Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Poll 61-64 - Gravity and Free Will

A direct link to the above video is at

Poll 61: "Gravitons will never be observed because they don't exist." Poll ended April 2 2010. This one was a dead heat, split perfectly between agreeing and disagreeing. This question relates back to Our Universe within the Omniverse, Holograms and Quanta, and More Slices of Reality; three of the blog entries where we looked at a new theory by Dr. Erik Verlinde of the University of Amsterdam which suggests that just as there are no "liquidons" imparting the quality of liquidity to water, gravity is something that arises naturally from our position within the information that becomes reality: there are no gravitons, according to Dr. Verlinde, and that idea appeals to me as well.

Poll 62 - "Within the multiverse landscape, it will eventually be proved that there are only two basic organizing patterns which need to be locked in to create a universe such as ours: the strength of gravity, and the speed of light." Poll ended April 17th 2010. 38.2% agreed, while the remaining 61.8% disagreed.

This idea of mine, which we looked at in more detail in Strength of Gravity, Speed of Light, is not something you will currently be taught in a university physics class so it's not surprising to see more people disagreeing than agreeing. In light of Dr. Verlinde's theory, though, I am drawn more and more to this being the simple underlying truth: if gravity is defined not by particles but by our position within the multiverse landscape, and is the naturally arising quality which says how much things are drawn together, then the speed of light is what keeps them from collapsing back into the symmetry that exists "before" and "after" our universe. Hence, our next poll question:

Poll 63 - "The speed of light is nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once." Poll ended May 3 2010. 63.6% agreed, and 36.4% disagreed.

What do you think, should I be selling t-shirts with this as my new quotable quote? This was a phrase I came up with in Strength of Gravity, Speed of Light. It's fascinating to see how many people accepted this intuitive leap while the corresponding "gravitons don't exist" idea didn't fare so well in these polls. The idea that our reality is not continuous, but instead is divided into planck-length-sized "frames" is central not just to this project but to Holographic Universe theories we've looked at before: our spacetime universe is created by constructive interference at the fifth dimension, and the planck length's intimate connection to the speed of light is part of what makes one universe within the multiverse unique from another. Tying this back to the previous poll, then, gravity is what draws things together, while the speed of light is what keeps these frames pushed apart for the duration of our universe.

Poll 64 - "If you don't believe there's such a thing as free will, then there's no need for you to believe in extra dimensions beyond spacetime". Poll ended May 18 2010. 43.5% said "I agree", 19.1% said "I disagree", and the remaining 37.4% said "the two concepts are unrelated".

As we discussed in recent entries like The 5th-Dimensional Camera Project, Entangled Neurons, and Changing Reality, my concept of our spacetime reality coming from a fifth-dimensional probability space was recently presented to scientists at Oxford by Jon Ardern and Anab Jain. Wonderful news! The acceptance for this project keeps moving forward, and I'm grateful to people like Jon and Anab who are helping to make that happen.

But we're still mid-journey at this point, as this poll question shows. 37% of the visitors to this forum were not willing to accept the premise that the dimensions beyond our 4D spacetime are where we can much more easily make sense of quantum superposition, Everett's Many Worlds, and the spacetime tree of possible outcomes each of us are choosing from moment to moment with our free will. As I've said before, if you believe in the hard determinist viewpoint that everything is an inevitable set of outcomes that were set in motion like a giant clockwork mechanism at the big bang, and that any individual feelings of "choice" are an illusion as inevitable chemical reactions take place in our brains, then I can understand why you believe that the four dimensions of spacetime are all that there is.

Which takes us to the picture which started this blog entry. Are you and I robots, computers running a program that makes us think we have free will but that free will is an illusion? Or are we more like androids, processing the incoming data, formulating responses, consciously and actively engaged in the spacetime tree of our reality at the fifth dimension and beyond? I know what my answer to that question is, for sure.

But if gravity is a force that exists across all dimensions, how does that affect the choices we make and the outcomes we observe? We'll continue this discussion next time, with Gravity and Entrainment.

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton


Forsberg Timmy said...

Free Will?
Think about this, if you throw a dice a millon times it will end up showing almost as many sixes as fives as fours.

So when observing the large picture it does apear like randomness does´nt exist. Like free will, your choices are just a number of probabilities, that when only observing a small part of it, it will like a dice, look like it has free will.

what does this tell us?
the final outcome (of whatever)is pre-determend but the way there is´nt.

oh yhea almost forgot.
God would be random if he existed so he can´t exist.

paul skillman said...

So you say graitrons don't exist, what about higgs bosons? They have been looking for them for over 30 yrs?

Rob Bryanton said...

Hi Timmy Forsberg, "the final outcome is pre-determined but the way there isn't" sums up my position perfectly. It's all about the symmetry breaking! Ultimately our universe is headed back towards the symmetry state that also existed "before" the existence of the universe, where all those different specific outcomes during its existence cancel each other out and we're back to the big beautiful zero of perfectly balanced symmetry. But there's many paths to get there. Right on!

Thanks for writing,


Rob Bryanton said...

Hi Paul, interesting question. There are, of course, Higgsless models of the universe so its existence is not mandatory. And if Dr. Verlinde is right about gravitons not existing, and the Higgs Boson was proposed to help explain mass, then perhaps it will also be unnecessary? I like the idea that you find a position within the multiverse landscape, you break the symmetry at that position and gravity at a specific unique value is one of the effects that arises across all the dimensions as a result, which would be how a universe such as ours or any other comes into existence. Hmm, so perhaps the Higgs Field exists, but because it operates across all dimensions it will never resolve into a particle? I'd have to know more before I could commit to that idea, but it sounds like a possibility.

What do you think, Paul?

Thanks for writing!


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