Saturday, December 15, 2012

Scientists Ask: Are We All Part of The Matrix?

First in Germany and now in the U.S., scientists are hypothesizing that we are all part of an elaborate simulation created by a “supercomputer” from the future.

Earlier this year it was revealed that some intrepid nuclear physicists from the University of Bonn in Germany were conducting tests to determine if we're actually living in a computer program.

Essentially, they had discovered that computer simulations react and respond in a remarkably similar manner to our own physical world, leading them to ask: Are we a part of an elaborate, universe-wide simulation?
In order to suss out our potentially digital origins, the plan, as IGN’s Nic Vargus said in October, was to, "create a mini-universe to test the constraints of such a universe and see if it applies to our own universe.”

As Keanu Reeves himself would say:
Adding fuel to the “my mind is blown, but I kinda always suspected it” fire, is now reporting that scientists in the U.S. are joining the "world is a Matrix-esque computer simulation" party.
That’s right, researchers at the University of Washington are also testing the hypothesis that life as we know it is an elaborate simulation program designed by a computer that has been, to date, beyond our comprehension.

Here is what the article has to say about the work being done:
“It will take many years to reach the computational power to give a real glimpse of whether we are living in a simulation, the scientists contend, but even by looking at the tiny portion of the universe that we can currently accurately model, it may be possible to detect 'signatures' of constraints on physical processes that could point to a simulation.

The researchers suggest that a signature could show up as a limitation in the energy of cosmic rays, for example.  By testing the behavior of cosmic rays on underlying 'lattice' frameworks governing rules of physics that could exist in future models of the universe, the researchers could find patterns that could point to a simulation….

‘This is the first testable signature of such an idea,’ one of the researchers, Martin Savage, said.”

As we pointed out previously, a few rather obvious questions arise:
If we’re simply a part of a large-scale simulation, then what is the purpose of said simulation? Who created it? Are we just characters in a game that’s being tested by a team of sleep deprived players in a row of cubicles 3 billion light years away?

Are future human beings trying to test our decision making abilities in order to see what kinds of circumstances would result in a better life for them?

If this were true, would our scientists be able to “hack” the program? If so, to what end? Who would we trust to redesign the fabric of the universe? Who is truly qualified to “make this world a better place”, simulated or not?

When we die, do we simply disappear into a data stream?
Finally, are we remorseless Gods to the characters in the video games that we play? Have we all unthinkingly decimated entire civilizations only to rebuild them, and watch them suffer again?

Its Wreck-It Ralph meets The Matrix. At least in Wreck-It Ralph they know that they’re video game characters, though.

In this version of reality is free will just an illusion, or are we free to choose for ourselves within the precise confines of the simulation created for us?

Books and films have presented stories that tell the “secret world of” toys and game characters for years, imagining how their lives go on when we aren’t looking. Now science is saying: "Hey, maybe we’re the ones leading the "secret lives" when our simulation creators aren’t looking."

Most of us have had moments where we wondered if our lives are subject to the whims of some overgrown kid in the sky playing with his toys, or just a dream, or the last images that our future-self is seeing in the death throes. We may not have believed that science would eventually ask similar questions, though.
It’s all pretty outlandish, and even if these scientists are correct, there are likely plenty of people who wouldn’t care to know the truth. For myself, I think I’d take the red pill. See what it’s all about.

Thanks for bringing this one to our attention,

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