Do We Live In A Computer Simulation?

Neon

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#2
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.
This is one of the dumbest arguments that is constantly made by smart people. They are looking at it the wrong way. It's not amazing at all that if certain constants were different we wouldn't be alive. It's the least amazing thing I can think of because WE'RE ALIVE. This is a chicken and egg situation only this one has a definitive cause and effect chain. The universe existed before life did, so the fact that life developed in the universe is entirely predictable within a universe that enables life to develop.

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.
Same difference. The universe could have created and destroyed itself an infinite amount of times before this incarnation, each time having slightly different parameters. We are here because the parameters were right. The parameters weren't right for us to be here. It's not that "OUR universe won the lottery." It's that A universe won the lottery, and that's why life developed there. To call it "our" universe implies that this specific one was intended for us whether the conditions for life were good or not. It doesn't work that way.

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.
Another dumb argument by smart people, which also relates to other dumb arguments like the Grey Goo theory or the Von Neumman machine paradox. All of these are based on assumptions that were made by observing only one intelligent life form. We are making a judgement call that aliens would be similar to us in certain way which they might not. They may have no desire to encounter other species and could be actively avoiding them. They could have technology that appears to us to be natural phenomena (especially through the tiny pinhole of our rather limited telescopes and sensors), etc.


That being said, if we really are in a simulated universe, but not like The Matrix - in the sense that we only exist inside the simulation, then A) Who cares? and B) How is that different from a universe that isn't simulated? If the simulation is autonomous, and the universe in it is the limits of existence, then I really don't think it matters. In the philosophical sense of "what is real" being "the electrical impulses from your sensory organs to your brain" as opposed to an actual experience (because without sensing it or knowing you did it, for you it doesn't exist). In other words, if we exist solely as a simulation inside a simulated universe, then to us our universe is as real as a real universe would be to real creatures existing within it.
 
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Ballbuster1

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#4
I might have agreed 30 years ago.

I wasn't thinking too clearly back then.

Now, I'd say nah. This is as real as it gets.
 

Neon

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#5
I might have agreed 30 years ago.

I wasn't thinking too clearly back then.

Now, I'd say nah. This is as real as it gets.
But if we are the result of the simulation, as opposed to real creatures whose minds are inside a simulation (like in The Matrix), then it would feel 100% real to us because it would actually be our reality.
 

LiddyRules

I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy
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#6
This is the world whether we like it or not and whether it's real or not. That's why, if I am insane, I never want to become lucid, because I'd hate to think of all those years lost and having to figure out where to go from there.

And if this is a computer simulation, why don't the programmers fuck with some shit? Are we really that interesting that they wouldn't change physics ever so slightly every once in awhile? Give someone God mode powers for a little bit?
 

mills

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#8
Neon HalfTaester.
 

LiddyRules

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#9
The Matrix was an allegory. It wasn't a documentary.
Awww. I thought The Architect was actually God. All my prays are "vis a vis, quid pro quo, apropos, indeed, quite, cogito ergo sum, perchance."
 

mills

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#10
And if this is a computer simulation, why don't the programmers fuck with some shit? Are we really that interesting that they wouldn't change physics ever so slightly every once in awhile? Give someone God mode powers for a little bit?
Same thing as an eternal supernatural being. He's infinitely patient. I'm sure it seems to us like a lot of interesting shit has happened in the last 20 or 30 years. The rise of the smartphone.

Whoopteedo. Just another lame ass monkey squawk in the eyes of the Lord.
 

LiddyRules

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#11
Smartphones are fun, but if they're the high point of the past 30 years, we're pathetic.
 

Norm Stansfield

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#13
I disagree, it's not an interesting subject at all. The actual things that exist in the Universe are far more interesting (and weird) than anything some asshole with a shallow understanding of Physics, and no understanding of Logic and Philosophy, can make up in his head.
 
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Norm Stansfield

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#14
Smartphones are fun, but if they're the high point of the past 30 years, we're pathetic.
Communications and information technology are the high points of the past 30 years (mainly because government regulation of most other important fields, like energy, health care and transportation, slowed advances there). Smart phones are just one consequence of that technology, but they do in fact contain a lot of the greatest technological achievements.

So yeah, if you were to pick one thing that best illustrates human achievement these past 30 years, the smart-phone would be a pretty good pick. Not because of what it does or what it's used for by most people, but because of what it is.
 

somnarium

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#15
I disagree, it's not an interesting subject at all. The actual things that exist in the Universe are far more interesting (and weird) than anything some asshole with a shallow understanding of Physics can make up in his head.
That is probably the most lucid, agreeable statement I've read in awhile.