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This paper explores the idea that the universe is a virtual reality created by information processing, and relates this strange idea to the findings of modern physics about the physical
world. The virtual reality concept is familiar to us from online worlds, but our world as a virtual reality is usually a subject for science fiction rather than science. Yet the world could be an information simulation running on a multi-dimensional space-time screen. Indeed, if the essence of the universe is information, matter, charge, energy and movement could be aspects of information, and the many conservation laws could reduce to a single law of information conservation. If the universe were a virtual reality, its creation at the big bang would no longer be paradoxical, as every virtual system must be booted up. Ultimately, whether the world is an objective reality or a virtual reality is a matter for science to resolve.
TV is fundamental and universal metaontology, which makes it possible to propose inside itself a whole series of interdisciplinary theories, approaches, concepts and technologies: the theory of reality as the successor of set theory, the theory of construction through the levels of rate normativation and configuration, the theory of reflection and contraflection, theory of “AV”-models as construct-semiosis, the theory of continuum-apperception, technology of the immanent and conceptual apperceptions of objects and processes, the concept of relevant truth, theory of structural “AV”-model's modality and comodality, the theories of the alternative sequence of events and alternative connection of processes, the concept of six-dimensional world and irregular realities, the theory of linguistic normativation, and also the approaches: to the theory of the work of the brain, to the theory of the artificial intellect, to the theory of networks, to the theory of processes, to the theory of communication.
This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.
What if the Universe was in fact a simulation? A product of some information processor, creating space and time, energy and matter? What if the Big Bang was the whole simulation booting up, beginning billions of years of space and time calculations? Can we possibly understand our consciousness as a subroutine in an advanced number crunching machine? A new paper published by the Centre for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science, University of Auckland, asks us to keep an open mind and suggests if we look at the complexity of physical laws of our known universe, many paradoxes may be explained if we view our physical reality as a virtual reality.
The idea that the universe is a giant virtual reality simulation is a well explored theme in science fiction. Films such as The Matrix have used this premise to great effect.
Now a New Zealand scientist is saying that physicists should seriously explore the idea. Brian Whitworth at Massey University says that it is perfectly reasonable to conjecture that "the world is an information simulation running on a three-dimensional space-time screen". Deciding whether or not this is true is a matter for science to resolve.
Assuming Whitworth is serious, what should we make of this idea? He readily admits that this is a weird idea but points out that it is no more strange than many widely held views in physics such as the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, the big bang and Boltzmann brains.
Originally posted by gusan
If we are living in such simulation..imagine the level of intelligence of those who "created" it, dont you think they have a pretty nice security level so we never ever find out about it? Is the mere thaught then a "virus" or a "fault" in that system? Would it be enough just to use our brain to brake throu? Do we need an upgrade?
Tom: YAD, You are exactly right. And Montana is also correct. Each player in the PMR virtual reality consciousness evolution game is receiving his own private data stream – we are all living in our own personal reality. The larger consciousness can manipulate that personal reality any way it wants – but it meddles only as necessary to help encourage our evolution *e.g., synchronicity. However PMR is a multiplayer game and the rule-set constrains every local (PMR) “physical” interaction between individual players and between players and the game setting (immediate environment and universe). The game must abide by the rule-set (within the limits set by psi uncertainty) and be generally consistent or it would be ineffective as a learning tool.
In a computer game, the player exists outside the screen interface, but in the case of our world, we are physically the avatar, viewing the world from within. This makes this world a recursive interface, that both sends to and receives from itself. If so, it is like no other information interface that we know.
Originally posted by constantwonder
Nich Bostrom, and David Deutsch are among my favorite philosphers and physicist. Deutsch uses equations to show that Bostroms hypothesis should be understood literally.
Holism (from ὅλος holos, a Greek word meaning all, entire, total) is the idea that all the properties of a given system (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic, etc.) cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone. Instead, the system as a whole determines in an important way how the parts behave.
Originally posted by Gentill Abdulla
I'm wondering is time travel possible in virtual reality? Do you know "You are Dreaming"?
Originally posted by beebs
reply to post by constantwonder
I think it could be in the philosophy board, but it is only a matter of time before it is considered science. Keep it here, we might as well.
It is a consequence of physics that I believe in the view of a more virtual reality world, so I say it is just as good here.
When this is, that is. This arising, that arises. When this is not, that is not. This ceasing, that ceases.
For many months, the GEO600 team-members had been scratching their heads over inexplicable noise that is plaguing their giant detector. Then, out of the blue, a researcher approached them with an explanation. In fact, he had even predicted the noise before he knew they were detecting it. According to Craig Hogan, a physicist at the Fermilab particle physics lab in Batavia, Illinois, GEO600 has stumbled upon the fundamental limit of space-time - the point where space-time stops behaving like the smooth continuum Einstein described and instead dissolves into "grains", just as a newspaper photograph dissolves into dots as you zoom in. "It looks like GEO600 is being buffeted by the microscopic quantum convulsions of space-time," says Hogan.
If this doesn't blow your socks off, then Hogan, who has just been appointed director of Fermilab's Center for Particle Astrophysics, has an even bigger shock in store: "If the GEO600 result is what I suspect it is, then we are all living in a giant cosmic hologram."
The idea that we live in a hologram probably sounds absurd, but it is a natural extension of our best understanding of black holes, and something with a pretty firm theoretical footing. It has also been surprisingly helpful for physicists wrestling with theories of how the universe works at its most fundamental level.
The holograms you find on credit cards and banknotes are etched on two-dimensional plastic films. When light bounces off them, it recreates the appearance of a 3D image. In the 1990s physicists Leonard Susskind and Nobel prizewinner Gerard 't Hooft suggested that the same principle might apply to the universe as a whole. Our everyday experience might itself be a holographic projection of physical processes that take place on a distant, 2D surface.
The "holographic principle" challenges our sensibilities. It seems hard to believe that you woke up, brushed your teeth and are reading this article because of something happening on the boundary of the universe. No one knows what it would mean for us if we really do live in a hologram, yet theorists have good reasons to believe that many aspects of the holographic principle are true.
Originally posted by beebs
reply to post by constantwonder
I agree. I have stated elsewhere on ATS, and I like referring to a question I asked to a guest lecture by a physicist here on campus. He was talking about gravitational waves(which the mainstream is behind) and I(being the philosophy student in the physics classroom) asked the man: What is the medium through which these 'gravitational waves' are supposed to be propagating?
He threw up his hands, half shrugging, broadly smiled and said 'Aether'.
edit to add: This description by the scientist in that article: 'microscopic quantum convulsions of space-time' sounds just like zero point energy, quantum vacuum density fluctuations, and various other terminology of the same.
[edit on 30-1-2010 by beebs]