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The Universe - Solved! Hardcover – January 2, 2008
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We have recently been inundated by a spate of books on the "science-religion" controversy. They all confuse science with reductionist materialism and religion with fundamentalism. Elvidge's book is one of the notable exceptions. Unfortunately, none of the exceptions are receiving the attention of the rich publishers or the mainstream media. This is all in keeping with the modern cultural trend towards oversimplification of every issue. My hope is that this book will reverse the trend. --Ranan Banerji, Ph.D. Physics, author of "Society, Scientists and the Spirit"
About the Author
Jim Elvidge holds a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University. He has applied his training in the high-tech world as a leader in technology and enterprise management, including many years in executive roles for various companies and entrepreneurial ventures. He also holds 4 patents in digital signal processing.
Beyond the high-tech realm, however, Elvidge has years of experience as a musician, writer, and truth seeker. He merged his technology skills with his love of music, developed one of the first PC-based digital music samplers, and co-founded RadioAMP, the first private-label online streaming-radio company.
For many years, Elvidge has kept pace with the latest research, theories, and discoveries in the varied fields of subatomic physics, cosmology, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and the paranormal. This unique knowledge base has provided the foundation for his first full-length book, The Universe-Solved! .
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Top Customer Reviews
However, I found it extremely off-putting that the book has clearly not been properly proofread before it went to print. Just because the publisher is small is no excuse for inferior product creation. In fact each book created by Alternative Theories Press should be better quality considering they have less titles to focus on.
The book contains spelling mistakes and grammatical errors that are so obvious they are annoying! It makes you think, "if they let this go unchecked then how do I know the references have been checked?"
If I was Jim Elvidge I would be outraged that a review on Amazon is centered on the lack of professionalism by the publisher rather than the content of the book he put so much thought and work into.
This book is worth a read due to its innovative approach to TOE but not worth the price due to its inferior printing.
Before leaving the States, I set up a lunch between these two academicians, because I wanted Dr. Kaku to be exposed to Dr. Bostrom's thinking. It worked out well, and I treated Kaku, his wife, and Bostrom to lunch at a small restaurant across the street from the Oxford Union. I was pretty sure Kaku had not read Bostrom's paper, and I was right.
Midway through the first course, I asked Dr. Bostrom to briefly explain to Dr. Kaku what he had written. He did, and, by the middle of the main course, I asked Kaku what he thought of the possibility of Bostrom's theory "holding water." He politely gave his reasons why he didn't think it was possible, stressing the improbability of being able to program all of history as we know it. The amount of variables, he said, would be so large the chances were almost zero.
We went back and forth, Bostrom repeating his thesis, I trying to convince Kaku that it could be true. Both "stuck to their guns."
Finally, during dessert, I said, "You know, it might be like the series of movies called The Matrix." Dr. Kaku was silent for a minute and then said he'd have to think more about it. And that's where the conversation ended.
In January of 2005, Michio Kaku's book Parallel Worlds - A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos appeared. In it were two pages devoted to The Matrix at the beginning of a section called "Is the Universe a Computer Program?"
He stated in a brief conclusion, "...it is exceedingly difficult for a Newtonian world to be reduced to a computer program, since there are too many variables.... But in the quantum world, strange things happen." I felt vindicated, but while I knew in my gut there was some truth to the idea, the details of such speculation remained up in the air for me.
On the evening of November 29, 2010, Jim Elvidge appeared as a guest on the international radio program Coast to Coast AM. I hadn't listened to the show in some time, but decided to stream it on my computer the next morning.
Lo and behold, Elvidge had written the book The Universe - Solved published in 2007 in which he asks the question, "Are we living in a programmed reality?" Bostrom and Kaku are both mentioned in the book. HOW DID I MISS IT?!
Well, I've got to tell you, it puts the story together in a very understandable way. Elvidge, trained as an electrical engineer, spends most of the book leading up to his conclusion in Chapter 7, but it's well worth the wait.
By explaining up front the latest expert thinking about such things as quantum entanglement, parallel universes, living in a hologram, alternate realities, computer coding, and virtual reality, he gives the reader the necessary background to understand the premise of his argument. And he treats these most complex subjects in such a way that even the least technical of minds should be able to understand them.
The book is loaded with simple but meaningful illustrations, charts, and quotes from others that add to its being "reader friendly".
I found it refreshing, for instance, to be given very concise but easily comprehensible descriptions of string theory and M-theory, quantum foam, multiple dimensions, the possibilities of teleportation, nanotechnology, altered states of consciousness, simulators and games, the big bang theory and the fine tuning of our universe.
With examples of anomalies like UFO's, "little green men", synchronistic coincidences, cases of cryptozoology, the 100th Monkey theory, and our "seemingly" endless supply of oil, we know Elvidge is leading up to the reason all these strange occurances might be possible.
He even references our increasing fascination with movies like The Truman Show to illustrate his point. And, he does this with a good sense of humor that makes for light reading....something necessary when treating these most complex of issues.
So, with all this background, his leap in Chapter 7, entitled "Are we Living in a Programmed Reality?", very well accounts for the anomalies and theories of physics into which he has given us such a clear insight in the previous chapters.
The existence of the Planck length and time, the absolutely smallest quantities of measurement according to physics, means that physical reality is not continuous. It is quantized into very, very small parts. This, then, challenges Kaku's argument that the number of variables would be too vast to make possible Bostrom's computer simulated universe. Provided there was a computer powerful enough to deal with a very large but less than infinite amount of variables, simulated reality is certainly a possibility.
Chapters 8 and 9 then go on to clarify Elvidge's thinking in dealing with how to physically program a reality. The only thing I found lacking was an index at the end of the book, which should be added if it's ever reprinted.
This, folks, is exciting, leading edge thinking, and I highly recommend you go to Elvidge's website, [...], for more information and to order the book. If you want a glimpse of what might actually be going on in our so-called "reality", you can't do any better. I think it will, to say the least, astound you as it did me, and open your mind to a whole new insight worthy of your further investigation.
His arguments are roughly as follows. 1)Virtual reality simulations are technically feasible. 2) Virtual reality fits well with physical observations of our reality (e.g. the discontinuous nature of space and time) 3) Virtual reality would explain some knotty problems associated with our reality (the paradoxes of quantum mechanics, fine tuning, and the big bang among others) 4) V. R. also explains a variety of "anomalies" in our lives . These include things paranormal, out of body and near death experiences, UFO's , altered mind states, and unbelievable coincidences. Elvidge devotes a lot of space to this area and has come up with some good examples but these rarely experienced and poorly documented events, which I have never encountered personally, do not work for me.
The beauty and the problem with virtual reality is that it explains almost anything - from the cosmic to the trivial -quantum entanglement at a distance, Elvis sightings, cornflakes that look like Jesus, Jesus. Invoking V.R. to solve the universe is akin to a novelist extracting his hero from an impossible pickle by having him wake from a dream.
We really need stronger evidence. Our unlikely place in civilization's time line is one item that Elvidge gives some attention. But what else? A student probably spoke for the masses when she observed that if she is living in a virtual reality "the graphics are great, but the plot sucks." In comparison to what is possible I suspect that even the graphics are only so so . But what about the plot? Why do so many bad things happen to good people and vice versa? Who would do this to us and why? Elvidge just barely touches on this in his last chapter. And the rest of the evidence? It's out there, but not in this book.