We Are Just a Simulation
- We could be living in a simulation of a world that does not exist other than inside the computer that generates it.
- As long as the simulation software sends us the appropriate inputs and outputs, we would be feeling that those inputs and outputs describe a real world.
- Therefore films and novels (and even philosophers) speculate if that could be indeed what is happening to our brains: are we being fooled by a computer into believing that all these things and people exist when in fact they are only simulations generated by a software program?
- This hypothesis focuses on the brain as a tool to introspect rather than
a tool to explore the surroundings.
- The brain is actually both, and primarily the latter: a tool to explore its surroundings.
- The brain comes equipped with one
powerful feature: it tries to make sense of its surroundings.
It doesn't just process inputs to generate outputs.
The brain is a tool determined to make sense of
its sensory data.
- Over the centuries the human brain has discovered many truths that were
not explicit in its sensory data, from the shape of the Earth to the existence
of black holes.
- Because the sensory data don't make sense, Science eventually came up
with a non-intuitive model of reality (Quantum Mechanics, General Relativity,
- We discovered that we are indeed living inside a "simulation" of sorts: we perceive a world that does not quite exist the way we perceive it, and we cannot
perceive the real essence of the world (the multitude of particles and waves).
- In a sense, the brain started seeing the simulation even though
the simulation (as described by Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity) was
hiding from the brain.
- We are slowly unveiling the trick. As our brain never stop thinking,
eventually we might have a full understanding of what is going on, of what was
hidden from us.
- This brings up two issues: 1. where we meant to discover the "simulation"? Were we, in a sense, programmed to free ourselves from the mirage and discover the real world? and 2. is it possible to create a simulated world that
would forever fool a discovery tool like the human brain?