The Illusion of Reality

Dr Brian Cox #3

Image by Dave Pearson via Flickr

I don’t know why I do it to myself, but last night I watched Horizon: What is Reality.  I am lousy at physics at the best of times even though the subject fascinates me.  But the language of theoretical physics is one I cannot understand except to say Hello.  The wonderful Dr Brian Cox has tried to explain (not personally, unfortunately) the concept of string theory, membrane theory and quantum physics, the concept of quarks and leptons, etc and I cling by the very tips of my fingernails on the cliff-edge of understanding.  But last night I came across something so bizarre that my mind is befuddled.  The theory is that reality, our everyday concept of what is, is actually just a hologram of something that quite possibly once was – the 3D within the 2D.  But how can that be?  I appreciate it may be a theoretical possibility when you consider the physical form but what of thought, ideas, the consciousness?  How can they be part of the event horizon of a more than nebulous past-existence?  I thought about it all night and the only result I came up with was that either I missed a very crucial two minutes when I let the dog out or the editor did a lousy job in explaining things.  I’d love to say they pushed the bounds of reality – but as the subject was about the existence of reality…

I certainly believe they tried to push too much into the one programme.  String Theory ought to be a programme in its own right, Fermilab/Cern’s work on smashing protons and the production of quarks/leptons/Bosons ought to be another, quantum physics and the idea of the multi-existence of matter would probably take up two programmes and black holes/multiverses another.  Bring them all together for a concluding sixth programme on the concept of reality and the latest theory of holographic reality which, even the author of the work admits, doesn’t make sense and if you understand it then you don’t. 

Wouldn’t you love to have a job where you could create a nonsensical concept which you can justify by saying it isn’t supposed to make sense?  Oh, wait – I forgot about modern art!

I had to laugh when I read that certain pieces of modern art would have VAT charged on them because they were functional objects (Emin’s bed; Duchamp‘s urinal, etc). 

I put my hand up, I don’t get that sort of Modern Art – taking everyday objects and arranging/painting them ‘artistically’.  To me that’s just being lazy and not doing your housework.  Give me Anish Kapoor and Jackson Pollock any day.


About Bea Turvey apprentice author and witch

I am a wild-haired author who cannot stop writing. The writing process is not a task for me. It is an extension of myself. When I write, I lose myself as easily as if I slipped into the story for a swim. Writing became a serious part of my life in Decmber of 2009. Unless you're reading this in 2017 it wasn't that long ago, and the bug hit me hard and fast. My first novel, Banished, was published in March 2010 and is available at If you read it, or anything else I've written, I hope you'll post a review and let me know why you liked it - or even why not!
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