Sunday, January 14, 2007

Everything Fits Together

What is it that causes ideas to travel across time and space? Is "simultaneous inspiration" just coincidence, or are there mechanisms like the Richard Dawkins system of "memes" that are connecting us all together? If physics allows us to imagine a multiverse of different possible expressions of matter, could there also be a multiverse of memes that we are navigating through as well?

When I first started formulating my ideas for Imagining the Tenth Dimension, I was a lad of seven. It was the end of June, and I was running across a field to tell a nearby neighbor about my report card. At some point, my foot slipped, probably into a gopher hole. I don’t remember now if I actually stumbled and fell, but I have a strong memory of what I felt as I was wrenched down without warning–that at the moment the universe somehow shifted. Over the next few years, as I tried to puzzle out what had happened to me at that moment and why it felt so significant, I gradually began to imagine a “splitting off” that might have happened at that point–that there could be other worlds that now exist where I took a much nastier fall, perhaps ended up in a wheelchair, possibly even died. The idea that I had ended up on one of the more fortuitous paths at that moment out of the many that could have occurred (and, as I later came to believe, actually did occur) became the seed from which my current viewpoint grew.

When my tenthdimension website was launched on June 28 2006, it only took a few days for the internet to find it. On July 4th, the site saw almost 23,000 unique visitors, who were responsible for 452,000 hits, so it was clear that not only were a lot of people visiting, but they were spending a lot of time on the site once they got there. In effect, a new meme, a new mind virus, had been activated, and the strong traffic the site continues to see indicates that people are continuing to enjoy my unique approach to imagining the dimensions.

"Web 2.0" is allowing more and more people to find information and entertainment that appeals to them. Mapping memes across time and space, once the domain of imagination alone, is becoming a reality, as our modern world is allowing more and more people to quickly share new ideas. I am a huge fan of , which I believe is an important starting point for finding even more ways for us to effectively sift and mine the glut of data each of us has the potential to be overwhelmed by, unless tools like this one become prevalent. That "branching off" I was speaking of, then, is something that Web 2.0 is becoming increasingly good at tracking, as it becomes easy for us all to map the group minds of the internet, and to see the important moments when new memes took hold, and where public opinion suddenly shifted.

My song "Everything Fits Together" makes a good introduction to the ideas I am wanting to explore here: there are patterns in our physical universe, and in our mental and spiritual lives as well, that are there if only we can find a way to see them. Even though a multiverse expressing all possible expressions of matter and memes may seem like an extraordinarily extravagant frame for us to hang our reality upon, I believe that is where we are headed.

Enjoy the journey,


A direct link to this video can be found at


Unknown said...

Hi Rob,
I'm one of those people that stumbled onto the tenth dimension early on and loved the animation and ideas instantly. As a studying graphic design student at the Ontario College of Art & Design, the package of these ideas on your site had definitely allowed for some much appreciated intellectual respiration.

I'm here at your blog today because I've just finished reading Charles Seife's "Zero" which I picked up at a local artist's (Robin Pacific) installation, in which she attempted to document the dissemination of her entire life's worth of collected books by providing them for people in the context of a gallery at no charge... Interesting good time.

That being said, I've yet to pick up your book but I certainly will. I'd like very much to know if you give presentations on your book at all? There's a speaker series at OCAD here in Toronto that. as a student, I'd very much like to see you be a part of.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

How are you going to fit the 11th dimension from M-theory into your animation?

Anonymous said...

You only cover 9 spatial dimensions and 1 temporal dimension, yet your website says superstring theory says there are 10 spatial and 1 temporal dimensions, for a grand total of 11, not 10, dimensions. How are you going to fit in the 10th SPATIAL dimension (without time) into your animation? Seems you forgot it...

Rob Bryanton said...

Thanks for the kind words, brock. I've had a few tentative communications about speaking engagements, nothing has actually come through yet. It's interesting, even though the site has been very popular the mainstream press have not taken an interest yet. But hey, it's all just a matter of time, I believe (keeping mind of course, that time is an illusion!).



Rob Bryanton said...

Hi eep,

I hope you understand that I am not trying to offer an explanation for string theory or M-Theory, what I am offering is a way to imagine ten dimensions. As I've said before, perhaps it's just an interesting coincidence that string theory says there are ten dimensions, but it's an interesting coincidence nonetheless. To answer your questions more specifically then:

Since I'm saying that the temporal dimension, the fourth dimension of space-time, actually is the fourth spatial dimension, which we only experience in a limited way because of our unique physiology, that means I'm losing a dimension from the equation by rolling two dimensions into one. If M-Theory says there are ten spatial dimensions plus a temporal dimension, then I am saying there is no need for an 11th dimension because it is one of the ten spatial dimensions in the model I'm proposing.

Thanks for writing,


Tenth Dimension Vlog playlist