Mark A. Carter

informaton, reality, and
rowing your boat

World famous Canadian Science Fiction novelist Mark A. Carter rants about the theoretical physics theory that the universe is a hologram and his search for a doorway out of this reality.

I have questioned the nature of reality my entire life. I have never merely accepted it. When I was a child, I learned the physical rules of the world, as most children do, by experience, as painful as they were, from skinned knees, to jolted spines, to broken hearts. Then I went to school for a very long time and learned science, with its nomenclature, definitions, rules, laws, and theories that further defined and shaped my reality. But of late, I have begun to question reality. Perhaps it is because I read yet another theoretical physics paper that argues that all of creation is merely a hologram. So, where do I sit with this?

To tell you the truth, it has me tapping the walls of my two storey residence like a loon, much like I used to sound for studs before I built an electronic stud finder. Only now, I am tapping for portals to another universe. That's right. You heard it here. Why? I started tapping because things that I once took for reality, that I had been taught were the foundations of reality, as per my training in the sciences, seem to be on shaky ground of late.

Science and particularly theoretical physics has become more fiction than science. But more remarkably, the universe seems to be changing to accommodate these evolving fictions. Like someone rewriting a computer code or an author rewriting a story, our reality seems to be changing along with it.

For example, when we thought that the Earth was the only habitable planet, it was. Life on other worlds was the realm of Science Fiction. But now that we're looking for planets in habitable zones around other stars, we're finding them everywhere. I'm talking Schrödinger's cat here. By observing an experiment we change the nature of the experiment. In fact, even looking at our own system, once we put ourselves in the mindset that Sol spews out water as heated plasma that cools and deposits on everything in our system, we are finding water everywhere, as well. So, the potential for life on the other planets or moons of our system has become a very real possibility. Imagine it and it will be so. It all seems like weirdness to me and more like séance than science. Duh?

The Matrix

directed by The Wachowski Brothers.

© Village Roadshow Pictures

Groucho II Film Partnership

Silver Pictures

Distributed by Warner Bros. 1999.

But what blows my mind the most is the theoretical physics speculation that we are holograms, that our system, our galaxy, in fact the entire universe is nothing more than a gigantic hologram, a three dimensional projection of a two dimensional reality in which all information is encoded on its boundary. Oh, that explains a lot. As Professor Kostas Skenderis of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Southampton puts it:


"Imagine that everything you see, feel and hear in three dimensions (and your perception of time) in fact emanates from a flat two-dimensional field. The idea is similar to that of ordinary holograms where a three-dimensional image is encoded in a two-dimensional surface, such as in the hologram on a credit card. However, this time, the entire universe is encoded!"

Niayesh Afshordi, Claudio Corianò, Luigi Delle Rose, Elizabeth Gould, Kostas Skenderis. From Planck Data to Planck Era: Observational Tests of Holographic Cosmology. Physical Review Letters, 2017; 118 (4) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.041301

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

by Lewis Carroll

First edition cover

Illustrated by John Tenniel.

Macmillan, November 1865

A changing informational reality is seen in one scene of the 1999 film The Matrix, directed by the Wachowski Brothers. In the scene, a black cat meows and moves past a doorway in front of Neo. Reality glitches like static across a television picture. Then the same black cat meows and walks past the doorway once again. And the Nebuchadnezzar crew reacts to the change because they know that the matrix code has been rewritten and they are in danger.

And I have seen small evidence of it in my small piece of so-called reality. And I am not alone. Every evening my wife and I play Rummy. And quite often we observe the cards changing before our eyes. This has happened so often that I now say that "reality is being rewritten" just like The Matrix. Of course that means that we aren't real. Part of me fully believes that there is a physiological or a psychological explanation for what we have each witnessed with our cards on numerous occasions. But the other part of me has begun to think maybe not. Maybe we are nothing more than mere sub-routines of a larger computer code in some vast system. Right. Sure. You bet.

Plus, last night I awoke from a dream and told my wife about it, then woke from the dream to tell my wife that I had a dream within a dream, then woke from that to tell my wife that I had a dream within a dream within a dream. I have spent the entire day waiting for the other shoe to drop to perhaps find that I am still asleep. Yikes.

So, I have begun to tap on the walls looking for a portal to another reality. Although part of me feels that if I do indeed find it, passing through it will spell the end of me. Perhaps, as in the 1865 novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, I will fall down a rabbit hole; or, as in the 1950 novel The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, I will step through a wardrobe closet like Lucy Pevensie and find myself in Narnia; or, as in the 1997 novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling, I will step through a brick wall on Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Railway Station in London to board Hogwarts Express.

So, I tap the walls looking for a soft spot, a spot that gives way, perhaps at the back wall of a closet. I'm tapping for a spot that will permit me to pass through. I hope another reality is waiting for me on the other side as magical as these literary examples. And I pray that, if I do indeed pass through, I do not fall into some terrifying, coal-black oblivion like six year old Bettina Miller does when she rolls off her bed and passes through her bedroom wall and into The Twilight Zone. Just so you know, I'm referring to Rod Serling's Twilight Zone, episode 91 entitled "Little Girl Lost", written by Richard Matheson, from March 16, 1962.

So, you might as well just ...

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

by C.S. Lewis

First Edition dustjacket

Illustrated by Pauline Baynes.

Geoffrey Bles, October 1950

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

Roud #19236, USA, 1852, Nursery Rhyme, Traditional, English
Read: Artificial Super-Intelligence
Can a machine think?
Create a New Universe
Future War
IBM Builds Brain
Killer Robots
Robot Takeover
We may exist in a Simulation.
What's really Real?
Why we need Nuclear War.

Now you know.

from the imagination of Mark A. Carter - novelist

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