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Thread started 12/19/12 3:45am

flyorra

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are we living inside a computer simulation???

you all know by now that i believe that reality is in fact an illusion, and that god is a machine. well this article says the same thing basically. i have long thought of the universe to have a matrix or a lattice, which i could not further explain when asked to. but scientists are nearing what i have long thought to be true, intuitively. without the words to describe it.

http://news.discovery.com...21216.html

The popular film trilogy, The Matrix, presented a cyberuniverse where humans live in a simulated reality created by sentient machines.

Now, a philosopher and team of physicists imagine that we might really be living inside a computer-generated universe that you could call The Lattice. What's more, we may be able to detect it.

SLIDE SHOW: Violent Beaut...g Universe

In 2003, British philosopher Nick Bostrom published a paper that proposed the universe we live in might in fact really be a numerical computer simulation. To give this a bizarre Twilight Zone twist, he suggested that our far-evolved distant descendants might construct such a program to simulate the past and recreate how their remote ancestors lived.

He felt that such an experiment was inevitable for a supercivilization. If it didn't happen by now, then in meant that humanity never evolved that far and we're doomed to a short lifespan as a species, he argued.

To extrapolate further, I'd suggest that artificial intelligent entities descended from us would be curious about looking back in time by simulating the universe of their biological ancestors.

As off-the-wall as this sounds, a team of physicists at the University of Washington (UW) recently announced that there is a potential test to seen if we actually live in The Lattice. Ironically, it would be the first such observation for scientifically hypothesized evidence of intelligent design behind the cosmos.

Spacetime JF Colonna

The UW team too propose that super-intelligent entities, bored with their current universe, do numerical simulations to explore all possibilities in the landscape of the underlying quantum vacuum (from which the big bang percolated) through universe simulations. "This is perhaps the most profound quest that can be undertaken by a sentient being," write the authors.

Before you dismiss this idea as completely loony, the reality of such a Sim Universe might solve a lot of eerie mysteries about the cosmos. About two-dozen of the universe's fundamental constants happen to fall within the narrow range thought to be compatible with life. At first glance it seems as unlikely as balancing a pencil on its tip. Jiggle these parameters and life as we know it would have never appeared. Not even stars and galaxies. This is called the Anthropic principle.

ANALYSIS: Building the Un...ercomputer

The discovery of dark energy over a decade ago further compounds the universe’s strangeness. This sort of “antigravity” pushing space-time apart is the closest thing there is to nothing and still is something. This energy from the vacuum of space is 60 orders of magnitude weaker that what would be predicted by quantum physics.The eminent cosmologist Michael Turner ranks dark energy as "the most profound mystery in all of science."

We are also living at a very special time in the universe's history where it switched gears from decelerating to accelerating under the push of dark energy. This begs the question "why me why now?" (A phrase popularly attributed to Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in 1994 when she was attacked and crippled by an opponent.)

If dark energy were slightly stronger the universe would have blown apart before stars formed. Any weaker and the universe would have imploded long ago. Its incredibly anemic value has been seen as circumstantial evidence for parallel universes with their own flavor of dark energy that is typically destructive. It's as if our universe won the lottery and got all the physical parameters just right for us to exist.

Finally, an artificial universe solves the Fermi Paradox (where are all the space aliens?) by implying that we truly are alone in the universe. It was custom made for us by our far-future progeny.

Biblical creationists can no doubt embrace these seeming cosmic coincidences as unequivocal evidence for their "theory" of Intelligent Design (ID). But is our "God" really a computer programmer rather than a bearded old man living in the sky?

Lattice10

Currently, supercomputers using a impressive-sounding technique called lattice quantum chromodynamics, and starting from the fundamental physical laws, can simulate only a very small portion of the universe. The scale is a little larger than the nucleus of an atom, according UW physicist Martin Savage. Mega-computers of the far future could greatly expand the size of the Sim Universe.

ANALYSIS: Artificial Univ...ercomputer

If we are living in such a program, there could be telltale evidence for the underlying lattice used in modeling the space-time continuum, say the researchers. This signature could show up as a limitation in the energy of cosmic rays. They would travel diagonally across the model universe and not interact equally in all directions, as they otherwise would be expected to do according to present cosmology.

If such results were measured, physicists would have to rule out any and all other natural explanations for the anomaly before flirting with the idea of intelligent design. (To avoid confusion with the purely faith-based creationist ID, this would not prove the existence of a biblical God, because you’d have to ask the question "why does God need a lattice?")

If our universe is a simulation, then those entities controlling it could be running other simulations as well to create other universes parallel to our own. No doubt this would call for, ahem, massive parallel processing.

If all of this isn’t mind-blowing enough, Bostrom imagined "stacked" levels of reality, "we would have to suspect that the post-humans running our simulation are themselves simulated beings; and their creators, in turn, may also be simulated beings. Here may be room for a large number of levels of reality, and the number could be increasing over time."

To compound this even further, Bostrom imagined a hierarchy of deities, "In some ways, the post-humans running a simulation are like gods. However, all the demigods except those at the fundamental level of reality are subject to sanctions by the more powerful gods living at lower levels."

If the parallel universes are all running on the same computer platform could we communicate with them? If so, I hope the Matrix's manic Agent Smith doesn’t materialize one day.

To borrow from the title of Isaac Asimov's novel I Robot, the human condition might be described as I Subroutine.

Editor's note: Whoa.

Image credits: Warner Brothers, J.F. Colonna, Boston University

"who need the exercise"..lol

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Reply #1 posted 12/19/12 4:02am

MoBetterBliss

no

happy to help

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Reply #2 posted 12/19/12 4:35am

OnlyNDaUsa

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if we are I hope someone uses a cheat code!

No one is coming for your abortion: they just want common-sense abortion regulations: background checks, waiting periods, lifetime limits, take a class, and a small tax.
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Reply #3 posted 12/19/12 5:28am

NancyMoonbeam

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No.

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Reply #4 posted 12/19/12 9:04am

midnightmover

I don't know about a computer simulation but I know that life is not what we think it is and we are not in control.

Will read the article later.....

“The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them, inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”
- Thomas Jefferson
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Reply #5 posted 12/19/12 9:06am

V10LETBLUES

Very cool article, thanks for the post.

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Reply #6 posted 12/19/12 9:45am

ConsciousConta
ct

I think that we are the machines. And that we are also God. We are meaning making machines. We make up stories about the events of our life, which are always neutral, and then we live in the fantasy of these made up stories and we think that is reality. We replay these stories over and over again when a life event upsets us. Stimulus - response - stimulus - response. We are played like puppets when we identify with these stories.

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Reply #7 posted 12/19/12 9:58am

V10LETBLUES

ConsciousContact said:

I think that we are the machines. And that we are also God. We are meaning making machines. We make up stories about the events of our life, which are always neutral, and then we live in the fantasy of these made up stories and we think that is reality. We replay these stories over and over again when a life event upsets us. Stimulus - response - stimulus - response. We are played like puppets when we identify with these stories.

I agree. Fpr me "reality" is fantastical beyond my own imagination. The only thing I would slightly disagree with the above is, "We play OURSELVES like puppets" It is all for the most part self induced I think. There is no one pulling the strings but ourselves.

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Reply #8 posted 12/19/12 10:00am

RodeoSchro

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What do you think about this guy's idea?

www.timecube.com

WARNING: For some reason, when I click on that link I get the Time Cube page for about 3 seconds, and then I get some search page. I don't know if you'll have the same problem, and I don't think any viruses are involved, but I just wanted to make everyone aware of this.

.

[Edited 12/19/12 10:02am]

LMFAO, this guy actually lost his marbles!

Gene Ray before Time Cube

Before Time Cube, Otis E. Ray advocated the sport of marbles. He authored a book titled Mr. Marbles – Marbles for Everyone,[11] and got the city council of St. Petersburg, Florida to proclaim a "Marbles Week" in the 1970s. In 1987, this became a controversial attempt to establish a million dollar marble tournament inside a huge round structure and establish a philosophical "Order of the Sphere."[12] Gene Ray is listed as President and Treasurer of the World Professional Marbles Players Association. "Otis E. Ray" is also listed as the owner of US patents 4179122 and 4393618 for a "Marble game apparatus" and a "Novelty written message device suitable for mailing".[13]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Cube

.

[Edited 12/19/12 10:06am]

Second Funkiest White Man in America

P&R's Palladin
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Reply #9 posted 12/20/12 11:58am

Tremolina

We are said to only use about 5% of our brain capacity and only know about 5% of the universe.

We are therefore practically ignorant.

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Reply #10 posted 12/20/12 11:37pm

lust

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Tremolina said:

We are said to only use about 5% of our brain capacity and only know about 5% of the universe.



We are therefore practically ignorant.



It's 10% and that's a complete myth. A false cultural meme if you will.
If the milk turns out to be sour, I aint the kinda pussy to drink it!
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Reply #11 posted 12/21/12 3:16am

duccichucka

flyorra said:

you all know by now that i believe that reality is in fact an illusion, and that god is a machine. well this article says the same thing basically. i have long thought of the universe to have a matrix or a lattice, which i could not further explain when asked to. but scientists are nearing what i have long thought to be true, intuitively. without the words to describe it.

You are not too far off from being a theist. In your case, a machinist:

1. We understand machines as being objects created. Who created your machine?

2. Just because you hold something as intuitively true doesn't mean it's true. And if

reality is the result of simulation, so is your intuition.

3. If my reality is only an illusion, I still want my 'reallity' to count for something and/or

to mean something as humans are meaning-making beings: what does the fact that my

reality is the result of a computer mean?

In this case, as a Christian, I'm still a slave to either The Lattice or God's interpretation

of reality.

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Reply #12 posted 12/21/12 7:24am

toejam

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So because we humans can currently simulate universe-like states in computers (very basic ones at that), does that mean our universe is simply a simulation? It's an intriguing question, but I see no reason to think that that is indeed the case. If there was, what would that mean? That there is an infinite regress of simulators and simulated universes? Or does one of the simulators or universes get a 'get-out-of-jail' card to be claimed not to require a simulator of its own? How would one know which infinity claim is correct? The regress? The eternally existing simulator? or the eternally existing universe/multiverse?

And as McDuck has asked, even if we are a simulation within a machine, what would that mean? For all we might guess, the simulator of our universe has no care to intervene or has possibly even died at his external computer! Given that I have yet to be convinced of any external intervention by a conscious simulator, I think that only increases the odds that we may be the only ones who don't require one.

So for me, I think it's best to simply say this: Look, we know our universe exists. Let's explore that as best we can first. And if any external simulator wants (and has the ability) to interact with us, then I guess that's what he'll do!

Toejam @ Peach & Black Podcast: http://peachandblack.podbean.com
Toejam's band "Cheap Fakes": http://cheapfakes.com.au, http://www.facebook.com/cheapfakes
Toejam the solo artist: http://www.youtube.com/scottbignell
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