What the Bleep?

By | January 9th, 2005 | 16 Comments | Art/Film | Science

Whoever makes quantum physics a reality for everyone will be the next Einstein.

Last night I went to see the film “What the Bleep Do We Know?” with a few of my very good chums. It brought up many topics that seemed perfect for discussion with this fine group of thinkers. All you guys that haven’t had better go and see it so you can be included in this discussion, or else you’ll be left in the dust.

Okay, my personal take on the movie: I am very interested in this revolutionary idea of quantum physics, though I have not yet been very well informed in the field until yesterday. So the first half of the movie was riveting for me, learning these new hypotheses and theories on the physics of probability. But I thought the second half about the bio-chemistry and cell receptors got very repetitive, and was mostly unnecessary. It was definitely an interesting idea about individual cells becoming addicted to certain chemicals, or emotions in the bloodstream, were talking about only that for much too long. It started to sound more like some dumb psychologist’s “self-help” video that wanted to sound all smart just by talking about the science and bio-chemistry of your emotions. I didn’t need that; I feel just fine about myself and don’t need any help controlling my emotions. But that’s just me; I can totally see how that would help some people, just not me. I want to hear more about how all of matter is really just a condensed thought.

I thought they did a very good job of tying all these interviews and explanations into the life of a speech-impedimented photographer. Didn’t seem like it would work at first, but it turned out to be pretty well executed.

A thought I had while watching the movie: When was the last really revolutionary scienctist? It was probably Einstei and his major work was in the sixties. I’m not talkin’ about someone that only people on High School science bowl teams recognize, I’m talking about the people that all the public, even the uneducated people know. Everyone knows einstein came up with E=mc2, everyone knows Galileo invented the telescope, and Newton discovered gravity, but if you asked a random person on the street who Enrico Fermi is, they probably wouldn’t be able to tell you that he’s credited for splitting the atom and creating the atomic bomb. So Fermi doesn’t count, but the others are known revolutionary scientists, and there haven’t been any of them since Einstein. I’ll betcha the next one discovers something about quantum physics. Quantum physics has so much potential to change the way we see the universe, but it’s still got quite a few kinks to work out. So it seems logical that whoever irons out these kinks and is able to make quantum physics real for everyone will be the next Einstein. Just a thought…

So now I want to go read a book on quantum physics. Does anyone know any good ones? I don’t want one that’s all math and proves everything in about six different ways that I don’t know anything about, but I also want one that’s not dumbed down so much it fails to stimulate my mind. If anyone has any recommendations, it would be greatly appreciated.



There've been 16 whole comments

5:34 pm on 1/9/2005 1. Jackie

Ian, you do realize that you haven’t brought up any material to actually discuss…lol. And another thing…I doubt that if the book weren’t dumbed down at least a little bit you would be understand it…seeing as you don’t know a whole lot about physics in general.

Anyways- I haven’t seen the movie, but if you explained small parts I’d be happy to discuss (proving you wrong all the way of course…lol).

The point I would like to bring up, though, is the question of why are we trying to find this out in the first place. Does this really affect us? Sure there maybe a billion parallel universes, but we’re in this one. Why the heck to we spend time, money, and effort on something that has no apparent impact on our society?

7:12 pm on 1/9/2005 2. SuperDave

For Your Information, I much prefer to be left in my own dust, not your snooty quantum physics dust, thank you very much.
By the way, revolutionary is a different subject than popularity. Plenty of people have been popular but haven’t done shit, and plenty of people have done shit, but got no recognition. Take the first human that that planted crops, now we don’t know their name or anything about them, but they were certainly revolutionary. Why, they took us out of the hunter gatherer age. Drop me a line when some exotic theories take us out of the industrial, or as we would like to believe, information age.
And another thing, matter is not a condensed thought. A condensed thought, is the thought of me kicking your ass.
As well, Newton didn’t “discover” gravity, just like Columbus didn’t “discover” America. That first Homo Sapien that jumped off a cliff “discovered” gravity, much to his surprise. While I’m at it I might as well say somebody else probably “came up with” E=mc2 before Einstein did, if nobody did, then I’m sure a monkey on a typewriter would have.

8:57 pm on 1/9/2005 3. Jackie

While I’m at it I might as well say somebody else probably “came up with” E=mc2 before Einstein did, if nobody did, then I’m sure a monkey on a typewriter would have.

Brilliant…f*ing brilliant…

I agree that Einstein was a genius and he contributed greatly to the field of physics, but Sean’s right…when are we going to “do shit” about any of this?

9:21 pm on 1/9/2005 4. tsguitar

My big problem with the film is I want support for that they all said. The idea of the natives not being able to see Columbus’s ships because they had no schema in their brains to match what they saw, I don’t buy it and I think that’s just a theory, even though it was used to prove a fair amount of what they espoused. I want textual evidence of what they had to say. The whole cell animation thing, is that proven scientific fact that the brain generates certain keys that fit into cells and make us feel the way we do and that the more we feel a certain way, the more cells with receptors for that feeling there are? Several other ideas need more explaining. Their site, What The Bleep, would be a great place for all this support, but it’s not there.

Oh, and did it bother anyone else that they had Ramtha on there as some kid of scientific expert without showing her as at least a possible charlatan? If you didn’t know her at all, you’d think she’s completely legit and on par with the other scientists. A little notification would have been nice.

Still, it’s a movie to get you thinking.

Now that you’ve all seen this, go watch “Donnie Darko” again (you mean you haven’t seen it at least once already!? What are you doing wasting time here!? Go! GO!!).

9:21 pm on 1/9/2005 5. tsguitar

I wish, I wish I could edit my entries…

9:44 pm on 1/9/2005 6. Nella

Jackie, the movie wasn’t about the parallel universes themselves, it was about how they directly related to our universe, which is gonna effect us more than a little bit if you ask me. And furthermore, I think you’re cells have become accustomed, or even addicted, to the chemical released into your bloodstream by your hypothalymus gland when you immediatly lunge to try and disprove everything a say. If you could give it a rest and try to think creativly for once, that would be nice for both your cells and for me.

The columbus’s ship’s thing was kinda interesting, and I believe part of it. I doubt that the indians came up with any correlation between those big things out in the ocean and their little canoes, so they must have seen them and though they were something completely different, but you’re right, the idea that they didn’t see them at all is kinda hard to grasp. Anyone seen the movie Pochahontas? “What is it child? What do you see?” “Clouds…Strange clouds…”

Ooo…I do need to see Donnie Darko again after seeing that movie. A lot of people were talking about how they had seen “What the bleep” two or three or seven times, but I think Donnie Darko would be better for that, ’cause I had some trouble getting what exactly was going on the first time. Good idea.

10:14 pm on 1/9/2005 7. Andrew

Ugg, I gotta reply. I’ve also gotta finish my english essay :mad:

tsguitar – if you register, (see register link on right sidebar, you can edit posts. I could even make you an author :) …Also, keep the movie tips coming, I’m loving them!

What’s this about Ramtha? While I was watching, I noticed something scarily different about her…but i wasn’t sure what to make of it. Can you tell me more about her? She had some incredibly interesting stuff to say…her website is crazy

Yes, my favorite part of the movie was not the information, but its ability to get people thinking. I had to go on a walk with Ian right after just to get everything straightened out and discuss it all. I thought some of their science was pretty out there, but their ideas were definitely something to chew on.

8:59 pm on 1/10/2005 8. Jackie

Well of course I’m hardwired to contradict you Ian…it’s agreeing that wouldn’t be creative. If I agreed with everything you ever said, that would mean that I had no original ideas of my own, plus it would make for a lousy discussion.

Anyways…so if the Native Americans couldn’t see Columbus’ ships, then does that mean if there was something new around us…say flying cars or something , we wouldn’t be able to see it? Or how about new animal species…there are some wierd creatures out there that we’ve never seen the likes of. Does that mean we’ll never learn about them because we’ll never be able to see them?

3:37 pm on 1/12/2005 9. Karen

What about Steven Hawking? Most people know who he is.

7:19 pm on 1/12/2005 10. tsguitar

Actually, the movie gave me the idea of a story involving things that are all around us that we just can’t see because we have nothing to connect it to. Somehow, some switch goes off in our heads and suddenly we can see all this other stuff around us that we never saw before.

Then I realized that the idea is a good one for fiction, but that’s it. We’ve all seen things at one time or another that made no sense to us, things that we couldn’t associate with anything else we knew. But we still saw the thing; we just couldn’t figure out what the hell it was. Just because we don’t know what something is doesn’t make it invisible (again, a cool idea for a story, though).

Frankly, I think the theory is mildly insulting to the natives. Just because they weren’t metropolitan doesn’t mean they were stupid and couldn’t make sense out of things enough to actually see them out on the horizon.

Let’s see, I’ve recommended “The Matrix,” eXistenZ,” “What The Bleep Do We Know,” and “Donnie Darko,” so what now…

What the hell, just go see “Harold and Maude” again. It’s funny and you need a breather after all this heavy-type thinking!

P.S. Look at that little teaser below where we post comments. “Preview” it says, mocking me in it’s non-linked white text status. Preview this!!

8:26 am on 3/28/2005 11. April

I share your enthusiasm for this movie. Contrary to what some respondents may feel….the ideas behind the movie are very relevent today, here and now. Here and now is what we are dealing with afterall, isn’t it? Our thoughts construct our reality, since I have seen this movie, everyday I tell myself how well my day is going to go, I stop feeding into the victum senario of hopeless relationships and I just am, constantly giving myself positive affermations until I believe all the wonderful things I am saying to myself in the mirror. Yes the way we shape our reality has a lot to do with our thoughts. For the skeptics, perhaps try it?

11:41 am on 1/23/2006 12. user749

The film was good and tells a bit abouot what we are in for a long period. This is the start a along journey that was interjected a bit by the various filosophers and scientific minds of this small world. Now start here and grow exponentially as this is the only way to go from here. The possiblities are endless without the needs of any external help. Now you had this inside you for all yourm existense so cotinue it (now fully aware of what you are doing) and experiment with all your being. Always give thanks to the one who created you, whatta a magnificent existense we can be.

6:31 pm on 10/25/2006 13. Marc

This movie clearly impressed me. Of course there are things that I do not 100% believe in, like the ships of Europoean colon, or ramtha theories. But I guess that this could also be related to the “How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?”. I mean, you can accept a certain number of things out of this movie, and it depends how far you feel confident about it and related to it.
Now for the scientists and what happened in the scientific world excpet from Galileo and Einstein, please read the GREAT Stephen Hawking “A brief history of time”. First it is a great book for non-scientists to understand a bit about science, then you will see that there are many others great scientists.

8:07 am on 1/29/2007 14. jon

Hi, I stumbled across your blog while searching for info to support or contradict the movie, “What the Bleep…” A very casual search has turned up a great deal of info that seems to undermine the movie. I would like to leave you with just a couple comments:

You mentioned being interested in Quantum Physics, and that you weren’t very informed until you watched the movie. If you really want to be informed, I’d suggest two books by Brian Greene. Both have very good, simplified overviews of quantum theory.

The one serious scientist in the movie that wasn’t connected with Ramtha, was David Albert. He’s been quoted on numerous sites stating that he was extensively edited and that he disagrees with nearly everything the film says.

I just don’t buy the Columbus story. At all.

Last, a few minor corrections:

Einstein’s major work was NOT in the sixties. Especially since he died in 1955. His major work was in the early 1900s. He published four papers (including special relativity) in 1905.

In the movie, the photographer, Amanda, didn’t have a “speech impediment”. She was deaf. She was played by Marlee Matlin, a deaf actress.

Enrico Fermi was not the first to split the atom. Ernest Rutherford was. Perhaps that supports your argument that people today don’t know much about Fermi?

By the way, the Brian Greene books I suggested are:
“The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality”
“The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory”


7:58 am on 6/19/2007 15. novbqmxpsc

Hello! Good Site! Thanks you! pmksxdqsgyz

11:45 am on 6/27/2007 16. zrhcaqsmfd

Thanks for this site!