January 02, 2017
Contrary to the many movies, books, and
personal speculations on the future, we have so far no flying cars and no
robot servants, no time travel or warp speed. And yet, so much has
changed, but we simply didn't see the technology coming.
Though it may sound like another idea best left for the creatives of the world, it's actually a legitimate scientific hypothesis.
Researchers have been mulling over the possibility all year long. One of the biggest arguments for the simulation hypothesis came from University of Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrum in 2003.
Bostrum posed the idea that members of an advanced civilization with massive computer power may choose to generate simulations of their ancestors.
They could potentially be able to run multiple simulations at one time, and most of the minds contained therein would eventually be artificial ones, as opposed to the original ancestral minds.
Statistics say we would most likely be the simulated minds.
As times goes on, we learn more and more about the universe, and it seems that the more we figure out, the more likely it can be assumed it's all based on mathematical laws.
Our virtual reality is further supported by the ideas from information theory that continue to show up in physics.
High-profile advocates continue to bring this idea to the fore.
Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk said that the odds are "a billion to one" against us living in "base reality."
Google's machine-intelligence mastermind Ray Kurzweil said that,
Maybe we don't need to. Maybe, dare I say, it doesn't even matter.
The bottom line is, why worry, when it is likely to be extremely difficult, or even impossible, to find enough valuable evidence to prove we are in a simulation.
It's also important to note that, if we are living in a giant simulation, we have been programmed to function within the rules of the game, so we wouldn't know the difference anyway.
Philip Ball also brings up the point that, even though people like Elon Musk are considering this theory, he most likely doesn't view everything around him, including his friends and family, as characters of a computer game.
Perhaps we shouldn't care simply because it cannot be proven at this time that comprehending this reality would change our thoughts or actions. And without this link, our reality can only continue to be meaningful in the way that we know it, real or not.
But, if we are indeed living in one,
Interesting to think about....