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Time Cube was an incomprehensible "hypothesis", created by Gene Ray around 1997, that claims time is cubic. Interpretations vary, but the core appears to have had something to do with the earth passing through four simultaneous days in the course of 24 hours.
Ray was also a bit of a conspiracy nut, as evidenced by his assertion that we are taught to be stupid by "evil educators", and that only he knew the truth.
It also had something to do with opposites. At least that's the impression we got, once our heads stopped spinning.
Time Cube was comparable to many other green ink websites for frothing lunacy value, but was one of the first to come to Internet fame. Since the site made no rational sense, it was not subject to the stopped clock phenomenon and is not even wrong.
No one really understood it, especially since the website looked as though Dr. Bronner loaded up on LSD, composed a few thousand soap bottles, and had them translated from English to Xhosa to Chinese and back to English by someone who speaks only Basque. Nobody, except possibly Gene Ray (and that is not guaranteed), had a frikkin' clue what Time Cube was about or what impact it's supposed to have had on our society should we all accept it.
No one knows why a four-sided figure should be called a cube (a cube has four sides plus a top and a bottom, duh!), nor does anyone have any idea how a day can actually be 96 hours long. There was, however, a vague idea in "educated stupid", but it's just the same drivel any other crank spouts about being persecuted by the "establishment" in somewhat pithier phrasing. In fact, Time Cube can really make your head hurt and imbue the reader with the urge to lie down, or possibly sideways. It's a great source for random quotes, however.
Time Cube was the single greatest weapon to combat mindless and repetitive debates about religion and the nature of god that occur endlessly in almost every corner of the interholes. You could copy-paste paragraphs from just about anywhere in the timecube.com rant and it would seem as though you were giving well-thought-out responses to the other people who are pounding their mushy skulls into the cyber-bulkhead of futility and who would soon cease all discussions of such nonsense when mushy heads explode from exposure to timecube.
Four corner day
Central to Time Cube was (but of course) the idea of cubic time. Ray explained this poorly, if at all. This seemed to have been based on the "observation" that the Earth has four corners that sweep through four simultaneous days, each of which experiences its own time zone.
On the second page (yes, there's more), Ray posted several diagrams that implied that these four points are defined as "sun up", "midday", "sun down", and "midnight" (thus the points are defined in time rather than space). Ray explained in his own, uncharacteristically coherent, words:
If Earth stood still, it would have mid-day, mid-night, sun-up and sun-down as 4 corners. Each rotation of earth has 4 mid-days, 4 mid-nights, 4 sun-ups and 4 sun-downs.
The sixteen (16) space times demonstrates cube proof of 4 full days simultaneously on earth within one (1) rotation. The academia created 1 day greenwich time is bastardly queer and dooms future youth and nature to a hell.
Ignorance of 4 day harmonic cubic nature indicts humans as unfit to live on earth.
The midday and midnight are known as the "major" time points, while sun up and sun down are known as the "minor" time points, created where the major opposing forces meet. These points are occupied by Socrates, Jesus, Einstein and... Clinton's [sic]. Given the site's overt racism, the Clinton in question is more likely Bill or Hillary than George.
This, of course, raises several questions: how do you know where the "corners" of Earth are? How can an oblate spheroid have corners? Did Gene Ray subscribe to flat earthism? It's a mystery for the ages.
Ray asserted various things about opposites throughout the site's content. This he represented using the concept of antipodes – ostensibly points on opposite sides of the Earth, like the poles – and the wider concept is also repeatedly referred to as "binary", which he asserted as superior to "oneness" or "singularity".
He extended the idea to mathematics, asserting that positive and negative numbers are opposite; hence -1 x -1 does not equal +1, as mathematics clearly shows, but -1.[Note 1] Similar ideas are posed on the Science and Math Defeated blog, with whom Ray contended for incoherent babble.
This idea of opposing antipodes also extended to his views of men and women, which were also opposites. This could be interpreted as homophobia or sexism on his part as he specifically said that male and female are opposite and that there is no "queer singularity" between the two.
This theme of opposites applies to the time points described above: midday and midnight are opposed, as are the two synergistic minor points. Ray also said that the opposite hemispheres of the Earth are rotating in opposite directions. This hypothesis has yet to be experimentally confirmed.
"Zero existence" is an extension of Ray's opposites/antipodes assertions. He asserted that the opposites he cited, male/female, opposite hemispheres, and so on, subsequently cancel each other out, leading to a zero existence. This zero existence prevents a "queer singularity" that the "educated stupid" believe in.
The "singularity brotherhood" is Ray's term for accepted ideas which are at odds with Cubism – it probably has little to do with other definitions of singularity. As Time Cube relies on opposites that exist independently or cancel into Zero Existence, then those who deny opposites are classed as singular. He repeatedly mentions that God is singular and therefore abhorrent, for example, as God is not composed of irreconcilable opposites.
The phrase "educated stupid" or sometimes "educated singularity stupid" often recurs and is used to refer to anyone who doesn't agree with Time Cube or Cubism. Referring to educated individuals or academics as stupid or educated to the point where they have a closed mind with respect to crackpot ideas is a fairly common tactic for wingnuts or cranks to demean experts who disagree with them. This occasionally evolves into outright insults, calling the reader a "dumbass" among other things (most of them far less polite than that).
Conspiracy and persecution
Where Ray is easy to understand is his position that academia and the "educated stupid" are actively oppressing his theory. In one of the additional pages, he asserts that no university physicist would teach 4-simultaneous days as they are controlled by religious zealots; thus Time Cube is banned from academia. In fact, Time Cube isn't really banned from academia, with Gene Ray having been invited to Georgia Tech and MIT to give lectures.[Note 2]
While there were earlier hints of Gene Ray's unsettling views on race relations, the racialist overtones of the Time Cube hypothesis became more explicit during Barack Obama's presidential campaign and presidency. A screed posted on the site's homepage during the 2008 campaign, but still visible as of late 2011, declares:
At the risk of my life, I must issue a GRAVE WARNING to my fellow Americans – about a potential Civil War between millions if Obama, the Black candidate, is elected President of the United States, displacing the white president – inducing America to become a Black Nation
Similar warnings have been added since, urging Obama to resign lest his "black/white equality posture" leads to "a racial war – destroying both races and America", asserting that "SUN power will not allow any Black Skin power to rule over its Light Domain", and condemning "American mentality so stupid a half breed rules".
Ray opposes racial integration and equality, especially in the USA.
White people are not obligated to nurture the black race – when actually dark and light should exist on opposite corners of Earth as depicted by midday and midnight. The white race is actually stupid to give welfare and integrate with the black race, who in time will slaughter them.
This segregationist ethos apparently relates to the cubic time theory (meanwhile, Ray gets the 4 major races of humanity wrong):
Midday is a light race Day. Sundown is an Asian race Day. Midnight is a Black Race Day and Sunup is an Indian Race Day.
Ray's paranoid fears of black violence continue, along with his contempt for policies of equality:
White Americans deserve to be hacked to death by the Black Race – for they are dumb, educated ONEness stupid and worship EVIL ONEness [etc. etc. – you get the idea] . . . I hope you live long enough to see Blacks hacking to death the whites just as the chimp ripped the stupid brain who thought a chimp also was equal.
Charming. And what about the Jews? Ray tells us "I know now why the Jews deserved their holocaust", though in the context it is pretty hard to understand what exactly they deserved it for (apparently "worshipping their own adult EGO image as a damn god whil [sic] ignoring and betraying the very children who sacrifice their LIFE so their Moms and Dads could Live").
It's not clear what Ray meant with "queer". It may have been in the usual sense related to sexuality or in the dated sense referring to anything perceived as weird, odd, strange, "off the usual". The occasional use of the word as a noun (usually in the plural, see below) would seem to have been at odds with this, and, given his ramblings, he could have made up his own definition and assumed everyone else should have known it already.
While his usage may have been homophobic, Time Cube was devoid of the usual rhetoric associated with homophobes, in marked contrast to its blatant racism. "Queer" is the only sexuality-related term used throughout, and its use is ambiguous, although several versions of the page used male/female, mother/father as an exemplar of a dichotomy.
He made multiple references to God being queer, as God is what Ray termed "singular" or "singularity", rather than opposite and composed of a dichotomy. Indeed, "queer" appeared to be his catch-all term for anything that denies cubism or his principle of uncompromising opposites.
It's possible that Ray was making a targeted rejection of Queer Theory, though it's doubtful he had this or any other comprehensible stance in mind. At one point, he made the cryptic statement that "Queers killed my lil Brother", a phrase which was markedly at odds with the rest of the text and is the only assertion to not be repeated at least once.
“”There is no teacher on Earth qualified to
teach Nature's Harmonic Simultaneous 4-
Day Rotating Time Cube Creation Principle,
and therefore, there is no teacher on Earth
worthy of being called a certified teacher.
With Time Cube being nigh-incomprehensible, many people have looked into what it could possibly mean – the essential first step that needs to be taken before the idea could even be considered as rational or crank – or why Gene Ray would even write it in the first place.
One idea is that Ray seems to have taken was the analogy that the Earth has four "corners" along the equator — six hours apart from each other in normal logic. This would create four points that circle through 360 degrees throughout the course of a day. As each of these points individually sweep through 24 hours, they can be combined into 96 hours. This is metaphorically true, but is also true of many other things; for instance, taking these "points" as the timezones, there are 24 of them making 576 hours in a day (why he came up with a 'time cube' instead of a 'time square' seems to be lost on us; he seemed to understand the concept of Earth's north-south axis, but on his website was a model placing his corners at the intersections of three separate "equators" on an X, Y and Z axis in 3D space, referencing '3 equators and 4 corners' repeatedly on his site).
This is a similar concept to the
man person-hour, where the actual number of hours experienced (and/or available for use) is multiplied by the number of people; this would be around 192 billion hours per day if we count everyone on Earth. Ray's choice of sun-up, sun-down, midnight, and midday for the points may be because these are non-arbitrary and physically defined in a more absolute sense – indeed, you can "ride the terminator" in a supersonic jet, enabling you to stay on the position of sunrise/sunset as it travels around the globe, as long as it has enough fuel to do so. The "96-hour day" would then be a result of Ray taking something that might be true on a meta, super-abstract level and confusing it with a version of reality.[Note 3]
His model appears to be predicated on the idea that everything is constructed by opposites the way a cube is composed of opposing sides, and he extrapolates it into his own 'theory of everything' that he seems to have used to justify his own prejudices. His diatribes that touch upon race, gender, and religion seem to be an extension of this logic — male/female, black/white, etc.
If Ray was serious with his site — and wasn't mentally disturbed — it is possible that the entire site was a lesson in not merely accepting what you are told and taught at face value. By merely considering his half-baked idea of 4-corner days and cubic time, even though it is complete nonsense at first sight, you are exercising critical thinking skills. If anyone does take this moral lesson from the site, however, the evidence (Ray's personal appearances and the less-than-subtle racism) seems to suggest that it was probably not intentional on the author's part. A deconstructionist treatment of Time Cube would be a real hoot.
Time Cube seems to be similar to a "dream-like" logic, where a dream seems amazingly logical and profound and yet seems confusing in that moment just after you wake up. For most people, this "dream logic" is quickly forgotten, but it seems like, in this case, Ray never forgot it and decided to write it down verbatim.
It may also be the result of a serious mental illness, particularly if Ray genuinely believed the content of his site, rather than using it as an odd form of surreal art. In support of this not-so-funny interpretation, Ray vaguely alluded to being diagnosed with schizophrenia by a psychiatrist somewhere in his endless screed.
With Gene Ray's death, we may never know the whole story behind Time Cube, but we can all agree that the world has never been the same since its introduction.
Time Cube Law
The Time Cube Law states:
“”As the length of a webpage grows linearly, the likelihood of the author being a lunatic increases exponentially.
Named for the Time Cube webpage, which was both really long and absolutely raving.
While Time Cube was a well-known example, there is a tendency for people who are nuts or have obsessions over all manner of things that are blatantly wrong to go on about them at extreme length, repeating the same thing, often in a new and even more incomprehensible manner further down the page.
Thus, any website or article meeting these criteria is immediately compared to the original Time Cube site.
- Cambridge Theological Seminary
- Ellie Crystal
- English Democratic Party
- The Coming "New World Order"
- The Divine Phi Proportion
- Why evolution is wrong!
- Rex Research: The Civilization Kit
- Orgy of the Will
Not to be confused with
- Time crystal — this is an actual physical entity that was created by physicists in 2016; it has nothing to do with Gene Ray's Time Cube.
- The People's Cube — a conservative 'comedy' blog.
- Argument by gibberish
- Dr. Bronner's Soap
- Flat Earth
- Francis E. Dec
- Hollow Earth Theory
- Not even wrong
- Sovereign Press
- Lucas Werner
- Time Cube (archive.org snapshot)
- Time Cube (archive.is snapshot)
- Time Cube (snapshot by a RationalWiki editor)
- Time Cube backup page (censored)
- Parody of Time Cube on Uncyclopedia
- An amusing trailer for an alleged TimeCube "movie" – And another, with added Clint Mansell for extra epicness
- One potential explanation of the "four corner day"
- Andrew Sullivan cites this article.
- Academic article from Taiwan (possibly tongue in cheek) comparing Gene Ray to Hipparchus.
- From a mathematical point of view, there is nothing inherently wrong in creating a system where that is taken as a fact, but it amounts to a pretty useless mathematical system because there would be no neutral element for the multiplication, making it borderline impossible to solve in it even the most basic types of equations that require this operation.
- They should sell tickets.
- This concept is actually toyed with in an episode of the children's show Phineas and Ferb, where the titular characters and their friends build a plane with the intention of flying around the world on the Summer Solstice, thus making their day 24 hours long.
- Georgia Tech Lecture: Time Cube with Gene Ray Discussion thread on PhysicsForums site.
- The Redundancy of Racism Commentary in MIT newspaper touching on the racist overtones in Ray's lecture there.
- Time Cube home page
- 'Time crystal' created in lab: Flipped ions return to original positions periodically to demonstrate new form of symmetry breaking by Emily Conover (7:00am, October 26, 2016) Science News.
- Observation of a Discrete Time Crystal by J. Zhang et al. 'arXiv.org. arXiv:1609.08684. Posted September 27, 2016.