More and more people seem to believe that we are living in a simulation. And it is not hard to understand why. The more we study the Universe, the weirder it seems to be.
And we are not just talking about Elon Musk, who has just crowned himself ‘The Imperator of Mars’. There is, apparently, a completely new force in the Universe, which will probably stand everything we ever knew on its head and leave an Earth-sized lump.
In our cozy little simulation, we believe that the Universe is made up of enormous, logical structures that look a lot like a brain.
A brain, then?
Why not. Apologies for the repetition, but Douglas Adams could well have hit the thing on the head, albeit accidentally –
“there is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.”
It must be possible that we are living, if living we are, in ‘something even more bizarre and inexplicable’.
We are constantly creating a simulation. We are moving into an era where reality is becoming virtual. We are (Mr Musk is) creating ways of harnessing our brains in ways that are extraordinary and scary in equal measure.
Without necessarily meaning to, we are entering a Doomsday scenario, where we are destroying our planet. And yet, we are (we believe, in our cosy simulation) grown-ups. All of us can see how we are destroying the Earth, yet collectively, we carry on doing it.
Our own planet, which we are trying quite hard to get off, is home to the most extraordinary array of life, all of which is fascinating and most of which we do not truly understand.
You have to wonder if dolphins have pondered whether they are part of a simulation.
The real question is ‘if we are in a simulation, what is it simulating. And why’?
Soon, we will be able to see further into the Universe than ever before. Scientists believe that we are on the edge of being able to spot signatures of alien life. Who are also probably trying to spot signatures of alien life.
Will we be able to guess at or see something out of our telescope corner that provides more evidence that we live in a simulation?
Will we glimpse our programmer?
Is he (or she) trying to fathom how a group behaves in a way so different from an individual that letting them reach ‘the next level’ should not be allowed in this timeline?
The other issue is that if we live in a simulation, then it opens the door to another thorny (human) issue—a greater being. A God, if you will. And, of course, you cannot have scientists believing – or proving the existence of – a God. That would be a conflict that would almost certainly create a black hole; the impact would be catastrophic.
Still, the Universe, while we believe we are understanding it better and better, remains inscrutably bizarre.
To the point that living in a simulation and not having to worry, seems really rather relaxing.