I had a weird dream where I was trying to explain something 3D to a 2D person, and it was difficult to get them to ‘get it’. During this dream, I kept hearing the word “Anisotropy” over and over.

When I woke up, I had to go look up the word because I thought I’d never seen it before (at least, not consciously).


Web definitions

  1. the property of being anisotropic; having a different value when measured in different directions

While that definition is succinct (and I’m being kind here!), it does mean that something is different depending on what direction it is pointing.

I was thinking these things when I was trying to imagine what could possibly be considered to exist when staring at the infinite black wall of Everything/Nothing.

I realized that whatever exists must be different from the very instant it exists, lest it forget to change and suddenly find itself ‘indistinguishable’ from the whole of Everything/Nothing, and then, by definition, cease to exist!

So that’s where this notion of anisotropy comes in. Whatever exists must be an anisotropy – it must be inherently different in all dimensions. Either that, or it can’t be alone:

Pop one ‘thing’ out of the Everything, and its life expectancy is practically nil, because there aren’t many ways for one ‘thing’ to be different before all its options are exhausted.

Pop ten billion identical ‘things’ out of Everything, and they, collectively, will ‘live’ a lot longer because they can shuffle around, swap places, and generally permute their configuration in many different ways, and thereby conserve their difference-ness and thus, continue to ex-sist.

But we’re talking on a scale of the so-incredibly-quick that Time is meaningless, because at every instantaneous instant, the whole jumble of ‘things’ is threatened by sameness (sameness to its previous state), and thus, non-existence.

[This thinking is by no means original. Patrick Jeanneret came to this thinking many years before in his book, Le Néant Créateur.]

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