Monday, November 28, 2005


Building a universe that doesn't fall apart

Many modern novelists, philosophers, madmen, and provocateurs deeply believe that time is not what we think it to be. Novelist Philip K. Dick, for example, suggested that time on Earth has stopped in the year 50 A.D., and he gives concrete reasons for his theory in his breathtaking essay "How to Build A Universe That Doesn’t Fall Apart Two Days Later." In short, he believes that our world today is not taking place in the 21st century, and we are deceived and live in a counterfeit reality lodged in a spacetime pocket in 50 A.D. He writes:
My theory is this: time is not real.... Despite all the change we see, a specific permanent landscape underlies the world of change: and this invisible underlying landscape is that of the Bible; it, specifically, is the period immediately following the death and resurrection of Christ; it is, in other words, the time period of the Book of Acts.... [There is] internal evidence that another reality, an unchanging one, exactly as Parmenides and Plato suspected, underlies the visible phenomenal world of change... and we can cut through to it.... Thousands of years pass, but the world of the Bible is concealed beneath it, still there and still real.

To Dick, the Bible is a literally real but veiled landscape, never changing but usually hidden from our sight. Although Dick realizes that modern scientists would scoff at his seemingly insane assertions, he promotes his odd world view as a useful metaphor for the difficulties human have when trying to comprehend reality. Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus wrote, "The nature of things is in the habit of concealing itself."

Read more:

That link is broken, for some reason not answering.

Try this from Google's cache:
I actually like this better than the "gravitational wave" theory mentioned a few comments back.

They are both wrong, of course, but this one's more fun.
Linklatter deals with this in Waking Life.
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