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The Fabric of Reality

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  • The Fabric of Reality

    Hi,

    I have a few humble questions that in light of recent developments in Quantum theory create a fascinating possibility that the �multiverse’ exists in a very real sense.

    The topic of this post refers to the title of a book

    "The Fabric of Reality: Towards a Theory of Everything"
    David Deutsch

    Without going into the deeply complex issues relating to Deutsch and others writings there seems to be a move in the science community to start truly calculating into their experiments the existence of parallel universes. In fact some postulate that at the very edges of probability in the far away parallel universes �everything’ can exist and does so. Whether we experience these universes through literature, or dreams, or through some constant connection with these universes it is now becoming increasingly difficult to deny their existence within modern Quantum theories.

    Deutsch has argued that using Quantum Computers it may be possible to directly manipulate these infinite realities, if this is so, do you feel any desire to meet your creations in some far away realm of probability or do you find the idea absurd?

    Also I have had a theory of my own, it is simplistic in structure but something that maybe the erudite members of this forum could disentangle, revoke or shed light upon.

    The conundrum for me is this:

    Before I was born there was a void. By a void I mean that I had no experience of the infinite amount of time passing until I was born. After my birth a thread of experience developed the consciousness that I now am. Now I exist and if I were to not exist (die) then again an infinite amount of time would pass until….what?
    There can only be one event that could define an end point and which due to every possibility being played out on an infinite timeline through infinite universes would be that I am conscious again. To me death would be a blinking of the eye, I can never experience death, if death is the definition of my non-existence. I am unable to experience non-experience and so my consciousness can never cease. Could we all be victims of immortality of sorts, to play through the endless cycles of parallel universes reading the stories of our others lives?

  • #2
    Sorry to butt in but just wanted to add that while their may be an infinite number of Universes, that doesn't mean that there is an infinite variety of Universes; i.e. the concept of an infinite number of Universes doesn't mean that somewhere there really is a Universe out there that is made of a rosebush, or that somewhere Arioch really exists.

    The easiest way to explain this - there are an infinite number of numbers between 1 and 2, but not one of those numbers is larger than 2 or smaller than 1. There are of course an infinite number of numbers bigger than 2.

    To confuse matter(s) more in the quantum parallel Universe picture there may not actually be an infinite number of Universes either - presuming no more matter is coming in. there has been a finite amount of matter since the Big Bang, and thus a finite - if very large - number of solutions to the equation that would describe the position of everything in the Universe.

    Comment


    • #3
      Numbers

      Ahh... but Jules...

      If the multiverse are numbers between 1 and 2 then to quote Mike himself, it's all about scale! Ultimately no numbers are higher than two. But let's say that we are number 1.347568021573. We can't possibly see all of the numbers between 1 and 2 and it would be virtually impossible to find number 1 or number 2 (there is a 2/infinity chance of that). So all we have to judge scale by is the universes we discover (logically those closest to us) which would be 1.347568021570-1.347568021580 and if you focus on the final two digets then you'll see that all the numbers are represented there, which suggests a vast variety of differences and change.

      ((Edit: What I mean by this is that if we cannot find 1 and 2 then we don't know that they are there so all we have to look at is the numbers we see. the actual number is 1.347568021573. But all we see is a portion of that... say 73.))

      For a moment just ignore tha fact that all those other numbers exist in the sequance and see that there will always be drastic similarities and differences between this and other dimentions. Even if you look at ALL the possible dimentions (even the phantasmicagorical ones where Arioch exists and is constantly whaping Elric over the head with a stick) they all fall under one dimention if you go just one scale higher. It's like saying that infinity is contained between 1 and 2 but going one scale bigger is looking at the infinity between 0 and 3. It's all relative my good fellow. You can't contain that which is infinate, you can't even label it, or so my theory states. I could be totally wrong, but that's how I see it.

      If that's too confusing and jumbled then I can explain more. I plan on writing a few articles on it at my website. I'm not suggesting that it is beyond anyone's comprehension here, I'm 19 today (it's my birthday!) and I don't pretend to be very intellegent. The theory stated above comes from much contemplation prior to reading Mike's work.

      Thanos

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      • #4
        by the way...

        By the way...

        This is why I've always enjoyed reading so very much and I tend to get very involved and emotional. I don't look at fantasy as fiction... merely a window into another reality. Somewhere in the Multiverse someone is reading about me. I just hope they're enjoying themselves! ;)

        Thanos

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        • #5
          Re: The Fabric of Reality

          Originally posted by OS-Brighton
          ...if this is so, do you feel any desire to meet your creations in some far away realm of probability or do you find the idea absurd?
          Ha! I'm sorry, I have this terrible habit of not reading a person's entire post before I reply. I saw this and laughed. In some of his books there is a character named Michael Moorcock and I do believe that Mike has mentioned meetings with Una Perrson before.

          I suggest you read the Blood series. It will blow your mind. In it there is a game where the players create (if they all already exist can you actually "create" a dimension?) and manipulate a dimension of their own and use it as a game (a competition if you will) and bet. It is portrayed much like Poker, only much much much more complicated. I've often dreamed of playing it someday myself.

          Also, Mike has often said that his characters are very much a part of him (Elric an incarnation of Mike? Is Mike the Eternal Champion of this dimension?) and he just writes down the stories that come to him. It could also be argued that Mike himself contains a Multiverse inside of his psyche. I've viewed it this way many times myself. I believe that the proverbial war between good and evil, heaven and hell, law and chaos are all just reflections of our own moral struggles within ourselves. The victor in my personal multiverse determines who I, as a person, am. Somewhere "God" is just another person and we're all contained within him/her/it - tiny little reflections of the decisions he/she/it makes. I could go on and on but I think I'll stop here.

          In conclusion I'd like to tie this all into my own personal theory of Everything=Nothing. I've been saying it for years. Some people nod at me sagely while others insist that I'm nuts. But ultimately everything is nothing and nothing is everything. To every action there is a reaction, to every positive there is a negative. If you look at infinity in a numerical since you have infinite positive and infinite negative. If you have them both (add them together) they equal zero, or nothing. This is one of the main reasons I count myself as a buddhist (although I don't agree with them about everything, just the key points) absence, oblivion, simplicity is divine. etc etc etc... If you're reading this then I'm either making you very excited (in a happy or angry way) or I'm making you very bored.

          If anyone would like to discuss this further I'm available via e-mail or AIM. Also yahoo, but I'm never on that. If you'd like to talk to me through yahoo it can be arranged.

          As for your personal question. I believe that there are infinite versions of ourselves among the infinite planes of existence. Before we are born we are whole but after being born our individual consciousness is split from the whole and when we die it is rejoined. There are infinite versions of Me out there, all living right now, and when I die I am rejoined with them and thus know their experiences as they have experienced them. I also think that this is either achieved all at once or more slowly (which would support the theory of reincarnation).

          Thanos
          Last edited by ThanosShadowsage; 09-21-2007, 11:46 PM. Reason: fixed a huge amount of typos

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jules
            To confuse matter(s) more in the quantum parallel Universe picture there may not actually be an infinite number of Universes either - presuming no more matter is coming in. there has been a finite amount of matter since the Big Bang, and thus a finite - if very large - number of solutions to the equation that would describe the position of everything in the Universe.
            Ahh... but does any of that matter exist in the first place? We're all just bi-products in the mind of a child somewhere... is anything really here? Pass the acid man, I'm not seeing enough colours yet. Biloxi Fault here I come.

            Thanos Shadowsage, searching for The Terminal Cafe.

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            • #7
              Thanos - I've read something similar to your -infinty + infinity = 0 in some article in New Scientist too - as an answer to the question, how do you get a Universe out of nothing; like double-entry book-keeping, so long as all the pluses balance out with minuses there's no 'free lunch' at all.

              I'm still sticking with my point that you can have an infinity of variations between finite limits though - and that not everything is possible, even under infinite variation. There could be an infinite number of Universes, but for instance, in every single one 'you' could be living on a different continent to me - there's no neccesity in any particular infinite range for a specific combination to occur.

              It would be a bit of a problem for the atheistic physicists if their theory implied that there were an infinite number of Universes where God exists, and a bit of a problem for religion if there were an infinite number where he created the Universe AND an infinite number that he didn't. Although science suggests sufficiently advanced civilisations could create baby Universes, which is kind of like being god.

              Anyway, quantum computing will put Deutsch's theory to the test sometime in the next 10-20 years (it works on the principle of representing both states 0 and 1 together, so if you 'tangle' two quantum bits (Qubits) together you simultaneously do 2*2 = 4 calculations. You tangle 3 bits, you're doing 2*2*2=8, etc. Last I knew, IBM has the record at 7 Qubits (128 calculations).

              Deutsch - and scientists in his group - propose that this calculation is happening across the parallel universes. There are other hanging onto the belief that there is some maximum limit where quantum effects collapse back into classical physics. So far, Deutsch's group are winning out as scientists succesfully enlarge quantum entangled systems. Anyway, the crunch time comes at a few hundred Qubits when you would be doing more computation that would be physically possible with all the matter in the Universe (and don't even ask how they worked that one out!) - so it has to be happening outside the Universe.

              Quantum Computing Faq :

              http://www.qubit.org/

              Includes (dead) link to a book called Minds, Machines and The Multiverse


              http://www.newscientist.com/hottopics/quantum/

              Comment


              • #8
                Oh, and Thanos is spot on about the Blood / Second Ether books, if you haven't read them already (given the themes of your post, I suspect you have. If not they're uncannily close).

                Comment


                • #9
                  There could be an infinite number of Universes, but for instance, in every single one 'you' could be living on a different continent to me - there's no neccesity in any particular infinite range for a specific combination to occur.
                  This is not quite correct, if there was an infinite number of Universes then it would be impossible for a combination NOT to exist.

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                  • #10
                    Afraid I disagree again - it would be impossible for any POSSIBLE combination of matter not to occur, but there would an infinite number of impossible combinations that could not exist.

                    The possible combinations could be represented by odd numbers, but the combinations where Thanos and I were in the same room right now could be represented by even numbers. There are an infinite number of each, and a multiverse could be made up purely from the odd numbers.

                    Now admitedly this is an unlikely example, and probably philosophically dubious to boot - at what point is Thanos in another parallel Universe a seperate entity altogether? At some point we would even consist of each others particles (but again, are they the same particles??).

                    Maybe a better one would be that the constants of physics, such as the speed of light, could vary across the Universes of the Multiverse, but there might not be any Universe where things could travel 'faster than light' inside that Universe, or where hydrogen weighs more than gold, or 2+2=5. The existence of an infinite number of Universes doesn't require them to work by different axioms.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I see your point but you are forgetting you are dealing with infinity, the probability curve in an infinite set of universes allows for everything without exclusion. It is not that an infinite number of paralell universes would indicate a possibility of these more improbable events/places occuring it is a necessity within in infinite cosmos of universes.

                      Its a little like the "Infinite Improbability Drive" in Douglas Adams (i think) RATEOTU where the ship creates such high improbability links to other universes that in one of them the ship is in an entirely different place but is a quantum replica of the ship they are in and a replica of the universe. Its not a case of it might happen its a case of eventually every quantum combination exists.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by OS-Brighton
                        To me death would be a blinking of the eye, I can never experience death, if death is the definition of my non-existence. I am unable to experience non-experience and so my consciousness can never cease.
                        This is a thread of reasoning that I also wondered once. Reminds me of a line from the Baghavad Gita:

                        'Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be...'

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Everking - that's kind of how I interpreted the Ether's beyond the Second Ether; the first Ether being the near infinite number of combinations of the particles of our Universe, and the Second Ether being a way to move between different sets of parallel universes (the ones working under different equations and constants), and above that - beyond Human comprehension - they are changing in terms of something we don't even recognise as a pattern or principle.

                          OS-Brighton
                          I still disagree with the point about infinities meaning eventually everything happens on several grounds; as you say, every possible quantum combination will occur, including very improbable events, but the key word is possible. None of them may contain Star Trek like beings of pure intelligence if this isn't something that is possible,
                          (Also as I understand, Deutch's theory doesn't give an infinite - merely very large - number of combinations).


                          I'm still awaiting Mike's answer to the original questions!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            True, I think we took the Thread away from it's origional meaning. I don't know if Mike is even aware a question was asked of him!

                            As for your points Jules, I've decided that I can't exactly argue with you. I've already made my case and I suppose I'm too stubborn to budge. But if you're ever willing to elaborate more I'd more than willingly take this into another thread (I really think that this one should go back to the origional questions directed to Mike).

                            Thanos

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Jules
                              Thanos - I've read something similar to your -infinty + infinity = 0 in some article in New Scientist too - as an answer to the question, how do you get a Universe out of nothing; like double-entry book-keeping, so long as all the pluses balance out with minuses there's no 'free lunch' at all.
                              I'm sorry, I know I'm adding more posts to this thread when I said that we should get back to the origional meaning. But I just realised that I didn't reply to your point Jules.

                              Personally I think that it is all a matter of perception. I use the image of a bag quite a bit when explaining it. A bag that contains everything (and consequantly nothing at the same time). The bag has many (infinate really) points within it, points of perception. Imagine yourself inside such a bag. You cannot see everything that is in the bag without moving (altering) your perception. Meaning that looking forward you cannot see that which is behind. And so your point of perception dictates that which you see in a bag of everything and nothing. If the positive is infront of you and the negative behind, then you see the positive. The opposite is also true. But if both are "infront" of you then you see neither because they cancel eachother out.

                              Thanos

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