Living In The Matrix

I thought The Matrix was a terrific movie.  I like the sequel, too.  (The last film in the trilogy, eh, not so much.)

But I had no idea that reputable scientists were seriously considering the central premise of The Matrix — that what we think of as the real world is in fact a huge computer simulation run by machines and designed and policed to enslave humanity.  In fact, a scientist named Rizwan Virk has written a book, entitled The Simulation Hypothesis, about that possibility.

matrix_inThe Matrix concept is gaining traction for several reasons.  One is that computer technology, and games-playing technology, apparently is developing to the point where sophisticated multi-player, on-line games are routine and it’s becoming harder and harder to distinguish reality from simulation.  (I say “apparently” because I’m not a gamer — that is, unless I’m really trapped in a computer simulation and playing, unwittingly, just by living my life.)  If our technology is developing in that direction, the argument goes, isn’t it possible that we are living in a more advanced simulation created by more advanced computer system developed by a more advanced civilization?

And there’s also a weird statistical argument for the simulation hypothesis that goes like this:  once a civilization creates computers that are powerful enough to create plausible simulations for millions or billions of players, it’s comparatively easy to create entirely new, realistic settings for entirely new simulated players that are all artificial intelligence.  Crossing that technological-capability threshold means that trillions of AI creations could be living in games — making it statistically likely that you’re an AI creation rather than a flesh-and-blood being.

And here’s an even weirder concept:  if we’re all players in a video game, maybe our scores are being kept somewhere for some purpose that we don’t quite know yet, and won’t know until our own experience in the simulation ends.  It would help to know the rules of the game, wouldn’t it?

Are we living in a simulation?  I don’t see how you can prove or disprove that, from our perspective as potential players in an ultra-advanced game created by an ancient alien civilization.  But I do know this:  if that is our reality, I’m glad the programmers have finally allowed the weather to warm up a bit.

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1 thought on “Living In The Matrix

  1. Let’s take this from a different perspective, then one might see things differently, perhaps as they are. One, the imagination can think anything. There’s a far cry difference between thinking and understanding. The first is thoughts, wherever they come from. The second is “seeing” and knowing without knowing how you know (self-evident.). U.S. Constitution anyone?
    We all come into the world “seeing”. If you watch kids (your own, the neighborhood kids playing with yours, or at school helping), you’ll notice things are much simpler for them (or most). Why is that? Because, to a large degree, things are simple. Kids know when someone is lying, know who they like, play, and so forth. A baby knows when they don’t like someone, screaming and crying if they have to be near a relative that had a bad day. It’s innate.
    Now, we enter the world. We are being told what to think and believe. It’s everywhere. Few know how to “breathe” rational, maintaining what they were born with, keeping a “distance” from all the advertisements and people telling us what to think. This is where parenting is so important: to help the children preserve their innocence, innate knowing, but also to be chastised, when they do wrong and don’t listen to themselves.
    Sometimes, getting away for awhile brings perspective. In this, getting a space of separation helps realization, knowing the world is an imperfect place. The matrix are the rules and thoughts we are inundated daily, keeping us from thinking for ourselves, seeing things as they are. The difficulty, is when you “wake up” suddenly you might see things differently, and want to return to the blue pill, before you woke up. But then, you have become aware and there’s only one way to live: honestly. Doing the best you can. Helping others.

    Liked by 1 person

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