Hour documentary about the nature of reality


Aren’t we kind of bound by the fact that our descriptions of reality will always be an abstraction? By the time you get to trying to convey the nuances of new physics to a lay audience, its a very abstract description of reality indeed.

Being able to understand and use those abstractions is the mark of the scientist. Other groups have other narratives.


Interesting, but god, did the cinematography have to be so tacky?

As much as I deride the misapplication of specific scientific or mathematical principles for the sake of driving home pop philosophical points (I’m looking at you What the Bleep Do We Know), I heard somewhere that one of the implications of Gödel’s incompleteness theorems is that it is impossible to prove the internal consistency of a system without relying on other information that lies outside that system. Sadly, that will probably doom cosmology forever.

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I’m curious as to what you found tacky about it? I started to watch with your comment in mind, but I fairly quickly got distracted by the science. When I did notice the camera work, it was the usual high quality establishing shots that BBC docs do so well.

Well, the faux noir was cringe inducing. Then the overacted narration, and those pitfalls these tv documentaries fall into to be more appealing. It just looks tired, too tv.

Near the end of the documentary we are told that reality is, “An intelligent conversation with the Universe” which makes sense because it’s completely unlike all the facile conversations I’ve had with the Universe.

Yeah I agree, and I don’t want to go all Deepak Chopra, but you do get the sense we are approaching some kind of threshold for a mathematical understanding of reality, as you suggest. I guess my (loose and poorly formed) reaction to this article was to pause and wonder exactly what it means to talk about what reality actually is.

Is it something that we can truly hope to describe without reference to our personal experience of it? Its not the legitimacy of physics I’m challenging, I guess its just the expression “nature of reality”, its sparked some kind of vague nagging question.

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