If your friend told you that this physical world is a virtual reality, you would likely scoff.
But what if scientists and academics alike were beginning to understand that that is the only way to truly describe our reality?
See for yourself. Below is the beginning of my newest book, The God Matrix: Don't Be Afraid:
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
The answer is no.
There is no tree, just as there is no forest. Our physical reality is virtual, and part of a much larger reality system.
Merriam-webster.com defines “virtual reality” as “an artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli (such as sights and sounds) provided by a computer and in which one's actions partially determine what happens in the environment.”
Prior to the 1980s, our conception of virtual reality was essentially non-existent. First-person video games, such as Space Invaders and Pong, as basic as they now seem, allowed us to experience reality virtually.
Since then, video games and other virtual-reality applications are quickly becoming indistinguishable from our physical reality.
The Sims is a video game in which game-players live virtual lives within a virtual-reality simulation; interacting with others and using information to make choices.
The Sims characters inhabit a world of data, bound by rules, parameters, and limitations established within the game’s computer code.
Data being transmitted between a server and the players creates a virtual world, rife with possibilities and potential.
Imagine being born into a multi-player virtual-reality simulation similar to The Sims.
Inside this virtual reality, all senses are engaged, and there is no way to stop the game or switch players.
If we fall and scrape our knee, we bleed and feel pain.
This virtual-reality simulation is complex and ‘real’, giving us almost no reason to question its authenticity.
“There’s a billion to one chance we’re living in base reality.” - Tesla CEO Elon Musk
Dictionary.com defines “simulation” as “the representation of the behavior or characteristics of one system through the use of another system, especially a computer program designed for the purpose.”
The idea that we live in a virtual reality is still considered fringe, though the concept is slowly making its way into the mainstream.
In 2003, acclaimed author and Oxford professor Nick Bostrom published a paper titled ‘Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?’, highlighting the idea that we are unknowing participants in an “ancestor-simulation”:
A technologically mature “posthuman” civilization would have enormous computing power. Based on this empirical fact, the simulation argument shows that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage is very close to zero; (2) The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero; (3) The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one.
If (1) is true, then we will almost certainly go extinct before reaching posthumanity. If (2) is true, then there must be a strong convergence among the courses of advanced civilizations so that virtually none contains any relatively wealthy individuals who desire to run ancestor-simulations and are free to do so. If (3) is true, then we almost certainly live in a simulation. In the dark forest of our current ignorance, it seems sensible to apportion one’s credence roughly evenly between (1), (2), and (3).
Unless we are now living in a simulation, our descendants will almost certainly never run an ancestor-simulation.
Brian Whitworth, on his website brianwhitworth.com, describes himself as “a registered psychologist cross-trained in computing.”
Whitworth was a classically trained University professor, but curiosity caused him to veer from the mainstream.
In a research paper titled ‘ The Physical World as a Virtual Reality’, Whitworth describes his findings:
This paper explores the idea that the universe is a virtual reality created by information processing, and relates this strange idea to the findings of modern physics about the physical world. The virtual reality concept is familiar to us from online worlds, but our world as a virtual reality is usually a subject for science fiction rather than science. Yet logically the world could be an information simulation running on a multi-dimensional space-time screen. Indeed, if the essence of the universe is information, matter, charge, energy and movement could be aspects of information, and the many conservation laws could be a single law of information conservation.
If the universe were a virtual reality, its creation at the big bang would no longer be paradoxical,as every virtual system must be booted up. It is suggested that whether the world is an objective reality or a virtual reality is a matter for science to resolve. Modern information science can suggest how core physical properties like space, time, light, matter and movement could derive from information processing. Such an approach could reconcile relativity and quantum theories, with the former being how information processing creates space-time, and the latter how it creates energy and matter.
MIT professor Seth Lloyd, in a 2016 BBC.com article titled ‘We might live in a computer program, but it may not matter’, expresses a similar sentiment:
“The Universe can be regarded as a giant quantum computer," says Seth Lloyd of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "If one looks at the 'guts' of the Universe – the structure of matter at its smallest scale – then those guts consist of nothing more than [quantum] bits undergoing local, digital operations."
In his 2013 research paper titled ‘The Universe as Quantum Computer’, Lloyd elaborates on his findings:
This article reviewed the history of computation with the goal of answering the question, ‘Is the universe a computer?’ The inability of classical digital computers to reproduce quantum effects efficiently makes it implausible that the universe is a classical digital system such as a cellular automaton. However, all observed phenomena are consistent with the model in which the universe is a quantum computer, e.g., a quantum cellular automaton. The quantum computational model of the universe explains previously unexplained features, most importantly, the co-existence in the universe of randomness and order, and of simplicity and complexity.
Are you ready to stop chasing your tail and truly understand the nature of reality? I'm glad I did, and I know you will be too:
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