The strongest argument for us being in a simulation is the following: 40 years ago, we had Pong. Two rectangles and a dot. Now, 40 years later, we have photo realistic 3D with millions playing simultaneously. If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, even if that rate of advancement drops by 1000 from what it is now. It’s a given that we’re clearly on a trajectory that we’re going to have games that are indistinguishable from reality. It would seem to follow that the odds that we’re in base reality is 1 in millions.” – Elon Musks
These were the words spoken by Elon Musk who is a South-African born Canadian American who identifies himself as an entrepreneur, engineer and an inventor. Now that we have the ‘an’ filled introduction out of the way, let’s talk about how we are just some characters in a very real and sometimes overdramatic video game.
I have to say the statement made by Mr. Musk is almost as extensive as his nationality. He is the founder and CEO at CTO and SpaceX, co-founder, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors; co-founder and Chairman ofSolarCity among other things.
In the most recent Recode annual code conference Musk made this thought provoking statement about humans being part of a very sophisticated video game, now he isn’t to the first ‘’imaginative guy” to come up with such a theory. Not long ago Philosopher NickBostrom published a paper asking the most dreaded question “Are you in a computer simulation”
Musk further went on to prove his point by saying; “One thing that later generations might do with their super-powerful computers is run detailed simulations of their forebears or of people like their forebears. Because their computers would be so powerful, they could run a great many such simulations.
He also made another very interesting point that puts the whole theory of evolution as we know it to be into question.
“Suppose that these simulated people are conscious (as they would be if the simulations were sufficiently fine-grained and if a certain quite widely accepted position in the philosophy of mind is correct). Then it could be the case that the vast majority of minds like ours do not belong to the original race but rather to people simulated by the advanced descendants of an original race. It is then possible to argue that, if this were the case, we would be rational to think that we are likely among the simulated minds rather than among the original biological ones. Therefore, if we don’t think that we are currently living in a computer simulation, we are not entitled to believe that we will have descendants who will run lots of such simulations of their forebears. That is the basic idea”
Now if for a second we accept the fact that we in fact are in a simulation based video game and everything we know at this very moment is what the game wants to us to know at this level, so it’s safe to say that we don’t have free will, because if in fact we are players in a video game then every move of ours is calculated and controlled. Safe to say America isn’t free Country then!
If we were to believe that we all are just brains in a laboratory experimented on and living our lives thinking that it is the real world then there are many more questions we should be asking. The first one that pops into my head is; where is this ginormous laboratory that is able to fit over a trillion people, or is the estimated world population also just a number that we have been told? Also if there is a loophole (which I’m sure of that there is) I mean if Neo was able to wake up in the Matrix and get a glimpse of the real world, how can he be sure that what the glimpse he got was in fact the “real” world and not just another simulation he was meant to see. Now imagine waking up in another simulation and the keep imagine waking up one after the other, how do we point of that this in fact is the real thing? We can’t and all we will do is keep waking up over and over again! Now that is a horrible way to live and anyone would much prefer going back to sleep.
Another point that comes to mind is a bit of a throwback, if you were a fan of the show Smallville that aired back in the early 2000’s and went on for 10 years, there was an episode on the show quite like the one Musk has pointed out. But what we take away from that episode is that the human mind is a very powerful organ, if we were actually in a simulation then we should have the ability of controlling things with our mind, now I know the only way to do that is to know for sure that you are actually just day dreaming and anything that you see can be questioned? Then why haven’t people stated flying yet? Why are there no time machines yet? If the only weapon you need to win at life is your brain and will power then jumping off from the Empire state building shouldn’t kill you but you should land on your two feet, or better yet wake up in the laboratory because you have just completed the level and defeated the game.
Another thing that comes to mind is that, if in fact we were lab rats for some super advanced civilization why did they have to go through the hassle of “creating” religion. Also before we were lab rats were dinosaurs experimented upon? And were they killed off because they failed to comply with the rules of the game? Or did they actually use their brain and wake up from the simulation? Okay scratch the last one off, I don’t like the thought of dinosaurs being smarter than us. The whole thing seems very divergent-esque and by that I mean the novel. For those of you who have read the novel, would you agree that we in fact we are just like the characters in the Divergent book series? If so can Number Four come and rescue me already!
All these questions give rise to new ones and I feel the basic idea behind the very hypothesized statement by Musk is lost. However it would be cool to think that we are part of a bigger picture than we think we are, I’m sure most of us would have liked the idea of being in a comic book or an action movie. As interesting as that sounds I do believe that Elon Musk might be wrong about the whole simulation thing, because life as we know it is very real and with all that is going on, it is quite hard to digest an idea of being characters under control to some future civilizations.
The more I think about the idea the more I start finding flaws in Musks statements. I mean that guy is a whole other level of genius and I am probably unable to comprehend his level of knowledge no matter how fictional it may seem, I would however like to point out that if at all we were in a simulation which is 1 in a billion chance (safe to say, it’s a long shot) then I would love to be in GTA, I mean why wouldn’t anyone want to have a mansion in L.A fly a private jet and land it wherever, and then go grocery shopping in an Aston Martin. Now that would be one hell of a simulation.