Sunday, November 18, 2007

Tens, Google and the Expanding Universe

Are we approaching some sort of global shift in consciousness, and could that be triggered from higher dimensions?

2008 will be the tenth anniversary of the surprising announcement that the expansion of our universe is accelerating, an idea that seems counter-intuitive: if our universe started from high energy/high order (the big bang) and is moving towards low energy/low order (maximum entropy), that implies the image of a clockwork toy that is winding down, and that image does not fit with a universe of accelerating expansion.

This month's Scientific American features a great article about "branes" and how the accelerating expansion of the universe may be proof of the existence of higher dimensions (I propose this as a possible explanation in my book as well). The article, by Cliff Burgess and Fernando Quevedo, is called "The Great Cosmic Roller-Coaster Ride": please check it out.

2008 is also the tenth anniversary of Google, the search engine that has changed the way we interact with information more than any other invention in the history of mankind. "Don't be evil" is their unofficial motto, and that's a great one: the power of Google to inform and guide the general public's impression of what ideas are important and what ideas are popular is immense, and the on-going war from get-rich-quick scammers and spammers who try to manipulate Google's search results for their own profit is a huge part of that story.

The Imagining the Tenth Dimension way of visualizing reality can be used to tie all these ideas together. "Information Equals Reality" has been the prime focus for my blog entries in the last few weeks: this basic idea from quantum physics shows us how "everything fits together", and the desire to find a unity within a diverse range of ideas is what this project is all about.

If Information Equals Reality, then absolutely everything about our reality can be thought of as patterns and shapes in the information that is the underlying fabric of quantum indeterminacy. Subatomic particles, fractals, life, consciousness, and our observed universe are all patterns that result from the flip-book of third-dimensional "now"s that we are stringing together from one frame of planck time after another.

In the Imagining the Tenth Dimension animation, sound is an important part of the information being conveyed: for instance, no matter what dimension we are exploring there is the arrow sound effect representing a particular point, a scrape indicating lines being constructed from joining one point to another, and the card-riffling sound effect to show that anything we think of as a continuous line is actually being constructed one point at a time, if we can only look close enough.

Burgess and Quevedo's article explains how our universe might be the result of the interactions of a three-dimensional brane with a seven-dimensional brane, with the ends of certain superstrings constrained by branes they are sliding around within. To use my flipbook analogy, then, we can see how the illusion of continuous reality that we are experiencing is actually a series of 3D states for our 3D universe interacting with a 3D brane, and each observed state is one planck length away from the next: each observed state can be thought of as a page in a gigantic cosmic flipbook. The flipbook from the big bang to "now" appears to be one specific set of flipbook pages (which we think of as the 4D line of time), but each "next available now" page that could possibly be selected for our flipbook comes from a fifth dimensional probability space, and the fifth dimension is where Kaluza proved our reality is defined. Every parallel universe that could have resulted from our big bang, whether it is observed or not, exists as a potential "flipbook" in the sixth dimension, and all of those possible states are locked together by the seventh-dimensional brane our universe is also interacting with.

The idea I advance of our universe's basic physical laws being a result of our specific "location" in the multiverse (as a "point" in the seventh dimension, or as a result of our interaction with a 7D brane), then, can be tied into this concept. As usual, though, I will take pains here to caution readers that I am not claiming my way of visualizing the dimensions is the explanation for string theory, any more than it is the explanation of Kabbalah, zero-point field theory, Japanese anime and videogame plots, metaphysics, or any of the other diverse range of belief systems which fans of the tenth dimension project keep pointing me towards as having interesting resonances with my way of visualizing reality.

From moment to moment, day to day, Google has been tracking the information that makes up our reality for almost ten years. Ideas that can be tracked across time and space are known as "memes", and physical objects that can be tracked across time and space are known as "spimes": which means that the flipbook of "now"s we have imagined from the big bang to today can be thought of as a spime that represents the story of our current universe from its inception... and that idea is a very powerful meme.

I've always marveled at the audacity of Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" button: the idea that out of all the information in the world, Google might be able to show you the very best link of all still seems like mysterious magic to me, and I admit to never wanting to use that button because I like to have choices. Still, the Google toolbar's Suggestions window is a great example of the accelerating information space we live in now: try typing in just the letters of the alphabet one after another into that window, and read the top ten suggestions (there's that number again!) that come up for each. This gives you a snapshot in time of what is important, what is talked about, what is the dominant set of memes within our culture right now. Both memes and spimes are multi-dimensional shapes, each with a beginning and an ending someplace out there in the timeless multiverse.

The feeling that we live in times that are accelerating towards something larger, as a result of the rapidly accelerating meme-space we live in, might be connected to the same higher-dimensional effects that are causing our universe to accelerate its expansion as well: I believe both are eventually going to be shown to be the result and the proof of higher dimensions in the information that is creating our reality.

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton


Lisa M. Gutting said...

Dear Rob,

Thank you for the forum. As always, thought provoking (and isn't that the point of what humans can work toward).


USB500 said...

Hello Rob.

I really enjoyed reading this article, and I was quite surprised (frankly, because I never thought it would be like that) to know it's the 10th anniversary of "the expansion of the accelerating universe". I also enjoyed how you relate most of your articles to Google, especially the mention of meme and I'm Feeling Lucky.

Looking forward to read more of your fabulous entries. Peace.

globetrottr said...

the longer google runs its course, the more we're solidifying our knowledge of life. everythign people can imagine are being arranged nicely on this simple platform.

its like we're better grounding our three dimensions here and, who knows, maybe we'll be able to explore the whatif's - the other possible outcomes of life after the big bang - as well.

with the internet, we're finding truly anything is possible.

great read rob.

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