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Are we living in an advanced simulation?

Discussion in 'Off Topic: Sports, Funnies, Pop-Culture' started by ChrisV, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. ChrisV
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    ChrisV Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Well have you heard his thoughts on reality? They’re.. interesting. Apparently he thinks reality is ‘almost definitely’ .... a simulation.



    But that being said, there are some prominent physicists that say that notion might not be too far fetched.

     
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  2. csalvato
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    csalvato Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    The statistical probability of reality being a simulation is actually greater than us existing in base reality...
     
  3. Morethan1
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    Morethan1 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    No one is asking "why". Why would higher beings run a simulation. What is the purpose of spending so much energy running simulations?
     
  4. csalvato
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    csalvato Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Why people play SimCity?
     
  5. Morethan1
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    Morethan1 Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    I never played simcity but I see your point.
     
  6. lowtek
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    lowtek Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Off topic, but I'll bite:

    That is hinged on the assumption that it's possible to a) simulate our entire universe and b) simulate conscious minds to observe said universe.

    Neither have been proven, so statements about "statistical probability" are misinformed.

    The simulation hypothesis is interesting, but unfortunately doesn't really tell us anything about reality.
     
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  7. csalvato
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    Cool! Glad you bit! I love being a nerd on this stuff.

    So, for funsies....if you assume the fact that:

    1. It is possible to simulate the entire universe
    2. It is possible to simulate conscious minds

    Then it's very very unlikely that we are in base reality.

    We can't really disprove 1 or 2 at the moment, and you can prove that 1 and 2 do not currently exist (at least in this simulation, if we assume for a moment we are in a simulation.)

    However, it is conceivable that both of these are possible, even within this simulation.

    The rate of technological increase has the singularity somewhere within the next decade according to super-intelligence experts (who make very convincing first-principles arguments for this...something covered in this book really well). After the singularity, having millions and billions of synthetic conscious minds seems perfectly plausible.

    And simulating the universe wouldn't be too difficult beyond that, especially if the conscious minds that could perceive it were only able to perceive a small, infinitesimally small portion of it (such as we humans can).

    So while #1 and #2 are not currently true, there's reason to believe they are possible, both in this simulation and without it. And if it's possible, it's likely to have already been done. And it's likely that we aren't the ones who will do it first (thus we are likely not in base reality).
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
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  8. lowtek
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    lowtek Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    I'm quite familiar with the argument, I should have spared you the time and stated that up front.

    Trying to argue that after the singularity simulating a universe of conscious minds would be trivial is circular reasoning. It assumes it's possible to simulate a mind with general intelligence at all. You can't assume what you're trying to prove.

    The reasoning behind the existence of a so called technological singularity is even worse than the simulation hypothesis. At least the simulation hypothesis is sound. Whether or not it's true is different from it being a sound argument, mind you.

    This whole singularity notion is extremely misguided. It conflates "Moore's law" with the emergence of intelligence. It's essentially saying "computing power doubles every 18 months" (not the original observation and also not true anymore, but whatever, it just stretches the timeline, fair enough) therefore we will have machines capable of general intelligence, and ultimately super intelligence, within the next 20 years. In no way shape or form does that conclusion follow from the premise.

    There is a phenomenological difference between a faster calculator and the ability to reason about the world in a general sense.

    Perhaps we should start a separate thread on these topics. We've strayed pretty far from the premise of the OP. I enjoy the debate, mainly because I'm in the contrarian camp. I think all of these arguments are pseudo-scientific nonsense best saved for the realm of science fiction.
     
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  9. ApparentHorizon
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    Do you really have to simulate the ENTIRE universe?

    This is a game called Horizon, and what you're seeing is the world rendering only where the user looks.

    https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-medi...ogressive,q_80,w_800/ucoln8kedwfglsrlxvm5.gif

    General relativity also tells us that the bigger the mass, the more time slows down. Think black holes (Watch Interstellar movie. It gets its science mostly right)

    (Fun fact: the satellites that provide our GPS info "live" faster than us down here by a few, micro seconds I believe, or similar. Because they're moving faster, and are farther from the earth. If they weren't corrected for this, your GPS would be off by 10 kilometers in just a day)

    This is how computers work. The more info they have to process, the slower they are. Black holes, being "infinitely dense" harbor the most mass in one space. Thus, this is where time is the slowest.

    Where this would help us is in simulating our own universe. If we can map and explore our current laws into a program where we can move from one spot to another instantaneously, it will help us understand our world and make more accurate predictions about our future.

    It may even answer some of our deepest questions, like why are we here, what is consciousness, and do we really have free will?

    AND we may actually be able to test if we are actually in a simulation! If we can observe a "glitch" or a pocket of space that doesn't comply with our current understanding of the laws of physics.

    The problem with that is:
    1. Would we discount it as us not understanding the laws of the universe, and refining our models to see what we observe?
    2. Would the programmer just rewind and fix it without us knowing?

    There's also another problem with the simulation theory. Each nested simulation cannot be more complex than its parent simulation. Otherwise, you'd overload the computer and the whole thing would shut down.

    The most compelling argument for this theory is rules. Why is the speed of light exactly, 299,792,458 m/s?

    If you look at any video game, it has strict mathematical definitions. How high you can jump. How fast you can move. etc.

    Why is the universe structured?

    Maybe we should take this to a separate thread? @MJ DeMarco
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
  10. csalvato
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    csalvato Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    I think we actually agree on a lot! More computing power is definitely different to computers capable of reasoning.
    If we assume that it's not possible, then you're absolutely right.

    If we assume it is possible, then it's far more likely this is not base reality.

    There's also the possibility that a simulation creator would have more knowledge and means than we currently do.

    It doesn't currently exist, but that doesn't mean it's not possible. Right now, though, we don't know. :) /shrug
     
  11. Almantas
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    Almantas Nothing to Lose Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    I think the guy that simulated me was in a rush.
     
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  12. rogue synthetic
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    rogue synthetic * Not actually Rutger Hauer Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    You're right in the spirit, and I agree with you though I try to be more charitable about the argument itself. It isn't science or even a scientific argument, since it isn't a result of observation (how you'd observe this I have no idea) or a part of any scientific theory.

    The simulation argument is what in better times we'd call a philosophical argument. It's a puzzle that isn't going to be settled by more obervations, more data, more experiments. And it isn't quite the sort of question you can just "logic" away with more inferences, or analysis of concepts, a better theory of probability, or what have you. In this sense it is absolutely pseudo-science -- it's riding on the prestige of science and borrowing an aura of authenticity while having very little to do with any scientific theory.

    We can estimate the probability of a coin toss because it's a well-bounded problem and a coin only has two states. The probability of the universe's existence, or being a simulation of something else? That's an entirely different sack of potatoes. One reason is due to the kind of question being asked, another is due to the way we can proceed in answering them.

    The simulation argument isn't much different than the metaphysics that scholastic philosophers were doing in the middle ages. It's trying to get at some basic issues, what kinds of things exist, what sorts of categories do we use to talk about them, how we know about them. It is hard to draw aline here between what is speculative, that is, what kinds of concepts or stories we cook up to make sense of observations, and what is part of method, what we should assume in order to proceed in (say) physics.

    Any explanation supposes *some* background which won't be part of the theory, but there is a huge difference in saying "we supposed ABC as part of our model of (some interesting phenomenon)" and "the things we supposed for our model are real". Well-defined questions asked under reasonable constraints can provide reasonable probabilities. But we aren't anywhere near that territory in the SA.

    Lots of people today think that there's no point to speculation beyond the best science, that it's all a waste of time, and let's burn any books that talk about it while we're at it.* I'm more in the camp that thinks there is nothing wrong with a little speculation so long as we take it for what it is: just a way of asking different questions and creating new ideas. It's a game that we play to help make sense of things.

    As long as we keep that in mind, it's cool. Sadly a lot of people don't, and some of the worst offenders are the public intellectuals who should know better but strangely do not. (Domain dependence is a hell of a thing.) It all ends up blurring the lines between legitimate science and what isn't much more than New Age woo. The difference is, at least theologians in the middle ages knew they were talking about God. It's a different ballpark when New Age woo is dressed up as science.

    * David Hume was the original book-burner.
     
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  13. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    Admin Post
    These posts have been extracted from the ELON MUSK thread into their own thread, seeing they have taken on a life of their own.

    Carry on...
     
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  14. GoGetter24
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    GoGetter24 Silver Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Amen. If I'm a simulation I've got a few choice words to say to my programmer. Must be some real sicko. Just waiting for when I get to respawn as Christiano Ronaldo.

    But no, Musk is rich and successful but it doesn't mean he isn't a wacko nerd who thinks we live in the matrix. Incidentally, I've noticed that most of those types are acid tweakers I meet in drinking districts. Could explain a few things....
     
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  15. csalvato
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    csalvato Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    One of my points is that deducing that we may be in a simulation does not mean someone is a "wacko".
     
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  16. The Abundant Man
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    Neo(Keanu Reeves) will save us from the machines...
     
  17. kelvinfernandezm
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    kelvinfernandezm Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    The person who simulated me forgot to fix a few bugs in me.

    But on a more serious note yes we are running on a simulation. The most advanced ancient civilizations knew about the simulation. Of course they had different ways to describe them and used different words.

    In Vedanta philosohpy of India the one running this simulation is called Brahma. You're just a node that is connected to other smaller and bigger nodes in the grand scheme of things. Gears within gears.

    Even though Brahma runs this simulation we call the universe there are even more Brahmas out there running their own simulations. Something like parrallel universes.
     
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  18. ApparentHorizon
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    Well if the Indians are right, you'll reincarnate based on what you don in this life. :)

    Why do they have format our hard drives tho.

    I was literally just writing the same thing as you posted. Do you know of any other groups of people having a mechanical view of the world?

    Also, by that argument, we can even say the main religions believe in a Programmer. We're just all calling it by a different name. Does it even have to be an actual person. We're just attributing human characteristics because that's all we know.

    However, in reality as we understand it, both sides, for and against the simulation theory are weak.

    A recent paper concludes that because quantum mechanics would be impossible to simulate due to its high complexity, we cannot possibly be in a computer.

    Then you have people like S. James Gates who thinks he's found error correcting computer code in the equations that describe our universe. ....in string theory that is. Which hasn't made any significant progress for a long time.

    The original argument by the man himself:



    His second idea seems the least-plausible, given human nature.

    Therefore, we're either going to die or prove with near certainty that we live in a simulation.
     
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  19. jasoncuellar123
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    Would you live your life any differently if it was?
     
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    It's like the predestiny theory in Calvinism in that our lives are preplanned. God already has his chosen people. You didn't become a Christian through choice. It was because he already chose you to be.

    If our lives are a simulation then why bother?
     
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  21. csalvato
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    csalvato Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    IMHO it's all about the frame you choose to adopt.

    For example, if you believe that, statistically, we are in a simulation, it's easier to take life less seriously. If you believe life is a test for your immortal soul, you probably take it more seriously.
     
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  22. ApparentHorizon
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    Wonder if there are cheat codes.

    up up down down left right left right b a select start
     
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    kelvinfernandezm Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    Yes there's another group that have this mechanical worldview, scientists.

    I don't think we're attributing human characteristics to this programmer because we can see the laws he has layed down on this universe in nature. For example the Finobacci sequence, polarity, fractals, exponentials. It's more like humans are atributted the characteristics of the programmer.

    At the end of the day both materialist and spiritualists are both trying to explain this reality. One explains with spiritual words the other one with scientific words. One is focused on the macro scale the other on the micro scale. One likes the whole the other the details. But they are just two sides of the same coin.

    The "truths" of this universe are lost in translation.
     
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  24. SteveO
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    I believe that we are a simulation that is designed and run by ourselves. If we are connected well enough, we have the ability to control more and see some of what is going on. This has been the reality that I have lived by for years. We are connected in ways that we cannot fully understand while here.
     
  25. SteveO
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    Not exactly a simulation... More of an experience or adventure. I feel that most of us take life much more seriously than we need to. In fact, I believe that we would accomplish more if we could keep our emotions in check and follow our instincts/intuition.
     
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