Life is a Simulation. So?

June 4, 2016

I’m sure you’ve seen or read about the simulation question that was asked of Elon Musk recently.

He said that he thinks and debates this question all the time and believes that the chances of us being in a real reality (and not simulation) is 1 in billions. So basically, we are all in a computer simulation.

I didn’t know this was a thing serious science-type people discussed openly these days. I traced this back to Nick Bostrom, a Swedish philosopher and the author of SuperIntelligence – a book about the potential dangers of artificial intelligence, who wrote a paper on the simulation argument back in 2003.

I know that in the spiritual circles, this has been talked about for thousands of years. Buddhists and hindus believe that life is an illusion. We are all in a dream. I’ve seen new age spiritual documentaries talking about similar things.

If life is a computer simulation, then it starts to make sense why weird things like psychedelics exist in nature. How people hear voices or see odd things like ufos and angels. These are all easter eggs, power-ups, warp whistles, helper programs, and random glitches in the matrix.

And how there are seers, palm readers, psychics, astrologers, and the like. People who can read the code and reverse engineer theories. Maybe we are coded to be a certain type of game character and it’s possible to figure it out while in the game.

Maybe it can also explain near death experiences, feelings of reincarnation, and every other phenomena, I don’t really know. It doesn’t really matter to me.

My only question, a selfish one, is not if life is a computer simulation. Sure, I’m on board with that.

My question is, how can we best use that information to live a good life? Is there a way to hack the code for our own benefit? Is there a way to play the computer game better? I don’t want to be a boring bland character sitting in the bleachers of video game baseball. I want to be up to bat, and hit a bunch of home runs.

The Simulation Argument – Nick Bostrom