Holography as Bad Metaphor

You know how holograms work? Well, not how they *work* but how they end up. You can cut them up, shatter them into tiny pieces, and you’ll still be able to see the image they record. Holograms can be badly made and broken in such a way that you can only see part of the image, and they only work right if you look at them using the right kind of light.

Douglas Hofstadter says, though using different words, that we all carry imperfect holographs of each other in our heads. We all live in each other’s minds as incomplete fragments viewed with light not entirely of the correct wavelength. After we die, these fuzzy and fragmented images are all that’s left of us.

You can’t put a physical hologram back together to restore the image if it wasn’t recorded correctly in the first place. But we can show each other our holograms of each other, and re-record, de-fuzz, and expand our fragmented, degraded images. After someone dies, that’s all we can do. It isn’t a perfect process; but neither is it nothing.

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