X-Message-Number: 3756
From: "Micheal B. O'Neal" <>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 1995 13:28:43 -0600
Subject: simulated universes

Well, since CryoNet seems to be in a silly mood recently, here is
my own contribution to the assortment of mind candy.

Mike Darwin brings up the point that reality could be a simulation
of sorts.  I believe it can be argued that not only is it conceivable 
that our reality is a simulation, but in fact likely that this is the

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(1) Computers are currently capable of running 'complex' simulations.

(2) Computational power is increasing exponentially.  If you let history
    be your guide and just follow the trends, it appears that computers
    will become more powerful than a human brain before the middle of 
    the next century.  By the end of the next century computers will 
    have many times the capacity of a human.  

(3) Given 1 and 2 it seems likely that soon we will be able to simulate
    the relevant parts of a universe.  In other words, fully simulate one    
    individual (you) and all of the inputs (less complete simulations of
    other people, simulations of physical objects in your immediate
    surroundings, etc.) necessary for you to believe that you are in
    the 'real' world.

(4) If this can be done (i.e. is possible) then why should we assume that 
    it has not already been done?  And done many times. (*)  After all, if
    universes are just programs being executed on advanced PCs, it is 
    likely that there are many such universes.

(5) In fact, if there is only one 'real' universe but many have been/are
    being simulated then it is not only possible, but likely that what you 
    are experiencing at this moment is a simulated universe. 

(6) :-)
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(*) One might ask why someone would want to create 'virtual' universes.
    I can see a reason for running many universe simulations.  I am 
    fascinated by people and what makes them work.  If I were immortal, 
    I think it would be interesting to live many different 'lives' in 
    many different situations.  The process would involve a temporary 
    wiping of my memory followed by complete emersion in a simulated 
    world (from birth to death) followed by a reintegration of that 
    'life' experience into my total personality. I believe such 
    exercises  would be valuable in attempting to truly understand 
    the human condition.

Mike (O'Neal)

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