We discuss Elon Musk’s computer based reality simulation. Musk is way off but the metaphor is spot on and inspired the book and podcast.
Elon Musk answered a question about whether we live in a computer simulated reality (reality simulation).
“The strongest argument for us being in a simulation, probably being in a simulation is the following: 40 years ago, we had pong, two rectangles and a dot,” Musk said. “That is what games were. Now 40 years later we have photorealistic 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously and it’s getting better every year. And soon we’ll have virtual reality, augmented reality, if you assume any rate of improvement at all, the games will become indistinguishable from reality.”
“Even if the rate [of technological advancement] drops by a thousand from right now—imagine it’s 10,000 years in the future, which is nothing in the evolutionary scale. So given we’re clearly on a trajectory to have games that are indistinguishable from reality and those games could be played on a set top box or on a PC or whatever and there would be billions of such computers or set top boxes, it would seem to follow the odds we’re in base reality is one in billions,” Musk said. “Tell me what’s wrong with that argument. Is there a flaw in that argument?”
And finally of interest, Musk says this.
“There’s a one in billions chance [we’re in] base reality,” he said. “I think it’s one in billions. We should hope that’s true because otherwise if civilization stops advancing, that could be due to some calamitous event that erases civilization, so maybe we should be hopeful this is a simulation. Otherwise, we will create simulations that are indistinguishable from reality or civilization will cease to exist. Those are the two options.”
Musk’s simulation theory is based on Nick Bostrom’s
paper titled “ARE YOU LIVING IN A COMPUTER SIMULATION?” http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html
I believe there are crucial, transcendent truths embedded into Musk’s thinking. I also simultaneously believe Musk is wildly off the mark. Musk is musing that a transhuman, Matrix-like simulated reality is a best-case scenario for the species. He’s also saying there’s a one in billions chance we’re not already in it. I contend that the simulated aspect of reality is an eternal, built-in, pre-existing feature of reality. That’s in direct contradiction to Musk’s technological add-on simulation to base reality. In other words, base reality is like a simulation, but not a computer generated one.
Musk touches on another massive and crucial point. He doesn’t even seem to know it. He says, “We should hope [the simulation is] true because otherwise if civilization stops advancing, that could be due to some calamitous event that erases civilization, so maybe we should be hopeful this is a simulation…” The rebuttal – or debunk – to his theory is encoded right there in his words. Calamity. Cataclysm. Catastrophism. It’s also (I believe) a key to understanding what he might understand as the game-like computer program he thinks is running the reality simulation “we” collectively experience.
I confess I’m no gamer. But I’m old enough to have played a version of Pong on Atari and graduated up to Super Mario Bros on Nintendo (and a few more advanced systems in successive years, but it’s not important). Games are coded reality simulations. If you lose the game, it ends…but you always get to start over. The same applies if you win. In nearly every game there are levels. We can use game levels as a metaphor for the world we find ourselves in right now. We are in a level. Even if we have no direct memory of prior levels, we are certainly not in level one. We actually may be at the final level of the game. It’s not a given that we will win the game. If we lose, we might get to start over. But that’s not a given either.
I become more convinced of the simulation metaphor the more I study this. In computers, my understanding is that randomness does not truly exist. So it is with our reality simulation. Synchronicities and coincidences, even things “just working out” lead us to the game-like nature of reality. To understand the reality simulation is to realize that right action is the way to play to manifest positive effects in the “game”. A nihilist might believe there is no meaning or purpose, but this is self-defeating ideology. We must believe in higher purpose, in reality simulation, in right action, in morality, without knowing materially that the “game” really exists. In essence, we must do what is right without any promise of reward. To have knowledge of reality simulation is irrelevant. The way to play the game of life is the same regardless. Preston Gibbs has done fantastic work demonstrating how astrology and Tarot are connected to the simulation. Please listen to his interview with Greg Carlwood on the Higherside Chats. This reinforces my idea that “mythology is technology” (I *think* I came up with that). The reality simulation can be better understood by studying works that remain from the past such as holy books and Tarot. I believe astrology might be the greatest technical cypher to decoding what is going on in this universe.
I also had some thoughts about how consciousness and seance mediums can work in a technical sense which may have some relevance. https://youtu.be/BMD2Mjc7A4A
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