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The Matrix Can Be Tested: Do We Live in Computer Sim?

By - Source: UW | B 82 comments
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Have you ever wondered whether there was some possibility that the vision laid out in the Matrix movies could be real?

Could we, in fact, be living simply in a computer simulation? A research project at the University of Washington went a step beyond the Matrix and looked at the possibility of us not only living in a simulated world created around us on Earth, but a simulated universe run by our descendants.

A team of researchers claims to have come up with a test to determine whether such an assumption could be true. They based their work on a claims published in 2003, which state that at least one of three possibilities would be true:

1) The human species is likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage.
2) Any posthuman civilization is very unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of its evolutionary history.
3) We are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.

Nick Bostrom, who published those beliefs, also argued that "there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation."

The UW researchers said that we ultimately would have to be able to simulate the relationship between energy and momentum in special relativity at a scale of the universe to "understand the constraints on physical processes that would indicate we are living in a computer model." The problem is that we are not even close to be able to simulate the universe. The largest supercomputers could only simulate nature "on the scale of one 100-trillionth of a meter, a little larger than the nucleus of an atom", the researchers said. Eventually we would have to simulate a "large enough chunk" of the universe to figure out whether we live in a simulation or not.

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  • 40 Hide
    crewton , January 1, 2013 9:10 PM
    The easiest way is to try to bend a spoon with your mind.
  • 27 Hide
    J3d1M1nD7r1cKs , January 1, 2013 9:25 PM
    ...What kind of article is this? I mean what the hockey sticks? (Toms)?

    I'm not alluding to being propagandist, but Toms, what the heck is going on?
    Where's the quality control?

  • 25 Hide
    richarduk , January 1, 2013 10:03 PM
    Ctrl + Alt + Del
Other Comments
  • 40 Hide
    crewton , January 1, 2013 9:10 PM
    The easiest way is to try to bend a spoon with your mind.
  • 27 Hide
    J3d1M1nD7r1cKs , January 1, 2013 9:25 PM
    ...What kind of article is this? I mean what the hockey sticks? (Toms)?

    I'm not alluding to being propagandist, but Toms, what the heck is going on?
    Where's the quality control?

  • 15 Hide
    J3d1M1nD7r1cKs , January 1, 2013 9:28 PM
    This is beyond garbage.
    No, really?! This article.... what.. the.. heck.. Some guy saw a kid science project and decided this was news for Toms? Where is the merit of this..... article?

    ?!?!?!!????
  • 12 Hide
    computernerdforlife , January 1, 2013 9:34 PM
    A hint of paranoia?

    And yes, I do understand the importance of simulations like these.
  • 8 Hide
    rocknrollz , January 1, 2013 9:42 PM
    Don't want to sound too off on this, but how does one really know whether or not we are a sim? No matter how much you try and think about it the possibility is always there.

    This thinking in my opinion should not be considered foolish, but I do believe that it should be taken very lightly and not too ver thought.
  • 9 Hide
    acadia11 , January 1, 2013 9:46 PM
    What you talking about Willis?
  • 7 Hide
    killerclick , January 1, 2013 9:48 PM
    J3d1M1nD7r1cKsThis is beyond garbage. No, really?! This article.... what.. the.. heck.. Some guy saw a kid science project and decided this was news for Toms? Where is the merit of this..... article? ?!?!?!!????


    It's a respectable hypothesis. If humanity is (or will be) able to create convincing simulations, statistically it's extremely likely we're already living inside one. Not that it's likely to have any practical applications, but that's philosophy for you.
  • 25 Hide
    richarduk , January 1, 2013 10:03 PM
    Ctrl + Alt + Del
  • 2 Hide
    unksol , January 1, 2013 10:04 PM
    The sheer stupidity of this. Along with the article on phones are body parts..... I know Toms "reporters" are just paid to plagiarize others but these are extra stupid.
  • 23 Hide
    sacre , January 1, 2013 10:07 PM
    Relax folks, there are scientists that have tons of more information about the natural occurring universe then any of us combined and yet they still believe in something more, from a controller of laws to a simulated universe to holographic information.

    Then you with your google knowledge about the universe goes "Psh morons they don't know jack, this is a joke".

    This article was posted on a lot of "science" websites because yes - it is a possibility. It even made it to TV because of the whole "black hole displays an objects information on its event horizon" as if it is a holographic universe.

    There are trillions of possibilities as to why this all exists.. I mean christ, it exists.. From absolutely nothing to existence, where did all the energy come from to allow the big bang to exist?

    Don't sit back, cross your arms and think you're better than everyone by going "Foolish, this is garbage" Because you're only fooling yourself.

    There is so much mysterious shit that we will never understand.
  • 5 Hide
    getochkn , January 1, 2013 10:07 PM
    This story is like a month or so old, I read it on physorg or newscientist a while ago.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , January 1, 2013 10:22 PM
    This has been, and still is, a very important topic in philosophy. The roots go back to Descartes. Look up "Brain in a vat".
  • 0 Hide
    bak0n , January 1, 2013 10:38 PM
    April,err January Fools Day..!...!.
  • 3 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , January 1, 2013 10:39 PM
    J3d1M1nD7r1cKsThis is beyond garbage. No, really?! This article.... what.. the.. heck.. Some guy saw a kid science project and decided this was news for Toms? Where is the merit of this..... article? ?!?!?!!????

    Not sure what you're talking about, this isn't exactly a kids science project. But it also isn't exactly 'news'. I read an article about this study months ago. There's got to be a limit to how late you can publish a story and still refer to it as news.
  • -3 Hide
    robochump , January 1, 2013 10:44 PM
    J3d1M1nD7r1cKs...What kind of article is this? I mean what the hockey sticks? (Toms)? I'm not alluding to being propagandist, but Toms, what the heck is going on?Where's the quality control?


    Its called a filler article. Get over it and enjoy its silliness! Besides there are so many unexplained things out there that I would not rule it out even though it is highly unlikely....lol.
  • 6 Hide
    nolarrow , January 1, 2013 10:55 PM
    So.... like... civilization iv?

    Cuz I don't want to live in the global nuclear war scenario I create every time I fire that game up.
  • 1 Hide
    bigdog44 , January 1, 2013 10:55 PM
    sacreRelax folks, there are scientists that have tons of more information about the natural occurring universe then any of us combined and yet they still believe in something more, from a controller of laws to a simulated universe to holographic information.Then you with your google knowledge about the universe goes "Psh morons they don't know jack, this is a joke".This article was posted on a lot of "science" websites because yes - it is a possibility. It even made it to TV because of the whole "black hole displays an objects information on its event horizon" as if it is a holographic universe.There are trillions of possibilities as to why this all exists.. I mean christ, it exists.. From absolutely nothing to existence, where did all the energy come from to allow the big bang to exist?Don't sit back, cross your arms and think you're better than everyone by going "Foolish, this is garbage" Because you're only fooling yourself.There is so much mysterious shit that we will never understand.

    If we exist in a superimposed state, then we may never find out.
  • 9 Hide
    JAYDEEJOHN , January 1, 2013 11:08 PM
    Maybe home sweet home is
    127.0.0.1
  • 0 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , January 1, 2013 11:11 PM
    it would be cool until the electric power grid goes out then we would be all screwed. lol
  • 5 Hide
    RealBeast , January 1, 2013 11:20 PM
    crewtonThe easiest way is to try to bend a spoon with your mind.
    That's easy, it takes a lot more practice to open a beer with your mind.
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