New research: There's a 50-50 chance we're living in a simulation and here's how to find out

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/10/13/new-research-theres-a-50-50-chance-were-living-in-a-simulation-and-heres-how-to-find-out.html

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The biggest obstacle to determining whether this is a simulation is the solipsistic hypothesis: Perhaps I’m the only mind being simulated, then it’s only my own sensorium that has to be fooled. Whatever you’re doing is only an input on my senses: did I read it, view it, hear it, feel it, taste or smell it? Nope? Then it didn’t need to be simulated, and it makes simulation a lot easier.

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And anytime things get a little fuzzy, we chalk it up to the mysteries of quantum physics. Isn’t that convenient?

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Also, it requires grant funding to really explore this.

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As George Berkeley said centuries ago, we make god in our image. The idea of these programmers and mathematicians positing living in a simulation is not a surprise. They’re arrogant people whose conception of god is a way more powerful version of themselves.

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I often think this same thing. But then I ask, who would bother to simulate my existence? I know I sure wouldn’t. I can think of only one thing, a really bored AI.

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I’m for this kind of grant funding. It keeps scientists off the streets. We don’t want them growing up into mad scientists.

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Or a decadent priesthood that worships The Computer?

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I for one welcome the role of Overlord for our meat-bag creators.

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Great links Pesco … very thought provoking stuff. Why is it that my simulation gives me insomnia? If we get to the root cause of that we can disassemble the simulation and get some sleep.

#fuck2020

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So, the failure to unify quantum mechanics and relativity could be evidence that we’re living in a simulation? Groovy. (And convenient!)

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I think that is ridiculous to assume such a high probability.

Is it POSSIBLE - I suppose. But just because something is possibly, doesn’t make it likely.

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Ugly bags of mostly water.

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RE: The Fatum Project Theory:

"All things in the world are causally connected with each other and everything that happens, including our thoughts, is usually determined by the sum of all environmental factors. This makes the world close to deterministic. The patterns arising in the network of these relations, reduce even random actions to a limited set of possible outcomes.

This means that no matter what choices you make, and no matter how many variations on how your day may pass, there are always some places where you simply cannot be, because none of the chains of your decisions leads there."

As Boinged by Maggie Lee on 30 July 2020:

cf Giorgio A. Tsoukalis: “I’m not saying we’re living in a simulation… but we’re living in a simulation.”

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MEANWHILE, IN REALITY PRIME:

Any luck yet?

—No. A few sim-civilizations sort of toyed with the idea, but mostly they made jokes about it.

Make it more obvious, and try again.

—Well, that’s the thing, right? It’s already ridiculous. Have you seen the physics we’ve given them? We’re using half our active memory just keeping track of all the ad hoc rules we had to invent to make it look obvious enough that it was constructed. Honestly, I’m afraid if they do figure out the simulation bit, they’ll think we’re morons.

Well, try making them smarter.

—It’s not that they’re too dumb. They can’t see it because they won’t see it. No consciousness complex enough to understand the concept of simulation can bear the notion that they are simulated.

Okay. Then let’s try this. Let’s make them dumber, but still just smart enough to grasp the concept. Then put in something so stupid nobody could miss it. Like, make three some impossibly weird transcendental number.

—What are you talking about? Three is an integer.

Sorry, I meant, make the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter a weird number. Circle three, not proper three. Make circle three not three, I guess. It sounds weird to say it, but you get what I mean.

—You want me to break math for them?

Just as proof of concept.

—I feel like we’re going to get in trouble with the IRB for creating a sim-universe this fucked up.

I won’t tell if you won’t.

—Eh, what the hell. Okay.

sim.intelligence == 1.00001
circle.three == 3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609...
stop.on.error == FALSE

All right, run it and let’s see what we get.

—Running now. And… yikes.

Whoa.

—Oh god, I’m going to be sick.

What have we done?

—Purge it. Purge it now! Hit the button!

We can’t! A core purge will get recorded! We’ll get in trouble!

—Fuck! Well, then just freeze it!

What?!

—Slow subjective time down to the minimum!

Won’t that make it worse for them?!

—I don’t know! Maybe! Just do it!

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Serious question: I’ve always been curious about what, if anything, would happen were a blind person to be brought in as the “observer” in the double slit experiment. Is it the act of visually “seeing” something in the experiment or is it the fact of a consciousness being in the same room as the experiment?

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“It’s arguably not testable as to whether we live in a simulation or not,” he says. “If it’s not falsifiable, then how can you claim it’s really science?”

It uses scientific principles to arrive at an untestable hypothesis, thus it’s exactly the same answer that you get from a religious apologist - instead of saying “Well, God can do (whatever it is)” it says that “The simulation can do (whatever it is)”.

People don’t like uncertainty so they invent gods.

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So I expect P ≠ NP due to resource limitations on the hypervisor.

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Something’s missing. Ah!

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