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2016-06-03
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Our Life is a Simulation

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Is our existence merely just a simulation? The question has certainly been around a long time, and became somewhat "mainstream" in academic philosophy after The Matrix. Despite decades of thinking on the matter, it always keeps coming up and recently resurfaced at the Recode conference in a question to Elon Musk. His answer was somewhat intriguing even if only from an evolution of video games perspective.

The strongest argument for us being in a simulation probably is the following. Forty years ago we had pong. Like, two rectangles and a dot. That was 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. Soon we'll have virtual reality, augmented reality.
If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, even if that rate of advancement drops by a thousand from what it is now. Then you just say, okay, let's imagine it's 10,000 years in the future, which is nothing on the evolutionary scale.
So given that we're clearly on a trajectory to have games that are indistinguishable from reality, and those games could be played on any set-top box or on a PC or whatever, and there would probably be billions of such computers or set-top boxes, it would seem to follow that the odds that we're in base reality is one in billions.


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