Since the 1999 blockbuster movie, The Matrix, many of us have questioned if this is base reality or if we are in fact living in a simulation. The question is still unanswered, but it seems possible, even likely, that we are in ”living in the Matrix”.
Elon Musk’s comments on the subject were:
“I think the strongest argument for us probably being in a simulation is the following; about 40 years ago we had Pong, two rectangles and a dot, that’s what games were. Now, 40 years later we have photo-realistic 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously and it’s getting better every year. If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality. Even if that rate of advancement drops by 1,000 from what it is right now, then let’s just imagine it’s 10,000 years in the future, which is nothing on the evolutionary scale. So given that we’re clearly on a trajectory to have games that are indistinguishable from reality and those games could be played on any set top box or PC and they would probably be billions of such computers and set top boxes, it would seem to follow that the odds we are in base reality is one in billions.”
When asked directly if he thinks we are living in a simulation, Elon just referred to his previous statement and said it’s one in billions. Although he didn’t say he believes we are in a simulation, it’s very clear that he believes the chances of us being in a simulation is extremely high.
It’s understandable that people have a tough time wrapping their head around such a concept, but in favor of us living in a simulation, we will try to explain it in a way most people will be able to absorb…
As Neil DeGrasse Tyson explains, if you were a scientist in a video game, you would explore the rules that apply to that game like how high you can jump, how fast bullets fly and you’d make your assessment of the laws of physics within that world.
So extending that to something a little more true to life, let’s look at The Sims or World of Warcraft where you can direct your characters and give them objectives, leave the game and come back later to see the game has progressed and your characters have made advancements within the rules of the game.
The characters, in their digital world, would think (within the confines of the rules of the game that have been programmed with) they have complete freedom of choice because they are operating within the laws of physics in their world (the game).
With the added technology of virtual reality, you can interact with the characters in your game through one of the many headsets available. So, how can that be applied to our world?
Imagine it’s the year 2100, about 80 years in the future where our video games are completely indistinguishable from our reality and the characters are so realistic, they have organs, bones, emotions, and the ability to think and improvise because we have coded a ”video game” that allows them to think on their own, but still within the confines of the rules of the game. Putting on a virtual reality headset then would be like entering a completely true-to-life virtual reality. You would be entering a digital world where all the characters in the simulation would believe they are 100% real with consciousness. Now, apply that to a true to life game like The Sims, but far more advanced where there are laws, politics, war, medicine, economies and everything we have in our world. That is basically our world.
We think that explains it in a more simplified way for the average person to understand. After letting that sink in, the questions that follow would be;
How do we know if we’re in a simulation? And, how can we escape the simulation? Well those are questions we are going to tackle in another article which you can view here:
How do we know if we’re in a simulation? >>>
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