It has been postulated that our reality might, in fact, be virtual reality. That is, some unknown agency, “The Others,” have created a computer simulation, and we ‘exist’ as part of that overall simulation. One objection to that scenario is that to exactly simulate our Cosmos (including ourselves), we would require a computer the size of our Cosmos with the sort of crunch power that could duplicate our Cosmos on a one-to-one basis, which is absurd. The flaw is that realistic simulations can be made without resorting to a one-on-one correlation.
WHY ARE WE A SIMULATION?
Here’s another thought on the Simulation Hypothesis, which postulates that we ‘exist’ as a configuration of bits and bytes, not as quarks and electrons. We are the virtual reality – simulated beings. Here is the “why” of things. Authentic worlds (which we presume ours to be) are simulating virtual reality worlds – lots and lots and lots of them – so the ratio of virtual reality worlds to authentic worlds is lots and lots to one.
That’s the main reason why we shouldn’t presume that ours is an authentic world! If one postulates “The Other,” where “The Other” might be technologically advanced extraterrestrials creating their version of video games, or even the human species, the real human species from what we’d call the far future doing ancestor simulations, the odds are our authentic world is actually an authentic virtual reality world inhabited by simulated earthlings (like us).
Now an interesting aside is that we tend to assume that “The Other” are biological entities (human or extraterrestrial) who like to play “what if” games using computer hardware and software. Of course, “The Other” could actually be highly advanced A.I. (artificial intelligence) with consciousness playing “what if” scenarios.
SIMULATIONS AND THE NEED FOR COMPUTER CRUNCH POWER
Anyway, each simulated world requires just so many units of crunch power. Humans have thousands of video games, each ONE requiring a certain amount of computing crunch power. There may be in total is an awful lot of computing crunch power going on when it comes to these video games collectively, but what counts is the number of video games divided by the number of computers playing them. Not all video games are being played on just one computer at the same time.
If you have a ten-fold increase in video games and a ten-fold increase in the number of computers they are played on, there’s no need for ever-increasing crunch power unless the nature of the game itself demands it. Today, video games probably demand more crunch power than video games from twenty years ago, but we’ve met that requirement to date.
Now, if an authentic world created thousands of video games, and the characters in every one of those video games created thousands of video games and the characters in those video games created thousands of their video games, okay. Ever-increasing crunch power within that original authentic world is in demand. That’s not to say that that ever-increasing need for crunch can’t be met, however. But that’s NOT the general scenario that’s being advocated. For the immediate here and now, let’s stick with the one authentic world, creating thousands of uniquely individual simulated virtual reality worlds (i.e., video games). Ockham’s Razor suggests that one not overly complicates things unnecessarily.
That said, a variation on Murphy’s Law might be: The ways and means to use computing crunch power expands to meet the crunch power available and is readily on tap. Skeptics seem to be assuming here that if you can simulate something, then ultimately, you will pour more and more and more and more crunch power (as it becomes available) into that which you are simulating. I fail to see how that follows of necessity. If you want to create and sell a video game, you will get Y returns in sales, etc. If you put 10X crunch power into it, you might only get 2Y returns in sales. There is a counterbalance – the law of diminishing returns.
Video gamers may always want more, but when the crunch power of the computer and the software it can carry and process exceeds the crunch power of the human gamer (chess programs/software anyone), then there’s no point in wanting even more. A human gamer might be able to photon-torpedo a Klingon Battlecruiser going at One-Quarter Impulse Power. Still, a massive fleet of them at Warp Ten might be a different starship scenario entirely.
Gamers play to win, not to be universally frustrated, and always out-performed by their game. It makes no economic sense to buy and get a monthly bill for 1000 computer crunch units and only need and use 10. But the bottom line is that computer crunch power is available for simulation exercises as we have done. Anything else is just a matter of degree. If us; them; them, of course, being “The Other” or The Simulators.
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