Monday, November 17, 2008
BUTTERFLIES. The fabric of reality has been disrupted, violated. If the United States of America can elect Barack Obama as president, we are either living in the Twilight Zone or we are being given proof that reality itself is not what we think it is. There's plenty of precedent for questioning the reality of the reality we're told about. Here's the latest in a long line: a guy who argues quite seriously that we're all living in a video game:
[T]he generation of a full-immersion simulation is not only feasible, but also likely some time in the next 20-30 years. So who is to say that we aren't already in one? In fact, Nick Bostrom's Simulation Argument makes a compelling case that we probably are.
The argument goes like this…
Someday, we will have the ability to generate and experience these simulations (the time at which this occurs is called the posthuman phase). And when we do, we would generate millions of them. From a logical standpoint, he says that one of three scenarios must be true:
1. We never get to the posthuman phase because we destroy ourselves.
Or do we? (Not if our wife is Claudia Black Ours is.)
2. We never get to the posthuman phase because we make a conscious decision not to pursue this technology. Personally, I throw out this scenario as unrealistic. When faced with any technology that has inherent dangers (nuclear energy, nanotech, cloning, generating energies in particle accelerators that are sufficient to create a black hole), when have we ever made a decision not to pursue it?
Sure. But bad examples are instructive. Learning can occur.
3. We do achieve posthumanism. And, since the odds that we are living in one of the millions of generated simulations is much higher than the odds that we just happen to be in a reality musing about the possibilities 20 years hence, we are most probably living in a simulation.
We all have this power. That's why Instapunk didn't die at 19.
He was every bit as doomed as Neo. Didn't die. Bug? For sure.
Therefore, if you subscribe to his logic and have an optimistic view of where we are going as a species, you have to conclude that we are probably living in a simulation. [YouTube inserts mine]
I'd add a few other points to his argument. If we're experiencing simulations, some of them at least are experiments designed to see if we can recognize that that's what they are. Everybody who's experiencing this particular simulation has already experienced at least three impossible anomalies given the understanding we're supposed to share of human history.
1. We didn't die in a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Nothing in human history the way we were taught it explains the fact that a desperate totalitarian regime would choose to yield power rather than call down all the thunder and lightning at its command in an act of self-immolation such as Hitler wanted and tried to effect. It makes no sense. Those of us who ddn't experience that end of the world but a miracle instead are probably locked in a video game that lets us live multiple lives.
2. We didn't experience a technological armageddon on January 1, 2000. As we've even discussed here before, there's no very good explanation for that non-event. Another video game reboot we just don't remember.
3. Now we have elected the most inexperienced and unqualified president of the most powerful nation on earth ever. You'd have to go back to Caligula to find an appropriate analogy. It's Level 7 of the hardest part of the game. Are you up to it?
Yes. You are. You're in the same simulation with us, and we aways survive. It's always the others who feel the worst effects, the violence, the disease, the poverty, the genocide. We're going to be okay. Just don't lose your head. Keep looking in every nook and cranny for all the weapons, supplies, and rejuvenating good stuff it's going to take to enable us to survive to the next level.
It's a game. It's not real. And we know what we're looking for. A simulation that wants us to go along with the loss of individual identity in favor of bureaucratic groupthink is also going to have software that doesn't quite work. Because it was written by groupthink cartoon dudes.
Don't tell me you haven't encountered the blue screen of
death at MSNBC during the past two years. Nothing but.
Don't you notice that it's all dumber and slower than it should be somehow? The DailyKos is a major political influence? The New York Times and the Washington Post are really written by intelligent professional journalists? Andrew Sullivan is conscious? Maureen Dowd is an example of an intelligent woman? Chris Matthews is a journalist? Keith Olbermann is a high school graduate? Please. Please! Cease being alarmed. These are all symptoms of effed up gaming software. We're living in an indescribably bizarre video game experiment, programmed by morons. Look for the Microsoft moments in everyday life. And don't forget them when you see them. That's how you survive the Obamatrix.
See you on the other side. After the reset.