What the bleep

Last night I decided to do some research for the “Crackpots” book, and at the suggestion of one of the commentators from a previous post I watched the better part of What the Bleep do we know?, perhaps one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I’ll leave off the acting (which was surprisingly awful considering the presence of Marlee Matlin) and simply focus on the science.

Much of the movie focused on the intersection of quantum mechanics and the brain, with constant claims by scientists (some in white coats!) that it is our consciousness that shapes reality. They conflated interpretation of events and sensory data with “deciding” which state a quantum system would collapse into. Because I’m 6 years late in commenting on this, I won’t do anything like a detailed review or deconstruction of the individual points. It is simply far too painful. It is, however, emboldening. It’s a reminder of how much crackpottery can be fed to the public simply because concepts like quantum mechanics sound weird. And QM is weird. But the theory also makes real (if probabilistic) predictions. That is a far cry from claiming that your brain is part of a superstring field theory (as was, in fact, claimed).


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