By Capt. Fogg
I like to read books by theoretical physicists who are good at
presenting mind-bending material to the general public. I should say
that I like reading about these things in English because I can't, quite
frankly, even imagine being able to follow the math involved in
portraying multidimensional universes, Calabi-Yau manifolds, P-branes
and loop quantum physics, just to scratch the surface.
idea of other universes, possibly an infinite number of them with every
point therein stretched out on holographic membranes only a tiny
distance apart yet forever isolated, fascinates me far more than any
science fiction written these days. There was one school of thought not
long ago. I'm not sure it gets any credit or ever did, but it attempts
to explain the relative weakness of the gravitational force by
postulating that force particles, or gravitons are able to leak into
neighboring planes where they perhaps show up as 'dark' matter, but I'm
so far from being able to talk about such things intelligently that I
might as well be
in another universe. Another universe perhaps
identical but perhaps subtly different. I have sometimes nonetheless to
wonder if somehow, by some random quantum fluctuation, we don't on
occasion just take that tiny jump to the left, that little step to the
right, and do the time-warp again.
I'll bet that
you've occasionally asked yourself if you've just woken up in another
universe, almost exactly like the one you were in yesterday -- almost.
Silly sci-fi scenarios involving worm holes and time warps are just that: silly --
and we've all read or watched the cheesy movies. The pilot loses
contact briefly only to reappear in another time and place. The guy
wakes up on groundhog day every day. You've seen that movie I'm sure.
the weekend I was motoring south down the Indian River Lagoon as a
thunderstorm engulfed us. The radar reflecting off the rain made the
radar screen a sea of purple superimposed over the GPS chart. I
couldn't see ten feet in any direction, reflections from my nav lights in red and green made an eerie glow in the downpour..
It passed in
time for me to be able to find my intended port and eventually to arrive
safely home -- but still -- did I return to the same place I set out
from? I was gone only a couple of days, but how and when and why, if
this is still the same reality, did all the yogurt in all the
supermarkets and groceries in the world suddenly become Greek? A small
thing, but small things add up. And when did the hipsters stop calling
each other "bro" and unanimously begin saying "brah?" Just what did
happen in that purple downpour just at the edge of the Bermuda Triangle?
that mysterious, disorienting moment, president Obama should have
been impeached for any involvement in Libya and now his delay
in bombing Syria is "shameful" according to one Krauthammer I won't
mention by name. No, I don't believe in space aliens flying around at
night with their lights on or in ancient aliens,
prophecies and apocalypses, but something is happening here and I don't
know what it is. There's a purple haze all in my brain. Lately things
just don't seem the same.