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The Simulation Hypothesis and Information

If physics is inconsistent it’s more likely we’re in a computer simulation. If physics is internally self-consistent then it’s more likely we’re in a really real reality. Alas, we have contradictions / inconsistencies in physics – relativity vs. quantum mechanics for example. Therefore, you probably exist in a simulation and physics can provide the evidence. So, here’s my follow-up collection of evidence from physics.

The Simulation Hypothesis and Information

“What is real?” – Information! “How do you define real?” – Information!

Some people suggest that the Physics Simulation Hypothesis is nonsense because it’s akin to suggesting that there’s actually tiny people inside your TV set or there is a little being present inside your mind that’s observing, processing and directing the action.

My counter is that it’s not the forms that exist in a simulation that hold sway, rather what is actually being simulated; what is actually important is information.

For starters, simulations, virtual reality exists! People are totally immersed in virtual reality. There’s obviously your own dreams, hardly what you would describe as really real reality. You reside in a virtual reality when you digest the information in a book or watch a movie / TV show or play a video game or train in a simulator; even when you interact in an Internet forum. And of course you’ve witnessed thousands of people glued to their smart phones totally immersed in the virtual reality they provide.

There’s a relationship between mathematics, simulations and information. Now I don’t personally believe that space (as in outer space) actually exists on the grounds that space has no architecture and isn’t composed of anything, Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity notwithstanding. Space is just mathematics (Einstein’s field equations), information and therefore probably just a simulation.

Mathematics is and yields up information. Solve for X – you get information. The flip side is that information can be expressed mathematically, built from the ground up by those digital bits and bytes.

So back to the issue of the reality of space. The ‘behavior’ of space in the presence or absence of mass (warping, curving, bending, flexing, twisting, etc.) is information expressed mathematically in those Einsteinian field equations. Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity just describes gravity as being just geometry which of course is just described by mathematics. Starlight bends around the mass of our Sun. That’s information. The flip side is that the behavior of space (bending the starlight) is a mathematical construct expressed as information – what the starlight does when passing close to the Sun.

Or as Seth Lloyd has expressed it, the Universe just is a computer that processes information. [Lloyd, Seth; “Programming the Universe: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes On the Cosmos”; Jonathan Cape, London; 2006.]

Now you are just a packet of information that happens to be in the form of a human. My cat is a packet of different information that happens to be in the form of a cat. Felix the Cat is a cartoon cat yet still is just a packet of information that this time takes the form of a cartoon cat. The characters in the video game Dungeons & Dragons are packets of information; ditto Conway’s “Game of Life”, a simulation involving the evolution of artificial ‘life’ forms. They are all just information! Everything in really real reality – assuming we exist in a really real reality – is information. Everything that exists in virtual reality is just information.

So again, information can be expressed and exist as a form of virtual reality or within a framework of virtual reality. You are a packet of information. Therefore you can be expressed as having an existence in a virtual reality framework. You (as a packet of just information) could be reconstructed from the ground up as programmed computer software to whatever degree of realism the programmer desires. So a software programmed version of you is a virtual reality version of you. If you or my cat are just bundles of information, then those bundles can be simulated.

So you post information on an Internet forum. In the information pathway from your alleged really real reality to my alleged really real reality, you’ve (or your information) had to transcend / transmit through a virtual reality medium. So why not consider instead that the information pathway was from your virtual reality to my virtual reality via the same virtual reality medium?

Now if ‘you’ had been just an artificial intelligence software generated program responding to my Internet forum posts then ‘you’ would also have been virtual reality as far as I, the viewer / reader is concerned. It’s possible to create virtual reality as noted above. If ‘you’ could be created as virtual reality, so we (our life, our Universe and our everything) could be a virtual reality simulation created and viewed by “The Other” (a person or persons or things unknown) for reason(s) unknown.

Now some people make a big issue of virtual reality being nonsense because you have a ‘person’ inside a video game or inside the TV set. Of course the form / shape within virtual reality is secondary and rather beside the point. It’s the information that’s important. The form / shape could be a ‘humanoid’ or a ‘talking cat’ or an ‘animated paperclip’ for that matter. What you see isn’t relevant, it’s what you get that’s relevant and that’s the information. It ultimately doesn’t matter if the video game features a supervillain or a fire-breathing dragon; whether or not it’s a damsel in distress or an entire village under attack. It’s the information; the scenario that’s important. Of course if you’re partial to fire-breathing dragons over supervillains you’ll buy the video game featuring dragons but the scenario is the same.

The Simulation Hypothesis and Exceptions to the Rule.

When it comes to those laws, principles and relationships within the physical sciences, especially physics, you wouldn’t, before-the-fact, expect there to be exceptions to the rules. Alas there are, and therein lies the rub that points the way, by way of explanation, to the Simulation Hypothesis.

*Causality – cause and effect – rules the roost. Except when it comes to radioactive decay which apparently happens in an unpredictable fashion for absolutely no reason at all.

*The First Law of Thermodynamics states that matter / energy can neither be created (out of an absolute nothing) nor destroyed. But taking the Universe as a whole, apparently the energy density of the Universe remains constant even though the Universe is expanding. Where is this ‘free lunch’ energy coming from if not out of an absolute nothing.

*Velocity: Velocities can be added and subtracted. If you are on a train moving at 50 mph and you walk towards the front of that train at 5 mph, then relative to the ground you are moving at 55 mph. Alas, if you shine a flashlight toward the front of the train the velocity of that light beam isn’t the speed of light plus 50 mph relative to the ground. A ground observer will see the speed of light moving at just the speed of light.

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