The Earth was flat.
Earth was the center of the universe, not Sun.
The Earth is real.
The first two sentences were facts at one point of time. Geniuses and not-so-geniuses of a bygone era believed them wholeheartedly. Any naysayer or heaven forbid a new theorist was, for the lack of a better word, deemed MAD. Both “facts” were proved wrong. Well, it seems that the third statement might also be proved as wrong in the near future.
No, the earth is not real. We are not living in a factual world. We are living in a simulation. And yes, a sort of the Neo, Morpheus and Oracle infested world, if you may. Atleast the masterminds, philosophers and even the Bank of America believe so.
Okay, Backup a little:
Meanwhile, seems like there is a scientific hypothesis that states “members of an advanced “posthuman” civilization with gigantic computing power might choose to run simulations of their ancestors in the universe”. And this is called the Simulation Hypothesis. It was first put forward by Nick Bostrum, a philosopher at Oxford University, way back in 2003 in his paper “Are You Living In a Simulation?”. Simply put it means what you and I think as reality is actually a computer generated imitation. So if we are programs in a computer, who made us? Maybe a highly advanced, sophisticated and intelligent civilization which has access to powerful technology.
How the heck is it possible?
Think about this: an intelligent character in a computer game, that you are playing, might slowly comprehend that everything follows a set of rules. That is almost mathematical in nature. Which of course is true, ‘cause it is living inside a program that follows an algorithm. Right? Now think about this: as we discover more about our Universe, from light-years away planets to sub-atomic particles, everything seemingly has a foundation in Maths. So if everything is following a rigid set of mathematical laws, isn’t it possible that we too are just a part of a computer game? That Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?
Also, our descendants, as per theorists, are so advanced that they are capable of creating and running many simulations. This means most of the minds inside those simulations are artificial and not just copies of humans that lived at some point. Thus, by basic statistics and probability it behooves that all of us are most likely to be those simulated artificial minds.
Who believes it?
Seems like right from theoretical physicists to cosmologists to the tech billionaires that abound in San Francisco. Even the Bank of America issued a report stating that there are 20-50% chances that we are a simulation based generation. Though it also says we might never even realise it! Elon Musk purports that there is “one in a billion chance” that we are NOT living in a computer game plugged into someone’s hard drive. That is a very tiny chance that what we see around is actually real!
Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks there are 50% odds that we are made of 1 and 0’s. He gives strong data to back up his belief. 98% of the DNA in a human and a chimpanzee is the same. Yet the difference in intelligence is catastrophic. Similarly it might turn out that there is a higher intelligence out there, with a DNA related to ours, to whom we may seem as chimpanzees. Or in Tyson’s words: “We would be drooling, blithering idiots in their presence”. So it is not that much a stretch to think we might be just random musings made “for their entertainment”.
We’re gonna prove it:
So just for kicks ‘n’ shits and because I have waaaay more money that I can ever spend, I am going to hire people to prove that the world we live in is not base reality. Uummm, atleast that’s what I think they thought. Who they? Two unknown unnamed billionaires from the tech valley. They have allegedly hired scientists to work on the down low to prove the Simulation Hypothesis. However, nothing more is known about the project as of now.
Not everyone believes in the theory. The most propelling argument is that humans are inherently selfish creatures. We are interested in just ourselves, foremost. The simulation theory is based on the arguments that a lot of higher beings would like to create us. The question arises why? Why would they think about a less-intelligent race rather than themselves?
Some advice from believers:
• “Maybe we’re in a simulation, maybe we’re not, but if we are, hey, it’s not so bad” – a philosophy professor.
• “Do really interesting things, so the simulators don’t shut you down” – a cosmologist.
• “If we’re programs in the computer, then as long as I have a computer that’s not damaged, I can always re-run the program” i.e. hail eternal life and resurrection – a physicist.
Eh, so our creator could just be a gangly, acne-prone teenager? Maybe that natural disaster which might wipe out mankind could be just a bug that crashes the entire program we live in? Or if we are the ancestors of the civilisation that has created the program we now live in, then how did they come to be? There is that pesky little problem of procreation. If we are just codes in a computer, who gave birth to the “posthumans’?
Oh simulation lords, if you are reading this, I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative one that I have never asked to be a part of. So could you fork over the red-pill please?
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