august 2007

simulated world
Tuesday, August 21st, 2007
After reading a bit of the logic of John Tierney’s argument which relies on Nick Bostrom’s 2003 article, in which, the thesis states, it is likely we are living in a simulation, an interesting turn of my cogitator rewired a familiar (to me) argument. Bostrom’s article gives us a 20% likelihood we are living in an historical simulation of our age. Tierney, says the odds are even.

In the computing model of the universe, where the entire universe is a single quantum computer producing stars, life, and regularities of all kinds, the requirement for a programmer is implicit. To Tierney the programmer may be some future person. I’m not sure the requirement of a vastly more intelligent computer required for the simulation would explain our universe so easily. I can imagine and have met people smarter than I am. But these are not orders of magnitude smarter. Even though Louis Mackey suggests in the Waking Life, “Actually, the gap between, say, Plato or Nietzsche and the average human is greater than the gap between that chimpanzee and the average human. The realm of the real spirit, the true artist, the saint, the philosopher, is rarely achieved,” anybody with sufficient rational power sees glimpses of the world of the “real spirit, the true artist, the saint,” etc. However we don’t often actualize that.

Giving space to the probability of the spike, the singularity in computing power and its inevitable unfolding in our world, the achievement of a universe inside a computing device would require the entire universe as computer to actualize. See some of this argument in Charles Seife’s “Decoding the Universe.” Now that doesn’t mean somebody outside our universe has not created our universe, or that the creator may himself also be created, the reductio ad absurdum paradox holds here. But the universe in which our creator/hobbyist exists would of necessity be one of a higher order. This is one of the results of Godel’s theory.

Now, in any case, if this were true, if we were created by some superbeing programming our universe we ought to be able to contact that being and get him to make some changes where his programming has broken down, or the design failed. remember I am not arguing for the existence of God here. This is all conditional. And even if any of these arguments led by logic to an irrefutable proof for the existence of God, that would never lead us to the God of the Christians or Jews, Allah or Krishna. We would have a programmer that would be able to interject snippets of code into the flawed universe.

More later.

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