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Is reality a computer simulation?

I often hear people labeling my seminars, as "new age." Of course, I do not agree with the label. I find it confusing.

Confusing, because I would be labeled a classicist, if I based the seminars on the old Greek philosophies. Where did the Greeks get their ideas?... from the East. Where do I get my ideas?...from the philosphers, who predated the Greeks by millennia. The yogic philosophies and samkhya psychology were fairly well developed 5,000 years, ago. This is new age??

My efforts have been to bring ths ancient knowledge, into modern day relevance. Especially, relevance to my every day life and in my study of my reality.

One method, used to bring the ancient wisdom into modern life, is to change the metaphor. That is why I have written about quantum theory and holographic reality. To me, the modern reasearchers in physics are repeating the knowledge of the ancient metaphysics.

My method of understanding the metaphors is to translate from the original language, into English, French and German. English is my native language. French and German, while similar to English, have different metaphor.

Allow me to introduce an additional metaphor. Is reality a computer simulation? I mean this literally: you exist in a virtual reality simulated in a computer built by some advanced civilisation. Your brain, too, is merely a part of that simulation.

What grounds could we have for taking this metaphor seriously? Let us consider some of its preliminaries. One of these is the assumption of “substrate independence”. This is the idea that conscious minds could in principle be implemented not only on carbon-based biological neurons (such as those inside your head) but also on some other computational substrate such as silicon-based processors, or the new substrates, patented recently by IBM, which are thousands of times faster than silicon.

Of course, the computers we have today are not powerful enough to run the computational processes that take place in your brain. Even if they were, we wouldn’t know how to program them to do it. But ultimately, what allows you to have conscious experiences is not the fact that your brain is made of squishy, biological matter but rather that it implements a certain computational architecture.

Given substrate independence, it is in principle possible to implement a human mind on a sufficiently fast computer. Doing so would require very powerful hardware that we do not yet have. It would also require advanced programming abilities. The Chinese are probably the most capable programmers, for this. Although we will not be able to do this in the near future, the difficulty appears to be merely technical. There is no known physical law or material constraint that would prevent a sufficiently technologically advanced civilisation from implementing human minds in computers.

Our second preliminary is that we can estimate, at least roughly, how much computing power it would take to implement a human mind, with a virtual reality that would seem completely realistic. We can establish lower bounds on how powerful the computers of an advanced civilisation could be. Technological futurists have already produced designs for physically possible computers that could be built using advanced molecular manufacturing technology. The result of such an analysis is that a technologically mature civilisation that has developed at least those technologies that we already know are physically possible, would be able to build computers powerful enough to run an astronomical number of human-like minds, even if only a tiny fraction of their resources was used for that purpose.

If you are of such a computer simulated mind, and there is no no direct observational way for you to know, if you are or not; the virtual reality that you would be living in would look and feel perfectly real.

Have you ever thought much about the term "mental programming?"

Any questions??