Are we in a simulation? This short video explores the question

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/08/are-we-in-a-simulation-this-s.html

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The problem with this argument is the “we are in a simulation” folks seem to think the point of a simulation is to be as detailed as possible. Not so. Just like a 1-to-1 map is useless, a simulation that is an exact copy of the real world is useless. The point of a simulation is to create a simplified model that can be analyzed easier than can the real thing. If the goal of the simulation is to say, see if democracy can survive the current world situation, for example, why bother with the huge computational expense of simulating all the atoms and molecules? Why not make your computational agents people?

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That is true. Not only useless but impossible. But the counter augment to that is, if this is a simulation, then the ‘real world’ would be much more complex and bigger then ours, probably in ways we cannot begin to imagine.

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You are all just figments of my imagination. I have a very poor imagination.

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Ah HA! so this is your fault!

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I believe Douglas Adams posited a similar idea.

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I believe I exist in a simulation specifically used for base-reality car insurance actuarial tables.

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Perhaps what we are living in is not a simulation per se, but something more like, I don’t know, maybe shadows of some reality beyond ours, shadows cast on a cave wall or something. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

I just invented that notion, so calling dibs on copyright. Gotta go now, some Greek dude is knocking on my door.

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I imagined you would complain.

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In the real word P == NP.

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Not exactly a new idea: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”
…Wm. Shakespeare

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Nobody mention Roko’s Basilisk! Oops.

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Given that everything we know about the behaviour of atoms and molecules is that their behaviour is well represented by statistics when we’re not looking too closely at them, who’s to say they are?

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You fool! You’ve doomed us all!

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image

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(post deleted by author)

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If we are in a sim, I’d like to wake up now, please.

neo-wakes-up

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As you read these words, can you hear the words being spoken inside your own mind?

I did it! Simulations are everywhere!


More seriously, this philosophical question is just a reformulation of “Is there a God behind all of this?” and has basically the same answers, approaches, and room to absorb whatever time you give it.

If it’s not a disprovable theory, you can spend thousands of years debating possibilities, and batting around answers that “feel” right or wrong, and you may convince yourself of a particular view, based on a rationalised hunch.

That isn’t philosophy ultimately, it’s theology.

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https://home.cern/about

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