Tenet #2: Holographic Universe (It's a Collector's Item)

The Holographic Principle model was developed when quantum physicist Gerard 't Hooft began to tackle inherent problems within the field of Black Hole Thermodynamics.  Namely, the idea that when an object is sucked into a black hole, it disappears.  From my understanding, this contradicted a fundamental principle of quantum mechanics: that information can't disappear.  Physicists like 't Hooft and Leonard Susskind found that when an object entered the singularity, the event horizon (the outer edge) of the black hole expanded.  What was happening was the information within the object was being spread out over the surface of the black hole in what 't Hooft would call a 'holographic' way. (To be honest, this may be a terribly inaccurate way of explaining this, considering Black Hole Thermodynamics and the function of entropy is way over my head. For a more informed source, read http://ref-sciam.livejournal.com/1190.html)

To better understand the concept, it will be helpful to start with what a hologram is.  If we shoot a laser beam at an image and then shoot another beam into the reflected light, we will get an interference pattern where the two beams cross.  We then put that interference pattern onto film, where it shows up as a meaningless pattern of swirls, but if a laser is shined through the film, then the original image will appear in three dimensions.  In other words, two-dimensional information (the swirls on the film) can be used to project a three-dimensional image (the hologram).

A similar function can be found at work in the black hole.  The object's information is on the two-dimensional outer surface, and the three-dimensional object itself is within the singularity.  According to physicists who subscribe to the Holographic Principle, this relationship between information and object can be found in any system within the bounds of a specified volume of space.

One more thing you need to know if you want to make sense of this post is that holograms are a type of fractal.  A fractal is a mathematical set that is self-similar  In other words, when it is expressed as an image, zooming into the picture will display the same image as zooming out.  Here is a slightly goofy visual aid that might make the idea easier to grasp:

When a hologram is cut in two, each piece will still show the original image.  You can continue cutting the pieces forever, and each one will be a copy of the original.  However, the image loses resolution with each cut, leading  to fuzzier and fuzzier facsimiles.

Though the concept of the fractal proper is only a few decades old, we find a similar idea expressed in the Hermetic axiom: "As Above, So Below," which originally shows up in the Hindu Vedas, but is more popularly remembered from The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus: "That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing."  The microcosm (the part) is exactly the same as the macrocosm (the whole).  An apt description of a fractal.

We also find the idea in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, which can be used as a map of not only the universe, but the human body, and even the soul (among other things. See Israel Regardie's The Middle Pillar for it use as a psychological model).  The tree is made up of ten stations, or 'Sephiroth', and it is said that each sephirah contains another tree, with each of its sephirah containing another tree, and so on.

The Batman myth has this same theme running through it.  It is often stated that Gotham City is the Batman.

Batman 1 [Vol.] (Snyder, Capullo)   I chose this example because I like the panel layout, but there are a slew of them from every period to pick from.

Grant Morrison depicts the holographic relationship explicitly, with the Batman as a projection of Gotham:

Batman 679 (Morrison, Daniel)
We can look at Gotham City as a kind of Tree of Life, a pattern that is projecting the Batman holographically.  If we were to 'cut up' the Batman hologram, we get 'blurry images' like the 90's Dark Knight, the 60's Caped Crusader, or the 70's master detective.

The Bat-Family and Rougue's Gallery have a holographic relationship with the Batman as well.  In Hunting the Dark Knight, Dr. Will Brooker writes, "Batman's regular opponents... invert and caricature aspects of his persona in diverse and inventive ways, reflecting them in distorting mirrors and showing them as grotesque or ridiculous."  Each villain is a negative version of an aspect of the Batman, himself.  The Family, in turn, can be seen as positive versions of these aspects.  Together, they all become a matrix by which the Batman can be manifested. 

With the Bat myth and the Holographic Principle, we may have a model that can explain how magical thinking and seemingly arbitrary divinatory systems are able to produce actual results, as any seemingly random occurrence must be a part of the fractal pattern of the universe.  It would also go a long way to explain how a series of stories pushed out against a deadline and created purely for the entertainment of children and illiterates could become a model of the universe.


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