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What the #$*! Do We Know!? (23-Apr-2004)

Directors: William Arntz; Betsy Chasse; Mark Vicente

Writers: William Arntz; Betsy Chasse; Matthew Hoffman; Mark Vicente

Keywords: Faux Documentary

Pseudoscientific new-age claptrap.

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
John Ross Bowie
30-May-1971   Barry Kripke on The Big Bang Theory
John Hagelin
9-Jun-1954   Natural Law Party
Elaine Hendrix
28-Dec-1970   The Parent Trap
J. Z. Knight
16-Mar-1946   Claims to channel Ramtha
Marlee Matlin
24-Aug-1965   Deaf actress on The West Wing
Barry Newman
7-Nov-1938   Petrocelli
Armin Shimerman
5-Nov-1949   Quark on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine


Review by anonymous (posted on 24-Mar-2006)

I watched âWhat the Bleep Do We Know?â, which, I should say for those who recommended it, was well worth watching and was certainly a good conversation-starter. Very enjoyable. But the premise? It certainly left me with a lot of questions. For those who havenât seen the movie, the basic idea is that, in light of all the latest in quantum mechanics, we have proven that humans can mentally construct reality in any way they choose, because reality as we know it is illusory. If you look at solid matter, it is actually made up of loose clouds of molecules, and those of loose clouds of atoms and so on, ad infinitum. The idea that the movie puts forward is that we are one with the universe, and, as the one lady (who is channeling a 35,000 year old mystic from Atlantis) concludes, we are God. The trouble for me is that a lot of the ideas in the film are in the same neighbourhood as my own beliefs, so the bizarre tangents are a little off-putting. First off, some of the claims in the film are completely false. They refer to the âMaharishi Effectâ (meditators could lower the crime rate) which was âprovenâ in an uncontrolled experiment in Washington when the crime rate was miraculously lowered by 25% by the 4,000 meditators. Cursory fact checking shows that crime actually rose in Washington during that period, though the organizers claimed success. But when âfactsâ like this are getting thrown at you in a movie, its hard to filter them out amid all the physicists who are also saying all kinds of quantum-zaniness. They also refer to another experiment wherein some guy claimed that water reacts to words, as proven by him taping affirming messages to glasses of water, then photographing the supposed results. Again, it seems that he forgot to mention that he froze the water. What bothered me most, though, was the whole ânothing is certain, therefore I am the centre of the universeâ leap of logic. What about the corollary? Far from being your own creator and supreme observer, what if you are nothing more than a transient cluster of atoms floating in an infinite void filled with nearly indistinguishable particles? The fact that quantum particles change when observed doesnât signify any special significance to you as the observer; no, silly, think of it as your observation being another random act which affects the observed particles by interaction, not observation. Observation gives centrality and importance to the observer. Interaction acknowledges you for the insignificant cloud of dust that you really are. Granted, my take on quantum theory is considerably more bleak, but I would argue, much closer to the truth. Everyone is so quick to mix and match quantum theory to justify whatever they like, giving us quantum-leprechauns and such. But Iâm always suspicious of âfeel-goodâ spiritual solutions, especially when theyâre supposedly proven by science. The truth is, when I first read about quantum mechanics, I was amazed by the parallels with Zen Buddhism. Did I jump for joy and start healing people? No. It just affirmed to me that if you look deep enough inside yourself or deep enough outside yourself youâll find the same thing: nothing. You can paint that to be fuzzy and nice, or you can accept it for what I think it is: terrifying and beautiful.

Review by anonymous (posted on 25-Mar-2006)

To say this movie makes you think would be the understatement of the millennium. Marlee Matlin falls "Down the Rabbit Hole", as they say, into the quantum world where things are not as they seem. While there, she is forced to see things on quantum level where things can be in two places at once, time can move forward or back, and things are more energy than solid...until you observe them, of course, in which they become solid. Odd? You bet. Real? What is real? Open your mind and get through some seriously bizarre discoveries in the first half and the second half will bring you into your own head. The film graphically shows the "storm" that rages in your brain that creates thoughts. Further yet, they have a rather humorous cartoon showing how this storm effects your hypothalamus, which releases chemicals throughout your body causing emotion, and then how we all are addicted to that emotion, creating a reality that is yours, and yours alone. Got all that? This then brings us back to whether we are seeing what is real in the world, or only seeing what it is we want to see. And if we cannot see what is real, is ANYTHING real? Yet it's real to us. So what do we do with this? Just watch the movie. It's one of those that will forever change the way you look at anything. They present facts from science and religion, or mysticism, without being preachy or trying to prove one side. It is edutainment more than a Hollywood plot. It has a cult following strong enough that they have now released a more in depth version, âDown the Rabbit Holeâ where they dig deeper into these concepts.

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