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Author: Subject: When your beliefs are unfalsifiable - living in a simulation
marymary100
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[*] Post 507357 posted on 22-4-2017 at 10:32 Reply With Quote
When your beliefs are unfalsifiable - living in a simulation



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The simulation hypothesis has entered the culture as an explanatory meme. Writing in the New Yorker earlier this year, the critic Adam Gopnik suggested that the Oscar confusion, in which La La Land was wrongly given the best film award meant for Moonlight, the election of Donald Trump, and the improbable late comeback by the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl showed “that we are living in the matrix, and something has gone wrong with the controllers”.
It was, of course, a lighthearted piece, but it raised a serious point. If we are in a simulation, then is there a possibility that, like any other computer software, it’s prone to glitches? And also could events like the second world war be explained by a programmatic failure, or is whoever is in control of the simulation an evil demon in the Cartesian sense?
(In The Matrix, the machines initially make a utopian simulation, but the humans don’t believe in the reality, so it is adjusted to include all the pain and drama humans associate with being alive.)
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Bostrom estimates that there is only a 20% chance that we are living in a simulation. But that isn’t necessarily good news. As Musk likes to point out: “Either we’re going to create simulations that are indistinguishable from reality or civilisation will cease to exist. Those are the only two options.”
Actually there’s a third option, which is that for some reason or other we’ll grow bored with running billions of ancestor simulations, and that virtual reality will become passé.
That’s something to consider while pondering whether or not to splash out on some VR entertainment. In 10,000 years’ time, it might be completely out of fashion.
Five other mind-bending theories
The universe is a hologram
In a nutshell: Everything we see and experience is an illusion. Our 3D reality is encoded on a two-dimensional surface that we cannot see.
Evidence? Earlier this year, scientists from the University of Southampton claimed to have found support for this theory by studying the cosmic background radiation left over from the big bang.
Multiverse theory
In a nutshell: There are infinite universes, including the one we live in. There are various classifications and theories about the types of multiverse that might exist.
Evidence? Although proponents include Neil deGrasse Tyson and Stephen Hawking (who two years ago suggested that there might be an alternate universe in which Zayn Malik had not left One Direction), the theory by its very nature is essentially considered impossible to prove.
Ekpyrotic universe theory
In a nutshell: The big bang was actually a transition from a previous period of contraction to the present period of expansion. The key events that shaped our universe happened before the big bang and the universe is in a constant cycle of expansion and contraction.
Evidence? In 2001, scientists from Princeton University put forward the concept based on unproved ideas from string theory. Though it is still widely rejected, the discovery that the Higgs boson is only 98% of the mass required to keep the universe stable apparently lends the theory some credence.
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White holes
In a nutshell: If black holes exist then their opposite must exist too: white holes are thought to be constantly emitting matter and light, letting nothing enter them.


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[*] Post 507363 posted on 22-4-2017 at 14:33 Reply With Quote


Don't know why, but it reminds of when I was an apprentice. I was being trained by an engineer who told us "this is not a holiday camp". To which I replied, "if it is, I'm not coming back next year."
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[*] Post 507364 posted on 22-4-2017 at 14:59 Reply With Quote


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