Thursday, November 8, 2007

Vibrations and Energy

Last blog I explored one of the key ideas behind quantum physics: "Information Equals Reality". As I often do, I started with that basic hard science fact and then ran with it far past the edges of where most mainstream scientists would be comfortable, taking it through the ideas of Richard Dawkins and on out into the metaphysical fringe. Why do I keep doing that? Why do I suggest that there should ever be any links between reality as depicted by mainstream science and, for instance, ancient philosophy? Well, as I often say, I'm not a physicist and I'm not pretending to be one: as long as fans of the tenth dimension project understand that we're exploring ideas that are beyond the periphery of the mainstream, just for the joy of playing with ideas, then speaking personally I see nothing wrong with getting creative.

Persons who criticize this project because it's not about what is currently being taught in mainstream physics, then, are totally missing the point. As it says on the back of my book, this is "a mind-expanding exercise that could change the way you view this incredible universe in which we live". You might as well walk into your favorite bookstore and level the same criticism at almost every book in the place - "these books are not about mainstream physics, they don't claim to be about mainstream physics, so I'm going to criticize them because they're not about mainstream physics!" - what a strange line of reasoning to pursue.

Now, here's a link to a serious physics blog called "The Reference Frame", which showed its readers my introductory animation last week. The blog is hosted by Luboš Motl from the Czech Republic, and he describes his blog this way: "The most important events in our and your superstringy Universe as seen from a conservative physicist's viewpoint".

I'm grateful to Luboš for giving his serious physics readers a chance to see and comment on my fanciful way of imagining the dimensions, and for his generosity in calling it a "fun clip". The comments were plentiful, some from those who appreciated my intentions, but a number were critical. Let me quote from the very first comment, posted by "Bee":

I've seen that before... Well, I guess it depicts problems one runs into with higher dimensional mind maps :) Either way, if I recall the ads on the website correctly it was a pseudo-scientific explanation of 'how you can influence your future and be happy ever after', obviously only if you buy this book, or purchase this CD or whatever. This is in a certain sense the saddest outcome of scientific research I can imagine. Being abused to sell crap.

Here is a note I posted there, not specifically in response to Bee's comment above, but in recognition that she set the tone for those comments that were the most negatively disposed:

Hi, I'm the guy who created this video. I have always been careful to say that my video is not the accepted explanation for string theory (as per the text at the end of the animation). Also, if you visit the tenth dimension website you will easily find a "Preamble" and a "Forum" link where I immediately make it clear what the intent of this project is: a discussion of a new set of ideas, some of which are connected to mainstream physics and some of which are connected to philosophy, and many of which attempt to straddle both worlds.
My book is called "Imagining" the Tenth Dimension, subtitled "A New Way of Thinking" About Time and Space, and the description at online bookstores says "not about mainstream physics": I really don't know how I could make this more clear.
Am I one of those crazy people who think that there is ultimately going to be an explanation for the universe that encompasses the multiverse, string theory, quantum mechanics, memes, ancient philosophy, and the "observer" role our consciousness plays in all this? Yup, that's me. But I'm not a physicist, I'm a composer, and this project for me started as a set of 26 songs I had written about my intuitions as to how this all fits together. The booklet I started to write to accompany the CD became the popular book my website is promoting.
I welcome all the comments above from people who have criticisms of my ideas and the way I present them: because that's what I'm interested in, the discussion of ideas. My project does seem to have struck some sort of chord with people, as the tenth dimension website continues to attract an average of over 1.7 million hits per month...

Meanwhile, I have my own hopes that the many science-curious kids and teens out there who watch my video and find it fascinating will find they like thinking about those "really big picture" ideas, and follow the links I regularly provide to books by the mainstream experts from cosmology and quantum mechanics on these topics.

I do find Bee's comment about this being "a pseudo-scientific explanation of 'how you can influence your future and be happy ever after'" to be interesting: pseudo-scientific is fair enough, since I'm not a scientist and I'm presenting new ideas, but there's actually very little of what she calls "happy ever after" talk in this blog, in my book, or on the tenth dimension website. Nonetheless, I find it hard to imagine how anyone can argue with simple statements like "attitude affects outcome". Is it really pseudo-scientific to say that a negative/depressed mindset causes people to choose less favorable paths for themselves, and a positive outlook causes people to make more optimistic choices? What is so dangerous about expressing simple and self-evident ideas like these? Still... if, as David Deutsch's team at Oxford have now proven, the branching possibilities of choice, chance, and circumstance can be equated with the wave functions of quantum mechanics, then all I am suggesting here is that for each of us our choices are selected from the available probability space, which I believe is an obvious outcome of the Deutsch team's proof.

Last blog I talked about the energy/matter dichotomy, and how the quantum mechanics idea of "Information Equals Reality" allows us to see not just how great art and music can be plugged into this way of imagining, but also how metaphysical ideas like auras and vibrations could be seen as patterns within the Information that is ultimately our reality. My song "Positive Vibes" takes that pseudo-scientific hippy-dippy idea and frames it within the context of my way of imagining the dimensions.

A link to this video can be found at

words and music (c) by Rob Bryanton (SOCAN)

Positive vibes, I will be sending
Positive vibes your way
Sure can’t hurt, and it just might help
To send you positive vibes - every day

And isn’t it a mystery
How it all goes together
Looking back through history
Have you ever wondered whether
When a country falls
Or somebody succeeds
What was causin it all
Was it just their deeds?
Or was there something more in behind?

Positive vibes, I will be sending
Positive vibes your way
Sure can’t hurt, and it just might help
To send you positive vibes - every day

Not tryin to get all mystical
But I’ve always had a suspicion
That there’s more than just the physical
Hidden in the composition
Of the things we do
What we think and feel
I believe it’s true
I believe it’s real
That we can help to make things all right

With positive vibes, I will be sending
Positive vibes your way
Sure can’t hurt, and it just might help
To send you positive vibes - every day

There are things that we can never know
There are places we can never go
There are things we have to just believe
And this is what works for me:

Positive vibes, I will be sending
Positive vibes your way
Sure can’t hurt, and it just might help
To send you positive vibes - every day

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton


cb said...

I personally enjoy the ideas you present, because personally, I agree, it's fun just to "think about" them :) You're not alone, as I'm sure you know, in thinking information becomes reality and that the positive and negative attitudes as you refer to them can in deed create your future circumstance to some degree. These ideas are presented in depth in the classic book, "As a Man Thinketh" by James Allen.
I appreciate that you are willing to make connections between disciplines as I too, personally believe it is all connected as are we. Have you heard of the Institute of Heartmath or the Global Coherence Intiative?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Sincerely

Rob Bryanton said...

Well thank you, Chelsea, your kind words mean a lot to me! I've not heard of "As a Man Thinketh" before, I'll have to do some research on that one, thanks for mentioning it.

Tenth Dimension Vlog playlist