[ExI] NBIC/GRIN Elements as Philosopher's Magnum Opus

Adrian Tymes atymes at gmail.com
Tue Aug 9 15:44:54 UTC 2011

On Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 6:42 AM, Natasha Vita-More <natasha at natasha.cc> wrote:
> Thank you Adrian,

Not a problem.  This has been an occasional side interest of mine
for years.

I've found the four states of matter really do seem to be the closest
modern equivalent to the four alchemical elements.  While there are
all sorts of liquids, for example, I am not aware of any lubricant that
is not a liquid, and refrigerants/coolants tend to alter between liquids
and gases.  In many cases, the periodic table elements matter less
than the phase (so long as that combination of elements can be in
that phase, and can undergo the desired reaction or lack of reaction,
under the given conditions).

You can substitute "patterns" for the fifth element: any living thing is
far more than a bunch of solids and liquids, some of them with a bit
of gas too, and it is the ongoing pattern of their constituent parts
that captures the essence of the difference.  "Life" works too (and
captures the time dynamic that "patterns" does not), although there
are lesser examples in non-living patterns such as the hydrological

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