“You are a Hologram… projected from the edge of the universe…”

“You are a Hologram… projected from the edge of the universe.” This is the cover story from the January 17-23, 2009 edition of New Scientist, written by Marcus Chown. I am always naturally curious to find out exactly what/where I am in relation to the rest of space and time so I picked the article up. The project responsible for gathering data that may support this hologram idea is called GEO600. And they may have “inadvertently…made the most important discovery in physics for a half a century” (Chown 24). Their experiment was set up to detect gravitational waves but what they’d picked up on was a lot of noise. An astrophysicist from Batavia, Illinois named Craig Hogan postulates that what is actually happening is “GEO600 is being buffeted by the microscopic quantum convulsions of space-time” (24). And why is that important? Well as you may have guessed from my title the Maya theory may turn out to be spot on (see basically anything on Hinduism and you’ll run across this deity — couldn’t help but think about Maya in relation to Chora as well). Hogan says that “if the GEO600 result is what [he suspects]… then we are all living in a giant cosmic hologram” (24).

      I remember reading somewhere as a kid that if we could send out an exponentially larger (read massive) version of Hubble at a weight that would not drag and that if we could somehow transmit the info back from the quasars (and assuming we’d still be here) that we could look back on the dinosaurs in some type of co-existent real time. Now granted there were many ifs in this scenario but it captured my imagination and opened up a lot of possibilities relating, of course, to reality and the nature of time, space, and matter. I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever heard of and decided then and there to become an astrophysicist.

       Now, narcissistic segue aside… what does this mean? Essentially it means (and this is a severely dumbed down version of the article) that we are a 3D projection of a distant 2D surface (24). This isn’t a completely new idea and there are some solid names playing with this possibility (or at least suggesting the possibility), so where does this leave us in relation to considering spatial theory? More significantly, or co-significantly, what does this mean in terms of autonomy? Selfhood? Matter? What is the guiding principle in the construction of our holographic existence (though this is a question even in what we think of as “the real” generally)? Where is the control centre? Is it a generative space? Can we have influence over the construct? Is anyone else thinking about The Matrix yet?

      Now, much like the cached potential of my theoretical dinosaur viewing during childhood, “no one – including Hogan – is yet claiming that GEO600 has found evidence that we live in a holographic universe. It is far too soon to say. “There could still be a mundane source of the noise”” (27). But if Hogan is right “we would have directly observed the quantum of time” (27). And, while string theory is great, this would provide a clear link between “quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of gravity” (27). Anyway… check it out for yourselves if you’re interested: http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20126911.300-our-world-may-be-a-giant-hologram.html

There is also an article on novels and the hunter-gatherer drive. Its interesting too.

Have a great weekend everyone,



3 responses to ““You are a Hologram… projected from the edge of the universe…”

  1. In the article it is stated that “theoretical physicists have long believed that quantum effects will cause space-time to convulse wildly on the tiniest scales.”

    I have been thinking of quantum physics in terms of chora and it strikes me that a quantum reality is really a chora-l reality. Everything in the quantum reality convulses according to this article; it is in a state of perpetual motion as chora is.

    I’m also thinking of the observer principle that seems to not apply in quantum physics (ie the idea that in quantum experiments there is no such thing as an observer since the experimenters hypothesis impacts the results of the experiment). This seems to reflect the idea that a chora-l space is a spontaneously, and unpredictably, generative one.

    Finally, I’m thinking about CERN or other super colliders. When Kristeva described chora she described in terms of competing drives that constantly swirl around each other and cross like a double helix. The whole purpose of a supercollider is to shoot particles at each other at high speeds to see what happens. On the quantum level, due to the issues like the observer principle, what will happen or did happen in a collision is somewhat up for debate. The resulting particles are still in motion, they strike other particles, and apparently this process (like a nuclear explosion) could cause a chain reaction that may theoretically never end.

    To me, that is all chora. Maybe Timaeus was on to something when he used chora to describe the nature of our universe… physicists seem to be doing the same thing now.


  2. What’s really incredible about this, is that Philip K Dick was told this exact thing by a satellite-avatar-of-god that beamed information into his mind in the 1970s, which also informed him of his son’s almost undetectable hernia that would kill him if not tested and treated (true story) and taught him how to speak a dead form of Greek, which his wife transcribed and later had translated.

    It also allowed him to see the breakdown of linearity in time, which let him see a structure called the Black Iron Prison – a structure of confinement that exists within time instead of space, which has kept all of us emotionally separated and isolated from one another since the Roman age when we closed our third eye and built this maze that we can never get out of.

    So there’s something else for scientists to start working on.

  3. Now, don’t dismiss your “narcissistic segue” too quickly, Jen. If, through some magical means, a probe could travel faster than light and, similarly, send/receive information faster than light, then it could travel to a distant quasar and look back at a “past earth.”

    Of course, traveling faster than light violates the rules of special relativity, which is why Einstein, and many other physicists, believe (or believed in Einstein’s case) that backwards time travel is impossible.

    The “hologram” article was interesting by the way, but the only problem with such articles is that we never get the full story because they are often “dumbed-down” for a general audience.

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