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 Simulated Reality - Is our world a simulation 
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Post Simulated Reality - Is our world a simulation
Might a phenomena like UFOs be attributed to a simulated reality.

I looked at Wiki and found some theories.

The first is mostly about the odds of a simulated reality being true.
The second, about the Omega Point and god is an interesting concept.
The last concerns software glitchs in the simulation.

Nick Bostrom

Main article: Simulation argument

Ten years after Hans Moravec first published the simulation argument (and three years after its update in Moravec's second full pop science book), the philosopher Nick Bostrom investigated the possibility that we may be living in a simulation. A simplified version of his argument proceeds as such:

i. It is possible that an advanced civilization could create a computer simulation which contains individuals with artificial intelligence (AI).

ii. Such a civilization would likely run many, billions for example, of these simulations (just for fun, for research or any other permutation of possible reasons.)

iii. A simulated individual inside the simulation wouldn’t necessarily know that it is inside a simulation — it is just going about its daily business in what it considers to be the "real world." Then the ultimate question is — if one accepts that the above premises are at least possible — which of the following is more likely?

a. We are the one civilization which develops AI simulations and happens not to be in one itself?b. We are one of the many (billions) of simulations that has run? (Remember point iii.) In greater detail, his argument attempts to prove the trichotomy, either that:

1. intelligent races will never reach a level of technology where they can run simulations of reality so detailed they can be mistaken for reality (assuming that this is possible in principle); or
2. races who do reach such a sophisticated level do not tend to run such simulations; or
3. we are almost certainly living in such a simulation.

Bostrom's argument uses the premise that given sufficiently advanced technology, it is possible to simulate entire inhabited planets or even larger habitats or even entire universes as quantum simulations in time/space pockets, including all the people on them, on a computer, and that simulated people can be fully conscious, and are as fully sentient individuals as non-simulated people.

A particular case provided in the original paper poses the scenario where we reason based on the trichotomy listed above. We deny the first hypothesis: We assume that the human race could reach such a technologically advanced level without destroying themselves in the process. We then deny the second hypothesis: We presume that once we reached such a level we would still be interested in history, the past, and our ancestors, and that there would be no legal or moral strictures on running such simulations. If these two assumptions are made, then

* it is likely that we would run a very large number of so-called ancestor simulations to study our past;
* and that, by the same line of reasoning, many of these simulations would in turn run other sub-simulations, and so on;
* and that given the fact that right now it is impossible to tell whether we are living in one of the vast number of simulations or the original ancestor universe, the likelihood is that the former is true.

Assumptions as to whether the human race (or another intelligent species) could reach such a technological level without destroying themselves depend greatly on the value of the Drake equation, which attempts to calculate the number of intelligent technological species communicating via radio in a galaxy at any given point in time. The expanded equation looks to the number of posthuman civilizations that ever would exist in any given universe. If the average for all universes, real or simulated, is greater than or equal to one such civilization existing in each universe's entire history, then the odds are rather overwhelmingly in favor of the proposition that the average civilization is in a simulation, assuming that such simulated universes are possible and such civilizations would want to run such simulations.

Frank J. Tipler's Omega Point

Main article: Frank J. Tipler#The Omega Point
Physicist Frank J. Tipler envisages a similar scenario to Nick Bostrom's argument, one that Tipler maintains is a physically required cosmological scenario in the far future of the universe: as the universe comes to an end in a solitary singularity during the Big Crunch, the computational capacity of the universe is capable of increasing at a sufficient rate that is accelerating exponentially faster than the time running out. In principle, a simulation run on this universe-computer can thus continue forever in its own terms, even though proper time lasts only a finite duration.

Prof. Tipler identifies this final singularity and its state of infinite information capacity with God. According to Prof. Tipler and Prof. David Deutsch, the implication of this theory for present-day humans is that this ultimate cosmic computer will essentially be able to resurrect everyone who has ever lived, by recreating all possible quantum brain states within the master simulation, somewhat reminiscent of the resurrection ideas of Nikolai Fyodorovich Fyodorov. This would manifest as a simulated reality. From the perspective of the inhabitant, the Omega Point represents an infinite-duration afterlife, which could take any imaginable form due to its virtual nature. At first glance, Tipler's hypothesis requires some means by which the inhabitants of the far future can recover historical information in order to reincarnate their ancestors into a simulated afterlife. However, if they really have access to infinite computing power, that is no problem at all—they can just simulate "all possible worlds". (This line of thought is continued in Platonic simulation theories). Tipler's argument can also be intertwined with Nick Bostrom's aforementioned argument from probability. If Omega Point will simulate an infinite number of virtual worlds then it would be infinitely more likely that our reality is in one of those simulated worlds, rather than in the original real world that created the Omega Point.

Prof. Tipler's Omega Point Theory is predicated on an eventual Big Crunch, thought by some to be an unlikely scenario by virtue of a number of recent astronomical observations.[3] Tipler has recently amended his views to accommodate an accelerating universe due to a positive cosmological constant. He proposes baryon tunneling as a means of propelling interstellar spacecraft. He states that if the baryons in the universe were to be annihilated by this process, then this would force the Higgs field toward its absolute vacuum, cancelling the positive cosmological constant, stopping the acceleration, and allowing the universe to collapse into the Omega Point.

Software bugs

A computed simulation may have voids or other errors that manifest inside. As a simple example of this, when the "hall of mirrors" effect occurs in the first person shooter Doom, the game attempts to display "nothing" and, obviously fails in its attempt to do so. If a void can be found and tested, and if the observers survive its discovery, then it may reveal the underlying computational substrate. However, lapses in physical law could be attributed to other explanations, for instance inherent instability in the nature of reality.

In fact, bugs could be very common. An interesting question is whether knowledge of bugs or loopholes in a sufficiently powerful simulation are instantly erased the minute they are observed since presumably all thoughts and experiences in a simulated world could be carefully monitored and altered. This would, however, require enormous processing capability in order to simultaneously monitor billions of people at once. Of course, if this is the case we would never be able to act on discovery of bugs. In fact, any simulation significantly determined to protect its existence could erase any proof that it was a simulation whenever it arose, provided it had the enormous capacity necessary to do so.

To take this argument to an even greater extreme, a sufficiently powerful simulation could make its inhabitants think that erasing proof of its existence is difficult. This would mean that the computer actually has an easy time of erasing glitches, but we all think that changing reality requires great power. One could possibly take miracles and paranormal activity as software bugs especially those which seem to have a negative effect on one; this notion has been explored in The Matrix, where déjà vu is considered a sign of crude alteration to the system; and Animatrix where software glitches are concentrated in a house which the neighbors call "haunted", subsequently corrected by the Agents. A possible exploit could regard demons and evil spirits as the 'hackers' who attempt to take advantage of this system.

Additionally, it can be argued that what are in fact errors in the software, we perceive as part of the "proper" reality. For example, it may be the case that tornadoes were never meant to exist in this simulation, but due to an error in the programming came to be. It would then be only suspicious to remove them from this reality and doing so would raise more questions by its inhabitants. In such instance, it would make more sense to leave the "error" in place.

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Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:41 am
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Post Re: Simulated Reality - Is our world a simulation
Great post, HP! I'm too tired to read it all now but check out The Holographic Theory of reality.

The Holographic Universe is a great book on the subject. Read it a few years back. I'll post more on this tomorrow.

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Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:44 am
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Post Re: Simulated Reality - Is our world a simulation
Somebody remind me to read this tonight... if you remember. I'll remind you to remind me. ;)

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Here I am Expecting Just A Little Bit Too Much From The Wounded - A Perfect Circle

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Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:59 pm
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Post Re: Simulated Reality - Is our world a simulation
There are gurus and others who have suggested much the same thing.

If you believe in a human soul then your body is not really you. It's your vehicle here. Everything is sooooo real that you forget who you really are and by into this "reality".

If your just a bit of energy in a body, it's much the same thing.

Energy isn't created or destroyed, it's just transmuted.

There's a meditation that buddhists use and goes something like this:

Picture yourself as you perceive yourself. Ask yourself:
Am I still me without the hair on my head?
Am I still me without my eyebrows?
Am I still me without my teeth?
Am I still me without my tongue?
Am I still me without toes?
Am I still me without liver?
Am I still me without brain?
Am I still me without sense of humor?
Am I still me without love of dogs?

Etc, etc.... keep doing it until your strip yourself down to nothing. What are you?

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Here I am Expecting Just A Little Bit Too Much From The Wounded - A Perfect Circle

Time and space are enfolded, and therefore there's no causality - Karl Pribram


Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:26 am
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Princess Feet

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Post Re: Simulated Reality - Is our world a simulation
A soul?


Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:02 am
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Post Re: Simulated Reality - Is our world a simulation
Pam wrote:
A soul?


Yeah, some people believe we have souls. You never heard of that? :D

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Here I am Expecting Just A Little Bit Too Much From The Wounded - A Perfect Circle

Time and space are enfolded, and therefore there's no causality - Karl Pribram


Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:03 am
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Princess Feet

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Post Re: Simulated Reality - Is our world a simulation
I am a soul :D


Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:14 am
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Post Re: Simulated Reality - Is our world a simulation
You certainly are ;)

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Here I am Expecting Just A Little Bit Too Much From The Wounded - A Perfect Circle

Time and space are enfolded, and therefore there's no causality - Karl Pribram


Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:16 am
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Post Re: Simulated Reality - Is our world a simulation
A soul could exist in either case.


Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:11 am
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Post Re: Simulated Reality - Is our world a simulation
Absolutely. I'm just saying, if we are at the core a soul, this is simulated reality.

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Here I am Expecting Just A Little Bit Too Much From The Wounded - A Perfect Circle

Time and space are enfolded, and therefore there's no causality - Karl Pribram


Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:21 am
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