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Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:00 PM

What do you think about this idea: Reality is a Simulation

This facinates me. Could we be living in a ultra high tech simulation?

29 replies, 3587 views

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Reply What do you think about this idea: Reality is a Simulation (Original post)
sagesnow Feb 2017 OP
unblock Feb 2017 #1
sagesnow Feb 2017 #19
Buckeye_Democrat Mar 2017 #22
Wounded Bear Feb 2017 #2
sagesnow Feb 2017 #6
Wounded Bear Feb 2017 #7
longship Feb 2017 #10
longship Feb 2017 #13
sagesnow Feb 2017 #3
longship Feb 2017 #12
rock Feb 2017 #4
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 2017 #5
sagesnow Feb 2017 #11
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 2017 #17
anarch Feb 2017 #8
longship Feb 2017 #9
FreepFryer Feb 2017 #14
Snarkoleptic Feb 2017 #15
Warpy Feb 2017 #16
Jim__ Feb 2017 #18
Danascot Feb 2017 #20
hunter Feb 2017 #21
littlemissmartypants Mar 2017 #23
sagesnow Mar 2017 #24
littlemissmartypants Mar 2017 #25
stopbush Mar 2017 #26
Thor_MN Mar 2017 #27
struggle4progress Mar 2017 #28
Tortmaster Mar 2017 #29

Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:08 PM

1. can't see the video right now but the title is a very old philosophy question

i think it was phrased in philosophy class as, is it possible that you are in reality a disembodied brain in a vat on jupiter where an evil scientist has wired your brain to receive exactly the right sensory data to create the illusion that you're on earth, have a body, that there are other people, etc.

i always thought the phrasing of the problem was unimaginative, because the existence of jupiter itself, vats, evil scientists, and even the laws of physics, were all, at least potentially, only part of the fictitious universe that exists only in the signals being sent to my brain. if brains even exist.

the real interesting philosophy question is, what is the minimal things that could exist that could create this illusion/simulation? do i have to have some notion of a physical brain? what laws of physics are necessary?

different question from whether or not we *are* in a simulation or someone else's illusion.


ah, late night sophomore year memories....

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Response to unblock (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 06:05 PM

19. Complexity is apparently in the eye of the

detector. The Double Slit Experiment detector that is. It seems to me that to begin to understand the complexity of the Universe we start with the Double Slit experiment. According to the results of this experiment, at the level of a photon, reality does not solidify until someone or something sees it.


The implication of this experiment is apparently that reality is a product of consciousness. Unless someone hears and sees the tree fall in the forest, no sound and no object was perceived, did it happen at all?

Far fetched? Many physicists appear to be giving this a second thought.

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Response to sagesnow (Reply #19)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 12:09 AM

22. I don't think it means a conscious observer.

I interpret it to mean "observed" by interacting with other particles (energy transfer).

Nobody needs to be in the laboratory to order for a non-conscious detector behind one of the slits to eliminate the interference pattern.

On the other hand, I get a chuckle out of the other interpretation of "observer" since it shows there's no omniscient God that many people want to believe without evidence to support it. If conscious observation collapsed wave functions, and a God observed EVERYTHING, we shouldn't see any such interference patterns.

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:24 PM

2. So, The Matrix was a documentary?

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:47 PM

6. There is a high probablity that is was.

The Simulation Hypothesis:

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Response to sagesnow (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:52 PM

7. I thought it was Krishna sleeping...

and we're the dream.

Or was it Siva?

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:55 PM

10. Spaghetti Monster.

It's all pasta these days!

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Response to sagesnow (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 02:02 PM

13. Where's the evidence?

Just asking.

And no, Neo is not a valid response.

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:40 PM

3. Susskind, Degrasso and other

top notch Scientists are entertaining the idea:

Leonard Susskind on the World As Hologram


2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Is the Universe a Simulation?

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Response to sagesnow (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 02:00 PM

12. Have the string conjecturists all gone stark raving mad?

Or are they merely trying to justify their attempt to turn modern physics into unintelligible mathematical legerdemain with no checks in evidence?

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:41 PM

4. I think it is an ill-conceived idea

In the same category as multiverse.

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:47 PM

5. I attended a panel discussion on this topic

back in October at Mile Hi Con, a science fiction con that always includes a lot science topics. One of the physicists present at that panel said that it was highly unlikely, because there simply wasn't enough computing power available to keep up the simulation in the sort of detail we keep on finding. In short, if no more science had been discovered/uncovered/learned after, say Newton, then this could be a simulation. Of if the entire Universe were only one galaxy, or at best a handful, then maybe.

But instead there are hundreds of billions of galaxies, each of which contain hundreds of billions of stars. Everywhere we look we find more and more complexity, more and more detail. Everywhere we look.

(At some other science panel at Mile Hi a year or two earlier someone in the audience actually suggested we'd learned all there was to learn, and got a hearty laugh at that.)

Anyway, the more we learn, the more there is too learn, and while one or two on the panel were open to the possibility we might be living in a simulation, the general opinion was no. The Universe is real, and we are only one very tiny portion of it.

So essentially, those who seriously think we're living in a simulation, don't understand the actual complexity involved.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:57 PM

11. 2 responses to that argument...

if I understand them correctly are

1) the The Simulation is self perpetuating and evolves, according to certain laws, infinitely, or until it meets some sort of destructive situation. IOW, the designer was not responsible for most of the complexity that developed.
2) We only see part of the simulation at one time. There are short-cuts. We only see one screen of a simulation game at a time- Other screens exist while you are playing a game as possibilities (other rooms) you could enter at another time, but they only exist if you look at them. Einstein complained about this argument by saying that he preferred to think that the moon existed when he was not looking at it.

This apparently is an old, ongoing argument in physics.

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Response to sagesnow (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 03:41 PM

17. The first response is a God hypothesis.

The second isn't valid in that while any one individual is seeing only one part of it at a time, millions upon millions (perhaps even billions) of humans are looking at millions or billions of screens all at once. The very first time I heard the question about a tree falling in the forest, and if there's no one around to hear it, does it make a sound? Truly stupid, unless you believe that you are the only creature in the Universe and that nothing exists unless you are paying attention to it. Einstein's right.

I sort of got the impression at that panel that the physicists were fairly certain this has been resolved in favor of the Universe being real. Not totally, but with a fairly high degree of confidence.

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:52 PM

8. it sort of begs the question, "what is Reality?"...I think it's a compelling idea

especially as stated by Nick Bostrom, where it's posed as a trilemma...the whole thing rests on the assumption that a "post-human" civilization would have tremendous computing power and be able to create a simulated environment wherein the occupants would experience it as a fully "real" world, and also that artificially created, simulated entities would possess consciousness/sentience. Given those assumptions, logically, you'd have to accept that at least one of the following statements is true:

1."The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage (that is, one capable of running high-fidelity ancestor simulations) is very close to zero", or
2."The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero", or
3."The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one"

I suppose it also begs the question as to "what is consciousness?"

Here's the Wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulation_hypothesis

Our current "reality" certainly looks like somebody with a seriously cruel streak has decided they're tired of their Sims and are just going to torture us all and blow up the world. My guess: space alien invasion and/or massive natural disasters are next up. Hope it's all very entertaining for some fucker somewhere....

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 01:52 PM

9. Very probably utter rubbish!

Just like the strings conjecture. No evidence (plus a whole lot of meaninglessly mathematical legerdemain).

I am not against such explorations, but as a mere BS in physics, I'll stick with quantum field theory until it has been supplanted by something new... BY PREDICTIONS BORNE OUT BY ACTUAL EVIDENCE.

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 02:06 PM

14. Whether true or not, it is an ontological truism to say it couldn't matter less. (n/t)

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 02:23 PM

15. Well then I think there's a critical error in the Trump-string.

Hopefully versions2018 & 2020 will begin to fix this.

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 02:35 PM

16. You mean are we dreaming the universe or is it dreaming us?

This is an ancient idea, which is why political, religious and patriarchal bullies always think they can change it. Sometimes they even get away with it for a while. Eventually either they kick the bucket or cognitive dissonance becomes so painful that people around them kick it for them.

I was a nurse for a long time. I disbelieve 50% of what I see and 90% of what I'm told. This kind of idea is a hard sell to me.

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 05:45 PM

18. First, a check on one of Edeline D'Souza's claims.

I believe this is the video that was partially shown in the video from the OP:

[center][/center]

In DíSouzaís TED talk she claims that our universe is pixelated. I donít believe that is an established scientific fact. There is a paper from 2011 that puts the graininess of space at no larger than 10[sup]-48[/sup] m. But the paper also states that whether or not space is continuous is an open question.

An excerpt from the paper:

(PhysOrg.com) -- ESA's Integral gamma-ray observatory has provided results that will dramatically affect the search for physics beyond Einstein. It has shown that any underlying quantum 'graininess' of space must be at much smaller scales than previously predicted.

Einsteinís General Theory of Relativity describes the properties of gravity and assumes that space is a smooth, continuous fabric. Yet quantum theory suggests that space should be grainy at the smallest scales, like sand on a beach.

One of the great concerns of modern physics is to marry these two concepts into a single theory of quantum gravity.

Ö

However, Integralís observations are about 10 000 times more accurate than any previous and show that any quantum graininess must be at a level of 10[sup]-48[/sup] m or smaller.

Ö

more Ö



Itís difficult to respond to the video in the OP because it doesnít present a single coherent argument but rather excerpted segments from a number of different people speaking at different times and places.

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 06:34 PM

20. Some thoughts on the topic from Scientific American

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Tue Feb 28, 2017, 11:58 PM

21. I found that cringe worthy. I couldn't watch much of it.

This hypothesis seems a modern version of Genesis, from the perspective of the Computer age rather than the Bronze Age. Maybe it's a new creation myth. Viewed literally, it's just as silly.

The Universe is very big, the human mind is very small. We humans don't know shit and we never will.

But it's great fun to explore what we *can* know, and sometimes this knowledge has practical applications, as in the understanding of quantum physics and information theory that went into this machine I'm writing on and the internet it's connected to.



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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 12:22 AM

23. I read

The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot. Still can't bend spoons with my thoughts. So my answer is: no.

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 01:34 AM

24. Thanks for all the replies.

Exploring this topic gives me a lovely distraction from the DT (Delerium Trumpet).

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Response to sagesnow (Reply #24)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 03:06 AM

25. There are videos r/t Talbot's hypothesis. The book was interesting.

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Wed Mar 1, 2017, 06:39 AM

26. Funny how no one ever posited that life might be a high tech simulation

before people started producing high tech simulations.

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Sun Mar 5, 2017, 10:18 AM

27. Does it matter? Unless one can directly affect the simulation, it doesn't make a bit of difference.

 

If someone knows how to affect the simulation, please PM me instructions on how to get a private, deserted island and Elizabeth Banks and/or Elisabeth Shue...

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Mon Mar 6, 2017, 08:14 PM

28. What does this conjecture even mean?

Nothing is easier than stringing together vacuous sequences of words, as (for example) Chomsky's Colorless green ideas sleep furiously

One can, of course, have long and pleasantly inconclusive discussions around such assertions: Assuming colorless green ideas do sleep, do all green ideas sleep or just the colorless green ones? And if green ideas sleep, do they actually always sleep furiously or do they sometimes sleep moderately?

None of this has anything to do with science, which -- after all -- is not an abstract search for metaphysical truth but an ongoing attempt to produce a coherent computationally-useful view of our world

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Response to sagesnow (Original post)

Wed Mar 8, 2017, 01:53 AM

29. I think that the theory ...

... reminds me of Apollo flying across the sky in a fiery chariot. What was the height of technology at the time? The chariot.

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