Two observations take us across the finish line. The Second Law ensures that entropy increases throughout the entire process, and so the information hidden within the hard drives, Kindles, old-fashioned paper books, and everything else you packed into the region is less than that hidden in the black hole. From the results of Bekenstein and Hawking, we know that the black hole's hidden information content is given by the area of its event horizon. Moreover, because you were careful not to overspill the original region of space, the black hole's event horizon coincides with the region's boundary, so the black hole's entropy equals the area of this surrounding surface. We thus learn an important lesson. The amount of information contained within a region of space, stored in any objects of any design, is always less than the area of the surface that surrounds the region (measured in square Planck units).
This is the conclusion we've been chasing. Notice that although black holes are central to the reasoning, the analysis applies to any region of space, whether or not a black hole is actually present. If you max out a region's storage capacity, you'll create a black hole, but as long as you stay under the limit, no black hole will form.
I hasten to add that in any practical sense, the information storage limit is of no concern. Compared with today's rudimentary storage devices, the potential storage capacity on the surface of a spatial region is humongous. A stack of five off-the-shelf terabyte hard drives fits comfortable within a sphere of radius 50 centimeters, whose surface is covered by about 10^70 Planck cells. The surface's storage capacity is thus about 10^70 bits, which is about a billion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion terabytes, and so enormously exceeds anything you can buy. No one in Silicon Valley cares much about these theoretical constraints.
Yet as a guide to how the universe works, the storage limitations are telling. Think of any region of space, such as the room in which I'm writing or the one in which you're reading. Take a Wheelerian perspective and imagine that whatever happens in the region amounts to information processing-information regarding how things are right now is transformed by the laws of physics into information regarding how they will be in a second or a minute or an hour. Since the physical processes we witness, as well as those by which we're governed, seemingly take place within the region, it's natural to expect that the information those processes carry is also found within the region. But the results just derived suggest an alternative view. For black holes, we found that the link between information and surface area goes beyond mere numerical accounting; there's a concrete sense in which information is stored on their surfaces. Susskind and 'tHooft stressed that the lesson should be general: since the information required to describe physical phenomena within any given region of space can be fully encoded by data on a surface that surrounds the region, then there's reason to think that the surface is where the fundamental physical processes actually happen. Our familiar three-dimensional reality, these bold thinkers suggested, would then be likened to a holographic projection of those distant two-dimensional physical processes.
If this line of reasoning is correct, then there are physical processes taking place on some distant surface that, much like a puppeteer pulls strings, are fully linked to the processes taking place in my fingers, arms, and brain as I type these words at my desk. Our experiences here, and that distant reality there, would form the most interlocked of parallel worlds. Phenomena in the two-I'll call them Holographic Parallel Universes-would be so fully joined that their respective evolutions would be as connected as me and my shadow.
Brian Greene (The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos)