Monday, February 15, 2010

Are We Just A "Kodak Moment?"

I won't beat the stupid journo drum of saying "IF this is true" because I am not a scientist.  The people in this long article, however, they are  scientists, and they should know better than to keep up the "what if" garbage.  If they have something that fits their observed facts, then they should stop saying "if this is true" and instead start believing in themselves a bit more.  Since our whole belief system would be changed by this.

If you've waded through that article, you're probably back here with a zillion thoughts whizzing around in your head.  For those of you that haven't read it, let me summarise for you:

An "observatory" in Hanover which was set up to observe gravity waves, has been getting the odd noise that's messing up their signals.  Before they had a chance to formulate a theory, a physicist named Craig Hogan volunteered an hypothesis of his that predates the Hanover experiment but which explains the problems they've had.

Which is, that they've hit the quantum limit of resolution of the Universe.  You know how a two dimensional computer image contains one dimensional bits (pixels) which represent a three dimensional object we've taken a picture of?  Well, the Hanover experiment has discovered the "pixels of space and time," the smallest units of spacetime that can be measured.

And that means that our Universe is a three-dimensional "picture" itself, representing a higher dimensional Universe.  Going back to the idea of the picture of a three dimensional object, you can imagine that the three dimensional object "drifted" through the picture plane, and left an image of itself behind.  Our brains can do the complex math of recovering that original object by the simple act of looking at the two dimensional picture.  We 'know" what the three dimensional object that cast this particular "shadow" was, because we have experience of how the picture encodes the information.

Despite that picture looking like a completely smooth analog object, though, we know that it's made up of pixels, which are the "quantum limit" of a digital picture.  You can't "enhance the image" beyond the individual pixels despite what all the CSI shows suggest.  Similarly, the quantum limit of a painting is the molecules of the pigment and the substrate, once you go to microscopic levels you find that the "quanta" of the painting are the molecules of pigment adhering to the molecules of the substrate, and no matter how much more you magnify, that's the limit.

Now we've known for millenia that things are composed of smaller things.  Ships, planks, molecules of wood, atoms that compose the molecules, quantum particles (there's that word again) that compose the atoms.  But for some reason we've treated both space and time as analog quantities.  I.e. it's always been assumed that time flows in a stream, that you can always halve the distance between two points one more time.

So the quanta of our Universe would be the "shadow" of the next higher dimension(s) as seen in our "3D plus time" fashion.  Now to the most unquestionably mind-blowing part of this...  Just as every part of a two dimensional image as described above is part of a representation of a three dimensional object, that means that we ourselves are also just "pixels" of an image of a Universe with more dimensions than ours...

I'll take this a step further, because I like to stick my neck out.  We've known that the material world is atomic, that is, larger assemblies being composed of smaller assemblies, down to the quantum limit.  We assumed that there would just be no lower limit to quanta, but it seems that we may have been wrong on that one.  Now we're being forced to understand that time is similarly atomic and that time too has a lower limit.

Now imagine your brain, your mind, working away, ticking over.  If intelligence and consciousness were linear and analog, we would notice discrete quanta of space and time.  In the space between one "tick" of time and the next, our intelligence/consciousness would be churning along feeling very strange indeed.  So our consciousness also is quantum in nature, meaning that what we consider our "selves" is actually a 3D hologram of the next dimension in consciousness and intelligence.

No wonder we're filled with such a sense of being part of a larger whole, this is why we invent gods and demons and whole religions designed to "develop" us into the next dimensional being we quite likely sense we're the image of...  No wonder we have entire theologies and religions devoted to the idea that "we are all one" or "we are part of a greater Being's plan..."  It's because some higher dimensional being took a snapshot...

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