Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thoughts on thoughts, multi-dimensionality and gods

When I'm going through my life, waiting, eating, travelling, or performing other activities that don't require a lot of thought, I like to avoid boredom by thinking stories, either developing ones I thought of before or creating one on the spot. When I get bored with one (relatively fast), I create another one. The problem arises when I'm bored with the last story and the next one hasn't appeared. In this situations, I'm bored, have nothing to do, and probably won't for a while, so I need an alternative: somewhat incoherent pondering of vaguely philosophical matters. That's how this blog was born, in fact.

The latest instance of this started by me considering other possible forms of thinking beings. I started thinking about something I've read about possible reasons we exist in 3-dimensional space, which led me to wonder about how a 4-dimensional being (which I shall now call T) would perceive our world. If what we perceive as time is that extra dimension, then T can essentially move backwards and forward through time, leading to a considerably greater understanding of the world. I'd like to elaborate on that, but I'll leave it for later.

How would T manifest in the 3-dimensional world we perceive? Well, for starters, T being 4D means that all of her can't exist completely in 3D space. Only a "slice" of T can be in 3D at any moment in time. If you have trouble understanding what I mean by slice, it helps to move things down a dimension and think of it as a cube (or sphere, or cone, or any other 3D object) trying to exist in a 2-dimensional world. At most, only an infinitesimal slice of the cube, with area but not volume, can be perceived by the inhabitants of the 2D world. If volume is the added dimension, then volume for 2D is time for 3D. As the 2D world moves through its time (volume), the slice of the cube that is in their world is a different one. If each infinitesimal slice is different from the previous, then the 2D people see this as "change", while it simply is revealing another part of the object. If that analogy was useful, great. If not, sucks to be you, because I can't think of another way of explaining it. I'll assume you understood, so we go back to T.

We can't see all of T at once, but as time goes she appears to change. And when my train of thought arrived at that conclusion, I thought of this: that wouldn't seem too unusual to the people observing it, would it? In fact, we see it all the time. Any human we see, for example, could be the result of a 4D being that intersects the 3D world. Now, the sum of all the statuses we observe since T appears until she disappears is the real T, the way T sees and understands herself. In the case of a human being, this would be the totality of their existence, from the moment sperm and egg join to the point bones decay and there are no physical remains. But, more importantly, it covers the period between birth and death, aka life. So there could be, "out there", a T that has, as part of her mind, the sum of the entire experience, memory, thoughts, emotions, etc. of the entire life of a human being. Could be you, or me. Could be we all are in fact a T intersecting the 3D world, and there's someone living in the 4D that already knows everything you are going to do, be and think for the rest of your life. T is in fact more you than yourself, considering that you are only a part of her.

At this point ended my original analysis on T and how she is so much cooler than you. Or me, for that matter. I was not exactly sure how you'd go about demonstrating any of this. Maybe it's a necessary consequence of multi-dimensionality. It seems intuitively true to me, but intuition is not a reliable way of obtaining knowledge, and I can think of no way of testing it (which makes it mostly irrelevant). But as I said originally, it was mostly a way of temporary entertainment.

But of course, I was bound to be bored again, was I not? And so I revisited T later on. I'm leaving that for a later post.

[By the way, I based this mostly on a 3-dimension space 1-dimension time model for simplicity. Current theories usually include quite a few more, but it works the same way.]

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