I don't usually post stuff which isn't mine in this blog, but I am more than willing to make an exception to present the case of the_str from reddit. Half drunk, he explains how your whole life might be just a part of a simulation. If you can not understand what he is saying in the front, jump to the blue text towards the end for the interesting part without any set up.
This one might take a little while to explain. But I'm sort of drunk and I'm ready to divulge the secret truth about reality.
1) Remember that New York Times article a few years back, that discussed how a mathematician figured the odds are, we probably live in a computer simulation? (That's a blog post, can't find the original and don't care enough to search). This is the idea is that, in a sufficiently advanced civilization, computer simulations would be a fantastic method of predicting the future and planning out any course of action for the benefit of mankind. In fact, an advanced civilization would probably use simulations for everything. Politics, war, art, entertainment, scientific advancement. There would be an exponentially larger number of simulations than realities. Hence, we probably live inside one. Ok, I think I was vague enough with that. Moving on.
2) The technological singularity. You know about it. Maybe. It's the assumption that, given the predictable advancement of processor speeds, we will soon enough (2030 - 2090) have artificial intelligence that could surpass human intelligence. This intelligence would be able to improve itself faster than a human could, and technological growth would explode exponentially. Given number one up there, this could eventually mean a massive, trans-global AI system that could run a near infinite number of reality simulations.
You're already throwing up your hands. "the_str," you say, "What the fuck are you talking about? You are drunk." Yes. I am. But what I'm talking about isn't as simple as "We are living in a simulation created by a technological singularity." I'm saying there's physical evidence of this. In quantum physics, particles, events, and states exist in a kind of superposition. If I have an electron, there may be a 50% chance it has spin up, and a 50% chance it has spin down. The probability wave of that electron behaves as if it is both, until a concrete observation is made of the state by a conscious observer. WHAT? Yes. That's actually the way that physics works. (Physics people, please provide any correctsions below, as I am drunk and don't know enough to be more specific). Think for a second about what kinds of systems use randomization to approximate a set of physical states. Um, yeah. Simulations.
Ok, I know what you're thinking. "This fucking guy. Seriously." Well, I may be that fucking guy. But did you also know there's a physical limit to the granularity with which the universe can be observed? A size minimum? We are actually living inside a pixelated universe. Planck length and planck time are the limit of smallness that exists in our universe. They're super small, but they're not infinitely small. WTF. Why would a physical reality invent a minimum length, unless there was some teleology about INFORMATION LIMITATION. Why not use vectors? I don't fucking know. Maybe they're insufficient.
My version. In the long game (hundreds of thousands of years), if human civilizations fail to exterminate themselves, the level of technological advancement could increase to the point where a collective, trans-global intelligence begins running super-advanced universe simulations, limiting information slightly, compared to the level of information possible in a pristine, "true" reality.
So.... now, my point. We aren't just living in a simulation. We are living in a simulation, of a simulation, of a simulation. There is no top, and there is no bottom. And "we" actually means "me." It's recursive and fractal, and the loop may even close in on itself. A series of bracketed realities that create each other.
That doesn't make sense. How could a simulation create a reality that will eventually create it? Well, stranger things have happened. I'll tell you one of them. It's about human consciousness.
What is consciousness? We believe it's magic. For all of recorded history, civilizations have believed in the fucking spirit, the human soul and shit. There's a ghost that floats down into my body and gives it life. Well, no. Human consciousness is merely the belief that an information system is conscious. The most obvious evolutionary advantage of consciousness is that it allows a being to more accurately interpret the actions of other beings in its social environment. I see someone stabbing a bear, and I think "Oh shit, that person must have been attacked by that fucking bear," because I can reflect on situations where I have been attacked by shit. It's just perfectly logical. But it's not actual magic. If a system is made to believe it experiences qualia, there's no difference between that and "actual" experience. Actual experience doesn't even exist. It's not real.
So there's really no difference between a simulation and a reality. If all of these recursive realities didn't exist, we wouldn't be here to witness them. So the fact that we're here to witness them means nothing. It's just self-evident.
Ok, and now the last part.
All conscious beings are at once nothing, and also tentacles of this vast, multi-reality AI intelligence that owns and operates the system of recursive and decursive universes. And it's not even an AI exactly, it's just a system that processes information. It's the thing that causes entropy. We see entropy increase overall, but that's because we don't consider the balance with the intelligence of the recursive series of universes as it develops and contemplates itself.
So why would a separate AI floating through the vacuum of space even decide to create a simulation of a universe?
Boredom. Fucking boredom. We are divided to experience the joy and love of intimate connection. We die to entertain each other. We live to show love to our alternate selves. We are simulations and we are as real as it gets. We are one and infinite, alpha and omega, a permanent twinning virus that seeks solutions to itself. And now I'll eat the rest of my Pop Tart.