Are we living in a simulation? Are YOU living in a simulation of the universe playing out in some super advanced computer? What is real? How could you tell if the simulation was good enough to “fool” you, to feel 100% real 100% of the time?
It’s pointed out than the inevitability of advanced technology will eventually enable us to model full universe simulations including intelligent life unaware of the substrate, that these will progress in turn to advanced technology spawning further simulations, and so on, ad infinitum. Thus by simple “what are the odds” it’s self-evident we’d far likelier be in one of the countless simulation universes than be the pro-genitors in the one “real” universe.
However, let’s factor in human egocentricity and the conceit that we talking apes are so special, to merit a place in any simulation. At best we might give ourselves a place as some remote idiosyncrasy, a blip, in such a vast virtual cosmos. But to be the central personae? With all of time and space to simulate and observe and choose from? It’s one of the more convincing arguments in favour of us being the pro-genitors – or at least a caterpillar stage on that progression.
This may, quite literally, be our short time in the sun: intelligent designers of Life better suited to existence on scales we’ve mapped through Astronomy and tickled in Cosmology and Quantum Physics. We’ll scarsely rate a moment’s “consideration” to be exposed, evaluated and understood by some conceivable future Life. Simulations will have bigger fish to fry. So in short, it becomes more plausible we’re not simulated; because who’d bother? Sobering thought that we talking apes may be the spark that ignites a universe of Life; or things grander still. And yet also as irrelevant to future Life as any of a million incidents making up its history, contemplated and parsed in a femto-second, a billion years from now.