Physicist Alain Aspect conducted a most remarkable experiment demonstrating that the web of subatomic particles that composes our physical universe -
the so-called "fabric of reality itself" - possesses what appears to be an undeniable "holographic" property.
(Read more about the experiment here)
We might think that we are an advanced species, but we possess limited knowledge of the world around us.
We are moved by moved by neurophysiological signals and subject to a variety of biological, psychological and sociological influences over which
we have limited control and little understanding.
Suppose for a minute that we do live in a matrix and our reality is nothing but an illusion.
Do we live in a computer stimulation?
What is the simulation argument?
Nick Bostrom, Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy at Oxford University and founding Director of the Future of
Humanity Institute and of the Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology within the Oxford Martin School presented his so-called simulation
argument some years ago, and the theory is still widely debated among many scientists.
If we omit the mathematical part of the argument, it starts with "the assumption that future civilisations will have enough computing power
and programming skills to be able to create what I call "ancestor simulations".
These would be detailed simulations of the simulators' predecessors - detailed enough for the simulated minds to be conscious and have the
same kinds of experiences we have.
Think of an ancestor simulation as a very realistic virtual reality environment, but one where the brains inhabiting the world are themselves
part of the simulation.
The simulation argument makes no assumption about how long it will take to develop this capacity.
Some futurologists think it will happen within the next 50 years. But even if it takes10 million years, it makes no difference to the argument, " writes Bostrom in his paper "Do we live in a computer simulation?"
Bostrom says the conclusion is that at least one of the following three
propositions must be true:
1. Almost all civilisations at our level of development become extinct before becoming technologically mature.
2. The fraction of technologically mature civilisations that are interested in creating ancestor simulations is almost zero.
3. You are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.
If we suppose that the first and second suggestion are false, then we can assume that a
"signification fraction of these civilizations run ancestor stimulations."
We could be holograms inside an ancestor stimulation.
"If we work out the numbers, we find that there would be vastly many more simulated minds than non-simulated minds.
We assume that technologically mature civilisations would have access to enormous amounts of computing power.
So enormous, in fact, that by devoting even a tiny fraction to ancestor simulations, they would be able to implement billions of simulations,
each containing as many people as have ever existed. In other words, almost all minds like yours would be simulated.
Therefore, by a very weak principle of indifference, you would have to assume that you are probably one of these simulated minds rather than
one of the ones that are not simulated, " Bostrom explains.
Bostrom also point out that his simulation argument does not prove that we are really living inside a stimulation, because we possess to
little information to determine which one of the three is either true or false.
We cannot hope that the first assumption is false. Proposition number 2 requires convergence among all advanced civilisations, such that
almost none of them are interested in running ancestor simulations.
"If this were true, it would be an interesting constraint on the future evolution of intelligent life," Bostrom says.
To many of us, option number two seems an unlikely scenario considering the vastness of the Universe and the number of advanced
extraterrestrials species we could encounter if we had the means to travel among the stars.
"If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then 'real' is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain," Morpheus - The Matrix movie
Assumption number three is without doubt the most intriguing one. We could really be living in a computer simulation created by some advanced extraterrestrial civilization.
"What Copernicus and Darwin and latter-day scientists have been discovering are the laws and workings
of the simulated reality. These laws might or might not be identical to those operating at the more
fundamental level of reality where the computer that is running our simulation exists (which, of course, may itself be a simulation).
In a way, our place in the world would be even humbler than we thought," Bostrom explains.
Why would an advanced civilization create a virtual world?
"If each advanced civilization created many Matrices of their own history, then most people like us, who live in a technologically more
primitive age, would live inside Matrices rather than outside," Bostrom says.
We could be scientific experiment that is closely monitored by those alien beings who programmed the stimulation.
Even worse, we could be nothing more than a virtual game to our creators, in the same way we enjoy playing computer games.
It is really impossible to tell.
How can we know if we are really living in a matrix?
If the simulators don't want us to find out, we probably never will. But if they choose to reveal themselves, they could certainly do so.
If the architects of this virtual reality want us to know we a holographic being living in a matrix, they can simply make a window pop up in
our visual field with the text "YOU ARE LIVING IN A MATRIX. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION".
"Another event that would let us conclude with a high degree of confidence that we are in a simulation is if we ever reach a point when we
are about to switch on our own ancestor simulations. That would be very strong evidence against the first two propositions,
leaving us only with the third, Bostrom says.
Is it possible to escape the matrix? Image from movie The Thirteenth Floor
How should we live in a matrix?
"If we knew the Architects' motives for designing Matrices then the hypothesis that we live in one might have major practical
consequences. But in fact we know almost nothing about what these motives might be.
We would run experiments, discover regularities, build models, and extrapolate from past events.
In other words, we would apply the scientific method and common sense in the same way as if we knew that we were not in a Matrix.
To a first approximation, therefore, the answer to how you should live if you are in a Matrix is that you should live the same way as
if you are not in a Matrix., " Bostrom says.
It would seem there is no way to escape the matrix... Even you think that you really managed to escape the matrix, how will you know it was not just a simulated escape?
Our Universe Is A Gigantic And
Wonderfully Detailed Holographic Illusion
In our daily life we are not aware that we may, in fact, live in a hologram and our existence is a holographic projection, nothing more.
All what we believe is real, our whole physical world, is - in fact - an illusion being proved by the holographic universe,
one of the most remarkable theories of 20th century...
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For years scientists have wondered whether there is a particular place in the brain, a so-called "God spot" that is responsible for spirituality.
What mechanism does determine why a person is more spiritual than others?
Our Brains Wired Like The Checkerboard Streets Of New York City!
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The most detailed images, to date, reveal a pervasive 3D grid structure with no diagonals, say scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Dancing Snakes - The Illusion Our Brain Wants Us To See
Scientists have long wanted to explain the mystery of how the Rotating Snakes illusion tricks the brain.
Visual illusions demonstrate the ways in which the brain creates a mental representation that differs from the physical
world. By studying illusions, we can learn the mechanisms by which the brain constructs our conscious experience of the world.
Secret Properties Of Water - Still A Mystery!
The true nature of water is unknown. It has a variety of absolutely fascinating properties, we still known very little about.
One of its most unique properties is that water has a memory and its behavior can be compared to our modern CD storing digital data or magnetic tape!
This ability, among many others, is particularly astonishing and still cannot be explained in terms of conventional science.
Cyborgs Exploring Space - Is It Us Or Them?
It is impossible for a human being to survive beyond about a minute and a half in space without significant technological assistance.
If humans wish to colonize planets, it would require next state of human evolution.
Does this mean that we must become cyborgs or is space exploration just a dream of humanity?
Artificial Intelligence: Super-Turing Machine Imitates Human Brain
As computer scientists this year celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the mathematical genius Alan Turing, who set out the basis for digital computing
in the 1930s to anticipate the electronic age, they still quest after a machine as adaptable and intelligent as the human brain.
Living Earth Simulator - Supercomputer Predicting The Future
In Douglas Adams book the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy we encounter a machine called Deep Thought. It is the most powerful computer ever built. Deep Thought is capable of answering questions
concerning life, the Universe, and simply everything. Now scientists are planning to create a similar machine. It is called the Living Earth Simulator (LES).
Revealing How A Fictional Character Can Affect Your Real Life
It is time for some good news for all book lovers!
Anyone who enjoys reading knows that books can open doors to a number of worlds, which one never thought existed. Books can take you on the most astonishing journeys.
Now, recent research also shows that books can have a very beneficial impact on your daily life and psychological health.