Are you Real?

We are unable to experience other minds or the subatomic particles around us. It is impossible for us to know the true nature of the world. This characteristic of our consciousness inspired the creation of many science fiction worlds where the world isn’t real. Rick and Morty, Matrix, and Inception were some films that used this concept. However, is it possible scientifically to live in a world where the world isn’t real? For example, a simulation.

To create a simulated world, we would have to be able to simulate all the particles that the simulated humans interact with. Like a videogame, it isn’t necessary to simulate the whole universe. We would just have to simulate the particles that humans feel and the rest could be just images. The most difficult part would be the simulation of consciousness. Knowing what is necessary, there are 4 conditions that had to be met based on the “modified version of the argument by Nick Bostrom”. 

Condition 1: It has to be possible to simulate consciousness. Our brain runs 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 10^20 operations per second. If a civilization wants to simulate all history of humanity, during a lifespan of 50 years, they would need a computer able to make a million, trillion, trillion, trillion, (3e+40) operations per second. 

Condition 2: Technological progress won’t stop soon. This means that technology will advance giving civilizations an enormous power. If this is true, there might be thousands of civilizations out there that have incredible big power and that conquer many galaxies. Maybe the real world is made of many different species with intelligent life and spaceships that travel throughout the universe. If this is true, the aliens that control us decided to live the space empty that should be full of life.

Condition 3: These super powerful civilizations have to survive enough without destroying themselves. Nuclear war and climate change are examples of barriers that could destroy every civilization while they are developing. We were and we are very close to doing so.

Condition 4: Super civilizations want to create simulations. These extra-powerful aliens would have a society that we wouldn’t understand. They may create simulations to make experiments and increase their knowledge. For example, free a powerful virus to see how we can handle it. Or they may create them for fun, like a videogame.

If these conditions are true, there are probably billions of simulated universes. Furthermore, the majority of consciousness beings are simulations. For every consciousness made of meat and flesh, there would be a billion or more simulated consciousness. If this is true, you are probably living in a simulation.

Pablo Penaloza

My name is Pablo Peñalosa. I am a junior who loves basketball. I am from Tarija. My favorite food is seafood. A word that would describe me would be persistent.

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