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Are we living in a computer simulation?


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7 replies to this topic

#1
wjfox

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RE: my latest blog and the study it references.

Can someone please explain the graph on page 3 to me?

http://arxiv.org/pdf/1210.1847v2.pdf

i.e. what happens after 80 and 140 years?

#2
StanleyAlexander

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It looks like the vertical bands @ 80 and 140 years represent when we'll be able to create simulations with lattice sizes of 1 micron and 1 meter, respectively.

Given the significant resources invested in determining the quan-
tum fluctuations of the fundamental fields which permeate our universe, and in calculating
nuclei from first principles (for recent works, see Refs. [4–6]), it stands to reason that future
simulation efforts will continue to extend to ever-smaller pixelations and ever-larger vol-
umes of space-time, from the femto-scale to the atomic scale, and ultimately to macroscopic
scales.


Our simulations will increase in both detail and spatial extent.
Humanity's destiny is infinity

#3
Italian Ufo

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The more I think about it, the more I think this theory is true.

#4
StanleyAlexander

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^ Me too.

The concept that humanity might be living in a computer simulation was discussed in a 2003 paper published in Philosophical Quarterly by Nick Bostrom, a philosophy professor at the University of Oxford. In the paper, he argued that at least one of three possibilities must be true:

  • The human species is likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage.
  • Any posthuman civilisation is very unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of its evolutionary history.
  • We are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.
He also held that “the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation.”


Thinking along similar lines is what caused me to stop calling myself an atheist.
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#5
wjfox

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It looks like the vertical bands @ 80 and 140 years represent when we'll be able to create simulations with lattice sizes of 1 micron and 1 meter, respectively.


In other words, by around 2160-70, we could have entire "rooms" like the Holodeck in Star Trek - perfect simulations, down to the quantum level. This would provide a level of realism not available in full-immersion VR. This will make a fascinating entry for the timeline. I could extrapolate the graph to later centuries and millenia. Perhaps in 4000 AD we'll have entire universe simulations. :)

#6
Italian Ufo

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Ourself will become Gods of some virtual words some day. I am sure we will do this.

#7
StanleyAlexander

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This will make a fascinating entry for the timeline. I could extrapolate the graph to later centuries and millenia. Perhaps in 4000 AD we'll have entire universe simulations. :)


Definitely! Another cool consequence of increasingly detailed simulations would be in science. The experimental environment would be literally as controlled as it can be. I predict that by the time our simulations get macro-sized, not only will science experiments based on simulated environments be more common than real-life lab OR field experiments; it will also be common knowledge that simulated experiments provide much more reliable and accurate data than you'd get from an experiment in any real-world setting.
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#8
wjfox

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Indeed. Plus you could run them much, much faster than real-time.




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