I posted a link to (a summary of) Christopher Langan’s Cognitive-Theoretic Model of the Universe (CTMU) a while back… but I suspect that most of you had no idea what it is and probably glazed over it or didn’t even glance at it).
No worries; I’m happy to post more stuff!
Though the title “World’s Smartest Man” may simply be hyperbole (and to my knowledge, he’s never made that claim), there is plenty of evidence that he is one smart cookie.
I’ve seen one or two blogs on the internet claiming that Mr. Langan is a “fraud” and that nobody can possibly have an IQ as high as his. But incredibly high IQs do occur in the population; they simply appear an extremely small percentage of it.
The first video in this post is from an ABC news broadcast featuring Chris Langan; in it, they sent him to a neuropsychologist for intelligence assessment. His score was apparently “too high to measure,” with the psychologist adding that he was “the highest [scoring] individual that I have ever measured in twenty-five years of doing this.”
“My theory is mapping a correspondence between language of thought and the real world” is one of my favorite quotes of his, and gives a hint as to the tenor of his ideas.
As far as his own writing goes: Mr. Langan works outside of academia, and I think that this might be the cause of some of the mistrust. I do respect academia (I’m in academia, after all), but I also think that it’s important to look for answers in a variety of locations. Academia is great at what it does: adding to the knowledge base in very small, peer-reviewed increments. But it’s notably slow at generating seismic-sized change… and that’s just what Chris Langan purports to be working on.
In the second series of videos, Mr. Langan goes into a bit of detail about some of his concepts, including the directions he feels humanity needs to go in. Many will find his eugenically-tinged ideas to be distasteful (if he were a public figure, he could never say things like these — but he’s not). As you’ll see, the interviewer asks the appropriate question – who gets to make these decisions? – and Langan’s answer is, simply, me. Put me in charge.
To tell you the truth, I get the feeling that Chris Langan doesn’t give a rat’s @$$ what most people think of him, at least on a personal level; though I do get the feeling that he’d like his ideas to be recognized. And I think they are getting more well-known, to some extent… but I also think that, down the road, they may be seen as revolutionary, or at least prophetic. It may very well be that Mr. Langan’s CTMU is the first of a future wave of “theories of everything” that may actually work… but that people simply may not be intelligent enough — yet — to get it.
[for another interview with him (and to see where I swiped the pic from), look here]