The Hidden Reality Camille Mumm
Brian Greene Comp II
Alfred A. Knopf
“Whoever was running a given simulation would decide whether the simulated beings knew that they existed within a computer; simulated humans who surmised that their world was an elaborate computer program might find themselves taken away be simulated technicians in white coats and confined to simulated locked wards. But probably the vast majority of the simulated being would consider the possibility that they’re in a computer simulation too silly to warrant attention.”
This quotation comes from a portion of the book that took off on a bit of a tangent from the rest of the information that the book presented. While all of the first half and several parts of the second half were devoted to explaining the different multiverse theories; in this section author Brian Greene starts to discuss the possibility that the universe as we know it is a giant computer simulation. This simulation is controlled by either a “Master Programmer” or some superior race. To me this idea seems a little bit too far fetched and unrealistic, but as Greene suggests in the quotation I choose, that is exactly what the “programmer” would want us to think.
Before and after Greenes jaunt off into the idea of simulated universe the book continues as it did in the first half, except since the theories were already introduced, Greene spends a lot of time discussing what these theories could mean for math and science. He also spends a couple of sections on black holes. Being a professor of physics with his background in string theory he spends a lot of time on what the principles and practice of string theory are. Greene continues his use of analogies like in the first half to explain the topic to the reader. One example is using the probability of seeing a certain type of dog while on a walk to the probability of other universes having the same of similar cosmological constants and other particle constants.
The biggest thing that I found interesting was that this book wasn’t some sci-fi fantasy disguised as a nonfiction book, this book presented the information that is/was currently known. Greene did not suggest that because of the high probability that multiple/infinite universes exist, humans will be able to contact these other universes or that the proving of one of these theories would alter life as we know it. Instead Greene spends a large section discussing whether or not studying this theoretical physics would even be worthwhile. Because in most, if not all of the different ideas, the parallel universes are completely separate and mathematically impossible to ever contact, prove, let alone visit; so why is this field even considered.
I felt as if this half of the book was even more over my head than the first half. Learning the theories was one thing but having to apply them to reality and understand the meaning of the math behind them was nearly impossible. Despite the subject matter being difficult to understand, it was still very interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone who has any interest in theoretical physics but would advise them to be prepared for a lot of information.