Imagine if you forgot what one of the rooms in your house looked like, and when you returned, it had changed, it was “refreshed”. It had refreshed, not into some absurd wonderland of glowing fungi and strange creatures, but to one consistent with what you believed a room ought to be. Perhaps there was a lightswitch outside, that now instead of turning on the fluorescent globe, turned on a LED one. Maybe the books on the shelves had refreshed, but the ones you remembered and remembered reading, had remained. The size of the room was constrained, because you remembered how long it took to walk around the outside. Given your means and taste, it was appropriately furnished. Perhaps you walked into the room because you forgot where you left your keys, and encountered a lovely couch (green, your favourite) and found the keys wedged between the cushions. This made perfect sense because you remembered sitting in that room. But, when you were there, you actually sat on a red couch, and didn’t have your keys. But, your keys refreshed there, because you forgot where you left them.

Of course, it’d be ridiculous for you to forget an entire room in your house - but perhaps you forgot some details of it. Imagine if forgotten reality was up for debate! Was your first car yellow, or yellow-green? Did chicken always taste like that?

So, what would happen when one person forgets, but another remembers? Well, the object exists, as it was remembered.

This suggests a kind of collective agreement of what exists. What one person remembers exist, exists, and what is collectively forgotten, can be refreshed.

But, what if the person who refreshes the object is mad, perceives the world differently to us, or doesn’t understand that lightswitches control lights? Well, perhaps there is an underlying collective unconscious that governs these rules, that through consensus our minds agree what the physical laws of the universe are. Since a lightswitch without a light would be nonsensical to the collective unconscious, perhaps it isn’t possible to imagine a lightswitch without a light. This would suggest that even conscious beings that have conscious beliefs in strange creatures, subconsciously consent to the collective unconscious. As much as they’d like not to, they exist within the collective.

This also means that if someone follows a flowing stream, and the collective has forgotten where it leads, it may lead to a waterfall, or a sinkhole, or continue flowing through a wood. But the refreshed stream will always adhere to the laws of the collective unconscious. An individual can refresh a forgotten room, but it must be within the agreed bounds of the unconscious.

But, this has interesting implications for the laws of the universe. The laws are basically serving suggestions, and since many of the microscopic laws aren’t generally observable by a conscious individual, their activities are always abstracted. Things appear to behave in ways consistent with the collective laws, but since it is impossible to perceive the state of every atom, their interactions are “eyeballed”. When whipping out the microscope and zooming in on a fresh patch of skin, the bacteria and hair follicles and skin particles are all refreshed, but before that moment they didn’t “concretely” exist.

This begs the question, what kind of thing are discovered laws? Are they concrete, or are they refreshable? It would seem that the only concrete laws are ones so closely examined that the collective won’t forget. Even those laws, if collectively forgotten, could be refreshed. But, this also means that the beliefs of the collective drive the adoption aka concreteness of these scientific facts. So, in order for a scientific fact to become concrete, the collective must believe it. Perhaps the laws can slowly change over time, and perhaps many were inherited from some initial setting of the universe, but a new law must be discovered, with collective consent.

This also leads to some interesting observations about exploration and discovery. Depending on the personal and collective desire to discover more, more may be discovered. If the collective believes that the Higgs isn’t the last particle, there will be another. Similarly, if the collective doesn’t believe that a neat theory can encapsulate all the different forces in the universe, one will never be discovered! If the collective believes there is no more wilderness, there will be none. The collective may believe an ancient culture was a particularly rich source of philosophy, and will discover some refreshed texts.

How would someone know they lived in such a world? Would it be possible to figure out you were always aimlessly seeking for a truth that would never become concrete, or that you gave up your search too soon, and all the dead ends were just the collective unconscious deciding discovery wasn’t right, for right now.

Now imagine there was an algorithm that received signals about your beliefs, and refreshed your environment into something that aligned with them. The algorithm would decide, if you felt that there was a truth about the universe, to show you things consistent with that, and nothing inconsistent with it. Every time you refreshed, it’d show you something that followed from the unconscious. How would you know you didn’t exist in such a world? Would you ever venture away from the upvoted articles? Would you feel like you were unorthodox because the world concretely told you so? Is it possible that you live in a world separated only by distance from another island of a collective, radically different and yet internally consistent? How would you know? Refresh again, and if this is consistent with the collective, upvote. Thanks, make me concrete!