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The Simulation Hypothesis: Even More Evidence From Physics - by John Prytz

If physics is inconsistent it's more likely we're in acomputer simulation. If physics is internally self-consistent then it's morelikely we're in a really real reality. Alas, we have contradictions /inconsistencies in physics - relativity vs. quantum mechanics for example. Therefore,you probably exist in a simulation and physics can provide the evidence. So,here's my follow-up collection of evidence from physics.


The Simulation Hypothesis and Information


"What is real?" - Information! "How do youdefine real?" - Information!


Some people suggest that the Simulation Hypothesis isnonsense because it's akin to suggesting that there's actually tiny peopleinside your TV set or there is a little being present inside your mind that'sobserving, processing and directing the action.


My counter is that it's not the forms that exist in asimulation that hold sway, rather what is actually being simulated; what isactually important is information.


For starters, simulations, virtual reality exists! Peopleare totally immersed in virtual reality. There's obviously your own dreams,hardly what you would describe as really real reality. You reside in a virtualreality when you digest the information in a book or watch a movie / TV show orplay a video game or train in a simulator; even when you interact in anInternet forum. And of course you've witnessed thousands of people glued totheir smart phones totally immersed in the virtual reality they provide.


There's a relationship between mathematics, simulationsand information. Now I don't personally believe that space (as in outer space)actually exists on the grounds that space has no architecture and isn'tcomposed of anything, Einstein's General Theory of Relativity notwithstanding.Space is just mathematics (Einstein's field equations), information andtherefore probably just a simulation.


Mathematics is and yields up information. Solve for X -you get information. The flip side is that information can be expressedmathematically, built from the ground up by those digital bits and bytes.


So back to the issue of the reality of space. The'behavior' of space in the presence or absence of mass (warping, curving,bending, flexing, twisting, etc.) is information expressed mathematically inthose Einsteinian field equations. Einstein's General Theory of Relativity justdescribes gravity as being just geometry which of course is just described bymathematics. Starlight bends around the mass of our Sun. That's information.The flip side is that the behavior of space (bending the starlight) is amathematical construct expressed as information - what the starlight does whenpassing close to the Sun.


Or as Seth Lloyd has expressed it, the Universe just is acomputer that processes information. [Lloyd, Seth; "Programming theUniverse: A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes On the Cosmos"; JonathanCape, London; 2006.]


Now you are just apacket of information that happens to be in the form of a human. My cat is apacket of different information that happens to be in the form of a cat. Felixthe Cat is a cartoon cat yet still is just a packet of information that thistime takes the form of a cartoon cat. The characters in the video game Dungeons& Dragons are packets of information; ditto Conway's "Game ofLife", a simulation involving the evolution of artificial 'life' forms.They are all just information! Everything in really real reality - assuming weexist in a really real reality - is information. Everything that exists invirtual reality is just information.  


So again, information can be expressed and exist as aform of virtual reality or within a framework of virtual reality. You are apacket of information. Therefore you can be expressed as having an existence ina virtual reality framework. You (as a packet of just information) could bereconstructed from the ground up as programmed computer software to whateverdegree of realism the programmer desires. So a software programmed version ofyou is a virtual reality version of you. If you or my cat are just bundles ofinformation, then those bundles can be simulated.


So you post information on an Internet forum. In theinformation pathway from your alleged really real reality to my alleged reallyreal reality, you've (or your information) had to transcend / transmit througha virtual reality medium. So why not consider instead that the informationpathway was from your virtual reality to my virtual reality via the samevirtual reality medium?


Now if 'you' had been just an artificial intelligencesoftware generated program responding to my Internet forum posts then 'you'would also have been virtual reality as far as I, the viewer / reader isconcerned. It's possible to create virtual reality as noted above. If 'you'could be created as virtual reality, so we (our life, our Universe and oureverything) could be a virtual reality simulation created and viewed by"The Other" (a person or persons or things unknown) for reason(s)unknown.


Now some people make a big issue of virtual reality beingnonsense because you have a 'person' inside a video game or inside the TV set.Of course the form / shape within virtual reality is secondary and ratherbeside the point. It's the information that's important. The form / shape couldbe a 'humanoid' or a 'talking cat' or an 'animated paperclip' for that matter.What you see isn't relevant, it's what you get that's relevant and that's theinformation. It ultimately doesn't matter if the video game features asuper-villain or a fire-breathing dragon; whether or not it's a damsel indistress or an entire village under attack. It's the information; the scenariothat's important. Of course if you’re partial to fire-breathing dragons oversuper-villains you'll buy the video game featuring dragons but the scenario isthe same.


The Simulation Hypothesis and Exceptions to the Rule.


When it comes to those laws, principles and relationshipswithin the physical sciences, especially physics, you wouldn't,before-the-fact, expect there to be exceptions to the rules. Alas there are,and therein lies the rub that points the way, by way of explanation, to theSimulation Hypothesis.


*Causality - cause and effect - rules the roost. Exceptwhen it comes to radioactive decay which apparently happens in an unpredictablefashion for absolutely no reason at all.


*The First Law of Thermodynamics states that matter /energy can neither be created (out of an absolute nothing) nor destroyed. Buttaking the Universe as a whole, apparently the energy density of the Universeremains constant even though the Universe is expanding. Where is this 'freelunch' energy coming from if not out of an absolute nothing.


*Velocity: Velocities can be added and subtracted. If youare on a train moving at 50 mph and you walk towards the front of that train at5 mph, then relative to the ground you are moving at 55 mph. Alas, if you shinea flashlight toward the front of the train the velocity of that light beamisn't the speed of light plus 50 mph relative to the ground. A ground observerwill see the speed of light moving at just the speed of light.


*Gravity: Newton's law of gravity works, except at highvelocities. Why doesn't it work regardless of what velocity objects are movingat? At first glance it would appear that something is screwy somewhere. 


*Symmetry: Physics and symmetry go like hand in glove.When it comes to the forces of nature, things are supposed to be symmetricalwith respect to time (T), charge (C) and parity (P). However, there is oneexception. There are CP violations noted in certain weak force decays such thatone handedness is favoured over another thus breaking the symmetry.


*Unification: You'd expect that if there is just oneMother Nature that it would be relatively easy to unify the four forces into acoherent package. Alas, it's to date proven impossible to unify gravity withthe electromagnetic force, the weak nuclear force and the strong nuclear force.Thus, to date, no "Theory of Everything" (TOE).


*Matter / Antimatter: There is every reasonbefore-the-fact to expect there to be equal amounts of both matter andantimatter (one of those expected symmetries) present and accounted for in theUniverse. Alas, there is not. The lack of antimatter is the exception to thatexpectation.


*Dual Existence: Something cannot be in two (or more) placesat the same time, except in quantum physics apparently.


So, are some or all of the above exceptions to the rulejust examples of special effects brought on by computer software, softwareprogrammed by a programmer who has designed and fine-tuned our life, theUniverse and everything as an example of a virtual reality landscape?


The Simulation Hypothesis and the Observer Effect.


The "Observer Effect" basically states thatreality is determined by (usually) conscious entities observing said reality.So observers collapse the superposition-of-state wave function from a state ofthis AND that down to a state of this OR that. As Einstein famously asked, doesthe Moon exist if nobody is actually looking at it?  So here are a few random thoughts about the"Observer Effect".


*There's no universal agreement on what constitutes anobserver. Does it HAVE to be a consciousness entity and more to the point, ahuman being?


*If an observer has to be something living then there wasa time when the Universe was lifeless, so then what?


*If collapse-of-the-wave-function requires an observerthen what was the state-of-play before there were observers? There apparentlycould be no collapse-of-the-wave-function anywhere.


*You go through your daily routine and never observe thatyour act of observing alters the behavior of anything non-living at all.


*Regarding superposition-of-state, something cannot bothbe and not be at the same time. If something is so observed then there's beenno collapse-of-the-wave-function which violates one major interpretation ofQuantum Mechanics.


*Quantum Mechanics / Physics invokes two main concepts.Firstly, there's the inherent concept of the observer / measurement. Observingand measuring invokes the second concept of indeterminacy / probability. Now,let's just change things and add the word "no" in front of the firstconcept. So, no observer / no measurement. IMHO that then translates into noindeterminacy / no probability.


*So there's no probability in Quantum Mechanics in theabsence of an observer.


*The "Observer Effect" is ruled null-and-voidby the apparent fact that once upon a time within the Universe there were NOdamn observers and yet the Universe kept ticking on blissfully unaware of this


*So we don't actually need observers to explain life, theUniverse and everything.  


*There's no mechanism by which a passive observer affectswhat is going to happen since what happens happened before the informationabout what happened reached the observer. And thus the observer had no say inthe outcome of the matter.


*The basic problem with the "Observer Effect"is that whatever happened would have happened even had the observer NOT bepresent. So something happens and THEN it is observed. It’s not the case ofsomeone observing and THEN something happens.


In conclusion, there can be NO "ObserverEffect". Firstly there was a time in the Universe before there wereobservers and the Universe got along very nicely without anyone or anythinkpeeking out from behind a celestial curtain. Secondly, information travels fromwhat's being observed to the observer (information that would have beentransmitted regardless) and NOT the other way around, unless of course theobserver deliberately pokes the object under observation / measurement whichsort of defeats learning about the object in its natural setting. And evidencefor the "Observer Effect" to the contrary as the the Quantum ZenoEffect and in the Double Slit Experiment is suggestive of a virtual reality andnot of a really real reality.


The Simulation Hypothesis and the Fundamental Constants.


So we have here a whole potful of nature's fundamental /physical constants** yet none can be derived from first principles or can anyof the values be derived theoretically and to top it all off they have noapparent connection to each other. The speed of light has no apparentrelationship to the electron's electric charge for example. You couldn’tpredict from first principles that on a level frictionless surface, two bowlingballs would come together under a mutually attractive force we callgravity.  


So, in the Simulation Hypothesis, there would be oneseparate and apart software code for each of the physical constants.


**Charge on the electron (proton, positron, etc.); massof the electron (proton, positron, etc.); speed of light in a vacuum;gravitational constant, etc.


The Simulation Hypothesis And My Big TOE



Quantum Gravity otherwise known as the Theory ofEverything (TOE) is the Holy Grail of all things physics. Why? Well, there aretwo types of physics. There is classical physics, the physics you have to dealwith in your day-to-day macro world. Then there is quantum physics, the physicsof the very, very tiny; the micro worlds which for all practical purposes are,if not irrelevant, at least unnoticed in your day-to-day existence.


Another distinction is that macro or classical physicsis a continuum, like a ruler. Quantum or micro physics are bits and pieces;discrete units, like money. You can have one and three quarter inches; youcan’t have one and three quarter cents. So what’s the problem?


Well, there are four fundamental forces that controllife, the Universe and everything. Three of these are quantum forces or operatefrom or within the realm of the micro-micro-microscopic. This trilogy iscomprised of the strong nuclear force (which hold atomic nuclei together); theweak nuclear force (which allows atomic nuclei to break apart – radioactivity)and electromagnetism (which gives you light to see by and radio and TV toenjoy). The other and final force however is a continuum – gravity. It’s likethere being three brothers and one sister!


As in the sibling’s case, physicists suspect that allfour are born of one parentage. Alas, the DNA doesn’t match up!  Gravity apparently has different parents! Nowthat just won’t do. One Universe should allow for, indeed require, one ultimateparentage. Alas, despite all the best efforts of all the finest physics in theworld over many generations, the three brothers just don’t share a common DNAwith their alleged sister. My resolution is that perhaps that really is thecase. The idea that there is quantum gravity is just a straightforwardimpossibility. There are indeed two sets of parents – one resulting in quantumtriplets; the other producing an only child – gravity. The two are unrelated.


To restate the situation, we have the theory ofgeneral relativity (gravity) and quantum physics. Both are bedrocks of modernphysics. Both are accurate to a high degree of experimental precision. Botharen’t compatible - with each other. Apparently, one (or both) of thesetheories must be wrong, or at best incomplete. That’s why the unification ofthe two (a theory of Quantum Gravity) is physics’ Holy Grail. However, thatHoly Grail is proving as difficult to find as the Biblical Grail itself! Butfor the moment, it appears as if the universe has two independent sets of laws(or sets of running software) – one governing the very large (gravity); one thevery small (the quantum). This makes no natural or scientific sense.


We have observations of four physical forces yet notheory which unites the three quantum forces (electromagnetism, the strongnuclear force and the weak nuclear force) with the one classical force –gravity. Theory needs to be satisfied. All of the four fundamental forcesshould be interconnected; some sort of unification principle must be inoperation that relates all four, one to the other. However, these fourfundamental forces that govern the Universe show no signs of any obviousunification – well actually the three quantum ones do (known as the GUT – GrandUnified Theory), but that’s where the unification ends. Gravity remains thewallflower. If the Big Bang theory is to be proven correct as stated,scientists must of necessity come up with a viable theory of Quantum Gravitythat is an acceptable unification of the trio of quantum forces with gravity.There is, to date, no viable theory of Quantum Gravity despite thousands ofphysicists searching for one over many generations now. Even for the final 30years of his life Einstein searched for his big TOE but never found it.


In summary, the realm of the micro and the realm ofthe macro are incompatible, like two different sets of software that areseparate and apart but collectively run the cosmos. Again, that makes no sense.It should be relatively easy to unify all four forces. Einstein and thousandsin his footsteps have found out the hard way that it’s damn hard to get a TOE.Mother Nature is a bitch!


Now, the real question is what are the implications ifthere is no such animal as a unified theory or a TOE? What if we have a case ofnever have so many spent so much time and effort over so little (actuallynothing)? With the passage of every day, the missing TOE appears unlikely everto be found. Then what?


My prediction is that there will never be a TOEbecause there really are two incompatible sets of software governing thevirtual reality cosmos.


The Simulation Hypothesis and the General Theory ofRelativity


According to Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, asmass / gravity increases, an object within that mass / gravity field, as far asbeing viewed by an external observer is concerned, notes that's object's time(i.e. - change and motion) gets more and more sluggish as that mass / gravityfield gets stronger and stronger, getting to extremes at the event horizon of aBlack Hole. Light takes more time to pass through mass (like air, water, glass)than it does to pass through a vacuum. And light takes a longer pathway (itcurves) when it passes near massive objects and associated gravity fields. Ittakes more time to go from A to B. Light that would otherwise go from a Quasardirectly in a straight line to our eyeballs gets bend around a galaxy that isbetween said Quasar and our eyeballs.


Now in a computer, the more you load in terms of programsrunning the more sluggish; the longer it takes for things (processing) tohappen. So the more 'mass' that's loaded and up and running on a computer, thelonger things take or in other words time (change and motion) slows down. So ifit takes more computer crunch power, more bits and bytes to simulate a lot ofvirtual objects and a high albeit virtual gravity field, then the time / change/ motion effects are also simulated due to the greater processing work load thecomputer has to bear. Of course the equations governing the General Theory ofRelativity could also be part of the computer’s programming. Further, in thelatter (computer) case you also have the events from the perspective of anexternal observer. Internal observers (like video game characters) wouldn’tnotice anything amiss any more than the object / person who was being affectedby a massive gravity field would notice anything was amiss. Anyway, that's arather interesting parallel when viewed from the perspective of the SimulationHypothesis.    


The Simulation Hypothesis and Black Holes.


Here's a question: Are Black Holes Evidence For ASimulated (Virtual Reality) Universe?


A Black Hole generates gravity but how can that gravity(graviton particles) extend beyond the Black Hole's Event Horizon? How is thispossible? Why is this so?


So here's the paradox. Nothing can readily escape frominside the Event Horizon of a Black Hole**, not even photons of light and otherelectromagnetic radiation can flee from a Black Hole once trapped inside. Butobviously gravity and gravitons can escape from a Black Hole since a Black Holehas gravity which extends beyond the Event Horizon. So photons can't andgravitons can so IMHO something is screwy somewhere. Perhaps this is justanother cosmic oops made by our fallible Supreme Programmer who I oftenpostulate as the entity responsible for creating our virtual reality landscape!


**Excepting of course Hawking Radiation but that's like aslow dripping faucet compared to a gushing fire hose. In any event, when itcomes to a Black Hole, one can easily say that incoming matter and energyexceeds outgoing matter and energy - except for the anomaly of the graviton.

Science librarian; retired.

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