Are we in a Simulation?

January 3rd, 2017 by Michael Tabor

I know – at first glance, the idea that we may be living in a simulation seems fantastical. Surely, no rational and reasonable person can possibly give credence to such an outlandish claim. The notion that our lives, our “reality” and what we are experiencing is merely a simulation or a copy of some other reality seems preposterous. This is just science fiction, an essentially groundless hypothesis with no sound data to support it. Right? Wrong. The Simulation argument (also referred to as Simulation Theory or Simulation hypothesis) is not only a valid claim, it’s a presupposition that is so compellingly and logically spot-on that one cannot in good faith trivially dismiss it.

Look at where we are with technology today – 2017. In fact if you compare where we were just 10 years ago and fast-forward to today, you cannot help but acknowledge that  the world is undeniably very different and perhaps even unrecognizable. Who would have ever imagined that just about every person on earth would have in his or her possession a smart phone – a thin ,pocket-sized computer which can access the internet (the sum of all human knowledge past and present), connect with any other person on earth via phone, text, social media, etc., and even transmit images and video across the globe virtually instantaneously. Stop and reflect on that for a moment! Yes information technology has affected just about every aspect of lives. It has changed us entirely for better or for worse. To deny that we are not going to progress and improve upon the technology especially in the area of virtual reality (artificial world or simulation) is foolhardy. There is going to come a time when images and worlds we create in 3d virtual reality will be sufficiently fine-grained enough that we will be unable to distinguish the difference between it and base reality. The only question or sticking point would be whether or not we can inhabit these simulated worlds with conscious beings like ourselves. Though true we still know next to nothing about consciousness today, I think it’s just a matter of time. Yes I do think  there will be a time in the very near future, that we will indeed figure out what exactly it is to be conscious. Then it will be just a matter of constructing an artificial intelligence that can pass the TURING TEST(computer has human like intelligence, feelings emotions, etc. and is not distinguishable from a conscious human being). I think it’s not only possible, but it’s inevitable.

In fact if you actually just accept these 2 premises i.e. 1. Technology is moving at an exponential rate and will continue to do so and 2. That there is nothing magical or special about the 2 or 3 pounds of convoluted grey brain matter in your head, then you must accept the conclusion that it’s possible if not likely that we’re living in a simulation. Yep, take some time and think about it. Next imagine what the world is going to be like in 10 years from now -2026. How about 50 years, a 100, a 1000 years. Now factor in the fact that technology is progressing at an exponential rate (Moor’s law – every 18 months everything doubles in terms of information storage, speed , access, innovation, etc.) while simultaneously the physical computer gets smaller AND SMALLER. Indeed, the computer will evolve into a microscopic chip the size of a cell, then atom, and then ultimately a sub-atomic particle (quantum computing) with which we can easily implant into mortal humans. Yes, we will inevitably become cyborgs (if we are not already. Elan Musk thinks we are) or perish. Again the aforementioned is a foregone conclusion if you accept the 2 premises cited here.Image result for simulation theory


Okay so simulated beings like us and simulated worlds like ours seems like the inevitable future. But how do you know that you’re not in a simulation right now? After all, once we’ve passed the Turing Test, you won’t know if you’re just a copy in a simulated world. In fact if you do the math and follow this to its logical conclusion, You are more likely than not to be in a simulation insomuch as there is but one original and millions or perhaps billions of copies. This life, this world, this earth with all the plants, animals and 7 billion human beings, the sun, our solar system, our galaxy, and our universe can all be a mere simulation run by some kid from an advanced civilization – perhaps year 2516.All just for entertainment. So WhaDaYaThink ? Are we living in a simulation ? This is just an introductory to AI (Artificial Intelligence) or AGI (Artificial General Intelligence). I’ll be writing a lot more about this utterly fascinating subject.



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3 Responses to “Are we in a Simulation?”

  1. le duke de fromage Says:

    Michael, great to have you back. Have missed both you and Magdalena. My question is if we are in fact living in a simulation why is there such suffering and misery? If we are computer generated what is the point of all the tragedies that occur? It would seem that they are unrelated to any intelligent program. I may not be intelligent enough to understand or its possible I just don’t get the goal of any intelligence that could produce such technology. It isn’t that I don’t question the idea of an artificial intelligence I just question the motivation that designed such a program. You sure picked a provocative subject to come back with. Welcome back, your friend, Le duke de fromage

  2. Michael Tabor Says:

    Magdalena and I both thank you Le Duke.

    So why pain, suffering and misery ? My theory is that there actually are such forces as good and evil. Now whether this evil is something that we human beings introduced or created by our own doing or perhaps there really is a God with a Satan and all that. Or maybe this alien being or higher intelligence has the same propensity as we do to self-destruct. If that sounds woo woo, perhaps this advanced civilization is creating simulations just for fun or entertainment. Hey, just like WE WOULD.

    One of the foremost thinkers in this area of AI, AGI and simulation is a a philosopher/scientist/economist named Nick Bostrom. He has a book out titled ‘Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers and CONSEQUENCES’. I haven’t read it yet, but I know that it’s a schlolarly book detailing all the possible scenarios of a simulated world with all its unintended consequences as well as a meticulously researched take on AGI in general. I can’t wait to dive into this.

    Check this out – this is an incredibly powerful and deeply profound discussion Sam Haris has with Joe Rogan about AGI . it’s about 45 minutes long but well – worth it.

  3. le duke de fromage Says:

    Michael, listened to the Rogan/Harris tape, Their discussion was centered on development of AI in the immediate future and the effects, mainly disastrous, for humans. Harris seemed to take a “no way out attitude” for humans in total. He insinuates the development of AI is the end of humans as we are now, and possibly the end of humans period. They did not discuss AI as the great computer game and we as game controlled pieces. I assume there should be at least 2 categories of AI to distinguish the various differences. Both do not take a very positive approach to our future as humans. WE may all wish we were back in a far simpler time..

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