Are We Living In A Simulation?

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Perplexed
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#1
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Did anyone happen to see Horizon last night?

There is, however, one way that time travel to the past could be possible. And it would be much more convenient. Future civilisations could use computers to create exact replicas of the past. Unfortunately that idea has physics trembling in its socks. Because if you can generate a perfect virtual reality version of the past, who's to say we are not one of the replicas?

http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ball0999/simulations.pdf

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MadNatSci
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(Original post by Alec)
Did anyone happen to see Horizon last night?

There is, however, one way that time travel to the past could be possible. And it would be much more convenient. Future civilisations could use computers to create exact replicas of the past. Unfortunately that idea has physics trembling in its socks. Because if you can generate a perfect virtual reality version of the past, who's to say we are not one of the replicas?

http://users.ox.ac.uk/~ball0999/simulations.pdf

Discuss.

Yes, I saw it... they've gone all out for excitement now though rather than being more balanced I mean, rather than the emphasis being on IF a computer program were created, they were basically implying that we don't exist, period. Bugs me!
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Perplexed
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(Original post by MadNatSci)
Yes, I saw it... they've gone all out for excitement now though rather than being more balanced I mean, rather than the emphasis being on IF a computer program were created, they were basically implying that we don't exist, period. Bugs me!
True, considering the programme also contained a man claiming he could travel in time by putting on a device resembling a piece of telephone cord and a transistor radio.
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GH
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(Original post by Alec)
True, considering the programme also contained a man claiming he could travel in time by putting on a device resembling a piece of telephone cord and a transistor radio.
and also needing the energy of an exploding star...
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elpaw
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i'ts a bit too matrixy.
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theone
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I did watch Horizon, and I thought that the concept was quite scary and shocking, but can't come to believe it, since I don't think computers will grow exponentially forever in the way they are doing at the moment, but rather that the present time is more of a 'technological boom' that will gradually slow down.
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Perplexed
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One thing though.

If were are a computer simulation being used as an experiment of extrapolation for our ancestors to see how something developed/occurred, wouldn't it be invalidated once we actually discovered this, or at least began theorising about it?

We may not react in the same way knowing what we are, or at least what we could be. Unless, this simulation is coming to the end of it's useful life and we'll...

a) Be destroyed.
b) Be enlightened and transcend to a higher plane of understanding.
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theone
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In any case, how is possible to perfectly recreate the past, rather than just a prediction of what may have happened?
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Harry Potter
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(Original post by theone)
I did watch Horizon, and I thought that the concept was quite scary and shocking, but can't come to believe it, since I don't think computers will grow exponentially forever in the way they are doing at the moment, but rather that the present time is more of a 'technological boom' that will gradually slow down.
Yeah, surely there is a limit to the power of a conventional computing device. Its details can't be infinitely small, and there is not infinite space to house it in.
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Perplexed
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(Original post by theone)
In any case, how is possible to perfectly recreate the past, rather than just a prediction of what may have happened?
It may not be a perfect recreation, but it's a substitute for the real thing, which is impossible on account of not being able to travel faster than the speed of light.

I suppose enough could be "similar" for a generalised recreation of the past.
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elpaw
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(Original post by Harry Potter)
Yeah, surely there is a limit to the power of a conventional computing device. Its details can't be infinitely small, and there is not infinite space to house it in.
what about a biological-based computer. something like in Hitchhiker's Guide
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pikaboo
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(Original post by Alec)
One thing though.

If were are a computer simulation being used as an experiment of extrapolation for our ancestors to see how something developed/occurred, wouldn't it be invalidated once we actually discovered this, or at least began theorising about it?

We may not react in the same way knowing what we are, or at least what we could be. Unless, this simulation is coming to the end of it's useful life and we'll...

a) Be destroyed.
b) Be enlightened and transcend to a higher plane of understanding.
Maybe there are other ways of existing that we aren't aware of, other than computer simulations - that we aren't meant to know about or aren't advanced enough yet to understand. This is reminding me a lot of the religious issue about existence, since it has been argued that religion arose out of the need to make sense of the reason why and how we are alive.
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caz
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(Original post by MadNatSci)
Yes, I saw it... they've gone all out for excitement now though rather than being more balanced I mean, rather than the emphasis being on IF a computer program were created, they were basically implying that we don't exist, period. Bugs me!
Perhaps you are just afraid of being alone...you know who you are. Isn't that enough to be happy? You don't need anything else than simply being to be happy. And, anyway, US, as our consciousness, are timeless. Only the physical world has time. We watch the time as we watch the physical change. We are just a conscious being, making choices, and living in a physical reality. You don't have to change to be happy, but you can.
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GH
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(Original post by elpaw)
what about a biological-based computer. something like in Hitchhiker's Guide
like using dna to transfer info? no it is too slow.

Something to do with quantum computers maybe?
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Harry Potter
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(Original post by elpaw)
what about a biological-based computer. something like in Hitchhiker's Guide
I really don't know, but I would guess there would still be a limit to its processing power.
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elpaw
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(Original post by 2776)
like using dna to transfer info? no it is too slow.

Something to do with quantum computers maybe?
more like an electro-neural network, like neurons connected to silicon chips
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Perplexed
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(Original post by caz)
We are just a conscious being, making choices, and living in a physical reality.
The point is though, that if what we consider as reality were a simulation, then we're not making our own decisions.

They're being controlled by a computer program, and in essence, that makes us unconscious. We're just programmed to consider that unconsciousness as consciousness.
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theone
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But could we not be part of a program with AI, thus allowing us to make our own decisions, or are our initial decisions predestined by the initial setup of the program?
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Perplexed
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(Original post by theone)
But could we not be part of a program with AI, thus allowing us to make our own decisions, or are our initial decisions predestined by the initial setup of the program?
If we were able to make our own decisions, the resultant would surely have to be within certain constraints to ensure the accuracy of the simulation?

Although I see your point. After all, no one really knows, so we may as well entertain any possibility, however infeasible. For example, religion. :rolleyes:
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theone
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(Original post by Alec)
If we were able to make our own decisions, the resultant would surely have to be within certain constraints to ensure the accuracy of the simulation?

Although I see your point. After all, no one really knows, so we may as well entertain any possibility, however infeasible. For example, religion. :rolleyes:
Perhaps though, we are permitted to have choice in certain, 'immaterial' decisions? But if this is true, surely we would have the power to make bigger choices? So either we have choice or not, since choice is universal, regardless of the size of implication of the choice, surely?
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