Monday, February 14, 2011

Expanding Horizons

The following comment in the book review of Brian Greene's The Hidden Reality seems a bit weird but perhaps reality is indeed more than these pair of mundane eyes can see:
"If information is indeed the key to understanding nature, the question arises of whether the universe “is” a computer....computers will eventually become powerful enough to run simulations involving intelligent entities like human beings so realistically that the beings inside the sims think they’re living real lives....we may already be living inside such a simulation. He notes that simulations would be highly popular among the inhabitants of any civilization capable of running them. Terrestrial historians might, for instance, run thousands of sims to determine the results of altering Napoleon’s tactics at Waterloo, or social scientists run sims to predict how various pieces of social legislation will pan out. The implication of running sims in minutes that replicate events taking years is that the number of sims greatly exceeds the number of real people running them — in which case, the odds are that we’re living in a sim, “perhaps one created by future historians with a fascination for what life was like back on 21st-century earth".
Link to the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/books/review/Ferris-t.html

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