by Paul Ratner
the quasicrystalline spin network (QSN),
the fundamental substructure of spacetime,
according to emergence theory.
A new hypothesis says
the universe self-simulates itself
in a "strange loop".
A paper from the
Quantum Gravity Research institute
proposes there is an underlying panconsciousness.
The work looks to unify insight
from quantum mechanics
with a non-materialistic perspective...
Philosopher Nick Bostrom famously considered this in his seminal paper "Are you Living in a Computer Simulation?," where he proposed that,
Now a new theory has come along that takes it a step further:
The physical universe is a "strange loop" says the new paper titled "The Self-Simulation Hypothesis Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics" from the team at the Quantum Gravity Research, a Los Angeles-based theoretical physics institute founded by the scientist and entrepreneur Klee Irwin.
They take Bostrom's simulation hypothesis, which maintains that all of reality is an extremely detailed computer program, and ask,
They tie this idea to quantum mechanics, seeing the universe as one of many possible quantum gravity models...
One important aspect that differentiates this view relates to the fact that Bostrom's original hypothesis is materialistic, seeing the universe as inherently physical.
To Bostrom, we could simply be part of an ancestor simulation, engineered by posthumans.
Even the process of evolution itself could just be a mechanism by which the future beings are testing countless processes, purposefully moving humans through levels of biological and technological growth. In this way they also generate the supposed information or history of our world.
Ultimately, we wouldn't know the difference...
Their hypothesis takes a non-materialistic approach, saying that everything is information expressed as thought.
Under this proposal, the entire simulation of everything in existence is just one "grand thought."
How would the simulation itself be originated?
This is also where the rule of efficient language comes in, suggesting that humans themselves are such "emergent sub-thoughts" and they experience and find meaning in the world through other sub-thoughts (called "code-steps or actions") in the most economical fashion.
In correspondence with Big Think, physicist David Chester elaborated:
The authors think that their "panpsychic self-simulation model" can even explain the origin of an overarching panconsciousness at the foundational level of the simulations, which,
This panconsciousness also has free will and its various nested levels essentially have the ability to select what code to actualize, while making syntax choices.
The goal of this consciousness? To generate meaning or information...
If all of this is hard to grasp, the authors offer another interesting idea that may link your everyday experience to these philosophical considerations.
Think of your dreams as your own personal self-simulations, postulates the team.
While they are rather primitive (by super-intelligent future AI standards), dreams tend to provide better resolution than current computer modeling and are a great example of the evolution of the human mind.
As the scientists write,
They point especially to lucid dreams, where the dreamer is aware of being in a dream, as instances of very accurate simulations created by your mind that may be impossible to distinguish from any other reality.
To that end, now that you're sitting here reading this article, how do you really know you're not in a dream? The experience seems very high in resolution but so do some dreams.
It's not too much of a reach to imagine that an extremely powerful computer that we may be able to make in not-too-distant future could duplicate this level of detail.
The team also proposes that in the coming years we will be able to create designer consciousnesses for ourselves as advancements in gene editing could allow us to make our own mind-simulations much more powerful.
We may also see minds emerging that do not require matter at all.
While some of these ideas are certainly controversial in the mainstream science circles, Klee and his team respond that,