A few months ago I proposed a theory that what we experience as passing time is actually the crystallization of the universe. My friend Trilety was kind enough to let me know that I didn't think of that one. Actual scientists like yourselves, George F. R. Ellis of University of Capetown and Tony Rothman of Princeton University, beat me to this idea back in December of last year with their paper, Time and Spacetime: The Crystallizing Block Universe.
Apparently, I read this at the time it was published and it seemed so much like one of my fake ideas that that's where my brain filed it. Sorry.
But while I have your attention, maybe I can throw out some more related ideas and you can take them or leave them based on how well you think they fit your real science. Here we go:
We both agree that he present is the freezing point at which the past crystallizes out of the future, but what if it isn't instantaneous? What if it happens in a short but gradual duration like the dendritic growth process of solidifying crystals, reaching like angular limbs out of the liquid of infinite possibilities. Steadily the limbs grasp onto each other and grow, solidifying into a beautiful, unchangeable geometric patterns. No pattern can be determined until after the moment has ceased shifting into our consensus reality.This makes me think about how confusing and amorphous the experience of the present is in moments of great change. For instance, during the events of 9/11 I felt like there were thousands of possibilities colliding at once, anyone or anything was responsible for the disaster simultaneously, until a Declaration of Reality was announced on the radio declaring a culprit and the unsteady plasma of undetermined reality cooled into President Bush's desired shape. History was written as such, and time moved on.The question is this: Can we take a pickaxe to the past and crack it wide open again to reflect the future's absurdity onto the past? Can we destroy the solidity of the past leaving us afloat in the undetermined, where all possibilities and impossibilities co-exist?To live in the future is to be many places at once.To live in the past is to be frozen/catatonic/paralyzed.
To live in the present is to live blindly and infinitely.I don't think we have to choose between these options. To be complete and well-balanced people we can switch tracks for differing Time Points Of View. We are able to jump back and forth like switching songs on a record for alternate perspectives on the events that surround us, but we must always remember to return to the present from time to time.Why?The present is the only instant in which we can enact change!And how do we navigate time efficiently in a world where it all looks completely different as viewed from past, present or future.?Picture this: a 4D computer model that maps every possible fissure in the amorphous future. We can now see every concievable outcome of every concieveable choice laid out face up before us like a gigantic deck of cards.Now pick a card.Choose wisely. Look carefully at them all and choose the one that looks like the future you want to live in. Now, in order to make that dream come true all you need to do is trace the path of choices backward to the present and concentrate on making your life match that path as best as you can.Do we already have a program that is capable of such computation?Yes. It's called your brain!
Navigating the desired path among infinite futures is exactly what our brain has evolved to do and it is the exact evolutionary purpose of imagination. So allocate your internal RAM to this application, readjust the settings as choose what shape you want the future of our world to crystallize into.
Got it? As scientists I am sure that you will be able to fold these explosions of concepts into a cohesive and testable hypothesis. I look forward to reading about your results on the web.
Richard R. Penner