Friday, April 04, 2008

Matrix Universe

by Asim Jalis

So the question is: Are we living in a matrix universe or is the real stuff really real and not a simulation. The simulation/matrix idea suffers from the problem of infinite regress - if this universe (u_0) is a simulation inside another universe (u_1) and u_1 is a simulation inside u_2, where does this end? If it ends at n then don't we have the same dilemma at u_n? "An infinite regress in a series of propositions arises if the truth of proposition P1 requires the support of proposition P2, and for any proposition in the series Pn, the truth of Pn requires the support of the truth of Pn+1. There would never be adequate support for P1, because the infinite sequence needed to provide such support could not be completed." So what leads to this idea that this universe might be a computational simulation? We have this mathematical model of the universe that work so well that the computation model of the universe feels equivalent to the real thing. From this it is easy to reason that since the universe is equivalent to a simulation - maybe it is a simulation. And this might merely be an illusion created by the success of physics. Maybe the universe is not reducible to a simulation and therefore might not be a simulation. Another point: consciousness is the weirdest thing going in this universe as far as I can see. There are a lot of weird things, but this one takes the cake. The weird thing about consciousness is that it loops back on itself - it is self-aware. It is as if you are looking into a simulation of the universe, and in it you see yourself. Could consciousness arise through some kind of a physical quality of the universe - that we don't understand yet - rather than through a biological principle?