January 5, 2009

Memory and the Holographic Principle

I had a remaining thought after reading The Black Hole War. The turning point of Susskind's resolution of the black hole information paradox involved something called the holographic principle. Basically, the holographic principle states that all information lies at the boundary of a region of space, one dimension removed from the space its information describes. This would mean that our universe was really a three-dimensional "hologram" thrown by a two-dimensional ring of encoded information circling the universe. I couldn't stop thinking about whether this could be a new and provocative way to express the idea of universal consciousness or of the brain's extra-sensory aptitude. In The ESP Enigma, Diane Hennacy Powell writes about how memory itself might be a psychic phenomena, not a strictly neurological one. If the entire description of the universe exists as bits of information on the perimeter, Powell's theory that "all of space and time is represented in our personal consciousness field, even though most of it is unconscious," makes perfect sense: hypothetically, every bit of information within the universe is stored on the two-dimensional perimeter, and somehow our brains are able to access it and convert "bits" into "thought." (After all, on the smallest possible level, everything is composed of the same fundamental particles--even empty space--so the idea might not be so far-fetched.)

Weird, I know, but food for thought.

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