Are we living in a simulation?

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many bright minds including Elon  Musk are thinking that it is very high chance that we are living in a simulation

 

what do you think?

 

 

 

 

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I pinched myself, felt real.  In the past I've experienced love, sadness, laughter, evil and good, broken ribs/bones, stab wound cuts, and other trauma.  who knows, perhaps these emotions and pain are programmed in my simulated mind?

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if you watch videos you will see that they are having stronger arguments than just pinching :)

because pinching yourself and feeling pain does not actually prove anything..

 

 

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right.  watching videos produced by simulated people with my simulated eyes and ears explains our essence.

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1 minute ago, Techsmex said:

right.  watching videos with my simulated eyes and ears explains it all

vision and voice is not that difficult even today to simulate

lets imagine yourself playing a video game and wearing VR headset  like ocoulus rift, which simulates vision and voice.

 

now imagine something like ocoulus rift after 100 or 1000 years, it can become so advanced that you may hardly distinguish real life and video game. 

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Before the internet, oculus and VR, knowledge was passed down from our ancestors, we read books, used peyote, LSD, and mescalin to stimulate our brains.  What you are proposing is just another cycle of awe by a new generation, rehashed. A thousand years from now, technology will  be indescribable, but the basics will always be the same. Common sense and human intellect.

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drugs have nothing to do with this topic which is about science and technology :)

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Technology is merely an extension of the brain produced by us,  making the thin line between fantasy and reality harder to discern for those who lack common sense.

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If we manage to make an AI that is sentient then it will surpass the human brain capabilities quite fast.

Considering time is very long in universe speak (1000 years is almost nothing), then it will down to:

- We are the intellingents OG and we are alone in the universe.

- Interllingent beings always destroy themelves before they achieve massive technological knowledge.

- We are living in a simulation.

And actually all 3 scenarios are pretty sad.

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The arguments for simulation are quite interesting, and as far as I am aware come down to:

 

We know we can create convincing simulations

Computing power is cheap and will become cheaper

There will at some point (if not now) be millions of simulations, the participants of which will not know they are in simulations.  And only one true reality

-> From a probabalistic point of view anyone who thinks they live in reality are most likely mistaken (millions against one)

 

The idea however of course is not really new, its most well known as being the plot from The Matrix and if we think about it almost the same as Bladerunner (the original pk dick story was published in 1968) though there it is the people that are simulated, not the environment, but the end result is the same.  Many/most people are in fact not real people but some kind of simulated AI.  There are any number of other scifi stories that touch on the same things 

 

At the end of the day though its a bit of an intelectual hole that doesnt go anywhere.  It isnt really a testable hypothersis, nor are the implications actually very interesting.  Should it happen to be that we are all simulations, would we say that murder is ok because they arent real people?  No of coure not, we would continue living as if it were reality.  I guess it might be the end of most religions and they would be replaced by worshiping "the great software dev" or some such, but of course that is more or less identical to the gods we already have so Id expect more of a rebranding if anything and probably not even that.

 

Much like when modern science told us that the world isnt "balls and springs" as we previously thought but actually a kind of fuzzy statistical uncertainty which kind of averages out, mostly, to what appears to be reality.  The effect was basically zero outside of the most outre academic circles.

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52 minutes ago, zwiebelfisch said:

Much like when modern science told us that the world isnt "balls and springs" as we previously thought but actually a kind of fuzzy statistical uncertainty which kind of averages out, mostly, to what appears to be reality.  The effect was basically zero outside of the most outre academic circles.

This is true if you consider the following companies to be purely academic circles:

- Google, Apple, Sony, basically any technological company currently existing.

- NASA, ESA, SpaceX, anyone sending satellites and/or data communication into space.

- Verizon, AT&T, Vodafone, any other telecommunication company

- Toyota, VW; General Motors, (Tesla), any automotive company

- Exxon Mobile, BP, any energy company keeping a stake in renewable energies

... not to mention all healthcare and pharmaceuticals and basically any entity which uses a computer for any purpose.

I'd like to say that my local bakery has not been affected by modern physics because they don't take EC or credit cards, but even they trust a bank to store their money and are thus 100% reliant on modern physics to record their financial balance.

 

As for this all being a simulation, I'm with zwiebelfisch: it's an intellectual hole until anything relevant could come out of knowing either way. Of course, why not apply Pascal's wager to the theory?

1. You're not in a simulation and you don't think you're in a simulation. Outcome doesn't change.

2. You're not in a simulation but you think you're in a simulation. Enjoy being humoured by your friends or, worst case, the insane asylum.

3. You're in a simulation but you don't think you're in a simulation. Outcome doesn't change, except maybe when something unexpected happens after your death, like maybe you're still alive.

4. You're in a simulation and you know you're in a simulation. Jackpot! But where's the "off" switch? Back to the insane asylum.

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the argument what musk is saying is quite good

we should feel our self lucky if we live in a simulation because it means civilization succeeded and they reached the advanced state to create such real virtual realiy

otherwise humanity could have either destroyed itself or have been destroyed by some advanced Aliens

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On 10/23/2017, 11:58:31, zwiebelfisch said:

At the end of the day though its a bit of an intelectual hole that doesnt go anywhere.  It isnt really a testable hypothersis...

Actually, at least some scientists claim that it is a testable hypothesis, and the the hypothesis has been tested, and failed:

https://www.popsci.com/quantum-hall-computer-simulation

 

I've read other articles about various ways to prove/disprove this idea, but don't remember the details.

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21 minutes ago, naberlin said:

Actually, at least some scientists claim that it is a testable hypothesis, and the the hypothesis has been tested, and failed:

https://www.popsci.com/quantum-hall-computer-simulation

 

I've read other articles about various ways to prove/disprove this idea, but don't remember the details.

 

Threre are at least 2 serious problems with this analysis.

 

Firstly "more than the number of atoms in the universe" becomes irrelevant if we are in a simulation and clearly have no idea how big the "real" world is.  Think of a plate of bacteria in a lab and deciding that the petri dish is the universe.  

 

Sure we know we cannot model all the electrons in the world, but it isnt clear to me that we would need to.  Most of the time most of the universe isnt being observed in any level of detail so an efficient simulation could simply approximate everything and only add detail once it is observed. Many of us will have played computer games that whilst the simulation isnt perfect appears to have a huge an vibrant world where birds fly, people move around get old, die, leaves blow in the wind and of course this is all done by cheating -- the simulation only simulates the interesting bits when it has to.

 

Secondly, and more importantly (and this is the main problem with disproving a god as well) any kind of calculation or test could be manipulated by the simulation itself such as to give the result it wants.  Lets say I devise a perfect test for simulation.  The simulation then simply changes my mental state such that I misunderstsnd the result and see proof that theere is no simulation. And anyone I show it to is similarly changed.

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We tend to ask questions using the technology of the day.  No one asked if we lived in a simulation before we started simulating.

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The "only render details when observed" is an argument of the pro-simulation to explain why quantum experiments results are differnt when observed vs when not observed.

The simulation itself changing the mentality of the ones close to find out about the simulation would be mega-lame and it would make the simulation lords look very (human) kidish.

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13 minutes ago, zwiebelfisch said:

 

Threre are at least 2 serious problems with this analysis.

 

Firstly "more than the number of atoms in the universe" becomes irrelevant if we are in a simulation and clearly have no idea how big the "real" world is.  Think of a plate of bacteria in a lab and deciding that the petri dish is the universe.  

 

Sure we know we cannot model all the electrons in the world, but it isnt clear to me that we would need to.  Most of the time most of the universe isnt being observed in any level of detail so an efficient simulation could simply approximate everything and only add detail once it is observed. Many of us will have played computer games that whilst the simulation isnt perfect appears to have a huge an vibrant world where birds fly, people move around get old, die, leaves blow in the wind and of course this is all done by cheating -- the simulation only simulates the interesting bits when it has to.

 

Secondly, and more importantly (and this is the main problem with disproving a god as well) any kind of calculation or test could be manipulated by the simulation itself such as to give the result it wants.  Lets say I devise a perfect test for simulation.  The simulation then simply changes my mental state such that I misunderstsnd the result and see proof that theere is no simulation. And anyone I show it to is similarly changed.

Not a topic for a party...

 

As it says in the article, one issue is the nature of computing. We may not be able to simulate a universe but we use binary computers but who knows what we could be using in 200 years time (maybe sticks and rocks if all goes south).

Looking at how we are, we have about a 0.03 second lag between eye and brain, our brain fills in gaps and it is possible to create false memories in people.

We perceive only a small part of the world without technology and our bodies renew cells to the point where they are all new compared to a point in the past. Are we still we when that has happened? Or is the old us dead but we didn't notice as we have the old self's memories?

 

As you say, if we are living in a simulation we would never find out unless we were supposed to. The option would have to be in there or bits programmed by an overworked computer technician.

 

There is a bit in the bible that says man was created in God's own image, maybe the person hearing it got confused and thought the shiny lit up being was talking about him, you know, as people are the centre of the universe (why they would actually be in the simulation, is another question).

Who is to say we all even see or perceive the same stuff. Elite dangerous has players in the same universe but who they see depends on their settings. If you choose single player there could be a battle going on around you that you do not see as it is PvP.

 

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What I find funny about the above discussion (and that includes Musk's and all the others) is that everybody tries to reason this based on the status of humanity's scientific progress. This assumes, then, that this simulation is being simultaneously lived out by the entire population of the planet. And pardon my French, but what the fuck would be the point of that??

The argument that we are living in a simulation really only has any worth or makes any sense if you, the person reading this, are the sole real person whose mind is being manipulated into thinking that everybody else is also real.

 

Why would somebody creating a simulation go through the trouble of inserting real and imagined entities into the simulation. This would only increase the chance that the real people recognise "problems" or flaws in the simulated entities. Why would your mum / brother / friend / wife be real if your neighbour / dog / tree is simulated?

 

So, given that you - the reader - are the only real entity in this simulation, why does it matter what the leading scientists of the day have to say on the matter? They are simulated. What does it matter that "we" now have the ability to create this or that level of accuracy in a computer simulation? It's absolutely irrelevant for the same reasons written above by others: if you lived your entire life in a simulation you only have access to the tools provided by the simulator. Unless you are the scientist who discovered x,y or z, then your googled understanding of x,y,z has no consequence.

You've also got to wonder, if there was any reason to put you into a simulation, why would "they" choose to put you into a simulated environment where the technology of the day is more or less good enough to create a simulated environment to put you into? Why not put you in the stone-age, or into an environment where very few people live and they don't need to waste so much processing power on simulating people to entertain you?

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