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Are we living in a computer simulation? This computer scientist says world religions might have the answer


I really enjoyed conversations like this one it's a book that's out called the simulation hypothesis you can find out about it if you did a quick Google search not there is one for executive director of play laughs at MIT thank you so much for coming on to KMOX again sure yeah I saw let's I got a couple of other questions I want to get to and as someone that programs games I know that you are someone that probably is very well in tune with the industry your things that you can and can't do when it comes to computers is there anything you can think of that just you can't program is there something that you would say it's just absolutely impossible to simulate and based on what we know about computers in the way we know of how they operate you can never anticipate ever seen us something to the extent of what would be considered an alternate reality well you know if you were to go back to the eighties right and say Hey can we program awfully three D. world like a four night or a world of Warcraft or a second life the answer would be no you know computers don't have the processing power to render all those pixels but turned out we found short cuts we found ways to get around that over time optimization and this idea of traditional rendering and only only rendering that which can be seen there was and there was a game called doom that did very well back in the night that was one of the first you know really popular games that use this idea of perspective and turned out that the CEO of the company that made that it's software is a guy named John Carmack and he was also the city of oculus which is you know one of the first virtual reality platforms that many of us have have you have seen or used and and you can see the progression right and so over time you know I think we'll get to the point where the rendering becomes more more realistic so rendering is not really the issue some people might think that that is what's stopping us from getting to this idea of the simulation point is the number of pixels but if you look at a movie like Star Wars rises chi Walker or blade runner twenty forty nine you'll see that the computer generated effects and the real kind of sets in people they blend in pretty well these days and and that's because movies today are projected at a two K. pixel resolution digital movies but you know we only have more that on some of our monitors four K. and now Sony and others are coming out with eight K. pixels resolution monitors so so it's not really about that it's like when I was going to ping pong game it was the the the responsiveness that made it feel like I was immersed and so you know that brain computer interfaces something that we can't do yet we can't being things directly into the brain and we can't necessarily you know get them back but there are experiments being done now at different universities which may lead us to the point where you can download knowledge like like in the matrix when neo was able to learn kung fu they had to put in the cartridge it just like we do with video games and he downloaded it and then when he was inside that kind of many simulation you know it was able to get his reaction from his brain well you know I I like to say look to nature for clues of how technology will evolve and in fact brain computer interfaces stage seven and my ten stages that I talk about in terms of there's already a technology that can do that it's called dreams it's a biological technology and we do it every night we go to sleep we get completely immersed we forget that there's a part of us outside of the sleeping world person and there are NPCs in our dreams all the time and sometimes we have like false histories and false memories can I get it later on where they were planting memories into the addresses for his any I interviewed Philip K. Dick who's the author of the original novel that blade runner and the man in the high castle is based on I interviewed his wife when I was writing this book and you know she thought as she said that he believed that some of these alternate timelines had actually happened and that he remembered them so you probably heard of the man and I cancel if you've seen it on Amazon it's a pretty if I haven't seen yeah so that's the reason the the **** and the Japanese when World War two and it shows what the world might be like and well so test the deck was saying that her husband Phil actually believe he remembered that time line and that whoever was in charge had reset the time line to get to the point where we the allies had won the war and that this happened several times you know where they had reset the time line she said they had communicated to him now what do you believe that or not that's up to you but it was an interesting perspective because his you know science fiction is is very different from a lot of other science fiction and I wonder or admiration yeah I I wonder too would there be a hierarchy sold for example let's say there is some system in reality reliving and we have to somehow assume there's administrator of that it could be another civilization that wonders to if they're part of a simulation or not right so that could be what what are called stacked simulations are affected could be an and if we create you know some stipulations they'll be kind of underneath us so it's possible that people who are outside the simulation are in fact though this is a big question people say well looking for is in relation what's outside the simulation I'll say it's future versions of ourselves so really just like we would play sim city or you know sid Meier's civilization where where simulating wedding earlier civilization would look like some people think it's us in the future simulating our past so that's what's called ancestors in relations some people say it's aliens out there they're not human at all ten people say it's a god or gods and in fact you know there's a lot of people who are atheists who might look at this and say well you know if somebody was outside the simulation they might appear to us you know as if their god or gods and and I make the point that I think most religions started with somebody peeked outside is in relation they got a they got a sense of what was out there and they came back and tried to describe it and then people started to write it down and then it became a whole set of practices and think you should be doing and there's a whole section you know on religion in the book as well which which I think is quite fascinating because it's it's it's a way to bridge the gap between these two worlds so if you think in a simulated world are there actually strict rules are much like a computer program could you hack into it going back to the matrix idea of being able to use you know bend the spoon once you realize this is a reality so you know things that everyone is fantasize about like flying or time travel and things like that that would seem somewhat impossible it's actually possible yeah I I think you know given if we think of it as a simulated reality these things that seem impossible may not be completely impossible in fact there are lots of stories in the east particularly in Tibetan Buddhism and in India about yogis who use this idea of dream yoga so Gremio as when you when your sleep at night you're dreaming you actually become awake that's what we would call lucid dreaming today and you realize that the dream around you is not real and then you can start to manipulate the dream and so this is a you know real practice that's been confirmed the laboratories here but the purpose of it for the city's Tibetan Buddhist monks is not to play with their greens it's to realize that when you're awake you're also in a dream and that this world is pliable and so they believe that kind of stuff can actually happen the world around us so the rules are more strict here than in dreams all but I do believe it's possible I just don't think it's easy to do let's say you're put into the matrix scenario and you personally were given the option of escaping this in realizing the truth when it comes to reality the red pill blue pill scenario what would you do this is an interesting debate so there's some people out there agrega philosophy professor Dr green who wrote an article in The New York Times saying we shouldn't try to find out if Ford's innovation because if we do the simulators might shut us down right and so that's one perspective I did the other perspective I would actually you know take the red tail and and no because he gets back to this fundamental issue of the two different versions the NBC version and RPG version now if word and PC version where we don't exist outside then it doesn't really matter does it maybe the whole point of assimilation is to see what happened to us but if if we're more like the matrix and we're like neo in a pod or or even just you know swept what religious people would call soul's consciousness outside the physical body then I would rather wake up and know what's going on because then you get a sense of the purpose of the video game like are we in Grand Theft Auto in civilization are we in second life my senses each of us has their own quests and our own achievements some people say well I have all the designing video games I would not you know have all the difficulties well if you remember the matrix movies in the second or third movie every it was once they had the first version of the matrix everything was great there were there were no problems and the human mind did accept that as we help each other they had introduced older dragoness and all these challenges and that's true video games video game designer you can't just make it too easy you have to have challenges and people have to level up by getting through the challenges and sometimes they have to grind in video games I would think the next step is if you are someone that tends to believe this would be to try to find out one like gate keeper like they do in the matrix there's someone that knows what's going down that's here on this planet that you go talk to and that would be like your next step would be almost like national treasure the one with Nicolas Cage Reese trying to find like the treasure whatever except you're trying to find the person that could wake you up to the true reality I think that would be a fun premise you know since we only have about a minute left here the

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