Documenting the Coming Singularity

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Probing the Simulation - Who, What, Why?

ExtremeTech - 12.19.12 by John Hewitt

If the universe is a simulation, why is it being simulated in the first place?
Interpreting the universe as a computer simulation is perhaps the inevitable byproduct of living in the computer age. The question today is not whether we live inside a simulation, but rather — what does it want, and what compromises with regard to the welfare its inhabitants might have been made to get it? The first rudimentary experiments to poke it in the belly and see how it jiggles are just getting underway.


If it’s possible to hack the universe, then particle physicists must be its early phone phreakers. Fears, which turned out to exaggerated, were raised few years ago that a black hole might unwittingly be created inside the Large Hadron Collider. Arguably, it is more accurate to say that with the theories that prescribe the existence of subatomic particles that exist nowhere else in the known universe, these folks actually invent them, rather than just discover them. The fact that they then go out and literally create subatomic particles inside of these huge, specially built accelerators, raises a very real question — what is a subatomic particle? Is it the blip on the oscilloscope, or the whole accelerator itself?

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