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    Thread: Brane teaser.

    1. #1
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      Brane teaser.

      Just spent an enjoyable few hours watching YouTube BBC Horizon docs about M-Theory and parallel universes and suchlike. One I hadn’t seen before, which was about future supercomputers.

      This latter doc postulated that, since the speed and capability of processing was increasing exponentially, it would lead (sooner rather than later – their words) to computers that would be capable of creating virtual realities that would be indistinguishable from the “real” thing. This led to some of the physicists and mathematicians postulating that we might already be in such an existence, that we wouldn’t be able to tell if we were.. and that the whole schtick as we know it could be being controlled by such a supercomputer.

      Putting this idea together with those of M-Theory and the infinite numbers of branes and parallel universes, I had the thought that, if both sets of ideas were fact, it would be highly improbable that we (humans) had not already existed an infinite number of times in other universes.. that we had not already discovered “everything” an infinite number of times in other universes/spacetimes.. and how to create such a universe from scratch.

      So.. as far as a “God” is concerned, we may be arriving at a point which puts such an idea even further away from human discovery..

      ..which is why I’ve posted this in the Philosophy section.

      Thoughts, anyone?

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      I have no knowledge of M-Theory, etc. But, unless I'm missing something, which I might be, there's no reason to think that any brain-in-a-vat scenario is more likely true than not. So the simplest explanation is what we should assume is true. If there were some other 'real' reality then you might say the same about that one.

      It also doesn't seem more likely than not because, if virtual reality were created, it isn't as though our memories would be erased, unless somebody designed the virtual reality for that purpose, and that doesn't strike me as a goal that us humans would have in designing such a device.

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      It wasn't the "brain-in-a-vat" scenario that they were postulating: it was the idea that we could be just data in a supercomputer, "existing" in a virtual reality.. and that we wouldn't (at the current time) be able to tell one way or another. In essence, that we might not physically exist at all.

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      It's the same type of thing. The supercomputer is the vat, and whatever our non-physical existence is is the brain.

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      The point I was trying to make was that if there were an infinite number of branes containing an infinite number of parallel universes, then it would be highly probable that Man has evolved before, elsewhere in other spacetimes.. an infinite number of times...

      ..and that all the scientific discoveries we will make in the future have already been made, somewhere "out there".

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      Most of the films I like are based on a similar premise.

      Who looks outside, dreams;
      who looks inside, awakes.

      - Carl Jung

    8. #8
      Xei
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      I find the mathematics behind the 'we're living in a simulation' argument to be highly suspect. There is the issue of fidelity for a start; it stands to reason that whatever you simulation you run will contain less information than the medium you use to run it, so you can't continue indefinitely. Moore's law should continue for a while but there are physical limits. Also, if we ever reached such a stage, we'd only be able to turn nearby matter into a computational substrate. But we have no idea how big the universe is; it could even be infinite, with an infinitude of lifeforms.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      I find the mathematics behind the 'we're living in a simulation' argument to be highly suspect. There is the issue of fidelity for a start; it stands to reason that whatever you simulation you run will contain less information than the medium you use to run it, so you can't continue indefinitely. Moore's law should continue for a while but there are physical limits. Also, if we ever reached such a stage, we'd only be able to turn nearby matter into a computational substrate. But we have no idea how big the universe is; it could even be infinite, with an infinitude of lifeforms.
      Yes but you don't have to take the simulation theory to that conclusion. It simply means that, much like our computer screens are set to red, green or blue, our experiences are also set to a very rudimentary pattern of variation, but in large doses it achieves the illusion of the complexity of life with out being exactly that, in basic reality.

      Everything we experience manifests according to its code of symbolic statements, much like a computer simulation.

      To paraphrase Alan Watts, what the language is depends on whether you want to take a prickly position or a gooey one, testing for particles, or waves; set values or harmonic peaks; rational numbers or real numbers.
      Last edited by Omnis Dei; 05-15-2012 at 08:47 AM.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      I've always thought the simulation hypothesis is vulnerable to Occam's Razor myself, and not a particularly compelling idea.

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