose information, if he makes a series of short hops, so opts to make one very long one. There may well be a parallel in quantum communication here as a result of information loss during each decoherence event. Once at his destination he is able to influence the behaviour of the time capsule itself, which exists within phase space, i.e. “red time” or “Eventuality”, at that point. Even though his more physical self is also present he does not merge with it through decoherence but remains a separate coherent spirit. His effort to bring Lucine to that earlier self’s attention and hence establish the future that he has already experienced forces the time capsule back into its incoherent form though and an immediate reversion occurs, leaving his spirit in phase space to pursue other possibilities. It surprises me that the story and a reasonably scientific perception of precognition should tally so well if this is just coincidence. Perhaps I should look for something even more bizarre to demonstrate the extent of the problem.

In a chapter destined for the next novel I describe how Graham is perplexed about the coffee machine installed in the control room as he is using it. He feels that there is something different about it but can’t work out what that is and assumes that the service team may have replaced it for some reason. In fact, as the first novel points out, there has never been a coffee machine there and his past has been changed. Earlier he was transported back to the time when the time capsule was still being constructed as a hollow shell and saw the thousands of exposed field generators inside the dome arranged in a Fibonacci series pattern like an enormous sunflower head. He also met Doctor Fermorick's assistant Lewis, who offered him a cup of coffee from a thermos flask. Their conversation about the need for a ready source of coffee led to a small change in the ultimate design of the control room back in his own time. Consequently he has two sets of memories, one of having to walk upstairs with a thermos flask to get his coffee and another preferred one of using a coffee machine in the room. Which set he regards as actual memories and which imagination is dictated by the physical reality that he experiences. This phenomenon of the power of suggestion is exhibited in psychological tests on real people. So far so good. The problem is that much like Lucine in the story I can now find no trace of that chapter in my computer. The details of it are still crystal clear in my mind and I was sure that I had typed it out, but maybe I didn’t. The alternative is that this experience is far weirder than I imagined. I have been checking the facts against the files in my computer all along and I could just have been mistaken on this occasion, but it is a strange coincidence that this happened with that particular chapter. I will check through the directories on all my computers again but it may not help. It is just as well that I find all this amusing. I hope that at least this demonstrates how careful and honest I am being with the accuracy of what I write here.

It is no use; the coincidences occur even as I write this. While writing the previous paragraph I was also corresponding with my chemistry tutor friend at Oxford about Matthew Fisher’s article. He enjoys the geometry of molecular structures; in fact recently he sent me details of his exploration of hypothetical four-dimensional molecules, joking that he might not have retired had it been possible to carry out any practical research on them. His reply to my message was a photograph of dense forest unlike anything in Oxford as he was on holiday in Colombia. He mentioned visiting a fair trade coffee plantation and getting a cup of coffee there and I replied that that was one up on my recent purchase of an espresso coffee machine. The following morning I woke with the realisation that even as he had been sending me this news I had been writing that paragraph above about Graham having to make a trip to the staff rest room with its tropical décor, “the remotest holiday destination on Earth” as the novel calls it, just to get a cup of coffee because he didn’t have a coffee machine in his control room. Perhaps Colombia isn’t quite the remotest destination from England, but definitely tropical with plenty of coffee. If my mind really did make an overnight excursion five years into the past to include that idea in the novel then its navigation is appalling as I ended up with a bad headache in the morning, and as I sat on my sofa with my eyes closed waiting for the painkillers to kick in I had vivid sensations of playing with my clockwork train set as a child. These were not my usual conceptual reconstructions that serve as memories but genuine sensations of incredible reality which only happen when I am unwell. In the twenty-first century with my oversensitised hearing I could all too clearly hear my wife making a cake in the adjoining kitchen and someone across the estate using a chainsaw, but in my mind I could see incredible details of a train set from over sixty years previously that had never surfaced as memories before. I could sense the different touch of the painted areas of tinplate and the unpainted plated ones through the different electrical sensations in my fingertips much as Graham felt the Hermes Culture in his fingertips. I could smell the oil in the clockwork mechanism and feel the concentration of a young mind at play with what is now an almost forgotten toy. My mind even followed past mental comparisons of the nature of the thin flexible tinplate with the solidity of the few castings used in the construction, learning the relative strengths of different shapes and materials. I cannot believe that this can all be achieved by the simple electrochemical activity of neurons patiently recycling the original information for such a long period of time. The painkillers soon suppressed the unusual activity and my mind was back to its normal behaviour in the here and now. All I am left with are the normal memories of the experience but I can no longer recall the experience itself in its own dimension. In the latest edition of the novel Graham has a conversation with his own intellect, which points out to him the difference between dead and living memories, alluding to the commonly used phrase “in living memory”. If there really is an aspect of the mind which is independent of time then perhaps memories can contain aspects of both a living reality and a facsimile. Even on this website I have had problems with publishing my novel, explaining that even now it is not just a dead facsimile of something that I wrote in the past but a living story that has changed over time and may again. Finally, with tea and coffee being mentioned often in the novel it is ironic that I myself avoid caffeine as much as possible, drinking decaffeinated Earl Grey tea just like Adrian. I also drink caffeine free diet cola. Without caffeine or sugar the most significant ingredient in that is phosphoric acid. If mental processes can be both electrochemically and quantum based I wonder which is stimulated by the caffeine and which by phosphorus and how they are balanced against each other in each of our minds.

Perhaps that is enough for now. My life is clearly composed of coincidences, which may or may not be explainable as anything else. This is to a great extent true of everyone. To ignore the coincidences in one’s life is to ignore what makes each one of us unique. An old schoolfriend of mine became successful, wealthy and influential in his life. When I asked him how that happened he simply said, “I got lucky.” My friend at Oxford was also at school with me. When the hectic claustrophobic boarding school life got too much for us we would go for a walk around the playing fields together to air our minds. The path around the perimeter was, being approximately a mile in length, known simply as “the mile”. They say that to see inside another person’s mind one must walk a mile in their shoes, but in a way we often did the equivalent. That’s probably why over fifty years later we can still appreciate each other’s point of view, me with my somewhat erratic mathematical fruit machine mind and him with his doubtlessly superior pragmatic and systematically scientific one. One can read into the novel a prediction of when a break-through in discovery of an actual quantum cognition mechanism occurs, but I do not see prophecy as its purpose and make no claims about that. Hence I have just a feeling that this website will lie fallow for a while before it gets any serious attention, so I should move on to other things for now. I hope that you found it intriguing. Quite possibly you will see misconceptions in what I have written and will choose to disregard them and substitute your own to make the facts fit your own views. I am after all just a thorough layman providing anecdotal information. Maybe you will make assumptions permitted by my failure to mention all the facts that constrain me to my own point of view, or you will be distracted by your personal inclinations or professional ambitions or simple lack of time to consider all the details. No matter. Time is not on our side, but then maybe it is in a way. My original intention was to determine how and why I wrote the novel. Maybe in attempting that I have introduced a further uncertainty, as to exactly when I really conceived it, if I actually have finished doing so yet. I will end this session by quoting Bernard Fermorick’s words from the novel as being a possible explanation for my experience.

‘Bernard, are you okay?’ Lewis said, as Bernard pushed the equipment off of his head.

Bernard shook his head and put his hand to his forehead. ‘Yes Lewis, I think so. Phew, there must have been a tad too much feedback that time. The result was interesting though, incredibly interesting.’ He sat back and stared into thin air, recovering from the experience. ‘Really really interesting,’ he repeated.

Rob Sanders

March 2016