What if we’re just machine code?

Ever since the philosopher Nick Bostrom proposed in the Philosophical Quarterly that the universe and everything in it might be a simulation, there has been intense public speculation and debate about the nature of reality. Such public intellectuals as Tesla leader and prolific Twitter gadfly Elon Musk have opined about the statistical inevitability of our world being little more than cascading green code. Recent papers have built on the original hypothesis to further refine the statistical bounds of the hypothesis, arguing that the chance that we live in a simulation may be 50–50.” – from “Confirmed! We Live in a Simulation” in Scientific American

The Matrix Poster.jpgMy first question is this: “Whose computer is it?”

And then, I want to know if they’re running Windows 1.0, Windows 95, or Windows ME.

I haven’t read whether or not accepting the validity of this sumulation is a red pill/blue bill matter. I’d probably take the red pill if I got to have dinner with Trinity.

Then, too, I like the idea of downloading whatever information I need to do whatever I want to do as–in the movie–suddenly have the skills to fly a helicopter.

Perhaps the red pill will prove that the idea of a computer simulation world is just an illusion or, if it isn’t, that the whole shebang is running on Jerry Seinfeld’s computer. Or, worse yet, on Steven Wright’s computer.

I’ve always believed that seeing isn’t believing, that things are not what they seem to be. So, I have my doubts about the idea that everything is machine code or assembly language running on a Fugaku compter hidden in a nondescript barn in Peoria.

If it is, heaven help us if somebody accidentally hits crtl/alt/del.

I think the best we can do at this point is continue to live our lives as though we’re real and never say anything nasty about Jerry Seinfeld or Steven Wright.

Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of “Conjure Woman’s Cat.”