Are we living in a Simulated Universe ?

In 2003 Nick Bostrom, a Swedish philosophy professor at Oxford University postulated that if any of the following did not come true :

  1. Humanity would destroy itself
  2. That such experimentation would be illegal
  3. That humanity’s attention would be on other emergencies

Then it would be likely that in the not too distant future that Humanity would have the computing power to run simulations of universes.

His proposal was actually a trilemma that was called the simulation argument. He argues that one of three propositions is almost certainly true:

  1. The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage (that is, one capable of running high-fidelity ancestor simulations) is very close to zero, or
  2. The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running simulations of their evolutionary history, or variations thereof, is very close to zero, or
  3. The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one.

Here we would like to explore what this could mean and explore some of the exciting concepts that this raises. We will continue to create democratic forums to review the most interesting topics. Please do sign up for our newsletter to receive regular updates.

Nick Bostrum has done the sums to show what computing power would be needed. For whole universes it is quite large, but it becomes considerably less if all you have to generate the surroundings for one or more conscious beings.

What this then means is that from this point in the future, Humanity is likely to be generating more and more simulations or simulated universes. This could rapidly
climb to millions of simulations and could develop simulations within simulations.

This then means that the chances of us currently being in the original real universe are in the trillion to one likelihood and that it is far more likely that we are currently in a simulation or simulated universe.

Certain scenarios/questions then arise.

  • Could this be a game that I developed for myself and I am the only conscious entity involved ?
  • Is everyone else conscious or just simulations ?
  • What would be the ultimate universal parameters ?
  • What variations might be tested in this universe ?
  • Does any of this really matter ?

You may be asking yourself : Why is any of this important ? What else could this mean ?

We would encourage you to join our Forum to explore some of the fascinating questions this raises.

Please also take the time to review the interview with Nick Bostrom on his Simulation Argument below.

The Short Version (3 mins)

The Longer Version (23 mins)

More information on the Simulation Argument can be found at www.simulation-argument.com

More information on Nick Bostrom, who is also Director of Future of Humanity Institute, can also be found at https://nickbostrom.com/ and at www.fhi.ox.ac.uk/team/nick-bostrom/

If you’re interested to explore further, please visit Simulated Universes Forum now on VIZYA

Enjoy. Explore !!

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