Saturday, April 15, 2017

Is our universe a Simulation?

What is a simulation? 

A lot of people ask me how I can up with the idea of my book SIMULATION, and I have to tell them the story was based on the possibility that everything around us is an illusion. Modern science hints at the possibility that our universe itself is a simulation--or something to the effect of a 'computer game' so to speak. 

That brings us to the question of the MATRIX which proposes that humanity is more a less living in a simulation within their own mind, hooked to tubes as they sleep so that machines can suck their body energy as food. Kind of disturbing. But how close could the MATRIX be in real life?

More disturbingly, "the science-fiction nightmare of being trapped in a universe manufactured within our minds can be traced back further, for instance to David Cronenberg's Videodrome (1983) and Terry Gilliam's Brazil (1985)."

Not only may we be in the MATIRX, but we may not even have bodies at all. That may also be a simulation. 

"Several physicists, cosmologists and technologists are now happy to entertain the idea that we are all living inside a gigantic computer simulation, experiencing a Matrix-style virtual world that we mistakenly think is real."

Even Elon Musk had a thing or two to say about this idea."In June 2016, technology entrepreneur Elon Musk asserted that the odds are "a billion to one" against us living in "base reality"

"Musk and other like-minded folk are suggesting that we are entirely simulated beings. We could be nothing more than strings of information manipulated in some gigantic computer, like the characters in a video game"

But why all this talk about simulations? There are a few reasons, I think. One is that we use simulation models for all kinds of things. To understand animals better, or to understand cosmology or even flight patterns. We use simulations to learn to fly and or how life will be like in space. It is used in training, and these simulations are getting more complex. 

Would it be possible to one day create a virtual being which experiences consciousness? Some think so. That opens up a whole can of worms. What are these virtual conscious beings rights? Do they feel pain, pleasure? Do they have subjective feelings and thoughts about it? Do they experience? Do they remember the experience? 

In physics this idea keeps popping up too. The universe behaves mathematically and can be broken up into subatomic particles like pixelated video games. 

"The simulation hypothesis also accounts for peculiarities in quantum mechanics, particularly the measurement problem, whereby things only become defined when they are observed."

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