Thursday, March 31, 2011

New video - Threes


A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bupd9LPub1Y

Wow! My YouTube channel now has over 17,000 subscribers. Thanks everyone for your continued support. Click to tweet this video: http://www.clicktotweet.com/zETp8
To read along with this video blog go to http://imaginingthetenthdimension.blogspot.com/2010/12/threes.html

Monday, March 28, 2011

Top Ten Tenth Dimension Blogs, March Report

1. Changing Your Brain
2. What Is Reality?
3. Timelike Entanglement
4. The Quantum Observer
5. Photons and Free Will
6. The Quantum Mind
7. Language and the Mind
8. Is Spacetime Flat or Curved?
9. Novelty
10. Cymatics

Previous lists:
. April 08 . May 08 . June 08 . July 08 . August 08
. September 08 . October 08 . November 08 . December 08 .
. Top 100 Blog Entries of 2008 . May 09 . June 09 . July 09
. August 09 . September 09 . October 09 . November 09 .
. December 09 . Top 100 Blog Entries of 2009 .
. January 10 . February 10 . March 10 . April 10 . May 10 .
. June 10 . July 10 . August 10 . September 10 . October 10 .
. November 10 . December 10 . Top 100 Entries of 2010 .
. January 11 . February 11 .

Based upon number of views, here are the top blogs for the last thirty days.

And as of March 26th, 2011, here are the twenty-six Imagining the Tenth Dimension blog entries that have attracted the most visits of all time. Items marked in bold are new or have risen since last month.

1. Jumping Jesus (1)
2. What's Around the Corner? (2)
3. Mandelbulbs (3)
4. An Expanding 4D Sphere (4)
5. Just Six Things: The I Ching (5)
6. Roger Ebert on Quantum Reincarnation (6)
7. The 5th-Dimensional Camera Project (7)
8. Creativity and the Quantum Universe (8)
9. Vibrations and Fractals (10)
10. How to Time Travel (9)
11. Light Has No Speed (11)
12. Dancing on the Timeline (12)
13. Our Universe Within the Omniverse (13)
14. Poll 44 - The Biocentric Universe Theory (14)
15. 10-10-10 Look Before You Leap (17)
15. Monkeys Love Metallica (15)
16. Magnets and Morality (16)
18. Consciousness in Frames per Second (18)
19. Is Reality an Illusion? (new)
20. Simultaneous Inspiration (19)
21. Polls Archive 54 - Is Time Moving Faster? (20)
22. Poll 43 - Is the Multiverse Real? (21)
23. Alien Mathematics (22)
24. Seeing Time, Feeling Colors, Tasting Light (23)
25. When's a Knot Not a Knot? (24)
26. Complexity from Simplicity (26)

Which means that this worthy submission is leaving our top 26 of all time list this month.

Flow (25)


By the way, if you're new to this project, you might want to check out the Tenth Dimension FAQ, as it provides a road map to a lot of the discussions and different materials that have been created for this project. If you are interested in the 26 songs attached to this project, this blog shows a video for each of the songs and provides more links with lyrics and discussion. The Annotated Tenth Dimension Video provides another cornucopia of discussion topics to be connected to over at YouTube. And as always, here's a reminder that the Tenth Dimension Forum is a good place to converse with other people about these ideas.

Enjoy the journey!

Rob Bryanton

Next: Courage

Friday, March 25, 2011

New video - Bees and Tangential Thinking


A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a26ej-H7aU

To read along go to http://imaginingthetenthdimension.blogspot.com/2010/11/poll-69-bees-and-tangential-thinking.html

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Trying to Escape


A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDzFQwdwuDM

So far we've looked at We All are Chemicals, Gimme a Beer!, and Just a Shy Guy from my 1983 concept album Alcohol and Other Drugs. By the way, this 11 song collection is available for download from tenthdimension.com/digital, thank you to everyone who have already checked out that link.

To recap: these songs were written for a live theatrical show which toured the high schools of Saskatchewan back then, and the subject of this particular song speaks to the eternal problem of being a teenager and trying to figure out where you fit in. Using alcohol or other drugs as a means to escape the pressures of life? Our hero becomes the victim in this song.

Also to recap: these songs feature my friends Cal Harle on drums and Jack Semple on guitars and bass. Since we were recording this in our basements and living rooms using a Tascam 244 and a Tascam 144 four-track cassette machine back in the pre-midi, pre-ProTools world of 1983, creating a song with this many individual parts and only four audio tracks was a time-consuming process involving lots of sub-mixing and bouncing: both Cal and Jack went above and beyond the call of duty to help me create this album, and Jack and I spent many many hours working on the overdubs for songs like this one.

As I mentioned last time, Cal continues to work as a professional drummer, and also works for my studio as a foley artist. His experience and natural feel make him one of the best in the business at both of those jobs. Jack has become a nationally known guitarist, his main focus has been on R&B, but he's proficient at a great many styles: you'll see what I mean if you check out his music for sale on his website.

With Trying to Escape, we never discover the fate of the song's central figure, a boy named Jimmy Smith. Last time, with Just a Shy Guy, we talked about how these songs relate to the idea of our fifth-dimensional probability space, which is a way of thinking about the quantum superposition of different outcomes that are pre-supposed by Everett's Many World Interpretation. Is Jimmy Smith like Schrödinger's cat, neither dead nor alive but both simultaneously, until we observe him? The truth for that famous cat is artificially simple. For Jimmy Smith and all of us, the possible outcomes from any particular moment are immense, and understanding that none of us are trapped into a single path is the power of this approach to visualizing the dimensions.

TRYING TO ESCAPE
- words and music by Rob Bryanton (SOCAN)

He was trying to escape
Any chance he would take
To get to something new
Nothin he wouldn’t do
He was trying to escape

Jimmy Smith was a young boy
Never did so good at school
You know his momma always told him
“Jimmy boy, life is cruel
It’s push and shove and give and take but mostly it’s just give
All it takes is one mistake so careful how you live”
Folks in town started talkin when he went to the doctor
Doc said he could see what the problem was

He was trying to escape…

Jimmy Smith at a party
He was like a boy possessed
He would drink down a twelve-pack
You know his momma never guessed
All the jocks never liked him much cause sports just weren’t his thing
Didn’t fit in with the stoners cause he just liked to drink
Sometimes it felt like he was caught in the middle
Sometimes he felt there was nowhere to go

He was trying to escape…

Whadaya think he was thinking of
What was goin through his head
The night he went out on the highway
When he left the road he was goin a hundred and ten…

He was trying to escape
Any chance he would take
To get to something new
Nothin he wouldn’t do
He was trying to escape
He was trying to escape
He was trying to escape

Next: Livin on the Edge of the World

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Just a Shy Guy


A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzdAhrFEY-4

As we continue to look at songs from my 1983 concept album Alcohol and Other Drugs, the song this time is called Just a Shy Guy. Alcohol is sometimes referred to as a "social lubricant": for somebody who's Just a Shy Guy, alcohol or other drugs can be what they use to get themselves loosened up enough to be more outgoing in potentially tense social situations. As the middle section of this song discusses though, sometimes the popular media's portrayal of the effectiveness of these substances is not realistic (despite what Charlie Sheen may be trying to tell us): no big surprise there!

Many of the songs on this album tie into my approach to visualizing how our reality is formed, which as I've said before began for me when I read Madeleine L'Engle's wonderful book "A Wrinkle in Time" at the edge of eight. Both this song and the next one we'll be looking at (Trying to Escape) tie nicely into the idea that we are each navigating through a fifth-dimensional probability space, gradually becoming one version or another of ourselves through chance, choice and the actions of others. These songs, written for a show aimed at teenagers, are about how for teens that probability space may seem more obvious - we go through our adolescence trying on different hats, different personas, trying to decide which version of ourselves we are going to try to be. This probability space is a constant theme in my book and this blog: read Are Bees More Sixth Dimensional and Entangled Awareness and OBEs for some of the more recent explorations of this concept.

Let's talk about the process of creating these songs a bit. They were recorded back in 1983 on a Tascam 244 and a Tascam 144 Portastudio: this was an innovative four-track mixer/recorder that used standard cassette tapes. I had become convinced at the time that this was the breakthrough everyone was looking for: finally, a machine with good enough recording quality that it would allow you to record in your basement or living room and create something that could be good enough to play on the radio! Nowadays, with people making high quality digital multi-track recordings in their bedrooms using powerful but inexpensive computer-based systems, this accomplishment may not seem as notable. But back then, in a pre-midi, pre-ProTools world, attempting to record fully-produced pop music without going into a recording studio was still pretty much unheard of. Recording a full band with multiple overdubs to four track also required lots of "bouncing" from track to track or machine to machine, and of course every "bounce" adds to the tape hiss, so this is not an easy thing to do! The fact that songs like Just a Shy Guy and Courage actually made it to being playlisted on our local FM rock station back then is still an accomplishment that I'm very proud of.

These songs feature myself on vocals and keyboards, Cal Harle on drums, and Jack Semple on guitars and bass. The three of us have played together in a number of bands over the years, and we're still good friends. Cal is also one of the best foley artists I've ever had the pleasure of working with, and he continues to do foley for all of my studio's film and television work. Jack has built a very successful career for himself as a guitarist and composer, check out his website at jacksemple.com. Recording these songs took many hours and I'm grateful for the time these guys put into this ambitious project. Here's the lyrics:

JUST A SHY GUY
- words and music by Rob Bryanton (SOCAN)

Sometimes I don’t know what to say
Sometimes I don’t know what to do
Sometimes I don’t know how to act
And the fact is I’m scared that you’ll find out too
I don’t wanna be a big star, but I
Don’t wanna have to play the clown
Tell me why can’t they see that I am just a shy guy
(He’s just a shy guy)
I’m just a shy guy
The other people in my neighbourhood
They same to do just fine
Everything seems understood
There’s no one wastin time

But I just don’t know where I stand
And when I stand it’s always wrong
And when I try to play it cool
As a rule it’ll end up I don’t belong
There’ll be someone with a new name
That they made up to hang on me
Tell me why can’t they see that I am just a shy guy
(He’s just a shy guy)
I’m just a shy guy
What if I was a little more
Like all those TV shows?
The kind of guy that the girls adore
The guy sayin anything goes

It’s a different world on my TV
They’re all working on some new cocaine deal
Life’s a never-endin party
Fine wines with their Cheerios
Sometimes I just can’t believe it’s real

And so I guess I’ll carry on
I’ll keep on runnin in the race
To a space where I feel like I really belong
I’ll keep on looking for myself now, tryin to
Find the one I think is me
Someday I might find out who I am
Someday I might find out who I am

Next: Trying to Escape

Monday, March 14, 2011

Gimme a Beer!


A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKr5uMg-MoI

As we continue to look at the songs from my 1983 concept Alcohol and Other Drugs, here's one that starts out sounding like a beer commercial, but by the end the singer turns into the Beer Monster, continuing to have one last beer long past when he should have stopped.

As I mentioned, the songs from this album accompany a Globe Theatre musical play which toured the high schools of Saskatchewan back then. The creative approach for this project was quite unique: a collective of actors, most not that long out of high school themselves, were brought together to discuss their own attitudes towards alcohol and other drugs, and to improvise some scenes based upon those discussions. Playwright Rex Deverell (whose name you may recognize from my book and his connection to my songs Everything Fits Together and Senseless Violence) then developed those themes into a play, and I did the same to write songs which explored the ideas the collective had brought up as important to them.

Beer as Mind-Altering Drug
Each of the songs in this collection takes a slightly different viewpoint on people's attitudes towards mind-altering drugs, and this one reminds us that beer goes on that list. Even though the underlying message in this song about the dangers of overindulgence is obvious, for me this is more about the portrayal of alcohol consumption in popular media, and the sometimes ridiculous fantasy world of beer commercials. I hope you enjoy it.

GIMME A BEER!
- words and music by Rob Bryanton (SOCAN)

Gimme another one over here
Make it foamy golden and clear
Ice cold heaven, set it right here
Gimme a beer, gimme a beer

Good friends and a brown one, they go together fine
A case of beans means good times, in the warm sunshine
Racin at the Indy, or ropin long horn steers
Goes just that much better with a couple a beers

Gimme another one over here…

Sittin in the barroom, shuffleboard or pool
Pickled eggs and sausage, and a beer that’s nice and cool
Put a quarter in the jukebox, turn it good and loud
Bring us forty-eight draft and a shaker of salt
We’re a mighty thirsty crowd

Six pack, twelve pack, gimme a case
Set up a round for every guy in the place
Ice cold heaven, set it right here
Gimme a beer, gimme a beer

(instrumental)

Sittin at home with the late night show
Everybody else said they had to go
I go to the fridge throw open the door
And gimme a beer, gimme a beer
Gimme a beer, gimme a beer!

“Next time you want a party, don’t just ask for a drink… tell them GIMME A BEER! “

Next: Just a Shy Guy

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We All are Chemicals

Last week I introduced you to my 1983 concept album, Alcohol and Other Drugs. This month I'm going to show you some of the songs from that album, starting here with a video for side one cut one (hey, it was 1983 and although CDs had been invented by then almost nobody had bought a player yet): "We All Are Chemicals".


A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLQ5DqWyaSk

I wrote the songs on this album to accompany a live show called The Good Life, sponsored by the Saskatchewan Alcoholism Commission, which Regina's Globe Theatre toured through the high schools of Saskatchewan that year before over 30,000 students. Each song looks at different attitudes towards drugs and alcohol, which for me brings to mind this pervasive meme:

Throughout human history, and even back to the various tales of animal intoxication (birds that enjoy fermented fruit being a commonly cited example), living creatures have always seemed attracted to finding ways to enter altered states.
A google search for "animal intoxication" turned up this Erowid book review about that topic as the top result, and on YouTube this Mike Jay documentary came up, which is a serious look at the history of mind-altering substances called "High Society".


A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qty8BjzpXwo

In The Good Life, "We All are Chemicals" was sung by a character who (predictably enough) has a meltdown by the end of the show, and of course his recipes for what drugs to never take together are deliberately ludicrous. Still, even though the "living creatures are drawn to altered states of consciousness" meme has proved to be a powerful one, it can also be used as an excuse for drug abuse, and the slippery slope from the desire for novelty or enlightenment to abuse and addiction makes this meme one that should always be accompanied by education. As preachy as it may sound, know what you're putting into your bodies, kids!

Here's the lyrics to the song:

WE ALL ARE CHEMICALS - words and music by Rob Bryanton (SOCAN)

When I wake up in the morning
And I get out of my bed
And I need a little something
To wipe the sleep from my head
No, no, no I don’t go to the kitchen
And I don’t go to the store
I just go up to my closet
Up on the second floor
Where there’s a world of wonders locked inside a little chest
There’s a thousand chemicals, I love them all the best

We all are chemicals, so don’t you be surprised
We all need chemicals to survive

It’s a difficult decision
You know it always was
Tryin to find the chemical
For my day’s first buzz
I’ve got little magic mushrooms
Or the very finest smoke
I’ve got uppers and downers
Acid or coke
I am a scientist, my body is the lab
Workin with my chemicals, what fun I have had

We all are chemicals, so don’t you be surprised
We all need chemicals to survive

It’s a question of balance
It’s a question of control
And knowing when to give the go ahead
And when to tell yourself no
So I never mix tequila with my sensimilla weed
I don’t put sugar in my coffee if I’m on heroin or speed
This is the good life, don’t you throw it all away
Careful of which chemicals you take every day

Next: Gimme a Beer!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New video - Just Geometry

Here's a new vlog I've just posted to YouTube which is generating lots of discussion, check it out!


A direct link to the above video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg7yhnF466o

This vlog accompanies a text blog of the same name published last November, click here to read that entry.

Enjoy the journey!

Next: We All are Chemicals

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Alcohol and Other Drugs


Last time we talked about Novelty, and the idea that an interest in "what happens next" is what separates life from the basic thermodynamic chemical reactions that we derive our energy from.

So what about the use of mind-altering substances to increase our sense of novelty? Surely, the warm glow and shared laughter of friends having a bottle of wine together can be thought of as an innocent way of making the world seem more "novel" to them, at least for a little while? Don't the many other kinds of "systematic derangement of the senses" , whether they be the act of a lone participant or part of a large group's shared experience, and whether they be substance-induced or achieved through other trance-based or ritualistic means, speak to our desire to break out of the limited here and now, to be plugged into something larger, more novel?

But of course, the subject of alcohol and other drugs is a complex and sensitive topic. I remember a science fiction story by Bruce Sterling in which a near-future person marvels at what a "sledgehammer drug" alcohol is, leaving them mystified as to its popularity back in the twentieth century, and preferring other much more subtle substances to alter their minds. It's interesting that even the phrase "alcohol and other drugs" could seem designed to place alcohol at the "less dangerous" part of the equation, when it's no secret that alcohol is a habit-forming and potentially lethal drug: much more so, in a number of people's opinions, than marijuana, for instance. We might ask why alcohol is even legal, when we look at the damage it does every day.

I've remarked before that I find it fascinating that even though I have no personal experience with psychedelics, I hear regularly from people who feel my approach to visualizing the dimensions helps them to understand the visions they experience while under the influence of these substances. To which I've sometimes added, I also find it interesting that I never hear from people that my approach to visualizing the dimensions helps them to understand what they saw after drinking a case of beer. The conspiracy-minded observer of this situation might ask how these decisions as to which mind-altering substance is legal and which are not came to be made. After all, drugs like opium, heroin, and cannabis were legal in the nineteenth and early twentieth century: Coca-Cola, for instance, quite famously contained 9 milligrams of cocaine per glass up until 1903! And the use of psychoactive substances like peyote, mushrooms, and ayahuasca is well-documented back many thousands of years to the dawn of civilization.

Last summer, Wired Magazine published an article about the controversy over Alcoholics Anonymous and how it works, and an editorial about alcoholism that showed how alcohol messes up the brain's ability to predict bad consequences (including the addict's inability to predict what will happen if the abuse continues), and how it suppresses neuroplasticity, an important part of our mental processes we just looked at in Changing Your Brain.

Am I saying alcohol should be abolished? No. Prohibition, like the current war on drugs, only makes criminals of innocent people and provides a healthy profit for organized crime. And for me, the point of using the phrase "alcohol and other drugs" is that it points out that alcohol, like any other mind-altering substance, needs to be treated with respect, because over-indulgence can have serious consequences.

One of the running themes for this project has been that my approach to visualizing the dimensions can provide persons who are trapped in self-destructive cycles a way out: this is the subject of songs like Addictive Personality, Positive Vibes, and See No Future. Which takes us back to my 1983 concept album, Alcohol and Other Drugs, which I want to show you some of the songs from this month. Sponsored by the Saskatchewan Alcoholism Commission, these songs were part of a show which toured the high schools of Saskatchewan during the 1983 to 1984 school year, and the show was presented live by the Globe Theatre's touring company before over 30,000 Saskatchewan teenagers back then. We're going to start with Side One, Cut One: We All Are Chemicals.

Enjoy the journey!

Rob

Here are links to all of the songs I created videos for:
We All Are Chemicals
Gimme a Beer!
Just a Shy Guy
Trying to Escape
Livin on the Edge of the World
Courage
Insidious Trends

Tenth Dimension Vlog playlist