Testing if we Live in a Computer Simulation

British philosopher Nick Bostrom published a paper in 2003 that suggests the universe we live in might in fact be a computer simulation run by our descendants. (future offspring) Using logic, he determined that if we survive into becoming post-humans, that outcome is likely.

We’re a long way from such an ability today. Physicists at the University of Washington are proposing experiments that might test for it. If the universe is a simulation, there will be constraints created by the underlying structure that have “signatures”, such as a limitation in the energy of cosmic rays.

If you’ve studied eastern philosophy at all, you’ll be familiar with this general idea. One perspective suggests the world is Maya, commonly understood to mean illusion. Another perspective uses the term Lila, meaning the divine play. In this case, the simulation is not created by our descendants but by divine entities.

The UW article

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2 Responses to Testing if we Live in a Computer Simulation

  1. Chris Gartner says:

    Hi David
    This is bringing to mind the view of “cloaks of limitation”, the malas that Shiva willingly covers himself with for play.
    (A friend said “only God could hide God”)
    .
    At a deeper level, I know you speak of Shiva being a “disciple of the divine,” but backing up a bit, the notion of the malas has an elegant feel to it.

    • Davidya says:

      Hi Chris
      Are you referring to the same 3 Malas I talked about here?
      https://davidya.ca/2010/05/01/the-three-malas/
      .
      I don’t relate to it as Shiva choosing to cover himself. More that as the points of awareness move far enough into form and inertia, they can get lost in the content of experience and forget their observer or Shiva quality. Shiva is not lost, just the Shiva value in us.
      .
      But there are many ways of seeing it.
      .
      And yes, consciousness is a disciple of the Divine.
      .
      I’d agree, there are key ways we get lost. But I see them less as causal, more effects of forgetting who we are.

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