Saturday, August 25, 2007

Consciousness Writes Reality

From As She Climbed Across the Table, a clever satire by Jonathan Lethem about a campus love triangle between a physicist, her social anthropologist boyfriend, and a black hole created in the physics lab:

“Everything is only potential until consciousness wakes up and says, let me have a look. Take for example the big bang. We explore the history of the creation of our universe, so the big bang becomes real. But only because we investigate. Another example: There are subatomic particles as far as we are willing to look. We create them. Consciousness writes reality, in any direction it looks—past, future, big, small. Wherever we look we find reality forming in response…I think there is a principle of conservation of reality. Reality is unwilling to fully exist without an observer. It can’t be bothered. Why should it?”