Superimplicate Video game

By David Peat December 14, 2013

In seeking “a new order for physics” Bohm and proposed the Implicate and the Explicate Order. The latter is our familiar world of well defined objects in space and time, but for Bohm this was no more than a surface reality, one that was constantly enfolding and unfolding from a deeper Implicate Order. It was an attractive new idea but also subject to the criticism that everything was already present in the Implicate Order, there was no room for something new. In a way it was a little like Plato’s theory of Forms.

Then Bohm was invited to give a series of lectures at Syracuse University in New York State. On the way to the lecture hall each day he passed the student center with its video games. He seemed particularly fascinated by those games and I often suspected that when he was on his own he would go in to play with one of them.

Not surprising in view of this interest he came up with the idea of the Superimplicate Order. Think of a video game. The computer under the screen is directing signals to the screen that appear as moving space ships. If the screen is the Explicate Order then the computer is the Implicate Order. But the space ships simply circle, repeating their positions over and over again.

Suppose we now introduce a joystick and a player. The player watches the screen (Explicate Order) and moves the joystick which changes the computer program (Implicate Order).  In turn the space ships engage in new movements.

The player and joystick are the Superimplicate order. So the Superimplicate monitors the unfolding of the Explicate and in turn modifies the Implicate. As Bohm said, “we have introduced creativity.” And for Bohm beyond the Superimplicate would be the SuperSuperimplicate and so on.