Poll 71: "In the June issue of Scientific American, it said this: 'A function of space plays the role of time. So even though the system as a whole is timeless, the individual pieces are not'. Do you agree with this statement?" Poll ended Sept 14 2010 73.3% were in agreement, while the remaining 26.7% were not.
It's interesting to me that this phrase was accepted by such a large percentage of visitors to this blog, while similar or related proposals in past poll questions have appeared to be more contentious. This dichotomy between thinking of time as a direction, a way of describing change from state, within a larger realm of timelessness is at the center of my approach to visualizing the dimensions. Last week, in Bees and Tangential Thinking, we talked about Stephen Hawking's proposal that there is another kind of time that is at "right angles" to our spacetime. I agree with that idea but again and again I'm confronted with people who are confused about time, spacetime, and how that relates to the fourth spatial dimension. The word "time" has many interpretations! This Scientific American quote that we looked at in this poll question is one way to ease people into the idea that time is a direction, not a dimension, and that time's opposite direction, anti-time, is just as valid within the underlying fabric of reality.
As I like to say, thinking of time without anti-time is like thinking of up without down or forward without backward: you need to consider the two opposing directions to be thinking about a spatial dimension, and thinking about what's beyond the fourth spatial dimension requires tangential thinking.
Poll 72: "Simulism: would you live your life any differently if you knew the reality you're seeing around is really just a gigantic virtual simulation?" Poll ended October 3 2010. 59.4% said yes, and 40.6% said no.
Another completely different example of tangential thinking. People love to play with these "nested Russian dolls" concepts: what if my reality is a dream of some other reality? What if our universe comes from a black hole in another universe, which comes from another black hole, and so on?
In my blog entry on Nassim Haramein, we looked at similar recursive ideas. As part of one of his presentations, Nassim shows clips from a couple of movies: the opening sequence of "Contact", and the ending of "Men in Black", both of which give us graphic ways of visualizing a universe that is embedded in other universes. I've remarked in my book and my blog that the "universe embedded in a rose in an abandoned parking lot" idea from Stephen King's Dark Tower series is another interesting fictional portrayal of this recursive/fractal idea.
But with Simulism, we're generally talking about something that is a more deliberate construct, as opposed to something that just "happened" as a result of the naturally occurring fabric of reality. In chapter four of my book I said this:
From the binary viewpoint, the tenth dimension becomes like the hugest computer memory in the world, containing every possible “0” and “1” that could be combined together to describe every possible universe. The “holodeck” of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame started out as a “simple” virtual reality simulator, but as the writers developed the series, its power appeared to grow to the point where entire universes could be created within its walls. How would a person’s life inside such a world be different from a life in the real world? The somewhat confusing Matrix Trilogy started out with the same clear and profound concept–our experience inside a system capable of simulating every aspect of reality would, to our senses, be indistinguishable from the experience of actual reality.Which leads us back to the poll question: if you were shown incontrovertible proof today that you are living in a simulation, a virtual world, would you change the way you behaved? 59% said they would change. Fascinating! I want to know more, so a new poll question is running here now to ask people how they would change.
Poll 73: "It turns out that in a certain way the 'Geocentric Model' really was correct - in a very real sense, each of us is an observer at the exact center of our very own version of the space-time universe." Poll ended October 24, 2010. 85.3% agreed, and only 14.6% disagreed.
Think about this question in terms of the previous poll question. If you are an observer, piloting your focused consciousness attached to this collection of atoms and molecules that you call your body as you ride the entropy-driven arrow of time, how much control do you have?
The answer, I hope you'll agree, is more than most of us have been trained to believe. In Changing Reality, we looked at some of the new scientific evidence to support this idea. Here's the video for that entry:
A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCJLRrFTX3Q
Enjoy the journey!
Next: Polls Archive 53 to 73