So, Maybe We All Live in a Computer
October 15, 2012
Just last week, scientists did what scientists do best and ruined any delusions we might have had about re-creating Jurassic Park with mosquitos in amber or whatever. So, that seemed particularly unimaginative of them, but now comes word that some scientists think it's possible that we all live in a reality simulated by a computer program.
Using the historical development of lattice gauge theory technology as a guide, we assume that our universe is an early numerical simulation with unimproved Wilson fermion discretization and investigate potentially-observable consequences. Among the observables that are considered are the muon g-2 and the current differences between determinations of alpha, but the most stringent bound on the inverse lattice spacing of the universe, b^(-1) >~ 10^(11) GeV, is derived from the high-energy cut off of the cosmic ray spectrum. The numerical simulation scenario could reveal itself in the distributions of the highest energy cosmic rays exhibiting a degree of rotational symmetry breaking that reflects the structure of the underlying lattice.
If you understood any of that, you probably are a computer program. The thing is, scientists are setting out to see if it's theoretically possible, and they're creating a computer simulated reality to study its effects. Which begs the question of whether or not the "people" in that simulated universe will be wondering whether or not they're in a simulated reality just like we are. Just how deep does this rabbit hole go? ...