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Alternate Perceptions Magazine, November 2020

Rethinking the Possibility of an Emulated World

by: Diane Tessman

Sub-atomic particles compose our reality, but might these also be called pixels? Pixels are the particles which compose the computer world. If our world is composed of pixels, who or what created them? Is human DNA a form of synthetic biology? If so, who or what created our DNA? Is the shocking answer that we live in a super-computer simulated and emulated world?

Professor Nick Bostrom is the University of Oxford Director of the Future of Humanity Institute; his research on “Do we live in a computer simulation?” is highly respected. Rich Terrell, from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, has helped design missions to Mars, discovered four new moons around Saturn, Neptune and Uranus and taken pictures of the distant solar system. He also is a proponent of our reality being a computer emulation. A number of other respected physicists, astronomers, and even engineers are fascinated with the likelihood of this theory. Incidentally, the only difference between a computer simulation and a computer emulation is that the simulation remains external to the experiencer, while the computer emulation is within the individual as well. This emulation includes emotions, intuition, spiritual feelings, and so forth.

The idea that we exist inside a great computer which simulates and emulates our world and our universe, is repugnant to most of us. However, there are people who find it exciting. Investigating and searching to find the truth is what science should be all about, and it is no coincidence that spirituality is also about investigating and finding truth. I suspect that there is a larger spiritual truth to which all individual paths lead, and I suspect that larger truth is scientifically valid as well.

Our DNA can be "downloaded" into pixel form; usually DNA is expressed as TTGGGAGGCCGCCGAGGC (a sample). Northwestern University offers extensive research on this topic which can be found online. If you replace "A" with a dark grey pixel, "C" with a slightly lighter gray pixel, "T" with a still lighter grey pixel, and "G" with the lightest color grey pixel, you have the world of computer code. http://www.basic.northwestern.edu/.../genomes/g_append.htm.

High level scientists are even now conducting experiments to discover whether the universe exists within a simulation created by super-computers either of Earth’s future or created by an alien intelligence.

The Limited View, Theory #1: Aliens or Future Humans Are the Programmers

It seems that there are two ways of looking at the question, “Are we in a computer simulation?” We can look at it in a limited way, wondering if aliens from another world, or perhaps humans of the future, having created a quantum computer which has run a simulation of our universe. Is this incredible? In 2020, we now have quantum computers which are indeed running simulations of this universe as well as a variety of other possible universes (multiverses), so we can assume that our descendants in, for instance, 200 years, will be even better at it. Will the forms of life within a simulation eventually gain self-awareness?

If future humans are the programmers of our universe, it leads to a confusing paradox because we are the creators of computers in the first place. This is one of those “time conundrums” to which there is no answer as we view it with our limited knowledge, but maybe in 200 years, we will realize that humankind is in a seemingly infinite cycle of creating itself. Consciousness may hold the key.

Was it human explorers (explorers of space/time), who were the legendary “ancient aliens”? Did we come back and seed our own civilizations, even though we worked with the materials available at the time? Thus we have huge, mind boggling stone structures placed all around the planet. Structures from the Mayan, Egyptian, and many other ancient civilizations seem to echo each other and be equally mysterious. How could these have been built by primitive people? How could the stones weighting hundreds of tons have been moved?

“Advanced science is considered magic by primitive people,” to paraphrase Arthur C. Clarke. Certainly, quantum computers are advanced science; perhaps our human lives and the dynamic forms of life all around us on Earth, are that magic, and also, that advanced science. Perhaps it is possible that we are in the program of highly advanced humans from our own future.

Another limited view is that the beings who program our simulation are aliens from a distant planet. This theory assumes that on almost any planet on which life reaches a state of advanced intelligence, the sentient species will create/discover computer science. It will then progress over time as the sentient species progresses, and eventually quantum computers will be created which have the ability to have conscious lifeforms within the program who are self-aware. So, the advanced alien intelligence finds that in the cave days depicted in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the apes have now become primitive humanoids; it all unfolds within their computer emulation!

The Grander Option: Is the Universe a Self-Created, Holographic Simulation?

Might the universe be a hologram by its very definition and existence? Dr. Rudy Schild, astrophysicist, has put forth the theory that black holes have been misnamed. They are instead “magnetic eternally collapsing objects” (MECOs), and they or their event horizons may be the source of the hologram in which we exist.

Definitions of a hologram: 1) a three-dimensional image formed by the interference of light beams from a laser or other coherent light source. 2) A hologram is a physical structure that diffracts light into an image. The term “hologram” can refer to both the encoded material and the resulting image. Encoded? A hologram image is a simulation by definition.

From this we can theorize that if humans have the intelligence to create computers, the universe itself, which is an intelligent mind far beyond our ability to comprehend – has created holographic worlds and realities which are simulations. Spirituality tells us that we are sparks of the universe experiencing itself. Long story short, might quantum waves and particles be pixels, created by the universe itself? Particles on a Grid?

Fortunately, we don’t need to decide at this moment, whether our computer simulation is limited or as grand as the entire universe. In time, we will design a super-computer which simulates a living, seemingly organic world. This simulated world will include the development of the human species with our higher learning abilities. How will the minds within know their world is simulated? Perhaps they will not.

At the University of Washington, a super-computer is working to discover the truth of our existence. "Imagine the situation where we get a big enough computer to simulate our universe, and we start such a simulation on our computers," says Professor Martin Savage, a physicist working on University of Washington project. "If that simulation runs long enough, and has the same laws as our universe, then something like our universe will emerge within that simulation, and the situation will repeat itself within each simulation."

“The current understanding of string theory indicates that there are 10,500 universes with different laws that determine the behavior of particles within them. So it is certainly true, that with enough computer resources, theorists would like to explore these universes," he adds. Finite computer resources mean that space/time is not continuous but set on a grid with a finite volume, designed to create maximum energy subatomic particles. The direction these particles flow will depend on how they are ordered on the grid. University of Washington will be looking at the distribution of the highest energy cosmic rays in order to detect patterns that could suggest that the universe is the creation of some futuristic computer technology.

Particles on a grid? Are we indeed talking about the pixels of a computer?

If it does turn out that we are mere players in some sort of computer program, they suggest that there may be a way to interrupt the program and play with the minds of our creators. "One could imagine trying to figure out how to manipulate the code, communicate with the code and questions that appear weird to consider today," says Professor Savage.

How about re-programming the simulation like James Kirk did at Star Fleet Academy with the Kobayashi Maru simulation? How about escaping the matrix? What if our descendants, the future humans (who might have designed our own simulated world), are in a simulation too? Perhaps highly advanced aliens or transcendent masters operate an even bigger universal super-computer.

Another theory: Could this explain past lives? Perhaps your past lifetime is merely a parallel aspect of your emulated mind within the simulation - a different program of YOU. All sorts of paranormal and metaphysical ideas can be explained through the computer-simulation theory and this theory explains the anomalies of UFO and alien behavior as well.

Goodness, are we actually in a computer simulation in this universe which we know and love so well? Some very smart people feel this is the only answer to stubborn questions which don’t make sense with any other answer. Are the extreme distances involved, from star to star and from galaxy to galaxy, truly impossible? These vast distances become irrelevant in a simulated universe.

Could this be the reason Earth species are becoming extinct, often suffering from an immune deficiency disease which now involves many diverse species? Has our “Earth simulation” caught or been implanted with a computer virus and thus we are becoming a malfunctioning simulation? Could this be the reason for many things going wrong, from the structure of society and politics to the melting Arctic and Antarctic ice? Yes, it might sound ridiculous, but stop to consider what we have done with technical advancements today. Remember, super-computers now exist and are busy working away – and wait until they are quantum super-computers!

Do you ever have a glitch in reality? Perhaps déjà vu, a synchronicity, a premonition, or just a strange moment wherein an anomaly occurs which simply cannot happen? Perhaps the glitch is in the programming of your emulated reality. The implications are huge regarding the course of human history and everything. In a sense, this is the Theory of Everything!

Whether we are energy-simulations or organic, we are real and free! We bleed. We cry. We laugh. We love. We can affect our reality and adapt. No one should feel that life is any less because of this theory. Life is the same existence as we have always known. Life is life. When we manage to challenge the game and play with the minds of our creators, perhaps we graduate to becoming one of the creators. This is not unlike spiritual philosophies which tell us we reach Godhead after sufficient experiences as lesser beings. Or (a variation), we are all one small component of God, a pixel of God.

Sunday, March 03, 2024