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Whoa, Dude, Are We Inside a Computer Right Now?

Stashed in: #TED, The Universe, Awesome, Philosophy, Best Videos, The Multiverse, Math!, The Matrix, Turing, science, G4!, The Internet is my religion., Bird is the word!, Mind Blown!, Hive Mind, woahdude, Simulation

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We're already in The Matrix.

At what point does a simulation cease to be a simulation and instead become reality?

The essence of Rich’s theory is that a “programmer” from the future designed our reality to simulate the course of what the programmer considers to be ancient history—for whatever reason, maybe because he’s bored.

According to Moore’s Law, which states that computing power doubles roughly every two years, all of this will be theoretically possible in the future. Sooner or later, we’ll get to a place where simulating a few billion people—and making them believe they are sentient beings with the ability to control their own destinies—will be as easy as sending a stranger a picture of your genitals on your phone.

If you could create a universe, would you?

This is an awesome thought:

In 30 years we expect that a PlayStation—they come out with a new PlayStation every six to eight years, so this would be a PlayStation 7—will be able to compute about 10,000 human lifetimes simultaneously in real time, or about a human lifetime in an hour.

There’s how many PlayStations worldwide? More than 100 million, certainly. So think of 100 million consoles, each one containing 10,000 humans. That means, by that time, conceptually, you could have more humans living in PlayStations than you have humans living on earth today.


Substitute iPad for Playstation.

In 30 years an iPad will be able to compute about 10,000 human lifetimes simultaneously in real time, or about a human lifetime in an hour.

Like an incredibly advanced, metaphysical version of The Sims.

It’s an idea that every college student with a gravity bong and The Matrix on DVD has thought of before...


Baudrillard claims that our current society has replaced all reality and meaning with symbols and signs, and that human experience is of a simulation of reality. Moreover, these simulacra are not merely mediations of reality, nor even deceptive mediations of reality; they are not based in a reality nor do they hide a reality, they simply hide that anything like reality is irrelevant to our current understanding of our lives. The simulacra that Baudrillard refers to are the significations and symbolism of culture and media that construct perceived reality, the acquired understanding by which our lives and shared existence is and are rendered legible; Baudrillard believed that society has become so saturated with these simulacra and our lives so saturated with the constructs of society that all meaning was being rendered meaningless by being infinitely mutable...

The simulation becomes reality.

This debate has been going on since the dawn of civilization. It encapsulates the two most fundamental questions in philosophy: what exists? and how does it exist?

"What exists?" and "How does it exist?" are deep questions.

I search the Internet for the answers and find very little.

This is the best I've found:

What exists? The simplest assumption is nothing. We know that is false. The next simplest assumption is everything. That may be true and in any event can never be shown to be false. In a universe in which there are no completed infinite totalities `everything' has a well defined mathematical meaning. It is all finite sets. A set is a collection of objects. The first set is the empty set that contains nothing. The next set contains the empty set. It has cardinality 1 since it has one member. The next set contains the empty set and `1'. It has cardinality 2. All mathematical structures can be defined in this way. It is appropriate that they are built from the nothingness of the empty set. Mathematics deals with structure or form but never with substance. Mathematics can tell us a great deal but it can never tells why the experience of the color blue is as it is.

Things exist not as structure but as substance. It is the particular substance of our consciouses that is our existence. That particularness is beyond all explanation and understanding. It simply is. No one can say why the experience of the color blue is at is. This is not a question for which a `why' answer exists.

Matter is structured and this structure is the structure of consciousness. That all mathematical structures resolve themselves to the empty set is a recognition of the limits of analysis. Consciousness is a unified whole made up of particulars but in no sense is it divisible. Analysis is useful because similar structures correspond to similar experiences. Analysis cannot grasp the ultimate nature of anything. It can only help us see similarities and differences between experiences and thereby help us to shape new experiences. When asking ultimate questions like what exists or why is the experience of red like it is we are outside the domain of analysis. Analysis can resolve all structure to the empty set but that is an ultimate explanation of nothing.

In other words, math exists. And through math, we exist.

Since I'm asking, how many universes are there?

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