Monday, July 25, 2011

The Hidden Reality

Brian Greene's The Hidden Reality is an entertaining look at the physics behind various possible conceptual parallel universes. I listened to it as an audiobook and Greene does the narration himself. His voice doesn't have the sonorous quality of say, a Carl Sagan, but it's not annoying either. There's no brand new material in the book but he nicely summarizes some of the current developments in string theory and cosmology. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on Nick Bostrom's work and the possibility/probability that we are all living in a sim universe. I also liked the chapter on the holographic universe but after listening to it twice I can't actually say that I understood it. 
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The book makes me think it likely that there are parallel universes in space as well as time and that we are living in what can only be called a multiverse (hideous word). It's the stuff of science fiction of course from Iain Banks to Philip Pullman, but Greene is pretty convincing and I for one don't have the math to contradict him.