Computer scientist Jacques Vallée advances an interesting theory. What if time and space don’t exist? What if they’re only byproducts of consciousness itself, helpful patterns we superimpose on our experiences in the same way we might decide that a cloud looks like a rabbit or a pig?
What if, and this is where we get down to it, the linear universe we think we inhabit actually is an associative universe.
Here’s from Vallée’s book, Messengers of Deception (p. 242-243):
Time and space may be convenient notions for plotting the progress of a locomotive, but they are completely useless for locating information … What modern computer scientists have now recognized is that ordering by time and space is the worst possible way to store data. In a large computer-based information system, no attempt is made to place related records in sequential physical locations. It is much more convenient to sprinkle the records through storage as they arrive, and to construct an algorithm for the retrieval based on some kind of keyword … (So) if there is no time dimension as we usually assume there is, we may be traversing events by association. Modern computers retrieve information associatively. You “evoke” the desired records by using keywords, words of power: (using a search engine,) you request the intersection of “microwave” and “headache,” and you find twenty articles you never suspected existed … If we live in the associative universe of the software scientist rather than the sequential universe of the spacetime physicist, then miracles are no longer irrational events.
The “information” that Vallée refers to is reality itself. All that is knowable. All that can be experienced. The word “miracle” refers to an event that flies in the face of conventional linear thinking. One that’s physically or statistically “impossible.”
For the most part, we dismiss such events. We call them hallucinations, hoaxes and so on. Or more diplomatically, misinterpretations. My recent Angry Orchard experience might qualify, although I’m reluctant to call anything that doesn’t involved the BVM a miracle.
Still, I wonder. Did I somehow “evoke” the reality that I stepped into that night at The Peddler? And if I did, how did I do it?
And how do I do it again?