Are we living in a comuter simulation?
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04-02-2011, 07:56 AM
RE: Are we living in a comuter simulation?
I think there is no great distinction between real and actual universes. If a being simulates a universe it actually creates one, since for observers within the simulated universe it will become just as real as the first universe for the creator.

Also I can't see any reason why can't we copy exactly our universe.
just look at this sand simulation. It simulates some sand particles in a way that they behave exacly like they were 'actual' sand. There are the particles (sand) the rules (gravity, and mechanical laws) and a beginning situation. In this universe there are also particles (actually there's lots of them, but physicists hope that it will turn out to be less (possibly one)) and forces(3 here, also hoped to be one) and a starting situation that can be the singularity. For this we need to understand exactly the rules of our universe, wich we does not.
For simplicity let's asume that string theory is right, and the 3 forces are united to one. If we have a nice processor (preferably AMD :sleepySmile we can feed the characterisitics of a string, and the One Force into the computer, and add some further rules like the expanding of space, and the speed of time. Then push enter. What should happen is the forming of quarks, protons, atoms, starts, planets, molecules, evolution, and life. Why? BEcause we copied our universe. Everything is exactly identical, so the happenings must be the same, within a certain range. This is just like a dice: If we throw 6, we can throw 6 again if we EXACTLY copy our previous move, witch we can't but wich is theoratically possible.

Okay well I assumed that the rules of our universe can be fully understood. This might not be so, but I hope the best.
Furthermore, even if it turns out that we live in a simulated universe, it should still be real for us, and should have no impact on our everyday lives whatsoever. We are already tinyTongue

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04-02-2011, 09:50 AM
RE: Are we living in a comuter simulation?
(04-02-2011 07:56 AM)TheSelfishGene Wrote:  I think there is no great distinction between real and actual universes.

Well, no. "Real" and "actual" mean almost the same thing.

Quote:If a being simulates a universe it actually creates one

No. If it simulates a complete universe, it actually creates one.

And you can't do that inside a universe.

Something which is a perfect simulation - meaning it is in every way identical to the thing which it is simulating - is the thing that it is simulating. So a perfect simulation of a universe requires everything that is actually inside the universe. To create a perfect simulation of a universe, you would have to break down your current universe for spare parts.

So you can't create a perfect simulation of a universe inside a universe. You can create an imperfect simulation, though, but this leads to the "the only reasonable answer is 'no'" bit. An imperfect simulation of a universe must have some situation where it does not behave as though it is actually a universe. Until we find such a situation, there is no reason to think that we are living in a simulation.

Quote:since for observers within the simulated universe it will become just as real as the first universe for the creator.

Until they find the point where it behaves as though it is a simulation rather than real.

Quote:Also I can't see any reason why can't we copy exactly our universe.

Because a perfect copy requires everything that is inside the universe. It would require all the matter and all the energy that is inside the universe. You can't perfectly simulate a larger system inside a smaller one. You can create a simplified simulation, but you can't simulate the entire thing because you don't have enough parts.

Quote:just look at this sand simulation. It simulates some sand particles in a way that they behave exacly like they were 'actual' sand.

Well, no, it doesn't. It simulates sand particles in a way that they behave exactly as though they are computer simulations of sand.

No, I am not being necessarily pedantic. It's an important distinction. Actual sand has weight and mass and gravitational impact on the rest of the world. It occupies a discrete position in space-time. A computer simluation of sand has no weight, no mass, and no "real" position. It is not a perfect simulation of sand, because it is not sand. There is a situation where it behaves as though it is not sand - namely, in the real world, where it is nothing but some lines of code. If it were a perfect simulation of sand, it would actually be sand.

Quote:For simplicity let's asume that string theory is right, and the 3 forces are united to one. If we have a nice processor (preferably AMD :sleepySmile we can feed the characterisitics of a string, and the One Force into the computer, and add some further rules like the expanding of space, and the speed of time. Then push enter. What should happen is the forming of quarks, protons, atoms, starts, planets, molecules, evolution, and life.

No. What would happen is a computer simulation of the formation of quarks, protons, atoms, and so on. Quarks, protons, and atoms would not actually start appearing.

And, again, to build a computer big enough to simulate an entire universe perfectly, you would need a computer which consisted of everything in the universe.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
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04-02-2011, 02:42 PM
RE: Are we living in a comuter simulation?
I could have completely missed your point but... you can't simulate the complete universe inside that universe since that would require the simulation to simulate itself at some point.

Imagine a program that keeps track of every bit in your memory. It would work smooth for most of the bits but once it reaches the parts of the memory where the actual logging is taking place it would try to read a register that is constantly changing. You are going to have to skip these registers or the program will overwrite itself.

So... Assuming we live in a simulated world you have to "assume the simulation is NOT part of our universe" or "assume the simulation is not an exact copy of our universe"
(Neither of which gives an answer to the question "is it true") Tongue

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04-02-2011, 05:00 PM
 
RE: Are we living in a comuter simulation?
Is it necessary for the simulation to be an exact copy of the simulator's universe? After all, the people living inside the simulation don't have any standard to judge it by. Our universe seems normal and "universe-y" because it is what we are accustomed to.
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04-02-2011, 05:23 PM
RE: Are we living in a comuter simulation?
(04-02-2011 05:00 PM)TruthAddict Wrote:  Is it necessary for the simulation to be an exact copy of the simulator's universe? After all, the people living inside the simulation don't have any standard to judge it by. Our universe seems normal and "universe-y" because it is what we are accustomed to.

Entirely true, but if the universe is only a simulation, this can only hold up for so long. Again, there has to be some situation in which we can realize that the universe is a simulation rather than an actual universe, or else it is an actual universe.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
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04-02-2011, 06:12 PM (This post was last modified: 04-02-2011 06:18 PM by No J..)
RE: Are we living in a comuter simulation?
(04-02-2011 09:50 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(04-02-2011 07:56 AM)TheSelfishGene Wrote:  I think there is no great distinction between real and actual universes.

Well, no. "Real" and "actual" mean almost the same thing.

I think TheSelfishGene may have meant "virtual."

When I find myself in times of trouble, Richard Dawkins comes to me, speaking words of reason, now I see, now I see.
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06-02-2011, 10:39 AM
RE: Are we living in a comuter simulation?
(04-02-2011 06:12 PM)No J. Wrote:  
(04-02-2011 09:50 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(04-02-2011 07:56 AM)TheSelfishGene Wrote:  I think there is no great distinction between real and actual universes.

Well, no. "Real" and "actual" mean almost the same thing.

I think TheSelfishGene may have meant "virtual."
Yeah I did, I just somehow typed the opposite Blush


All what I am trying to say is this: a universe might be real, and simulated at the same time. For the creaters it IS just a bunch of '0' and '1', inside a computer, has no mass, energy, gravity, etc. But for the observers, who are part of this sim, it would be real. All the mass and energy of this universe would only be needed to copy it if we wanted the copy to be real for us. But that is not necessary, we could create a universe inside a computer with intelligent observers, for whom the sim-universe would be just as real, as ours for us. Such a universe could be an exact copy, except that it is not real (for us).

I guess...

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07-02-2011, 07:49 AM
RE: Are we living in a comuter simulation?
(06-02-2011 10:39 AM)TheSelfishGene Wrote:  All what I am trying to say is this: a universe might be real, and simulated at the same time.

That's logically contradictory. Allow me to illustrate:

"The universe is real" = A
"The universe is a simulation" = "the universe is not real" = ¬A (not-A, for those of you who are unfamiliar with logic symbols)
"The universe is real and the universe is a simulation" = A∧¬A (A and not-A)

This violates the law of noncontradiction. A∧¬A cannot be true. It is not possible.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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07-02-2011, 11:55 AM
RE: Are we living in a comuter simulation?
(07-02-2011 07:49 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(06-02-2011 10:39 AM)TheSelfishGene Wrote:  All what I am trying to say is this: a universe might be real, and simulated at the same time.

That's logically contradictory. Allow me to illustrate:

"The universe is real" = A
"The universe is a simulation" = "the universe is not real" = ¬A (not-A, for those of you who are unfamiliar with logic symbols)
"The universe is real and the universe is a simulation" = A∧¬A (A and not-A)

This violates the law of noncontradiction. A∧¬A cannot be true. It is not possible.


Well...Wow, that was fancy...Rolleyes
Still, can't it be that the 'realness' (is there such a word?) of a universe, or anything is relative? Can't it be that what is real for someone, might not be real for someone else? Not at any case of course, but particularly here it may be plausible.

..."we can be truly free - not because we can rebel against the the tyranny of the selfish replicators but because we know that there is no one to rebel."
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07-02-2011, 01:12 PM
RE: Are we living in a comuter simulation?
(07-02-2011 11:55 AM)TheSelfishGene Wrote:  Well...Wow, that was fancy...Rolleyes

I only recently figured out how to type those. Couldn't resist.

Quote:Still, can't it be that the 'realness' (is there such a word?) of a universe, or anything is relative?

No. Either it's real or it isn't. Object A is object A; it cannot be object A and have properties which are the opposite of A.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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