According to smart people like Elon Musk, there's a one in a billion chance we're living in true reality and not a simulation (though some disagree). In his words:
Either we are going to create simulations that are indistinguishable from reality, or civilization will cease to exist. Those are the two options.
I'm not a fan of non-falsifiable claims, which is why I lost my eternity from a religious perspective, but I also recognize Elon as a pretty smart dude. He and others are using logic to come to these conclusions.
What follows isn't a solid hypothesis as much as a hot tub and whiskey musing.
If Nick Bostrom is right, within this century we will give birth to super intelligence. I've read his book by the same name and recognize this as a really big deal.
It's one of those things we should all get educated on because it might destroy (or save?) us. If the existential risk is real, this might be the most important century for our species. Over hundreds of thousands of years leading up to this moment in time, this century might be the most important one for the continuation of biological life.
If that's true, wouldn't a high intelligence work to simulate possible outcomes of this century?
You see where I'm going with this?
If there is only one moment in all of human civilization which could end all biological life and replace it with computronium (see Bostrom's book for more on that), this might be it. This might be the moment in history some advanced civilization on the brink of releasing super intelligence is simulating over and over again to make sure they don't screw it up.
Here's the summary of Bostrom's paper arguing for why we might be in a simulation:
This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor‐simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation.
Which one do you think makes the most sense: 1, 2, or 3?
I'm somewhat of an idealistic optimist who is trying to be rational, so number 3 makes a lot of sense to me. When I combine that with our most recent discoveries in quantum mechanics, which takes spooky action at a distance to a whole new level, and with a recent argument that black holes may actually be 2D structures... well at some point I have to wonder if we're looking so closely at the simulation we might just start seeing the code.
This is why my favorite movies include Inception, the Matrix trilogy, and the Thirteenth Floor. Reality is something we can only perceive through our senses. We are observers trying to observe ourselves. We are limited in our perspective and ability to see beyond ourselves and especially beyond our universe.
What do you think? Does the potential for super intelligence within our lifetime give credence to the simulation hypothesis?
P.S. If you're interested in this stuff, check out my post a couple months ago on the morality of artificial intelligence.