A view of the world

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.


4 thoughts on “A view of the world

  1. Phil H

    Imagine if you could do this 3 to 4 Dimensional viewing to find out where things came from!

    I recently tried with my Marks & Spencers clothing; 2 years ago only the label was in the UK! The rest, unfortunately, weaved in a Taiwanese sweat shop.

    Its time for Minority Report people!

  2. Hi,

    firstly, Phil, M&S are quite pround that they don’t use sweatshops, but anyway.

    When viewing the fourth dimension, as it were, does the object stay in the same place, or do you view one place with all objects through time, or all places that object’s been?

    And in answer to one of your questions, I think it is best for us to have a more defined view – most of the time. But it is certainly for the better to realise that everything we see, use, in fact, everyone we walk past or talk to, has a past and a future we cannot comprehend. But if we were to really live in that space, our brains would implode. We’ve not been given a God’s eye view, when we could have if He’d wanted to.


  3. Thinking of the 4th dimension always makes me think of stop motion, it’s essentially the art of capturing different moments in the 4th dimension to make a 3 dimensional film. That’s not necessarily in answer to many of your questions just something that came to mind when talking about the position of things in time as well as the usual spacial considerations.

    I find however I most notice the time aspect that thigns possess with music and song.

    There are times where I listen to a piece of music and though it is nice to listen to it has no huge impact on anything and is essentially just pleasant background noise. I can listen to the same song several times and find this, but sometimes I will be listening to a song i’ve heard many times before and then something about it hits me and inspires me in some way or at the least steals my focus from whatever I was doing at the time. The song is no different but this time it is played is very different.

  4. chrysalisloall

    Phil, that Minority Report vision is bang on what I had in mind, you nailed it!

    Steve, the answer to your first question is actually either. If you think of Jess’s point about stop motion, you are essentially modelling a camera. For example, you could be the camera attached to the roller coaster, be a camera looking at how the roller coaster was made, who used and what happened afterwards, or you could be a camera watching the theme park location through all time.

    And I completely agree with you on that point. It’s better to know depth than breadth, and that should be our focus, as comprehending breadth is beyond us.

    And Jess, stop motion is a great way of visualising this. It would be quite fun to film a stop motion character making a stop motion film.

    And interestingly enough, you’ve hit on what I’d think could be another dimension. Our feelings completely change how we perceive things, and have a whole language of their own. Its interesting to think what else affects our view of the world, and personal thoughts and feelings are most certainly one of them.

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