My father, who is home recovering from surgery, emailed the following web page to me and a few other members of my family, and expressed interest in reading interesting responses.
Is the universe just a big computer simulation running in another universe? Suppose it is. Then I've got some questions:
- Are intelligent entities modeled as objects? In other words, are they instantiated and managed as distinct tracked pieces in the simulation? Or is the universe just modeled as huge numbers of subatomic particles and energy?
- If intelligences aren't modeled as objects are they at least tracked or studied by whoever is running the sim? Or is the evolution of intelligence in the sim just seen as an uninteresting side effect and irrelevant to the sim's purposes?
- Is The Big Bang the moment the sim started running? Or did it start long before that point? Or has it been started at a much later point with data loading in to make it look like it started earlier?
- Do the creators of the sim intervene as it runs? Do they patch it?
- What is the purpose of the sim? Entertainment? Political decision-making? Scientific research?
- Were the physical laws of the universe designed to reduce the computational cost of the sim? If so, what aspects of the physical laws were designed to make computation cheaper?
Imagine the purpose of the sim is entertainment or decision-making. Either way, it could be that out-of-universe sentient beings actually enter this universe and interact with some of its intelligent entities. Interact with simulated people for fun. Or interact in order to try out different experiments of political development. In the latter case I would expect more rerunning of the same sim backed up to restart at the same point but with some alteration of what some people say or do.
So what's your (simulated) gut feeling? Are you in a sim? If so, what's it for?