Reality in recent times has almost seemed like a bad dream, Society is turning into a chameleon and is continuously skewing the truth and degrading normalcy. As events in society unfold, abstract ideas such as the possibility that we are being tested as guinea pigs or are being used in a simulation-like reality becomes less outlandish as time progresses. With the inevitability of advancing technologies in the future, it’s fascinating to ponder the possibility of computer-based simulated realities, which is more probable than you may believe.
The research paper, “Are You Living In a Computer Simulation” written by Nick Bostrom, a philosopher of Oxford University in 2003, set in motion the modern fascination with simulated realities. In the paper, Bostrom sets down a fundamental idea that, if there are technologically advanced civilizations in the universe, and if they run computer simulations, there must be a huge number of simulated realities complete with artificially intelligent inhabitants that have no idea they are living inside a program. The beings found in these simulations may imagine themselves as real, but would have no physical form, existing only within the simulation. Essentially it’s as if we are Sims who don’t have the consciousness of distinguishing base reality—realistic thinking or the state of things as they actually are—with artificial reality.
Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX says that, “There is one in a billionth chance that this is based reality. 40 years ago we had pong, two rectangles and a dot, now 40 years later we have photorealistic 3-D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously and it keeps getting better every year.” In a Vox video titled, “why Elon Musk says we’re living in a simulation”. Musk believes that there are two probable outcomes to the future of human civilization, either humans become extinct or we develop a technology so advanced that it is indistinguishable to reality as we know it. These simulations would be an exact replica of reality thus creating a paradoxical idea that the simulations we create, which in latence terms means copying our brains networking into a program, would eventually create their own simulations of the same nature. If that’s the case, like the universe the multitude of different realities or simulations would be on such a mass scale if not infinite scale, that it is almost impossible to not be in a simulated reality.
In conclusion, are we in a simulation? It’s hard to tell. Maybe we live in a bug free, beautifully rendered, and imperfect machine in which we congregate ignorantly. But are we on the path towards simulated realities? Absolutely. In many small ways you see society being detached from reality especially with a heavily relied upon social media climate. In which the majority of people feel as if they depend on such a tool for their own comfort among their peers. It’s as if people aren’t really living in the moment anymore, which only enhances the attractiveness of a simulation to those already lost in the soup of traditional living.