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Two Reasons Why 'You' Don't Exist...

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Living in a Multiverse

by Cliff Pickover
Reality Carnival

In our own region of the universe, we've already developed computers and the ability to simulate lifelike forms using these computers and mathematical rules. I believe that one day we will create thinking beings that live in rich simulated ecosystems. We'll be able to simulate reality itself, and perhaps more advanced beings are already doing this elsewhere in the universe. Huge supercomputers would have the capacity to simulate not just a tiny fragment of reality, but a substantial fraction of an entire universe.

What if the number of these simulations is larger than the number of universes? Could we be living in such a simulation? Astronomer and philosopher Martin Rees suggests that if the simulations outnumber the universes, "as they would if one universe contained many computers making many simulations," then it is likely that we are artificial life. He notes that this theory allows for "virtual time travel," because the advanced beings who create the simulation can rerun the past. Rees says in his essay "In the Matrix" ( a.k.a. "Living in A Multiverse"),
"Once you accept the idea of the multiverse, and that some universes will have immense potentiality for complexity, it's a logical consequence that in some of those universes there will be the potential to simulate parts of themselves, and you may get a sort of infinite regress, so we don't know where reality stops and where the minds and ideas take over, and we don't know what our place is in this grand ensemble of universes and simulated universes."
Astronomer Paul Davies in "A Brief History of the Multiverse" has remarked similarly,
"Eventually, entire virtual worlds will be created inside computers, their conscious inhabitants unaware that they are the simulated products of somebody else's technology. For every original world, there will be a stupendous number of available virtual worlds -- some of which would even include machines simulating virtual worlds of their own, and so on ad infinitum."
I discuss these and many related ideas in my book

The MÖBIUS STRIP: Dr. August Möbius's Marvelous Band in Mathematics, Games, Literature, Art, Technology, and Cosmology

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Cliff Pickover
Reality Carnival

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