Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?

Discussion in 'Intelligence & Machines' started by Magical Realist, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Gravage Registered Senior Member

    The only and real problem to create computer simulated universe, you need numbers, in the real world numbers do not exist, so the entire argument falls here.
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  3. Xotica Everyday I’m Shufflin Registered Senior Member

    A computer simulated universe is very possible (and Cosmology recognizes this possibility). The nagging problem with this scenario is accumulative database errors. Thus, numerous layers of error-correcting software would have to be employed.
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  5. Gravage Registered Senior Member

    Numbers do not exist in the real world they are abstract man-made tools which help to understand and simulate the universe and its processes, but numbers themselves do not exist in the real world, this is why this world is not some computer simulation (at least it's not a computer simulation).
    In order for the universe to be a computer simulation you would need to actually need numbers to exist, but they don't exist.
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  7. Xotica Everyday I’m Shufflin Registered Senior Member

    The possibility was discussed at length at a Cosmology symposium.

    The broad consensus - such a universe is indeed possible.
  8. Gravage Registered Senior Member

    How is it possible if numbers do not exist in the real world?
    You need to have numbers to exist in the real world for the start to claim such a possibility.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  9. Gravage Registered Senior Member

    And you're talking about numbers, software, hardware and database errors which must include numbers to exist in the first place in a real world, there are no numbers in the real world, so why cosmology considers this in the first place, if they don't have anything to start with, the most important and crucial evidence to start with-the existence of numbers in the physical world!
    Numbers and database errors do not exist in the real world.
  10. Junglebearz Registered Member

    I read through most of this thread, and I am completely intrigued by it. I made an account for the sole purpose of discussing this matter further, for I see that many of the claims made to argue this theory have no evidence to back it. Numbers do not have to exist in the real world for a simulated universe, for the algorithm used to predict the fundamental forces and mass are all that is needed for this. Also, the inhabitants of the simulated universe could not know that their universe is simulated because they are only able to "see" using particles in that simulated universe, which the algorithms show up nowhere in. Database errors do in fact exist, unless you are using the wrong term for database error. Fragmentation, overwriting, bad data writing algorithms/programs: all of these can cause an incorrect database

    ~Electrical engineer with knowledge in Quantum Physics and Genetics
  11. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    That's a partial truth.

    What makes greater sense is the notion that the universe itself in it's creation is a "Base" a default state of stability that such observers can than start to unravel from, as without such a base to begin with would mean the universe itself would be too entropic for any stability to survive.

    (It's an old topic of Chaos theory, in regards to the how and why entropy and order exists in the same system)

    What is of course interesting is the myriad of potential versions that people hypothesis. For instance a simulated system wouldn't be done in one computer alone, the complexity of our current system if fully modelled would make it an impossible feat for one lone machine to undertake. Even linking all the worlds computers together (throughout the history of mankind) you'd never reach the number of Flops required to cover simulating the universe.

    However stating that still doesn't rule out virtualisation as a possibility, as rather than trying to build the whole thing, it should be understood that the universe is "The sum of it's parts".
  12. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Any virtual universe which we created in the future with fully conscious or intelligently discerning inhabitants would have to be partially inspired by idealism or some form of interacting group solipsism, rather than the futility of trying to model and maintain an entire "external world" literally equipped with micro and macrocosmic stratums (or a realm designed on physicalism).

    Even then, trying to invent programs that would immediately generate and coordinate the expected perceptions / experiences of these denizens coherently while also trying to regulate those events within a framework of general laws, would be like inventing what goes beyond fractals - or the infinitely unfolding "worlds" of nested patterns associated with such. IOW, remarkable strategies that did more than compute a specified, static nested level of self-similar patterns to be viewed, but instead computed scenes and sensations of a dynamically changing environment through time, for the virtual characters. Like the way the sleeping brain can rapidly conjure more dream landscape for its simulated observer's POV (minus an entire universe being maintained when not perceived), but in this case with a stable adherence to rules / logic rather than the arbitrary deviations of emotion and fancy that usually disrupt the consistency of a dream's fabricated reality.
  13. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

    I read a little bit. On several pages. 329 posts minus mine. Did most of you ever see the Matrix? Interesting movie.
    But I don't care if I'm.. "In the computer", because I get to watch my little one grow as long as we (my baby an I) are here. An I got a great wife.
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  14. Epictetus here & now Registered Senior Member

    Am I living in a computer stimulation, Magical Realist? No, but you are.
  15. machaon Registered Senior Member

    Yes. Everything that your brain processes and outputs as your awareness is a simulation of the universe as it pertains to the continuation of your DNA.
  16. keith1 Guest

    Which is also built-up subroutines of even smaller pico-sized CPU control modules, powered by the entirety of the built-up array itself. Self-feeding pica-robotics. Really advanced machinery....
    Not surprising, because that room full of monkeys have been typing a very long time.
  17. NietzscheHimself Banned Banned

    If a computer is composed of elements and sends signals in the form of energy from one place to another... Yes.

    If a computer is made of "specific" elements and blah blah blah... No... Mr semantics.
  18. Gravage Registered Senior Member

    The main problem is there are no numbers in the real world, give me one example of numbers existing in a real world, there isn't any, it's abstract existing in mathematical calculations and that's it, that's reality, universe might be some kind of simulation but it sure isn't computer simulation, actually believe it or not we would be able to see if we're made of numbers by now, we would find correlation, after all science and technology have gone so far that we can actually divide what is real and what is made of numbers.

    Again where do numbers exist, can you actually program the universe using the real world numbers (not computer numbers)? You can't because numbers do not exist in a real world, from where did you get this, we invented numbers, not the nature. This hypothesis that you mentioned is based on abstract numbers, and universe is physical not abstract.

    In order to prove the universe is computer simulation you would have to have physical numbers not abstract numbers like in the computer.
    In the computer numbers are not physical but abstract.
    As long as numbers are abstract, you cannot simulate physical universe, only abstract (computer) universe.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  19. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

    It all seems so real.. I am not wanting out of the Matrix. I like what I have. Let me stay a coppertop, for now.
    If the Matrix crashes do I wake up?
  20. Gravage Registered Senior Member

    Yes, absolutely yes you will wake up.
  21. penkalo Registered Member

    No, what a question.
  22. barcelonic Registered Senior Member

    "If the brain were so simple we could understand it, we would be so simple we couldn't"

    I have to say I find that paper amusing. The author starts off with a very specific premise and then begins to talk about the likelihood of it as though it were either/or.

    You cannot claim that humans, if left to develop, would advance to a species that runs 'ancestor simulations'. You could just as easily make up a sport and claim that is what any species would come up with if left long enough. Similarly, he talks about reaching a 'posthuman' stage as though this is the future course of history, when of course there are an infinite number of possibilities. He claims a posthuman society must have immense computing power, when of course they could exist with or without computers.

    Were we to observe a species evolving into a species capable of invention, that does not mean that computers would be invented any more than a Slinky or rubber armbands. If he believes otherwise, he should at least state his case.

    We can predict very little (or nothing, it could be argued) about the future. We cannot say that a 'posthuman' civilisation could, or even would, run 'ancestor simulations' and we certainly cannot speak about the likelihood of us being in one now.

    Look, i could go on & on about this but I am not going to lol. Frankly I find it rather absurd because he starts from a very specific position and then tries to rationalise it as though there is some likelihood to any one of these claims. It is bizarre.
  23. spandrel Registered Member

    testing one two three...
    Gravage - our digital computers use numbers but that's not the only way to compute.

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