Re: How To Live In A Simulation

Date: Fri Mar 16 2001 - 00:38:00 MST

Several people have suggested that our world is indistinguishable from a
simulation. I disagree. One universal characteristics of simulations is
that they simplify. If you look at any aspect in enough detail (usually not
closely at all) it's simple. This is stunningly different from the real
world, in which the closer you look the more complex it gets. The proposal
that the simulation "makes up" detail when required is implausible. As
anyone who's ever GM'd knows, that always leaves you stuck with
contradictions. The necessary work to recalculate the past everytime the
simulation gets "caught" would be as bad as doing it right the first time.
Finally, the real world is just phenomenally wasteful on calculations. I'm
walking to the laundry this morning and see the light ripples on the pool.
The quantum calculations to model the pool would make an SI quake - yet there
it is. Just to look nice to me. Please. In the Dysonian universes we're
currently forecasting, resources are limited and precious.

If the universe is a "simulation" in any sense, it's in a universe much more
sophisticated than ours (one that can afford to simulate our universe down to
quantum foam - something like 10^200 ops). The point is much more than our
own existence, or else they wouldn't have bothered with the rest of the

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