I wanted to share with you one cool way of viewing the world that I’ve recently thought of and is quite fascinating, particularly for visual thinkers.
I think the best way to explain this is to use an example. Recall the last time you went to the cinema. Now, my way of thinking starts of with seeing this as a move from now to then in four dimensional space. Its a move in three dimensional space from your current location to the cinema you were thinking of and then a move in time to the period when you saw that film. Its a fully visual model of the world, and one that allows a lot of fun if you can picture it fully.
I’m assuming you have managed to picture that and will continue. Consider the people you were with when you went to the cinema, and how you all came to be there by traversing different paths in this four dimensional space. Even the clothes you wear have a history that traverses back to a factory and to a drawing board. This scene can then be extracted again and the process repeats, ever expanding. And of course, this can be applied to more than just clothes, every object can be abstracted to its origins. That the moment you are visulaising exists as it is in that exact state is practically miraculous. In the world in which we live, so many things are manufactured that you can guarantee there to be some design in almost everything we see, and so this can only increase our wonder at the scenes that surround us. Even if the design is not particularly exciting, then its still interesting to consider how many other people were involved in approving it. This is just the start. Consider an action you do more than once as existing in the four dimensional space. For example a song, a walk you take or a person’s laugh. The three dimensional object exists simultaneously at different times in this four dimensional space.
One of the other interesting things I’m trying to do is visualise all the things I know about the world in this way; what part of the whole 4 dimensional space of the universe do I know about? In this world view, you only get one possible view of each instance in time, and thats determined by where your eyes are facing at that time. Whenever we blink, our whole world view disappears, even if only for a fraction of a second. When we open our eyes, where we point them in 3D space determines what we know about the overall space. If we keep our eyes focussed on one thing, we’ll miss whats going on around us, but if we keep our head constantly filtting from one thing to another, we won’t appreciate anything in depth. Our view of the world is determined by what we chose to look at, so pointing your eyes in the right direction is essential.
So what about those things we don’t see, since there are bound to be things we will miss. Well, we can think about these in our mind and construct an approximation. An artists impression if you will, where we trust someone else’s account of events to be accurate but don’t have all the details. This is essentially how we see all historical events, as vague images that are not entirely connected and could have happened anytime within a given range, as we don’t know the exact time. So it is in essence a blur on our otherwise clear picture. The question then is, is this a good thing, or would it be better for us to keep our world view clearly defined? You have to chose what is more important, clarity or breadth. Do you want to turn your gaze as wide as you can, or focus it and accept ignorance in some areas? I have my opinion, but will not comment, so as to not to affect yours too much, though I may have already displayed my bias. Let me know what you think.
I’ve recently begun to realise that I’m possibly more visual than most, so let me know if you struggle with this. Tell me what you think though regardless, and if you have any more creative ways of playing with this idea. Its probably not the first time someone has thought of this, but it is an intersting one none the less, one which makes me wonder all the more at the world around me; it is literally too much for me to take in.