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# How to determine if this "reality" is in fact a computer simulation

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posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 09:57 AM
I have an idea of how to detect on how to detect if this world is a computer simulation.

You've all seen The Matrix, and some of you may even have read some of the late Jean Baudrillard's works about reality.

Computer programs have a limited stack when doing recursive calls, if you make a 3D rendering engine with reflections you will quickly stumble on this limit as the number of reflections will affect your computing time; thus an infinite number of reflections will take infinite time to compute. The same principal should be true for every computer program, using tail recursion (like functional programming languages does) or not.

The experiment could be conducted in the following manner: Put two mirrors facing each other with an object in the centre between them, then measure the number of reflections that you can measure of the object between the two mirrors. If the number is finite then we are living in a computer simulated world.

:
To recap:
In a true reality you would have an infinite number of reflections, while in a computer generated reality the number of reflections would have to be finite because an infinite number of reflections would entail infinite computer resources and computing time.

Could this be done?
edit on 29-1-2012 by Acharya because: Added conclusion

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 09:59 AM
but wouldnt this fact be true even for a/the real reality?
2 mirrors reflecting one source would surpass to infinity if bounced straight at each others

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 10:02 AM

Originally posted by reef75
but wouldnt this fact be true even for a/the real reality?
2 mirrors reflecting one source would surpass to infinity if bounced straight at each others

In a true reality you would have an infinite number of reflections, while in a computer generated reality the number of reflections would have to be finite because an infinite number of reflections would entail infinite computer resources and computing time.

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 10:12 AM
funny i came across this thread ,only last night i had a dream about been trapped in a matrix type scenario was intense ,but wont bore you with the details

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 10:17 AM
only in theory should it be infinite. the reflections are caused by photons bouncing back and forth, but since the mirror has a finite amount of surface area, there is a limited amount of photons that can carry information, which would limit the amount of "frames" you could see.

while a computer has to render the reflections as being real (and thus lag the system), photons are what carry the information between the mirrors, so it is more of an illusion.
edit on 29-1-2012 by Bob Sholtz because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 10:23 AM
reply to post by sitchin

Funny. I had the same type dream, I was sitting at a cafe that had a really darkish orange hue. The tables were those red/white checkered patters from the old days. I asked the guy across from me (no clue who he is now) if we could tell we're in a dream by the sound of the bell when the food is ready. He said let's try it, then it rang, and got louder and louder, and we both smiled and started taking all the money from the register with no one able to see us do it. Weird.

Also- Wouldn't the technolgy that runs this reality have planted this idea into your head? In other words, if this "reality" really is just a computer simulation, we could assume it has quantum-computing power and would have programmed around this issue.

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 10:30 AM
reply to post by Acharya

Why using an object ? Put yourself in the center of a circle of mirrors... Btw you will always see a kinda-finite number of reflection, but not for the reason you mentionned, for an available surface reason, as mentionned by someone else already, plus by the fact that every reflection would be smaller than the previous one... So at some point, you'll just see a dot as your reflection and won't be able to count the smaller ones. That doesn't mean they aren't present, just that you can't distinguish them.

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 10:36 AM
reply to post by Acharya

C++
STL
Standard template library

dynamically expanding data structures.....

Also, as the images get smaller, the resolution drops, thus less memory needed (by them, and to create them)

Once you get the image down to 1x1 pixel, you really cant make a reduced copy of it.

ETA: throw virtual memory into the equation as well....and hardware dynamic storage allocation.

edit on 29-1-2012 by vogon42 because: (no reason given)

edit on 29-1-2012 by vogon42 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 10:43 AM
OP, why assume our world's "creator" had computers on par with ours? Wouldn't they be much more advanced?

I think the easier solution is to find the power plug...and pull it.

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 10:49 AM
reply to post by Signals

Clustered servers
Redundant power supplies
UPS

all monitored by a load balancer (or a chain of them)

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 10:51 AM
The universe is our matrix, with its laws and limitations, and it is even maybe some kind of computation, of complex calculus, done by a super being, a super entity neutral to what's going on in the simulation. Or the matrix and the architect are the same thing, the same being, or ... I don't know.

We are truly immersed in the deepest and greatest mystery ever imagined. Forget about all the books telling you the tales of wizards or unicorns, because this reality is the greatest story ever told.

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 11:28 AM
Just pray its not running on windoze.

Anyway, you would not notice if there were flaws in the simulation, because as Douglas Adams pointed out, you would be programmed not to.

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 12:01 PM

Originally posted by Frobnicate
Just pray its not running on windoze.

Anyway, you would not notice if there were flaws in the simulation, because as Douglas Adams pointed out, you would be programmed not to.

It is on windows.

Thats why we have eclipses, earthquakes, solar flares, and wars.....those are patches.

ETA: I believe
Wars are AbEnds
Volcanoes are memory leaks
Earthquakes are page faults
Solar flares are a color palate refresh (hence... northern lights)
Eclipse....perhaps just a vid driver up date?

The "strange sound" threads on ATS now.....updated CODEC

(I hope others are able to appreciate the nerd humor here...20year in IT, I just have to throw this stuff out there)

edit on 29-1-2012 by vogon42 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 12:56 PM
reply to post by vogon42

And blackholes are buffer overflow ?
And supernovaes stack overflow ?

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 01:00 PM
i think the universe is written with a code similar to a computer's, but infinitely more complicated and elegant. i don't think we're stored in an alien's hard drive somewhere. the universe we see is probably stored in an infinitesimally small point in a larger "real" space.

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 01:13 PM
reply to post by Acharya

Other ATS users have suggested / alluded to the truth that if our reality were a simulation, whomever created the simulation would have technology vastly superior to ours.

Hypothesizing we live in a simulation, "our" technology would be simulated in that system, no?

Ergo, nothing we can do here would do anything to (dis)prove we live within simulacra or simulation of reality.

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 01:42 PM
I always wake up straight away when I realize that the dream...is a dream...

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 01:43 PM

Originally posted by Ghostfreak1
reply to post by vogon42

And blackholes are buffer overflow ?
And supernovaes stack overflow ?

lol....I'll go with that one.

So what do we blame on an IRQ conflict?
What does a sliding BPA cause?

Ya know.....if this universe doesnt go my way.....I'm gonna try some SQL injection

Maybe even directory traversal.....(I'm tired of this dimension)

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 01:50 PM

Originally posted by Acharya
I always wake up straight away when I realize that the dream...is a dream...

Oh dude, how weird

For the past couple of weeks I have been dreaming that I woke up from a dream. VERY strange.

In my dream, I wake up from a dream......seems so real, I'm standing there thinking.....this is not my house....this is the past......WTF......

Then I wake up AGAIN (in the real world this time) and spend about 5 min wondering where I am, before reality comes back to me.

REALLY strange, and a bit confusing.

posted on Jan, 29 2012 @ 02:05 PM
reply to post by vogon42

that's known as a "false awakening". they're common, though they can be disorientating. several times i've had them, and thought i missed class/work only to have buzzer wake me up at the right time.

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