Monday, July 4, 2016

Ten Years

It was ten years ago that the internet discovered the website. We had initially started showing the website to friends and associates at the end of June 2006.

As I reported on the fifth anniversary of this project:
Initial response was generally very favorable, and we congratulated ourselves on a site that looked like it was going to do all right for itself. But we really had no idea what was about to happen!

On July 2 2006, the site got 2346 hits from 160 unique visitors, not too shabby. Then, some time later in the day on July 3rd, people started sharing the site with each other in a much bigger way, and we were thrilled to see a twelve-fold jump - 30,116 hits from 2,196 unique visitors. Cool! But by the end of the day, we were starting to learn about something known as the digg effect. So many people were trying to access our website simultaneously that some visitors were getting error messages, while others were having to wait minutes for the pages to load. Even with those delays, July 4th 2006 was an amazing day - 451,954 hits from 25,075 unique visitors.

With the support of users on digg and also on stumbleupon, the site saw over five million hits that first month, and that was from almost 282,000 unique visitors. Unbelievable! 
Ten years for a project about ten dimensions certainly seems worthy of note. My YouTube channel, 10thdim is now approaching 16 million overall views for the 400 plus videos we've posted about the project. The original Imagining the Tenth Dimension video started out at the now defunct video sharing site, where it was at 2 million views when the site was discontinued. I've also seen a great many copies posted of that first video, many of them taken from an edited version created by tigger1972, on tigger's channel that version is approaching 500,000 views. At the time YouTube was limiting movies to just over 11 minutes, which is why the original movie was broken into two parts for my channel. As a fan of the project tigger wanted to get the movie on YouTube in one piece, so he removed my intro and extro screens and all pauses, managing to get the video from 11:51 down to 11:01.

Then other people posted copies of that version: master roshi's copy is over 900,000 views, Giovanni B's is over 600,000,  the copy is at almost 500,000 views,  Andrew Philip's is over 60,000. None of these people include my name or give me credit as the creator of the video, but at least they leave it ambiguous as to who created it... unlike izacboi who brazenly says in his description "this is a short vid i made to help people understand the tenth dimension".

With my name as the author removed and the text screens at the end removed (which includes "while this 'way of imagining' is not the accepted explanation for string theory, it does have thought-provoking connections to many people's impression of how our reality is constructed"), there has indeed been some controversy as to my intent with this project. So at the risk of repeating myself too many times, let me say once again: I am not a physicist and I'm not pretending to be one. In Chapter 3 of my book, I say this:
So. Is Imagining the Tenth Dimension a crackpot theory from a non-physicist with no formal background in the relevant sciences? Absolutely. I am making no claims at all about the viability of this theory’s mathematics, as I do not have the tools to even begin such an analysis. The suppositions we are exploring here are based purely upon intuition, combined with a layman’s understanding of the concepts of quantum mechanics and cosmology. The fault for any misrepresentations of string theory or the laws of physics that may occur within these pages rests squarely on my shoulders, and not with any of the other sources cited throughout this text.
As a creative person, originally a film/TV composer and now a virtual reality producer, I have enjoyed all of the wonderful positive feedback I have received from the many fans of this project. I've often mentioned Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time as having similarities - for my generation, that was the book that introduced young minds to mind-expanding new ways of visualizing space-time as a structure that can be bent and folded. Did Madeleine get all of the science right? No... and if someone were to be upset about that then they've misinterpreted the intentions of her book. But as a way to get people started thinking about how there is more to our reality than what we are observing before us, I believe both A Wrinkle in Time and Imagining the Tenth Dimension have served the same purpose, and I'm proud to think of the millions of people who have become more interested in these topics after learning about my "new way of thinking about time and space".

What's next? Hey, who wants to watch Imagining the Tenth Dimension in Virtual Reality? I sure do!

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

Previous blog entry:

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Playing with Moire Patterns

One of the recurring ideas from this project is how important constructive interference can be in helping to understand how something as complex as a universe could be derived from extra-dimensional patterns of information. How does a hologram work its magic? Through constructive interference. In entries like The Holographic Universe we've looked at the theory that our observed reality is derived from a holographic projection - an interference pattern projected from the fifth dimension.

One of the commonly known versions of this constructive interference effect is known as "Moiré" patterns: one pattern interacts with another, and a third pattern springs forth. So here's an interesting development - my company, Talking Dog Studios, has just released a new app for iOS devices that allows you to play with constructive interference in creative ways. It's called Moire.

A direct link to the above video is at

Moire (pronounced "more-ay") is a visual toy that allows users to interact with this mesmerizing visual effect. The app lets users explore a variety of moiré patterns, with fascinating shapes they can zoom in and out or rotate using their fingers, or modify by tilting their device and seeing these patterns displayed in 3D space. In some cases the app also responds to sound, adding subtle pulsing to parts of the visuals when music is played. Plus, each time you double tap on the screen you are taken to a new combination of patterns.

Here's a link to the app store if you'd like to check it out:

And here's a page on the Talking Dog Studios website about our new app: Moire.

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Monday, January 19, 2015

Interstellar - What's Beyond the Fifth Dimension?

Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne
Near the beginning of his new book The Science of Interstellar, well-known physicist Kip Thorne defines these terms for us: seems likely...that our universe is a membrane (physicists call it a "brane") residing in a higher-dimensional "hyperspace" to which physicists give the name "bulk"...
Later on, in Chapter 22, he speculates on what it would be like to be an awareness residing within this "bulk":
If there are bulk beings, what are they made of? Certainly not atom-based matter like us. Atoms have three space dimensions. They can only exist in three space dimensions, not four. And this is true of sub-atomic particles as well. And it is true also of electric fields and magnetic fields... and the forces that hold atomic nuclei together.
Some of the world's most brilliant physicists have struggled to understand how matter and fields and forces behave if our universe really is a brane in a higher-dimensional bulk. Those struggles have pointed rather firmly to the conclusion that all the particles and the forces and all the fields known to humans are confined to our brane, with one exception: gravity, and the warping of spacetime associated with gravity.

So. The world we see around is confined to a 3D brane, but we need the fourth dimension to change from state to state, and Thorne embraces the idea that there is at least one more dimension, a fifth dimension, with which we could be interacting. Beyond that he acknowledges that this extra-dimensional "bulk" probably exists, but as we quoted him to say last entry, "for practical purposes, the number of extra dimensions is really only one".

Confusing? Here's a few key points to keep in mind. If we're talking about our observed reality being derived from ten dimensions, then it's impossible to consider any one of those dimensions without also acknowledging that they are connected to each other, and that each dimension has to be considered a subset of the additional ones if we're going to be consistent in our logic. So the 3D membrane of our universe resides within 4D space-time, which resides within the fifth dimension, and so on. Each additional dimension adds another degree of freedom, a way to get to states not previously accessible, until we get to the place where the potential for every possible configuration exists simultaneously. Reducing the number of dimensions being considered, then, has to represent a paring away, a reduction in possibilities that occurs incrementally as each dimension is removed, and would be a way to see how some other universe with different physical laws could exist within its own unique version of the third dimension: just as real as, but completely inaccessible from, our own version of the third dimension.

This is what's so powerful about the point-line-plane postulate: it gives us a way to start from our universe of three space dimensions, a universe already absolutely mind-boggling in its size and complexity, and visualize how that is only a tiny slice of the possibilities being added with each additional dimension.

Who's There to Greet Me When I Die?
Your Sixth-Dimensional Self is one of my earlier blog entries, from back in July 2007. Here's how I concluded that one:
What does timelessness mean for me? Because time is an illusion, it means that once any of us breaks out of our physical reality, there we will find all the other branches of our sixth dimensional selves, waiting to greet us and compare notes on the journey, and see how everything fits together.
Do you see how this relates to some of Interstellar's more "out there" implications we explored a few weeks ago in Interstellar and Pendulum Clocks? Each of us, when we stop to think about it, must have near misses that could have turned out much worse, minor accidents that could have been major. Everett's Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics proposes that all the other versions of the universe where the other different probabilistic outcomes occurred actually do exist, they're just not part of the current version of the universe we're observing. So each of us already have died in some of those previous near misses we can look back upon from today.

If there are ways that awareness can continue on after death, then it stands to reason that the versions of me that were not so fortunate in those past events might still be interested in following along to see "what happens next". So here's an interesting thought: we hear from psychics and near-death researchers all the time about the loved ones that will be there to meet us when we die. But wouldn't it be likely that one group waiting to meet with us, and compare notes on how lucky we were to have lasted as long as we did, be the other versions of ourselves that had already died? What a reunion that would be!

To conclude, here's a video from early 2009 in which we look at some other ideas related to imagining ourselves as viewed from the extra dimensions beyond space-time: "You Have a Shape and a Trajectory".

A direct link to the above video is at

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Monday, January 12, 2015

Interstellar and Ignoring Dimensions

The Fifth Dimension
Although superstring theory says the bulk has six more dimensions than our universe, there is reason to suspect that, for practical purposes, the number of extra dimensions is really only one.
 - Kip Thorne, from his new book The Science of Interstellar

Why does Kip Thorne - one of the world's most respected physicists - tell us that it's fair game to refer to the fifth dimension as somehow including all of the other dimensions? Can we really ignore the rest, and say that beyond our 4D space-time there is really only one more dimension that matters?

I think this agrees very nicely with my contention that our observed space-time reality is actually being derived from the fifth dimension.

Patterns of Information
Ultimately we're just talking about extra-dimensional patterns of information, and how their configuration has created a unique universe such as ours. As creatures made of atoms and molecules that are confined to a 3D brane using the fourth dimension to change from state to state, most of the interesting stuff for us really is just at the fifth dimension: the dimension which Einstein accepted is where the field equations for gravity and light are resolved, the dimension I insist Everett must have been pointing to when he said his probabilistic "Many Worlds" occur within a sub-space which is orthogonal to space-time.

So what's beyond the fifth spatial dimension?

The point-line-plane postulate tells us that each time we want to get to an additional dimension, we have to imagine a point not found in the current system, the current "dimension" (no matter what you're defining that word to mean). So to get to the sixth dimension as a mental construct, we have to think about the things that would be impossible to observe from the fifth dimensional point that represents our observed reality right here and right now. And as I've said before, if you're thinking about an underlying extra-dimensional form which includes all possible universes, all possible patterns of information, then for us everything up to our version of the fifth dimension includes the patterns that align to create our unique universe, the one we are currently observing, and everything beyond this fifth dimension is a way of thinking about the other patterns that could have aligned to create some other universe different from our own.

Information Equals Reality
Quantum physicists like Seth Lloyd and Anton Zeilenger use this phrase to talk about their work: "information equals reality". Are you and I and the world we see around us really just patterns of information? If that's the case, then I'm proposing that each awareness within this observed reality is just a pattern recognizing itself. And when we back our theoretical viewpoint out to the biggest picture of all, we are seeing an underlying sea of potential information, some of which creates patterns that are static and unchanging, some of which are like you and I: moving patterns that grow and change. All of those potential patterns considered together cancel each other out to become a perfect and naturally balanced symmetry state, and a universe such as ours results from a breaking of that symmetry. Gevin Giorbran described this idea so eloquently in his fascinating masterwork, Everything Forever: Learning to See Timelessness.

Incidentally: in the years since Gevin's untimely death, there has been evidence that this "supersymmetry" notion, at least as physicists have described it up to now, doesn't jive with the underlying structures of our reality being revealed by the LHC. Does that matter? That depends on whether you're willing to look at randomness and chaos as being another way of describing the same "everything" from which our universe or any other is derived. Because whether we came from nothing or whether we came from everything may simply be different ways of describing this underlying information that becomes our reality.

When the Pattern Recognizes Itself
Haven't we all been fascinated to look in the eyes of another living being and glimpse that spark of awareness, perhaps alien to our own but still hauntingly familiar? And isn't the mounting interest in Artificial Intelligence part of this discussion?

In The Imitation Game, we see an amazing performance from Benedict Cumberbatch, no doubt one of the finest actors of his generation. That film, like Her, encourages us to consider the possibility that a machine, a dance of electrons within a collection of circuits, could develop this same kind of awareness: perhaps alien to our own but still hauntingly familiar. The alarm being raised lately by luminaries like Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk* about the coming dangers of AI may have to be accepted as yet another stage in the evolution of life on this planet.

Life Recognizes Life
The beginning of life in the primordial ooze, I've proposed, can be thought of as an extra-dimensional pattern which recognizes that if it chooses "this path rather than that one" from its fifth dimensional probability space, it will be more likely to continue. Could a "desire for continuance", then, become a handy delineator for saying which things are alive and which are not? If we were able to observe our reality from "outside" the fifth dimension, I believe that these patterns that represent life, awareness, and even those "spooky" connection patterns like the ones we looked at last entry, would be immediately apparent.

Enjoy the journey!


* Edit: just a couple of days after this entry was posted a much larger group of scientists, Hawking and Musk included, published an open letter about the promise and the dangers of AI:

Next Entry - "What's Beyond the Fifth Dimension?"

Monday, January 5, 2015

Interstellar and Pendulum Clocks

Last entry we looked at the book by respected physicist Kip Thorne, explaining the scientific interpretation of the movie Interstellar.  One of the ideas Professor Thorne puts forth is that an entity "outside" of our observed 4D space-time could use gravity to cause seemingly unexplainable actions - like a book mysteriously falling from its shelf - to occur, since gravity is the only force which exerts itself across the extra dimensions. With that in mind, let me tell you a story.
This Christmas our family had an unusual set of occurrences that started the night of December 20th, 2014. On top of the stereo stand in our living room we have an old mantle clock which once belonged to my wife's grandparents. This clock worked faithfully for us for many years, but then at least ten years ago it stopped. Still, we've left it where it was because we like the look of it.

That night we were having a big family supper in the living room when out of nowhere the clock started chiming the hour! We went over to look and sure enough it had started ticking. It went for almost an hour, then stopped.

As a bit of background, we've lived in this house for thirty years. The previous owners converted the double garage to become the living room we were in. Because this room used to be the garage, its floor sits on a concrete pad and is very solid feeling - there is no visible springiness or give to this floor. If there were to be vibrations somehow transmitted to this broken clock that were strong enough to push the pendulum back and forth, one would think that all of the action movies we've watched through a sound system which includes a hefty subwoofer only a few feet away from the clock would have had ample opportunity to activate it, but that has never happened, and there was no activity in the room that night that was any different from many many previous family get-togethers in that same space.

The following night a group of us were just sitting in the room having a chat when the clock started up again, bonged nine times on the hour and again on the half, then stopped once again. But that night my wife had trouble sleeping, was up and down through the night and heard the clock bonging the hours a number of times through the night. When she told me this the next morning I went and looked, and the clock had once again stopped.

The night of the 22nd I decided I'd tell this story to my friends on Facebook, so I went and stood in front of the clock to take the picture you're seeing here. As soon as I took it the clock once again started ticking. As I walked out of the room to tell my wife the clock bonged once, and once again it continued to run for a few hours that evening.

The night of the 23rd, we were again chatting in the room when the clock started up for what proved to be its final performance. On Christmas Eve we had another big family supper and gift opening with our grand-daughters in that room, and this time there was not a peep from the clock, nor has there been any further mysterious activity from it since. It looks like our spooky clock story has come to its conclusion!

Thinking about Professor Thorne's idea of pushing on the "world tube" of a space-time object from the fifth dimension, doesn't a clock's pendulum sound like it would be substantially easier than a book to influence with gravitational force from an extra dimension? I can imagine pendulum clocks all over the world starting and stopping at unexplained times, using this particular effect.

There's so many different kinds of spin we can put on this story. Is there a non-spiritual explanation? No doubt one can be surmised. For me, I'm no expert on pendulum clocks, but my experience with them is they don't start by themselves: you have to give the pendulum a push to get it going. So I have to ask: were we visited by some long-lost family member, happy to see the whole family together? My wife's cousin, a good friend of hers since they were children, spent the Christmas holidays with us for the first time ever. Our sons, their wives, and our granddaughters were all here in town for the big suppers on the 20th and again on the 24th. Who might have been responsible? Perhaps I'll learn the answer when I die. One friend even suggested I should be extra careful in 2015, because perhaps it was my future self come back to warn me about the possibility of an upcoming fatal accident? Wouldn't that make an interesting movie!

The idea that gravity is the only force that exerts itself across the extra dimensions is an important idea I first explored in my book, and again in dozens of videos and blog entries published since. Here's a few:
Your Sixth-Dimensional Self
Living in the Fifth Dimension
Hypercubes and Plato's Cave
Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Dark Information
Strength of Gravity, Speed of Light
Love and Gravity

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Science of Interstellar

Last month Christopher Nolan's Interstellar was released, and in this blog we looked at Interstellar and the Fifth Dimension. I've been particularly excited about this film because world-renowned physicist Kip Thorne was a consultant throughout its creation, tasked with making sure that the science represented in the show was not, in fact, pseudo-science. As Professor Thorne says in the book's introduction:

…in the end I have no qualms about defending what Chris did with the science. On the contrary, I'm enthusiastic! He turned into reality… my dream of a blockbuster movie with foundations of real science, and with real science woven throughout its fabric.

There are lots of interesting discussions in this book about the science of black holes, wormholes, relativistic time dilation, and so on. But here's the question that has attracted so many new visitors to the Imagining the Tenth Dimension project: is representing the fifth dimension as I have with my project able to be aligned with the scientific approach supported by Kip Thorne in this movie?  Here's some of his thoughts on the subject from his book:
How can space "bend down"? Inside what does it bend? It bends inside a higher-dimensional hyperspace, called "the bulk", that is not part of our universe! 
...In Interstellar, the characters often refer to five dimensions. Three are the space dimensions of our own universe or brane (east-west, north-south, up-down). The fourth is time, and the fifth is the bulk's extra space dimension.
Does the bulk really exist? Is there truly a fifth dimension, and maybe even more, that humans have never experienced? Very likely yes.
This is important! Professor Thorne is saying (as I have often said) that you can't talk about the fifth dimension without implicitly acknowledging that it is part of a multi-dimensional system. The fifth dimension can't exist in isolation, any more than it's possible in the third dimension to have an object with only a length, with no width or depth. And for those nitpickers who claim "there is no fifth dimension, there are only five dimensions", Professor Thorne is yet another expert comfortable - as I am - with using the phrases interchangeably.

(Spoiler Alert, stop reading here if you don't want to know about the climax of the movie)  

The other idea which I have talked about extensively, and which figures prominently in the plot of Interstellar, is that gravity is the only force which exerts itself across the extra dimensions. But there is one plot point that I wish had been made clearer: this movie's logic collapses into contradiction if the fifth dimension does not include the many potential probabilistic outcomes which exist for our universe, as described in Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. Is Everett wrong? Is there really only one single and inevitable world line for our universe? Then free will is an illusion, and of all of Cooper's efforts in the movie to use extra-dimensional gravity to communicate with his daughter are pointless, because he has already achieved his goals before he began. But if free will and multiple outcomes do really exist, then what Cooper is looking at from his fifth dimensional vantage point is a branching set of possibilities, and his goal is to navigate towards the versions where his efforts become effective and the desired outcome is achieved.

This is the contradiction we keep coming back to: if Everett is correct, then the timeless underlying quantum fabric already includes a version of the universe where what any of us are about to do has already happened! And yet we can still make other choices and get to "other versions" where some other choice has been made.  When we get to the end of the movie, or when we get to the end of our lives, we see that only one set of choices was made, but I remain convinced that this inevitability is an illusion.

Professor Thorne describes the climactic scene in which Cooper sees his daughter in a kaleidoscopic vision of cascading rooms:
...the various bedrooms are out of time synch with each other. ...Cooper can move far faster than the flow of time in the bedroom extrusions, so he can easily travel through the tesseract complex to most any bedroom time that he wishes!

A few pages later he talks about a concept I called "the long undulating snake" in the book and animation that got this project rolling, a way of representing the space-time object (or "spime") of a person from their conception to their death. Professor Thorne shows us a diagram of a book as viewed from this same outside-of-space-time vantage point, and refers to the book as having a "world tube": same concept.

 (this image, Figure 30.2 from The Science of Interstellar, is copyright 2014 by Kip Thorne)

In the movie, Cooper uses extra-dimensional gravity to maneuver his daughter's "Many Worlds" to the version where a book mysteriously falls from the bookshelf:
...Cooper slams his fist on the book's world tube over and over again, creating a gravitational force, which travels backward in time ... the book's tube responds by moving. The tube's motion appears to Cooper as an instantaneous response to his pushes. And the motion becomes a wave traveling leftward down the tube (Figure 30.2). When the motion gets strong enough, the book falls out of the bookcase. 
If you, like me, have fond memories of the way the pieces of the puzzle fit together in one of Christopher Nolan's earliest movies, Memento, then you may have felt similarly satisfied as the mysteries presented in the first two thirds of Interstellar are gradually solved by the "reverse causality" Professor Thorne found a way to explain with modern scientific theories. For me, though, I feel it's important to remember that there must still be many other versions of the universe depicted in the movie where Cooper hadn't yet formed his plan, or wasn't able to execute his plan successfully, and so on, causing the disastrous future for our planet depicted in the movie's opening act to continue unabated.

Ultimately, the statistical unlikelihood of any of us being right here and right now must surely represent a miniscule subset of the Many Worlds universes where none of us exist. One of my favorite blog entries from a few years ago where we explored this idea was called Beer and Miracles, check it out.

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Biographical note from the back cover of The Science of Interstellar:
Kip Thorne is the Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, at the California Institute of Technology, scientific advisor and executive producer of Interstellar, and the author of four books, including the best-selling Black Holes & Time Warps.

Coming up next: Interstellar and Pendulum Clocks

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Zero Theorem

Last entry we talked about psychobiologist and author David Jay Brown, who gave my approach to visualizing the dimensions a very positive mention in his recent textbook The New Science of Psychedelics. This time we're going to talk about a film released this year by Terry Gilliam, who regular readers of the blog will know I'm a huge fan of, and who I had the chance to work with when one of his stranger films, Tideland, was shot here in Saskatchewan in 2006*. Terry's new film, The Zero Theorem, is rooted in a mystery I've talked about many times with this project. Here's one of my videos about this concept: Imagining the 'Zeroth' Dimension.

In The Zero Theorem, Christoph Waltz puts in an electric performance as Qohen Leth, a worker for the mega-corporation Mancom, charged by Management with the dreaded task of proving the Zero Theorem. Here's some dialogue from the film, in which "Bob" (the precocious teenage son of Management) explains to Qohen one version of the solution to the Theorem:

You're trying to prove that the universe is all for nothing.
All matter, all energy, all life, it's just
this one-time-only big bang glitch.
The expanding universe will eventually contract into a 
super-dense black hole. Gravitational forces will be so 
strong that everything will get squeezed into a point of 
zero dimension, and "poof" the center disappears. 
No space, no time, no life, no afterlife, nothing.
Nada, zilch, zip, zero.
Stop! How would anyone believe such a horrible thing?
What's so horrible? I believe it. Nothing's perfect. 
Nothing lasts forever. It's nothing to worry about
if you really think about it.

Near the show's climax, Management appears and explains, in a fashion, why Qohen was assigned the task of proving the Zero Theorem:

Chaos encapsulated. That's all there is at the end,
just as it was at the beginning.
There it is then. You've proved the zero theorem.
Not quite. Mancom is still, as you said, crunching the data.
Why would you want to prove that all is for nothing?
I never said all is for nothing. I'm a businessman,
Mr. Leth. Nothing is for nothing.
There's money in ordering disorder. Chaos pays, Mr. Leth.
Chaos comprises a rich vein of ore that with Mancom's
muscle will be all mine to mine. The saddest aspect of
mankind's need to believe in a God, or to put it another
way, a purpose greater than this life, is that it makes
this life meaningless.

A harsh conclusion? You bet, and this takes us back to another point I mentioned last time: there is a certain mindset which teaches that anyone who believes in free will is being tricked by the chemistry of their body into believing they have control, when in reality every outcome is inevitable. Looking back at our lives, do we see any evidence of multiple outcomes, of cats that are both alive and dead? No, there is only one reality, one possible version set in motion at the beginning of the universe and continuing inexorably to the end.

The counterpoint to that idea, for me, has always been contained within the fifth dimension - the dimension at "right angles" to our 4D space-time, where the multiple outcomes of Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics have room to co-exist. As I mentioned a couple of entries ago, the fact that Christopher Nolan's new film Interstellar also embraces the idea of a fifth spatial dimension (with the approval and support of a mainstream physicist!) is very exciting. 

What's tricky, then, is trying to show that both points of view -- free will vs. the inevitable universe -- are really two ways of viewing the same outcome, the same "enfolded everything" or "ultimate ensemble" that must underlie our reality or any other. Early on in this project I mentioned the fable of the six blind men and the elephant: each touches a different part of the elephant and comes away with a very different impression. The blind men in that story, though, have no pre-conceived notion, they are only reporting their findings. The difference in what we're discussing here is that mindset is the key - if you expect to see free will, that's what you see. If you expect to see an inevitable chain of causality and nothing more, then that's the conclusion you will draw. Both are ways of describing exactly the same thing, even though the two camps are unlikely to acknowledge such a heresy.

I believe that Terry Gilliam's film does a masterful job of showing these two viewpoints, and how accepting that there is something unchanging and everlasting from which our universe or any other is derived does allow us a certain peace, regardless of which viewpoint you subscribe to. Please watch The Zero Theorem and see if you agree.

Next entry we'll do a quick review of The Science of Interstellar, the new book written by Kip Thorne, the famed physicist who acted as a technical advisor to Christopher Nolan's challenging film throughout its creation.

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

*As I've mentioned before, my son Todd and I co-wrote a song that one of the on-screen characters sang in Tideland. My company, Talking Dog Studios, also was in charge of dubbing all of the daily location recordings from Dolby SR to a digital format.

Tenth Dimension Vlog playlist