Saturday, March 08, 2008

'Branes and the Lovecraft Mythos

Frequent readers usually know I don't blog a lot about the Mythos per se. I do use it in my fiction, but less so in the blog. A lot of that is becasue I'm not keen on the duality of the modern Mythos, and of the practioners of the Mythos theories, I'm a lonely voice believing that it would need to be redefined to be relevant to the 21st century. Eh.

All that said, I just read a cool article in April 2008 Discovery Magazine. Take a look if you get a chance - reading it at the bookstore will cost $0.

Paul Steinhardt and Neil Turok had a revelation in summer 1999. If string theory were correct (who knows?) then was there meaning before the Big Bang? In fact, after a few years of noodling on this, a circle of physicists came to believe that in the 10 dimensions that string theory postulates, the Big Bang was in reality a collision of a 3-d wisp thin-membrane that floats and wriggles within "the Big Bulk".

When these thin membranes ('Branes) touch - collide - then a big bang cycle starts. The math postulates that they are instantaneous bursts of energy that quickly cool to form matter - that is dark energy, dark matter, which decays to Hydrogen, and subsequently forms all the elements and particles and quarks of star dust and galaxies we are so familiar with. As Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young say: We are "star dust". In other words, we are the ash, the dust bin of the Big Bang. Lovecraft would understand THAT!

Back to the story, more math shows that the "universe" (one-verse) is created from that Big Bang cycle. As entropy increases, after a trillion years, the elasticity of the 'Brane contracts and the 'Brane is pulled back. The reverberations of that contraction causes, elsewhere, a new collision to occur. Over and over and over forever.

(Don't ask where the Big Bulk comes from, check back in the 23rd century when we figure that out.)

I say all that to say this:

In one universe, once upon a time, a long, long time ago, a race of beings realized all this and in their pursuit for immortality they learned to transcend - to jump from collision to collision in order to buy more time to learn the full meaning of - well existence. From this came their madness.

Along the way, in these quintillions of collisions, more races also learned this technique and the conflict was on. There could only be one winner, and everything else was crushed under their heels in order to achieve ultimate meaning. What were biological units? Pshaw. What were planets. Mwahahaa! Indeed, what were universes in the scheme of this mad pursuit? If a galaxy perished, so what. If a universe was snuffed out, so what? If a few billion sentient bipeds were squished like dust mites, so what? They were but vermin. Tools to be used and discarded.

One can easily see how a vast hierarchy was established. By their very existence, these super beings were more-than-gods. Sentient races from time immemorial looked on these beings in fear and trembling.

In the mean time, these super-beings absorbed all the information they could, recorded any thing new, killing anything and anyone else from whom they drained an iota of new knowledge from so that there was less competition. There could be NO competition.

This was the ultimate conflict. To sort through the flotsam and jetsam of eternity, leaping from one big bang to the next, racing against another superrace finding the answer first. Perhaps fearing that there was another Big Bulk, with other superbeings that would beat them - that might have already got ahead of them and found the answer.

A vintillion of years for naught? That after all the carnage someone else was already there, watching, smiling, waiting to squish them at the end of the race. That brief flicker of victory, when the full answer was beheld, only to find that they had lost before they'd even begun?

I speculate further, that the zillions of sentient races and their scientists each came up with virtually the same old tried and true math and physics, but every now and then, a sentient race would discover one tiny scintilla of something new to add to the puzzle. In fact, some of these races might have been jump started just in case they might find a new piece tot he ultimate puzzle. In that case, all the sentience was but for one reason - a type of supercomputer to help sort through all the bits of possible combinations of data.

Was all that hinted at in the Necronmicon? Was that what the mad Arab knew? Or as Douglas Adams said, "The answer is 42". Now, what is the bloody question?


Anyway, read the article if you get a chance. "The Day Before Genesis" by Adam Frank.

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