Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New video - Changing Your Brain

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAXzPIjvhUA

Next - Poll 78 - Will the LHC reveal extra dimensions?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Top Ten Tenth Dimension Blogs - May Report

Previous lists:
. April 08 . May 08 . June 08 . July 08 . August 08
. September 08 . October 08 . November 08 . December 08 .
. Top 100 Blog Entries of 2008 . May 09 . June 09 . July 09
. August 09 . September 09 . October 09 . November 09 .
. December 09 . Top 100 Blog Entries of 2009 .
. January 10 . February 10 . March 10 . April 10 . May 10 .
. June 10 . July 10 . August 10 . September 10 . October 10 .
. November 10 . December 10 . Top 100 Entries of 2010 .
. January 11 . February 11 . March 11 . April 11 .

Based upon number of views, here are the top blogs for the last thirty days.

1. New video - Infinite Division
2. Gimme a Beer!
3. Rebecca Black and QWOP
4. Trying to Escape
5. New video - Evidence for Seeing the Future?
6. New video - Threes
7. Livin on the Edge of the World
8. Turtles and the Tenth Dimension
9. Courage
10. New video - Bees and the LHC

And as of May 26th, 2011, here are the twenty-six Imagining the Tenth Dimension blog entries that have attracted the most visits of all time. Items marked in bold are new or have risen since last month.

1. Jumping Jesus (1)
2. What's Around the Corner? (2)
3. Mandelbulbs (3)
4. An Expanding 4D Sphere (4)
5. Just Six Things: The I Ching (5)
6. Roger Ebert on Quantum Reincarnation (6)
7. The 5th-Dimensional Camera Project (7)
8. Creativity and the Quantum Universe (8)
9. Vibrations and Fractals (9)
10. Light Has No Speed (11)
11. How to Time Travel (10)
12. Is Reality an Illusion? (14)
13. Our Universe Within the Omniverse (12)
14. Dancing on the Timeline (13)
15. 10-10-10 Look Before You Leap (15)
16. Magnets and Morality (17) 
17. Poll 44 - The Biocentric Universe Theory (16)
18. Monkeys Love Metallica (18)
19. Consciousness in Frames per Second (19)
20. Simultaneous Inspiration (20)
21. Polls Archive 54 - Is Time Moving Faster? (21)
22. Gravity and Love (new)
23. Complexity from Simplicity (23)
24. Poll 43 - Is the Multiverse Real? (22)
25. Bees and the LHC (new)
26. Flow (25)

Which means that these worthy submissions are leaving our top 26 of all time list this month.

 Alien Mathematics (24)
 Seeing Time, Feeling Colors, Tasting Light (26)

By the way, if you're new to this project, you might want to check out the Tenth Dimension FAQ, as it provides a road map to a lot of the discussions and different materials that have been created for this project. If you are interested in the 26 songs attached to this project, this blog shows a video for each of the songs and provides more links with lyrics and discussion. The Annotated Tenth Dimension Video provides another cornucopia of discussion topics to be connected to over at YouTube. And as always, here's a reminder that the Tenth Dimension Forum is a good place to converse with other people about these ideas.

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next: New video - Changing Your Brain

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Poll 77 - What if the world's a simulation?

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgbuKJnlW10

Poll 77 - "Simulism: If you discovered the life you're living is in a gigantic virtual simulation, how would that change the way you behaved?
1. I'd be nicer to people
2. I'd be more selfish
3. I wouldn't change a thing"
Poll ended February 4th, 2011.  12.6% chose answer 1, 14.3% chose answer 2, and 73.1% went for answer number 3.

By a significant factor, most of the visitors to the Tenth Dimension blog said they wouldn't change a thing if they knew the world they see around them were only a simulation. I'm reminded of Stephen Hawking's take on free will - even though he tells us he doesn't believe it exists, he acknowledges that the complex interactions that make a person choose one path or another can make it impossible to predict what that person will do - effectively, he tells us, it works to say that free will exists as a flawed but convenient interpretation, even for a scientist like Dr. Hawking who stands firmly in the "no such thing as free will" camp.

Likewise, I think the above response is the healthy one. Are we like Neo, living in the Matrix, but unaware of its existence? If Life is But a Dream, shouldn't we still make the best of what we've been given? On my Facebook Wall, there's a much-discussed video posted by New Scientist which suggests that persons trained to believe free will is an illusion will be more likely to cheat on tests, and less likely to be altruistic. Here's that video again:

I think there could be a similar parallel drawn here - wouldn't it be easy to say nothing matters if it's all just a simulation? But the above poll question contradicts that outcome - by asking people specifically what they would change, most people said they wouldn't change a thing. What if the question instead had been "would you change your behavior if you knew you were only living in a gigantic simulation? Without specific options to consider, would people be more likely to say they would change after all?

Well, here's an answer for you. Last year we ran the following poll question, check out the results that time. This was one of four poll questions we looked at under the title More Tangential Thinking.
Poll 72
Poll 72: "Simulism: would you live your life any differently if you knew the reality you're seeing around you is really just a gigantic virtual simulation?" Poll ended October 3 2010. 59.4% said yes, and 40.6% said no.

My comments at the time started out with the following paragraph:

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?
So there you have it. Two substantially different responses to two fairly similar poll questions. As the pollsters will often admit: "it's all in how you ask the question".

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next:  New video - Changing Your Brain

Monday, May 23, 2011

Proof that Multiverse Equals Many Worlds

Here's a new paper announced at Cornell Universeity's arxiv.org which has just been published by two highly respected physicists: Leonard Susskind and Raphael Bousso. It confirms an idea I've been promoting for so long that it feels a little strange to me to see them discussing this as something new, but nonetheless this is exciting news. Over at MIT's Technology Review site, here's a link to an article published today about Bousso and Susskind's paper: it's titled Multiverse = Many Worlds, Say Physicists.

The illustration at left is shown in that article, no explanation is attached but the name of the picture is "Multiverse QM". QM, of course, is quantum mechanics, and as it turns out the illustration comes from page 22 of Bousso and Susskind's paper. The idea shown here, that our reality is constantly branching, and that those branches are causally interconnected in multiple ways, has always been an important part of my approach to visualizing the dimensions. 

What is still notably missing from this new paper is the acceptance that these branches are occurring at the fifth dimension, where the field effects for gravity and light are resolved. Until that idea moves into the mainstream, there will still be disagreement as to the relevance of my approach to visualizing the extra dimensions... but this paper certainly helps my project's inch by inch progress from the lunatic fringe towards the accepted picture of the underlying "information equals reality" nature of our universe or any other.

Here's a few select paragraphs from the MIT article, please click on the following links to read the full article, read the arxiv.org posting, or download the pdf of the paper:
Today, Leonard Susskind at Stanford University in Palo Alto and Raphael Bousso at the University of California, Berkeley, put forward the idea that the multiverse and the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics are formally equivalent. But there is a caveat. The equivalence only holds if both quantum mechanics and the multiverse take special forms.
They call this new idea the multiverse interpretation of quantum mechanics.
That's something worth pondering for a moment. Bousso and Susskind are two of the world's leading string theorists (Susskind is credited as the father of the field), so their ideas have an impeccable pedigree.
...what this new approach does have is a satisfying simplicity-- it's neat and elegant that the many worlds and the multiverse are equivalent. William of Ockham would certainly be pleased and no doubt, many modern physicists will be too.
"A satisfying simplicity... neat and elegant": that's also what people like about my approach to visualizing the dimensions. I'm always excited when I see ways in which the ideas I arrived at through intuition and imagination are now being confirmed with proofs by great minds such as these. As I've said all along, I believe there's an underlying truth which connects these many schools of thought together, and today is an important step in that journey.

Are you enjoying the journey?

Rob Bryanton

Next: Poll 77 - What if the World's a Simulation?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why Did I Choose the Red Shirt?

Yesterday a YouTube user named Jimmy asked me this thought-provoking question: "If the fifth dimension includes a version of the universe where I could have worn a blue shirt or a red shirt today, did the events that led to today make it inevitable that I would choose the red shirt? Did the fifth dimension choose this outcome for me?"

This is a good question because it gets to the root of whether free will is an illusion, and why people who don't believe we exist in the fifth dimension can be more likely to conclude, as Stephen Hawking has, that our free will is nothing more than a convenient fiction to acknowledge the complex and interlocking pattern of outcomes that led to our currently observed universe. My response:

Here's how I think about it. Einstein and Kaluza agreed that our reality is defined at the fifth dimension. So although we think we're in 4D spacetime, I would insist that our "now" is really a constantly evolving point in the fifth dimension.

Using your example, yesterday your  5D "point" had many possible 5D paths leading both to it and from it. One set of paths forward involved you selecting a blue shirt today, another involved you selecting a red shirt. Today, your 5D position includes only the paths where you're wearing a red shirt, so even though the path of you choosing a blue shirt this morning was an available path yesterday, that path is no longer accessible today - unless you were now able to leap over to that path using the sixth dimension.

What makes the choice? This is where quantum physicists can get uncomfortable, because it has been experimentally proven time and time again that the wavefunction of all possible states for the universe exists in superposition until an observation is made. That includes the red shirt today and blue shirt today universe for you. Schrodinger made up his story about his cat experiment to try to show people how ridiculous it would be if what happens at the quantum level were also happening here at the macro level, but nowadays experimental evidence is making it increasingly difficult to say where the dividing line between the quantum world and our classical world resides - and I remain firmly convinced that there is no dividing line. Which means that you, your consciousness, your free will, chose to observe the "red shirt today" universe from your current 5D vantage point, but the "blue shirt today" universe was and continues to be just as real, but is no longer accessible from your current position within the observed quantum wavefunction.

Yes, that current point might be more likely based upon what has come before, but your decision this morning to choose a red shirt was not forced upon you by some inevitable quantum process. "But what about Schrodinger's imaginary cat?", you might say. "The cat didn't choose to have the radioactive particle decay or not, didn't choose to have the vial of poison smashed or not, didn't choose whether to live or die while trapped in Schrodinger's imaginary box." This is very true. And likewise, in our own day-to-day existence there are random events, random selections and choices happening at the quantum level and at the macro level which can occasionally make one path or another selectable while eliminating others.

If somebody had killed you yesterday, you would not be here to select a red shirt or blue shirt today. But since you're here, you have a consciousness which can be aware of the paths forward, and within the bounds of causality and probability select the red shirt path or the blue shirt path, but not the path where you jump to the moon. And to use that famous cat example, there was still the path where the cat could have chosen to jump out of the box before they closed the lid!

Thanks for writing,


My 2008 blog entry The Fifth Dimension Isn't Magic goes into more detail about this idea. And next time we'll be looking at a new video blog which also relates to this discussion - The Quantum Observer.

Enjoy the journey!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Each in Our Own Filter Bubble?

Some of my most viewed blog entries in the last while have been about the world of memes, and how those relate so nicely to my approach to visualizing the dimensions. Rebecca Black and QWOP, Turtles and the Tenth Dimension, and Turtles and Timelike Entanglement have all been about this topic, and the first of those entries in particular referred back to something I've been working on every week since the beginning of 2008: The Google Suggestions Time Capsule Project.

Now watch this excellent new TED Talks video about the automatic personalized filtering that's becoming more and more prevalent in the world of internet searches.

This video begs the question: with the Google Suggestions Time Capsule Project, could I be unwittingly revealing things about my own internet habits? It's food for thought!

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

Next: Why Did I Choose the Red Shirt?

Poll 76 - No Space, No Time, No Mass

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyXLYckyoF8

Poll 76:"From a photon's point of view there is no space, no time, no mass. Light does not exist within the world of spacetime and matter."
Poll ended January 8, 2011. 70.2% agreed, and 29.8% disagreed.

As you can probably tell as we look at this current crop of poll questions, I became quite fascinated with the ramifications of my Light Has No Speed entry, and each of these poll questions are looking at the same idea from a number of different perspectives. Where am I heading with this? In 2011, I've been repeatedly showing the following diagram, which is a way of thinking about how gravity and light interact to create our constantly evolving "now" within the fifth dimension. And as I keep returning to, Einstein himself eventually agreed with the proposition that the field equations of gravity and light for our reality are resolved when they're calculated in the fifth dimension. Coincidence? I think not.

One of the most important ideas that spring from this diagram might be that it's more accurate to think of light and our universe's duration as residing within the fifth dimension. Does that mean time is a direction in the fifth dimension? In a way it does, but since we're already calling the first four dimensions spacetime, does that make any sense?

My answer to that conundrum is that words like "time" are the same as words like "up" or "forward". They represent directions, not specific dimensions. Time is a way of describing change from state to state, and those changes make just as much sense whether they're viewed from the direction of "time" or "anti-time". Is "up" a direction in the 3rd dimension, or is it "forward"? Either could be true, it depends upon your frame of reference. And can the direction of "up" point at only one thing? Likewise, can the direction of "time" point at only one thing? Again, what these directions are pointing at depends upon your frame of reference.

But as we discussed with the above poll question, the photon's ability to travel at the speed of light puts it within a specific space where there appears to be only one possible set of states from the beginning to the end of the universe, which would be at "right angles" to our spacetime, where the star ten light years away emitting a photon and that photon hitting your eye are, from the photon's point of view, simultaneous.

This takes us back to the hard determinist viewpoint that there is really only one world line for our universe, and our free will is only a useful illusion, nothing more. In the past I've said that's the difference between the "one world line" that seems to be the fourth dimension, and the "fifth dimension probability space" that we are really navigating within.

So. Is "time" a direction in the 5th dimension, or is time in the 4th? Either can be true, it all depends upon your frame of reference.

Next week, we'll continue this discussion as we look at a new video - The Quantum Observer. Coming up next - Are We Each in Our Own Filter Bubble?

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Möbius Strip Roller Coaster!

Can you picture it? Somebody should make a möbius strip roller coaster, where the cars are zipping around on both the top side and underside of the track! You'd be upside down much of the time of course, so it wouldn't be for the faint of heart. Could be quite a spectacle! Does such a thing already exist or have I stumbled upon a new idea here?

This idea occurred to me as I was answering a question posted to me on YouTube about whether a "flatlander on a möbius strip" is kind of like looking out at the track in front of a roller coaster. With the 2D flatlander example, he's twisting and turning in the next dimension up, but unaware of this additional motion. But what is the corresponding "next dimension up" for we human beings? Here's the answer I gave.

Yes, we're made out of 3D atoms and molecules, but we can't move without using time, so you and I are really in the fourth dimension, traveling in a specific direction which we call "time". My point is that as we travel in the fourth dimension we would be like the flatlander on the möbius strip - we can think we are traveling in a straight line, but we're really branching and twisting in the fifth dimension.

But wait, doesn't that mean the flatlander can't move without using the third dimension? And if we live in "spacetime", is the flatlander really in "planetime" or some such term? That's certainly true. As I've always said with this project, it's quite useful to say that "time" can be thought of as a direction in the next dimension up to whatever spatial dimension you're considering, but saying those words doesn't always clear things up for people. These are the kinds of language traps we can fall into when we're talking about "time" in the context of spatial dimensions. Am I a 3D creature or am I a 4D creature? Depends upon the frame of reference you're using, either is true in its own way.

But I'd still like to see somebody build a Möbius Strip Roller Coaster!

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

Next - New Video - Photons and Free Will

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Poll 75 - Waves, Curves and Frames

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSqU4ypIPNw

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVkdfJ9PkRQ

Poll 75: "Before" our universe and 'after' our universe are both the same thing - the indeterminate state of enfolded symmetry. Likewise, this is what we get to when we try to view smaller than or 'between the frames' of our planck-unit-sized slices of spacetime."
Poll ended December 12 2010. 79.1 % agreed, while 20.9% did not.

Last week we looked at my new video for "Is Spacetime Flat or Curved?". Really, this poll question is about the same idea: I support the scientific viewpoint which says that our universe is not really infinite. Rather, it's finite but unbounded.

Let me try to sum up my position again here.

3D is space without time. We can't move within space without using the fourth dimension, so whenever we talk about moving through space we're really talking about moving through spacetime. Some physicists say our spacetime is absolutely flat, and some of those physicists use that as a way of saying that if you could travel far enough you would get to the Earth that is just like ours and see another "you" who did something different when they got up this morning.

I say that's counter-intuitive, but I also understand why it receives some support because it places the "you" who did something different this morning in another universe that is equally deterministic to our own, where you believe you chose one action or another this morning with your free will, but in fact you're in the one single universe where you were predestined to make the choice you made, and we each live in a grim universe where we really have no control over what we're going to do or what's going to happen to us.

Coincidentally, the cover story of the New Scientist magazine that just arrived in my mailbox was about free will. Here's a video they published about the discussion of whether free will is an illusion:

Some scientists who support the idea of there being a slight curvature to our space time use this analogy: if our observable universe were the size of a quarter, the entire finite but unbounded universe of our spacetime would be the size of planet Earth! This is a good way to visualize the scale, but when we do so we have to remember that we're talking about 4D spacetime, rather than a 3D physical object like a planetary sphere.

Here's where that slight curvature of our spacetime takes me in my thinking. To me it makes more sense to say that if we travelled through our 4D "finite but unbounded" spacetime universe with its slight curvature, we'd eventually end up travelling through the absolute zero, the enfolded symmetry that's "outside" our system and after an additional 13.7 billion year journey, end up right where we are now: right here and right now. But if we had adjusted our trajectory ever so slightly in the fifth dimension, we'd have reached the parallel universe where we got up and did something different today.

So I would say that other universe is directly adjacent to ours, and the choices that we make with our free will are us navigating through our fifth dimensional probability space, with a combination of our choices, the actions of others, and random outcomes.

By the way, I posted a link to the above New Scientist video on my facebook page, and it generated lots of spirited discussion. Here's a link to the many dozens of comments posted there.

I'm very pleased that 79% of the visitors to this blog were willing to support this idea, that the quantum wavefunction of our universe includes a "null" point where everything cancels out, and not only is that both "before" and "after" the life of our universe, it's the explanation for why it's impossible for there to be anything smaller than a planck length: because that ultra-small measurement takes us to exactly the same place that the ultra-large measurement of our entire universe from its beginning to its end as a single data-set takes us to: the point of indeterminate size.

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next: Mobius Strip Roller Coaster!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Proof That Spacetime is Flat?

As a followup to my last entry (Is Spacetime Flat or Curved?), here's a very nicely presented youtube movie which demonstrates why cosmologists believe the WMAP data shows the universe is flat to within a small margin of error. As I've said many times before, I believe that margin of error is eventually going to reveal that there is a slight curvature to our spacetime, but if you watch this video you'll see a good explanation of the opposing viewpoint.


Next - Waves, Curves and Frames

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Poll 74 - Twins, Photons, and Mass

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iACKDPXtH4

Poll 74 - "One twin stays here, the other travels by near speed of light rocket, returns to earth in 60 years looking not much older. This thought experiment shows us that a photon (traveling at the speed of light) has no experience of time: it has zero duration." Poll ended November 14 2010. 83.8% agreed, while the remaining 16.2% did not.

The Twins Paradox, as this is often called, comes from Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity. I remember as a child watching a Wonderful World of Disney episode which included an animation about this concept and thinking it was impossible. How could it be that one twin gets in a rocket ship, the other stays home, and yet when the rocket twin returns he still looks the same age while the twin who stayed home now looks old? I really had a hard time with how strange the whole idea seemed to be.

And yet if you take the logic of this paradox even further, you arrive at the amazing conclusion we first looked at in Light Has No Speed. The faster you go, the larger the disparity between your experience of time and those who you leave behind: but the rocket ship twin will never be able to travel right at the speed of light, because it would take an infinite amount of energy to move them. Even traveling at near the speed of light, as we describe in this poll question, would require unimaginably large amounts of energy to push the rocket ship twin along.

So how does a photon travel at the speed of light if it takes an infinite amount of energy to reach that speed? It's because photons have no mass.  Here's a quote from the NASA website about this:

 "Photons do not have mass, but they do have momentum. The proper, general equation to use is E^2 = m^2c^4 + p^2c^2 So in the case of a photon, m=0 so E = pc or p = E/c. On the other hand, for a particle with mass m at rest (i.e., p = 0), you get back the famous E = mc^2." 
Here's one more interesting idea about all this - photons have no mass, but they do carry energy. E=mc^2 is often used to show that there's an equivalence between mass and energy. The exact number varies according to the assumptions used, but as you'll see at this U.S. Department of Energy web page, if you were to take the energy planet Earth is receiving from the sun and convert it to mass, it works out to over 2 kilograms per second! That's a bit of scientific trivia I hadn't come across before.

So, to get back to the poll question: isn't it quite a leap to go from the twins paradox to the idea that light has zero duration? I'm thrilled that almost 84% of the visitors to this blog were willing to come along for the ride to make that leap with me. And I'm hoping it's because many of you saw and approved of the ideas presented in this video for my blog entry published around the same time as this poll question, Light Has No Speed.

A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksTngIWRnWs.

Next up is the new video for Is Spacetime Flat or Curved. Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next - Is Spacetime Flat or Curved?

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