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God & Ghosts August 16, 2011

Posted by The Typist in books, cryptical envelopment, literature, odd, Toulouse Street.

For my 888th post, something Odd. Of course. If you read the whole interview, anyone this whack who reputedly once assaulted Thomas Pynchon, well, it just seems like a natural fit. Here’s on to 999, at which post the entire internet may abend. Just warning you.

So imagine the capabilities of a 4D being—a 4D being could change anything about our 3D world at will. Again, it’s the same as the drawing of the snowman. The snowman can only see in terms of length and width, so when I use an eraser to erase his carrot nose, or when I use my thumb to smudge his striped scarf, he can’t see me do it, because the eraser and my thumb both exist at a height above his, on a different 2D plane. All the snowman can see is that his carrot nose vanishes, or his striped scarf smudges.

A 4D being would have those same abilities in our 3D world—it could trigger a tornado at the edge of a wheat field, or erase cancer cells from the brain of a seven-year-old child. And we would never even see its pencil, so to speak, because it would exist outside of our seeing.

And when it looked at a 3D image, a 4D being would be able to see all of that image all at once. Again, back to the snowman: a 2D snowman can only see certain parts of himself at one time. If the 2D snowman looks at a 2D box, the snowman can only see the side of the box, or the top of the box. But when I look at the 2D snowman, I can see its entire outline, all at once, can see even its insides—if I look at the 2D box, I can see all four sides of it at once.

A 4D being would have the same capabilities: it would be able to see all six sides of a 3D box, all at once, and, at the same time, it could see inside of the box, the contents of the box. And it could change those contents of the box—or erase those contents—without ever opening it.

In other words, a 4D being would be both omniscient and omnipresent. It would see everything at once and be everywhere at once. And it could change anything at will.

— From An Interview with Michael Martone


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