Thursday, December 6, 2007

Reviews of Imagining the Tenth Dimension

(Update: an additional blog entry listing more reviews from Amazon.com can be read in this May 2008 blog entry, and author/scientist David Jay Brown provided a very favorable review which you can read in this August 2008 entry.)

Despite a growing audience of visitors to the tenth dimension website (which is now at over two million hits per month!), this project continues to fly under the radar of the mainstream press. The only exception to that so far is the article several months ago in "What Is Enlightenment?" magazine by associate editor Tom Huston: here is a link to a downloadable pdf of that article.

Meanwhile, here in the world of the internet, millions of people have seen and enjoyed the introductory animation, which is based upon chapter one of the book. Since much of the book is based upon the concept of memes (ideas that rise and fall and connect across time and space) and how that relates to the reality we are experiencing, it's been interesting to track the memes that have risen and fallen over the last year and a half since this project vaulted to popularity as a result of a couple of thousand diggs in July 2006, and again in December 2006.

Here's a snapshot of the memes that have risen and fallen around this project since it was launched:
- July 2006 - website and book become popular around the world. Most common memes are "this is mind blowing", and "this is not what mainstream science teaches" (both of which I believe are valid)
- September 2006 - Lee Smolin's "The Trouble With Physics" and Peter Woit's "Not Even Wrong" become popular. In the mainstream press it becomes fashionable to dismiss any discussion of higher dimensions, since they are unimaginable and undetectable. Interest in this project plateaus for a few months.
- December 2006 - website becomes popular on digg a second time, audience for the project grows.
- February 2007 - John Brownlee, in his blog at Wired.com, calls our animation "absolutely fargin' incredible" (thanks John!). Interest in the book and the project take another leap forward.
- March 2007 - some negative reviews of the book appear at Amazon.com . This book, called "Imagining" the Tenth Dimension, "a new way of thinking" about time and space, and described in the accompanying text as "not about mainstream science, but rather a mind-expanding journey that will change the way you view the incredible universe in which we live", receives these negative reviews because it is not about the current teachings of mainstream science. Huh? Despite the book having at least as many positive reviews as negative, visitors to Amazon have given more "helpful" votes to the negative reviews (not surprisingly), so those are the ones you are now first shown by Amazon.
- April 2007 - the extremely positive review of this book and the project appears in the April-June issue of "What Is Enlightenment?" magazine.
- June 2007 - Clive Thompson, in his gaming blog at Wired.com, gives us a nice mention in an article about games that stretch reality. As with previous mentions by websites such as Entertainment Weekly, Network World, and Dvorak Uncensored, new people are introduced to the site.
- July 2007 - the project launches a new chat page which, after a month or two of experimentation, settles upon a format incorporating live or recorded video of the author and guests using UStream.tv, a chat room associated with UStream visitors, and a second Meebo chat room which includes the ability to share URLs and YouTube movies in a thumbnail-ordered viewer, with the text from the Meebo chat room being also added to the live or recorded video from UStream, using a wonderful (and free) program for the Mac called CamTwist. Persons wanting a simpler (non-interactive) experience can watch at tenthdimension.tv .
- August to December 2007 - month after month, the audience coming to the Tenth Dimension website grows. Due to popular demand, the project opens a Digital Items store, offering high-resolution versions of the animation which continues to blow minds around the world, plus mp3s of some of the songs associated with the project, plus a pdf of the book. All materials are released under a Creative Commons license: because, despite what the naysayers say, this project is not a scam to try to get you to buy a book or a t-shirt: it's about a new set of ideas that are rising in popularity around the world.

The animation speaks for itself - people love it (or hate it), but a growing number of people continue to be attracted to it. The songs are available as videos for free from revver.com or on youtube, or higher quality versions can be purchased as mp3s from our digital items store. The book, on the other hand, does not speak for itself so easily, despite being easily searchable on Google Books. Here, then, is a compendium of brief quotes from various places around the net about this book.

"A fascinating excursion into the multiverse--clear, elegant, personal, and provocative" - Hugo and Nebula award-winning author Greg Bear

"Brilliant and unexpected... written in an easy to read style... gets your mind expanding in all the most satisfying directions." D. Richards, review on Amazon.com

"It is refreshing to read a book that is about considering a variety of perspectives - 'scientifically proven' or not." LJB, review on Amazon.ca

"In an easily readable style he has boldly taken us past the fourth dimension through to the tenth employing an understandable logic based on geometric considerations. There is no mind-boggling mathematics and there is a distinct absence of the crank/crackpot style; each step along the way is carefully developed in a sequential manner accompanied by readily understandable diagrams." Richard Ruff, review on Amazon.com

"There are times when those in academia are right to be critical of poorly conceived ideas but there are also times when such criticism only inhibits new ways of seeing. This book conveys a very different and unique way of looking at the universe." Joseph Moore, review on Amazon.com

"the simplicity of Bryanton's ten-dimensional model is striking... purely speculative... but built on logical consistency..." Tom Huston, in What is Enlightenment? magazine

"Your view of time as the dimension above the one from which one is viewing is very compelling." Coert van Gemeren, on the tenthdimension.com forum

"Excellent structured bridge between geometry and metaphysics. Read it, it's good for ya." W. Kasper, review on Amazon.com

"an imaginative and strangely 'musical' way of imagining superimposed dimensions... it is also pleasurable to read." K. Flekkoy, review on Amazon.com

"I highly recommend this book to anyone that is interested in learning about some of the most complex concepts in modern science in a fun and revolutionary way. You will not be disappointed." David Levy, review on Amazon.com

"Without being too technical, he correlates properties of the unfolding dimensions with predictions and outcomes of modern physics, especially quantum mechanics. Philosophical implications are explored along the way." Richard Ruff, review on Amazon.com

"freshly imaginative, entertaining and challenging... caused me to move beyond my comfort zone..." David J. Zimmer, review on BarnesAndNoble.com

"Many people in academia initially shy away from this kind of new approach, but the way the dimensions expand then fold back inward into an indefinite point is consistent with holographic enfoldment ideas from people such as the famous physicist David Bohm and science writer Micheal Talbot." Joseph Moore, review on Amazon.com

"Imagining the Tenth Dimension is a wonderful book that helped me thinking 'outside of the box' and taught me many complex concepts in a fun and easy to understand way. Bryanton's way of thinking is easy to follow and his explanations make a lot of sense to to scientists, philosophers and to the average reader alike." David Levy, review on Amazon.com

"This book is excellent for a reader looking to expand their horizon on something more than what is in front of them. It gives you an opportunity to think of all the possibilities you have in life. " C. Leonard, review on Amazon.com

"...covers alternate dimensions/realities, interesting read, very smooth and eye opening." livejournal entry by spaminator3000

"If you are a practicing mainstream physicist this book may well be frustrating in its easy embrace of unconventional notions..." LJB, review on Amazon.ca

"it's expanding worldviews, blowing minds, and provoking plenty of philosophical and spiritual inquiry as well." Tom Huston, in What is Enlightenment? magazine

"Having just finished your book, I must say you have managed to present the material in a uniquely fresh way." Coert van Gemeren, on the tenthdimension.com forum

"For the more mathematically and physics-minded amongst you, the challenge is to subject Rob Bryanton's ideas to scrutiny - he has an excellent blog site for such feedback and discussion." Richard Ruff, review on Amazon.com

"a philosophical journey into what multidimensional space can mean to the 3 dimensional self... a book that will open your mind..." D. Richards, review on Amazon.com

"I just got done reading your book. I have to say it was awesome... parts literally made me stand up out of my chair." 16 year old Nick K, on the tenthdimension.com forum

"Bryanton appears to be one very scientifically and philosophically astute musician who knows a lot of stuff about a lot of things." LJB, review on Amazon.ca

"the method of synthesizing every conceivable universe into a final tenth dimension wields considerable strength." Joseph Moore, review on Amazon.com

"...manages to make sense out of more mysteries than any one theory should justly be able to handle." Tom Huston, in What is Enlightenment? magazine

"Imagining the Tenth Dimension: A New Way of Thinking About Time and Space has at long last provided a framework in which the bigger picture, for me at least, makes intuitive and scientific sense. Stick with the logic and you too should be rewarded with an "Ahah!" experience. I felt the dots were joined and the gaps filled in my own personal ponderings on higher dimensions and the sense of satisfaction was not just restricted to the scientific side of me. My background is in the physical sciences and having read the book twice, I am yet to find any weaknesses in the proposals." Richard Ruff, review on Amazon.com


Again, if someone is confused about whether I'm pretending to be a physicist after all this, then I'm afraid you're just not paying attention! I'm a composer, who has written a large number of songs and a book, all built around a "new way of thinking about time and space" which we're playing with in this project: and while there are many ideas taken from mainstream physics and cosmology, this is better thought of as a creative exploration that blends together science, philosophy, spirituality, and metaphysics. Part of its problem, I believe, is that it is such a wide-ranging exploration that it is hard for the mainstream press to decide how to describe what's happening here. Even just within the science world, it blends too many competing schools of thought together: for instance, David Deutsch doesn't believe his bush-like branching structure is in the fifth dimension, even though that fits so nicely with the "branching" idea from the fourth to the fifth dimension as I portray it. Quantum physics doesn't require higher dimensions, it just requires an unobserved fabric of "information", which is how I describe the tenth dimension in isolation from the others. String theorists don't believe our universe is a "point" in the seventh dimension, although they do say our universe is the result of a seven-dimensionsal brane interacting with a three dimensional brane. String theory doesn't equate the bush-like branching structure of probabilistic outcomes with the fifth dimension's "curled up at the planck length" description they use... again, even though imagining that our 4D line of time is being constructed from available branches one planck length at a time allows us to easily visualize how such a thing could be possible.

And of course, many mainstream scientists are dismissive of any way of describing reality that also incorporates other more metaphysical/spiritual ideas into the equation, which are the parts of this discussion we haven't even touched upon here.

In the meantime though, the internet continues to be its own universe, and the number of people being drawn to this site from around the world, through their connections to each other, through the ideas we're exploring here, and the growing feeling that our world is changing, is very exciting. Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton
Imagining the Tenth Dimension

2 comments:

Carl Schroeder said...

PS – I think I came across too harsh in my last comment, so you can add this is a postscript. Actually I totally relate to what you’re doing as an artist thinker, and you seem like a really nice guy and I listened to some of your songs and they had a lot of heart. You’ve done a lot of great work in following your ideas and inspiration, I’m impressed with your website and video and self-published book, which I may yet read if I can find a less expensive copy. If you read some of my thinking on dimensions, you’d probably be critical of me and the tables would be turned. I have recurring guides in my dreams and out of body experiences, and I have friends who see fairies for real, so I’m trying to figure out what these things are and where they come from. I also have a scientific mind and I know what I don’t know, which is a lot, ha! I was wondering if you read any theosophy, if you try to relate your dimensional levels to the chakras or planes which are physical/etheric, astral, mental, causal, buddhic, nirvanic, monadic. There’s your seven dimensional point perhaps (there are lots of reasons why seven is an important number, including steps of a process). Anyway, have fun, good luck, monad bless, stuff like that. :)

PREVIOUS POST:
I'm an amateur who likes to think about dimensions too, and I've been reading up on the subject. Your approach is kind of weird, like a theory for what string theory means. String theory might not even explain reality, since just because an extended imaginary mathematical model works doesn't mean the model is still connected to reality. Your intuitive explanation for dimensions might not even be connected to the math which might not even be connected to reality. You'd almost be better off to use different terminology and be strictly philosophical. So
here's a test of your theory - your theory predicts that there is nothing beyond 10 dimensions, ten covers the infinity of the infinity of infinity, or something like that. But that's not true, people smarter than you or me are using M-theory which has 11 dimensions. It must mean something, and unfortunately you don't understand them, though they claim to understand you. So if you want to be logical and defensible, you need to explain how your theory meets that reality or fix it or scrap it. What's your answer? Please note that I'm not just trying to knock you, I seriously want to know what you think. You do have some interesting ideas and a knack for analogies. -- good luck!

Rob Bryanton said...

Hi Carl, thanks for the extensive notes. Your question about the eleventh dimension is dealt with a number of times in my blog, in my book, and at the tenth dimension forum. You might want to check out the tenth dimension FAQ, question 4 is specifically about M-Theory.
www.tenthdimension.com/faq

Thanks for writing!

Rob

Tenth Dimension Vlog playlist