I remember being at some sort of sporting event in a stadium like a baseball game or something. I’m with Emily way at the top in the nosebleed seats… and i see something weird floating in the sky. Looks like an underwater camera rig sort of… surrounded by a cage made of painted blue round metal tubing… mandrel-bent on all corners… it’s floating by as if it were buoyant and underwater or like some sort of U.F.O. I point to it and ask Emily if she sees it but the volume of my voice or the fact that she doesn’t see my hand causes her to look in ever direction but up. She sees my hand and turns in that direction just moments after it disappears behind a building.
Then, from even higher in the sky… i see a blue metal railing like the the cage around that device… only this one looks like the kind of those lavender railing you would see at light-rail stations on K street in Sacramento… FALLING from the sky, tumbling end-over-end, and coming right toward us. i holler at people to take cover but it just misses the stadium and falls outside of it… i don’t remember hearing it hit the ground but i start running down the steps to see if anyone got hurt.. at that point i hear the name “Larry David” come from the loudspeakers and i see the actor, Larry David, riding that blue flying rig like a mechanical bull… as it clatters and sparks across the ground like one of those hovering bikes from inside the giant building on that movie, Akira… reminds me very much of the way those things would crash.
This is a “COMMERCIAL?” i ask Emily, realizing that this was an ad for the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm.
“Yeah”, she said, “Commercials are getting very involved these days.”
Next thing i know I’m at my mother’s house. Stewart, my godparents’ son who died from pneumonia 15 years ago is house-sitting and sleeping in my mom’s bed. My mother was staying next door at another neighbor’s house (ironically one that she doesn’t like)… They have been watching over her while I’ve been gone. I go there with Emily to try to pick her up and take her home. “Mom…” I say as a shake her arm, “time to get up! I have to take you home!”
“I’m going to stay here…. ONE more week!” she announced sleepily but playfully.
“Did you ASK them if you could stay? You have to ask first.” i tell her and i head to the front room to ask, while Emily stays behind to talk some sense into her.
Upon entering the living room, i realize how long it’s been since I’ve been here. The occupants of the house are getting old and their hair is silvery-gray. The linoleum has been replaced with linoleum that seems to have exactly the same pattern, but is translucent and there are green lights under the floor that seem to be very deeply buried when i walk. By that i mean that the perspective makes it so that the light source stays in front of you while you walk. They tell me that they just turned them on, and that this effect will go away as the bulbs warm up.
The woman of the house, Carolyn, is looking down an itemized list of my mom’s medical expenses and says that she is concerned. She points to a line item highlighted in yellow and asks what it is. I tell her that it’s the bill from the masseuse that the doctor recommended who was not covered by her insurance. That seems to put her at ease.
I go back to the room where my mom was and both her and Emily are gone. I wander out to the garage and there is a futuristic van of some kind parked there… doors on at least 3 sides of it… full to the brim with computers, musical equipment, tools, and god knows what else. Seems like some sort of high tech mobile repair truck. My mother is inside it, poking the keys on one of the midi keyboards.
“I thought i heard Elvis” She says.
“Get the hell outta there! stop touching things!” i say and we head back to her house next door. At this point I’m carrying a bag of bongs for some reason and I’m trying to hide them under T shirts so that people don’t see what i’m carrying.
We get back to the house and things have changed. There is a 4-person team of super heroes or something. Very strange looking. Two of them are very tall, very obese men in red and blue horizontal striped shirts and propeller-hats… like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. The team leader is a tall muscular African American guy and there is also this nondescript white lady. They are super geniuses. They are showing me a device that they made that looks like a flashlight but the handle looks like 3 long cylindrical batteries held together by packing tape. ON the side is a switch with about 2 inches of travel… and on the tape next to it is a label that reads “Planck Width.” When they threw the switch, fundamental forces of the universe would start to bend and metal objects from all around the neighborhood were drawn to the tip of the flashlight. It is unclear if the device was manipulating electro-magnetism, gravity, or both…. but all these objects were flying in through the windows and stacking up on the end of this device.
Everything these people would make, looked aesthetically similar. They were electronic components held together with matte-brown packing tape, with labels written on them in black pen. I get the feeling that the van in the garage next door is their mobile command station or laboratory. Suddenly this person in a high-tech metal suit of some kind materializes in the hallway and begins fighting with the team leader guy. He sort of “unfolds” from a single point in mid-air… very reminiscent of the smiths from the Matrix… but instead of transforming from other people, there were sort of unfolding, dimensionally, from points in the air. The fight is pretty brutal. Something about their suits makes them very strong.
I decide it’s time to bail on the house and i find myself driving north up Freeport blvd in Sacramento… on that stretch between pocket road and florin. Except that there is farmland to the left… an irrigation ditch where the center-divide should be, and hundreds of cars parked perpendicularly, facing the ditch. I slow down and park to see what all the commotion is about. There are emergency vehicles and bystanders trying to offer help. I see more of these blue-framed metal objects submerged in the ditch, just below the surface of the water. I jog down the road to find someone who looks official, so i can ask what happened and if i can help. There is a man on a bulldozer. I try to flag him down and he tells me “there are elevators stuck under the water.”
“How did they get there?” i wonder but he is already driving off. I run back the other way and see a guy in a hard hat yelling into a walkie-talkie… “I need to locate tractor-team leader NOW!” he shouts.
“Hey is there something i can do to help?” I ask.
“Have you seen tractor-team leader?” he responds after barking more orders into the radio.
“Is that him?” I point to the guy on the bulldozer who is several hundred feet from us now, and dragging what appears to be half of a carcass of a giant rat under the bulldozer.
“I don’t know…” the man replies. “Can you go find out?”
“Sure i say” but before i can run in that direction, a hail of bullets blisters the dirt road in front of me, causing red bursts against the ground as they hit, and sounding like machine gun fire. I run a zig-zagging course and come to a sliding stop behind a parked car. Seems like I’m on the wrong side for this so at the next available moment i run to get behind another car, on the south side of it. The bullets are still not stopping and i am amazed to not be dead already. That’s when i notice that more of these armored agents are appearing out of thin air and attacking us. One of them is standing in the middle of the road with this giant futuristic machine gun and spraying it in long bursts straight up in the air… which accounts for these bullets seeming to be coming from the sky.
I run back to the house… and right upon entering the hallway another agent appears right behind me and jumps on my back…wrestling me to the ground. Somehow i get the upper hand and i yank this guy out of his suit… he looks like an inflatable doll… not a person. I start thrashing him against the walls…. and then i wake up.
What if suddenly you woke up in bed, in an unfamiliar body? And your whole life up until right now had just been a dream? And then what if it only took a few minutes for you to forget the dream entirely and remember your other life and go on as if nothing had happened? And then what if you found out that this is what happens to your consciousness every time you die or fall asleep? And then you realized that ALL life is merely one large manifold-consciousness choosing to view itself from different angles relative to itself? And then you realized that this is how a relative universe can coexist with and within a singularity?
“…discovered today that his swimsuit he left on top of the dryer has vanished into the void that claims all the lost socks.. after tearing the house apart looking for it, I’ve surmised that it fell into a dimensional rift never to be seen again.. sigh.”
Personally I believe a clothes dryer creates conditions which allow for quantum tunneling… i also believe that the spinning centrifuge has a radius of influence that extends beyond it’s perimeter. So his swimsuit was totally close enough to feel the effects.
The ratio of the square of the leaked amplitude to the square of the incident amplitude gives the probability that the swimsuit “tunnels” through the dryer
The good news is the gremlins (machine-elves… whatever) usually bring your belongings back.
The bad: never as a matching pair.
Yes… i’ve put a lot of thought into this.
So i’ve noticed this technique used in many many movies… i figured it had a name but i didn’t think to look it up until today… You dolly the camera away from the subject while zooming in at the same time. The object of focus (usually a person who you want to portray experiencing something of impact) stays centered and around the same size while the background appears to stretch behind them. It’s usually accompanied by a sweeping sound effect or creepy violin strings…
I thought of it this morning on the way in to work because i was thinking of the concept of time dialation and 2012. Is time speeding up? And if so, why don’t we notice it? It seems like old people are always talking about how life goes by so quickly but high school felt like fucking forever. Maybe think of it like the dolly zoom effect… Time is dollying away from us while our brains are zooming in to balance it all out in our minds. And just like the creepy background-stretching effect is evidence of this motion, so is the feeling of the days slipping through our fingers… even though the clock seems to tick away at the same measured rate.
When i was a kid it used to feel like my meals were SO far apart… far enough, at least, for me to get hungry in the in-between time. These days, the clock hits 9:30pm and i feel like i JUST had lunch.
Makes you wonder….
2PM–2AM SATURDAY 12 APRIL 2008
NASA AMES RESEARCH CENTER, MOFFETT FIELD, CA
$40 online, $50 at the door
VIP tickets $200
Tickets are available at www.ynba.org
Once a year in over a hundred places all over the world, Yuri’s Night commemorates the anniversary of the launch of the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin.
This year the San Francisco Bay Area will be home to the largest Yuri’s Night celebration ever. At the NASA Ames Research Center over 8,000 people will join scientists, musicians, and artists to learn, celebrate, and pay tribute to our global space heritage; and to celebrate the anniversaries of the first human spaceflight and the first space shuttle mission. Yuri’s Night Bay Area 2008 is a one-of-a-kind local community event: a perfect fusion of celebration and tribute, technology expo, Maker Faire, art exhibition, and music festival; all rolled into one.
Yuri’s Night Speakers
Come and be inspired by amazing talks by NASA scientists and other pioneers in space exploration and radical technology, and keep your minds moving through the event with our brand-new Festival of Ideas!
Here are some of this year’s speakers to whet your appetite:
World-renowned video game designer Will Wright, creator of SimCity, SimEarth, The Sims, and many other games, including his exciting upcoming game of life, evolution, and exploration, Spore
NASA astrobiologist Jonathan Trent, leader of the new NASA G.R.E.E.N. team for green technology research
Saul Griffith, an MIT-trained mad scientist and founder of one of the most innovative green power companies today, Makani Power
Remarks by Stewart Brand, a founder of The Long Now Foundation and creator of the Whole Earth Catalog
… and many more!
Yuri’s Night Music
This year we are expanding our musical offerings to include TWO FULL STAGES, which means more performers and more variety. Artists from a wide array of musical traditions will be playing all day long. Check the schedule for details.
Electronic music by:
Amon Tobin (Ninja Tune, Montreal)
A special twilight downtempo set by Tipper (HI)
John Tejada (LA/palette recordings): live set
Lusine (Ghostly Intl., Seattle): live set
Scuba (Hotflush Recordings, UK)
Digitonal vs. Posthuman (UK): with live violin
… and many more!
Live vocal and instrumental music by:
Telstar (Featuring: Phil Lesh, Steve Molitz, & John Molo)
Freezepop (Rykodisc, Boston): indie synthpop / new wave
Particle (LA): free-wheelin’ space grooves
BLVD w/ Souleye (LA): hip-hop flavored jam shred
Zoë Keating: avant garde looping cello
… and many more!
A technology showcase featuring leading Bay Area alternative energy companies including SolFocus, Wrightspeed, The California Cars Initiative, and Tesla Motors.
Dozens of art and science installations spanning everything from NASA Lunar Research Robots to the unveiling of the newest sculptures by Michael Christian the Flaming Lotus Girls.
Live performances of all kinds, from dance and acrobatics by Capacitor (San Francisco’s ground-breaking interdisciplinary dance company) to aerial demonstrations featuring Yuri-Gagarin-era Aerobatic Aircraft.
…and much, much more!
Check out www.ynba.org for all of the details.
2008 VIP Information
The VIP area will feature a quiet indoor lounge overlooking the hangar, in addition to a heated tent providing easy access to the rest of the event; both will be excellent for small business meetings and networking. The VIPs will also have private demonstrations from several of the technology exposition participants about current and future technologies and projects.
The VIP package is fully catered and includes food and drinks throughout the day in addition to a dinnertime meal. Discounted hotel accommodations may be available for out-of-town VIPs. VIP tickets are onsale now for $200.
the dramatic continuation of my last blog… i had to post these seperately so people didn’t burn out on reading both articles in a row. This (in conjunction w/ previous blog) is one of the most exciting situations in physics that i’m aware of.
An impoverished surfer has drawn up a new theory of the universe, seen by some as the Holy Grail of physics, which has received rave reviews from scientists.
Garrett Lisi, 39, has a doctorate but no university affiliation and spends most of the year surfing in Hawaii, where he has also been a hiking guide and bridge builder (when he slept in a jungle yurt).
In winter, he heads to the mountains near Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where he snowboards. “Being poor sucks,” Lisi says. “It’s hard to figure out the secrets of the universe when you’re trying to figure out where you and your girlfriend are going to sleep next month.”
Despite this unusual career path, his proposal is remarkable because, by the arcane standards of particle physics, it does not require highly complex mathematics.
Even better, it does not require more than one dimension of time and three of space, when some rival theories need ten or even more spatial dimensions and other bizarre concepts. And it may even be possible to test his theory, which predicts a host of new particles, perhaps even using the new Large Hadron Collider atom smasher that will go into action near Geneva next year.
Although the work of 39 year old Garrett Lisi still has a way to go to convince the establishment, let alone match the achievements of Albert Einstein, the two do have one thing in common: Einstein also began his great adventure in theoretical physics while outside the mainstream scientific establishment, working as a patent officer, though failed to achieve the Holy Grail, an overarching explanation to unite all the particles and forces of the cosmos.
Now Lisi, currently in Nevada, has come up with a proposal to do this. Lee Smolin at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, describes Lisi’s work as “fabulous”. “It is one of the most compelling unification models I’ve seen in many, many years,” he says.
“Although he cultivates a bit of a surfer-guy image its clear he has put enormous effort and time into working the complexities of this structure out over several years,” Prof Smolin tells The Telegraph.
“Some incredibly beautiful stuff falls out of Lisi’s theory,” adds David Ritz Finkelstein at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. “This must be more than coincidence and he really is touching on something profound.”
The new theory reported today in New Scientist has been laid out in an online paper entitled “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything” by Lisi, who completed his doctorate in theoretical physics in 1999 at the University of California, San Diego.
He has high hopes that his new theory could provide what he says is a “radical new explanation” for the three decade old Standard Model, which weaves together three of the four fundamental forces of nature: the electromagnetic force; the strong force, which binds quarks together in atomic nuclei; and the weak force, which controls radioactive decay.
The reason for the excitement is that Lisi’s model also takes account of gravity, a force that has only successfully been included by a rival and highly fashionable idea called string theory, one that proposes particles are made up of minute strings, which is highly complex and elegant but has lacked predictions by which to do experiments to see if it works.
But some are taking a cooler view. Prof Marcus du Sautoy, of Oxford University and author of Finding Moonshine, told the Telegraph: “The proposal in this paper looks a long shot and there seem to be a lot things still to fill in.”
And a colleague Eric Weinstein in America added: “Lisi seems like a hell of a guy. I’d love to meet him. But my friend Lee Smolin is betting on a very very long shot.”
Lisi’s inspiration lies in the most elegant and intricate shape known to mathematics, called E8 – a complex, eight-dimensional mathematical pattern with 248 points first found in 1887, but only fully understood by mathematicians this year after workings, that, if written out in tiny print, would cover an area the size of Manhattan.
E8 encapsulates the symmetries of a geometric object that is 57-dimensional and is itself is 248-dimensional. Lisi says “I think our universe is this beautiful shape.”
What makes E8 so exciting is that Nature also seems to have embedded it at the heart of many bits of physics. One interpretation of why we have such a quirky list of fundamental particles is because they all result from different facets of the strange symmetries of E8.
Lisi’s breakthrough came when he noticed that some of the equations describing E8’s structure matched his own. “My brain exploded with the implications and the beauty of the thing,” he tells New Scientist. “I thought: ‘Holy crap, that’s it!'”
What Lisi had realised was that he could find a way to place the various elementary particles and forces on E8’s 248 points. What remained was 20 gaps which he filled with notional particles, for example those that some physicists predict to be associated with gravity.
Physicists have long puzzled over why elementary particles appear to belong to families, but this arises naturally from the geometry of E8, he says. So far, all the interactions predicted by the complex geometrical relationships inside E8 match with observations in the real world. “How cool is that?” he says.
The crucial test of Lisi’s work will come only when he has made testable predictions. Lisi is now calculating the masses that the 20 new particles should have, in the hope that they may be spotted when the Large Hadron Collider starts up.
“The theory is very young, and still in development,” he told the Telegraph. “Right now, I’d assign a low (but not tiny) likelyhood to this prediction.
“For comparison, I think the chances are higher that LHC will see some of these particles than it is that the LHC will see superparticles, extra dimensions, or micro black holes as predicted by string theory. I hope to get more (and different) predictions, with more confidence, out of this E8 Theory over the next year, before the LHC comes online.”
Mathematicians have successfully scaled their equivalent of Mount Everest. Today they unveil the answer to a problem that, if written out in tiny print, would cover an area the size of Manhattan.
A two dimensional representation of E8, courtesy of Peter McMullen and John Stembridge
At the most basic level, the calculation is an arcane investigation of symmetry – in this case of an object that is 57 dimensional, rather than the usual three dimensional ones that we are familiar with. Although this object was first discovered in the 19th century. there is evidence that it could contain the structure of the cosmos.
Mathematicians are known for their solitary style of working, but the combined assault on what is described as “one of the largest and most complicated structures in mathematics” required the effort of 18 mathematicians from America and Europe for an intensive four-year collaboration.
The feat may baffle most people but could have unforeseen implications in mathematics and physics, which won’t be evident for years to come, said the American Institute of Mathematics.
“The group of symmetries of this strange geometry called E8 is one of the most intriguing structures that Nature has left for the mathematician to play with,” commened Prof Marcus du Sautoy of Oxford University, currently in Auckland. “Most of the time mathematical objects fit into nice patterns that we can order and classify. But this one just sits there like a huge Everest.”
What makes this group of symmetries so exciting is that Nature also seems to have embedded it at the heart of many bits of physics. One interpretation of why we have such a quirky list of fundamental particles is because they all result from different facets of the strange symmetries of E8. I find it rather extraordinary that of all the symmetries that mathematician’s have discovered, it is this exotic exceptional object that Nature has used to build the fabric of the universe. The symmetries are so intricate and complex that today’s announcement of the complete mapping of E8 is a significant moment in our exploration of symmetry.”
For the feat, the team used a mix of theoretical mathematics and intricate computer programming to successfully map E8, (pronounced “E eight”) which is an example of a Lie (pronounced “Lee”) group. Lie groups were invented by the 19th century Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie to study symmetry.
Underlying any symmetrical object, such as a sphere, is a Lie group. Balls, cylinders or cones are familiar examples of symmetric three-dimensional objects. Today’s feat rests on the drive by mathematicians to study symmetries in higher dimensions. E8 is the symmetries of a geometric object that is 57-dimensional. E8 itself is 248-dimensional.
“E8 was discovered over a century ago, in 1887, and until now, no one thought the structure could ever be understood,” said Prof Jeffrey Adams, Project Leader, at the University of Maryland. “This groundbreaking achievement is significant both as an advance in basic knowledge, as well as a major advance in the use of large scale computing to solve complicated mathematical problems.”
“This is an exciting breakthrough,” said Prof Peter Sarnak at Princeton University. “Understanding and classifying the representations of E8 and Lie groups has been critical to understanding phenomena in many different areas of mathematics and science including algebra, geometry, number theory, physics and chemistry. This project will be invaluable for future mathematicians and scientists.”
The ways that E8 manifests itself as a symmetry group are called representations. The goal is to describe all the possible representations of E8. These representations are extremely complicated, but mathematicians describe them in terms of basic building blocks. The new result is a complete list of these building blocks for the representations of E8, and a precise description of the relations between them, all encoded in a matrix, or grid, with 453,060 rows and columns. There are 205,263,363,600 entries in all, each a mathematical expression called a polynomial. If each entry was written in a one inch square, then the entire matrix would measure more than seven miles on each side.
The result of the E8 calculation, which contains all the information about E8 and its representations, is 60 gigabytes in size. This is enough to store 45 days of continuous music in MP3-format. If written out on paper, the answer would cover an area the size of Manhattan. The computation required sophisticated new mathematical techniques and computing power not available even a few years ago.
“This is an impressive achievement,” said Hermann Nicolai, Director of the Albert Einstein Institute in Potsdam, Germany. “While mathematicians have known for a long time about the beauty and the uniqueness of E8, we physicists have come to appreciate its exceptional role only more recently – yet, in our attempts to unify gravity with the other fundamental forces into a consistent theory of quantum gravity, we now encounter it at almost every corner,” he said, referring to efforts to combine the theory of the very big (general relativity) with the very small (quantum mechanics). “Thus, understanding the inner workings of E8 is not only a great advance for pure mathematics, but may also help physicists in their quest for a unified theory.”
Microfiber fabric makes it’s own electricity?
Researchers developing solar technology that works at night
This is a really killer video presentation that helps you understand higher physical dimensions… kind of like the book “Flatland” but this one goes up to the 10th dimension wheras Flatland focused on 4, and only gave you a taste of 5 and 6 at the end.
Thanks to Djeeno for telling me about this one…
It seems kind of clear to me that when we dream, we are experiencing a broader range of dimensional reality than we do while awake… I also tend to think that we only shut this stuff out because we don’t need it to survive in this collective social creation that we inhabit.
Everyone has had moments where they’ve fallen asleep for only a few minutes but dreamed seemingly hours of dreams… Everybody has had bizarre other-worldly dreams that seemed almost like alternate realities… a lot of times these dreams come with whole new sets of memories for this other life you just jumped into.
Once i fell asleep and found myself in the middle of a prehistoric foot-race of some kind… i was stuck in a pit and all these people in tribal clothes were running and jumping over the thing… and suddenly all this memory came flooding in… i remembered the reasons why i was involved in this race… i knew that i had hit my head when i fell in this pit and had been knocked out for a minute. I remember all the drama between family and peers that I had experienced during the week leading up to this race.
What if i was dead? Would i enter a dreamlike state and never wake up from it? Would i enter some reality and inherit all the memories of that life and simply pick up from there?
I believe that, when you dream, you are meandering through higher dimensions and exploring cross-sections of infite possibilities… i think that sometimes you can gain a little control and you can focus on one reality for a lot longer… hence vivid and profound other-world experiences… And I think that this 10-dimensional model that the physics world has come to embrace explains this… i think this video illustrates this very clearly.
How can we experience lifetimes of memory in the blink of an eye? Because in higher dimensions, infinite realities can be experienced as a single point.
We know that if we are not allowed to dream, we go crazy or die… I think this is because we HAVE to return to our higher dimensional selves… there is a natural rhythm here… we zoom in on the multiverse and focus on one point of perspective… on consciousness…. like learning to focus on a stereogram… then at night our soul “exhales” and pulls back from focus, allowing us to stretch our spiritual legs and “recharge”… then we take a deep breath and dive right back in when we wake up.
Breathe in… Breathe out… Breathe in… Breathe out… just like everything else in our universe.
Have you felt a strange quality in your day-to-day, over the past 2-3 weeks? Have you been noticing an elevated level of synchronicity lately? Have things materialized in your reality that you were just talking about the night before?
I’ve been meaning to blog about this for weeks… it started out as me wanting to write about all the crazy synchronicities of late… but then i realized that this subject, as most enlightend output tends to be, seemed connected to a lot of other aspects of my reality… from feelings of “life-out-of-balance” to recently reported black hole activity…
At some points along your journey, there are places where you can take a step back and observe how everything is connected with such breathtaking symmetry… for just a few moments everything seems to be in perfect balance… You want to tell people about what you’re seeing but you get so wrapped up in watching it all transpire that you get stuck on stupid… and you’re afraid to talk about it for fear of becoming distracted from that moment and losing sight of it altogether.
That’s what happened here. i’ve been sitting back watching this perfect universe rotate and undulate and change and evolve and crack it’s jokes and teach it’s lessons for a few weeks now… so enamored by it all that i don’t even know where to begin in documenting or sharing it.
I feel like 2012 is closer and more real and more positive than ever before… i feel like it’s beginning to rear it’s unprecendented unimaginable head and, before long, this crystalline moment of snowflake-like perfection will be upon all of us… and we will all take our hats off and look up to the sky as the change we’ve all been waiting for washes over everything…
…Or not. but I, personally, am rooting for transformation.