Friday, February 15, 2008

Song 15 of 26 - What Was Done Today

The fifteenth of the 26 songs is called "What Was Done Today". Scroll down below the following videos 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

A direct link to the above video is at

A direct link to above video is at

Now we start to get back to the "real" world, the world that all of us live in every day. We've been thinking about all these really-big-picture ideas of the nature of reality, explored dreams of flying and connections across space and time, all part of a grand design of intricate interactions and unimaginable scales that ultimately takes us back to the first song, where we can see that all of it fits together into an underlying fabric of quantum indeterminacy, the enfolded zero of absolute symmetry.

There's a middle section to that first song, "Everything Fits Together", where we hear a repeated chant. Let's review those lyrics:

Soon there’ll come a day when you’ll see the way
And you’ll know (there’s a reason why, there’s a reason why)
And you’ll know (there’s a reason why, there’s a reason why)
There’s a reason why, there’s a reason why
There’s a reason why you feel the way you do
There’s a reason why you do the deeds you do
There’s a reason why you feel the needs you do
There’s a reason why, there’s a reason why
(There’s a reason why, there’s a reason why)
With "What Was Done Today", we return to this complicated idea again. Why is our world the way it is? And more to the point: if we're each a quantum observer creating our own reality (and thoughts become things and like attracts like, etc. etc.), then why are we not all beautiful or powerful or wealthy or healthy, whatever our own particular ultimate-fantasy-life might be?

The answer, I believe, is in the phrase "consensual reality". It relates to the distinction between the multiverse (all possible universes), and the parallel universes related to the spacetime tree of our own particular universe (and the fact that each of those other universes within the multiverse will have their own spacetime tree which is just as real, but separate, distinct, and inaccessible from our own spacetime tree). If each of us is a quantum observer, operating within our own o-region, why does our meandering timeline for each of us within the fifth dimension never wander into one of those other different-initial-conditions universes within the multiverse? It's because our universe is "pinned in place" by a seven-dimensional brane, or in the way of visualizing that we're playing with here, it's because our universe is at a particular position within the seventh dimension.

That position defines, for each of us, the limitations that keep us from moving into those other universes, no matter how much choice, chance, and circumstance come into play. Our "consensual reality" then, is the combined observer effect of every quantum observer within that seventh-dimensional constriction. Each of us has our own observer-region, but we are also part of that shared observer-region that some physicists (John Wheeler, for instance) like to say is the universe observing itself as a "self-exciting circuit". Here are a few blog entries about this idea:

Song 4 of 26 - The Unseen Eye
Is God in the Seventh Dimension?
Boredom and Consciousness Part One

This means, then, that each of us is in a tug-of-war between the constricted choice resulting from our seventh-dimension position, our own free will, and the consequences of other actions that have already happened or that are happening now from our own choices, the choices of others, random chance, and accumulated circumstance. In my book, this complicated interaction is the subject of an entire chapter: "How Much Control Do We Have?".

At the tenth dimension forum, debates about the ramifications of all this have generated tens of thousands of words. Do we even have free will or is that an illusion? Are there deliberate conspiracies that have created horrible imbalances of poverty and wealth, or is this all the result of (as Homer Simpson likes to say) "just a bunch of stuff that happened"? And then we get to an even more startling idea: is our world starting to change as people all over the planet now begin to wake up from their long slumber and realize how much power over their own reality they really have?

Imagining the probability space of possible branches our fourth-dimensional line could select right now from the fifth dimension is something we've talked about many times in this blog, as it's a central idea of the project. With "What Was Done Today", imagining that there are branches no longer available for our current reality (unless we some day figure out how to fold our reality through the sixth dimension, a tall order indeed) is what this song is all about. In various places (the forum, this blog, and in my book) I've portrayed fanciful tales imagining the parallel universes that must exist for our universe where it's 2008 and Elvis Presley or Kurt Cobain are still alive, and how those timelines are not available to us because of events that have already taken place earlier in our spacetime tree, our bush-like-branching structure of choices available to us at both the quantum and the macro level. This song takes that fanciful Kurt/Elvis idea and puts it in a more serious light: there are possibilities that could have existed for our world right now which have been made inaccessible by what has come before... and whether you believe that is the result of the deliberate actions of an influential few, or whether that is the result of "just a bunch of stuff that happened" has more to do with your own point of view than the information at hand.

In song 11, "The Anthropic Viewpoint" I take this idea to an extreme: "here we are in the hydrogen conspiracy, that's the way that it certainly appears to be". With "What Was Done Today" we paint a more realistic picture, but again, whether you believe or don't believe the last stanza about big changes coming in our consensual reality has an awful lot to do with your own point of view. Some people are very excited about "what happens next", which, as we've already explored in these songs, is what life is all about.

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

All the tiny little hurts, All the sad little tales
All the wounds that turned to scars That never went away

All the evil in the world, All the bad turns of fate
All the ignorance and sloth That never let things change

They steal something precious
They open up a hole
In the lines of possibility
To keep us from our goals
They steal something precious
I see it drain away
Tomorrows that can never be
Because of what was done today

Now if all things are possible
It still must be clear
Because of chance or circumstance
Sometimes you can’t get there from here

And it’s nice to have your wishes
And it’s great to have your dreams
But for a starving child in Africa
They hardly mean a thing
How can they mean a thing?

We’ve all got something precious
A wondrous tiny spark
That drives us to continue
And to fight against the dark
But they’re stealin something precious
I see it drain away
Tomorrows that can never be
Because of what was done today

Big Money
Can’t hear you
Big Power
They don’t care
Big reasons
To change the system
Revolution’s in the air

Next song: 16 of 26 - Turquoise and White

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