About Howard Bloom
Howard Bloom is an author, a former music publicist for the stars, and one of the grandest thinkers of our time.
Bloom has been called “next in a lineage of seminal thinkers that includes Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Freud, and Buckminster Fuller” by Britain’s Channel4 TV and “the next Stephen Hawking” by Gear Magazine. Bloom is the author of seven books, including The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition Into the Forces of History and the new Einstein, Michael Jackson & Me: A Search for Soul in the Power Pits of Rock and Roll.
The Office of the Secretary of Defense threw a symposium on Bloom’s second book, Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century, and brought in representatives from the State Department, the Energy Department, DARPA, IBM, and MIT. The eleventh president of India, Dr. A.P.J. Kalam called Bloom’s third book, The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism, “a visionary creation.” And the Sheikh who runs Dubai named a racehorse—the Beast–after that same book.
Bloom has published or lectured scholarly conferences in twelve different fields, from quantum physics and cosmology to neuroscience, evolutionary biology, psychology, information science, governance, and aerospace. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, Knight Financial News Service, Cosmopolitan, The Village Voice, and the blog sites of Psychology Today and The Scientific American.
In a full-page article in Business Insider, SpaceX’s Elon Musk praised one of Bloom space projects, the Two Billion Dollar Moon Prize. The Two Billion Dollar Moon Prize was also covered in Time, Newsweek, CBS, NBC, Fox News, and Politico. And Jeff Bezos tweeted a Bloom blog from the Scientific American calling for the establishment of a permanent transport infrastructure in space.
The Howard Bloom Institute Mission
The mission of The Howard Bloom Institute is to upgrade, uplift, and empower humanity. HBI aims to accomplish this through the promotion of the work and ideas of Howard Bloom. Ideas that offer a new perceptual lens through which to see everything inside you and everything around you in whole new ways.
HBI conducts itself according to Howard Bloom’s two rules to live by:
- The truth at any price, including the price of your life.
- Look at the things right under your nose as if you’ve never seen them before, then proceed from there.
Want to change the way you perceive the world around you? From politics to protons? From depression and elation to bacterial social relations? From the black holes to the darkest depths of the human psyche? Then HBI is the place for you.
The Grand Unified Theory of Howard Bloom
Howard Bloom’s field is mass behavior, from the mass behavior of quarks to the mass behavior of human beings. Each of his seven books is a radically different exploration of that mass behavior, from the birth of the first atoms (The God Problem), to the evolution of multicellular beings (Global Brain), to the biological roots of evil (The Lucifer Principle), to the operation of economies (The Genius of the Beast), and to the search for the gods inside of you and me in the dark underbelly where new myths and movements are made, a search for the gods inside of you and me in the power pits of rock and roll (Einstein, Michael Jackson & Me).
This lifelong journey has refined what has been referred to as Bloom’s Grand Unified Theory. Three phrases that sum up his GUT:
- The cosmos on a quest to discover her potential
- The universe of the supersized surprise
- Your story from the big bang that produced your matter to what’s going on in your brain as you read this sentence
Want to learn more about how this theory came to be? Watch this.
The Grand Unified Theory is a product of Omnology.
Omnology—the aspiration to omniscience. an academic base for the promiscuously curious, a discipline that concentrates on seeing the patterns that emerge when one views all the sciences and the arts at once.
We are blessed with a richness of specializations, but cursed with a paucity of panoptic disciplines — categories of knowledge that concentrate on seeing the pattern that emerges when one views all the sciences at once. Hence we need a field dedicated to the panoramic, an academic base for the promiscuously curious, a discipline whose mandate is best summed up in a paraphrase of the poet Andrew Marvel: “Let us roll all our strength and all Our knowledge up into one ball, and tear our visions with rough strife through the iron gates of life.”
Omnology is a science, but one dedicated to the biggest picture conceivable by the minds of its practitioners. Omnology will use every conceptual tool available—and some not yet invented but inventible—to leapfrog over disciplinary barriers, stitching together the patchwork quilt of science and all the rest that humans can yet know. If one omnologist is able to perceive the relationship between pop songs, ancient Egyptian graffiti, mysticism, neuroscience, and the origins of the cosmos, so be it. If another uses mathematics to probe traffic patterns, the behavior of insect colonies, and the manner in which galaxies cluster in swarms, wonderful. And if another uses introspection to uncover hidden passions and relate them to research in chemistry, anthropology, psychology, history, and the arts, she, too, has a treasured place on the wild frontiers of scientific truth—the terra incognita in the heartland of omnology.
William Blake succinctly and unknowingly articulated the ultimate goal of Omnology:
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
That perspective is achieved through a few simple principles:
- The cosmos is a search engine on the prowl to discover her potential. All of her children, from quarks, stars, mastodons, and you and me, are her antennae, feeling out her next moves in possibility space. And changing her irrevocably.
- This universe calls on us to radically reinvent her.
- The universe started with a cluster of simple rules, a handful of magic beans, a handful of axioms, and has been uncovering the implications hidden in those rules ever since. I call this Corollary Generator Theory.
- Implicit in the cosmos is a stairway of complexity, a stairway of shape shock. A stairway of supersized surprise. The universe is driven to climb that ladder step after stunningly ambitious step.
- The cosmos is profoundly social. this is a conversational and gossipy cosmos. Which means that it’s mass behavior all the way up and all the way down. Mass behavior from guzzle to zatch.
- Opposites are joined at the hip.
- When joined, opposites make supersized surprises. For example, protons and neutrons are opposites in electromagnetic charge. But join them together and you get something radically new, an atom. Government, private industry, and the protest industry are opposites that often attack each other. But put them together and you get Western Civilization.
- Two more opposites joined at the hip– attraction and repulsion–two rules of social etiquette–have shown up in the cosmos over and over again at different levels of complexity, always appearing in new forms.
- Attraction and repulsion show up in the cosmos’ most basic search-engine rule—the fission-fusion strategy. First spread out, separate, and explore. That’s repulsion. Then come together and consolidate. That’s attraction. This search strategy shows up in everything from the grand sweepings of cosmic dust that made galaxies to the food hunts that nourish bacteria and the cycles of boom and bust in everything from butterflies to modern economies.
- Among other things, attraction and repulsion show up in Herbert Spencer’s differentiation and integration. Things heighten their separations, set themselves apart from each other, then become specialized parts of larger and almost unimaginable new wholes, new groups. New supersized surprises.
- Microdifferentiation – heightening differences – leads to speciation. Microdifferentiation leads to the origin of the species.
- All of the big bang’s children, from clots of cosmic dust to human beings, are cooperative and competitive simultaneously. Yes, it’s opposites joined at the hip again. Individuals cooperate with the greatest consequences when they compete in groups and teams. When they compete in gravity balls like stars, and planets. And when they compete in subcultures, nations, and civilizations.
- Hierarchy – status, pecking orders, and social totem poles – appeared in the first 400,000 years ABB, after the Big Bang. They are not a product of agriculture, capitalism or patriarchy. The cosmos is pushed by its past but pulled by its future. It is causal and teleological all at once. This is a driven, seemingly willful universe.
- The cosmos is pushed by it past but pulled by its future. It is causal and teleological all at once. This is a driven, seemingly willful universe.
- Groups of living things often act as if they are single organisms, superorganisms.
- Groups of living things—superorganisms–are learning machines, complex adaptive systems. Each society has a group IQ. Each society represents a hypothesis in a larger global brain.
- Complex adaptive systems work on five rules, five opposites joined at the hip, five manifestations of attraction and repulsion:
- conformity enforcers,
- diversity generators,
- resource shifters,
- inner judges–self-destruct mechanisms, and
- intergroup tournaments.
- Complex adaptive systems—learning machines–use the fission-fusion search strategy: spread out and explore, then come together and consolidate what you’ve learned.
- Your most painful moments, your moments of anxiety, depression, and the sense that you should get it over and kill yourself, are the products of inner judges, products of self-destruct mechanisms. And those appalling moods add to the group IQ.
- The global brain is driven by the holy trinity of the Lucifer Principle—superorganisms, pecking orders, and ideas, memes.
- The most important memes are worldviews, pictures of the invisible world. Those worldviews are used like military uniforms to set one group apart from others. And worldviews make each group a hypothesis in the global brain.
- New realities lead to new metaphors. New metaphors lead to new fantasies. New fantasies lead to new realities.
- Every society has an infrastructure of habit…and an infrastructure of fantasy. Every society is a hypothesis in a global brain. Every society is a new invention competing for its right to be. Competing for its place in the pecking order of groups. And expanding the perceptual envelope of humanity. Adding smarts to the global brain.
The key tool in assembling this theory, the key tool in what Bloom calls Omnology, is the timeline. The timeline of the cosmos and all that’s in it, from the Big Bang to the poetry of Andrew Marvell and beyond.
Finally, here’s the verdict on the GUT from Pavel Kurakin of the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Science:
“Bloom has created a new Scientific Paradigm. He explains in vast and compelling terms why we should forget all we know in complicated modern math and should start from the very beginning. …Bloom’s Grand Unified Theory… opens a window into entire systems we don’t yet know and/or see, new…collectivities that live, love, battle, win and lose each day of our gray lives. I never imagined that a new system of thought could produce so much light.”