Saturday, February 23, 2008

Song 23 of 26 - Secret Societies

The twenty-third of the 26 songs is called "Secret Societies". Scroll down below the following video for the lyrics and a brief discussion of how this song ties into the project. A blog post which lists all 26 songs, including 1 video for each song can be found by clicking here.

A direct link to the above video is at

Here we have a little more fun with the idea that was dealt with in song 15, "What Was Done Today" (has our current world been created by "just a bunch of stuff that happened", or by deliberate manipulation?), and by extension song 11, "The Anthropic Viewpoint" ("Here we are in the Hydrogen Conspiracy"). Here's a couple of excerpts from my book where I touch upon this idea, first from chapter six:

Conspiracy theorists should love the anthropic viewpoint, because it implies that a very specific set of choices have been made to get us to the reality we currently live in. The reason certain families have money and power, the reason certain societies have been able to exert control over our destinies, is because of a long list of backroom deals and hidden skulduggery leading back through the ages. The fact that human beings evolved to become the dominant species might be a result of the “Secret Plan for the Advancement of Mammals”. The fact that hydrogen became the most common element in our universe is, of course, because of the “Great Hydrogen Conspiracy”, which stretches back to a mere 380,000 years after the Big Bang, when atoms first started to form. And most mysterious of all, the fact that Dark Matter and Dark Energy are by far the most predominant forms in the universe may be part of a plot that stretches out much further than our own Big Bang! In all of these examples, the anthropic viewpoint tells us that there are other universes where those conspiracies failed, and other factions rose to dominance. We just don’t happen to be in those universes.
And from chapter 11:
From dimensions seven through nine, we find the other physically incompatible universes which physicists have told us must also exist. These are the universes in which other big-picture memes will have risen to dominance, and there would be particular universes for which certain memes will have a strong affinity. Like the child who takes joy in knocking over a tower of blocks, or a person taking joy in blowing things up or shooting them, there would be a universe just made for the memes that prefer destruction over creation. There would also be universes where very little changes over eternity, and the memes that are drawn to stability at all costs would naturally tend to interact with those physical universes. The fact that our consciousness tends to block out things that don’t change would seem to be a clue about how much the “stability at all costs” meme holds sway in the universe we are living in at this moment.

In our discussion of the anthropic viewpoint, we suggested somewhat in jest that conspiracy theorists should love its implications. Now we’re looking at an interpretation where we’re giving that idea some more weight: there really are other universes where other big-picture memes have “gotten their way”. To the extent that any conspiracy can also be looked at as being just a description of the chain of events that led to a certain outcome, we can apply that same thinking to our own universe that we’re in, and to the other universes we’re not.

words and music (c) by Rob Bryanton (SOCAN)
(originally written for Globe Theatre’s Resuscitation of a Dying Mouse, 1986)

I believe in secret societies and underground confederacies
That move in my life
I believe in sisterly sororities and brotherly fraternities
And they’re part of my life

And there are signals, and there are signs
Right before us all the time
But we stumble deaf and blind
Cause we never realize

There are wheels that turn, that we never see
There are eyes that are watchin you and me
There are tears people cry cause they’ll never be free
Trapped in the arms of a secret society

I believe the guy sittin next to me waits for a sign from me
To show him I know
What he needs, or maybe what I need from him, but he won’t ever let me in
It’s a common tableau

Yes it happens all the time
We’re all sendin out signs
Cause we all need to know
Who are friends are, who’s the foe

Cause there are deals that are struck that play with our dreams
And there are figures who move in places unseen
And pinocchios who dance as if they live and breathe
Tugged from above by a secret society

Oh, I believe it’s true

Other blog entries that touch upon the ideas from this song:
FAQ 12 - Is this about consciousness and the quantum observer?
How to Make a Universe
Facebook and Secret Societies
Conspiracies and Quantum Mechanics
The Anthropic Viewpoint

Next song: 24 of 26 - See No Future

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