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Are we Living in the matrix?


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Initial post: Dec 16, 2012 2:16:28 PM PST
Kr155 says:
http://news.discovery.com/space/are-we-living-in-a-computer-simulation-2-121216.html?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews#mkcpgn=rssnws1

Interesting thought. We could be living in a simulation of a situation of a simulation.

The popular film trilogy, The Matrix, presented a cyberuniverse where humans live in a simulated reality created by sentient machines.Now, a philosopher and team of physicists imagine that we might really be living inside a computer-generated universe that you could call The Lattice. What's more, we may be able to detect it.WATCH VIDEO: DARK ENERGYSLIDE SHOW: Violent Beauty of Our Evolving UniverseIn 2003, British philosopher Nick Bostrom published a paperthat proposed the universe we live in might in fact really be a numerical computer simulation. To give this a bizarreTwilight Zone twist, he suggested that our far-evolved distant descendants might construct such a program to simulate the past and recreate how their remote ancestors lived.He felt that such an experiment was inevitable for a supercivilization. If it didn't happen by now, then in meant that humanity never evolved that far and we're doomed to a short lifespan as a species, he argued.To extrapolate further, I'd suggest that artificial intelligent entities descended from us would be curious about looking back in time by simulating the universe of their biological ancestors.As off-the-wall as this sounds, a team of physicists at the University of Washington (UW) recently announced that there is a potential test to seen if we actually live in The Lattice. Ironically, it would be the first such observation for scientifically hypothesized evidence of intelligent design behind the cosmos.The UW team too propose that super-intelligent entities, bored with their current universe, do numerical simulations to explore all possibilities in the landscape of the underlying quantum vacuum (from which the big bang percolated) through universe simulations. "This is perhaps the most profound quest that can be undertaken by a sentient being," write the authors.Before you dismiss this idea as completely loony, the reality of such a Sim Universe might solve a lot of eerie mysteries about the cosmos. About two-dozen of the universe's fundamental constants happen to fall within the narrow range thought to be compatible with life. At first glance it seems as unlikely as balancing a pencil on its tip. Jiggle these parameters and life as we know it would have never appeared. Not even stars and galaxies. This is called the Anthropic principle.ANALYSIS: Building the Universe Inside a SupercomputerThe discovery of dark energy over a decade ago further compounds the universe's strangeness. This sort of "antigravity" pushing space-time apart is the closest thing there is to nothing and still is something. This energy from the vacuum of space is 60 orders of magnitude weaker that what would be predicted by quantum physics.The eminent cosmologist Michael Turner ranks dark energy as "the most profound mystery in all of science."We are also living at a very special time in the universe's history where it switched gears from decelerating to accelerating under the push of dark energy. This begs the question "why me why now?" (A phrase popularly attributed to Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan in 1994 when she was attacked and crippled by an opponent.)If dark energy were slightly stronger the universe would have blown apart before stars formed. Any weaker and the universe would have imploded long ago. Its incredibly anemic value has been seen as circumstantial evidence for parallel universes with their own flavor of dark energy that is typically destructive. It's as if our universe won the lottery and got all the physical parameters just right for us to exist.Finally, an artificial universe solves the Fermi Paradox (where are all the space aliens?) by implying that we truly are alone in the universe. It was custom made for us by our far-future progeny.Biblical creationists can no doubt embrace these seeming cosmic coincidences as unequivocal evidence for their "theory" of Intelligent Design (ID). But is our "God" really a computer programmer rather than a bearded old man living in the sky?Currently, supercomputers using a impressive-sounding technique called lattice quantum chromodynamics, and starting from the fundamental physical laws, can simulate only a very small portion of the universe. The scale is a little larger than the nucleus of an atom, according UW physicist Martin Savage. Mega-computers of the far future could greatly expand the size of the Sim Universe.ANALYSIS: Artificial Universe Created Inside a SupercomputerIf we are living in such a program, there could be telltale evidence for the underlying lattice used in modeling the space-time continuum, say the researchers. This signature could show up as a limitation in the energy of cosmic rays. They would travel diagonally across the model universe and not interact equally in all directions, as they otherwise would be expected to do according to present cosmology.If such results were measured, physicists would have to rule out any and all other natural explanations for the anomaly before flirting with the idea of intelligent design. (To avoid confusion with the purely faith-based creationist ID, this would not prove the existence of a biblical God, because you'd have to ask the question "why does God need a lattice?")If our universe is a simulation, then those entities controlling it could be running other simulations as well to create other universes parallel to our own. No doubt this would call for, ahem, massive parallel processing.If all of this isn't mind-blowing enough, Bostrom imagined "stacked" levels of reality, "we would have to suspect that the post-humans running our simulation are themselves simulated beings; and their creators, in turn, may also be simulated beings. Here may be room for a large number of levels of reality, and the number could be increasing over time."To compound this even further, Bostrom imagined a hierarchy of deities, "In some ways, the post-humans running a simulation are like gods. However, all the demigods except those at the fundamental level of reality are subject to sanctions by the more powerful gods living at lower levels."If the parallel universes are all running on the same computer platform could we communicate with them? If so, I hope the Matrix's manic Agent Smith doesn't materialize one day.To borrow from the title of Isaac Asimov's novel I Robot, the human condition might be described as I Subroutine.Editor's note: Whoa.Image credits: Warner Brothers, J.F. Colonna, Boston University

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 2:23:15 PM PST
Pfft, it's not like people who saw the first one in 1999 didn't think of things like this.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 2:23:27 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 22, 2013 5:33:55 PM PDT]

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 2:29:52 PM PST
aidenraine says:
I think it's hilarious that just because they can prove the galaxy has proof of "intelligent design", the obvious conclusion is that we really live in an elaborate computer simulation that could also be itself a multitude of who knows how many different computer simulations being run by our vast descendants. yet when it comes to creationism and God, it's just some wild theory that is apparently impossible to prove.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 2:30:15 PM PST
Kr155 says:
If you go to the link its formated better. I sorry there is only so much I can do from a cell phone

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 2:32:14 PM PST
JJ4prez says:
I am so happy I bought the Matrix blu ray collection at Target for 30 bucks. It looks sweet plus I like real life puns, watching the matrix while we are in the matrix. Now that's just good fun.

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 2:37:20 PM PST
1#Pen Name says:
Is this thread about creationism or the matrix?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 2:37:55 PM PST
Kr155 says:
Do you think if we were just a simulation in a giant cosmic computer that God made. He would explain all this in a text passed on to people who don't even know what a computer is?

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 3:31:32 PM PST
Jon says:
5 awesome points to anyone who can link to the Simpsons opening that shows a zoom-out from the couch through space, through the universe, so far out that it eventually becomes cells, and back into the living room.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 3:33:48 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 22, 2013 5:33:55 PM PDT]

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 4:33:30 PM PST
Solid Sponge says:
I had a serious mind-freak after watching "Shutter Island" regarding a similar topic. I had the same revelation after watching "Inception," too.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 4:37:41 PM PST
aidenraine says:
well, I don't think it'd really be like that. the god behind the computer would be able to use any kinds of ways to get in contact with us. when I read this article for the first time, it just reminded me of Star Ocean 3.. but then if it were like that, I'd wonder why people wanted to make such a boring game, and who designed this world's dungeons? they suck.

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 4:43:30 PM PST
user22 says:
Sometimes when I see photos of Japanese cosplay I feel like we're living in the Animatrix.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 4:59:11 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Aug 22, 2013 5:33:55 PM PDT]

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 5:59:23 PM PST
Nothing is true, everything is permitted

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 6:21:38 PM PST
R. Typo says:
Sometimes smoking weed is for medicinal purposes.

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 7:25:21 PM PST
Nope, matrix isn't real, so say the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 7:29:53 PM PST
pyroguy says:
to the OP:

No, the Matrix is living inside you!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012 12:25:15 AM PST
Nicos says:
In Soviet Russia, Matrix enters you.

Posted on Dec 18, 2012 3:58:24 AM PST
so will the windows brick themselves up the next time i have deja-vu?

Posted on Dec 18, 2012 5:29:27 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 18, 2012 5:30:21 AM PST
Ice King says:
Years ago, before The Matrix movies, I woke up one morning and for a few moments all I could see was a bunch of numbers scrolling by. It didn't last long but it was very weird.

And if this is a simulation, I think it's time they activate God mode. Or at least some cheats. It's getting pretty stale in here.
I wonder if the people who live in the real world are having boring, sweaty raves in a dank cave as we speak.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012 5:48:35 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 18, 2012 5:51:20 AM PST
Well, both present infinite regressions and affirm that which is [currently] unknowable (namely what happened before the catalyst which "created" our universe) therefore neither is really better than the other.

I tend to stay away from such elaborately fabricated ideas of our universe, I do like to ponder the possibilities though. Mass Effect's lore comes to mind sometimes.

Posted on Dec 18, 2012 6:02:32 AM PST
GUEST!! says:
Would the admins of the Matrix honestly let any experiment that revealed the nature of this false world to succeed? Think, people, think. If the experiment fails that's how we KNOW we're in the matrix!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012 6:02:49 AM PST
Kr155 says:
ahh but the laws of thermodynamics are themselves a product of this particular universe. who knows what laws exist in others.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 18, 2012 6:06:36 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 18, 2012 6:08:03 AM PST
GUEST!! says:
I love the lore of Mass Effect and similar situations, but I've read stuff and even had a professor in College state that the galaxy as we have thus far estimated its age is young enough that we are likely among the first advanced civilizations here.
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  20
Total posts:  32
Initial post:  Dec 16, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 18, 2012

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