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Dec 02nd, 2022
Dec 02nd, 2022
posted by Phill Allen
March, 11th, 2022
When we mention ‘Simulation Theory’ do you think of ‘The Matrix’ or the title of Muse’s 2020 studio album? Maybe you’re even thinking “What the heQ is Simulation Theory?”
The term ‘simulation theory’ was coined by an Oxford University philosopher, Nick Bostrom. His paper, “Are you Living in a Computer Simulation?”, proposes the idea that this universe is merely just code on a computer. Nick Bostrom explains how our great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren will probably have the computing power needed to run evolutionary simulations of humanity. Why would they not? And, how would you know that you are not currently part of that simulation? Ponder that for a second.
The idea of simulating humanity goes even further back, with some believing that simulation theory is the modern iteration of Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”. We’re not saying Plato was thinking about ‘The Matrix’, but there are definitely some parallelisms.
Then you’ve got Rene Descartes who, in the 1600s, believed that scepticism – having doubts about the world we see around us – is the thing that ensures we exist. He maintained that perception is unreliable and only deduction can be trusted. He famously summed this up in his Discourse on the Method, with the phrase “cogito, ergo sum” which is usually translated as: “I think, therefore I am”
I think. Unless I made all that up, of course.
Because we at ALLpaQ are fascinated about the philosophical implications of this, we asked our social media followers their thoughts on simulation theory. Here are just some of the interesting responses we got. Or think we got:
Out of the zillions of comments, here are some honourable mentions we can’t help but contemplate:
Mind = blown!
Thanks to your responses, a few interesting themes bubbled to the surface and really got us thinking…
Nearly two-thirds of us have experienced Deja vu at some point in our lives. Nearly two-thirds of us have experienced Deja vu at some point in our lives.
Deja vu translates literally as ‘already seen’ in French. Deja vu is a feeling that we find hard to explain or comprehend. This unnerving experience makes us feel as if we have already experienced something, as though we’ve lived this exact moment in another time. One of our followers questioned what deja vu really is.
Well, here’s an answer for you…
Scientifically, deja vu can be due to an electrical imbalance in our brains for a fraction of a second. Our mind is just playing tricks on us, right? Wrong. There’s a growing body of scientists that believe in ‘Simulation Theory’ and have found a link between it and deja vu.
These contrarians believe that deja vu is actually a brief glimpse into reality, or more specifically, artificial reality. A brief glitch in a giant computer simulation. So, in effect we have “already seen” what we are experiencing, just in a previous simulation. Hope your head doesn’t hurt too much after reading that.
There’s a growing possibility this theory is true. Simulation Theory is becoming more and more popular, with The World’s Richest Man™, Elon Musk, recently commenting:
“There’s a billion to one chance we’re living in base reality. Forty years ago, we had Pong – two rectangles and a dot. That’s where we were. Now 40 years later, we have photorealistic, 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously and it’s getting better every year. And soon we’ll have virtual reality, we’ll have augmented reality,” said Musk. “If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality.”
Technically speaking, we’re already perceiving and experiencing the world in our own minds. Everything we feel, hear, taste, smell and see is really only ‘experienced’ in our brain. Our bodies are simply instruments through which frequencies enter the body, the brain does the rest.
As Descartes put it: “… something that I thought I was seeing with my eyes is grasped solely by the faculty of judgement which is in my mind.”
So, in a weird way, we’re all living in our own individual Matrix.
Or did I say that already?
One of the other leads that you gave us was to The Mandela Effect. A spot of Googling (sorry, I meant ‘in-depth research’) revealed that this is a phenomena whereby some people claim to remember TV coverage of Nelson Mandela’s death in the 1980’s, even though he actually died in 2013. These people had never met, so they all had a shared false memory with no communication before this. Is this shared false memory a bug in the code?
Other examples of this happening include some people remembering the name of the Berenstain Bears children’s-books being spelled as “Berentstein”. Also, The Looney Tunes family. Yes, that’s Tunes, not Toons. This alternate memory is a little more understandable. After all, they’re cartoons, so spelling it Looney Toons would make a lot more sense, don’t you think?
In a galaxy far, far away, the Mandela Effect still exists. Yes, the phenomenon has even infiltrated ‘Star Wars’. While even the most die-hard fans quote a quintessential moment in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ where Darth Vader reveals “Luke, I am your father!” But that’s not what he said. His actual line was: “No, I am your father.”
There are many such examples of people en masse mis-remembering things. Captain Kirk never said, “Beam me up, Scotty”, ‘Casablanca’ doesn’t contain the line “Play it again, Sam” and Sherlock Holmes never proudly boasted “Elementary, my dear Watson”.
There’s always been a lot of back-and-forth talk about whether or not the Mona Lisa is smiling in the famous Leonardo DiCaprio painting. But there is a segment of the world’s population that actually believes her expression has changed over time. Conspiracy Theory or Mandela Effect? You be the judge.
By the way, did that last paragraph contain a deliberate error? Or is it just a glitch in the matrix?
When ALLpaQ pioneered the use of all-plastic bioprocess containers, it felt rather like Morpheus offering Neo the red pill and the green pill.
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