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Old 04-30-2012, 03:29 PM   #1
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Default Simulation Hypothesis

Anyone have any ideas about this simulation hypothesis that says we are in a holographic computer simulation. There is at least 1 professional simulation programmer who says QT, relativity, the Big Bang, and entropy all point to it yet doesn't tend believe it himself. Here's what he says about QT:

" When you look at the very smallest things - their behavior is random and quantized. In a finite precision computer, that's exactly what you'd expect. There would be randomness due to things like roundoff error and because of that finite precision, you'd see quantized behavior in all sorts of very small systems. Old flight simulators from the 1980's used to have a precision of 1/256th of a foot - if you lived in that simulation, you'd say that the laws of physics quantised all distances to a "planck length" of 1/256th of a foot and invent complicated 'laws of physics' to explain that."
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Simulation Hypothesis

Seems marginally convincing at a first glance, but think about it and the only real argument he has is that most things at a fundamental level are seemingly random. The convincing stops there however - there's many explanations for this, most of which fit much better with reality than the one being proposed here!
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Simulation Hypothesis

And what would those explanations be?
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: Simulation Hypothesis

The first is that they're not random, we just haven't delved down far enough to find the order and rules behind how they work in full. Another would be that in a universe where you can't predict the exact events in the future, the most likely sensible option is that there is a fundamental degree of randomness.

However, the more convincing explanation against that hypothesis is that it's just not the sort of randomness you'd expect from that scenario. While we have randomness at a fundamental level in our universe, it's nearly always probabilistically based - take radioactive decay as an example.

In a roundoff error simulation type randomness you'd also expect to see a *cause* to the randomness - I keep increasing this variable, which eventually causes it to overflow, which causes noise (in the form of randomness) *here*. So far nothing like that has ever been observed.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Simulation Hypothesis



Holy crap.........*rushes off to watch the Matrix series all over again*
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Simulation Hypothesis

So what about the quantization and the Planck length?
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Simulation Hypothesis

Quote:
So what about the quantization and the Planck length?
In a simulation or computer program, one would expect things to carry on as "normal" until you hit the point of roundoff errors, where they start to seem random.

That isn't what we observe though - we at present have different laws of mechanics to explain things on various levels, from relativity at the big end, to Newtonian where we are, to quantum mechanics at the smaller end. Yes, there may be (and probably is) a unifying theory to link those together, but if it were a simple simulation, why bother?

The other major thing I see flawed with the theory is that what if we got to the point where we could run such a simulation ourselves, then the simulated world got to that point, then the one after... you end up with a situation that's impossible in any finite universe.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Simulation Hypothesis

What about the holographic universe (Talbot, Susskind, etc.) and the universe as a computer (Seth Lloyd, Vlatko Vedral)?
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:52 AM   #9
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Default Re: Simulation Hypothesis

Quote:
Originally Posted by berry120 View Post
In a simulation or computer program, one would expect things to carry on as "normal" until you hit the point of roundoff errors, where they start to seem random.

That isn't what we observe though - we at present have different laws of mechanics to explain things on various levels, from relativity at the big end, to Newtonian where we are, to quantum mechanics at the smaller end. Yes, there may be (and probably is) a unifying theory to link those together, but if it were a simple simulation, why bother?

The other major thing I see flawed with the theory is that what if we got to the point where we could run such a simulation ourselves, then the simulated world got to that point, then the one after... you end up with a situation that's impossible in any finite universe.
So, why bother making rules no one will see? That is, until the programs (us) get smart enough to start looking, then you will have to create a new layer of rules for them to discover. As humans look deeper into the past (via telescopes) and closer to the Planke length (through accelerators), the current set of rules is unravelling. Now we are postulating unknowns-- dark energy, dark mass-- and there will soon be a new set of rules.

QED
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:01 AM   #10
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Default Re: Simulation Hypothesis

Berry120,

I forgot to say that presumably when the simulants are able to simulate the universe the program is shut down or is shut down when too many simulations within simulations occur. And the universe is not finite.
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