Nanotech and the Physical Manifestation of a Reality (cont.)
By Jim Elvidge
Then there is the ultimate reality-building device, the molecular assembler. In his book "Engines of Creation," K. Eric Drexler outlines how a molecular assembler could build a macroscopic object like a rocket engine from the ground up. Again, why stop there? Why not build a room, a city, a reality? We only need to rely on the exponential pace of technological development.
I mentioned at the beginning of this article that such a scenario seems to be a more likely explanation for our programmed reality, if indeed we are living in one. This is because I believe that there are a couple problems with the simulation theory. First, it assumes that the subject or player (us) is being fooled into thinking that their reality is real. We may be either willful or unwillful participants in the "game". If we are willful, we must have invoked some sort of mechanism to ensure that we do not recall the time prior to the beginning of the simulation. While these mechanisms are possible and are discussed in my article "Is Our Reality Just a Big Video Game?", the idea certainly stretches the imagination. In addition, one has to consider the motive for participating in willful ancestor simulations. Could it really be because we want to experience living in a time period at least 30 years in our past? It is hard to fathom that as a likely motivation for billions of people (unless of course, most around us are just non-player-characters, or NPCs.) Maybe if we merge with machines at the singularity point, as predicted by the transhumanists, we would yearn to experience the old days, when we were pure biological humans. But why go back and simulate a 30-year old culture with its humdrum existence, spending time picking up the laundry and cleaning the toilet, when we could just as easily experience all sorts of utopias instead - many great ones spring to mind. No, willful simulations just don't make sense to me.
Neither do the unwillful scenarios, for that matter, all of which imply that we have "keepers." What could the motivations of the keepers be? To keep us occupied since we have nothing else to do after the singularity? Why bother? To save the species? Why not just collect and freeze a little DNA instead. Or, perhaps the motivation is to educate us, or develop our spirituality? It seems to me that with that awesome post-singularity technology, there would be faster way to accomplish this. ("I know Kung Fu")
But the programming of physical reality does away with all of those motivation issues that are inherent in the simulation scenarios, because reality may simply be a construct put in place eons ago, thereby eliminating the need to explain memory suppression. Evidence suggests that the programmers, whoever they may be, established a construct for us to play and evolve in. However, they didn't just "wind the clock" and let the pre-programmed laws of nature take their course without intervention. Instead there seems to be an unseen hand maintaining the construct and the engine that drives it, applying adjustments when necessary, not unlike the periodic patch to "World of Warcraft."
Where might this engine actually exist? In traditional nanotech theory, it would be in the blueprint, or programming, that is given to the initial molecular machines. To build a full-scale reality, the same may apply. But, that is a very anthropomorphic point of view. If the programmers were not human, why should we attempt to assign human motivations, behaviors, and technologies to them? Instead, the methodology may be much more esoteric. String theorists are convinced that other dimensions exist. The Everett interpretation of Quantum Mechanics says that parallel realities exist in an abstract space called Hilbert Space. Some physicists believe that it will be shown to be possible to jump between realities. Perhaps the molecular assembler is simply in a different dimension and generating our reality in our visible dimensions. Perhaps dark energy, the mysterious all-pervasive yet repulsive force in our universe is behind the generation of our physical reality. Much of this, of course, is purely speculative, but not outside the realm of possibility. But again, these are all ideas from OUR reality. We seem to be able to think, forecast, and predict no more than 50 years into the future. Anything beyond that is completely incomprehensible to us. With life evolution scales in the billions of years, the non-human entities that may have generated our reality are most certainly more than 50 years beyond us in terms of technological evolution. Possibilities from that reality would be so far beyond our comprehension that it is futile to speculate about them. Instead, however, I submit that it is sufficient for our peace of mind to know that technology can theoretically exist to make it happen.
There is great value in this model, even if it beyond our reach to grasp. The value is that it explains everything - the apparent fine tuning of our universe, all known anomalies, the discrete nature of quantum mechanics, and the curious feeling that many of us have that there is something about reality that is a little too organized, a little too planned, and a little too programmed. A comprehensive view of the evidence is found in my book "The Universe - Solved!"