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Mac E

Is 'reality' unreal? Scientists work on a way

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What if everything — all of us, the world, the universe — was not real? What if everything we are, know and do was really just someone's computer simulation?

The notion that our reality was some kid on a couch in the far future playing with a computer game like a gigantic Sim City, or Civilization, and we are the player's characters, isn't new. But some physicists now think they know of a way to test the concept. Three of them propose to test reality by simulating the simulatorsicon1.png.

Martin Savage, professor of physics at the University of Washington, Zohreh Davoudi, one of his graduate students, and Silas Beane of the University of New Hampshire would like to see whether they can find traces of simulation in cosmic rays. The work was uploaded in arXiv, an online archive for drafts of academic research papers.

The notion that reality is something other than we think it is goes far back in philosophy, including Plato and his Parable of the Cave, which claimed reality was merely shadows of real objects on a cave wall. Sixteenth-century philosopher-mathematician René Descartes thought he proved reality with his famous "I think, therefore I am," which proposed that he was real and his thoughts had a reality.

Then, in 2003, a British philosopher, Nick Bostrom of the University of Oxford, published a paper that had the philosophy and computerlb_icon1.png science departments buzzing.

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I thought this was te best place for this topic as it's dealing with a cosmis ray experiment. If the mods think it would belong in a better place, please move it.

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hello!

i would really like to know the answer for that....but i would be desapointed if, in fact, we were not real...its somewhat hard to picture...

on the other hand i would be curious to see the reactions of religious liders....and a bit afraid of the caos that it would be in the people's mind....

very sensitive matter i think

sorry for the bad english

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You bring up a good point. If it's all a simulation, then what's the purpose of life? Chaos may indeed ensue.

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I've always liked the idea that to have purpose you give yourself purpose. So sure, we may be unreal, but darnit, I enjoy it.

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Wouldnt change what I do unless they got we may be able to communicate thing with it as well.

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Savage and his colleagues assume that any future simulators would use some of the same techniques current scientists use to run simulations, with the same constraints.
One massive assumption.

IMO a pointless experiment to "test" an unfalsifiable hypothesis.

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The idea that our reality is not real, but instead is someone's computer simulation never made a lick of sense to me.

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The idea that our reality is not real, but instead is someone's computer simulation never made a lick of sense to me.

Our reality could be someone's computer simulation.

Reality is a consensus of so called individuals agreeing that the other one exists and that each one interacts with another on seemingly simple, yet truly intricate levels; the variables of social dynamics, personal relationships, the perception of one versus another, body language, vocalization - all influenced by emotions or the way a person acts or reacts to things that happen to them - whether through the course of life; reality, or through the direct actions of another: such variables exist and influence us as individuals on a sociological and psychological levels - supposedly.

The idea that reality is subjective isn't a new one. There have been many allegories towards the perception of reality throughout human history. If our reality was actually presented to us - like let's say a prepackaged series or sequence of events, our reality could hypothetically be molded by "someone" else; we would be oblivious to the illusion presented to us since reality normally provides a sense of purpose or grounding to the average individual. Once someone questions reality they normally go through a quasi-existential crisis. In the end, reality is really what you, as a thinking individual, choose to believe. Of course, if reality was a virtual simulation and is predetermined through sequences of events, we have to wonder if the interactions we have with others, or the things we do over the years, are truly results of our own freewill, or the cause of determinism; by determinism I mean the idea that our life has been programmed a certain way. Or, predetermined by "God"; "God" could be a simple metaphor for a programmer, or "someone" else.

The idea would be other individuals are programmed in certain places or settings to "behave" certain ways, and we are supposed to "react" in certain ways - all of it being programmed and scripted. But because of our grounding or belief in this reality, we automatically accept this said reality as it correlates with that is the consensus of what is "sanity" amongst individuals. But if reality is a simulation and scripted then the illusion of free will is a convincing one. Individuality would simply be a construct and not a truth.

It might be because we continuously perceive everything around us that we never truly see the illusion - the illusion is embedded through social reinforcement; if you don't believe any of this reality, you're crazy or a deranged person. But if everything is scripted in a simulation - that very social reinforcement is also an illusion, and thus scripted, and thus a very clever and effective mechanism.

Edited by Eonwe
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I'm not sure it makes any difference whether our reality is a simulation or naturally occurring. Let's say "someone" creates a computer program of our universe's physical properties at its beginning and just lets it run. It seems to me there would be no difference in the universe's evolution between the program and a naturally occurring universe.

Our universe is based on information. Every bit of information is the simplest elementary particle. Every elementary particle is information, information of how that particle must behave of itself and in relation to all other particles. Elementary particles may have no physical being in themselves. They may be just bits of information: just behavior, not something behaving.

For instance, the essence of a quark or a string can never be defined. We can never describe "the thing itself", we can only describe its behavior. So, if behavior is based on information, and information is the fundamental aspect of our universe, our universe is identical to a simulation. Whether a naturally occurring simulation or an artificial one is unknown to us a present, unless we discover a bar code or copyright notice or product logo imbedded somewhere in the fabric of spacetime.

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I'm not sure it makes any difference whether our reality is a simulation or naturally occurring. Let's say "someone" creates a computer program of our universe's physical properties at its beginning and just lets it run. It seems to me there would be no difference in the universe's evolution between the program and a naturally occurring universe.

Our universe is based on information. Every bit of information is the simplest elementary particle. Every elementary particle is information, information of how that particle must behave of itself and in relation to all other particles. Elementary particles may have no physical being in themselves. They may be just bits of information: just behavior, not something behaving.

For instance, the essence of a quark or a string can never be defined. We can never describe "the thing itself", we can only describe its behavior. So, if behavior is based on information, and information is the fundamental aspect of our universe, our universe is identical to a simulation. Whether a naturally occurring simulation or an artificial one is unknown to us a present, unless we discover a bar code or copyright notice or product logo imbedded somewhere in the fabric of spacetime.

A black hole with a "USA" logo on it would be humourous at best. XD

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I want to talk to the programmer. I got some things I would like to change.

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Life is but a dream.....the so called illusion of life in many philosophies..sounds like just a new computer tech's version of the same thing.

I think there for I am....was the answer of many philosophies.

I believe the answer really ends up to be, where ever your thought is living is YOUR reality at that moment, physical reality or not :)

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I want to talk to the programmer. I got some things I would like to change.

Personally, I'd like him to delete the Bieber program. It's really annoying.

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