Today, my topic of discussion is ‘Simulated Reality’ which is commonly addressed as the question of ‘Are we living in a simulation’ of probably some advanced civilizations that were able to reach posthumanity? Thanks for the Recode conference event which had Elon Musk in their hot seat, for evoking this deepest thought I had since I started my quest for understanding Mind and Consciousness.
The topic isn’t new. Scientists have been debating over this for more than a decade now. Why this idea or hypothesis got all the attention now is that we are nearing to the point of post humanity, a point where evolution has almost ceased and we are beginning to enhance ourselves through silicon and carbon interfaces over our biological self’s. A part of us now lives in the internet through the avatars we have created and is creating through the social media.
Fifty years ago or even fifteen years ago, the idea of simulation reality had been just a science fiction. Just a topic for a best-selling book or a blockbuster movie like ‘The Matrix’ series. In that matter, we are lucky enough, to be living in an intersection era, where we knew how we were before the ones and zeros took over us and have the vision of how it will be two centuries from now. Who knows if we would even be the first generation of post-human dynasty?
We all must have asked atleast once in life looking at the mirror, ‘Who Am I?’ ‘What is that makes me who I am?’ in our deepest states of self-realization. These were some of the philosophical question for which we couldn’t found answers yet. Well, then what is reality? What is life? How could you distinguish you, a living being from a non-living being? Before jumping on to answer that, I want you to reflect on the fact that, You, the non-living being we are talking about, our earth and the whole of universe is created from the Big Bang which means, the matter with which we all are created is the same. If we break down our body to the simplest of its form, then it would be nothing other than mostly Hydrogen, Oxygen and Carbon, which are non-living as per our definition of ‘living beings’ So are we actually ‘living-beings’? Isn’t even our definition of the same flawed?
This is where my belief of being in a simulation starts. A simulated reality hypothesis could nimbly explain this common ‘building block’ phenomenon. Another factor that have strengthened my belief in simulated reality hypothesis is ‘astrology’. I haven’t been bothered by the idea of astrology until I found myself capable of predicting others life. What I did was mere Pattern Recognition. If you could analyse the life span of, say ten people of one birth star, predicting the life happenings of another person of this birth star is a piece of cake. What could this mean for Simulated Reality hypothesis? Well there must be a set of few sub-classes to govern the behaviors of our parent class. I couldn’t find a similar scientific explanation for this in the Naïve Realism.
Now let’s go further, to the beginning of everything – The Big Bang, as believed by most of the scholars and the scientific world. ‘The Big Bang’ also haven’t persuaded me completely of buying that idea. Just think about it, How could there be nothing before the Big Bang…? While the Big Bang theory leaves us with reservations in a Naïve Realism, it makes perfect sense in the Simulated Reality. Just like the way there doesn’t exist any space nor time with respect to the game environment for a video game, there don’t exist space nor time before our Big Bang.
All these reservations and intuitions made me research more about the simulated reality hypothesis and what I found in the internet, the sea of information, was much more galvanizing. Here are a few things scientists and some philosophers have come up with to back the simulation reality:
- Pixelated Universe: Every aspects of our universe breaks down to quantum bits the way images breaks down to pixels. Matter is quantized, Space is quantized, Time is quantized, and Energy is quantized. What does this mean? There are only finite number of components and finite number of states, which implies that all this could be computable
- Presence of Programming Code in Nature: James Gates, a physicist known for superstring theory, have found programming code buried deep within the mathematical equations of super symmetry. There were not some random zeros and ones but bizarrely the code used in computer browser software.
- Non Locality: Please watch the below video to know what Quantum Entanglement and nonlocality is.
This could only be possible if we are in a simulation environment, as then every matter in our universe will be equi-distant from our simulation processor.
This is only a few out of the many findings that support the simulated reality hypothesis and I encourage you to find it yourself as most of it requires an in-depth background explanation which is out of the scope of this blog post.
While we have got enough hypothesis to prove that we might be in a simulation, we haven’t got anything strong to prove otherwise. Even the smartest person, the one who published four breakthrough papers that revolutionised physics and that too in a single year, Einstein, couldn’t prove the atomistic character of nature, even after spending almost three decades of his life.