Last night my wife Carolyn and I finally got around to renting All Things Everywhere All At Once after mentioning that we should do so several times as a result of the trailer popping up in our queue. The movie was very entertaining, and we love Michelle Yeoh as Captain Philippa Georgiou in Star Trek Discovery, so this film was a good fit for us right out of the box.
With that said, I couldn’t escape the sneaking suspicion that not only had I been aware of the subject matter of this movie for years, but that I actually wrote a logical “proof” for an infinite universe one night while bored on the mid watch at JICPAC. I showed that proof to an Air Force Officer who worked on the watch floor with me and had previously worked at Nellis AFB. His response was only, “you mistake congruent points for equal points.” Which is true, but only in a finite universe. In an infinite universe, they are one and the same. But I’ll get to that…
Shortly after showing that AF officer my proof, two things happened. First, he quietly told me to do a Boolean search for “Bell Laboratories + Roswell + new technologies.” Essentially, many “new age” technologies can be traced to BL over a very compressed period of time, shortly after the alleged UFO crash in that famous New Mexico town. His search string did not disappoint. Titanium. Lasers. Microchips. New alloys. And more. The second thing that happened was that my hard drive was “accidentally” wiped by the system administrators downstairs in our IT department.
But I have a surviving hard copy, and have recreated it digitally for safe keeping. My proof was a 4-5 page (I’d have to dig it out to be sure) bulleted list of logical progression from a single point out to an infinite multiverse. I would later learn, by watching a video by one of my favorite thinkers, Rob Bryanton, about the concept of Humans as more than a single strand of time-bound frames. A string of “nows,” essentially adding up to a movie (frame upon frame) of our lives.
Instead, we look much more like a root structure, with many branches and, eventually, an end to each branch. We are not able to see our whole selves at any given time, because we are locked into experiencing these “nows” as the illusion of a persistent flow of time, one frame at a time. Beings from a higher dimension (5th, 6th, etc., would see us all at once).
These roots branch out into their own universes, or iterations, if you will. This is what people refer to when they use the term “multiverse.” There is a potential for infinite iterations, but you could never, ever, ever experience them all in a single human lifetime, and many of them die out (end, like the roots mentioned above) while others go on. We branch out like that until we can do so no further. And then, essentially, we die.
I’m not smart enough to tell you what that means, to die. But I can tell you that I have much less fear of it now that I have a larger field of view on this amazing and beautiful existence that we happen to be sharing right now.
Anyway, back to the movie! Everything, Everywhere, All At Once did a fantastic job of explaining this, and demonstrating how each of them might interact with each other. This is an important facet of this theory, for me, because it means that nothing is pre-determined. We can interact with other “strands” or “roots” of ourselves, or others, and perhaps even cause change by doing so. Who really knows?
Much of what takes place in this brilliantly written, heroically acted, and masterfully filmed piece of cinema history (and perhaps Human, too) fits very well into my own theory, which you will recall that I first wrote in the Navy (I discharged honorably in 2003.) But there is much that they left out!
For one thing, they never hit on the idea of cookie cutter people. These would be different from the other iterations of us that exist down different offshoots of our larger selves. These would be people who look alike because they are literally rendered from the same code (DNA). You may know them as doppelgängers. I call them cookie cutter people. The problem is that they exist because of some unseen barrier or limitation to the confines within which we live. If this is a simulation, it may be low on memory, for instance. You may have encountered a similar thing in the very popular GTA game universe. People show up over and over because it saves the system processing power. Something to ponder.
Another thing, which is incredibly important, but completely missing from the film is the concept of the narrowing. This is akin to the cause/effect of cookie cutter people, except that it isn’t an intentional distribution of resources. Rather, the narrowing only rears its head when something is amiss. It’s not so much a matter of low memory as it is a matter of a character file suddenly gone missing. When there isn’t enough information to properly render a scene, you begin to be forced down a narrowing.
Most likely, a narrowing represents a spacial experience of arriving at the end of a “root” that has no where else to grow. An extreme example would be, suddenly, without warning, all channels on your TV are the same show, and it’s all gibberish. As such, when one realizes that they are experiencing it, the narrowing can cause much anxiety and fear. Hopelessness may ensue. This is the end, well, ending. It is conceivable, however, that a similar effect of “narrowing” could happen in the event that two roots fuse together. The shape would be less symmetrical and spiraling, more hour-glass-ish. Who knows what that would look or feel like.
The film addressed the question of how to jump from one branch to another in a very creative way that allowed for some comedic relief at various points throughout the movie. Finding one’s “jump path” involves doing some anomalous, and often very weird, thing and then pressing “the green button.” I won’t spoil everything for you, but the plot device is very well employed. In my view it’s more about tuning in to a resonant frequency and then isolating all other noise, but hey, who’s keeping track?
But I suppose that what is truly eating at me is the way that they changed my overall description so drastically by altering only a few words! In my logical proof, I conclude that “in an infinite Universe (i.e. multiverse), all things exist everywhere at all times.” This is an important distinction from “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once.” My language allows for access to all points from all points. Theirs suggest an overwhelming experience that is not useful but actually debilitating, if not deadly.
Anyway, there it is. I’ve said my piece. If you’re still reading, may The Gods bless you with wealth and incredible sex!
Stand by to stand by! –Mad Squid