There is apparently a new obsession among some of the hottest Silicon Valley CEOs. They want to help prove that we’re living in a simulation.
I loved The Matrix. I like thinking about philosophy. Truth. Reality.
My gut tells me that we don’t live in a simulation.
It’s an interesting concept but ultimately I have my doubts. I’ll go into that in a bit, but my gut tells me something else: the motivation for finding out if we live in a simulation is not pure. It’s not about knowledge. It’s not about truth.
When Darwin came up with his Theory of Evolution and it became scientifically accepted, it didn’t take long for the ruling class to come up with the idea of applying it to humans. Hell, many on the Internet still do it, likening certain races to certain creatures that are not evolved.
Back then it was called Social Darwinism. Now it’s morphed into something that sounds more innocuous: Human Biodiversity. Even ideas can evolve and get refined.
Social Darwinism is basically the idea that those who are the richest or most successful in life are the “fittest” human beings. This may have been true back in the late 1800s. It may even be true now.
The issue is what that “truth” allows people to justify.
Human Biodiversity may be true. It may be fact. OK, so let’s say it is. If we posit that most black people just aren’t as capable of being as book smart as most Asians, what are the social ramifications? Is it OK to give them the same tests? Should jobs be weighted in favor of certain people? Should we kill certain races because they are not as human, and thus a threat to the human species?
You can use Human Biodiversity to argue that blacks should be graded on a curve. You can also use HBD to argue that Mexicans are better crop workers and that Irish are more likely to be addicted to drugs. And we can then base funding decisions on race, and individuals may even hold themselves back because of self-limiting beliefs enforced by the truth of HBD. Lots of “good” and “bad” things could come about due to HBD being accepted as being true.
HBD is an easy example — it makes people uncomfortable and if it’s true, even more so.
And that’s my problem with proving we live in a simulation. Because if it is proven that we live in a simulation, then every horror that humans do to each other can be justified as not meaning anything because it’s not real, and therefore, doesn’t matter.
Elon Musk has said there’s a one in one billion chance that we don’t live in a simulation. There’s a 50% chance he’s wrong about that. But I think I have the simplest explanation for why we don’t live in a simulation.
Most of us are familiar with flight simulators. You fly an airplane via a complex computer system that accounts for weather, temperature, the model of plane, radio, etc. Basically anything that has to do with flying is accounted for. So you’ve got scenery, buildings, turbulence, air traffic control.
Do you know what you won’t find in a flight simulator? Cats.
There’s simply no need to program cats into a flight simulation. And if a flight simulator programmer was crazy enough to put a cat into the simulation, most people would likely never find it, and it would not be a full-fledged cat. It would not need to be fed, would not hunt for food, and would not go into heat.
Most flight simulators don’t even have co-pilots or passengers!
Why spend the time implementing, within the simulator, a programmer programming a fart app on an Android phone? That would be literally more pointless than the fart app itself!
The first step to being able to prove we live in a simulation is to determine what the point of the simulation is. This is akin to asking “What is the meaning of life?” And after thousands of years, we don’t have an answer to that question. Which makes it safe for me to believe that we don’t live in a simulation.
If I am wrong and we can prove that we are living in a simulation, that is going to be a very, very bad thing for most of us and unspeakable crimes against humanity will be justified because nothing is real. I don’t want to live in that simulation.
The motives of the people who want to do this research need to be questioned, because they appear to be going into it with the goal of proving that we do live in a simulation. Why do they want to prove that? What do they stand to gain?
Perhaps the goal of the simulation is to see whether or not any creature within the simulator can prove that it exists within a simulation. So Elon Musk or Peter Thiel or someone else funds the research that proves we live in a simulator…and at that moment, the entire simulation is stopped and reset. History ends and begins anew.
So, what’s the point again?