Category Archives: Time

Our Perception of Reality Might Be Like A Desktop Interface

In a recent Ted Talk, Donald Hoffman speculates that our reality might be analogous to the desktop interface of our computers. Watch Hoffman’s talk below.

It’s possible that the reality we perceive is a construct that our minds create in order to do just enough for us to survive in the world in which we evolved. In much the same way, our visual range excludes ultraviolet rays because there was no survival benefit. Bees, on the other hand, can see ultraviolet light. Here is how we see a flower vs how a bee sees a flower.

Human's View vs Bee's View

Human’s View vs Bee’s View

In the bee’s world there is a bright sign on the flower pointing toward the nectar and pollen area of the flower. When it comes to vision, we only see a narrow portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Our perceptions are also limited when it comes to the true nature of the universe. We may need a new paradigm or frame-work for understanding our universe and our reality. Once we have the new frame-work that shows us how the universe “really” works, heretofore unexplained or mysterious phenomena could be explained more clearly. There are a number of phenomena I would choose to investigate under that new paradigm.

Here are my top 10:

1. The unimaginable and immense gap between our size and the size of our perceived universe. I once had an imagining that as we gazed out further into the universe, we were in fact looking deeper into our own physical mind. And that the reason we observe infinity in both “directions”, toward the small and toward the large (universe/multiverse etc), was because it expands with our understanding. Maybe the observation that those are different “directions” is an illusion as well.

2. Coincidences.
3. Dark Matter (DM)  and Dark Energy (DE). I think they are intimately related to the larger issue discussed here. Research has indicated that DE and DM exert an influence on things like galaxy formation and movement. So far, DM and DE can only be detected indirectly by their influence on things we can observe directly. Going back to the desktop analogy and file example that Hoffman mentions; we can see the image of the file and it’s contents with our eyes. The cause of that image is unseen. but some of the properties of that cause can be inferred by the characteristics of the image.

4. Cancer.
5. DNA, evolution and it’s relationship to epigenetics. Epigenetics is the study, in the field of genetics, of cellular and physiological phenotypic trait variations that are caused by external or environmental factors that switch genes on and off and affect how cells read genes instead of being caused by changes in the DNA sequence. –

6. Karma.
7. Consciousness. What if our brains are like the sails of a ship capturing and utilizing the “winds” of a consciousness that permeates or is reality? At the quantum level there are interactions in our brain that seem to be “spooky”.  Read about the concept of quantum entanglement
There was a Star Trek The Next Generation episode that briefly touched upon something similar to Hoffman’s idea. The crew encounters an alien that has the ability to travel great distances in space and time. The radical suggestion was that “space and time and thought aren’t the separate things they appear to be”.

8. Gravity. How is it “powered”? Almost all the energy we use biologically and technologically can be traced back to our sun or another star. Stars are powered by gravity compressing matter and the subsequent reaction of that matter to being compressed. So where does that “power to compress”, or gravity, come from? It seems to fly in the face of science’s version of “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”…the conservation of energy.

9. Music. Maybe the reason music resonates with humanity so much is because it somehow reflects the patterns and organization of something else.

10. The beginning of the universe.

Our understanding of the universe has come a long way in the past few centuries. I think we are in for a quantum leap in that understanding. The growing number of people adding to our collective knowledge combined with technological advances will get us to a critical mass. The result being an explosive leap forward.

Follow me on Twitter

Retro Causality

One of the more interesting concepts being discussed lately and making it’s way closer to main stream is Retro Causality. For the purposes here, it means the future can effect the past.

Some interpretations of Einsteins theory of relativity lead to the idea of the “Block Universe”. A universe where the past, the present and the future exist simultaneously. We simply live in the illusion that there is a direction to time…forward. See the diagrams below.

The Block Universe

Past, present and future exist simultaneously

The Block Universe Simplified

2D, 3D, 4D (Time)

Rather than flowing forward, different points in time are represented as different dimensions within the block. Like one amorphous loaf of bread, something that happens to one crumb within (say the growth of mold) effects the crumbs next to it, no matter the direction.

Some say the Global Consciousness Project at Princeton University may have evidence to support this theory. Apparently, information about the tragic 911 attacks was accessed by our collective unconscious before it occurred.

A Brain the Size of the Universe

The human brain is an extremely complex organ with billions of neurons. Some estimate there to be about 100 trillion connections between the neurons in our brain. Numbers and quantities on the scale of billions and trillions are common in nature, but not so much in our every day lives. Unless you happen to be an astronomer.

Look at these two photos. One is a picture of the brain and one is a picture of galactic super clusters. The similarities are striking.

brain galaxies

Conveniently similar pictures aside, it’s important to remember that the difference in scale is enormous. Galactic super clusters are millions and sometimes billions of light years across. To put that in to some perspective, light travels at 186,282 miles per second. Light can travel around the world 7 times in one second. Yet it takes light millions of years to travel from one side of a galactic super cluster to another.

The almost unfathomable enormity of the universe forces us to constantly revisit our place in it. On a universal scale, we are “microscopic”, perhaps “subatomic”. To make a comparison, It’s as if we are on an electron orbiting a nucleus in an atom.

Electrons Orbit a Nucleus

Electrons Orbit a Nucleus

Planets Orbit A Star

Planets Orbit A Star

Orbits make the universe go round.

Suppose for a moment that there were tiny, intelligent organisms living on an electron orbiting the nucleus of one the atoms in your brain. The perspective of those organisms would not easily lend itself to understanding the nature of your brain, let alone the world you and I live in. To those organisms, the distances between atoms would be “vast”. Similar to the vastness we perceive between star systems. Yet those organisms would be living on a small building block of a much larger, cohesive entity, you. They would most likely have no way of knowing you exist. In fact, if you were to suggest to those organisms that “super massive” life forms like you existed, they would have a hard time comprehending it. Their physics, their methods of perception and perhaps their “time” would be dissimilar to ours. Their world would be one where quantum mechanics and quantum effects were in plain “sight”. They would most likely not use light as their perceptual information carrier of choice. Their carrier may have it’s own limitations, similar to our light speed limitations. So any suggestion to them that objects could travel faster than their perceptual information carriers may sound ludicrous to them.

Could we be in a situation similar to those tiny, “naive” organisms? Could we be living inside a giant brain the size of our universe? As we look out in to the universe with ever increasing depth, we find that it is NOT how we imagined it. There are super structures that are interconnected and moving and changing and evolving. The time frames in which these structures change and the scales at which they operate dwarf us to the extreme. We very well could be on the equivalent of an electron orbiting a nucleus, part of an unfathomably large structure.

Do the Clouds Show Signs of Impending Climate Change?

The weather on our planet is extremely complex. However with the help of super computers, meteorologists and climatologists are learning more and more every day about how our weather system works.

We now have satellites in stationary orbit that watch our planet constantly. These satellites record vasts amount of data and transmit it back to organizations like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Even with super computers, there are limitations on the amount of data that can be processed. Over time and with the advent of quantum computers, these data processing limitations will disappear. However, I believe the eventual road block will be a lack of long term data.

Imagine having global cloud formation data not just from the past 20-50 years, but from the past million+ years. It could be as simple as a million+ year video of earth from space.


Now play it in fast forward or use an algorithm to search for patterns in cloud movements/formations leading up to major climate changes. Is there a pattern?

Who knows, maybe one day our descendants will look back and wonder why some of us could doubt climate change when the signs were written above us in the clouds for all to see.