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Science & Technology

Are we all living in a fake universe ?

By T.K. Randall
August 5, 2015 · Comment icon 42 comments



Are we all living in a computer simulation ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Glogger / Chris Aimone
Could our entire existence and everything we perceive of the world be inside a computer simulation ?
The idea, which was covered extensively in the movie 'The Matrix', maintains that we are all hooked up to a massive computer simulation that exists somewhere in the distant future.

Perhaps this sophisticated simulation was designed to enable us to experience what life was like for those who actually did live in the 21st century or maybe the whole thing was put together as a complex science experiment by an advanced extraterrestrial race.

It could even be that our entire universe is a simulation being generated from somewhere else.

Philosopher Nick Bostrom, director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University, describes such a simulated universe as a "richly detailed software simulation of people, including their historical predecessors, by a very technologically advanced civilization."
"Instead of having brains in vats that are fed by sensory inputs from a simulator, the brains themselves would also be part of the simulation. It would be one big computer program simulating everything, including human brains down to neurons and synapses," he said.

But if we were all part of a simulation then how would we ever be able to tell ?

"If we are living in a simulation, then everything is software, including every atom in our bodies," said science fiction writer David Brin. "There may be 'back doors' that the programmers left ajar."

If this whole idea sounds somewhat fantastical then have a look at some of the upcoming virtual reality headsets such as Oculus Rift that are due to be released next year. While these early developments in digital immersive entertainment are unlikely to provide an experience that is indistinguishable from reality that could easily change over the next few decades.



Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (42)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #33 Posted by TonopahRick 7 years ago
Well this cigar I'm smoking and this glass of a refreshing beverage I'm drinking tell me this is all real.
Comment icon #34 Posted by Frank Merton 7 years ago
I often imagine we are living in a simulated universe and when we die we get up and turn off the machine. I'm not sure though whether the simulation is for entertainment, education, or punishment.
Comment icon #35 Posted by TheGreatBeliever 7 years ago
Sometimes i feel like that..
Comment icon #36 Posted by antonT 7 years ago
Surely it's back to infinite regression for which there is no answer? It's very probable that we are in a simulation created by an advanced species for their entertainment and each of us is assigned to an individual member of this species to do what they want with just like video games and just like the Romans liked to torture the gladiators for pleasure. Don't you think it strange the way life pulls you up and then brings you down? Is that by chance......I think not. No we are just playthings for our evil masters who enjoy watching our distress. The Hadron Collider will eventually result in m... [More]
Comment icon #37 Posted by XenoFish 7 years ago
Well the funny thing is that our subconscious can't tell the difference between what is real or what is imagined.
Comment icon #38 Posted by Paranomali 7 years ago
Interesting topic to speculate, I'm sure we are all apart of something bigger we can't understand. It's a shame we'll never know the secrets of the universe and how we all came to be.
Comment icon #39 Posted by _Only 7 years ago
Well the funny thing is that our subconscious can't tell the difference between what is real or what is imagined. Another funny thing is that there is a 'switch' that determines whether something imagined is sensed as 'real' or 'fake'. Funny thing to then wonder, if the imagination reality switched is set to off, is it stopping 'unreality; or hindering 'potential reality'?
Comment icon #40 Posted by Frank Merton 7 years ago
Surely it's back to infinite regression for which there is no answer? It's very probable that we are in a simulation created by an advanced species for their entertainment and each of us is assigned to an individual member of this species to do what they want with just like video games and just like the Romans liked to torture the gladiators for pleasure. Don't you think it strange the way life pulls you up and then brings you down? Is that by chance......I think not. No we are just playthings for our evil masters who enjoy watching our distress. The Hadron Collider will eventually result in m... [More]
Comment icon #41 Posted by Leonardo 7 years ago
Let's assume we have the capability of executing such a simulation, so we pick a point-in-time in our past which is most interesting for us - the Levant roughly 2000 years ago under Roman occupation. We plug in all the parameters we know (not believe) and let the simulation run. What do we learn? The answer to that is "nothing more than we already know". A simulation is not reality. If some super-civilisation of a future "Earth" is running a simulation of 21st century life, then they will learn nothing more from this simulation than they already know. Simulations of predictable events (such as... [More]
Comment icon #42 Posted by Susanc241 7 years ago
It's very probable that we are in a simulation created by an advanced species for their entertainment and each of us is assigned to an individual member of this species to do what they want with just like video games and just like the Romans liked to torture the gladiators for pleasure. Why would an advanced species want to 'own' one of us, especially all those of us who have the most ordinary of lives. No game player would get any thrills from that now, would they (or maybe their lives are so deplorable they would)? I am assured there is a sizeable minority here on earth who prefer to spend a... [More]


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