Message #3238

From: Chris <>
Subject: Re: [MC4D] Visualizing Hyperobjects
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2015 08:13:47 -0500

The closest thing I ever had to a religious experience was when I
visualized a hypersphere, at least as much as I’m capable of visualizing
anything. Haven’t been able to duplicate the experience.

So, on the one hand, that’s still a "no" because my ability to visualize
is kind of . . . not there. I’ve never found the words to describe what
it /is/ like. It’s /almost/ seeing, but not quite there. On the other
hand, to the extent that I can "see" anything in my mind’s eye, I did
see it that one time. On Zaphoid Beeblebrox’s third hand, an
n-dimensional sphere is always going to be the easiest thing to
visualize. It looks the same from every angle so if it isn’t textured
or colored, there’s no complexity; looking at a sphere is always shows
you a circle, looking at a circle if you’re in a 2D environment always
shows you a line of the same length. Shading is probably different
though, otherwise how do you know from a single angle that it’s really
an n-sphere not an [n minus 1] sphere? (E.g. how do you know it’s a
sphere not a circular disk?)

Combine the simplicity of a hypersphere with the fact that nothing I
"visualize" actually quite reaches the level of real visualization (I’m
in envy of those who can truly visualize) and we’re back to Melinda’s
answer of, "No." (Plus it only happened once.)

It is a bit more complex than simply that we’re coded for 3D, though.
We are, but what that means is more complicated than it initially
sounds. We don’t see in three dimensions. We see in two dimensions,
twice, from slightly different angles, and use the differences to
determine three dimensional structure. These days you can do the same
thing with two pictures from different positions and a computer program,
it’s called "structure from motion" (the "motion" being moving the
camera from angle one to angle two, and then probably other angles as
well because why stop at two?)

If you close one eye (or only have the one, or don’t have two
working-together normally), though, even though what you’re seeing is a
single two dimensional image, you’re still seeing three dimensional
objects, and any movement allows the same kind of
difference-to-structure as having the two standard offset eyes open
(though our brains aren’t nearly as adept at that compared to just
having two eyes open and working in concert.)

Applying the same principles to four dimensional objects, an eye evolved
for a 4D would return a three dimensional "image" and you’d use two such
3D viewing eyes, offset of course, to get the 4D structure. But, as
with our 2D viewing eyes, closing one of them wouldn’t mean you’re not
looking at 4D objects anymore.

So to really visualize in 4D what is needed is to be able to visualize a
3D space /as seen from every possible angle at once/. As far as I know,
no one can do that. Might be why my pseudo-religious mathematical
experience was a hypersphere, every possible angle of a sphere returns
"looks like a circle from this angle too." But, even with something
that simple, I only ever did it once. And that’s not because of a lack
of trying, I simply can’t duplicate the experience.

But if you could, somehow, do that (see 3D from every possible angle),
then it would be the same as 4D viewing without depth perception.

Seeing in 4D requires seeing in true 3D, and human beings can’t actually
do that. We compare two two dimensional images in a brain designed to
gather depth information from the differences between them and see in a
sort of 2.5-D. We’re not /just/ hard-coded for a 3D world, we’re
hard-coded for viewing that world from a single position (with the only
wiggle room being the distance from one eye to the other, said wiggle
room being used to determine depth.)

ps Hi everyone.

On 11/22/2015 9:35 PM, [4D_Cubing] wrote:
> Is the human brain capable of actually visualizing hyperobjects and
> has anyone here been capable of doing so?