Back Cover Blurb
- Today nearly everyone is familiar with holograms, three-dimensional images projected into space with the aid of a laser. Now, two of the world's most eminent thinkers — University of London physicist David Bohm, a former protégé of Einstein's and one of the world's most respected quantum physicists, and Stanford neurophysiologist Karl Pribram, one of the architects of our modern understanding of the brain — believe that the universe itself may be a giant hologram, quite literally a kind of image or construct created, at least in part, by the human mind.
- This remarkable new way of looking at the universe explains not only many of the unsolved puzzles of physics, but also such mysterious occurrences as telepathy, out-of-body1 and near-death experiences2, "lucid" dreams, and even religious and mystical experiences such as feelings of cosmic unity and miraculous healings.
Amazon Customer Review3
- As a physicist, I was intrigued by this book and decided it might be worth a look. Unfortunately, after reading it and swearing at page after page of absolute drivel, I can honestly report that it isn't.
- The 'holographic' theory of modern physics is an interesting idea. Basically what it suggests is that our three-dimensional universe, in which matter and energy can be viewed as information, could also be described as a two-dimensional representation of that information sitting on the boundary of our universe. This is consistent with many theories of quantum mechanics4, including string theory. As a concept, holographic theory has also been applied to other areas, such as neuroscience and digital encryption. So, the point is that 'holographic' theories are ones of information storage, retrieval, distribution, etc.
- What 'The Holographic Universe' tries to do is combine the cosmological and neurological 'holographic' concepts together. This makes no sense since the fact they are called 'holographic' is due to the similarity of the underlying maths used to describe these situations and not the cause. Once Michael Talbot has combined these two, he then goes off on a rather fantastical journey that suggests everything, from psychological disorders to paranormal events to the discovery of new particles in physics to the curing of illnesses, is all due to this makey-uppy 'holographic' theory. It's utter nonsense.
- In the 1960s and 70s we saw the emergence of the New Age movement which began to introduce Eastern philosophical ideas into Western culture. What we began to get were beliefs that:
and so forth. Michael Talbot has started with the premise that these sorts of New Age/Eastern philosophical/metaphysical/paranormal ideas are true, and has then gone looking for a scientific theory he can misrepresent enough to give an 'explanation' that conforms to that initial premise. For example, he states (almost without question or real evidence) that some people can generate some sort of metaphysical/paranormal field around them powerful enough to protect them from fire, knives, sledgehammers, etc. He then goes on to suggest that, somehow, holographic theory provides an explanation for this, although that 'explanation' is never quite elaborated upon.
- everything in our universe is interconnected
- the universe contains many planes of existence
- there are particular 'biological' forms of energy that contain our 'essence' that can become free of our body and wander through these planes
- humans can manipulate the universe around us through the power of thought
- the paranormal is simply a manifestation of the wider 'wholeness' of the universe, with a few gifted individuals able to see past the narrow confines of this plane
- Anyone can do this sort of 'science'. I'll give it a go now. There are people out there who can levitate. They can. I've seen them. And that's all the proof you, the reader, needs. The reason they can do this is because gravity applies to 3 spatial dimensions. But holograms are 2D representations of the wider 3D universe. So people who are tuned into the holographic universe can temporarily phase themselves between our universe and the 2D hologram. This lowers the gravitational force on them. So the ability of mystics in India to levitate is direct evidence of the veracity of the holographic theory.
- This book is nothing less than pseudo-science at its worst and most reprehensible.
- By all means, if you believe in such things you will find yourself nodding your head at everything in this book because it will reinforce what you already believed, something known as confirmation bias. In any case, you will enjoy it. If, on the other hand, you're interested in actual science and the latest theories rather than pseudo-scientific guff, then avoid this like the plague and go read something by an actual scientist.
→ J. Fryar
In-Page Footnotes ("Talbot (Michael) - The Holographic Universe")
- The overwhelming majority of Amazon reviews are positive, but there are 10 dissenters, amongst whose number I would count myself.
- HarperPerennial paperback, 1992.
- Mentioned by an enthusiast after Sophie Botros's talk at Oliver Black's Salon in September 2017. He recommended some YouTube videos. I’ve had a quick look, and they seem nonsense appreciated only by idiots.
- For Talbot - see Wikipedia: Michael Talbot.
- See article in Wired: Link.
- See also Wikipedia: Wikipedia: Holographic principle.
- There may be some interesting physical theory here, but Talbot’s take on it will be tripe.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)