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The Holographic Multiverse

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  • The Holographic Multiverse

    I recently read this article on a theory that the universe may be put together like a hologram, and a theory that the human mind may also store data holographic-ally:

    http://gothling.tripod.com/holograph.html

    This stuff is new to me but might be old hat to you and maybe some of the members here. According to the article the holographic mind theory has been around since Pibram in the 60’s which would be plenty early enough for it to be known to the writers who contributed to New Worlds. The Holographic Universe theory is a speculation by physicist David Bohm, based on a particle experiment by Alain Aspect in 1982. The cosmos as a massive illusion (maya) is a concept which goes back to the ancient Vedas of India, but apart from quantum mechanics in general, until Aspects experiment, there was never anything solid (or should that be un-solid) within physics to really support it.

    Seemed quite an interesting article and in reading it I was reminded in a couple of places of the Multiverse. I wondered you were aware of it and if it played any influence on your thoughts as you were refining your concept of the Multiverse, and if not, whether there might be any speculations there which might interest you?

    Have any other Miscellany members heard of this? Apparently Aspect’s experiment only ever appeared in science journals at the time.

  • #2
    At its deeper level reality is a sort of super-hologram in which the past, present, and future all exist simultaneously


    This sounds quite similar to the theory that "time is a field in which all things happen concurrently" which appears in many of the more recent MM books.

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    • #3
      Ah, yes, that was one of the lines that gave me a frisson of the Multiverse too when I read it. Of course is it also possible that Bohm might have been influenced by Mike's work perhaps.

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      • #4
        IIRC, wasn't there some idea about using holograms as computers? The theory seemed to be that a hologram could store more information than a silicon chip, allowing vastly more powerful computers to be made.

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        • #5
          The first "theory" about a Multiverse is by the neoplatonic philosopher Marsilio Ficino ( XV cent. in Florence ) and above all the famous philosopher ( heretic damned too the rogue in XVII in Rome ) Giordano Bruno.
          Friar Bruno's hypothesis is which a lot of worlds exist at the same time.
          Hieronymus

          - Dalmatius -

          "I'm forbidden to reign, but I'll never yield before the facts: I am the Cat"

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          • #6
            I read a book about this a long time ago. The Holographic Universe, by Michael Talbot. He claimed that consciousness was a hologram too.
            Best/Mario

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            • #7
              We re-create the universe in our own image.

              "Holographic memory", under other terminology, has been a long-established concept. Else how could we remember smells, emotions, spatial relationships and so forth? What I find amazing is that, with concerted and extended effort, we can rearrange our "palace of memory"* in a tidier and more efficient manner.

              (* - Hey, if anybody knows who first wrote about the "palace of memory" concept, I'd love to see the source references. I read about it by Thomas Harris writing about Hannibal Lecter, and I'm pretty sure that was not the original source!)

              Oh, yeah - the way things turn around. Nowadays children have the workings of the human brain explained to them in terms of how a personal computer works. I holographically remember how it was explained how a computer works in terms of the human brain. What goes around, comes around. (And I still say Apples are counter-intuitive.)

              Miqque
              ... just another sailor on the seas of Fate, dogpaddling desperately ...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Miqque
                We re-create the universe in our own image.

                "Holographic memory", under other terminology, has been a long-established concept. Else how could we remember smells, emotions, spatial relationships and so forth? What I find amazing is that, with concerted and extended effort, we can rearrange our "palace of memory"* in a tidier and more efficient manner.

                (* - Hey, if anybody knows who first wrote about the "palace of memory" concept, I'd love to see the source references. I read about it by Thomas Harris writing about Hannibal Lecter, and I'm pretty sure that was not the original source!)
                The concept is ancient, going back as far as the Greek poet Simonides, who used the "method of loci" to identify bodies in a collapsed dining hall.

                Probably the most famous work on the subject was done by an Italian missionary to China named Matteo Ricci, who wrote a "Treatise on Mnemonics", as a way to show Western (and Christian) superiority to the Chinese court.

                Chinese historian Jonathan D. Spence wrote a well-recieved book about him, called "The Memory Palace of Matteo Ricci". Another good book is "The art of Memory" by Frances Yates.
                Last edited by Mario; 07-16-2006, 08:57 AM.
                Best/Mario

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                • #9
                  To be honest, while I'm interested in theories of the multiverse of course, I've rather deliberately avoided reading about other theories so that I don't get confused when developing my own which, of course, is a literary construct, not a scientific one -- and only incidentally a philosophical one.

                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                  The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                  Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                  Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                  The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                  Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Miqque


                    Oh, yeah - the way things turn around. Nowadays children have the workings of the human brain explained to them in terms of how a personal computer works. I holographically remember how it was explained how a computer works in terms of the human brain. What goes around, comes around. (And I still say Apples are counter-intuitive.)

                    I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that. I'm a man, a free man! For me the most intuitive thing is a command line, it's how I learned, and I tend to think a series of written commands is better for my brain than point and click, and gives me the power as opposed to the designer of the interface.

                    It's interesting the whole multiversal concept of balance though, now medicine is talking more and more about balances of different chemicals (without any real objective proof I should add) which is exactly how ancient greeks talked about the mind and body (humors) and how disease was thought about until we discovered germs. So we all get prozac and adderal, speed, which does what speed does even if it's mild speed. And the explanation is about 'balances' a person must have an imbalance, as opposed to just 'this is what speed does to people - it amps up neurotransmitters.'

                    In politics we hear a lot about 'bipartisan' being desirable as well, which is sort of a 'balance', but in these cases I don't think it's a Moorcock-style balance, I think it would be that 'stagnant Law' concept.

                    jb

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Miqque
                      What I find amazing is that, with concerted and extended effort, we can rearrange our "palace of memory"* in a tidier and more efficient manner.

                      (* - Hey, if anybody knows who first wrote about the "palace of memory" concept, I'd love to see the source references. I read about it by Thomas Harris writing about Hannibal Lecter, and I'm pretty sure that was not the original source!)
                      This concept also plays a part in John Crowley's novels, including the wonderful "Little, Big". There was a part in the book called "The Art of Memory" where a "Memory Palace" was constructed. As I did in the past, I highly recommend the book. It can be found in Gollancz Fantasy Masterworks series (and can be ordered online from amazon.co.uk).

                      The Art of Memory is also known as Method of Loci and according to Wikipedia is quite an old art, dating back to ancient Greece.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Miqque
                        I still say Apples are counter-intuitive.

                        Yeah, Bananas rule, man!
                        _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                        _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                        _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                        _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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                        • #13
                          In Phil Dick's VALIS the idea of the holographic universe is incorporated. Other than that I hadn't really heard of it.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the reply Mike, and everyone else of course!

                            I wonder if the scientific, the literary and the philosophical might find a 'unification theory' in the holographic model of the universe/cosmos. It's an idea which holds many attractions for me, and offers one of the few consistent rationale (other than your Multiverse of course) for the possibility of time-travel. Just a shame that the physics experiments never really seemed to go on to much.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hawksun
                              IIRC, wasn't there some idea about using holograms as computers? The theory seemed to be that a hologram could store more information than a silicon chip, allowing vastly more powerful computers to be made.
                              I once read about the notion of developing a computer that stored data like the human brain. I think you're right about the holographic idea too, maybe for data storage.

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