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in a simulated universe


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#1    theotherguy

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 09:53 PM

I've seen a lot of articles--scientific, popular, serious, satirical--that suggest the universe is a projection, simulation, or "computer program." They always make a big deal about it, and it would be important if true, but would it be life-changing? If it is currently a simulation, then wouldn't it always have been a simulation? If we are always being watched by God/a god/aliens/some programmer living in his mother's basement, I want to know why and how, but I don't think I would start living differently. Any thoughts?

For that matter, if a simulation can't be distinguished from reality, isn't it real enough?

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#2    White Crane Feather

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 04:24 PM

View Posttheotherguy, on 02 April 2014 - 09:53 PM, said:

I've seen a lot of articles--scientific, popular, serious, satirical--that suggest the universe is a projection, simulation, or "computer program." They always make a big deal about it, and it would be important if true, but would it be life-changing? If it is currently a simulation, then wouldn't it always have been a simulation? If we are always being watched by God/a god/aliens/some programmer living in his mother's basement, I want to know why and how, but I don't think I would start living differently. Any thoughts?

For that matter, if a simulation can't be distinguished from reality, isn't it real enough?
Well for starts if we are aware that we are created we might be able to find a way to communicate with our creator in a real way. That would be interesting. We also might be able to learn the programming language and learn how to completely manipulate our environment. We could be like Neo.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#3    sutemi

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 05:49 AM

Hi Tog, A great post about a fundamental question.  In the modern times with our use of computers, the idea of us living in a simulation seems likely and obviously scientifically very possible but before the latest scientific theories the ancients through ‘meditation’ had come to the same conclusion, but thought of it in slightly different way. They thought of life in terms of a dream as in this quote from 4/500bc by the Chinese master Chuang Tzu.
“How can I tell if the love of life is not a delusion? How can I tell whether a man who fears death is not like a man who has left home and dreads returning? Lady Li was the daughter of a border guard of Ai, when the Duke of Chin first took her, she wept until her dress was soaked with tears but once she was living in the Dukes palace, sharing his bed and eating delicious food she wondered why she had ever cried. How can I tell if the dead are not amazed they ever clung to life? Those who dream of a great feast may weep the next morning. Those who dream of weeping may enjoy the hunt the next day. While they dream they do not know they are dreaming, they may even interpret their dreams while they are dreaming.  Only after they awake do they know it was a dream. By and by there will be a great awakening, and then we will know that this is all a great dream.  All the while the fools think they are awake, appearing to understand things calling this man ruler and this man herdsman! How stupid! You and Confucius are both dreaming and when I say you are dreaming I am dreaming too. These words may sound like double talk, yet after 10,000 generations, we will meet a Great Sage who can explain all of this, or it may happen anytime now! “  
Now its one thing to have a good theory and for that to influence our way of seeing human life but what if like these teachers/ masters we KNEW it through meditation, in our every day? Would we not live differently? would we be so greedy, selfish and stressed out? When the Buddha was asked,” What have you gained from meditation?”  He replied ," Nothing! ” However, Buddha said, “ Let me tell you what I lost: Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Insecurity, Fear of Old Age and Death.” I have found this to be true about the perspective meditation brings, is that the way one experiences life is with a certain detachment slightly similar to when I am playing a Call of Duty/Borderlands 2 game on my play station. This does not mean living like a monk or some aesthetic life style, but just simply to meditate every day and then know it by personal experience. I like this view proposed by Alan Watts in one of his lectures here is a Utube vid made with words taken from it. https://www.youtube....aid=P-DvWjvsfrs Alan Watts The Dream of Life

Edited by sutemi, 11 April 2014 - 05:54 AM.


#4    JGirl

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 06:44 AM

it would be like the truman show


#5    White Crane Feather

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 02:30 PM

For some reason I'm having the hardest time with the idea of sutemi playing play station :D

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#6    Whisperer

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 02:38 PM

Well the Universe is certainly real to us but could we actually be the Authors ourselves?
It would make a difference to a lot of people I would think, in that those who already take this concept in would apply more energy in taking ownership of themselves whilst others may decide to end it all and as many around them as they can because its not real anyway...and so on.....

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#7    sutemi

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Posted 11 April 2014 - 06:18 PM

View PostWhite Crane Feather, on 11 April 2014 - 02:30 PM, said:

For some reason I'm having the hardest time with the idea of sutemi playing play station :D
I can understand that WCF, I am playing 'Drakes Deception' at the moment. Its good for the reflexes and eye hand coordination and don't forget I have a 9yr old. Hope you and yours are well and happy.


#8    theotherguy

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 05:47 AM

View PostWhisperer, on 11 April 2014 - 02:38 PM, said:

Well the Universe is certainly real to us but could we actually be the Authors ourselves?
It would make a difference to a lot of people I would think, in that those who already take this concept in would apply more energy in taking ownership of themselves whilst others may decide to end it all and as many around them as they can because its not real anyway...and so on.....

Interesting. How would we be the Authors (a good choice of word)? More directly, who are you saying is the "we"? I can't say I include myself in the "we"; otherwise, I wouldn't have started this thread.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" but "That's funny..."  --Isaac Asimov

Conspiracy theorists are created by the government to distract us from what they're really doing!!!! Or not.

#9    Nenaraz

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 03:24 AM

The computer simulations are called like that because they mimic the real life and real-life-esque abilities, the memory, segmentation and so on. It shouldn't be mistook for that we're in a computer-simulated universe/existence - we're in reality where computers mimic the factors of life/existence itself because they're the very factors of the exact existence itself.

We shouldn't mistake our ignorance of existence for the validity of such claims, but, yes, you can ALWAYS use any human segment of life to make the analogy for the computer-based factors, from abstract terms uch as soul to the abstract terms such as god. Everything can be used to describe the computer and vice-versa too but to a degree.


#10    Whisperer

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 03:47 AM

View Posttheotherguy, on 25 April 2014 - 05:47 AM, said:

Interesting. How would we be the Authors (a good choice of word)? More directly, who are you saying is the "we"? I can't say I include myself in the "we"; otherwise, I wouldn't have started this thread.

Could we in fact be the very Gods we think are responsible for this universe, could we in fact be immortal consciousness that have gotten so bored with eternity that we have deliberately created a virtual world to get lost in so giving excitement to an otherwise endless existence of knowing it all.
That you disclude yourself from 'we' doesn't in any way invalidate such a proposal, regardless of your beliefs, a quest is exactly that isnt it, a question to be mulled over then eventually answered.

I be Ra...The river of life, the ebb and flow of summer tides...
Make not an image of me, nor offer unto me the limitations of form...
For I be Soul....and I will not be limited...

#11    StarMountainKid

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 01:11 AM

What would be the differences (if any) between a computer generated or simulated universe and a naturally occurring one?

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#12    Sundew

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 01:29 AM

I saw a television program about the expansion of the universe, can't remember the show and perhaps not even the details, but I think they postulated there is evidence that the universe is expanding not like when one stretches a rubber band, but rather in digital increments. That is rather curious.

Whatever this present reality may be, it certainly seems real to those within it. We appear to be born, live, reproduce and die in it. Those of faith might say it's a dry run for eternity, those with a more sci-fi bent might say we are in the matrix.


#13    spacecowboy342

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 03:26 AM

View PostSundew, on 27 April 2014 - 01:29 AM, said:

I saw a television program about the expansion of the universe, can't remember the show and perhaps not even the details, but I think they postulated there is evidence that the universe is expanding not like when one stretches a rubber band, but rather in digital increments. That is rather curious.

Whatever this present reality may be, it certainly seems real to those within it. We appear to be born, live, reproduce and die in it. Those of faith might say it's a dry run for eternity, those with a more sci-fi bent might say we are in the matrix.
I think this depends on whether space is quantized or not

View PostStarMountainKid, on 27 April 2014 - 01:11 AM, said:

What would be the differences (if any) between a computer generated or simulated universe and a naturally occurring one?
I'm not sure if you could tell the difference from inside one or the other


#14    lightly

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 11:34 AM

View PostStarMountainKid, on 27 April 2014 - 01:11 AM, said:

What would be the differences (if any) between a computer generated or simulated universe and a naturally occurring one?

I would guess a computer generated / simulated  universe would need some sort of Machinery to "project " it (or whatever) And  .. machines can't run themselves,  so  that version still leaves us looking for a  living Creator and Operator of the machinery? Aliens? ..   i dun think so.

I think the reason we get ideas  like this, and ask questions like this,  is because we are unable to fully understand and explain the  naturally occurring one we occupy.  ?

  so.. People try to explain EVERYTHING in purely physical terms...  there may be something more fundamental than physicality  from which the physical forces  and properties  emanate?  

  I can't imagine a machine  ever being capable of creating matter and energy ,in all it's complexity, or an illusion thereof,   let alone     Life!  

   emanate |ˈeməˌnāt|
verb [ no obj. ] (emanate from)(of something abstract but perceptible) issue or spread out from (a source): warmth emanated from the fireplace | she felt an undeniable charm emanating from him.• originate from; be produced by: the proposals emanated from a committee.• [ with obj. ] give out or emit (something abstract but perceptible): he emanated a powerful brooding air.DERIVATIVESemanative |-ˌnātiv|adjective,emanator |-ˌnātər|noun
ORIGIN mid 18th cent.: from Latin emanat- ‘flowed out,’ from the verb emanare, from e- (variant of ex-)‘out’ + manare ‘to flow.’

Edited by lightly, 27 April 2014 - 11:37 AM.

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#15    StarMountainKid

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 04:40 PM

One argument goes, if it is possible for advanced technological beings to build computers capable of creating a simulated universe, then they probably will. If there are many of these advanced technological beings in the universe, then there will be many simulated universes.

As it only requires two of these simulated universes to outnumber the natural universe, it is more likely we live in a simulated universe than in a natural one.

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