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Monday, December 25, 2006

Three Dimensions of Time, and the Multiverse

I dreamed about extra dimensions a great deal during my Australian life, for example whilst I was off my head with Boyd B. at our Rowntree Street kip, trying hard to impress the man they called the Wolf. I was on a New Age Spirituality tip at the time and I endeavoured earnestly to imagine what these other dimensions would be like, always picturing them as extra spaces, physically present but inexplicably invisible to my eyes, as well as my other senses. In the Fifth Dimension stars were Earths which had attained Enlightenment and Combusted, that is what they New Agers said (and like my cousin Kellie, they are still saying it now!) Of course it's wishful thinking, and I don't believe it -- ever since I moved to Japan I have become pragmatic, a realist, a disciple of Nietzsche's Here and Now. The world won't explode in the year 2012, I can feel that in my bones, but there is no need to throw out the baby with the bathwater, as the old cliché goes, and dump the entire New Age canon. Surely there is something in there worth salvaging, before that baby sinks? However content I am with my current reality, I can't get let go of the idea: Are there extra dimensions of space/time, beyond the three or four that we are all aware of? But if they exist what do they look like, and why can't we perceive them? Recently I have been wondering if I was barking up the wrong tree, by imagining the Fifth Dimension as a kind of Garden of Eden blooming less than a P from our Cartesian cell. Maybe the Fifth Dimension is not a space, but a time. A plane of Time, to complement the classical field of Newtownian space. The Fourth Dimension is a line of time just as Einstein understood, the Fifth Dimension is a field, and the Sixth Dimension is... wait for it, a sphere. Or actually a Solid of Time, according to Ouspensky, who pondered such things well before I was born. As The Theory of Six Dimensions relates:

Some say there are three or four dimensions, some say more dimensions (10, 11, and 26 are current favorites of some physicists), some say there are an infinite number of dimensions. But Ouspensky's explanation of the six dimensions resolves that dilemma by showing how six dimensions are both all-inclusive and yet only partial...
In modern physics and science in general, the first three dimensions are the same as those described everywhere. But then things get a little confused. The fourth dimension, which is time, is sometimes described as space-time, which is actually the fifth dimension—as Ouspensky points out, the fact that space-time is curved requires another dimension.
The sixth dimension, all possibilities, is essentially the "multiverse" or "many worlds" interpretation of modern physics. The many worlds explanation is an attempt to explain observations of quantum phenomena that have no ordinary explanation but do have a consistent, but extraordinary, explanation. It basically goes like this: At every moment when you seem to choose among multiple possibilities, you actually choose each possibility, and different universes fork off, the one you are in now is the one in which you made the choice to read this, for example. There is another universe where you chose not to read this, another where you read part way and stopped and so on...

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Sunshine and the Gloom: Reprise

After my successful date with Tomomi last night, I awoke to a sunny and generally pleasant Sunday, this being one of the mildest winters on record. I had an appointment with my old salaryman friend Tanaka-san at 4pm; he wanted me to transcribe the lyrics of a Country&Western song his partner was planning to sing in Osaka (大阪). I met him at Breaks Cafe at Ueno Station, and transcribed his lyrics. After that we marched briskly through the settling cold and madding crowds, down the bleak concrete lanes, to the Himonoya Restaurant in Okachimachi (御徒町). Tanaka-san had spotted the place from the train on the Yamanote Line as he passed on his daily business, and he was keen to check it out. Naturally, the shout was on him.

Himonoya, specializing in sundried cuisine, at Okachimachi (Japan, 2006)

The servings started with a complementary cabbage -- you better believe it a whole cabbage, which we ate with a smearing of slightly spiced mayonnaise. I am not a green veg buff by any means but this cabbage tasted amazing -- "it is fresh," Tanaka-san succinctly remarked. There followed a series of sundried seafood dishes, in the himono tradition -- Tanaka-san sent one of them back to the kitchen for having too much akaimono (red stuff) inside. Apart from the fish, the menu boasted grilled nasu (eggplant) and fried duck (鴨つくね) served with what looked suspiciously like a duck's egg. Who said the Japanese weren't adventurous eaters! There were also plenty of onigiri rice balls, some of them of tremendous proportions. Scary! Naturally, a full spread of Japanese rice wine and beers accompanied the feast. I took a few photos, and sent one or two of them to Tomomi. I returned home feeling elated, basking in the afterglow. The gloom in my heart was lifting. It's funny how your life can turn around, so quickly.

With a new job and a new girlfriend, I have achieved the aims of July 2006. So, let's bask for a while! Breaking free from Kidea is a longterm goal, and I have already come quite far, with 2.5 free days! Since money is the key to power I should focus on repaying my credit debt. There are too many  interesting things happening in Japan to worry about the implementation of Intermediate International Vagabondancy just yet. However, I have laid the foundations of this coming phase of my life.

Himonoya: 5-19-6 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo, Japan. Phone: (03) 3831 8804.
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