Hawking radiation

With Stephen Hawking’s latest research on black holes, it seems Christopher Nolan’s imaginative leaps in Interstellar aren’t so fantastical after all. Fuller, among other formerly reasonable skeptics, was put off by what happens to Matthew McConaughey’s character after he crosses a black hole’s event horizon, winds up in time’s fourth dimension (represented as a house of strings with gaps revealing visions into, primarily, his past), somehow affects things he’s already experienced (or realizes he’s already affected things?), then returns home, years later, to find his world-savior daughter older than him and on the verge of death. Oh, and he also goes back into space to save/fuck Anne Hathaway, who’s waiting at a cafe in Italy or some shit. Not that Nolan’s films blend together or anything. I’ve just watched them all in the 4th dimension. Or I’m going to realize eventually that I’ve done that already.

Where were we? Oh yeah, that guy from the delightful film The Theory of Everything (who, unfortunately, also surrendered his talents to the confounding Jupiter Ascending):

“I propose that the information is not stored in the interior of the black hole as one might expect, but on its boundary, the event horizon,” he said today at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Specifically, he says a “super translation” takes place, which is essentially a hologram of the information. It means that information can survive and escape from a black hole at the event horizon, the boundary at which nothing is said to be able to break free.

They key to this theory is Hawking radiation. Hawking says it can “pick up” information and move it beyond the event horizon. But it’s not all good news; the information is essentially useless. “The information about ingoing particles is returned, but in a chaotic and useless form,” said Hawking. “This resolves the information paradox. For all practical purposes, the information is lost.”

Hm. So maybe Nolan haters simply didn’t recognize that their criticism was actually praise. Matty boy crosses the event horizon, and then the rest of the film is full of nonsensical information, returned back to the audience “in a chaotic and useless form.” Indeed, “for all practical purposes, the information is lost.” Nolan journeys into the void, and nothing comes out of it. Or everything does. I’m not sure I know or care. It felt meaningful to me, which I’d say is good enough. Nevertheless, we might say that Nolan pulls Prestige like magic on us by making us (sans the likes of Fuller) feel lost (or fooled into profundity) and veiling the fact that what he created was lost. (In some other universe, his work always makes sense.) As with other Nolan films, the information is so compelling that it suggests a resonating signal; what Hawking radiation shows is that it’s mostly noise.

No one can argue with Hans Zimmer noise though. For all practical purposes, that shit is transcendent.


Note: I unabashedly love every Christopher Nolan movie. I’m kind of trolling Fuller and also just writing for the hell of it. Black holes are cool.


  1. dasfuller

    Okay, so, let me get this straight: you’re arguing that a plot device used in an overly melodramatic scifi flick should be taken serious as a real physical (as in physics) hypothesis? Is that what’s going on here? I’m not sure, because the second half of this post devolves into…I don’t even know what you’re saying here. I think this post is a 2D hologram of some other post you wrote in your mind while reading about Hawking’s new hypothesis.

    1. Luigus (Post author)

      Nothing’s going on here, man. Black hole logic. Classic Lou, right? RIGHT?

  2. dasfuller

    Also, the more I read about this new Hawking hypothesis, the more I realize that it’s really not that much of a leap or breakthrough. Peeps were talking about 2D/3D holographic representations of reality and gravity back in the mid-2000s when it was clear that String Theory was a dead-end. For example, from the 2006 edition of The Best American Science and Nature Writing:


    Not to take anything away from Hawking here, but just trying to point out that his wheelchair trods upon the shoulders of those who came before him.


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