Monday, May 28, 2012

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 . May 11 .
. June 11 . July 11 . August 11 . September 11 . October 11 .
. November 11 . December 11 . Top 100 Entries of 2011
. January 12 . February 12 . March 12 . April 12 .

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

1. Poll 85 - No Quantum/Classical Divide?
2. Scientific American on Rob Bryanton
3. Poll 86 - Impossible to See the Third Dimension?
4. Poll 88 - Is the Sixth Dimension Our Phase Space?
5. Poll 89 - Is Many Worlds as True as Natural Selection?

6. Poll 87 - Many Worlds, Fossils and Dinosaurs
7. Poll 84 - The Multiverse and Many Worlds
8. Poll 90 - Neutrinos and the Laws of Physics
9. New Video - Imagining the Ninth Dimension
10. Time Crystals

And as of May 26th, 2012, 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. The Pencil Visualization (2)
3. What's Around the Corner? (3)
4. Mandelbulbs (4)
5. Is Reality an Illusion? (5)
6. The 5th-Dimensional Camera Project (6)  
7. Bees and the LHC (8)
8. New Video - Imagining the Eighth Dimension (20)
9. Gravity and Love (7)
10. 10-10-10 Look Before You Leap (9)
11. Vibrations and Fractals (10)
12. Time Travel Paradoxes (14)  
13. An Expanding 4D Sphere (11)
14. Quantum Weirdness and Water (19)
15. Just Six Things: The I Ching (12)
16. Light Has No Speed (13) 
17. Changing Your Brain (15) 
18. Gravity and Light from the Vacuum (new) 
19. Thrive Movement (new)
20. Roger Ebert on Quantum Reincarnation (16)
21. Our Universe Within the Omniverse (17)
22. Photons and Free Will (22)
23. Magnets and Morality (18)

24. Simultaneous Inspiration (20) 
25. Brain Pickings (new)
26. How to Time Travel (21)

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

. Creativity and the Quantum Universe (23)
. Dancing on the Timeline (24) 
. Complexity from Simplicity (25)
. What is Reality? (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. Also, a lot of people are enjoying discussing these ideas with me on my facebook page: .

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next: Poll 93 - One Inevitable Future?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New Video - Observers and Addictions

A direct link to the above video is at

Next: Poll 93 - One Inevitable Future?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Poll 92 - One Inevitable Past?

"In his book 'Just Six Numbers', cosmologist Martin Rees says this: 'if the Earth's history were re-run, it could end up with a quite different biosphere.' This demonstrates that there is not just one inevitable timeline for our universe." Poll ended April 27, 2012. 86.3% agreed, while the remaining 13.7% did not.

People who argue that free will is an illusion have been taught to think that everything about our reality is inevitable, like a long row of dominoes - as soon as you knock over the first one, the rest have no option but to fall over, one after the other.

Here's a link to an article about a new paper published at, which does a great job of putting this discussion into a broader context: Does the Quantum Wave Function Represent Reality? Let me quote the opening paragraph from that article, which was written by Lisa Zyga:

At the heart of quantum mechanics lies the wave function, a probability function used by physicists to understand the nanoscale world. Using the wave function, physicists can calculate a system's future behavior, but only with a certain probability. This inherently probabilistic nature of quantum theory differs from the certainty with which scientists can describe the classical world, leading to a nearly century-long debate on how to interpret the wave function: does it representative objective reality or merely the subjective knowledge of an observer? In a new paper, physicists Roger Colbeck of the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario, and Renato Renner who is based at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, have presented an argument strongly in favor of the objective reality of the wave function, which could lead to a better understanding of the fundamental meaning of quantum mechanics.

This is a powerful idea, and it speaks to the underlying timeless nature of what we keep coming back to with this project: it shows how there can be Everett's Many Worlds, which is a way of interpreting this quantum wave function which allows for the existence of more than one possible outcome from any position within space-time. We are not dominoes, we are not automatons. And while this doesn't give us magical powers (which is to say, our choices can't violate causality and select an outcome which is logically impossible), we still do have the power to choose one outcome over another within the probability space of possible outcomes. This means medical studies that propose any decision-making process that we perceive as being our free will is really just the result of inexorable electrochemical processes are wrong, because they ignore the underlying quantum nature of our reality. And it means that Martin Rees is correct: even in the big cosmological picture of our universe and of our planet, there are many possible paths we could have traveled to get to "now", and many other possible "now"s that are not even causally connected to the one we're currently observing.

This is true no matter what point in time you are thinking about: there are many possible outcomes, all equally real, and not just the outcome that we happen to be observing right here and right now. Embrace your probability space!

And enjoy the journey.

Rob Bryanton

PS - Just a few days ago, Nature Magazine published an article that also relates very nicely to this discussion:

Next: New Video - Observers and Addictions

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tesseracts and Time Travel

Over the last few weeks we've been looking at entries based upon a list of questions given to me by high school senior Jim Evins for a paper he was writing about my project. We'll conclude with three more questions.

"In chapter 3 of your book you discuss the possibility of an alien race that moves backwards in time. If they were to show up in the year 3000 and attain victory over earth, and we attain victory in our flow of time, would we not just destroy one another’s history and reverse the reality of who showed up first on our planet?"
The accepted definition for anti-matter is that it’s matter which is moving backwards in time. That underlying “sea of information” that we looked at in the first question is ultimately symmetrical, a balanced whole, where every positive and negative can exist simultaneously, and our universe or any other is defined in part by how it breaks that symmetry: this is why our universe is made primarily of matter rather than anti-matter. Physicist Sean Carroll talks about how the existence of our universe means there should be a corresponding universe made up primarily of anti-matter, and in that universe time’s “arrow” would be in the opposite direction to ours.

But if matter and anti-matter interact, they destroy each other. So the reverse time aliens I’m describing in the thought experiment you’re referring to are made of the same matter as us, but they perceive time to flow in the opposite direction. How could that be possible? In my book I describe how for us, time appears to flow in one direction only because we derive our energy from chemical processes which obey the thermodynamic laws of entropy, and many physicists talk about the fact that our universe started with extremely low entropy and will end with extremely high entropy. But physicists also talk about “time reversal symmetry” which means any process viewed in one direction of time should make just as much sense when viewed in the opposite direction. So with the scenario I was describing, these aliens derive their energy from some other process which moves in time’s opposite direction, and hence they perceive time to move in the opposite direction to ours. I propose that it would be possible for both races to destroy each other, and yet both could survive within their own perceived version of reality. How? Because quantum mechanics tells us there are many possible pasts and many possible futures. So just as Everett’s Many Worlds Interpretation tells us the universe must exist where I lost my leg as a child, that universe has nothing to do with the one I’m observing, it has no effect on my reality.

Again, if you believe there is only one possible past, present and future for our universe then conversations such as these would be fraught with paradox. But this deeper understanding of how we move within a constantly evolving probability space, and how the probability space I had one minute, one year, or one decade ago is not the same probability space as I’m within right “now” allows us to see how this thought experiment would work: the aliens could destroy us, we could destroy the aliens, but those two universes do not directly affect each other because they are part of our universe’s 6D phase space.

"Are you aware of 4 dimensional objects such as tesseracts, pentatopes, and rotatopes, and if so how are they incorporated (if at all) into your view of the fourth dimension?"
I talk about extra-dimensional shapes such as these regularly in my blog or on my youtube channel . Here’s a link to the blog entry and video for Imagining the Fourth Dimension, my blog entry which most recently deals with this question:

In a nutshell: there’s a difference between a concept such as cube, and a physical cube. Likewise, there’s a difference between tesseract as a concept, and a physical object that is in the shape of a tesseract. What do I mean by this? A 3D cube as a concept can be freely discussed as an idea, but if a cube had length, width and depth within 3D space but no duration within 4D space-time it would be impossible for us to view such an object. Likewise, a 4D hypercube or tesseract can be discussed as a concept, but it would be impossible for us to view such an object unless it had a duration within the fourth dimension. When we look at animations of rotating tesseracts, then, we are looking at a visualization of how cross-sections of that object would appear within the third dimension, one frame after another, and we’re not really viewing the tesseract in its entirety.
"Do you feel it’s possible to reverse our sense of time and flow the opposite way, or do we have to maintain the flow we were born into?"
With our physical bodies, we are stuck with our “arrow of time” because of those thermodynamic processes I spoke of above. The only way that we can currently perceive these extra dimensions, or time flowing in the opposite direction, is with our minds and the power of imagination.

Thanks again, Jim, for your insightful questions. Next week, we'll look at Poll 92 - Is there only one inevitable timeline for our universe?

Enjoy the journey!


Monday, May 7, 2012

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Why Can't We Stop at the 5th Dimension?

Two weeks ago I told you about student Jim Evins, who gave me a list of questions for a school paper he's writing about my "new way of thinking about time and space". Here's his second question:

"The 7th dimension dictates all the possible beginnings and ends of our universe, but why would this characteristic not fall under the 5th dimension, seeing as the 5th dimensions explores all possibilities of our current reality?"
...and here's my reply:

In one sense, we've already covered this in my previous response. Or try thinking of it this way: Einstein accepted that our observed reality is derived from the fifth dimension way back in 1921, yet this is rarely taught in schools. Quantum mechanics and concepts such as Feynman’s “sum over paths” tell us that there are many causally connected pasts and futures that connect to any particular “now”, and Everett said that these branches are orthogonal to space-time: so this leads me to insist that you or I are moving points within a fifth-dimensional probability space. Right now, there is zero probability that you and I can suddenly be in the universe where it’s 2012 and dinosaurs never became extinct. If I had lost my leg in a car accident as a child, there would be zero probability of me now suddenly being in the universe where that leg is still fine. But those other versions of our universe, according to the Schrodinger wave equation and Everett’s Theory of the Universal Wave Function, must exist. We just can’t get there from here because Einstein was right: our reality is being derived from the fifth dimension, and not the sixth.

There is one very unique case in which your question does apply, what if one of the two points we’re drawing a line from is the beginning (most commonly called the big bang) of our universe? In the fourth dimension, we can only perceive one causally connected line that gets you from that beginning, that passes through “now”, and gets you to the end of the universe. If the hard determinists were correct, and everything about our universe is inevitable and free will is an illusion, this would be the end of the discussion. Still, we’ve already established that our reality comes from the fifth dimension, not the fourth, so if the first point we define in the fifth dimension is the beginning of our universe, then within this 5D probability space there are all the causally connected 4D lines that get you to any other version, or the phase space of our universe, but it’s important to realize that most of those lines would not pass through the unique “now” that you or I are currently observing because there are so many different possible world lines. Most important of all, once you travel on any one of those lines you are immediately beginning to pare away the possible causally connected paths. In other words, by saying “then this happened” you are obviously excluding all the other possible outcomes that are not logically compatible with the “then this happened” you have just described. The only way to have the complete freedom to navigate within our unique universe’s phase space is within the sixth dimension, and the only way to think of that phase space as a single point is to perceive it within the seventh dimension and above.

Thanks Jim for the great questions. We'll finish these up next week with an entry called "Tesseracts and Time Travel".

Enjoy the journey,


Next: New Video - Psychedelics and Surprises

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