# Surfer Like Totally Spaces Out Physicists with New Ideas on How Universe Is Shaped

This kind of “out-there” thinking is fascinating. Here’s a guy that says he has a theory about “everything” – the universe.

I just can’t comprehend how somebody that is 39 years old can be this smart. Hell, how can someone *any age* be this smart? Even if he eventually is proved wrong, or his theory proves flawed or not fully developed, how to you have the guts to even think about this?

Did Garrett Lisi wake up one morning and say to himself “Today I will figure out the shape of the universe?”

On first blush, the tendency is to dismiss him as a crackpot because he is a surfer and has no official affiliation with a university.

Einstein didn’t either. He was a patent officer. He never solved the problem he was after.

The new theory reported today in New Scientist has been laid out in an online paper entitled “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything” by Lisi, who completed his doctorate in theoretical physics in 1999 at the University of California, San Diego

“A-yah, I just simply explained everything, take over will ya? I gotta get some sex wax and a doobie.”

So wrap your noodle around this:

Lisi’s inspiration lies in the most elegant and intricate shape known to mathematics, called E8 – a complex, eight-dimensional mathematical pattern with 248 points first found in 1887, but only fully understood by mathematicians this year after workings, that, if written out in tiny print, would cover an area the size of Manhattan.

E8 encapsulates the symmetries of a geometric object that is 57-dimensional and is itself is 248-dimensional. Lisi says “I think our universe is this beautiful shape.”

- 200 year old pattern
- would cover Manhattan if written out
- not understood until this year

Lisi decides this replaces the incredibly complex string theory.

The big difference is Lisi’s theory can (and will) be tested. The string theory will remain only that, because it cannot be tested.

Scientists like tests.

I sure am glad there are smart people.

If I even try to comprehend the intelligence to think about this stuff, my head will explode. Interesting stuff.

You may be raising a kid that will be like this! Better start studying.

I… like… saw the circle and like… understand it totally.

Am I special?

Of course you are special. Behold, you are a child of the universe.

Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh (walk quietly away, hands in my pockets, smile on my face).