What if the world around us was not real? Could it be that the screen you are looking at, the air you are breathing, the ground beneath your feet and even the smallest particles that make up your body are not present?
Is it possible, perhaps even likely, that the chaos of the world around us is the result of an advanced computer simulation? That we are just characters in someone else’s game?
The idea, and fear, that reality is not as it was thousands of years ago, through the Chinese philosopher Zhuangzhi’s ‘Butterfly Dreams’ in films such as, most famously, math question,
“If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then the ‘real’ ones are simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain”, Morpheus infamous Roop tells Neo, before revealing the horrifying truth.
In 2003, philosopher Nick Bostrom made probability inevitable. He argued that future civilizations might have access to vast amounts of computing power, which could run an almost infinite number of simulations.
If so, the possibility of us being in one of billions of historical simulations seems almost certain – or else post-human societies have no reason to emulate history, or never reach technological capability. Is.
In the decade that followed, the idea has been promoted by Elon Musk (who has said that the odds are ‘one in a billion’ that our world is real) and Neil deGrasse Tyson (who turns down). Still likely to bother 50:50) Silicon Valley billionaires have reportedly attempted to investigate this themselves, with two going so far as to “secretly engage scientists to work on getting us out of the simulation”.
Fortunately – or perhaps unfortunately – there is nothing to break us. As far as we currently know, that is. This world is real because our universe cannot be simulated, and mathematicians have known it for years precisely because they have been trying to simulate it.
The argument for emulation may sound appealing, at least on its face. 40 years ago, the height of technology was pong, only two pixels and a rectangle; Now, we have photorealistic graphics at our fingertips, along with deepfakes and virtual reality. It seems inevitable that future civilizations will improve even further and can imitate the scenarios of their distant past.
With so many possible scenarios, it’s easy to believe that we’re more likely to live in a simulation than in the real world.
Even before tackling scientific issues, this argument hits some walls: the notion that such a future civilization could ever exist, for example, or that a species would like to emulate humans, Earth, or indeed this galaxy. . It is as plausible as the existence of God, or Bahu; Possible, sure, but scientifically unprovable.
This reasoning is also guided by our own perceptions of science, space and time. When Isaac Newton derived the laws of motion 300 years ago, philosophers of the time compared it to one of the most beautiful scientific advances made by man: clocks. The rhythm of the universe, both on Earth and in the stars, was so precise that the analogy seemed obvious.
Theologian William Paley used the analogy in his arguments for the existence of God. Finding a clock among the grass, he wrote, one would assume the existence of a watchmaker, just as one would imply the existence of God from the world.
“Every sign of availability, every expression of design, which was present in the watch, is present in the works of nature; with difference, in favor of nature, of being greater or greater, and to an extent which exceeds all calculations” , they wrote.
Neither Newton nor Paley had to grapple with the complexity of today’s universe, however, which has manifested itself as one with such strange quirks as: superposition, string theory, quantum mechanics, dark matter. Over time – like clockwork – belief in a mechanized universe waned as we discovered more about reality.
“In 50 years or 100 years’ time, [a simulated universe will] It “appears as childish as clockwork”, said David Tong, professor of theoretical physics at Cambridge University. Granthshala,
‘Pixels’ of Reality
Scientists have spent many years trying to understand the origins of the universe, usually in two ways: studying the very large, or studying the very small.
Paley implied the existence of watchmakers to explain the source of life while proponents of simulation see the possibility of simulators. In physics, the best explanation for the universe is the Big Bang, and the cosmic background radiation overtook it. Evidence that it has been counterfeited, however, is few and far between. Instead of stars, we see subatomics.
If the universe were a clock, where would we find its gears? If the universe were a simulation, where would we find its pixels?
One quality of both gears and pixels is that they are “discrete”. In math, this means isolated from each other, with each part isolated from the other—like Lego bricks glued to their bases. A giant Lego sphere may look utterly sleek from afar, but close-up examination will reveal these individual blocks.
“If you try to emulate grand theft auto … you cannot go to the subtlest points. are pixels. There is a minimum space”, explains Professor Tong.
The universe, as far as can be understood, is not like Lego, or grand theft auto, People don’t react. Trains are not NPCs who wear hats, It may seem like it all works out on the surface, but video game characters aren’t doing the science to check.
It is potentially possible that there is a single ‘pixel’ in the universe, but current scientific knowledge cannot sufficiently investigate this. One of the shortest scales we know of is the Planck length. this is the length the universe was after first 10−43 seconds of the Big Bang while it was expanding.
Unfortunately, the Planck length is 15 orders of magnitude longer than what we can currently test with the Large Hadron Collider – and still won’t be…
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /