Not quite as much like an episode of The Twilight Zone as it sounds

The New Scientist, via Neatorama:

Our World May Be a Giant Hologram

The idea that we live in a hologram probably sounds absurd, but it is a natural extension of our best understanding of black holes, and something with a pretty firm theoretical footing. It has also been surprisingly helpful for physicists wrestling with theories of how the universe works at its most fundamental level.

The whole article is remarkably clear.  You may have to click the link twice to get past The New Scientist‘s subscription pitch, but it’s worth the effort. .


  1. vthunderlad

     /  February 8, 2010

    Cool science and a wide-open hole into Forteana. It’s so very catchy and neat: “we live in a hologram!” Oh, I have one of those on my credit card. Oh, it’s lovely. How it sparkles and shines with an illusion of 3D! How poetic that each piece of it contains an essence of the whole! If the universe is like that then we’re all truly “one” with all things. At the heart of all, good or evil, alive or dead as dust, are sweet rainbows.

    I love the impulse we have to jump to new metaphors about existence. We can’t help ourselves. There’s no denying that this may be a serious breakthrough that leads to real understanding. We may invent something fantastic because of it. Whether we do or not we get that little thrill of fellow ape-worship, of overturning stale paradigms, of bringing ourselves a little closer to the Hermetic mystery, especially to those of us without calculus or higher-order math to see the practical relevance. Some theistic types may grumble for awhile, but they’ll come around to embrace this, too (those who aren’t buzz-killing flat earthers and 5,000-year-old-Earthers). After all, it’s pleasant to believe if one cocks one’s telescope just to the right that one could witness the Passion as it happened, there in a crystal shard of light from Proxima Centauri.

    I’m delighted that this will lead to merchants of the soul (eg., in Sedona, AZ) putting renewed zeal into their pitch: “See, scientists are discovering it’s all like a hologram – we’re all in harmony, and this helps explain why you should buy this type of crystal…it complements your natural frequency perfectly.”

    Here’s my AMEX – I’ve gotta have two!

  2. acilius

     /  February 8, 2010

    I love it! That’s some really good Beat poetry.

  3. vthunderlad

     /  February 9, 2010

    Thanks, it did turn out that way. I’ve listened to a lot of Jack Kerouac on tape so that and a triple-shot soy mocha are probably to blame.

    (U900 forever!)

  4. cymast

     /  February 9, 2010

    Well I condensed the article into 666 words. Funny thing- while paraphrasing, I predicted I would be left with 666 words. My condensed article will be *the* new religion/theory.

    Fantastical! Can’t wait for the sequel!

  5. acilius

     /  February 9, 2010

    Six hundred and sixty six, eh? The Emperor Nero would be pleased.

    It’s interesting to me how a unit of language that means one thing in one context can mean another thing in another context. Obviously this happens all the time with individual words, where you even have contronyms, words each of which has two directly opposite meanings. Like “dust,” meaning “to remove dust” (“I dusted the table with a cloth”) and “dust” meaning “to cover with dust” (“the police dusted for fingerprints.”) But bigger units of language can also mean very different things depending on who says them and in what social context they are said. So if a mystical thinker says that the universe as a whole is a representation of the universe in each of its parts, s/he means one thing; if a physicist says the same sequence of words, s/he doubtless means something very different.

  6. cymast

     /  February 9, 2010

    Whenever I see “s/he” I think of an intersexed individual. Facebook uses “their” to refer to an individual. I favor “xe,” and the like, but don’t use them, because 99+% of people wouldn’t know what I was talking about. I’ve yet to find any idea outside the realm of gender that is difficult to express without using feminine or masculine pronouns. If I ever find one, I’ll still stubbornly use the pronoun “it.”

  7. believer1

     /  February 9, 2010

    v- as A read your comment to me, I thought about slam poetry. Loved It!!

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