In the future, it might become possible to reproduce or simulate entire Universes but if this is an option, how can we know that it’s not already happened? What if we are not creators, but creation? Is it possible that we are not real, and we don’t even know it?
If our present understanding of Physics is correct, then it is impossible to duplicate or reproduce the whole universe, with its trillions and quadrillions of things but we don’t actually need to anyway. We only need enough universe to fool the inhabitants of our simulation, into thinking that they’re real,
Who needs billions of galaxies? We only need the space our subjects are allowed to explore. The vast universe could just be a flat projection, and they have no way to know.
What about small things like cells or bacteria? We don’t really need them. When we use a microscope, what we see could be instantly created. Same with atoms the chair you’re sitting on right now does not need to be simulated with quadrillions of atoms. We just need the outermost layer of it, it might be empty inside until you decide to break it open. Your body might feel like it is filled with bubbly things, but it might be empty until you open it.
The minimum requirement for our simulation or duplication is only the consciousness of our virtual humans. Our subjects just need to think the simulation or duplication is real. So are we being simulated?
- It is possible to simulate consciousness. Nobody knows what consciousness is for the sake of Argument, Let’s assume that you could generate consciousness by simulating a brain. brains are pretty complex. If you count every interaction between synapses (the junction between two neurons) as one operation, your brain runs at about ten to the power of seventeen, for one hundred million billion operations, per second. Let’s generously assume we need ten to the power of twenty operations. So we need a computer able to handle million, trillion operations per second. More operations than there are stars in the observable universe. The computer like this is just impossible. Except maybe it isn’t.
- Technological progress will not stop any time soon, If we assume that technological progress continues in a similar fashion as it has so far, then there might be galaxy-spanning civilizations, with unlimited computer power at some point because of technology level so advanced, that we could barely distinguish them from God. A computer that can handle a million, trillion, trillion operations is a serious business, but there are actually concepts for computers, which could handle this.
- Advanced civilizations don’t destroy themselves. If there is a point if all civilizations destroyed themselves, this whole discussion ends here. Looking into space you’d expect to universe filled, with millions of alien civilizations, but we see nobody, the reason for this might be great filters. Great filters are barriers life has to overcome like nuclear war, asteroids, climate change or a black hole generator. If life is inherently self-destructive, then there are no simulations.
- Super Advanced civilizations want to run simulations. When we speak of posthuman civilizations, we don’t know what we’re dealing with, To the thing we know what being as powerful as Gods want, is pretty arrogant. Imagine the smartest ant on Earth living next to an amusement park, It’s curious about what humans are up to, so you try to explain. Unfortunately, The ant doesn’t understand. The concept of rollercoaster and standing in lines and holidays and fun doesn’t make sense to an ant living an ant life. It’s the same with us and a posthuman being, compared to them, we are ants. Running simulations for fun or science might be an absurdly stupid idea to them. But if they do want to run simulations for whatever reasons assumptions one, two, three are true too, then the chances are not zero that you are living inside a simulation.
- If there are a lot of simulations or duplications, you are probably inside a simulation or duplications. If there is a simulated civilization, it’s likely that there are a lot of them. After all, we assume that posthuman beings have access to practically unlimited computing power. So if they run simulations, it would be convenient to run or millions or even billions of them. If there are billions of simulated universes, there are probably trillions and trillions of simulated conscious beings which would mean that the vast majority of all conscious beings that will ever have existed, are simulated. so, for every conscious being made of flesh, a billion simulated ones exist.
Since we have no way of knowing if we are simulated or not, in this case, the chances of you being one of the nine hundred and ninety-nine million nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand nine hundred ninety-nine simulated ones, are pretty high. So, what you consider reality, might not be real at all. You really might be simulated or duplicated.
All of this is based on a lot of assumptions that we can’t really test right now. So many scientists disagree with this whole thought experiment. So don’t burn your house down to test if there will be glitches. if you are simulated, not that many changes for you. You might be on a small planet speeding through eternal nothingness or simulation inside a computer.
Your existence does not become more or less scary and bizarre. All we can hope to do is try to live good lives, and have a good time. And hope that if we actually are simulations in a supercomputer, nobody trips over the power cable. I think I just unplugged the simulation but what if that doesn’t matter, what if we are in one right now? What if you are simulated?