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Scientists are testing that we are in the Matrix...


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#41 BMO   Members   -  Reputation: 170

Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:56 AM

I might be wrong, the answer to all the worlds problems might be in understanding that we are in some made up simulation. But I doubt it. And I think there are more pressing issues at hand. What if the answer is "No, we were wrong. That was all a bunch of garbage."? Wasted time and energy imho.

Edited by BMO, 14 December 2012 - 10:59 AM.


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#42 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2153

Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:00 AM

Seems to me that this experiment would prove that the universe is deterministic, not that it is a simulation. But that scientists could jump to the conclusion that they want their results to mean makes me weep for science. Trying out something and getting results that you were expecting does not necessarily mean that you understand what you were actually doing or that you have the complete picture.

#43 JTippetts   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8569

Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:04 AM

I might be wrong, the answer to all the worlds problems might be in understanding that we are in some made up simulation. But I doubt it. And I think there are more pressing issues at hand. What if the answer is "No, we were wrong. That was all a bunch of garbage."? Wasted time and energy imho.


This is kind of faulty thinking, imo. You can't know whether or not an experiment will be successful unless the experiment is performed. And if the experiment is a success? Then yes, you can learn a great deal from it that could be of benefit to mankind. Did you know that it's theorized that the universe has a baseline energy level (what we might call a "zero point") and that this energy represents the power of entire suns packed into a single cubic centimeter of space? Imagine if, by understanding the structure of the universe more completely, we could somehow unlock this potential, or some other energy potential as yet undiscovered? It's no secret that we are facing a huge energy crisis, and anything that could possibly lead to answers should be explored.

#44 Arthur Souza   Members   -  Reputation: 1419

Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:13 AM

Can't these guys work on something more important? Like curing cancer? Such a waste of brilliant minds.


Why the hell are we even thinking about creating stupid games instead of trying to cure cancer, right?

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#45 BMO   Members   -  Reputation: 170

Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:19 AM


I might be wrong, the answer to all the worlds problems might be in understanding that we are in some made up simulation. But I doubt it. And I think there are more pressing issues at hand. What if the answer is "No, we were wrong. That was all a bunch of garbage."? Wasted time and energy imho.


This is kind of faulty thinking, imo. You can't know whether or not an experiment will be successful unless the experiment is performed. And if the experiment is a success? Then yes, you can learn a great deal from it that could be of benefit to mankind. Did you know that it's theorized that the universe has a baseline energy level (what we might call a "zero point") and that this energy represents the power of entire suns packed into a single cubic centimeter of space? Imagine if, by understanding the structure of the universe more completely, we could somehow unlock this potential, or some other energy potential as yet undiscovered? It's no secret that we are facing a huge energy crisis, and anything that could possibly lead to answers should be explored.


Your right. It's not logical. I just don't feel that in this particular instance the research is going to lead to results. Its just an opinion. I hope I'm wrong.


Why the hell are we even thinking about creating stupid games instead of trying to cure cancer, right?


I am because I'm not smart enough to cure cancer. But if I happen to be successful someday I will use the money I make to support those that are.

Edit:
I guess the bigger point that I'm getting to is that I don't think all research is worth doing just for the sake of research. We can come up with all kinds of possible scenarios that might be true, but I'd rather that the Einsteins of the world focus on those that have a higher degree of probability of actually being true and have a meaningful impact on society. We might all be a product of mole people living in the Earths core, and I can't disprove that. But I don't think we should invest the time and money to find out. That is not the same as saying all research is bad and we shouldn't ever experiment. It's not so black and white.

Edited by BMO, 14 December 2012 - 11:52 AM.


#46 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4692

Posted 14 December 2012 - 12:02 PM


True, but it's intelligent design of a completely different sort. Most likely one that renders most if not all holy texts irrelevant. Plus this intelligent design would be more Spore than Sims.


How do you mean "different sort"? Are you trying to categorize Intelligent Design now, for the sole purpose of clinging to the idea that you are right in your beliefs, and those damned crazy religious folks are still wrong? If I wrote a computer program capable of simulating the universe, and intelligent life arose therein, wouldn't I have the stature of God in their eyes? Wouldn't I have dominion over their existence? Wouldn't I have caused them to be, and couldn't I cause them to be not with a casual flick of a switch? Wouldn't I have created the earth and the heavens and the waters, wouldn't I have created the animals and the plants and the men and women upon the earth? The stars in the sky? I mean, after all I created the whole universe. That's pretty much spot-on with the basic nature of just about any theological deity right there, so I really fail to understand how there could possibly be any kind of distinction between the Intelligent Design these guys are trying to prove, and the Intelligent Design that us religious folk have been talking about for thousands of years.

Holy texts are simply the things that people stuck in the simulation have been writing based on their vastly limited perspective. Of course they wouldn't get it right, any more than these guys can get it right with their currently limited model that is not much bigger than the nucleus of an atom. Humans have been working on limited information since the beginning of our species. Science itself operates on what you might call a set of faulty holy texts, many of which would also be made irrelevant by this experiment's success. A whole lot of human thought would be made irrelevant.

But Intelligent Design is based on religious text. That there is a god as described in their holy text who created the Earth and Universe as described in their holy text. It is religious in nature if not in origin.Those are the people I'm talking about. That's different than saying that God created the Big Bang and everything took off from there. Or even that the Big Bang is some cosmic phenomenon with no Divine origin or interference. To say that God is a group of computer programmers and IT specialists who from time to time write new code to correct anomalies (bugs) in the software and some new code to add or change a species is a COMPLETELY different thing. So yes there are categories. And for the record, I'm Christian.
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#47 BCullis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1813

Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:21 PM

I like that this thread spun off into at least three arguments.

For my part: our existence and importance is ultimately contextual anyway. If it turns out we're a simulation, then we were yesterday and we will be tomorrow. Does it change the fact that trained doctors help you reduce pain and illness, letting you exist in a greater level of comfort? Do you stop enjoying the things that bring you happiness, like a great vacation, great video game, great accomplishments? (Great sex???)

What does a simulation prove, anyway? Science hasn't categorized a "soul" particle or explained other ethereal, non-material phenomenon. Perhaps religion in its currently accepted states is just historical human attempts to explain the workings of the simulation, and the afterlife is where our soul bits are stored and persist?

I'm humble enough to accept that there is so much I do not and cannot understand about the greater context of existence that I'll just keep on plodding along doing my simple human life thing and pursuing health and happiness for me and my loved ones. If I can make more people happy with a great game or contribution to society, bonus.
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#48 Green_Gill   Members   -  Reputation: 139

Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:46 PM

This is only valid if the simulation of said universe is not limited in scope with regards to the simulator.

Also, it's only proving that the univers CAN be simulated, not that it is.

"There's a good chance"... XD

Should have been posted on April 1st.

#49 JTippetts   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8569

Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:48 PM

I like that this thread spun off into at least three arguments.


That's what I love about GD.net and the people here. Pretty eclectic mix here. :D

#50 MrWunderbar   Members   -  Reputation: 102

Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:30 PM

Cogito ergo sum " I am thinking, therefore I exist " ~ René Descartes

From the Buddhist / Existentialist point of view, the world is the Matrix but who gives a shit. Just do whatever you want while you are here. Also, from the same point of view, experiences that you have in a video game are just as "real" as experiences you have in what we collectively perceive as the "real world."

#51 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3942

Posted 14 December 2012 - 04:40 PM


True, but it's intelligent design of a completely different sort. Most likely one that renders most if not all holy texts irrelevant. Plus this intelligent design would be more Spore than Sims.


How do you mean "different sort"? Are you trying to categorize Intelligent Design now, for the sole purpose of clinging to the idea that you are right in your beliefs, and those damned crazy religious folks are still wrong? If I wrote a computer program capable of simulating the universe, and intelligent life arose therein, wouldn't I have the stature of God in their eyes? Wouldn't I have dominion over their existence? Wouldn't I have caused them to be, and couldn't I cause them to be not with a casual flick of a switch? Wouldn't I have created the earth and the heavens and the waters, wouldn't I have created the animals and the plants and the men and women upon the earth? The stars in the sky? I mean, after all I created the whole universe. That's pretty much spot-on with the basic nature of just about any theological deity right there, so I really fail to understand how there could possibly be any kind of distinction between the Intelligent Design these guys are trying to prove, and the Intelligent Design that us religious folk have been talking about for thousands of years.

Holy texts are simply the things that people stuck in the simulation have been writing based on their vastly limited perspective. Of course they wouldn't get it right, any more than these guys can get it right with their currently limited model that is not much bigger than the nucleus of an atom. Humans have been working on limited information since the beginning of our species. Science itself operates on what you might call a set of faulty holy texts, many of which would also be made irrelevant by this experiment's success. A whole lot of human thought would be made irrelevant.


I think you are missing the point, it's two seperate things if you created a simulation of basic particles/waves, and this happened to give rise to matter/planets/life, vs if you had hand crafted each and every rock, and each and every organism. in the first you didn't intend, nor probably had any direct action toward creating such things, they were just a consequence of your most fundamental particles, this would pretty much ignore all "holy texts", since they describe a much more personal touch to things. so if on the other hand we discover that you had hand crafted each and every world, each and ever organism, then it'd give strength to the "holy texts" and what they attempt to describe.

in the end, if such a thing could be proved, yes absolutely their is intelligent design to our creation, but that might not be the design that many people have spent such a huge amount of faith towards.
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#52 No_Smoking   Members   -  Reputation: 103

Posted 14 December 2012 - 05:38 PM

I love when people try to disprove a theory using today's technological limitations. I suppose that's called "thinking inside the box".

if the world we currently live in is the work of a simulation... the technology being used would be so far beyond our comprehension we might as well just call it "magic".

There was a post early in the thread I thought was a bit funny =P
said something like if this was a simulation why would we need communication. I think I understand were you might have been trying to go with that, but why would someone trying to get an accurate simulation mess with the basics? Say for example..(if we had some of this magic tech that can run super advanced sims) if we wanted to see how the cave men existed... we'd want it accurate right? you wouldn't give them all zippos to start fires right?

Anyhow, this isn't a new theory to my knowledge .. but its still a fun one to think about =)

#53 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 13912

Posted 14 December 2012 - 05:51 PM

This is why I asked in my first post if anyone would change his or her views on what a God is. Being created by a group of programmers would certainly classify as creationism, but is clearly not what they had in mind when writing holy texts. That is why many of us here do not consider ourselves Gods even though we are constantly creating virtual worlds.


if the world we currently live in is the work of a simulation... the technology being used would be so far beyond our comprehension we might as well just call it "magic".

This is a logical fallacy. I have written a programming language that can be used to write the same programming language.
I can use C++ to write a C++ parser and compiler.

There is no reason to assume that there is no way to simulate just a small portion of that technology from inside the simulation itself, even with today’s comparatively limited technology.


So far we know who would hold to their beliefs and who would alter their beliefs to encapsulate this type of creationism.
Who would try to figure out all the loopholes and become “The One”?


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#54 No_Smoking   Members   -  Reputation: 103

Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:18 PM

This is a logical fallacy. I have written a programming language that can be used to write the same programming language.
I can use C++ to write a C++ parser and compiler.


I'm not saying it isn't possible to use todays tools to recreate.. just saying it wouldn't be likely they'd be using "old tech" to run advanced sims. Why use flint and tinder when you have a lighter in your pocket so to speak.

#55 JTippetts   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8569

Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:48 PM

I think you are missing the point, it's two seperate things if you created a simulation of basic particles/waves, and this happened to give rise to matter/planets/life, vs if you had hand crafted each and every rock, and each and every organism. in the first you didn't intend, nor probably had any direct action toward creating such things, they were just a consequence of your most fundamental particles, this would pretty much ignore all "holy texts", since they describe a much more personal touch to things. so if on the other hand we discover that you had hand crafted each and every world, each and ever organism, then it'd give strength to the "holy texts" and what they attempt to describe.

in the end, if such a thing could be proved, yes absolutely their is intelligent design to our creation, but that might not be the design that many people have spent such a huge amount of faith towards.


Considering that this whole thing is just a thought experiment, and unlikely (for practical reasons) to ever be anything but, and yet here we are ascribing motives to the supposed creators of the simulation to suit our own biases. The truth or falsehood of the existence of God is no more provable than the supposition that the creators of our simulation created it with the intent of letting it run wild, as opposed to creating it with some purpose, including the purpose of giving rise to intelligent life. We obviously weren't there when the UML was drawn up and the CPUs were plugged in, so obviously we can't know why it was built: for science, for entertainment, or for the purpose of propagating reality and granting the gift of life, of existence, to a new "generation" of beings. It is every bit as likely that this supposed simulation designer created it for the express purpose of giving us a place to exist (perhaps as an experiment to be observed, perhaps as something else), as that he/they did it in order to just "see what happens." So really, in now way would the success or failure of this experiment, should it ever take place, prove one single thing about the existence (or lack of) or motives (or, again, lack of) God. Those of us who find that the idea of a benevolent God makes sense will continue to do so, those of us who do not will also continue to believe otherwise, and we'll correspondingly continue to argue about it on discussion forums existing in an electronic abstraction hosted on hardware that is part of a virtual, simulated universe living inside another, bigger electronic abstraction...

Going off into crazy town, here, perhaps this simulation designer modeled his simulation after his own reality, which itself was a simulation modeled after someone else's reality. Wow, it really might be turtles all the way down...

#56 Bubsy   Members   -  Reputation: 407

Posted 14 December 2012 - 07:38 PM

A universe doesn't have to simulated real time ... a plank time could take a million years to be processed, and still it would be the simulated beings wouldn't have a clue about it.

#57 mikeman   Members   -  Reputation: 2248

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:24 PM

This isn't just a marketing ploy to get people interested in a potential upcoming Matrix se/prequel right? Christ I surely hope not!

#58 hupsilardee   Members   -  Reputation: 487

Posted 15 December 2012 - 01:07 AM

I remember reading a short story once, maybe on these very forums. It goes something like this:

So there is a team of scientists that have developed a new kind of super-quantum-computer, that's a bajillion times more powerful than any previous computer. They have this new computer sitting in their lab, solving every problem that they throw at it. It solves chess, chews through the SETI and folding@home databases in about an hour, calculates huge prime numbers in seconds. So they don't know what to do with their idle hyper-computer until one day a student comes up with an idea for a simulation of the entire universe. They program in the Big Bang and the laws of physics, and watch their screens as their simulated galaxies form (with the simulation running several billion times faster than real life). Eventually they get to the simulated Earth, and they find that due to the accuracy of their simulation, the simulated Earth is very similar to the real one. In fact, it's so similar that they actually see a bunch of scientists building a simulated computer just like theirs. Anyway, a few days later, one of the technicians is alone in the research building late in the evening, fixing some power supplies. On a whim, he wonders what will happen if he tries to interfere with the simulated world, so he writes a quick command to make the simulated door in the computer room close on its own. Then as he presses the enter key, the real door behind him swings shut.

The end.

(Anybody know where this came from?)

#59 Karsten_   Members   -  Reputation: 1633

Posted 15 December 2012 - 04:45 PM

Gosh.. I would hate to see the codebase to this thing...

I bet it is written in something really old and unportable like Microsoft Visual Basic 6 :(

Probs can't even run on mah tablet!

So (and I think I speak for the entire universe when I say this) next time God/Allah/Zeus/Johnny Cash wants to code a universe simulator... Think about portability! I don't want to be stuck on an old crusty platform forever!

Edited by Karsten_, 15 December 2012 - 04:53 PM.

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#60 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2170

Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:47 AM

An interesting question: can you even "get out" of a simulation like that? By getting out I mean interacting with the outside world apart from communication.
I don't think so, unless the "creators" deliberately made possibilities (ports and devices that are connected to the simulating computer).
So no matter how intelligent we get, how demigod level we reach and how we can manipulate the simulated universe, we will never be able affect the outside world, if it's not the creators' intention. Okay, we can get communicate, so maybe we could ask a kind creator to build bodies for us in the outside world and upload our minds to the bodies.

Apart from that, I see no logical ways to interact with the outside world. No matter how good my computer is, it is still just a box on my table. It can BSOD me and annoy me, but that's pretty much it. Can a program make my computer to electric shock me at all? Or blow the monitor in my face?

Shit, I was able to word the question yesterday in my head...




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