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Many Earths: Parallel Worlds or Distant Planets?

“Your jellyfish’s cable generates one after another of your parallel universes,” added Tanya. “And the series of universes is what we call a hyperverse. It’s like successive drafts of a novel.”

“She doesn’t generate universes,” objected Mulvane. “She indexes regions of space. The so-called parallel universes are simply different zones of one very, very, very large shared space. Occam’s Razor. There’s no need to multiply the realities, no need for mysto steam. One mammoth reality has room for all the monkeys on all the typewriters.”

“The word ‘indexing’ is misleadingly limp,” said Unger, eager to argue. “A divine jellyfish’s ever-evolving links to a series of worlds constitutes a creative realization. Like that of a human cinematographer who frames some ideally balanced sequence of images from the endless welter of visual input. Or like the output of a sculptor who finds successively lovelier images within a quarry’s stones: forms that approach the beauty of, ah, Alma.”

I was beginning to understand the meaning of the gnarled connector cord I’d seen running through the hypertunnel from Earth to La Hampa. Some god-like jellyfish was in physical contact with our universe. As Tanya had it, the jellyfish was feeding in series of information-seeds that defined successive versions of our world. Or, in Mulvane’s view, the jellyfish was continually altering an index-code that singled out a series of locations in a pre-existing, exhaustively complete universe. In either case, the jellyfish was in some sense contacting an ever-changing series of Earths, each of them somewhat similar to ours, and each of them supposedly a bit better than the ones before. My mind felt very clear as I formed these ideas.

“There’s a whole lot of Earths,” said Paul. “It doesn’t actually matter whether they’re in separate parallel universes or scattered across one big universe. The two models are in fact equivalent, but never mind. In any case, you can think of the Earths as drawings on a stack of papers, one Earth per sheet.”

[Today's notes are out-takes from Mathematicians In Love; the pictures are from earlier blog entries. For various reasons, I won't be blogging much more for about a week.]

2 Responses to “Many Earths: Parallel Worlds or Distant Planets?”

  1. Steve H Says:

    Cartoon Network ought to do Dha Na Duc as a series.

  2. Gamma Says:

    hey what the hell is going gong out here in the uk we had a programme about SUN RA & then on monday i saw a doc about Fischer & tonite at the NFT on the south bank there was a movie about Roky Ericson (remember 13th Floor Elevators?)Austin – are we all going crazy

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