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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Look Out Any Window

What you see depends upon where you are. But it also depends upon who you are. If you are here you will see day. If you are there, you will see night. Sometimes there is a sun, sometimes there is a moon. An ocean surrounds an island, but dry land surounds a lake.

But, hey, windows are a metaphor, right? And it is what our minds see that distinguishes us from other people. Some literal person might say that red is red no matter what and that is that. But I say that your point of view makes a huge difference.

And though the concept that red is red is strictly true within statistical perception parameters, it is also unbearably unimaginative.

This is why it is certainly good to look at the same old thing and yet have a totally new outlook. Something clicks!

Shapes are not shapes, but three-dimensional objects. Displacements in reality.

Shadows are holes in a light field.

The sky is a scattering of more blue light and the absorption of less red and green light. Oh, and I almost forgot: some air.

A hole is really a door in space through which you might reach.

Objects fall into two categories: the possible and the impossible. But all ideas are possible in our mind.

A vertex is a discontinuity in curvature. It can be the meeting of any number of faces, even one.

What happens when you cross a cube and a sphere? Is that like squaring the circle?

Though we can imagine an impossible figure, and people can make them, from one perspective, they still can't make it hook up. But our minds can.

What is magic about the pyramid's shape? It just seems like another five-sided solid. But wait, shapes are more than just shapes.

Is the inside of a solid conceptually similar to its outside? What about a torus?

Passing a polygon through a curve not lying in is plane creates a three-dimensional extrusion, like a prism. If you pass a solid through space, does it make a four-dimensional extrusion?

Dr. Seuss once said it best: if there are flashlights for when it's dark, are there flashdarks for when it's light?

Take three cylinders at right angles to each others and with centerlines passing through a single point and intersect them. What shape do you get?

I was once impressed by the Wankel engine and how a shape other than a circle still possessed a constant width when rotated. How many other kinds of shapes can do this?

If the magnetic field is uneven over the face of the earth, then what does that imply about the shape of the liquid iron core? If gravitation is uneven over the face of the earth, then what does that imply about the mass distribution internal to the earth?

What would gravitation on a torus-shaped (or a cube-shaped) world look like? And, by the way, what transmits gravity from point A to point B? Is gravity transported using the states of dark energy?

My point is that sometimes the technical and the fantastical face off and somewhere in the middle is a thing of beauty. And sometimes that thing can be a realization, a lightning bolt of discovery.

Mixing one field with another can result in the creation of something much more useful than something created for one field alone. And it all depends upon your point of view. Look out any window, but first look out through your mind's window.

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