27 October 2003

im in spain now and its raining outside and i got sick of waiting for the king and queen to walk down the road, so i have left, making my way through the crowd with entschuldigen sie bittes so as to avoid the looks of antiamerican derision, and am now in an internet cafe where the woman asked me my name and i said david and she wrote down devil. devil. i also bought a shiny black shirt.

last night i left the martini table once the talk turned to movie dialogue, i went to the mess late late and got some sandwiches and brought them up to the mooring deck, a deserted area of the ship late at night, loud and strangely lit, the bright whites and blues of the ropes causing supercontrast with the black ocean speeding past below. i threw the plastic fringe topped toothpicks into the water and then thought about jumping in. not really, please, not really suicidaly, more just marveling at the idea that the possibility existed, and a world in which that happens existed as well, because the choice existed. choice seems to be getting a lot of play in my head and the world around me lately, from matrix style pop philosophy to quantum physics, and just a lot of recent conversations have had to do with it too. ("...or i could just go fucking nuts right now, and start throwing pans and shit around!")

on the plane out i read eggers' you shall know our velocity, which i thought was very good, better then his last, and anyway he reiterates and idea i came across earlier this year, the multiverse. this theory comes from quantum physics, and basically says that the bizarre probabilistic behavior of subatomic particles can be explained by saying that the universe actually splits into parallel universes at every moment of decision in a subatomic particles life. which is ridiculous, to be sure. the bizarre behavior in question is that particles move in ways that can only be predicted as probabilities, that is, you can say that there is a 75% chance that this little photon will go over here, and indeed if you shoot a hundred photons out of one of those cool little photon guns youll get about 75 landing where you said 75% should, but on an individual level, one photon at a time, we have no way of knowing what will happen. but the fact that 75% do indeed land where you said 75% should land seems to suggest that each individual photon knows something about the other 99 and where they are going to land. they also seem to know about the conditions of the experiment; in this super bizarre double slit experiment individual photons seem to know where to go based on whether or not a slit on the other side of the room is open or not. there is all sorts of bizarre shit going on here, including experiments where scientists have set up light fast, random slit opener/closers to test whether or not the photons were actually just reading the scientists minds.

one thing that has always pissed me off about the books ive been reading this, and something which actually makes me suspect that there is something key that i dont understand, is why this phenomenon is talked about only on subatomic levels. the probability of a dice roll seems just as puzzling to me. theres a one in six chance that youll roll a four, and sure enough, if you roll the die 600 times youll get a four about 100 times. but how the fuck can the die keep track of that? i remember my father teaching me that the die has no memory, and the probability of getting a four after rolling a four is still one in six. but if the die has no memory, how does this work? how can the world be just about 50% of each sex? does each individual egg and sperm know the state of the world at the moment of conception? how can photons and dice and eggs know anything? what is the universe up to here? its a really existential problem i think, and one that seems to lead to the idea of choice and time.

the book im reading now, einsteins dreams, talks about some of these things. one dream talks about time being circular and endlessly repeated; another talks about worlds where time exists in three dimensions, a simplification of the mutliverse idea. but all of these things seem to tell me that in fact there is no such thing as choice. the die cannot choose what to land on; the universe takes over, to insure that the laws of probability are adhered to. the universe, as a whole, united entity, decides what sex this new child will be. evolutionarily, this makes a lot of sense; life cant continue unless we get this many eggs, this much sperm. yes? wait- im in spain- ¿yes?

any theory that backs evolution seems like a good one to me, cause evolution seems to me to be the be all end all theory. not all the particulars necessarily, but just the idea that the meaning of life is life, that everything in this universe works the way it does for the sole purpose of continuing life, and that life continues in new ways, a great variety of ways, each an experiment, a test to see what works, what lets life go on the most effectively. creation is a constant, and with its sister (or brother if you prefer) destruction the universe is. even splitting things in two like that seems a little dangerous to me- a good friend told me once that every attempt to explain the universe is inherently flawed, because the universe is one and all analysis is the act of breaking things down into smaller parts. yinyangs and introvert/extrovert psychology and david deida do it in two, freud and kant and hell most of western philosophy do it in three, ken wilber and physics does it in four, ennegrams in nine (nine?), the kabbalah in ten, zodiac in twelve. pianos do it in 88, you might say, but music, ah music, so fucking incredible because it gets as close as you can get to one- sound is infinite in possibility, an infinite number of permutations, greater than words, which seem infinite but are truly limited. you can only make so many three letter words, but once youve got it, you can say it, you can sound it, in an infinite number of ways- just the distance from f to f# would occupy a lifetime. but anyway. for now, right now here in spain rambling and not making much coherent sense, id rather just leave it as one: the universe is creation, with all that that entails, even the occasional entropic purging. i like this idea. it makes sense to me. it explains beauty and love to me, art and passion, because both are tools of creation.

what is my point here?

oh, right. this started because i had a neat thought about fate and free will and time earlier today. there seems to be a problem with the ordinary depiction of predetermination, and it comes with that prefix, pre. the idea seems to suggest that the course of the world has been determined at some previous point in time; at the beginning of time, the big bang began and the world was set in motion and the chain of cause and effect caused this predetermined world we have now. which i might buy, but what about time? everything in relativistic physics suggests that time is not this linear constant, but rather something far more, well, relative. the idea of the past and future are just flatland concepts we poor old one dimensional time creatures have created and held to as true, but i dont think it is the case. if time is a circle, if deja vu is real, or better yet if it is a sphere, a torus, a ten dimensional escher twist of nonsense that exists as a whole for always and always, well, well.....well doesnt that change things? and what does this have to do with choice...shit.

ive lost it. ive lost it. i just stared at a receipt on the table and tried to know whether or not i was going to crumple it up. i stared at it and tried to find out. and tried to empty my head and let the future come into me. but it didnt, and i grew frustrated, and i reached out and crumpled the paper in frustration.

eggers's complaint about the multiverse theory is that it is meaningless because he has no access to it, these other universe could not exist in the same consciousness as his. i remember reading an article about the multiverse that suggested one practical application of these infinite universes, if they could be accessed, would be storage. assholes!

so, yes, i have no access to any of this, at least not on this conscious plane, and i doubt that travelling to another plane would really affect the life here, this body and mind writing on this computer right now. and time moves ever forward, and all my understanding of it will not change that. but i know how to slow it, yes? and i know how to stop it, i think, from time to time. that is, i think i know what kissing is for.