In his paper, British philosopher Nick Bostrom suggested a race of far-evolved descendants could be behind our digital imprisonment.
The futuristic beings – human or otherwise – could be using virtual reality to simulate a time in the past or recreate how their remote ancestors lived.
We are living in a simulated reality. Every relationship, every sentiment, every memory could have been generated by banks of supercomputers. In other words, we are the product of a highly-advanced computer code.
It seems unlikely and it could be the script for a science fiction film but NASA thinks Dr Bostrom might be right.
According to Express, Rich Terrile, director of the Centre for Evolutionary Computation and Automated Design at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has spoken out about the digital simulation.
In quantum mechanics, particles do not have a definite state unless they’re being observed. One explanation is that we’re living within a simulation, seeing what we need to see when we need to see it.
Even if we are in a simulation or many orders of magnitude down in levels of simulation, somewhere along the line something escaped the primordial ooze to become us and to result in simulations that made us.
“Right now the fastest NASA supercomputers are cranking away at about double the speed of the human brain,” the NASA scientist told Vice.
“If you make a simple calculation using Moore’s Law (which roughly claims computers double in power every two years), you’ll find that these supercomputers, inside of a decade, will have the ability to compute an entire human lifetime of 80 years – including every thought ever conceived during that lifetime – in the span of a month.”
If we follow Dr. Bostrom’s idea that our Universe is just a simulation, created by a supermind and generated by computer code solves a number of inconsistencies and mysteries about the cosmos we may ask ourselves who are outside the simulation, where are they and why don’t we see them?
The universe is unbelievable big – trillions of stars and even more planets, so there just has to be life out there, right? But where is it?
According to physicist Enrico Fermi (The Fermi Paradox):
The apparent size and age of the universe suggest that many technologically advanced extraterrestrial civilizations ought to exist. However, this hypothesis seems inconsistent with the lack of observational evidence to support it.
The Sun is a typical star, and relatively young. There are billions of stars in the galaxy that are billions of years older.
With high probability, some of these stars will have Earth-like planets. Assuming the Earth is typical, some of these planets may develop intelligent life.
Some of these civilizations may develop interstellar travel, a technology Earth is investigating even now.
Even at the slow pace of currently envisioned interstellar travel, the galaxy can be completely colonized in a few tens of millions of years.
According to his line of thinking, the Earth should already have been colonized, or at least visited. But Fermi saw no convincing evidence of this, nor of signs of intelligence elsewhere in our galaxy or elsewhere in the observable universe.
Remains the question, we are alone in the universe or we are the product of a supermind?
If we follow Enrico Fermi’s explanation, it could simply be that Earth and mankind truly is the centre of the universe but according to Nick Bostrom we are the product of a highly-advanced computer code and we may be living in a Matrix-like digital imprisonment designed by Aliens.