Reading Moving Mars for the second time, after Anvil of Stars and Dead Lines, and a recurring theme seems to be hidden channels/forbidden channels/the Bell continuum. Often when you describe a technology to change a particle's properties remotely, you say that we must not define the system that describes these properties (the bookkeeping system, God's computer, etc.).
Why must we not define it?
From: Greg Bear
According to the physicists I quote in my stories, it simply makes it easier to assume the matrix as axiomatic. Trying to figure out which chip and which operating system underlies reality could lead to madness! And in ETERNITY, I think, there is the theoretical question of whether or not one can feel or know what sort of operating system or computer one is living in, if one lives in a virtual universe. I recall there was once actually a Wikipedia article on this problem, but can't locate it in a quick search...
That makes sense, but only if the channels are made of the absolute lowest level. As long as we're not positive that that is the lowest level, we can't be sure there is not another one below it. That however would pose the same question...
Anyway they provide fantastic speculation :) Thanks!
And here's an answer: in music based on the 12-tone chromatic scale, whether it be tertian tonal or no, there is no axiomatic start point. If tertian tonal, the key is wherever one decides to start on, as it can be transposed to any other key. Similarly in 12-tone music, the prime form row is arbitrary. What constrain these are generally aural context - instrumentation - and composer predilection.
In the case of physics, it may (and I suspect it is) as easy as doing similar to what Greg says, except it, although rather than 'axiomatic' perhaps just 'functional'. (Or, of course, funxional.)