It has been postulated that our reality is actually a virtual reality. That is, some unknown agency, “The Others”, has created a computer simulation and we ‘exist’ as part of that overall simulation. One caveat to that scenario is that in order to properly simulate our Cosmos (ourselves included), we’d need a computer the size of our Cosmos with some sort of crunch power that could duplicate our Cosmos one-to-one, which doesn’t make much sense. The downside is that realistic simulations can be created without using one-to-one correlations.
WHY WE ARE SIMULATION?
Here’s another thought on the Simulation Hypothesis which postulates that we ‘exist’ as a configuration of bits and bytes, not as quarks and electrons. We are virtual reality – simulated creatures. This is the “why” thing.
A truly real world (which we think of as our own) is simulating a virtual reality world – lots and lots and lots of them – so the ratio of the virtual reality world to the real world is many, and many and many to one. That’s the main reason why we shouldn’t assume that our world is the real world!
If one postulates “Other”, where “Other” may be technologically advanced extraterrestrial beings who created their version of video games, or even the human species, the real human species from what we call the distant future simulating ancestry, it is likely our world. what is real is actually a completely real virtual reality world inhabited by simulated earthlings (like us).
Now what’s interesting is that we tend to assume that the “Other” is a biological entity (human or extraterrestrial) who likes to play “what if” games using computer hardware and software. Of course “Other” could actually be an A.I. (artificial intelligence) consciously plays “what if” scenarios.
COMPUTER SIMULATION AND CRUNCH POWER REQUIREMENTS
After all, each individual simulation world requires so many units of crunch power. We humans have thousands of video games that each require a certain amount of computing power. There may be countless computing power crises going on when it comes to these video games collectively, but what matters most is the number of video games divided by the number of computers playing them.
Not all video games are played on only one computer at the same time. If you have a tenfold increase in video games, and a tenfold increase in the number of computers they play on, there is no need to increase crunch power unless the nature of the game itself demands it. Today’s video games may demand more power than the video games of twenty years ago, but so far we’ve met that requirement.
Now if the completely real world created thousands of video games, and the characters in each of those video games made thousands of video games and the characters in those video games made thousands of their video games, okay, then the power of crisis developing in the real world is really… really great. really very interested.
That does not mean that the need for a growing crisis cannot be met. But that is NOT the recommended general scenario. For now and here, let’s stick to one truly real world by creating thousands of unique individual simulated virtual reality worlds (ie – video games). Ockham’s Razor advises one not to overcomplicate things unnecessarily.
That said, variations on Murphy’s Law are possible: Ways and means to use crunch power computing evolve to meet crunch power that is available and ready to use.
Skeptics seem to assume here that if you can simulate something, then you’ll end up pouring more and more crisis power (when available) into what you’re simulating. I fail to see how it fits the need. If you want to make and sell video games, if you put X crunch power into it, you will get Y returns in sales, etc. If you put 10X crunch power into it, you might only get a 2Y sales return. There is a counterbalance – the law of diminishing returns.
Video gamers may always want more, but when the crunch power of a computer and the software that can be carried and processed exceeds the crunch power of a human gamer (any chess program/software), then there’s no point in wanting more. A human gamer might be able to make a photon-torpedo Klingon Battlecruiser in Quarter Impulse Strength,
It doesn’t make any economic sense at all to buy and get a monthly bill for 1000 computer crunch units and only need and use 10.
But the bottom line is that the crunch power of the computer is available for simulation exercises as we have done. Everything else is just a matter of degree. If we; they; they of course become “The Other” or The Simulators.
LIMIT FOR GROWTH
Is there a limit to crunch power? Before I agreed to that, which I ended up doing, did the opponent assume that crunch power would not make a quantum leap, maybe even a quantum leap that future generations wouldn’t dream of? I assume for starters that we in the early 21st century don’t have enough computational power to simulate the Cosmos on a one-to-one scale.
Will quantum computers change this analysis? I’m no expert in quantum computers – I just heard the hype. However, there is a skeptical play on the power of crisis to predict what may or may not be in 100 years; in 1000 years? However, the ability to increase computing power could still last for a while. Didn’t the next innovation move from 2-D chips to 3-D chips?
However, Moore’s Law (calculating the power of a crisis doubling every 18 to 24 months) cannot last indefinitely and I was not aware that I.T. people have postulated that Moore’s Law could last “forever.” That’s a bit of a stretch.
Okay, even if we accept the fact that we are all greedy and want more, more, more, and even more pressing power – and so are our simulators – then there will eventually be limits. There may be technical limitations such as dealing with heat production. There may be a resolution limit. There may be technological limitations because maybe quantum computing isn’t really feasible or even possible. There will be economic limitations as you may want to upgrade your PC but your budget doesn’t allow it; You ask for a new research grant to buy a new supercomputer and it gets turned down, and so on.
Perhaps our highly sophisticated simulator has hit the hardest wall of computer power and that’s all he wrote about; he can’t write anymore. There may be an equivalent ‘speed of light’ barrier limiting the power of a computer crunch. In addition, our simulators have competing priorities and must divide the economics/research pie.
I’ve never read or heard of any arguments that the Simulation Hypothesis assumes is constantly and ever increasing in crisis strength. This assumes that computer/software programmers have enough crunch power to achieve their goals, nothing more, nothing less.
In other words, the computer/software simulator will be as economical as possible with bits and bytes to achieve still compatible with the desired level of realism. That makes sense.
The point is that our simulated reality has to be good enough to fool us. In fact, if we ‘exist’ as a simulation, then in the first place you experience nothing but the simulated ‘reality’ and thus you will not be able to recognize a truly real reality even if it gives you a headache!
There is one clear objection to those who propose that there is not enough computer power to make simulations 100% realistic. Here realistic means a one-to-one relationship. But such a level of realism is not necessary and we may not even be able to imagine the real reality of our simulator because we do not know any other reality than the reality we live in right now. We have no other realities to compare us to other realities (namely – our simulations of reality) that we create, which of course includes our dreams and movies.
The level of realism that is now possible with CGI is actually the same as the level of actual realism we experience in our everyday world; with everyday experiences. I’m sure you must have seen over the last five years movies that have a lot of CGI embedded in them, and even when knowing that what you’re looking at is CGI, you can’t really detect a simulation (say the dinosaurs in “Jurassic World”) of what who are actually real (like the actors). However, you have a little trouble distinguishing between action movies, even 3-D action movies, and live action.
Maybe in this reality you can tell the difference between film and live action, but what if the live action was simulated like a movie? If you’ve spent your entire existence as live-action virtual reality (without realizing it, of course) and occasionally watch virtual reality movies that you can distinguish from your live-action virtual reality, then you have absolutely nothing to do with it.
the objection is that in simulation, not everything has to be simulated to a precise standard. The computational power required to make our immediate environment appear completely real is very different from what is required to make the Universe outside our immediate environment appear completely real. I mean, the planetarium does a great job of simulating all sorts of things that the planetarium simulates, but you wouldn’t claim that the planetarium needs the same number of bits and bytes to simulate what it takes for the actually real objects it simulates. .
Two actually real galaxies in collision would be made up of far more bits and bytes than would be needed by astronomers simulating two galaxies in collision on their PCs. Astronomers don’t need that extra power. So maybe 90% of our simulator’s computer power is devoted to making our immediate environment (ie – the solar system) look very realistic, and another 10% simulating everything outside our immediate environment.
Furthermore, even within our solar system, you don’t need to simulate every particle, atom, and molecule that would – in a real solar system – live in, say the Sun or Jupiter or even Earth. The things that you think need to be counted may not actually need to be counted in order to achieve the goal of making things seem really real to us.
In our ‘reality’, when any scientist postulates some theory or hypothesis or other, they ignore many possible variables. A biologist doing “what if” evolution scenarios may not concern himself with every possible astronomical scenario that might impact evolution at every conceivable moment. You have to draw a line somewhere.
The only simulations I can think of that we do are in particle and quantum physics. Simulating two protons colliding with each other is one on one you can get.
HOLODECK AND SIMULATION HYPOTHESES
Until recently, when it came to our virtual reality, the Simulation Hypothesis, I pretty much thought about the idea that our programmers, The Others otherwise known as The Simulators, were monitoring us like we were monitoring our simulations – from a distance on a monitor. But what if The Simulator was really walking among us? That is, their simulation is more akin to a Star Trek holodeck than a standard video game.
We always tend to immerse ourselves in virtual reality, sometimes subconsciously as in our dreams and dream worlds, but more often not voluntarily, from telling ghost stories around a campfire; to read novels; to watch soap, horses or space operations; even just daydreaming. In recent times, immersion has extended to video and computer games, but usually from the outside looking in at the monitor while fiddling with the mouse or joystick or other controls.
You sometimes seem to immerse yourself in virtual reality as in creating an avatar thereby creating a virtual copy of yourself (or a fake copy of yourself) and interacting with other virtual people through their avatar online, as in “Second Life” . But what we really want, to be honest, is to really immerse our real selves into virtual reality scenarios.
KEEP THINGS SIMPLE, STUPID
Training simulations need only be as realistic as they are needed to train trainees to perfect whatever skills are required. Take the driver training simulation package. Despite the fact that simulations can be nearly average animation standards, the images are constantly shifting – the turnpike software rewinds into the background as one turns onto a country road and new software now pops up ahead. Images are constantly changing and so is the software required for those images. The computer only needs to process a small part of the entire software at a time.
Taking Planet Earth, the number of particles, atoms, molecules, etc. requiring simulation has not changed much over geological time. For example, it’s no longer necessary to simulate dinosaurs or trilobites so those bits and bytes are now freed up for other and newer species. If you have simulated Planet Earth, you don’t need to pour more and more critical resources into the simulation because you are dealing with finite objects that once recycle those particles, atoms and molecules.
Simulators don’t have to simulate every elementary particle in their simulation just in case one day their virtual being (i.e. us) decides to interact with an elementary particle that should exist but doesn’t exist. Their simulation software can be changed/upgraded as necessary as their simulated virtual reality scenario unfolds.
Take Mars. Our simulators could for a long time only use software that simulated a moving reddish dot in the sky that made odd loop-the-loop movements from time to time.
Then the telescope scenario happened and the software was upgraded to show features – the polar cap, visible areas of ‘vegetation’, two moons, dust storms and of course the ‘canals’. Then came Mariner 4, 6 & 7 and 9 and the simulator software had to be upgraded again to show close-up features of Mariner flying and Mariner 9 flying into orbit. Then of course came landers like Vikings, and other kin and tweaks were needed. This is all too easy.
Software that is past its use date can be simply uninstalled – it doesn’t require memory. If it’s needed again, it’s just a tweak or improvement. Your memory has erased many events in your life, but found old letters, photos, diaries, etc. can recover what your brain feels it doesn’t need to keep anymore.
LET’S SIMULATE ROB!
If I put a character, let’s call him Rob, into a video game and Rob is stung, no guts will come because I didn’t program it. If we are on the other side of the simulation; the characters in the video games are not made by us, our guts are there but will emerge if and only if the ongoing scenario requires it. The point remains that not all software is front and center at the same time. Furthermore, the software can be tweaked as the simulation scenario unfolds, just like we get a software upgrade on our PC.
As for having to simulate every necessary thing, such as Rob’s heart, lungs, liver, etc., in any simulation only a part of the whole is active and ‘in your face’ at any one time. When a scenario demands that something else must now be ‘in front of you’ instead, the software is available, but the other software is now retired to the background until and if needed again. In other words, not 100% of the software that comprises the entire simulation is actually front and center at one time so the computer’s ability to handle it is not taxed beyond its capabilities.
I have said above that you should NOT do a one-to-one correlation between what is being simulated and the simulation. If I simulate Rob as a character in a video game, I don’t have to simulate the heart, lungs, liver, and everything else inside. That’s a huge savings in bits and bytes. So the simulated Rob is indeed simpler than the real Rob, but the simulated Rob does the job as far as the video player is concerned.
It’s often been noted that if one was going to simulate his entire Cosmos in demanding one-on-one detail, then he would need a computer as big as the Cosmos he was trying to simulate in the first place, which is ridiculous. The fallacy lies in the phrase “in one-on-one detail”.
A simulation doesn’t need the right amount of detail to be realistic. There are many shortcuts to take when simulating the entire Cosmos, like in the planetarium for example. No matter how you slice and cut things, the planetarium does an excellent job of simulating the Cosmos.
However, a doubtful Thomas continues to assume that in order to simulate the Cosmos, you need a one-to-one correlation, that every last fundamental particle in the Cosmos has to be accounted for and simulated to get a simulation of the Cosmos. That’s not the purpose of the simulation. When cosmologists simulate the Cosmos, they are interested in the big picture.
They don’t need to know about every fundamental particle in the Cosmos to understand the big picture. A simulation is NOT trying to recreate 100% of reality but just interesting bits and pieces. Thus, the bits and bytes required to simulate the Cosmos as required by cosmologists are only a fraction of the bits and bytes required to simulate 100% of the entire Cosmos.
Despite the skepticism of Contrast, our cosmologists have simulated our Cosmos without having to simulate Cosmos up to the last ‘I’ point and across the last ‘T’.
If scientists want to simulate two colliding galaxies but their research grant doesn’t give them unlimited funds for crunch power, then they do what their budget allows. In the case of our simulator, maybe they have maxed out their bits and bytes; maybe their expenses are minimal – on a meager budget. We don’t know. We can’t know.
I would argue that astronomers/cosmologists are not only simulating possible planetary worlds and entire virtual solar systems, but the entire Universe from the Big Bang event down the line. Of course those simulations are much simpler than what they simulate but they do the job that needs to be done.
Extrapolating one level up, if multiple agencies are simulating our Cosmos, or what we think of as our Cosmos, then those simulations are NOT intended to be one-on-one replicas of their Cosmos. For that entity, that agency, what they have simulated (our Cosmos) is easily achievable because it is NOT a one-to-one representation of their Cosmos, just as our cosmologists try to simulate one-on-one what they believe. our cosmos. We think our virtual reality Cosmos is everything-and-all-in-all that exists when it’s only a tiny fraction of what’s actually real – our Cosmos simulator.
Of course on the one hand we, even as simulations, are part of The Simulators Cosmos in the same way that our simulations are, our virtual reality is part of our Cosmos. We’re probably the same ‘stuff’ as in we’re part of The Simulators Cosmos too, which is let’s say Full Monty of all things A to Z.
But when The Simulators simulate or build or build us (yes, you too), they simplify things -thing and say leave all vowels. So yes, we ‘are’ in their Cosmos, but in a simplified virtual reality simulation of their Cosmos. In other words, there is no one-to-one correlation.
OBJECTION WILL BE FREE
Now in my mind, the only valid objection to the Simulation Hypothesis is that one has absolute free will. That argument completely undermines the Simulation Hypothesis. Flies in the ointment is that all people need to do is prove to the satisfaction of the whole world that they really do have free will, and therefore all humans have free will.
Then various websites and publishers can remove free will from their inventory and thus free up a large amount of data storage space for other topics. In the meantime, I can use my time, effort and energy to better use thinking about the possibilities of our virtual reality.
In conclusion, once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away, let’s just say there was a technologically advanced civilization that I will call The Simulators! Also say that for The Simulators to simulate one-on-one Big Cosmos they themselves would require 100,000 units of computing power.
Unfortunately, The Simulators only has 100 computing units of crunch power, so it’s clear they’re not trying to simulate their own Big Cosmos one-to-one – in its entirety. However, they simulated 100 computing units of mini-Cosmos crunch power. That’s us, that’s our mini-Cosmos. So we ‘are’ in a simulation of 100 mini-Cosmos crunch power computers.
We in turn may be able to manage 1 (one) simulation unit (in the simulation we already ‘exist’) computing crunch power. We can no longer simulate our simulated mini-Cosmos one-on-one than The Simulators can simulate their Big Cosmos one-on-one. And that’s where it all ends, at least for now. Our Mini-Cosmos is a mini-Cosmos simulation, simulated by The Simulators in their Big Cosmos. There is no one-to-one identity correlation to be had, in any Cosmos. Is everything clear now?