Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Physics and the Elder Gods

Back when I was in college a group of folks calling themselves the "Campus Crusade for C'thulhu" was going around telling people that rather than voting for the lesser of two evils, they should vote for the greatest of all possible evils. They may still be around someplace, though I haven't heard from them in awhile. Here in the United States it's election day, so I want to remind my American readers to get out and vote. Even if it's for the greatest of all possible evils - or, for that matter, Aleister Crowley.

In the meantime, here's an amusing article regarding the aforementioned greatest of all possible evils. It's a serious-sounding scientific treatment of the "non-Euclidean geometry" that H. P. Lovecraft associated with Elder Gods such as C'thulhu in his stories, and it's brilliant. Here's a sample from the abstract:

In 1928, the late Francis Wayland Thurston published a scandalous manuscript in purport of warning the world of a global conspiracy of occultists. Among the documents he gathered to support his thesis was the personal account of a sailor by the name of Gustaf Johansen, describing an encounter with an extraordinary island. Johansen’s descriptions of his adventures upon the island are fantastic, and are often considered the most enigmatic (and therefore the highlight) of Thurston’s collection of documents.

We contend that all of the credible phenomena which Johansen described may be explained as being the observable consequences of a localized bubble of spacetime curvature. Many of his most incomprehensible statements (involving the geometry of the architecture, and variability of the location of the horizon) can therefore be said to have a unified underlying cause.

We propose a simplified example of such a geometry, and show using numerical computation that Johansen’s descriptions were, for the most part, not simply the ravings of a lunatic. Rather, they are the nontechnical observations of an intelligent man who did not understand how to describe what he was seeing. Conversely, it seems to us improbable that Johansen should have unwittingly given such a precise description of the consequences of spacetime curvature, if the details of this story were merely the dregs of some half remembered fever dream.

And it goes on, pointing out that a localized bubble of curved spacetime would in fact explain all of the observations recounted in Lovecraft's story. The paper also includes the mathematics necessary to model the various phenomena, which pretty much renders it full of win. If the Elder Gods ever do show up on earth, perhaps this paper will hold the key to defeating them and saving all of humanity from creeping madness - or worse.

Technorati Digg This Stumble Stumble

1 comment:

Imago said...

I think a non-Euclidean presidency would be rather refreshing at this point...