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Simulated Reality

Arrow Image An article I wrote discussing the possibility of simulated realities.

Simulated Realities
Writtten By McConnell Wade (Zapper)

Reality is not a concept which can be easily or simply defined. It can even be argued that it is undefinable. However, we generally accept reality as being the world around us in which we live - although, even such a simple and broad definition is, to an extent, incorrect.

Memory is a key element in defining reality. Our memories are what construct a major part of our lives. Many of our abilities are based on our memories and the evaluation of them. If one is unable to remember an event, did the event ever occur? Of course, many people would say: \"of course it did!\" without even considering the question. Let\'s assume one person was unable to form long term memories - they would still live their life normally, they are just unable to remember past days. Now, let\'s consider a world of humans with the same disability. Everyone would still live their lives, however they would be unable to remember any part of their lives aside from the current event. Does anything ever happen in a world like this? No. People would be unable to move forward and would be stuck. While, technically events are occurring - these events are useless because they will not be remembered. Memory plays a major part in reality.

If we do indeed exist within a simulated reality there are two possibilities. The first is that we exist within a simulation where all events have been decided and we are merely following a pre-determined series of these events. The second is that the reality in which we exist is composed of complex algorithms and equations which allow us to think for ourselves and let us evolve as the program runs its course. In the latter it is probable that the entity which is controlling or overseeing the program does not know what will happen in our reality.

The human mind is very fragile and easily convinced. The process by which the human mind can be convinced something is real is a relatively simple one. We need to be exposed to constant repetition of something and the mind will believe it to be real. While we are unaware of this process - we are subject to it every day. A common example of this process is when we dream. It is very easy for the human mind to be convinced a dream is real (unless the mind is trained to recognize it). If the human mind is capable of emulating our physical surroundings and creating entirely new realms with data from the reality we live in every day then it is possible that we are merely in a simulation and are believing this setting we are in is reality - simply because we are constantly exposed to it. This world is simply repetition. Every morning we awaken to the same world - we wake up in the same bed we fell asleep in the night before. This evaluation yields yet another explanation for what reality is. Reality is simply repetition. Reality is anything that the mind can be convinced is true.

A simulated reality is a program. A large amount of instructions and constraints which compose the world we live in. This program, just like any video game or computer software is a system, this system must have flaws. Of course, no system is constructed perfectly - especially one that is on such a large scale as this reality. Some flaws and ways of going against the limits of this world have already been discovered. An example of someone who was able to break away from the limits of this reality was the prophet Nostradamus. He made various predictions which have come true. His prophecies suggest that our reality is one which follows a single pre-determined path. However, it is possible that the butterfly effect plays a large role in the evolution of this reality. This would suggest that some events are determined hundreds or even thousands of years before they actually occur - a ripple effect of sorts.

A simulated reality must be constructed by someone or something. If we are living within a simulated reality, it had to have been created. There\'s a chance that many beings constructed this world together or perhaps it was created by a single being. Maybe the entity that created this reality is not a living being at all - but a computer. However, regardless of who or what created this reality, they could not be omnipotent. An omnipotent being is all powerful and needs nothing (at least, SHOULD need nothing). Creating a reality such as this one would not exist without purpose. If an omnipotent god created it, this would mean god is deficient and thus, is not all powerful at all.

Do we feel? This appears to be yet another simple question with an equally simple answer. But, like many of the other questions proposed in this writing - it is a much deeper question than it seems to be. There has always been an ongoing argument discussing whether or not a computer/machine can think for itself and/or express human emotions. Artificial intelligence is only able to base it\'s \"choices\" and \"feelings\" on logical evaluations which it does - their so-called \"emotions\" are simply logic and require none of what we would call \"human emotions\". Of course, let us ask ourselves this: what is human emotion? Perhaps we simply evaluate things the same way artificial intelligence does. Maybe we are unable to feel and unable to have true emotions. Perhaps humans are just an extremely high level of artificial intelligence - each person thinks a little differently and depending on their existence in this reality, they will evaluate things and make choices differently. This would explain why we have memories - to build upon our artificial intelligence.

Our emotions are constructed using a rather simple pattern. All emotions spawn from two \"root categories\", we\'ll call them. These two categories are positive and negative. All emotions are spread between these two extremes. Some emotions sit closer to one side whereas some sit perfectly in the middle. All of our emotions (and whether we consider them to be positive or negative) are based on how we feel when experiencing certain events. It is through being exposed to this reality and the events which occur in it that we are able to build our intelligence which starts off very small at birth.

It is possible to emulate the human mind - it would take extreme precision and large amounts of time and resources but it is possible. The human mind is based on logic and instinct - two things which can be created through programming.

Now that we understand that the human mind can indeed be emulated, a question arises: can we simulate an entire reality? The answer is, of course, yes. The human mind does it all the time. Dreaming is simply a simulated reality which the mind is convinced is real. Now, because the mind can be emulated - this emulation of the human mind can create it\'s own realities and this is where our simulated reality could have originated from. It could have been created by the mind of an intelligent being or the emulation of a mind.

Another logical explanation for our reality existing within a real mind or an emulated mind is enforced by the fact that the universe is structured the same way as a brain cell. Of course, if this reality was created by a living being, then the being is most likely unconscious and may be dreaming. Of course, it is difficult for a being to constantly remain unconscious for long amounts of time - so it would make much more sense if this reality was created by an artificial mind. Now, assuming that we reside within the brain cell of a mind (whether it be artificial or not) it would prove the existence of multiple realities and parallel universes. If our reality/universe is a single brain cell then there are more brain cells which could be recognized as parallel universes or alternate realities.


Frost_Ton January 16 2008 - 00:25:58
"Reality is anything that the mind can be convinced is true." --- Amen...Though some statements are open to argument (Then again what isn't in this topic) I say good job.
Mouzion January 17 2008 - 15:35:14
Btw, have you thought of this: if the mind would be trained enough, would it be possible to create our own reality. You know like spoof the signals that are going to our brain from eyes, ears, etc. Pretty much like a packet editor would do. Server (the surrounding environment) sends data to the client (our brain) through the internet connection (our nervous system), then the client (our brain) creates a vision of what we supposedly see or feel or hear etc. but the packet editor could modify the data on the way so the client can show anything the user wants it to.
chislamon January 17 2008 - 21:25:37
Although I do not completely agree with you, I do appreciate the thinking you put into this. I am assuming that you have read 1984 by George Orwell? If not, then I'm sure you would be interested in reading it. Well thought, but simply an opinion / theory.
Zapperon January 18 2008 - 02:01:15
Chisalm, 1984 is one of my favorite books. And yes, it is just a theory. I do not fully believe it myself, haha. I was just writing about the possibility of it. Although, through the course of my writing I become much more interested in the topic. Mouzi - That's a very interesting idea. I'm sure through meditation it would be possible to train the mind to create it's own reality. When in a state of trance it's possible to build your own 'reality' within your mind. However, it would be very interesting to see the mind alter the 'packets' we receive in our day-to-day lives, thus creating a new reality. Smile Thanks for the comments everyone.
DigitalFireon January 18 2008 - 04:21:09
mmm and a lot of this gets very interesting when you think about mapping a brain. if we could successfully copy a brain to a digital platform, and through biophysical response the brain could interact with the computer, then just image what could be accomplished. get an intelligent engineer, a supercomputer, and copy/paste his brain 10,000 times. now you have 10,000 engineers all working together at the processing speed of the computer with all the tools and internet available for resources. crazy that, eh?
root_opon January 18 2008 - 17:57:29
Reply to Mouzi: Have you ever tried drugs? It sure changes the "packages" sent in the nervous system Pfft
Mouzion January 21 2008 - 14:21:04
Nah, that's more like clientside glitches - you are not controlling it.
myst3r4nd3r50non January 22 2008 - 18:58:31
Mouzi, you basically described extreme cases of meditation. Also, the uncontrolled circumstance of different paranoias.
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