Now streaming: Glitch in the Matrix, a new documentary about people who think we're living in a simulation

Originally published at: Now streaming: Glitch in the Matrix, a new documentary about people who think we're living in a simulation | Boing Boing


I’m all done with conspiracy theories, really. It’s like they [conspiracy theories] are impossible to avoid…


“Now available everywhere”. I am in France. I have netflix, amazon prime, Apple TV. This is not available. I tried on amazon to pay $5: “You need a US credit card”. Can you explain? Why do you say “everywhere” if this is just the US?


Thanks for the opportunity to connect your friend.
Watching The Nightmare now.
Looking forward to Glitch in the Matrix

I haven’t seen this documentary but the idea is an interesting hypothesis. However I would think if it’s true then there would be no way of testing it since all of our testing tools would be part of the simulation as well.

This movie is well made, but it gives way, WAAAAAY too much screen time to the guy who murdered his parents. This normalizes this behavior. While he has atoned for this with his work, the filmmaker very much should have established who this person is and what he did to his own parents from jump street. This humanizes this monster in a way that is not cool. The first hour of this doc is great. If you wanna hang out with a murderer and share some smiles before you realize what a complete POS he is, be my guest.

There are certain heuristics one could apply:



I wish I could believe, because then I could blame the shittiness of my life on someone else’s poor decisions.

…Oh wait.

So THATS how religion works!

It all suddenly makes sense.

Religion is definitely bullshit. That much is definitely clear to me.


If this is a simulation, I want to speak with the programmer.



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The horrifying graphics and screeching sound makes me want to jump off a cliff.

Maybe living in a simulation is fun and it all gets better after we learn what’s up.


It’s not available due to a matrix glitch.

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Immediately at the beginning of the documentary they basically give the overall answer to this conundrum. I will spoiler it for folks that care about that kind of thing:

A student is taught that the root metaphors for our mental makeup are based on the most applicable, highest level of technology of the day. The teacher later goes on to describe the mind as a computer. :thinking:

So, duh, yeah, we’d think we are living in a “simulation”, since we make simulations, and we’d assume everyone makes simulations, and we imagine simulations are about as good as it gets. Obviously we are the best of everything possible so people better than us would just have more-perfected versions of what we already have.

I think it is a silly assumption. It’s like people in the 1800’s thinking space travel would be powered by steam. We use the metaphors we have. If an sufficiently advanced species “made” our universe they may have just made a real one as a physics experiment. If we are going to talk about alien civilizations being spectacularly advanced, “computers” and “simulations” are a pretty lame stopping point.

The people saying the odds are billions-to-one against us being in the “real world” are just… I dunno. It’s a level of twisting reality normally only reached by religion. I question their ability to judge reality rationally (looking at you, Elon).

I guess I should add I enjoyed the documentary a lot. I think it really is interesting hearing the life stories of these people, how they came to these ideas and how they rationalize them. Kind of telling on all fronts.

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Spot on. I’d also like to throw on the fact that the simulation hypothesis bashes the crap out of Occam’s Razor, because if we’re not perceiving reality, then this theory would require there to be some form of undetectable reality (and all of the complexity that it entails), and on top of that, whatever resulted in an amazingly intricately constructed artificial reality (and however it got built)!

Having said all that, I am quite willing to believe that the sensory information that reaches our brains is not showing us a complete or accurate representation of the universe. It just happens to be the representation that most effectively allowed our species to survive up to this point. I find exploring the gap between that portrayal of reality and what it actually is, far more compelling than this kind of speculation. The little quirks that don’t add up - like the results of the double slit experiment, Heisenberg Uncertainty, and Quantum Entanglement - give us hints that we need to find new tools to help us understand what our senses conceal.


It IS available everywhere. In Your Head. :slight_smile:

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That certainly seems to be a take on religion many people embrace, but it’s literally the opposite of the perspective of plenty of religious people. Not all religious belief systems resemble, say, ultra-conservative evangelical American Christian churches.

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As an aside, I personally think the realm of “digital physics” is a much more interesting and useful take on some of these ideas, vs. the idea of a “simulated universe.” Certainly some overlap in concepts, but digital physics has been around since Konrad Zuse and John Wheeler. Very interesting stuff IMHO.

The core of the idea is, the basic building block of everything is information, and everything that is, is the result and expression of informational and computational processes. These processes would likely be more quantum and probabilistic in nature, of course, than a typical human computer. Wheeler’s idea was “It from Bit,” but “It from Qubit” seems to be gaining a bit more steam – no pun intended, ha!

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Lived in Japan for 3 years, stayed with monks one night on Mount Koya. Spent part of my degree studying different aspects of Zen , Shingon and other sects of Buddhism.

Good and conscientious catch.

It was more of a rail against the exact people you mention, and western Christianity in general.

I don’t think all religion is bullshit- just many aspects of it.

I don’t believe in a god, but I’m perpetually open to the existence of one. I simply accept that noone living can likely know the answer.

There are many aspects of non-western religions that I do embrace in how I live my life, I don’t harm animals or living things needlessly, but I’m not vegan. My personal take is fairly complex, and would take a long time to fully unpack.


I think a lot of the problems come from real science using metaphors. They are a way of thinking about what the universe is like, not an actual description of what the universe is. Thereafter people creatively draw conclusions from the literal object of the metaphor, and it is all downhill from there.

Like the folks in this documentary, many of which had… I dunno how to put it politely… skewed mindsets before their realization of the “simulation”? The human mind frames its view of things then looks for data to back it up, and these metaphors seem to always find people who twist them into the strangest shapes, like the Solipsism in this documentary.

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Awesome!!! Zen hooked me in jr. high and high school. It was my first real exposure to (what I would describe as) nondualism and meditation. It, heh, made a lot of sense to me – koan included. :wink: I’m sure you have lots of wonderful stories about that time in Japan. :slight_smile: It’s a place very dear to me.

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