Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
As far as mind-blowing Monday morning reads go, this item in the Times Sunday Review was successful. It did. Blow my mind, that is.
I’ve heard of this concept before, that the universe might be a simulation, or one of many simulations, being run by computer programmers of the future. Our awareness of mathematics is a clue, since mathematics (experts agree) has an existence and reality all its own, and, as the author of this piece says, will mean the same to people a thousand years from now as it does to us and did to Pythagoras. Our understanding of mathematics is a glimpse at the simulation’s code.
Of course you have to ask, who are these programmers and on what plane of reality do they exist? Did they come into being via a completely different set of evolutionary stages than we did? Why isn’t their existence also a simulation?
Questions like this come up in philosophy all the time, and this isn’t far from the whole God thing, when you think about it. In this scenario, God is a programmer running simulations. Disconcerting, because he’s probably not aware of us — no more than we are aware of individual 0’s and 1’s in code we might write (if we’re skilled in those godly arts).
Scientists think we might be able to glean the truth of the matter from cosmic rays. Anomalies in their patterns might be caused by the simulation, just as physicists cause anomalies in the reactions of atomic particles in experimental simulations.
So I’ve had my mind blown this morning. I guess if I’m nothing but an artifact in some guy’s software, I ought to relax about a few things. Plus, at least from where I sit in this cosmic simulation, it’s all good.
Coulda done a lot worse!