Thursday, April 30, 2009

WWF Augmented Reality

We've been playing with Augmented Reality here at Talking Dog Studios for several months now, starting to get client interest but I can't show you any demos until their projects are launched. Back in March, in More on Augmented Reality I showed some of the video demos of other people's Augmented Reality projects, and I told you about the Doritos Canada contest entry we put together that features an augmented reality mascot bursting out of the bag. Two weeks ago I told you about the coincidence that Doritos Brazil has just launched a campaign using a similar idea. To be clear, I'm not suggesting Doritos Brazil stole our idea, big ad campaigns generally take months to put together, so they were most likely well into their project when we put up our suggestion for Doritos Canada, as it was only a month before their launch.

Meanwhile, what people are achieving with Augmented Reality continues to leap forward. Check out this new ad campaign the World Wildlife Foundation is now running in China, which features a cute teddy bear interacting with any environment you happen to point your phone camera at:

A direct link to the above video is at

Here's an amazing magic sequence that shows some excellent sleight of hand combined with some ambitious augmented reality:

A direct link to the above video is at

As you can see, these types of presentations really take on additional life when what you're seeing is directly overlaid with the AR. Heads up displays for giving directions while driving, for instance, should be much safer when the directions are superimposed upon the real world rather than appearing in a little monitor in your dashboard:

A direct link to the above video is at

With those applications in mind, we're very interested to see this product when it comes out this fall:

Check out the specs for these at

But even holding a smart phone in your hand and being able to point it at any object so that it becomes your "second set of eyes" has many exciting possibilities. Watch this video and think about how much of a boon this will be for the visually impaired, or even as part of the real-time input to an Artificial Intelligence system:

A direct link to the above video is at

Here's another interesting demo showing an augmented reality experiment designed to test people's fear response to what the AR overlay is showing them:

A direct link to the above video is at

If you compare these demos to the ones I posted in March and in January, you might see why I find this technology so exciting - the possibilities are opening up so quickly!

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

Next: Mindwalk and Twitter

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Polls Archive 35 - Do We Come From a 5D Hologram?

A direct linke to the above video is at

Poll Question 35 - "Our 4D universe comes from a 5D hologram." Poll ended March 10 2009. 71% agreed, while the remainder disagreed.

This poll question connects to two blog entries published in January. The first, "Slices of Reality" talked about interference patterns and provided a fascinating visualization of just such a pattern that resulted from the unique way an iPhone takes its pictures. The blog entry that followed, "The Holographic Universe", talks about the exciting new evidence from the GEO600 project that appears to confirm one of the central ideas my project is based upon: our reality is not continuous. Rather, it is divided into planck-unit sized "frames" of space-time. Some people look at this and presume it only refers to the planck length, 10 to the minus 35 meters, but that's only a measurement of 3D space. A 4D "frame" of space-time has length, width, depth, and duration, and its size in all four dimensions is determined by Planck's Constant. Understanding this immediately gives us a way to understand the string theory idea that our experience of the fifth dimension and above is "curled up at the planck length" - it's because of the granular nature of space-time, which means we can only view the fifth dimension through these planck unit sized "grains" of spacetime which occur one after another on our 4D line of time, giving us the illusion of the continuously existing reality we see around us.

There's much more to discuss about all this, please read my entry The Holographic Universe for more. Or, here are the "vlog" versions of those two entries, and these are part of a collection of over 200 videos I've posted over at my youtube channel.

Slices of Reality:

A direct link to the above video is at

The Holographic Universe:

A direct link to the above video is at

Enjoy the journey, one frame at a time!

Rob Bryanton

Next: WWF Augmented Reality

Friday, April 24, 2009

Polls Archive 34 - God? Or the Multiverse?

A direct link to the above video is at

Poll Question 34 - "Do you believe in God? Or the Multiverse?" Poll ended February 25 09. Interestingly, this poll saw the most participants so far of any of the polls we've had here: it seems people have strong opinions whenever the word "God" comes up in a question. 13% picked "God" as their answer, 32% for "Multiverse", 14% for "Neither", and 39% picked the most popular answer, "Both".

In Polls Archive 27, in which we discussed the question of whether there is really only one electron since they are all completely identical, we talked a bit about recent news items like the following, which suggest we may have to choose between "God or the Multiverse". Here's the opening two paragraphs of Mark Vernon's article, which appeared in the December 8 '08 issue of

Is there a God or a multiverse? Does modern cosmology force us to choose? Is it the case that the apparent fine-tuning of constants and forces to make the universe just right for life means there is either a need for a "tuner" or else a cosmos in which every possible variation of these constants and forces exists somewhere?

This choice has provoked anxious comment in the pages of this week's New Scientist. It follows an article in Discover magazine, in which science writer Tim Folger quoted cosmologist Bernard Carr: "If you don't want God, you'd better have a multiverse."
Just ten days ago, the same conversation was brought up again in a New York Times opinion piece called "God and the Multiverse".

This is a good question, but a complicated one. There's a 45 minute interview on YouTube where Tom Huston, one of the editors of What is Enlightenment magazine, discusses similar questions with me:
A direct link to the above video is at

In the above interview I explain how I believe that there are selection patterns that created our universe, which depending upon your point of view are God, or just naturally occurring patterns that exist within timelessness, and in that sense I am thinking of a God that fits in with "deism". Our universe is so amazing, huge, complex, detailed, unlikely, that even if we don't ascribe consciousness to those selection patterns they are still something so humbling and intricate that they're worthy of our gratitude and praise.

Unlikely Events and Timelessness

A direct link to the above video is at

I also believe that consciousness is connected together in ways we can't directly see from down here in spacetime, and that connectedness is something that some people think of as God. So phrases like "I am an aspect of God" or "God is in me" make sense within that context. Douglas Hofstadter's book "I am a Strange Loop" and Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor's book "My Stroke of Insight" both tie very easily to that concept as well.

Daily Parrying:

A direct link to the above video is at

I Know You, You Know Me:

A direct link to the above video is at

You are Me and We are All Together:

A direct link to the above video is at

As I say in my entry "Daily Parrying", though, this doesn't really support the idea of a God who you can pray to and He will make the other football team lose and your team win just because that's what you asked Him for. I talk about this in my book:
The reader may notice here that it would be very easy to substitute “God” or “The Creator” in place of “the observer” in the above paragraphs. In fact, if the reader is comfortable with the concept of each of us being an expression of God, “created in His/Her image”, each with a holy spark within, then the two viewpoints are quite compatible. On the other hand though, the image of a God who is separate from, standing in judgment of, and meting out punishment to us all is much less compatible. What we are describing here is a reality where each of us is creating an expression of a specific aspect inferred within the “white noise” of the tenth dimension through our individual roles as quantum observers. If the reader finds it easier to accept the phrase “I am an aspect of God” than they do the previous sentence, then they should feel free to use that as their jumping off point instead. As we discussed before, the tenth dimension as we are conceptualizing it here is really the boring part of our discussion, because it simultaneously contains all possibilities. If we choose to imagine a Creator-God who is manifesting Himself/Herself through each one of us, we are imagining an observer who is cutting cross-sections out of the tenth dimension to examine the much more interesting and highly detailed subsets of reality which are contained within the dimensions below.
God 2.0:

A direct link to the above video is at

With this project, I've been trying to show people that there are ways of aligning a spiritual viewpoint with the traditionally atheistic scientific viewpoint. If I say "I believe in God" that immediately creates an image in someone else's mind which may be completely different from what I'm trying to convey, so I tend to not want to say things as simply as that. To finish, here's a song that says whether you believe we come from God or the multiverse, there is still something amazing, complex, and wonderful about the universe in which we live: "Thankful".

A direct link to the above video is at

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

Next: Polls Archive 35 - Do We Come From a 5D Hologram?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Polls Archive 33 - Could I Meet My Incarnation?

A direct link to the above video is at

Poll 33 - "If, as Einstein said, the distinction between past present and future is only an illusion, then I could meet another incarnation of myself right now." Poll ended February 12, 2009 - 54% agreed while the remainder disagreed.

Last poll, I remarked upon how instructive these polls can be for me - for instance, I would have thought the idea that "time is a direction, not a dimension" would have gotten a lot of people to agree, since it's central to this way of visualizing reality, but that poll came in with very similar results to this current one. On the other hand, I would have thought that the idea that one could meet an incarnation of themselves right now would have seen more disagreement, since this is one of the more unusual ideas from my project. 54% of the visitors to this forum are willing to agree with that notion? I'm pleasantly surprised.

This is one of those ideas that occurred to me many years ago as an extension to my way of visualizing the dimensions of reality stacked one upon another, a concept that I had been showing to anyone who would listen for the last twenty-five years or so. Back in 2002, I wrote about 50 songs that explored the tangents that come from this way of visualizing reality, with the plan that I would pick my favorites and record a CD. I was also thinking that I would write a little booklet to accompany the CD in which I would explain how this "new way of thinking about time and space" tied all of the songs together.

When I actually got around to writing the CD booklet in 2005, it grew to 220 pages, and that "new way of thinking" eventually became my popular 11-minute animation which has been seen by millions of people around the world. Since the book's publication in 2006 my songs have become somewhat secondary to the project, which is fine, but I believe there are still ways that song lyrics can make these ideas more accessible. One of the 26 songs I attached to this project is called "Connections". The last verse of that song went like this:

I think I met myself today
I think I saw my eyes
Another me in another body
Livin another life
Likewise, with my song "Burn the Candle Brightly", I was thinking about the patterns representing us that carry on after death:
So when this journey is over
And that beautiful spark is finally gone
We can see that the vessel is empty
But we know that the light carries on
... and my song "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" also talks about this idea from the first person perspective:
Now I lay me down to sleep
To rest my weary head
If I should die in slumber deep
Remember what I said

It’s not the end of the world
It’s not the end of the dream
It’s just the end of a body
Not the end of a soul
One of the books I've referred to a number of times in this blog is Douglas Hofstadter's "I Am a Strange Loop". Let me quote a few paragraphs from this enlightening and inspiring book, much of which is about the structures and forms that create the mysterious "I" of consciousness. In the latter part of the book, though, he expands these ideas into what it means to have a representation of other people - your spouse, your children, your parents, a very close friend - held within those same structures. Specifically, how much of that can be thought of as being an actual part of what it is that makes that person uniquely who they are? And if any part can be thought of in that way to any degree, then what happens when the real person dies? Hofstadter writes:
The bond created between two people who are married for a long time is often so tight and powerful that upon the death of either one of them, the other one very soon dies as well. And if the other survives, it is often with the horrible feeling that half of their soul has been ripped out. In happier days, during the marriage, the two partners of course have individual interests and styles, but at the same time a set of common interests and styles starts to build up, and over time a new entity starts to take shape.
And later on...
The following should be a much easier question (although I think it is not actually easier). What was the nature of the "Holden Caulfield symbol" in J. D. Salinger's brain during the period when he was writing Catcher in the Rye? That structure was all there ever was to Holden Caulfield -- but it was so, so rich. Perhaps that symbol wasn't as rich as a full human soul, but Holden Caulfield seems like so much of a person, with a true core, a true soul, a true personal gemma, even if only a "miniature" one. You couldn't ask for a richer representation, a richer mirroring, of one person inside another person, than whatever constitutued the Holden Caulfield symbol inside Salinger's brain.
In my own book, I suggest that what each of us think of as our unique "soul" is actually a large and interconnected set of memes, some of which rise and fall in prominence over a lifetime, and memes by their very definition are patterns of information that exist across space and time, connecting together in ways that are beyond the physical limitations of the world we see around us. This leads me to some conclusions that are related to what Mr. Hofstadter is talking about, but I go a little further out on the same conceptual limb:
Here’s another way to look at this idea: if each of us has a unique soul, where are all the new souls coming from? Our planet’s population has exploded in numbers, so there must be new “soul material” being created from somewhere (if there really are only a certain number of souls allocated to this planet, then the chances of any one of us being the reincarnate soul of a person who lived here in the last few thousand years are approaching the chances of winning a lottery!).
In the New Age community, theories abound regarding what that source of all those new souls might be. All of those theories may be held within the version of reality that we are advancing here: if our soul is a conglomeration of memes that exist outside of time, then other versions of that soul could exist in other universes, in other locations within our universe, in other parts of the history and future of our universe, and even right now in other parts of our own world. The idea that it’s possible to meet another incarnation of yourself right now may take some getting used to, but it is an important aspect of the version of reality we are exploring.
And later on:
It may appear, then, that if we imagine a particular meme that has existed since the perceived beginning of our universe, collapsing a specific version of reality out of the wave of potential universes through the act of its observation, that we are imagining an aspect of the Creator-God. But there is a second way to view this puzzle. Could the feeling of “self” that each of us holds within us also be “just geometry”? In other words, what if this interlocking web of memes were exactly like the interlocking web of physical realities implied by the Many Worlds theory? This would mean that the potential for all ways of viewing the world, and the potential for all the different systems that we think of as being our own soul, are also held within an indeterminate wave of potential at the tenth dimension that has always existed, and will always exist.
In entries like Everyone Has a Story, Being More Fifth-Dimensional, You are Me and We are All Together, The Big Bang and the Big O, and Going to the Light I've continued my exploration of how ideas from cosmology and philosophy, from science and spirituality, can be blended together into an understanding of our reality which embraces a timeless perspective. Once we've arrived at an appreciation of the timelessness that exists outside of our spacetime, an enfolded symmetry state from which our universe or any other arises, it becomes easier to think about how it really could be possible to meet another person right now who is basically you, living another life, in another body, experiencing the world with their own unique perspective but intimately connected through those underlying information patterns which exist outside of spacetime.

Other recent blogs about enfolded symmetry:
Dreaming of Electric Sheep
Imagining the Omniverse
We Start with a Point
A Point within the Omniverse
"t" Equals Zero
Going to the Light
The Invariant Set
Illusions and Reality

To finish, here's one of the songs we quoted from above: "Burn the Candle Brightly".

A direct link to the above video is at

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next - Polls Archive 34 - God? Or the Multiverse?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

World Builder

Have you got nine minutes? Here's a lovely and poignant award-winning film created by Bruce Branit of BranitVFX in Kansas City, USA.

World Builder from Bruce Branit on Vimeo.
A direct link to the above video is at

Thank you to my friend, artist Marilyn Robertson for forwarding this movie on to me. It relates so nicely to recent blog entries of mine like Illusions and Reality, Augmented Reality, and Creativity and the Quantum Universe that I thought I'd just put the movie up by itself and let you enjoy this little gem all by itself.

Enjoy the journey!


Next: Polls Archive 33 - Could I Meet My Incarnation?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Polls Archive 32 - Is Time a Direction?

A direct link to the above video is at

Poll Question 32 - "In the same sense that "up" is not a dimension, "time" is a direction, not a dimension. Poll ended January 28 2009. 56% agreed while the rest disagreed.

These polls can be very instructive to me - some concepts that I think will be contentious end up with much more agreement, and some - like this one - that I think the majority will be willing to agree to come out close to a tie.

Let's talk a little more about this question.

What dimension is "up" a dimension within? If we call the first dimension length, the second dimension width, and the third dimension depth, is "up" in the first dimension? This is where the confusion begins. What dimension is "east" a direction in? What dimension is "forwards" a direction in? None of these questions make sense, because a direction can be in any dimension, and the direction only makes sense as a dimension when we consider the opposite direction at the same time.

Okay then, in what dimensions do we find "up/down"? "East/west"? "Backwards/forwards?" The questions still don't really make sense, because we need even more context. Depending upon your orientation within 3D space, any of these words could apply to any vector within that space: but as soon as you arbitrarily establish one of those sets as being your current orientation, you then bring to mind two additional sets of directions that make sense within that context, and each of those sets is at right angles to the others.

Discussions of the fourth spatial dimension, then, are bothered by all the same possible miscommunications. Is "time" a direction in the fourth spatial dimension? Sure, it could be one of them, but depending upon your orientation within that space, you could just as easily say that "up", "forwards", or even "east" is a direction within 4D space. As soon as you pick one of those words, you then limit what you can call the other directions. As it says in the wikipedia article on the fourth dimension, one of the proposed sets of names for the two new directions in the fourth spatial dimension would be "ana" and "kata". For our own entropy-driven reality riding the "arrow of time", I've been encouraging people to think of the two directions in the fourth spatial dimensions as "time" and "anti-time", and to think of that dimension as a whole as "duration".

If "up" can be a direction in any spatial dimension, does that mean that "time" could be as well? Sure! It just depends upon your orientation, your frame of reference. This is why I say that for a 2D flatlander, they would perceive "time" to be in the third spatial dimension. Generally speaking, I would say that "time" is a direction in the next dimension up from the one you're examining, but that is only one of the possible ways of describing how one spatial dimension relates to another.

This is an idea I'm passionate about, as it's central to this way of visualizing the dimensions. In "Aren't There Really 11 Dimensions?" I show how important this is: the ten dimensions that physicists talk about are spatial dimensions. Spatial dimensions have a clear relationship to each other, each is at right angles to the one before, which means (as hard as this is to visualize) that all spatial dimensions are at right angles to each other. One useful way of thinking about this is with a set of nested spheres, with each new dimension enfolding all of the other previous ones.

Another way of approaching this idea is to think of those ten spatial dimensions as a tower, but if the fourth dimension is "time" rather than a full spatial dimension encompassing the two directions of "time" and "anti-time", then that tower is built on a shaky foundation. No wonder there are still scientists who refuse to believe that there are any extra dimensions at all!

Here's the video for "Aren't There Really 11 Dimensions?", which includes an animation showing this "tower" visualization.

A direct link to the above video is at

Based upon the results of the above poll question, it looks like this is a flag I'm going to have to continue waving. Some of the other videos where I've talked about the idea that time is just a direction in the fourth spatial dimension include Hypercubes and Plato's Cave, Time is a Direction, Dr. Mel's 4D Glasses, Time in 3 Dimensions, Wormholes, and "t" Equals Zero.

To close, here's one of my songs about trying to achieve that perspective where, as Einstein, liked to say, the distinction between past, present and future is meaningless. The song is called "Big Bang to Entropy".

A direct link to the above video is at

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next: Poll 33 - Could I Meet My Incarnation?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Doritos Augmented Reality

(Edit: Click here to see a new Tenth Dimension Augmented Reality toy we've made that you can play with).

Here's an amusing coincidence - last month I showed you an augmented reality project we made here at Talking Dog Studios for a "name the chip flavor and create an advertising campaign for it" contest that Doritos Canada held. Unfortunately, our entry did not end up in the finalists as a result of the public voting... but we're okay with that because we learned a lot about how to do Augmented Reality as a result of creating our entry.

The original post where I talked about our Doritos entry and other Augmented Reality projects is here. Or you can just go to to check our little contest entry out.

So what's the amusing coincidence? It turns out that Doritos Brazil has just launched a new Augmented Reality promotion for their chips in that country! Read about it here. When a good idea is in the air, multiple people are sure to jump on it.

Speaking of good ideas and playing with reality, here's a new YouTube movie I really got a kick out of. This was posted by a 25 year old from Japan, "dokugyunyu". Here's the description for the video:

At first I photographed stop motion animation. And I displayed the photographs in my room and photographed it again. Enjoy a connection with the world of the room and the world in the photograph.

A direct link to the above video can be found at

What a lot of work! I'm in awe of the patience and creativity that went into this. And the way this video plays with the recursive nature of reality and with what "time" really means has some lovely (if indirect) connections to the ideas being explored here with my project.


Next: Polls Archive 32 - Is Time a Direction?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Polls Archive 31-What's Before and After?

A direct link to the above video is at

"Physicist Sean Carroll says our universe is a temporary deviation from symmetry. This means that "before" the beginning and "after" the end of our universe, then, is really the exact same state: enfolded symmetry." Poll ended January 13 2009. 70% agreed, while the rest disagreed.

I've talked many times about Gevin Giorbran's amazing book, Everything Forever - Learning to See Timelessness. The fact that Gevin is no longer with us but asked me to take over the promotion of his book since his death has nothing to do with my mentioning it here: as I've been saying since I first came across Gevin's work a couple of years ago, his is a groundbreaking text about the nature of the multiverse, and he provides us with remarkable insights into understanding the underlying enfolded symmetry state that our universe both comes from and is headed towards.

Gevin's work dovetailed very nicely with the logical way of visualizing the ten spatial dimensions I've shown to the world with my project, and Gevin was even so kind as to devote a few pages of his book towards describing how well he thought our two approaches fit together. In the almost three years since my book was published, I have been using this blog and the tenth dimension forum to catalog the many advances that have happened in the work of theoretical physicists that appear to be moving us towards the same understanding that Gevin and I had been talking about when we wrote our books. In fact, I've been doing this not just with science, but with a great many other subjects, including ancient spirituality, mysticism, and philosophy, and it's been remarkable to see how many of these threads can be pulled together.

On the science front there are many theories out there as to the mysteries of dark matter, dark energy, gravity, the multiverse, extra dimensions, and so on. When I see a viewpoint that has resonances with what Gevin and I pointed towards, I promote it. Does that mean that I'm picking and choosing, and when I come across a new theory that might oppose the direction Gevin and I were heading in, I generally don't report it? Of course! In the same way, a scientist who is adamantly convinced that there are no extra dimensions is more likely to pursue theories which exist only within the four dimensions of spacetime.

Which brings us to physicist Sean Carroll, whose work I paid tribute to in a blog entry called "Time in Either Direction":

A direct link to the above video is at

I also talked about Sean's ideas in my entry "Scrambled Eggs"...

A direct link to the above video is at

...and in my blog entry "The Big Bang and the Big Pie".

A direct link to the above video is at

Our poll question we're looking at here is about a theory which Scientific American attributed to Sean Carroll, but his theories are easily connected to an idea that has been promoted by myself, and by Gevin Giorbran. I would sum the idea up like this: there is a way of thinking about the fabric of reality which is outside of spacetime, in a place where the wave function of all outcomes for our universe happens simultaneously (as we mentioned last blog entry, physicist Tim Palmer has just published a paper where he calls this idea "the invariant set"). Once you have that image in your mind, it becomes possible to visualize how our universe is a temporary deviation from an underlying symmetry state, which exists both "before" and "after" our universe, in a state that is "outside" of space-time.

Here's a link to a powerpoint presentation from Dr. Carroll in which he talks about the nature of time and space and how a universe as unlikely as our own could spring from the multiverse: Sean Carroll is also a regular contributor to the science blog Cosmic Variance, a good place for lively discussions, check it out.

Notice how Sean calls his site ""? Let's finish with a song of mine about our highly unlikely universe: "The Anthropic Viewpoint":

A direct link to the above video is at
Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

Next: Polls Archive 32 - Is Time a Direction?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dark Gravity Across the Dimensions

A direct link to the above video is at

The image at the left comes from an article published March 16 09 in New Scientist Magazine. A much larger version of this picture can be found at this link, and Marcus Chown's article can be found here.

One of the arguments I've advanced in my book and this blog has some interesting echoes in this new article, which makes the point I've used for my reasoning about dark matter and dark energy many times before: gravity is the only force that exerts itself across the extra dimensions.

The three blue bars you're seeing at left represent the universe at 3 different scales, and the proposition from the scientists whose theoretical work is being reported in this story is that gravity might vary depending upon the scale you are viewing the universe. Those scientists are Justin Khoury, now of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and his colleagues Niayesh Afshordi and Ghazal Geshnizjani of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario. To quote from the article:

They have listed a series of cosmological observations that cannot readily be explained with a one-size-fits-all gravity ( None of these effects on its own, they stress, necessarily indicates anything amiss. But intriguingly, all of them melt away if you make just one assumption, albeit a controversial one: that how gravity works depends on the scale on which you look at it.

The little graph next to each of the blue bars, then, shows how gravity might vary with scale. For more "local" observations of our universe, the standard linear model for gravity holds true. The second graph indicates that at larger scales gravity operates differently, and this would account for the effects of dark matter, which has been shown to be unevenly distributed throughout the universe - it's "lumpy" rather than smooth. The largest scale shown in this picture, on the other hand, shows how gravity drops off in a way that is larger than the normal linear curve, and this is a proposed explanation for the evenly distributed dark energy - the universe is flying apart faster than we should expect it to, because at the largest scales gravity is lower than a linear relationship would lead us to expect.

With my project, I've proposed that dark matter and its lumpiness are explained by the fact that there are other universes which are nearby to our own in the nearest extra dimensions, and dark matter's effects are a direct result of the fact that gravity is the only force that can exert itself across the extra dimensions. In the same way, these scientists are proposing that extra dimensions are responsible for dark matter, and there is research being done right now that could, in the next few years actually confirm or deny the existence of extra dimensions through direct observation of gravitational anomalies! Here's a bit more from that article:
According to general relativity, light and matter feel gravity in the same way: they both follow the same paths around massive objects dictated by their warping of space-time. But any pure theory of gravity such as Khoury's variable gravity affects only matter. So proving the existence of hidden dimensions could be as simple as observing the bending - "gravitational lensing" - of light from a distant source as it passes by a galaxy cluster on its way to Earth, and so inferring the cluster's mass. If we can then measure the cluster's gravitational pull on a second cluster - for instance, by how fast it is dragging the second cluster towards it - we can acquire a second, independent mass estimate.

If hidden dimensions are modifying gravity, the two estimates will be different by 20 to 30 per cent, says Khoury. Current galaxy cluster measurements are not quite accurate enough to pinpoint an effect of this size, but the current generation of surveys should deliver a definitive answer within the next 10 years.
The explanation of dark energy that Justin Khoury and his colleagues are proposing is related to my own suppositions, but not as directly connected. With my project, I've proposed that the effects of dark matter come from the most directly adjacent extra dimensions - the fifth dimension in particularly. I've proposed that the effects of dark energy come from the highest extra dimensions, which have more "degrees of freedom" away from our own location within the omniverse of all possible universes and multiverses. Thinking of our own universe and all of its potential spacetime expressions as a "point" in the seventh dimension gives us a way to think about how the dimensions beyond that would "pull" equally hard on the universe in all directions, creating the eerily omnidirectional pull that science is seeing for dark energy. With their project, Khoury and his colleagues are proposing that dark energy comes from a brane in at least one additional dimension that is infinite in size: another way of saying what I'm proposing? Not directly, but a similar idea.

Here are some of my past blogs where I've talked about dark matter and dark energy and how they can fit within this way of visualizing the dimensions:
Dark Energy, Linelanders, and the LHC
Randomness and the Missing 96%
Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Dark Information
Poll Questions on Dark Matter and the LHC
Poll Question on Dark Matter/Energy and Dimensions

To finish, here's a song that suggests that all of us might have little bits of our awareness that are already connected to other dimensions, and that we sometimes connect to those parts of ourselves in our dreams: "I Remember Flying".

A direct link to the above video is at

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next - Polls Archive 31 - "What's Before and After?"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Time Paradox

A direct link to the above video is at

A direct link to the above video is at

The above video features Philip Zimbardo, professor emeritus of psychology at Stanford University, and promotes his recent book "The Time Paradox". There's a good insight revealed in this video, and it's one that connects very easily to ideas I've talked about in entries like You Have a Shape and a Trajectory, The Placebo Effect, and Changing Your Genes part 2.

Being in the "Now" is great when your life is good and everyone around you is happy. Living your life "one day at a time" (a slogan often used by Alcoholics Anonymous) is a good plan if you have kicked your addictions and stopped the negative loops that cause you to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

But when that's not the case, be more fifth-dimensional. Out of all the branches that lie before you, there are ones that will get you out of this "now" and get you to a better "then" that already exists within the fifth dimension. Keep your eye on that better "then".

Chapter 5 of my book is called Memes, Music and Memory. Here's a similar sentiment I expressed there:

Sometimes people get caught in loops of addiction and abuse that trap them into circles, causing them to go back again and again to bad relationships, alcohol, or other drugs, with a feeling that there’s no way out. This is one of the pitfalls that the fifth dimension can set for people, as it offers an easy path to fold back to the same negative repetitions over and over again. There’s not much to say about this except that the fifth dimension offers many paths for escape as well, and the hardest part of the problem is usually identifying what is triggering the negative repetition and finding a way to break the pattern. Unquestionably, this is a serious issue, and anyone who is having to deal with the negative repercussions of an addiction of any kind should seek help wherever they can find it. The good news is, there are always multiple fifth-dimensional paths available, and the one that leads back into the negative repetition is never the only option.
When Eckhart Tolle speaks of the "Power of Now", he might at first glance seem to be supporting the same "living in the present" pitfalls portrayed in Zimbardo's Marshmallow Experiment. While the "now" that Tolle is speaking of is a more transcendent concept that embraces our connections to the universal forces that underlie our reality, there is the same potential problem inherent in his message as there is in the AA slogan: if you believe only in now, you are living one day at a time, and that leaves you potentially in the same trap of saying with each new day "this is the last day I'm going to hurt myself like this". In that case, "being in the now" holds no hope for healing whatsoever, and the same repetitive patterns can continue to happen for a lifetime.

My song "See No Future" speaks to this idea as well, and refers to the need for thinking outside of "now", in a manner very similar to what Professor Zimbardo is talking about with his book. His "time paradox" shows us there are definitely moments where it's important to set your sights on tomorrow and stop existing within the traps you are currently held within.

A direct link to the above video is at

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

P.S. - over to the right you will see I've started a poll question that asks whether people believe the results revealed in The Marshmallow Experiment and reported in Professor Zimbardo's promotional video that started this entry. According to the results of that experiment, people who focus on the "now" rather than their possible future paths are more likely to be moody, indecisive, and envious. What do you think? Cast your vote.

P.P.S. - some of you have already noticed that I'm experimenting with a Twitter feed now, if you're interested in following along I'm at

Next: Dark Gravity Across the Dimensions

Monday, April 6, 2009


Someone pointed out to me yesterday that the wikipedia entry for Rob Bryanton has been flagged for deletion:

Do you agree with this? There is a discussion page:

I have lots of respect for the system of collaborative input that wikipedia is based upon. If the general consensus amongst wikipedia users is that Rob Bryanton and this project are not notable enough to warrant a wikipedia entry, then so be it. But whether you agree or disagree, I would ask that if you feel strongly about this to weigh in on the discussions, as a number of people already have.


Rob Bryanton

EDIT, October 23 2009 - A number of people weighed in at the Rob Bryanton wikipedia listing back in June on the question of whether this project and my work was notable and as a result the listing stayed up. That certainly stands to reason - just now, I typed the words "Imagining the Tenth Dimension" in quotes into google and came up with over 1.7 million references to the name of my book that are currently out there on the web!

Nonetheless, I just got an email pointing out that someone using the handle "Pwrong" launched a new challenge to the listing in late August, and the Rob Bryanton entry was removed in September 2009. Pwrong's first name is Paul and he comes from Perth, he doesn't reveal much information about himself other than he is a maths honors student, and notable generic facts like he loves heavy metal and believes twenty-one servings of alcohol a week is not enough. He also admits in the archived discussion page regarding the deletion that he agrees he's "not the best person to make the call" because"Bryanton's video has annoyed me for years". Another wikipedia user references a page called "Time Cube" as being much more notable (type those two words in quotes into google and only 48,000 references come up), and I'm left to scratch my head as to what is going wrong with wikipedia. Congratulations Pwrong, you have helped to successfully suppress any useful references to the Imagining the Tenth Dimension project on wikipedia, and those 1.7 million other website references to this project will have to look somewhere else to find out more background information about why so many people are talking about this project.

Next: The Time Paradox

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Illusions and Reality

A direct link to the above video is at

Here's a link to an article published yesterday at it talks about fascinating new research being conducted at MIT regarding the ways our senses interact with each other.

Have you ever thought about how much our brains are synthesizing the input that comes in from our senses into one coherent whole? With sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste we perceive not five worlds but one. Adding other senses, like equilibrioception (balance and acceleration), thermoception (heat and cold), proprioception (relative positions of the parts of the body), and nociception (physiological pain), only makes us appreciate that much more what a complex set of data is coming in, to be knit together into one experience that becomes our conscious and unconscious observation of the world around us.

The surprising information this MIT study reveals is that it shows how one sense can trump another in surprising ways, as part of the synthesis process we're talking about here. It demonstrates this by using a variation on what's known as the waterfall illusion, which you can read about in the wikipedia article on motion after-effects. The waterfall illusion occurs when you watch falling water for a minute or so, then look over at the rocks and they appear to be slowly rising.

Here's a YouTube video called "LSD Trip" that provides another nice example of motion after-effects:

A direct link to the above video is at

Back in October 2008, in Predicting the Future (Here Come the Aliens), we talked about other optical illusions that demonstrate how much our minds are responsible for what we see around us. A few weeks after I published that entry, there was another article at called "Optical Illusions: Caused by Eye or Brain?", which talked about microsaccades - the tiny involuntary motions of the eye that help us to see the world around us by continually providing very slightly different input. I talked about microsaccades back in August 2007 in a blog entry called Constructive Interference. Amazingly, without microsaccades, it turns out that we would quickly become blind to any stationary objects around us unless we were continually moving our heads around.

By the time we're thinking about the unbelievably complex amount of information that we are processing instant by instant throughout the day, I've proposed that it's really not that big a leap to think that there could be some multi-dimensional awareness of our non-local universe which each of us already possesses, and that experiences like instinct, intuition, deja vu, simultaneous inspiration, creativity, the power of music, empathy, and even much more supernatural concepts than that might all be indications of our ability to perceive and process information which comes from beyond the already complex "now" of any particular moment in spacetime. Mind boggling? Sure. But like most of the concepts we play with in this project, if we take these ideas one at a time and enfold them together, seeing how one can be encapsulated within another, we can work our way back out to the biggest picture of all, where all of this happens simultaneously as part of the enfolded symmetry state which Gevin Giorbran called SOAPS, the Set Of All Possible States. As we discussed last time, physicist Tim Palmer is now calling that biggest picture of all The Invariant Set, but mystics, philosophers, and scientists have all come up with other ways of thinking about exactly the same thing.

Speaking of mystics, last time we looked at a video by artist Charles Gilchrist, who I've really become a fan of. Here's the next video in that same series of his about sacred geometry, another way of thinking about the parts of our reality which exist outside of spacetime. Regular readers of my blog will recognize a lot of the same themes that I am constantly playing with in Charles Gilchrist's inspiring work.

A direct link to the above video is at

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next - The Time Paradox

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Invariant Set

A direct link to the above video is at

Gevin Giorbran called it SOAPS - the "set of all possible states". For our universe, I called it "a point in the seventh dimension", and for the omniverse of all possible universes and information patterns, I called it the tenth dimension in its unobserved state of perfectly enfolded symmetry. Now, here's some excerpts from an article in the March 30 2009 issue of New Scientist Magazine that explores a concept from physicist Tim Palmer called "The Invariant Set". I would say we're all talking about the same thing: viewing the universe from a timeless perspective.

Can fractals make sense of the quantum world?
New Scientist Magazine, 30 March 2009
by Mark Buchanan

QUANTUM theory just seems too weird to believe. Particles can be in more than one place at a time. They don't exist until you measure them. Spookier still, they can even stay in touch when they are separated by great distances.

...what if there were a way of showing how quantum theory might emerge from a deeper level of non-weird physics?

If you listen to physicist Tim Palmer, it begins to sound plausible. What has been missing, he argues, are some key ideas from an area of science that most quantum physicists have ignored: the science of fractals, those intricate patterns found in everything from fractured surfaces to oceanic flows (see What is a fractal?).

...Palmer's ideas begin with gravity. The force that makes apples fall and holds planets in their orbit is also the only fundamental physical process capable of destroying information. It works like this: the hot gas and plasma making up a star contain an enormous amount of information locked in the atomic states of a huge number of particles. If the star collapses under its own gravity to form a black hole, most of the atoms are sucked in, resulting in almost all of that detailed information vanishing. Instead, the black hole can be described completely using just three quantities - its mass, angular momentum and electric charge.

Many physicists accept this view, but Palmer thinks they haven't pursued its implications far enough. As a system loses information, the number of states you need to describe it diminishes. Wait long enough and you will find that the system reaches a point where no more states can be lost. In mathematical terms, this special subset of states is known as an invariant set. Once a state lies in this subset, it stays in it forever.

A simple way of thinking about it is to imagine a swinging pendulum that slows down due to friction before eventually coming to a complete standstill. Here the invariant set is the one that describes the pendulum at rest.

Because black holes destroy information, Palmer suggests that the universe has an invariant set too, though it is far more complicated than the pendulum.

Complex systems are affected by chaos, which means that their behaviour can be influenced greatly by tiny changes. According to mathematics, the invariant set of a chaotic system is a fractal.

Fractal invariant sets have unusual geometric properties. If you plotted one on a map it would trace out the same intricate structure as a coastline. Zoom in on it and you would find more and more detail, with the patterns looking similar to the original unzoomed image.

Gravity and mathematics alone, Palmer suggests, imply that the invariant set of the universe should have a similarly intricate structure, and that the universe is trapped forever in this subset of all possible states. This might help to explain why the universe at the quantum level seems so bizarre.

...The key is the invariant set. According to Palmer's hypothesis, the invariant set contains all the physically realistic states of the universe. So any state that isn't part of the invariant set cannot physically exist.

...In a paper submitted to the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A, he shows how the basic idea can account for quantum uncertainty, contextuality and other quantum puzzles (
I've talked before about fractals and recursion, and how those relate to this way of visualizing reality. While Dr. Palmer is not talking about extra dimensions with his theory, it's very easy to use his "Invariant Set" concept in the context of my project: in entries like The Fifth Dimension Isn't Magic, Our Non-Local Universe, and Aren't There Really 11 Dimensions? I've talked about what's possible and impossible within this way of viewing reality, and how the logical progression from one spatial dimension to the next that I'm portraying gives us a way to see how the universe, the multiverse, and the omniverse are related to each other: each is a subset of the next, and all make more sense when we learn to view them from the perspective where (as Einstein liked to say) "the distinction between past, present, and future is meaningless".

I mentioned that with my system, I would say our own universe's "invariant set" is locked in at the seventh dimension: this can also be connected to the string theory idea that our 3D universe is constrained by a seventh-dimensional brane. Now, here's a lovely video by artist Charles Gilchrist that shows a connection between the number seven, fractals, infinite recursion, timelessness, and the forms of sacred geometry.

A direct link to the above video is at

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Edit: Here's a link to a story on Tim Palmer's Invariant Set Postulate published August 17th 2009 at

Next: Illusions and Reality

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