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We Are Just a Simulation

  • We could be living in a simulation of a world that does not exist other than inside the computer that generates it.
  • As long as the simulation software sends us the appropriate inputs and outputs, we would be feeling that those inputs and outputs describe a real world.
  • Therefore films and novels (and even philosophers) speculate if that could be indeed what is happening to our brains: are we being fooled by a computer into believing that all these things and people exist when in fact they are only simulations generated by a software program?
  • This hypothesis focuses on the brain as a tool to introspect rather than a tool to explore the surroundings.
  • The brain is actually both, and primarily the latter: a tool to explore its surroundings.
  • The brain comes equipped with one powerful feature: it tries to make sense of its surroundings. It doesn't just process inputs to generate outputs. The brain is a tool determined to make sense of its sensory data.
  • Over the centuries the human brain has discovered many truths that were not explicit in its sensory data, from the shape of the Earth to the existence of black holes.
  • Because the sensory data don't make sense, Science eventually came up with a non-intuitive model of reality (Quantum Mechanics, General Relativity, Thermodynamics).
  • We discovered that we are indeed living inside a "simulation" of sorts: we perceive a world that does not quite exist the way we perceive it, and we cannot perceive the real essence of the world (the multitude of particles and waves).
  • In a sense, the brain started seeing the simulation even though the simulation (as described by Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity) was hiding from the brain.
  • We are slowly unveiling the trick. As our brain never stop thinking, eventually we might have a full understanding of what is going on, of what was hidden from us.
  • This brings up two issues: 1. where we meant to discover the "simulation"? Were we, in a sense, programmed to free ourselves from the mirage and discover the real world? and 2. is it possible to create a simulated world that would forever fool a discovery tool like the human brain?
Proof-edited by Alexander Altaras