So Elon Musk recently said he believed we are living in some sort of giant simulation like a computer game. His case is basically look how far computer games have come in just 40 years. From Pong to life like near real VR. Now he suggests we should imagine where that puts them in ten thousand years. I think there is a case to be made there. If we were part of some gigantic simulation wouldn’t we know? Not if we are programmed not to. In fact I go him one better. We could be “coded” to even accept a “lower res” version of reality. We couldn’t know what “real” even meant. I mean if we are a simulation why not optimize it!
So we have to accept we don’t even know what we know. It could also explain a lot of other things. We seem to have some hard coded bias to have “faith” despite there being no real evidence to support that faith. Again, the result of some clever programmer making this “reality”. Think about how much of our history and many of peoples actions are a result of “faith”.
If we’ve been dumped into this “sandbox” by a greater intelligence as part of a simulation the creators of the simulation might want to make the elements self directed within a set of rules and then able to self evolve. Throw some simple sets of “rules” together and press “run”. Then sit back and see what happens. Way back when I started out learning software development I encountered the “life” game. It was a very simple game (even given as a coding challenge in classes on occasion). A few simple rules as to whether an “organism” would grow on a grid to flourish or wither and die. You’d seed you pattern and the watch it all play out.
For some reason over the Memorial Day holiday I let myself ponder a possible book. It would be in the SciFi genre. It occurred to me that WWII created a situation that resulted in the very best and the very worst of mankind. The the “playing field” and “rules” of that game really brought out the true nature of the cultures that existed at the time in a way no other could. Imagine a set of beings challenging themselves to a game to develop the “best” race and culture with a conflict that tested them in that manner. Now add these beings are not bound by time so the game is played with no real time limits. You started selecting some very “simple” conditions, “rules”, a “faith” and then watched these societies grow and develop to an inevitable resolution. It would be played out an infinite number of times. After all we know (or at least coded to let us think we know) is that time is a construct that for some reason we perceive in a very specific and limited way. Since it was a self directing and evolving simulation nothing in the simulation would know it was a simulation. Explode your head a bit more and ponder of the beings were a single entity that splintered to amuse itself. One of the issues I have with all the current religions is that they all seem to have a pretty baked idea of what “god” is. I maintain if there a supreme “being” they would be so far advanced and removed from us it is ridiculous to assume we could understand that being in any terms that make sense to us. We couldn’t assume that our values could even apply. So when someone tells me their faith is the path to anywhere I smile, wish them well and go back to knowing its beyond my knowing.
What if the “energy” both positive and negative from this developing simulation was the very thing that fed the whole system. The light and dark of it all. I am likely doing a terrible job sharing my thinking but they way I imagine it goes past my understanding to the point I don’t really know how to explain what I admit is such an abstract concept I can’t find the words.
Is there a religion in there? Probably. If I was more cynical I’d take the R.L. Hubbard path, form one and cash out!
So how does this idea affect us? Well for me its an amusing thought exercise but if its what I suspect there really isn’t much to do about it. We are just a bit of code after all. But thank goodness whoever wrote that code put in some pretty cool things like ways to find humor, curiosity, amusement, wonder, awe in the simulation, community, sharing and love. I’m pretty sure this piece of code can run those routines enough to trigger my “happy” state if I just take the right branches of any conditional statements I encounter!
Now if I can just figure out how to hack this a little, there are few values in my state I think I’d change. 🙂
If nothing else pondering this makes my head explode and I like that experience! Also lets me gain a bit of perspective and realize I’m way less in control and that my best path is to take it all in as it comes my way. Sit back and make the best of the simulation. In the grand scheme getting worked up about it won’t change a thing. I’m trying to delete that “worked up about stuff” code!
Mic Drop!! Spacegrrrl out!