The Question of Whether or Not We Live in a Matrix-Style Computer Program Will Soon be Answered

For countless centuries, mankind has looked up from this terrestrial plane and off into the infinite reaches of space—all pockmarked with stars, quasars and galaxies of nearly unfathomable distance and size—and hurtled one simple question that is both childlike in its humility and profound in its implication. That question, of course, is this one: “Is the universe real or is it, like, a computer simulation programmed by nerds from the future, like in The Matrix?” Well, scientists at the University of Washington are on that one, because they’re scientists and they’ve got to put food on the table somehow. According to TechEye:

By looking for underlying patterns, physicists believe that it may be possible to work out if we are existing in a computer created universe, created many years in the future. Looking at constraints imposed on simulations by limited resources could show signs that we are mere bit-part players in a Matrix-style film plot. It will take many years to reach the computational power to give a real glimpse of whether we are living in a simulation, the scientists contend, but even by looking at the tiny portion of the universe that we can currently accurately model, it may be possible to detect ‘signatures’ of constraints on physical processes that could point to a simulation.

Oh, boy. “‘Signatures’ of constraints on physical processes.” Some scientists have all the fun. Bet those researchers are in for a fun Christmas. Imagine trying to explain to Grandma that your current project involves figuring out whether or not The Matrix is real. And she’d had such high hopes for you, too …

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