Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|What the Bleep - Down the Rabbit Hole |
QUANTUM Three-Disc Special Edition
Actors: Marlee Matlin, Elaine Hendrix, John Ross Bowie, Robert Bailey Jr., Barry Newman
Directors: Betsy Chasse, Mark Vicente, William Arntz
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Proving once and for all that life can be an amazing journey?and a real trip?this all-new Quantum Edition release of What The Bleep!? Down the Rabbit Hole utilizes cutting-edge DVD technology to create a unique version of ... more »
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What the (Bleep) Were they Thinking?!?
E. M. Hodge | Virginia Beach, VA | 10/27/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a perfect example of what Nobel Prize Winner Murray Gell-Mann calls "Quantum Flapdoodle", i.e. an attempt to use Quantum Theory to support a metaphysical, even mystical, view of the world. This is often the result of confusing Quantum Theory with the interpretation of Quantum Theory. The premise of the movie seems to be to prove that we create our own reality through the observation of it. What follows is a lengthy pseudo-scientific explanation of specific elements of Quantum Theory placed in a light that supports a distorted mystical view.
One of the first and most glaringly aggravating points about this movie is the editing. Many of the physicists in this movie were filmed for hours explaining Quantum Theory and the mechanics behind it, but only select pieces of the footage were used out of context to make it seem as if these experts were supporting a mystical world view, when in fact they almost universally scoff at it. Coupled with that is the fact that many of these "experts" actually have no physics credentials, Quantum or otherwise.
But what about the science, you ask. Unfortunately, the science in this movie is abysmal. First, as mentioned before, they confuse the theory with the interpretation. This is simply because they advocate the "observation is reality" idea, which isn't part of the theory. For a theory to be considered science it must be disprovable. Observation creating reality cannot be disproven simply because it would require an observer to validate, which would then invalidate the "theory". So from the beginning we have a faulty basis for science.
Following that, the movie then cites its "proof", which is also scientifically invalid. The first was the popular fable that when Columbus arrived in North America that the natives could see "the ripples in the water" but couldn't see the ships. Nowhere in the movie does it state that this is a fable... its actually presented as literal fact (though I should note it isn't implicitly stated in the film that this is a fact, it is certainly implied). This example fails to hold up to scientific standards for various reasons. First, its hearsay. There aren't any written records or verifiable evidence supporting the story. Its a legend, pure and simple, and as such proves nothing. Second, it fails entertain the more logical reasons, such as the ripples appearing in the water before the ships had actually arrived, a distinctly logical conclusion.
The second example illustrated the "Maharisi Effect". For those unfamiliar with the experiment, in 1993 four-thousand people practiced trancsendental meditation in an attempt to lower the crime rate in Washington DC. After the "experiment", the data was analyzed, tweaked and otherwise manipulated to reveal, amazingly, that violent crime was down 18% (though the film claims 25). This was viewed as proof of the power of group meditation and positive thinking. Sadly, this example also fails to satisfy the rigorous criteria of science. First, there was no control group, and as such no way of knowing what the crime rate would have been without the meditation. This implies that the lowered crime rate could be the result of several, unrelated factors. Also, the crime rate was only 18% lower than what was predicted by analysis of previous criminal trends in the area. Violent crime increased from the previous year, just not as much as was expected by experts. Second, the murder rate during this time actually increased, so while violent crime as a whole increased less than was predicted, more murders were being commited during this time than were predicted. Thirdly, the panel who reviewed the data created by this experiment were followers of the Maharisi and could not be counted as impartial, non-biased observers.
The third piece of "proof" supplied is Dr. Emoto's famous Water Tests in which he tapes words to containers of water and freezes them into crystals that, supposedly, create beautiful images when nice words like "love" and "thank you" are taped to them and horrible, ugly images when mean words like "I hate you" and "I want to kill you" are used. These words were tried in several languages and sometimes images are used as well. Unfortunately, Dr. Emoto's amazing work has never been independently recreated in a scientific setting. In fact, the James Randi Educational Foundation has offered a $1,000,000 prize to Dr. Emoto if his data can pass a double blind test, a prize which he has refused to even attempt to claim.
After this there is a long discussion about cellular peptides and how these are responsible for all observation, emotion and, in essence, reality. This was the only part of the movie that had some sound basis in reality and could be backed up with science. It is 100% true that the chemical processes in our brains can vastly effect how we view reality, which is the basis of psychiatric pharmocology. The movie then moves on to use this as proof of the power of positive thinking, i.e. "Our brains control how we view reality so we don't need mind-altering medications to be happy!" Yay! Except when there's something wrong with our brain and those chemicals are out of balance. I'd like to see somebody tell Charles Manson that all his insanity could be cured by the power of positive thinking!
The final straw that breaks this movie's proverbial back is the inclusion of Ramtha, the 35,000 year old Atlantian warrior spirit brought to us courtesy of a Tacoma housewife named JZ Knight (his "channel" in New Age circles). In a thick, Hollywood-esque Eastern European accent, Ramtha tells us about the wonders of Quantum Physics and how it is the first science to even come close to explaining magic and miracles. Okay... I don't even know where to begin with this. First of all, if this is a movie about science, why are they including the claims of a New Age cult leader who can't be verified one way or another. Also, what are this person's credentials. If its just JZ Knight pretending to be some ancient Atlantian, does she have a Quantum Physics background? Second, if she IS some ancient Atlantian warrior, what are HIS Quantum Physics credentials (which could be easily verified with a series of Doctorate level tests)?
Of course, her/his authority is never questioned, and there's a reason. It took a little digging to find, but the vast majority of the people involved in making this film are followers of Ramtha. When this came to light, I was flabbergasted. The fact that most of the movies views fall right in line with her group's New Age philosophy puts an entirely new spin on the movie. Suddenly this looks like nothing but one, big recruitment piece for Ramtha.
I gave this movie one star because it does one good thing: It gets people thinking about Quantum Physics and reality. Some people who see this movie might be interested to dig deeper into the actual science and check out John Gribbin's excellent series of books about Quantum Physics for the layman. I recommend "In Search of Schrondinger's Cat" most highly.
As Richard Feynman said, "If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics", and that sums up the major problem with this movie. It provides a view of quantum mechanics that is absurdly simple and abysmally unscientific. The beauty of particle physics is magical in and of itself, it doesn't need to be married to philosophy and New Age metaphysics to be amazing.
A Complete Collage Of Crap
Ted Dunning | 04/09/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"See this movie, and behold the face of horror! I give this film five stars because it is a great horror movie. This movie kept me on the edge of my seat. I yawned through "The Exorcist." "Blair Witch" just gave me a headache, but "What the Bleep," this movie... my dear Lord, the horror!
Remember back in college, being wasted, sitting on a couch in a corner of some Friday night college-town keg party, gripping the arm of the sofa to keep the room from spinning, but you can't block out the insipid "conversation" of the 24 year old (male) graduate student and the two cheesecake muffin-head 19 year old freshmen chicks (both 19ish) who are sharing the opposite end of the couch, and he's going off on some tangent about the brain and quantum this-and-that and the girls are nodding and agreeing and occasionally interjecting things like "Oh yeah, that's so RANDOM!" and all that tittering that passes for dialog foreplay and it just makes you want to smack them, then barf...
This movie is all that and worse.
I don't know where to begin explaining on how many levels this movie fails, is amateurish, transparent, and jaw-droppingly simple. But I'll try.
The casual viewer, or even the discriminating viewer who bothers to watch the final credits, would not be blamed for failing to realize that this a propaganda piece... nay, a publicity kit in movie form, for the Ramtha School of Enlightenment. One must spend a few minutes Googling this quagmire to learn that. Every one - EVERY ONE - of the talking heads in this film is shown without credits, curriculum vitae, title, nothing. At the end, in the credits, we see some sketchy resumes.
Go online (http://whatthebleep.com/scientists/) and you will see that each of the people portrayed as uncredentialed experts in this film are ALL shills for the Institute for Noetic Sciences, which itself is a front for a woman named J.Z. Knight who, although having a name more suited to that of an east coast rapper, is the current physical embodiment of an Atlantean warrior, some 35000 years old, named Ramtha. Naturally...
And I can't help but forget to point out that the hand-wringing chiropractor so often featured as a talking head in this film, one "Doctor" Joseph Dispenza, utters the word "mediocricy" which is, in fact, not a word. At least not in English. I assume he meant "mediocrity." He was speaking to the subject of how we empower and enrich our lives through positive thought and visualization, and that he sees so much evidence in his day-to-day life that reinforces the fact that what he believes and thinks manifests itself in his reality. Apparently, he doesn't visualize proper diction and grammar.
To call the followers of Ramtha and the Institute for Noetic Sciences a cult would be to do a disservice to genuine hardworking cult members. I have absolutely no use for these people and their tripe. At its best, "What the Bleep" is a distilled, dumbed-down version of a few really good episodes of PBS's "Nova" and at its worst (which is most of the time) it is pretentious infomercial drivel dressed up as hifalutin' philosophy.
People who see this and say "It really makes you think" or "That is SO right on" are not nearly as smart as they want to be.
This movie is probably the "Celestine Prophecy" for this decade. I take comfort in the knowledge that foolishness of this kind is nothing new. But it is cold comfort.
Painful to watch
CW | 04/05/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
This was a hack job in the editing room, resulting in a mess of confusion. I'm amazed that it took three directors. The old adage too many chefs are gonna spoil the soup. . .
Arntz may have provided the funding, but this is definitely a Ramtha production as virtually everyone involved ( including Arntz ) are members. Create your own reality by rejecting theirs, when Dylan asked what everyone could take out of the 60's he replied, " Don't follow leaders. "
I'm waiting for the cross merchandising with fast food chains to materialize. Could a Ramtha action figure, or create your own bubble set be on it's way?
Life is a wonderful beautiful gift and I can't wait to see what happens next!
Why the bleep?
Lance Courtney | Dallas, TX/San Diego, CA | 09/20/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
The movie states humans are "90% water" when in fact newborns have around 78%, 1-year-olds around 65%, adult men about 60%, and adult women around 55% ... and that's just the beginning.
About the film's "Experts"
As the purported experts speak throughout the movie, they make several references to concepts, ideas, and alleged facts about quantum physics and other specific items. However, few of the scientists involved are actually professional physicists doing research in quantum mechanics, and one of those, David Albert who does such research has complained that his views were deliberately misrepresented.
The ideas and theories presented are based upon the beliefs of JZ Knight/Ramtha, who appears frequently in the film as a scientist or spiritual teacher. By the end of the film, during the credits, she is identified as the spirit "Ramtha" who is being "channeled" by "JZ Knight.". Knight was born Judith Darlene Hampton in Roswell, New Mexico. The spirit, Ramtha, whom she claims to channel, is "a 35,000 year-old warrior spirit from the lost continent of Lemuria and one of the Ascended Masters." (Knight speaks with an accent because English is not Ramtha's first language.)
John Hagelin was the head of the 1993 Transcendental Meditation project in Washington, D.C. (The Washington TM study was mentioned in the film, but Hagelin was never identified as one of its authors.) He was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize, which is a parody offered by real Nobel prizewinners, for the most ridiculous theories. Organized by the scientific humor journal Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), they are presented by genuine Nobel Laureates at a ceremony at Harvard University is for "achievements" that "cannot, or should not, be reproduced", i.e., for pseudoscience, for this project.
David Albert, a philosopher of physics and professor at Columbia University, speaks frequently throughout the movie. While it may appear as though he supports the ideas that are presented in the movie, according to a Popular Science article, he is "outraged at the final product." The article states that Albert granted the filmmakers a near-four hour interview about quantum mechanics being unrelated to consciousness or spirituality. His interview was then edited and incorporated into the film in a way that he claims misrepresented his views. In the article, Albert also expresses his feelings of gullibility after having been "taken" by the filmmakers. Although Albert is listed as a scientist taking part in the sequel to What the Bleep, called "Down the Rabbit Hole", this sequel is a "director's cut", composed of extra footage from the filming of the first movie.
Dr. Joseph Dispenza is a teacher at Ramtha's School of Enlightenment as is Amit Goswami, Mgr. Miceal Ledwith, and JZ Knight, who channels the Ramtha warrior spirit.
People quoted in this movie do not even attempt to explain precisely how the theory of quantum mechanics actually proves any of the mystical or religious teachings found in the film. Statements from physicists are made, then they are intercut with statements from people who have created their own religion, medical doctors, and others. No logical proof connecting the findings of Quantum Mechanics(QM) with the movie's core message is offered.
Bob Colwell, who was Intel Chief Architect for pentium 2,3 and 4,and who presumably knows a lot about quantum physics, wrote a review of the film for "Computer" Magazine. A brief excerpt:
"One particular interviewee kept reappearing, and I couldn't make heads or tails out of what she said. Eerily she was precisely mimicking the physicists intonations, facial expressions, and utter confidence, but to me she was speaking utter gibberish. It suddenly dawned on me : She wasn't a physicist- She was some kind of New Age mystic who had borrowed the physicists' language and was happily doing free associations between quantum pysics and her personal religious beliefs."