Is Reality Real? The Simulation Argument


We humans are unable to experience the
true nature of the universe, unfiltered. Our senses and brains can only
process a fraction of the world. So we have to use concepts and tools, to
learn about the true nature of reality Technological progress not only widened
our knowledge about the universe, it also made us aware of unsettling possibilities. In the future, it might become possible
to simulate entire universes. But if this is an option, how can we know
that it’s not already happened? What if we are not creators, but creations? Is it possible that we are not real,
and we don’t even know it? If our current understanding of physics is correct, Then, it’s impossible to simulate the whole universe,
with its trillions and trillions of things. But we don’t actually need to, anyway. We only need enough universe to fool
the inhabitants of our simulation, into thinking that they’re real. Who needs billions of galaxies? We only need the space our
subjects are allowed to explore. The vast universe could just be a flat projection, and they would have no way to know. What about small things like cells or bacteria? We don’t really need them. When you use a microscope, what you
see could be instantly created. Same with atoms the chair you’re sitting
on right now does not need to be simulated with quadrillions of atoms. We just need the outermost layer of it, it might be empty inside, until you
decide to break it open. Your body might feel like it’s filled with bubbly things,
but it might be empty, until you open it. The minimum requirement for our simulation,
is only the consciousness of our virtual humans. Our subjects just need to think the simulation is real. Okay, so are we being simulated? Well, maybe, but there are a few
conditions that need to be met. Obviously, we have no authority over this topic,
so please take everything we say with a grain of salt. Based on a modified version of the original
simulation argument by Nick Bostrom, we have five assumptions for you. If they’re true, you dear viewer are living in a simulation. Assumption one, it’s possible to simulate consciousness Nobody knows what consciousness is. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that you could generate consciousness by simulating a brain. Brains are pretty complex. If you count every interaction between
synapses as one operation, your brain runs at about ten to the power of seventeen, for one hundred million billion operations, per second. Let’s generously assume we need ten
to the power of twenty operations, to simulate one second of human consciousness. But, we don’t want to simulate just one human… We want to simulate all of human history at once,
so we can skip around. Let’s say we want to simulate two hundred billion humans, with an average life span of fifty years. One year has thirty million seconds times fifty years times two hundred billion humans times ten to the power of twenty operations. So we need a computer able to handle million,
trillion, trillion, trillion operations per second. More operations than there are stars
in the observable universe. The computer like this is just impossible. Except, maybe it isn’t. Assumption two, technological progress will not stop anytime soon. If we assume that technological progress continues
in a similar fashion as it has so far, then there might be galaxy spanning civilizations,
with unlimited computer power at some point. Beings on a technology level so advanced, that we
could barely distinguish them from god’s. A computer that can handle a million trillion, trillion, trillion operations is serious business, but there are actually concepts for computers,
which could handle this. The Matrioshka Brain, is the theoretical megastructure, made up of billions of parts orbiting a star,
feeding on its radiation. A computer of this scale, would have enough
power to simulate many thousands, if not millions of humanities, at the same time. Other technologies, like high-end future quantum computers might lower the size drastically, so it might be possible to do this with a structure the size of a large city, or even smaller. But, only if there’s still someone around
to build the computer. Assumption three, advanced civilizations don’t destroy themselves. If there is a point at which all civilizations destroyed themselves, this whole discussion ends here. Looking into space, you’d expect to universe filled,
with millions of alien civilizations, but we see nobody. the reason for this might be, Great Filters. Great Filters are barriers life has to overcome,
like nuclear war, asteroids, climate change or a black hole generator. If life is inherently self-destructive,
then there are no simulations. We explain this in more detail, in our
Fermi Paradox video. Assumption four, super advanced civilizations, want to run simulations. When we speak of posthuman civilizations,
we don’t know what we’re dealing with To think we know what beings as powerful
as gods want, is pretty arrogant. Imagine the smartest ant on earth living
next to an amusement park, It’s curious about what humans are up to,
so you try to explain. Unfortunately, the ant just doesn’t understand. The concept of rollercoasters and standing
in lines and holidays and fun, doesn’t make sense to an ant living an ant life. It’s the same with us and a posthuman being, compared to them, we are ants. Running simulations for fun or science,
might be an absurdly stupid idea to them. But, if they do want to run simulations for whatever reasons and assumptions one, two, three are true too, then the chances are not zero that you
are living inside a simulation. Assumption five, if there are a lot of simulations, you are
probably inside a simulation. if there are simulated civilizations,
It’s likely that there are a lot of them. After all, we assume that post human beings have access to practically unlimited computing power. So if they run simulations, it would be convenient
to run millions or even billions of them. If there are billions of simulated universes, there are probably trillions and trillions of simulated conscious beings. which would mean that the vast majority of all conscious beings that will ever have existed, are simulated. So, for every conscious being made of flesh,
a billion simulated ones exists. Since we have no way of knowing if we are simulated or not, in this case, the chances of you being one
of the nine hundred and ninety nine million nine hundred and ninety nine thousand nine hundred ninety nine simulated ones, are pretty high. So, what you consider reality, might not be real at all You really might be… simulated. All of this is based on a lot of assumptions
that we can’t really test right now So many scientists disagree with
this whole thought experiment. So don’t burn your house down to test
if there will be glitches. If you are simulated, not that much changes for you you might be on a small planet speeding
through eternal nothingness, or a simulation inside a computer. your existence does not become
more or less scary and bizarre. All we can hope to do is try to live good lives,
and have a good time. And hope that if we actually are simulations
in a supercomputer, nobody trips over the power cable. Oh, oh, oh no, I think I just unplugged the simulation But what if that doesn’t matter, what if we are in one right now? What if you are simulated? Jake, over at Vsauce3 is looking into that. Click here to watch his video and
subscribe to his channel. Why are you still here? go over to Vsauce3 watch the video and subscribe, we promise, it’s worth your time…

100 thoughts on “Is Reality Real? The Simulation Argument

  1. We can be (part of) simulation of our universe created by beings from different unsimulated universe which is following different set of rules. Therefore limitations of our universe would not necessarily apply to them.

  2. My theory is that this goes on a loop forever …. we humans will create theese sort of simulations someday and we will start a new game then that game will one day come to this level again and so on and so forthh

  3. Living normal life
    Me: What a normal life…
    See a man flying
    Me: Probably he is in creative mode…
    Raining in summer
    Me: Wrong command…

  4. Life itself is the first self-evident truth. e.g. "Life is Most Important in Life" is The Most Important Truth in Life. All truths depend on that specific truth to then in turn be true themselves. Because this, "highest of our truths" truth is always true, AND because the only truth we know requires life, then life itself must also be eternal and exist. However, a simulated environment of our actual consciousness is not required and would have to be facilitated by a life form with higher intelligence. Because they would need to evolve to that point without destroying themselves they would have accepted Life is Most Important in Life as true and would never intentionally create something that causes pain to a consciousness unnecessarily. All life is Most Important.

  5. I posit that in a sufficiently advanced civilization – every member of a species is eventually digitized for energy efficiency reasons. This digital existence is then separated into a myriad different types of simulations that suit each individual's desired state of existence. Due to the elimination of mortality, scarcity and the practical omnipotence within these sub-universes, people lack meaning. This utter lack of meaning causes matrix-like simulations to be created for people to participate in and find meaning in the struggles presented to them. Ours is such a world.

  6. I don’t wanna know if everyone is in a simulation, I want to know if I’m the only one in the simulation and everyone is fake.

  7. If this is all a simulation then whats outside the simulation or maybe there is a bigger simulation simulating the simulation and if that is the case whats outside that simulation. This is not a philosophically interesting or useful concept.

  8. If we where in a simulation or where capable of making a simulated reality, what makes us think we or our simulator would be top level? If it’s possible, it’s ridiculous to think we aren’t in side a simulations simulations simulation.

  9. So this is going by the hitchikers guide theory I would assume lol. Everything is possible and nothing is possible, all are one and one is nothing, the only reality is there is no reality, so says dmt

  10. There's how to find out are we real: do something that could hurt you and see do you feel pain. If you do that means you're real.

  11. 0:53 "Impossible, because Big."
    Not the best argument there. But you'd be right about the idea that you only have to show the subjects the bits they actively observe… It's an interesting idea and is actually how storytelling works. The characters of a story can experience anything the author presents to them. But the book itself is rather small by comparison. And the characters don't even notice.
    One thing this video does not consider is the idea that whatever us running the universe exists outside the universe. No star powered brains or anything. Also, what if the 'self' was indivisible? Meaning, consciousness would not need to be simulated but instead, the participants are quite real entities. There's a lot of ways to think about this which the video did not cover.
    Also, the great filter concept doesn't really apply to the idea of a simulated universe. Humanity could easily be the only subjects.

  12. everything is simulation… what u think is real is just an ilussion. Get out matrix and break the simulation.. and dont be so serious after all its just a game.

  13. Is this why sometimes when I open the fridge I froze and forget why I opened it in the first place, is my player trying to save the game?

  14. Wait…
    So..
    A super intelligent super Beings with probably the power of Gods have us inside a simulation while we humans a curious race of people also do simulations using VR Wich means we're also super intelligent beings with probably the power of Gods and inside that VR simulation we might also be able to simulate a some what another curios race of beings that can also simulate other beings …
    Fascination 100

  15. Or maybe simply our reality is being simulated on a normal computer and we can we only think it’s so big because we are putting it into scale

  16. If you are a simulation then you could wake up tomorrow and be someone else.
    You could be me, and I could be you. Neither of us would have the slightest idea anything had changed.

  17. so uh if we are in a simulation then surely like, great filters dont matter cause they'd only be simulating us to save processing power so we wouldnt be able to know the answer.
    imma jus stop giving myself an existential crisis

  18. Imagine after “ death “ we wake up in some futuristic civilization where we are in some experimental room and we are basically highly Evolved beings who can’t die and basically immortal. Year is some 100978 something like that and whole world is just one society

  19. i can’t believe my fucking player made me struggle with an eating disorder for 2 years…. LIKE I UNDERSTAND THE GAME MAY BE MORE INTERESTING THAN ME EATING BUT PLEASE. FUCKING. FEED ME

  20. Imagine raiding area 51 and you suddenly hear a guard yelling: THEY ARE ESCAPING THE SIMULATION!

  21. Well since the fundamentals of our universe are absolute, if there were any simulations then everything and nothing would be a simulation at the same time.

  22. if we are in a simulation then we eventually will find a glitch or the beings who run the simulation will find out we are onto something an they will destroy us all

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