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Are you living in a computer simulation?

Posted in Interesting on Mon 07 May 2012 by Andy

We know that computers are getting more powerful every year. Moore's law states that the transistor count doubles approximately every two years – this has held mostly true for half a century. What happens when our computers become so powerful that we can simulate human consciousness? One argument is that it may have already happened.

There’s actually been a philosophy paper written about this topic at Oxford University. The paper basically argues that if a “post-human” civilization exists, and they were interested in running simulations of other humans, they would be doing it already. The probable likelihood is that civilizations destroy themselves before they manage to reach this post-human status... but what if they don't destroy themselves and they are interested in running simulations? If we had that much computational power it seems likely that we would attempt such a simulation. It could be that we're already in one.

We can take it one step further... Could it be that we’re in a simulation ran by simulated post-human people? There could be a string of simulations all leading back to one post-human society. Just what level of simulation might we be on? Any computer in a post-singularity world would be sufficiently powerful to run a limitless amount of simulations, each happening at an incredible speed. The cycle of an entire universe and its entire population could be simulated in just a few seconds and with it an endless spiral of simulations creating many multiple levels of consciousness.

We could be a consciousness stuck in an eternal loop of simulation. Stick that in your bible.

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