Six Words, Seminar Held in a Parallel Universe by Surendra Kumar Sagar
Congratulations on completing an ambitious and challenging work of contemporary philosophy. My primary dilemma is in how to categorize your work. It reaches in many directions, including cosmology, classical philosophy, modern philosophy, Indian philosophy, physics, mathematics, autobiography, and even speculative discourse confirming the reality of alien life on Earth. Your approach is comprehensive and creative.
As a note, CreateSpace editors follow The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, for grammar, punctuation, and style guidelines, and Merriam-Webster Unabridged for spellings and hyphenations. The Chicago Manual of Style is a comprehensive writing style guide that is widely used throughout the book publishing industry; Merriam-Webster Unabridged is the largest, most comprehensive American dictionary available.
In addition to this Editorial Letter, I’ve included comments throughout the text as part of the tracked changes. I may repeat some of those thoughts here when they pertain to the manuscript as a whole. I hope that my edits and comments prove valuable.
Thank you for a brilliant and comprehensive editing job done.
Your comments have proved immensely valuable to me and given me the opportunity to make
further improvements as well as to provide clarifications etc.
“I know that I know nothing” references the title and is what the reader is led toward throughout the entirety of the manuscript. Although you hint at the meaning throughout, the reader is made to wait until the last page to hear the “six words.” Could this be unfair to the reader? It seems that the text aims to educate, especially toward an understanding of the fundamentals of quantum physics and its philosophical manifestations. We have extensive coverage of the personalities of philosophy, physics, mathematics, and cosmology, which gives the reader a basis for understanding the general thesis.
It’s not, though, until we reach Chapter Six that we begin to understand that there is a more complex agenda underpinning the text. When we reach Chapter Six D, we receive the thesis in direct language:
“…that human civilization is on the verge of collapse unless appropriate probabilities are created to prevent such a collapse.
Convergence of religion with science…and consequently the convergence of all religions into one religion is a fundamental requirement to ensure that these probabilities remain at a reasonably high level.”
I think that this message needs to be clearly stated early so that the instruction is not so mysterious in nature. The thesis itself is of great interest to the reader. Another layer of complexity comes also in Six D with a discussion of world overpopulation and the inherent dangers of nuclear conflict as a result. It seems, here, that the thesis suddenly gives way to what is really of interest to the author. It does jar the reader slightly, making him wonder if he has been led down one path and then switched suddenly to another.
Perhaps, for the reader to feel that the author is being straightforward and to assuage any notions of honesty regarding the thesis, it would be useful to discuss the actual “six words” in Chapter One and reveal that what follows will be in support of “I know that I know nothing.” Grasping this (the more you know, the more you learn you don’t know), the reader assumes a more “existential” mindset and begins to understand the thesis in context. The concern with overpopulation needs also a much earlier introduction and a presence throughout the text so that one is not surprised by the gravity the subject is handed.
The actual `six words` can be decoded by the reader from the twenty statements given in Chapter 6E. The number of letters in each of the six words can be obtained from the way the dots are shown: .. … …. … …. ….
The number of words in the first statement (sentence), which is `22` correspond to the letter `W` considering 1 = a, 2 = b, 3 = c, etc.
Similarly the number of words in the second statement, which is `5` correspond to the letter `e`.
At the end of the two statements there is a gap with two dots `..` showing the word ended and was a two letter word `We`
In this way, all the six words can be determined, and the impact on the reader will be much more pronounced if he finds them on his own. If these words are made known in the beginning, ie, in Chapter one, the charm will be lost. I explained this aspect in the `Introduction`. Some of my friends who read the complete book agree with me that the reader should discover the six words on his own. When the `six words` came to my mind for the first time, the impact was the most unforgettable experience of my life ( see chapter four). One friend who read the book in full and discovered these words on his own was so enthralled, he went to a temple to reminisce and wonder at what he had read. On discovering the six words, one is inclined to go back to the earlier pages – such as chapter 6C and the 20 questions game – and the picture gets clearer and clearer . Some may even read the entire book again, and it’s the second reading of the book that is even more enjoyable, while there may be others – the impatient kind – who may jump (midway) to the last chapter `6E` to know the six words and then read the rest of the book. That too is fine. But most readers would prefer to keep the suspense alive.
The importance of the six words cannot be underestimated. They explain everything there is to know about the universe and why we are here. They have the power to unite religions, not to mention unite Atheists with Theists.
With all this, it is possible that book reviews in newspapers/magazines may reveal what the six words are and spoil the fun.
The words `I know that I know nothing` ( not the six words of the title) have double meaning :
I added the word `now` to the Socrates quote, to make it `I know now that I know nothing`, implying `now` that, that someone who was in my head that wasn`t me (Pink Floyd number) , has left me and taken the UFO flight back to his native planet, and I am back to square one, a common man, a structural engineer, not a great Scientist . Before leaving however that `someone` showed me enough light (Hank William number), and all that light is in the book for the world to read.
The second interpretation : `I know that I know `whats `nothing`, implying that I understand the meaning of the word `nothing` in the context of the uncertainty principle (chapter four) as well as in the context of the fact that the universe with a ratio of trillion trillion trillion units of void to one unit of matter is like nothing at all.
So there is hardly any matter in the universe…just emptiness…but there are minds to think on those lines …rather an all intelligent infinite mind.
Indeed as Arthur Eddington says …“The stuff of the world is mind stuff“`…and as James Jeans says …“The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine“
The concern regarding overpopulation has been expressed in much detail, quite early, in Chapter three `Exciting century… How many more can we have?`
There are two major divisions of the text: 1) Chapters 1 through 5, which provide technological, philosophical, and historical background; 2) followed by the “The Seminar,” which begins in Chapter Six and elucidates the thesis through conversation/debate via history’s great minds as well as the author himself. This structure works, although there tends to be a sometimes-noticeable repetition of information from 1) in 2).
Tone and Style
There is an intention by the author that readers should esteem the great minds for their contributions to science and civilization. Figures such as Einstein, de Broglie, and Newton are drawn upon as figures of authority and their legacies/ideas used to lend credence to the author’s general thesis. There is a level of mysterious aloofness, especially in regard to the “six words,” that strikes the reader as unnecessary, which casts a bit of shadow across the author’s intentions. Ultimately, the reader “gets it” but perhaps with some reservation that could be eliminated with a more straightforward exploration of the thesis.
Reasons why the mystery of the “six words“ is retained till the last chapter, are explained earlier. However I am inclined to agree that many readers may prefer a straight forward approach and would like to know what the six words are at an earlier stage. There are two possible locations in the manuscript where the readers may get curious to know what these “six words“are . One in Chapter four and another in Chapter Six C. I have shown ( now ) an endnote mark `(4-005)` in chapter four at the appropriate location, and in the referred End note at the chapter end, have given reference to chapter SixE where the hint for determining the six words is given. The corresponding endnote mark for SixC ie `( 6-017) is already given.
The veracity of the text is most often intact but is occasionally jarred by discrete statements that seem to wander away from the general enlightening tone. Here are some examples:
leading to the bombing of Hiroshima—a minor accident (page 116, comes across as flippant)
Agreed. Have added the following lines in the manuscript as clarification
`A German first use of the nuclear bomb would have been catastrophic for the World, which could be considered a major accident – like overturning of the vehicle – . Compared to that, the bombing of Hiroshima which ended the war, can be considered as a minor accident. The Cuban missile case is another example of a narrow escape from a catastrophic situation (overturning). The subject is discussed in great detail in chapter 6E in the Q and A session of the seminar.)`
It looks as if there is someone…from another universe…who sometimes enters my mind. Perhaps it is a mind from a parallel universe trying to entangle with minds from this universe as in “quantum entanglement.” Or maybe that “someone” is something—such as a mind—offloaded from a UFO. (page 117, detracts from the author’s core message)
Agreed…this could detract somewhat… I made changes on this page and deleted some portions.
Another exercise will show that if the same trend continues, then the five countries Nigeria, Bangladesh, India, Sudan, and Pakistan will leave all other countries way behind and together will constitute 99 percent of the total population while occupying only about 10 percent of the total area, whereas the remaining 1 percent will occupy 90 percent of the area. (page 232, does not seem possible)
It looks impossible, but its true. I rechecked it… Of course the primary assumption is that the annual growth rate remains unchanged ie the same trend continues.
I did this calculation in 2009 using the 2008 population and annual growth rate figures.
Referring the 2009 Penguin year Book.
For the abovementioned five countries the total population in 2008 stood at about 1.65billion and the weighted average annual growth rate of population was 1.71%, so if the same trend continues the population would in 700 years, reach 240000 billion.
For the rest of the World the total population in 2008 was 5 billion and the weighted average annual growth rate of about 0.85 %, the population in 700 years would grow to about 2000 billion.
The corresponding figures for China are : Population in 2008.. 1.33 billion, annual growth rate 0.68%, projected population in 700 years 108 billion, and for the USA : Population in 2008 ..0.304 billion, annual growth rate 0.88%, projected population in 700 years 140 billion.
It is obvious, good sense will have to prevail long before that time. No way China and USA will allow themselves to be outnumbered to such an extent. If `Convincing Power` doesn`t work `Nuclear Power` would be unavoidable… and with that, the risk of self destruction would be high.
terrorists happen to be just victims of time. (page 237, not quite clear)
The subject of terrorism and the fact that terrorists of the World are victims of time has been discussed at length at several places in the manuscript (chapters SixD and SixE).
A very large percentage of terrorists are indeed victims of time caused by the interactions of the World. Poverty, no job, no food, and promise of a heavenly abode, etc are the interactions that cause them to become paid employees. The same can be said of their paymasters, how did they become like that?. Who are the conflicting parties ?, what is at the back of the conflicts. No doubt the issues involved are extremely complex, but these are the issues the beautiful and neutral minds present in the Seminar are supposed to resolve.
The magnitude and complexity of the problems – Population explosion, Religious extremism, Conflicts and Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Arsenal going into the wrong hands, or powerful hands making wrong use of them, Corruption at high places, Global warming, etc etc cannot be underestimated. We don`t have appropriate answers, except that ANSWERS HAVE TO BE FOUND.
With this book and the ideas presented therein, It is hoped, it may set the ball rolling for similar kind of books to enter the market, to spread awareness of the importance of the subject.
Indeed…Survival from self destruction must become the most important subject to be taught in universities worldwide.
Overall, grammar proved problematic, especially in the presence of passages of information joined with multiple ellipses. I left as much of that as possible intact to preserve the mood of the presentation. There is a certain level of intentional breaking of rules, but it was often difficult to distinguish when to step in and edit and when to leave alone an editable situation due to the general style of writing and the conversational nature of the seminar. Below, I have pulled out instances of frequent grammar problems that were addressed.
Unnecessary Capitalization (Many words were capitalized that do not require capitalization.)
…which did not include knowledge about Quantum Physics, Einstein’s Relativity, or even Newton’s laws.
(corrected) …which did not include knowledge about quantum physics, Einstein’s relativity, or even Newton’s laws.
Six Words is an autobiography that begins at the big bang, as I entered the Universe in the form of a Quark, and covers everything of consequence that happened to me from that time till now including my experience in a Supernova.
(corrected) Six Words is an autobiography that begins at the Big Bang, as I entered the Universe in the form of a quark, and covers everything of consequence that happened to me from that time till now including my experience in a supernova.
Use of Cliché
These scientists and philosophers on one hand and my deep appreciation of Quantum Physics and Cosmology on the other have led me to write this autobiography.
(corrected) These scientists and philosophers and my deep appreciation of quantum physics and cosmology have led me to write this autobiography.
Its versus It’s (It is)
Well, its like this:
Well, it’s like this:
Comma splice (Two complete sentences joined by a comma)
We are free to imagine what we would like to imagine, it has been said that this Universe is indeed a queer Universe…
(corrected) We are free to imagine what we would like to imagine. It has been said that this Universe is indeed a queer Universe…
Misspelling of Names (Perhaps the gravest errors involved the misspelling of the names of famous persons/things. I’ve corrected all errors that I detected.)
Neils Bohr (Niels)
World cup (World Cup)
Amaury de Reincourt (Riencourt)
Tao TE Ching (Tao Te Ching)
Ken Wilbur (Wilber)
Erwin Schroedinger’s (Schrödinger)
Gorden Fraser (Gordon)
Allain Aspect (Alain)
Book titles (I’ve standardized the formatting of book titles to reflect title case and italics.)
“The critique of pure reason”
Critique of Pure Reason
Question marks (Often, question marks were left out.)
Consider for example A20, we A2s over here think A20’s universe to be 3670.016 trillion years old, but does A20 think like that.
Consider for example A20, we A2s over here think A20’s universe to be 3670.016 trillion years old, but does A20 think like that?
On all these aspects, such as grammar, unnecessary capitalization, Use of cliché, comma splice, misspelling of names, book titles, question marks etc, all the corrections marked by the editing team are acceptable to me. I agree there were too many such corrections required, this is my first book. I will be more careful in my next. I am deeply thankful for a thorough job done by the editing team.
In general, referencing is spotty. Whenever a quote is supplied we should be able to follow that quote to its origin via a footnote or endnote. Here is an example of an unattributed quote:
Here I am inclined not to agree. I have in fact been extra careful to see that referencing is more than adequate.
According to Einstein, “Quantum mechanics calls for a great deal of respect, the theory offers a lot, but an inner voice tells me it is not yet the real thing. I am convinced that God does not throw dice.” (p. 61)
We need to know where this quote comes from as well as all others without a reference. Ideally, you would also include a complete bibliography at the end of the book for authenticity.
This particular quote (and a few other quotes given in the manuscript) is so very common, it is quoted in several books without any referencing at all other than indicating that Einstein said this. Once I did come across a book which mentioned where he made that statement. I did`nt make note of it and I don`t remember which book it was .
There is one chart in the manuscript (on page 234). Hopefully, the typesetter for the book can make this more presentable. As is, it is very confusing.
The procedure for calculating the probabilities is mathematically correct. However if it is confusing, we may just show the values 31.4 %, 46.7 % etc in the appropriate boxes.
I think you have created a work of intense imagination.
Regarding your concerns over the complexity of material in Six B and Six D, I think that one must assume that you have one shot at the reader. The reader must be able to understand the material without having to re-read the material. As such, length and complexity should be adjusted for the average reader who is interested in quantum physics. No one book, of course, will make such a complicated subject clear. I think the assumption is that people who read this book will already have an interest and general knowledge of quantum physics.
I would like to retain these complex sections as they are. As explained by me in my response to the Create Space Questionnaire, This book caters to a wide range of readership with respect to their knowledge and interest in the subjects. Those readers who want to skip these pages can do so, without causing any disconnect with the main themes.
I hope these edits and comments are valuable in helping the manuscript achieve your publishing goals. Good luck in your revision, and I wish you all the best for this manuscript and future books.
Indeed they are valuable. Thanks once again
—Russ, CreateSpace Editor
Final note : The copy editing, comments, and this editorial letter have been of immense value to me. I have accepted most of the corrections, agreed with many of the comments and taken care of these in my revisions. Where I could not agree with the comments, I have provided appropriate clarifications. It is true, in some cases I may have deviated from the rules and conventions. But this is a different kind of book, sometimes, it becomes necessary, to be a little unconventional, to drive home some points.
At the end of the manuscript, I have added the `Acknowledgements`. This portion may also need to be `copy edited` at your end. If the corrections required are of minor nature, they can be incorporated and frozen.
Thanks and regards.