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poisonedantidote's avatar

Imagination test: What do you imagine an alternative universe wold look like?

Asked by poisonedantidote (21648points) February 25th, 2010

It is said by some that humans have a very limited imagination, i would like to try and put this to the test with a collective feat of imagination.

what do you imagine it would be like, to exist in and witness a universe that is totally different from ours, a universe where pi is 8.44 and the fastest way to travel between two points is to imagine you are already there. what kind of strange things do you think we could encounter?

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46 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

That’s easy: Bizarro World.

ChaosCross's avatar

Something like the one in my book.


OperativeQ's avatar

I think if there were actual alternative universes, they would be very similar to ours. I would doubt that if there truly is a multi-verse, our universe would hardly be unique. And you must take in the fact that our universe alone is beyond our imaginations.

I think all the changes would be in the details. Not on the whole.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

Bill O’Reilly is right about everything.

SeventhSense's avatar

Awww jeez I think we’re already in one here on Planet Frizzer.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

If it is an alternate universe, considering the great range of the spectrum of light, and the tiny sliver available for human sight, it would likely look like nothing. Meaning, without the proper instrumentation, simply by chance, you wouldn’t be able to see anything at all.

Qingu's avatar

Five spatial dimensions, which means no stable orbits, but stars have cool surfaces and can support life.

poisonedantidote's avatar

my favorite universe is the one with sploff, kind of like time but more like light and with the consistency of honey. it sure makes a good cocktail.

LunaChick's avatar

That was a bummer of an answer, @Dan_DeColumna – now stop using your left brain, start using your right and give us an interesting answer. ;)

aprilsimnel's avatar

Multi-dimensional consciousness

Ltryptophan's avatar

Maybe “look” is the wrong verb for an alternate universe.

rangerr's avatar

@ChaosCross So essentially, this world is like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse?

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

@LunaChick “Popular psychology tends to make broad and sometimes pseudoscientific generalizations about certain functions (e.g. logic, creativity) being lateral, that is, located in either the right or the left side of the brain. Researchers often criticize popular psychology for this, because the popular lateralizations often are distributed across both hemispheres” -Wikipedia

squidcake's avatar

It’d be pretty sweet if thoughts and dreams had actual mass and could be exchanged freely and can exist independently from a vessel.

Or if you could tap into anything as an energy source. Whoah, man…

TheLoneMonk's avatar

A corner on every Starbucks.

Howard Stern head of the FCC

The French with balls.

PETA Leather works

Asian Carp running their own casinos on the Chicago River.

Smoking not allowed in public places. You need to wormhole to 1978 to smoke.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@TheLoneMonk serious lolz at the corner on every starbucks. that made my day.

Nullo's avatar

Identical to this one, only the Frogstar fighters are green.

SeventhSense's avatar

Well that explains it. Chairy was just a little too trippy. “Hey come on sit in my mouth.”
“Slow down there ya furniture freak”

TheLoneMonk's avatar

re:Pee Wee…I sure miss Captain Carl Phil Hartman. damn

Supacase's avatar

I kind of like what @Dan_DeColumna said: our universe alone is beyond our imaginations. It is so true! We are completely clueless about almost everything in this universe we are part of. I love the mystery of where and what we already are.

VohuManah's avatar

Iraq would have WMD’s.
The news station’s weather team would be correct.
Pastors would preach against the evils of straight marriage.
Sexting would be sending your friend a message composed entirely of 6’s.

Dilettante's avatar

Fox TV “news” shows.

LuckyGuy's avatar

A world with Universal Health Care and a small fusion reactor in every home.

DarkScribe's avatar

For some of us, this is an alternative reality.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I see an alternative universe every time I look into the mirror.

OperativeQ's avatar

Do you mean, “every time I look into the leak.”?

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I imagine an alternate universe which has no life forms.

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

@Captain_Fantasy: Isn’t that true for the vast majority of this universe? Considering just the vast chasms of lifeless space between heavenly bodies?

Christian95's avatar

I’ve read a book called Six number or Only six numbers I can’t remember now but in that book it was said that our universe looks like this only because those six numbers have a certain value(one number is about the energy changes during nuclear fusion,one is about gravity,one is about nuclear forces,one is about the relation between gravity and nuclear forces,one is about dark matter and dark energy and one is about the primordial soup)
In that book it was said that the stars and the matter in general could only form if those numbers would have a value within a range of +, – 0.5 of todays value
Any variation smaller than that would create a different universe which would look pretty much the same
Maybe the stars would be smaller or bigger,maybe they will die quicker,maybe the planets would be more rocky or more warm or the will support bigger life form etc
But the universe will be very similar so you don’t need very much imagination to imagine a different universe.
@OperativeQ nice answer

ucme's avatar


loser's avatar

Something along the lines of Fraggle Rock.

candide's avatar

like a page out of Dr Seuss

mattbrowne's avatar

The nuclear fusion processes than convert hydrogen into helium would start around 100,000 degrees Celsius.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

The world from the Star Trek episode “Mirror, Mirror.” Everyone would be their evil twins and have cool goatees. :-)

SeventhSense's avatar

I can’t remember now but in that book it was said that our universe looks like this only because those six numbers have a certain value
Those numbers only have a certain value because we’ve assigned them a value. There is no existential state of numbers apart from our imaginations.

Shuttle128's avatar

@SeventhSense The numbers are actually just arbitrary designations we attribute to them, but the ratios and relations those numbers have with each other is always the same, regardless of the numbers we assign them. A different universe would have different ratios and relations not necessarily different numbers.

Take the relation of a proton’s mass to the mass of an electron. We choose some number arbitrarily that represents the mass of a proton, and then we measure the mass of the electron with respect to the proton’s mass. The numbers could be anything based on whatever number we designate to represent a proton’s weight; however, the relation of the proton’s mass to the electron’s mass will be the same no matter what arbitrary value we assign to mass.

SeventhSense's avatar

What is a ratio or relation without numbers? What is the nature of the quantifying or division apart from the quantifier?

Dilettante's avatar

@Shuttle128 The square of the hypotenuse multiplied by the speed of light, divided by pi.

Shuttle128's avatar

@SeventhSense That is a good question, though I didn’t say that numbers don’t exist. Natural numbers come from abstraction from everyday objects. They are a representation of possible groups of things. Let’s say that there are two things that you believe are extant properties of the universe. Let’s say these properties are energy and mass. Humans use numbers to quantify things but the attribution of these numbers is arbitrary. Let’s say that we attribute certain numbers to mass, and certain numbers to energy. The relations that are inherent in our universe cause the square root of the energy contained in an atom divided by its mass to give us a number that is identical to the measured velocity of light when using the same units of measurement. From arbitrary designations and relations that we find between them, we get interesting numbers that if under different circumstances would be different even though their relations remain the same. A puzzling circumstance is when the outcome of relations is unit-less like pi. Pi and other recurrent ratios make it hard to deny platonic forms of numbers. If we never invented numbers the distance of a circle’s circumference would still have the same relation to the radius. I tend to think of numbers as pure abstraction from real objects, but once that abstraction has been made logic can extrapolate the interactions of these abstractions.

I wish there were a more definite way to understand numbers and why they are so effective. I do thank you for asking that question as it definitely got me really thinking.

@Dilettante True, I’m not sure how to say this but I don’t think the numbers we get like pi or the speed of light are anything but the consequence of relations and arbitrary assignment of values. Pi is a ratio of the circumference of a circle to its radius. The measurements of the circle or its radius are arbitrary (provided you use the same methods to measure them), the same thing will result. The speed of light is the relation of energy to mass. Its actual numerical value is irrelevant, only its relation to mass and energy is what make the world how it is.

SeventhSense's avatar

Not to be a nudge but you find it easier to believe in a Platonic state of numbers but not God. I find that curious.
I don’t know if there are platonic states of numbers, but I do know why nine is missing
of course 7 8 9. :)

Shuttle128's avatar

I don’t find it easy to believe in platonic numbers at all. The numbers we come up with certainly aren’t there without a mind to abstract them. The way I understand how we develop knowledge about the world is that we classify things naturally simply by observing them. Our brains abstract these things as models. When we have these abstract concepts of real things we can then classify groups of them and attribute numbers to these groups. These numbers can be extrapolated because they are based on abstract concepts. Each concept we develop in mathematics is a further abstraction of preexisting abstractions. All it takes is some initial experience of existing qualities of real things in order to supply the brain with necessary input to create abstract models.

I guess you would call me an Aristotelian but I still identify with the idea of forms and universals. I see them not as their original definitions but as abstracted concepts in the human mind. The only thing that makes me think twice about this is the constant emergence of the same abstract concepts regardless of culture. I would call them universal except that these abstractions depend intricately on the human brain. If some other form of intelligence that uses a completely different brain structure were to appear to us, they might form abstractions completely differently, if at all.

Dilettante's avatar

@Shuttle128 Can I have some of whatever it is you’re smoking?

Shuttle128's avatar

@Dilettante That’s all the result of natural brain chemistry thank-you-very-much. That and study of lots of philosophy, philosophy of science, and neurocomputation.

Dilettante's avatar

I too like to use mental gymnastics in my field…it’s fun, entertaining, although not very productive. For instance, Is James Dickey’s _Deliverance_a continuation of the Pastoral Genre of Literature, therefore forming a direct link between-Deliverance_and Virgil’s Eclogues, Theocritus? Cite conventions. That always takes me where I want to go…into my own mind, to congratulate myself!

SeventhSense's avatar

Now that’s what I like to call good old fashioned mental masturbation

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