Connecting the dots

CONNECTING THE DOTS…. Time’s Karen Tumulty sees the pattern.

There is now a pattern emerging from the McCain campaign and its surrogates. Instead of trying to persuade Americans who aren’t in their camp (the sign of a campaign that thinks it can win), they are trying to de-legitimize them (the sign of a campaign that thinks it can’t).

That’s what you hear in Sarah Palin’s disquisition in Greensboro, N.C., on “these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, very pro-America areas of this great nation.” (So what does that say about the rest of the country?) That is what you hear in Nancy Pfotenauer’s suggestion that there’s a difference between Northern Virginia and “real Virginia.” It is what you hear in Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann’s crazypants rant about–well, I really don’t know what. And it is what you hear in a robocall strategy that is as ridiculous as it is cowardly.

While The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder notices the same pattern, and applies the developments to a physics model.

Now — the Mainstream Media, typically clueless, has interpreted these remarks conventionally — classically, you might say, as if we live in an Eisteinian universe with three dimensions of space and a quasi-dimension of time: either these women were summoning their inner Nixonian cultural warriors, or they were untethered from reality.

But three utterances of this nature for me lead to an entirely more edifying possibility: that Palin, Bachmann and Pfotenhauer were making a radical new claim about the fundamental forces and constants that compose the background of our universe.

For decades, theoretical physicists have sought to unify the theory of gravity with standard particle model of physics. So far, no dice. The dominant but by no means proven theory is popularly referred to as Superstring theory, or M theory, or some variant. No need to go into the details here. Crucially, though, some of the leading variants of string theory presuppose a universe of ten spacial dimensions plus time.

We cannot rule out the possibility that Palin, Bachmann and Pftoenhauer — let’s call them PBP for short — are somehow about to perceive these extra dimensions, and that there is something fundamental about their physical constitutions that makes such perceptions unavailable to most everyone else.