Are We Living in a Computer Simulation?

 
Cheshire Cat
 
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Cheshire Cat
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01 August 2020 18:53
 

In 2016, philosophers and scientists convened at the American Museum of Natural History, to ponder the idea that the universe is a computer simulation.

Scientific American wrote about the event under the topic category of physics. https://tinyurl.com/zlhxvnd

Famous astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, put the odds at 50-50.

An idea previously put forth by philosopher Nick Bostrum, stated that if civilizations were technologically advanced enough to run simulations: “They would probably have the ability to run many, many such simulations, to the point where the vast majority of minds would actually be artificial ones within such simulations, rather than the original ancestral minds.”

“Many-Worlds”, anyone?

MIT cosmologist, Max Tegmark, thought that since our universe is based on mathematical laws, which are rigid, this might be indicative of an extremely advanced computer code behind it all.

Theoretical physicist, Lisa Randall, wondered why a higher species would want to waste their time simulating us, and put the chances of such an idea being correct at zero.

She obviously hasn’t seen “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”

Philosopher, David Chalmers, believed that proving the universe was a simulation would be impossible, because “You’re not going to get proof that we’re not in a simulation, because any evidence that we get could be simulated.”

Then, there are semi-religious implications raised if we are a simulation from an advanced race of beings. Questions about eternal life and resurrection appear, assuming a simulation program can be run over and over again.

And then there’s this question: “And if someone, somewhere created our simulation, would that make this entity God?”

At this notion, Chalmers quipped, “Our creator isn’t especially spooky, it’s just some teenage hacker in the next universe up.”

I wonder if he has acne?

I wonder also, if instead of being a simulation, we aren’t instead inside an advance computer game? Perhaps technologically evolving civilizations get to a point where they gain the ability to reprogram the very game they exist within? They would get to rewrite their roles and become the very gods and goddesses of their own mythologies.

But then again, by taking on “the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything,” we may be merely deceiving ourselves. Maybe our primate brains will never grasp the ultimate reality.

After all, isn’t the entire argument about the universe being a computer simulation, really, just a fancier and more sophisticated version of the ancient notion of gods and goddesses up in the sky, pulling the strings of our lives, and having fun doing so?

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Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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08 August 2020 09:26
 

This is a lonely thread.

This question has gone out of fashion if only because no one can imagine what sort of twisted sadistic mind could design this simulated shit-show.

I say the probability is zero.000000001.

Human consciousness cannot be in a computer unless it is somehow a trioon computer. That aside, what is this a simulation of? What actual creation is this simulation being run in? If the problems of this simulation are based on the problems of some real world, what difference does it make? Too silly.

 
 
weird buffalo
 
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weird buffalo
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14 August 2020 14:51
 

To me this idea sounds slightly more possible than the existence of Superman, but without actual evidence on which to base the idea, I put it squarely in the realm of fiction.  Fiction can be neat to ponder and consider the implications of it, but without evidence it is just an idea from someone’s imagination.

 
unsmoked
 
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22 August 2020 22:20
 
weird buffalo - 14 August 2020 02:51 PM

To me this idea sounds slightly more possible than the existence of Superman, but without actual evidence on which to base the idea, I put it squarely in the realm of fiction.  Fiction can be neat to ponder and consider the implications of it, but without evidence it is just an idea from someone’s imagination.

Right, like the egg that was given to the tsarina as a present.

“The egg opens to reveal a golden “yolk” within, which then opened to revealed a golden hen sitting on golden straw. Inside the hen, lay a miniature diamond replica of the Imperial crown and a ruby pendant. It was given to the tsarina on May 1, 1885.”

 

 

 

[ Edited: 22 August 2020 22:22 by unsmoked]
 
 
Poldano
 
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28 August 2020 01:45
 

I had one smart-assed answer to the question, which is that Yes, we are living in a simulation, insofar as everything we know or perceive is processed in some kind of meat computer in order for us to know or perceive it.

Another question that immediately arises is, If we are living in a simulation, what is the computer that we are simulated in actually existing in? This of course brings up both the chicken-and-egg and the turtles-all-the-way-down metaphors.

Personally, I think that Max Tegmark and others with this belief take their mathematics way too seriously. I think the efficacy of mathematics is a side effect of whatever conditions of reality allow minds to exist. From what I’ve read and been taught, all mathematics are deducible from a small set of axioms, which are for the most part axioms of logic and set theory. It should come as no surprise that what is deducible from what appear to be obvious first principles (for the most part) in turn has applicability for describing ostensible reality. What should be inspire some caution is that not all mathematics is applicable to all aspects of reality, and indeed the field of mathematics is considered by some mathematicians to be pure abstraction without any necessary application to anything that can be observed.

Another way to look at it is that language itself is a kind of mathematics, so it is impossible to actually describe anything that does not have some kind of mathematical basis to it. The possible exceptions are indicated by such ubiquitous weaselly qualifiers as “It is but it isn’t”, which serve to show the limits of applicability of mathematics to colloquial descriptions of reality, or at least the difficulty of applying mathematics to every aspect of reality.

 
 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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28 August 2020 11:27
 

Anyway, if we’re living in a simulation, it follows that the simulator probably is too, ad infinitum.  The Ouroboros?  Are we standing between two perfectly aligned mirrors?  Try to look down the Lemniscate corridor and our head gets in the way?

Here’s a fellow who brazenly stepped out of the simulation:

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8262014
 
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11 September 2020 19:34
 

No.

.If you believe that computers’ circuits can do that magic, you probably believe in all the magic in Harry Potter movies.

Conceivably a superadvanced supercomputer could display a world or a life-experience for its audience. But it wouldn’t make that story.  It would only be displaying and demonstrating for its audience, one of the infinitely-many hypothetical stories.

If someone in some universe is running a simulation that displays this physical universe, don’t worry:  Their computer doesn’t decide what happens here. Its programming merely chooses what world or life-experience it displays (but doesn’t make).