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Nick Herbert

being in molasses. In certain ways you’d find it very easy to move, and others you just couldn’t do, because it would be that that had already been definitively done.

RMN: It had been filled up.

NICK: Yes, it would be filled up. That had already been done. So there are islands of reality in the past, but they float in a sea of possibility. As far as I know, that’s original with me, that solution to time travel paradoxes. The place to look is in science fiction, for solutions to time travel paradoxes. There are a number of very original solutions to that.

DJB: What are some of the best ones?

NICK: Well, the most popular is with alternative universes. Science fiction’s full of them. Another is that you can visit the past, but can’t change it. You can only change the future through your time machine. You just become a disembodied viewpoint in the past, and you can’t act at all. There’s nothing you can do to change all that, it’s like watching a movie. But if you go to the future, you can change the future. That’s a pretty good one I think, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

DJB: What do you think lies in the center of a black hole?

NICK: Well, there’s supposed to be the dreaded singularity there, where space and time are infinitely warped. Talk about warped–everything is infinitely warped there, and nothing, not even light, escapes. All physics stops. Matter as we know it would be crushed to a mathematical point. It’s bad news. The center of a black hole is a bad trip. Some physicists claim that quantum mechanics would intervene before that happens, but they haven’t proved that. It looks as though everything is just crushed to this infinite density, including time itself. Time and space itself are just crushed out of existence. Physics ends at the center of a black hole. No one knows what goes on.

RMN: You say that quantum tantra could revolutionize human relations. What do you mean by this?

NICK: Well, it’s related to us getting out of our little caves, and into the open ocean. I envision it as a way of exploiting and enjoying Bell’s Theorem, of actually bringing the Bell connection into being. Bell’s Theorem talks about this voodoo-like connection, and one of the preoccupation’s of voodoo is love charms–to make other people love you, and to break up a couple where you’d like to love one of the members of the pair. So, these making and breaking spells are what I envision quantum tantra to be–love charms that work because of physics. Some kind of thing you could do, object you could exchange, or medium you could plunge into, that would either connect you, correlate you, unconnect you, or anti-correlate you. There are Bell connections where you have opposite correlations. They make you unlike, rather than alike. There are these Bell correlations and Bell anti-correlations flickering in the world of particle physics. They eternally hold the world together, which is the basis of all chemical bonds. So one could imagine these occurring at the level of human beings. So, that’s what I imagine quantum tantra to be, a way of exploiting the Bell connection on the human level, But I don’t have the slightest idea how one would go about doing that. Just guesses.

DJB: Could you tell us about your plans for a “Pleasure Dome” project, and how do you see the future science of pleasure advancing? What new forms of pleasure do you foresee for our future?

NICK: Well, of course, some would find quantum tantra pleasurable–the union with another human being, at the quantum-mental level of existence–although others would find it horrible. So it would be both. The Pleasure Dome Project is an idea to use fundamental physics to increase pleasure for the pursuit of happiness–to put the pursuit of pleasure on a firm scientific basis, rather than in the amateur ways we’ve pursued it so far as individuals. Amplification and enhancement of the senses is probably the easiest way to do it. Find out how our senses work, and just increase that process.

I was talking with Greg Keith about the pleasure dome project as we were walking down here along the San Lorenzo River, and noticed that there’s a pleasure research facility here on the beach–the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Places like that offer clues to the nature of pleasure. What happens here at the Beach Boardwalk? People get scared out of their life in safe environments. So, this must partly be what pleasure is. To be scared, but to really be safe. To be frightened, but secure. So we have to look about for new ways of doing that-scaring the hell out of people, but making them secure at the same time. So there’ll be some scary rides at The Pleasure Dome, I think, but ultimately safe.

RMN: Could you tell us a little bit about telesensation?

NICK: Oh, that’s one of my favorites. Telesensation is the idea of achieving a new body image by building robots of various kinds, and linking with them-through radio or optics–and taking on their body image. Taking

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