The Simulated Universe: Is Reality Real?
Why A Simulation?
Why would anyone think our universe to be a simulation? We were born here, our parents were born here, their parents and so on. We know all about how the planet formed, how the sun formed, and how the galaxy formed, more or less. We have all this information about the universe and we think that we know that it is real we don't ever give it a second thought.
But what if someone told you that there was a computer that had all the same information that was in our universe. A Simulated universe that was exactly the same in every way. Would want to go see this simulation? But what would you see? If it was indeed the exact same you would see yourself in the simulation at the same computer. Then how would you know that you were in fact not already in the simulation? It is quite eerie to think about like that. Not knowing if you were a simulated being.
There is serious research going into simulation theory. Ideas being tested that might help shed light on whether we are in a computer simulation. The idea goes all the way back to René Descartes in the 17th century. He thought that if the senses could be fooled, that maybe everything around us might be just an illusion. This was before computers were around, and before anyone knew that the brain interpreted electric signals as our reality. Now we know that with the right kind of computer, we could hypothetically wire a brain up and input any of our senses into it and that brain wouldn't be able to tell the difference. That would be its reality!
Whatever I have accepted until now as most true has come to me through my senses. But occasionally I have found that they have deceived me, and it is unwise to trust completely those who have deceived us even once. "— René Descartes
What Do You Think?
Is The Universe A Simulation
How Many Universes?
Going back to the beginning of this post, in the supercomputer. If you were looking at the simulation, you couldn't be sure if you were in the real world. Or even if there were a thousand simulations stacked on top of yours. If a civilization had just one simulated universe, then the chances of anyone being in the the "real world" are very small. Imagine if we could simulate this universe, then its probable that the simulation would be able to make its own simulation. This might continue until there are a thousand universes, or a million. If that was the case then out of all the billions, or trillions of simulated beings you being the real one would be highly unlikely.
Now a simulated universe is not the only type of simulation. My favorite would probably be the Boltzmann brain, it goes something like this. Given infinite time any non-impossible arrangement of particles will happen. This means that if you have a universe full of particles and infinite time then any combination of particles will happen. Like a Giraffe, or a rock, or even a human brain with all of your memories living your entire life in an instant.
Back to more probable scenarios, just simulating one brain would be enough. This brain would be the only entity in its reality only simulating just enough to keep it thinking that everything is real. Like when its in a room, only what it can see is rendered. Or maybe reality is everything to the horizon, and beyond that is waiting for its chance to exist.
There is even a chance that we are all in the matrix with real bodies just plugged into a communal simulation. Maybe for fun, or as a way to experience life in this time. Or is this life a placement test, to see what our purpose will be in a futuristic world where life as we know it is based on a glorified computer game! Strange as all this may be it's likely that we will never know for certain, unless we can find a glitch or error in the programming of this universe.
What do you think?