December 21, 2012

A wink, a wrinkling, then a flash of geometry.

In the library, the patrons become like frantic insects on the floors of the vast bookish halls, or find themselves towering over the floorplan, petrified like some fleshly tree lest a step incurs mass murder. A small child cowers in a corner, frightened, as the Halloween picture book he was gleefully perusing grows maliciously, its text into giant marauding alphabets, its pictures filled with witches and goblins gaining an evil life of their own.

The palm trees twist and twirl like mad brown bellows pumping out inert green clouds, their drastic capillary motion owing to the xylem undergoing gigantic magnification as the tensorlens of space-time varies its dimensions. Cars on the road shrink and reel into the distance, their perturbed drivers colliding in a frenzy to decipher their senses, and leave in their wake a cartoonish carnage. “It was like driving a toy car through a highway full of semi-trucks!” remarks a survivor. Another account: “… through a prism where there was a million copies of everything, then I woke up inside the Rexall. I had crashed into the entire storefront…” Rent limbs dangle as long as roads and the droplets of blood drip off to infinitesimal smallness. Air bags lend many of the crushed cars the appearance of beached zeppelins. The burning vehicles wedged in houses, storefronts, snarling the freeways and avenues, fill the city with heat and monstrous smoke. Burst fire hydrants shower the oscillating children that play on its warp and weft with droplets the size of watermelons. Acidheads emerge from their stupor and say, “What the fuck? I lost my high.” The writhing city is like this, filled with pain and death and sudden awe. And it is the same, all over the world.

At ground zero where the effect is much stronger, the scientists and equipment are twisted into fantastic configurations, the very topology and their inability to navigate complex knots and surfaces trapping the technicians in the collider’s cool halls. Their cries become sounds in water, or are distant, far off, as if creeping through a labyrinth. They slowly starve to death before they find their way out. “They didn’t have a ball of thread,” later historians would remark sadly, after expeditions were sent into—to use a term coined by a television personality—the LSD atomizer and found old bones in postures of desperate futility.

Let’s take a couple of terms from graphic design: rasters and vectors. Vector images contain no information loss when its dimensions are modified, as opposed to the raster image which is plagued with distorting information loss when its size is changed. Vectors operate like an picture on a rubber surface: stretch and pull the surface to change the dimensions of the picture, and when you let it snap back, and the picture retains its original dimensions. There is no loss in quality in quantity of change. Space-time is a smooth vector and along its breadth there are small fluctuations—ripples, one could say—in the structure. When we are born, our brains learn to normalize this until this is done effortlessly and unconsciously. Perhaps children do notice, before their brains have integrated this completely, and it might shed some light on the ‘flights of imagination’ for which children are notorious. This might also account for the effect psychedelics have on the human nervous system.

What the LHC has done, is twist the normal properties of space-time and gravity. Keep in mind: No natural laws were violated… it is just our perceptions of space-time that has changed.


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