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Life as a simulation.

Religion and Philosophy
Forum rules
we are introducing this on a trial basis and that respect for other's views is important e.g. phrases like "your imaginary friend" or "you will go to hell" are not appropriate
WickedLester
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Life as a simulation.

#651701

Postby WickedLester » March 6th, 2024, 11:43 am

Here's an interesting article I just read.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... out-50-50/

After you've read it (if you do) ask yourself this:

Are we living in a computer simulation, or am I?
Last edited by WickedLester on March 6th, 2024, 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

Tedx
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Re: Life as a simulation.

#651702

Postby Tedx » March 6th, 2024, 11:44 am

The truth is out there.

Gerry557
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Re: Life as a simulation.

#651735

Postby Gerry557 » March 6th, 2024, 1:14 pm

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0133093/

Just pick what colour pill you need.

For fun, crank up the surround sound and fast forward to the lobby scene. 8-)

kempiejon
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Re: Life as a simulation.

#651738

Postby kempiejon » March 6th, 2024, 1:17 pm

WickedLester wrote:Here's an interesting article I just read.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... out-50-50/

After you've read it (if you do) ask yourself this:

Are we living in a computer simulation, or am I?


I heard his idea on the Infinite Monkey Cage podcast. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/b08zb4d8 you'll need a licence and/or account.
Alan Watts expounds on life and dreaming, they even nicked a bit to use for a car advert or something recently. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abWBb1SxkXc&t=17s

I have worked through the idea of reality and I'm not convinced that other people are. For my own convictions, much like the butterfly dreaming he's a man now, I'm not sold. I see the simulation glitches so this isn't real; then I doubt myself and blame my perception, then it happens again. I've seen things that are not there, not seen things that are there. My senses construct my illusion of reality or there are no senses and my thoughts are just making it all up. Red pill or blue?

XFool
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Re: Life as a simulation.

#651744

Postby XFool » March 6th, 2024, 1:27 pm

kempiejon wrote:
WickedLester wrote:Here's an interesting article I just read.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... out-50-50/

After you've read it (if you do) ask yourself this:

Are we living in a computer simulation, or am I?

I have worked through the idea of reality and I'm not convinced that other people are. For my own convictions, much like the butterfly dreaming he's a man now, I'm not sold. I see the simulation glitches so this isn't real; then I doubt myself and blame my perception, then it happens again. I've seen things that are not there, not seen things that are there.

"I've seen thing you people wouldn't believe..."

redsturgeon
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Re: Life as a simulation.

#657615

Postby redsturgeon » April 3rd, 2024, 10:42 am

The best short video on the subject that I have seen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wMhXxZ1zNM

The double slit experiment is the most convincing evidence for me.

mc2fool
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Re: Life as a simulation.

#657618

Postby mc2fool » April 3rd, 2024, 11:04 am

I recall (I think) Roger Penrose musing on this back in the (IIRC) late 80s/early 90s while discussing a possible Theory of Everything (although I don't recall where) and pondering on what one would mean for our perception of reality.

The musing went something like this: suppose we do come up with a Theory of Everything and we program it up into a (massive) computer simulation and we let the simulation run. Big bang happens in the simulation (maybe), the universe is created and expands, stars form, galaxies form, planets form, life forms on some planets in the simulation, life evolves, intelligent life appears, and eventually intelligent creatures in the simulation sit in (chat) rooms and discuss the nature of reality ... ;)

... and then one of them comes up with a Theory of Everything. :D

CliffEdge
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Re: Life as a simulation.

#657649

Postby CliffEdge » April 3rd, 2024, 1:14 pm

It would be interesting to see if there would be a practical difference other than the difference between living in a studio flat rather than a mansion.

stewamax
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Re: Life as a simulation.

#658439

Postby stewamax » April 8th, 2024, 10:42 am

There could be several types of simulation, ranging from:
a. my perception of the outside world, and even my own thoughts (i.e. extreme solipsism)
b. the outside world itself (i.e. the cosmos appears real not just to me but to everyone else)
c. the outside world is 'almost' real, but at the lowest level (well below the Planck scale), interactions such as quantum gravity are being simulated (analogous to the way the hypervisors of virtual machines work in IT)

All too many years ago I was running the tech side of a large IT department and as a trial I installed IBM’s VM (a hypervisor). I then ran the usual operating systems (VS1; MVS; it was that long ago! - individually and together) under it to evaluate the effect on their performance. VM gave the underlying operating system the illusion that it was running on a real machine.
Which to my mind raised the obvious question: can I run successfully VM under VM? So I did, and it did. Then being a total nerd, I then ran a third VM under the second one, and it also ran – slowly, and with the added challenge that controlling them was difficult because they were all acting the same and it was very unclear which one I was giving commands to. Each ‘level’ looked identical.

So the cosmological questions ‘are we living a simulation’ or ‘is reality a simulation’ do indeed prompt the follow-on question: if each universe (‘operating system’) is a simulation, with the multiverse containing the innumerable ‘operating systems’, a multiverse of multiverses is also possible – to a potentially infinite level of regress.

There is a common assumption that a. and b. are running on a mammoth computer, but this begs the question of why. Why would anyone so advanced and with the technology to build such a simulation bother to do so. Not entertainment surely, but possibly to evaluate things than can only be ascertained through simulation in the way many (calculus) integrals can only be evaluated numerically.

A final confession: my very first job was writing railway-area simulators!

Adamski
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Re: Life as a simulation.

#658458

Postby Adamski » April 8th, 2024, 12:02 pm

If life is a simulation, I'd like to have a polite word with the manager! And ask him, her, they to speak to everyone on earth simultaneously and tell the trouble makers to behave themselves.

stewamax
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Re: Life as a simulation.

#658606

Postby stewamax » April 9th, 2024, 9:29 am

Perhaps space and everything in it really exist, but it is time itself that is being simulated.
In Einstein's block universe, the past, present and future all exist 'together' as one big chunk of space-time. So it is our illusion of the passage of time that is being simulated.


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