Wednesday, May 16, 2007

are you living in a computer simulation?

Some famous guy said something like this, "either we are alone in the universe, or we're not; either option is pretty incredible". I really like the quote, I guess we've all thought about the subject but the more I think about it the more interesting it seems, even though there's little new information on the topic.

Here's another thought; one of the following statements must be true:
  1. Something drastic will either wipe humans out, or massively curtail our development.
  2. No posthumans run ancestor simulations.
  3. We are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.

Whichever it is, I find it pretty incredible.


Tracy-Leigh said...

Here's another option though I realise it has a low probality.

But we could be at a time where posthumans have not evolved yet and it is us who will eventually become posthumanistic. I.e. this is the first time we've been here. So we are real.

I'm also sure there must be some computing problems with running a simulation that has all of the forces and particles of this universe. Surely you would need a computer that is bigger than all the particles the universe to hold and still process all that information.

If the simulation is not exactly like the universe you can't be sure that what will come out will be like the real universe. But I suppose that doesn't mean that conscious beings could be in a simulation of a scaled-down universe. Not quite as big as the real one.

stuart said...


another religious analogue! Believing we're the first and real is possible and doesn't result in contradiction thus we'll believe it!

Computing power would be a problem and i don't think we can guess how they'll do it (they'l be very very clever remember), but a) they'll probably simplify and skimp where they think they can b) maybe it only runs when one of us can see it or something c) its possible that the computers could be the size of planets etc.

they might skip alot of the simulation, just plonk us down, like god, complete with fake fossils and everything!

Uri Kalish said...

Regarding computing requirements… Maybe the “observer effect” in quantum physics is just our simulation tries to save computing power (like computer games only render the objects you can currently see)?

Uri Kalish said...

…Forgot to mention I believe that quantum physics’ Observer Effect (the observer forces the wavefunction to collapse) is a misinterpretation of the empiric tests.