Over the weekend someone told me, “Drop the logic; embrace the real.” The short version of my response was, “I have no idea what this means.”
Yesterday as I was walking to the bus stop I was listening to The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos. Yet, I was still trying to get my mind around the implications of “Drop the logic; embrace the real” without concluding such a statement was an invitation to delusionville.
The author was talking (literally, he was reading his own book) about simulations of “universes” and how we might detect if we are in a simulated universe such as those explored in Hollywood with movies like “The Matrix“. Compared to some of the first alternate computer games I was aware of such as the text based game Zork computer games do an amazing job of creating simulated universes. Combined with the predictions of Ray Kurzweil in The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology we can imagine we are getting close (perhaps less than 40 years) from creating virtual universes which will be extremely difficult to distinguish from reality.
One of the suggestions the author made was that if we know of existence of millions or billions of virtual universes, such as those instantiated by all the people playing video games, and we question the reality of the universe we live in then the following logical conclusion might be entirely valid. Since we know that there are X million virtual universes in existence and only one universe that we have questions about the most likely answer is that the universe in question is also a virtual universe.
I’m pretty sure my friend hadn’t encouraged me to “Drop the logic” with anything this profound in mind but I decided they weren’t necessarily a strong candidate for occupying a padded cell either.