Holographic Universe : Are we all Avatars ?

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George Knapp welcomed physicist Jack Sarfatti for a discussion on cutting edge scientific concepts like the "holographic universe" theory. He explained that this theory postulates that the universe is one giant hologram being created by a conscious computer which exists in the future. "In this theory, we are all 'avatars' in a certain sense," Sarfatti said, referencing the blockbuster film which mirrors this concept. He contended that, while this idea may seem radical, it is being given serious consideration by academia. "It's not just me, it's a network of the greatest minds on the planet," Sarfatti said of the researchers who are investigating the "holographic universe" theory.

Sarfatti theorized that this concept could connect to an incident from his youth where he allegedly received a phone call from a computer claiming to be aboard a flying saucer in the future. He explained that the robotic voice told him that he was among 400 "bright young minds" chosen to be taught by these forces. Skeptical of the call, Sarfatti remembered that he was "scared but fascinated." Upon accepting the option of receiving this education, the voice told him to wait on his fire escape for an incoming UFO due to arrive in ten minutes. Sarfatti rounded up his friends and they waited for the craft, but nothing arrived. Interestingly, the voice also told him that, in 20 years, he'd meet some of the other youths who were chosen and, two decades later, Sarfatti was invited to visit Stanford Research Institute where he met such luminaries as Hal Puthoff, Edgar Mitchell, and Russell Targ.


Jack Sarfatti graduated with a BA in Physics from Cornell and later earned a PhD in Physics from the University of California. He has been working on the post-quantum physics of consciousness and the paranormal since he directed the famous Esalen Seminars in 1976. He is also working on the connection of the warp drive physics of flying saucers to the new cosmology observations of anti-gravity dark energy.

The holographic principle is a property of quantum gravity and string theories which states that the description of a volume of space can be thought of as encoded on a boundary to the region—preferably a light-like boundary like a gravitational horizon. First proposed by Gerard 't Hooft, it was given a precise string-theory interpretation by Leonard Susskind who combined his ideas with previous ones of 't Hooft and Charles Thorn. As pointed out by Raphael Bousso, Thorn observed in 1978 that string theory admits a lower dimensional description in which gravity emerges from it in what would now be called a holographic way.

In a larger and more speculative sense, the theory suggests that the entire universe can be seen as a two-dimensional information structure "painted" on the cosmological horizon, such that the three dimensions we observe are only an effective description at macroscopic scales and at low energies. Cosmological holography has not been made mathematically precise, partly because the cosmological horizon has a finite area and grows with time.

The holographic principle was inspired by black hole thermodynamics, which implies that the maximal entropy in any region scales with the radius squared, and not cubed as might be expected. In the case of a black hole, the insight was that the informational content of all the objects which have fallen into the hole can be entirely contained in surface fluctuations of the event horizon. The holographic principle resolves the black hole information paradox within the framework of string theory.

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