The Singularity, Infomania, and Programmed Reality (cont.)
By Jim Elvidge
Evidence for the Programmed Reality
It is worthwhile to briefly review the evidence that we are living in a programmed reality. There is much more detail in the book, but to summarize:
1. OUR DISCRETE WORLD - It takes an infinite amount of resources to create a continuous reality, but a finite amount to create a quantized reality. The very nature of the computational mechanisms of a computer are essentially the same as Quantum Mechanics - a sequence of states, with nothing existing or happening between the states. The resolution of any program is analogous to the spatial resolution of our reality, just at a different level. In fact, if you carry Moore's Law forward (which has been consistent over the past 40 years), computers will reach the Planck resolution in 2192. Not too far off. However, you don't need to model reality all the way to that level for the model to be indistinguishable from our reality. Let's say you want to examine the guts of a tree. You cut it open, scrape off a few cells and put them under a microscope, maybe an electron microscope.
To simulate this computationally, one doesn't have to model every single tree down to the Planck level. Only the observed tree needs to be modeled, and then only the cells selected, and then only down to a resolution that matches the observational limitations of our measurement devices. The program can do that dynamically. And all quantum effects can be programmatically modeled without building a reality model to the Planck level. So, given Moore's law and the limitations of "observational reality", we should be able to create Virtual Realities that are indistinguishable from our current reality within 20 years or so. The very fact that our reality is quantized may be considered strong evidence that reality is programmed.
2. THE SIMULATION TIMELINE - Various modern philosophers and scientists have posited that we are likely to be living a simulation. This is because it is highly probable that we will be able to create ancestor simulations within a few years, when we achieve a posthuman stage. Due either to the number of simulations that will be run, or to the proximity that we are to that stage, it is actually more probable that we are in one than the case where we haven't yet reached that stage. Again, there is no way to tell that we aren't in a programmed reality.
3. THE FINE-TUNED UNIVERSE - The universe is unbelievably finely tuned for the physical existence of matter, let alone life. For example, universal constants cancel out all of the vacuum energy in the universe to an amazing accuracy of one part in 10 to the 115th power. Also, a deviation in the expansion rate of the early universe of 1 part in a billion in either direction would have caused the universe to immediately collapse, or fly apart so fast that stars could never have formed. And there are many more such examples. The only explanation that mainstream science can come up with is that either an uncountably huge number of universes are spawned every second (the Everett interpretation of Quantum Mechanics) or an uncountably huge number of universes are already out there, most of which are entirely benign and unable to support life or even the formation of matter. Via the magic sleight of hand of the anthropic principle, we happen to be in the only perfect one. It certainly seems that Occam's Razor heavily favors the simulation theory here.
4. THOSE PESKY ANOMALIES - The huge set of well-studied anomalies facing us in fields as varied as metaphysics, physics, philosophy, geology, anthropology, and psychology can all be explained only by the programmed reality model. The mathematics of coincidence, the perceived acceleration of society, OOPart, the truth about the paranormal, quantum entanglement, the existence of oil - they all fit neatly into this hypothesis. No other theory can make that claim.