What the Bleep?

This isn’t exactly topical as it’s a few years old now, but I only just heard about this at the weekend. What The Bleep Do We Know? is a documentary film “serving up a mind-jarring blend of quantum physics, spirituality, neurology and evolutionary thought.”

It’s an interesting concept, with a dramatic narrative featuring a deaf, mildly-emotionally-traumatised photographer who, through a series of strange encounters, has her mind opened to… well I’m not sure what exactly.

The drama is interspersed with clips of authoritative-looking figures explaining aspects of some genuine scientific ideas and some genuine bullsh#t lumpily mashed together with a spiritual interpretation.

At one point, it is claimed that because the act of observation affects quantum mechanical events, then it follows that the way we view the world affects reality (I’m paraphrasing to inject some much-needed clarity of thought). I’m not arguing that attitude doesn’t affect outcome in our daily lives, that’s absolutely fine and positive. But why invoke quantum mechanics? It really doesn’t work that way! The whole reason quantum physics is weird, is because it doesn’t scale up to the everyday world and only applies to the very small.

Elsewhere, it’s claimed that thought affects the structure of water. This is shown in the clip below, from about 6:00 onwards. Apparently, water is the most receptive of the four elements… Four elements? Surely we’ve moved on! You can’t cite quantum mechanics one moment, then claim water is an element the next, ignoring the entire basis of everything we know about chemistry. You can’t cherry-pick established science here and there to give your half-baked fruitcake philosophy an air of credibility.

The problem is that people believe this stuff, because it’s presented professionally. They take ideas which are fascinating in themselves, but rather than explain what’s going on and what it means, they distort and confuse the issue by leaping incoherently between unrelated ideas.

It makes science seem inaccessible, like a kind of magic or the plot of The Matrix sequels, when it should be accessible to all.

Anyway, the science is ludicrous, but I forgive them for providing the best chat up line I have ever seen. Just watch the first 20 seconds or so of this clip:

I’ll leave you with a quote from J Z Knight, representative of the semi-metaphysical fluff they used to plump out the film. It’s kind of poetic, but I can’t quite figure out what it means. On the other hand, since she is a channeller of the god Ramtha, who am I to argue?

How in the ten commandments could we have possibly created a mind that could transcend space, and time? No we’re too busy keeping our emotions in check to ever dream of infinite possibilities, and maybe that is the ultimate conspiracy

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5 Comments on “What the Bleep?”

  1. Ceri Says:

    I suspect that part of the reason that presentations like these are taken seriously, is because the way science is generally presented in the popular media (with talking heads, &c) generally doesn’t encourage active engagement or criticism, allowing the viewer to rely on arguments from authority. So, when presentations like this use pretty much the same style, people are conditioned to react in the same way.

    From the extracts you give, the narrative seems to be presented in much the same way as a third rate TV drama; and considering that critiquing such things doesn’t often increase people’s enjoyment of the matter, people just let the information slide in, slipping past their own internal critic.

    So, if one was to assume a deliberate plot behind the form of the presentation, then it could be seen to be an all-out attempt to confuse and instil degenerate confused ideas in the viewer. Or; it could simply that the makers of the film are already pretty degenerate and confused.

    Cheers,

    • James Hayton Says:

      I don’t like the talking heads style, even in serious documentaries, as it tends to reduce science to soundbites, rather than a coherent narrative. The recent “secret life of chemistry” BBC series was an excellent example of a single, knowledgeable presenter being able to tell a story with a clear flow to it.

      As for what the bleep… it seems that some of the real scientists were misrepresented through editing, but others are actually members of the cult of Ramtha. It’s just plain weird.

  2. Tom Hayton Says:

    Painful to watch- what an absolute load of bollocks. It’s doesn’t even qualify as junk food for the brain, because at least junk food has *some* nutritional value!

  3. Leona Says:

    was saved from further pain because I was watching this at an old cinema… halfway through, the projector broke; people (already miffed with the lack of substance thus far) stormed out. Some demanded refunds. I was just glad that some other universal force had intervened to save me.


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