Reading this will contribute to annihilation of our universe, if I'm right.

Ugicywapih

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You monster.

It's a pleasure to meet a like-minded fellow like yourself.

To begin with, you may be aware there is some [http://www.businessinsider.com/neil-degrasse-tyson-thinks-the-universe-might-be-a-simulation-2016-4?IR=T] discussion [https://phys.org/news/2012-10-real-physicists-method-universe-simulation.html] going on right now as to whether our universe is a simulated one or not.
One of the better arguments for this notion is, assuming that a sufficiently advanced technical civilization would in all likelihood have the means to simulate (albeit most likely in an imperfect fashion) a universe of its own, whether for research, entertainment or something else entirely. Should that be the case, the number of simulated sophonts created by that civilization would vastly outstrip the number of the "real" people belonging to it, not to mention simulated folks might be able to create further simulations within their universe, further expanding the overall number of simulated people. Logically then, with the number of sims far exceeding that of true meatspace beings, odds of being born in a simulation are much greater than those of being really real.

Another thing you may have heard of is Fermi's Paradox [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fermi_paradox]. How does that tie in? Gaming!
Many videogames (it could be argued it's all of them, to some degree) contain elements of simulation and some of them simulate entire worlds. However, in order to save processing power, simulations are not uniform - they focus on a certain area (the world around the player in Skyrim, the set area map in Dwarf Fortress...) that's important from the point of view of game mechanics and the player, while creating a much rougher simulation of more distant events (distant skylines being just more or less painted on the horizon, the way DF external settlements and history operate in a vastly simplified manner...

Assuming we are indeed sims, the rig that we run on, no matter how powerful, cannot possibly possess unlimited processing power. It would then make sense, that in creating a sim universe, it would, much like our games albeit on a far greater scale, establish a point of focus and run everything else by simplified mechanics - and given how complex life is, not to mention an advanced technical civilization like ours, this could serve as an explanation for Fermi's Paradox - out-of-focus mechanics simply don't support (sentient) life.

How does learning this annihilate universe?

Universe's point of focus being anchored somewhere around Earth (or Solar System or something... You know, our stellar neighborhood) would indicate something unique to this area is the point of the whole simulation, the "protagonist" in game terms - and humanity is the prime candidate here.
That would mean we are being watched directly by a very specific God - the almighty Celestial Admin.
That would also mean there are certain parameters to the simulation - for instance a manned mission beyond the POF area would likely be doomed to end in a catastrophe. Another key parameter however, could be inferred from the fact our world is generally set up in such a way as to not alert us to the fact we're being simulated - we're not supposed to be aware of this, or to break the fourth wall.
This is of course all conjecture, but it's conjecture made without huge leaps of logic and based on very specific observations and it indicates that realizing we live in a simulation is likely to prompt admin action - may be just modding the system on the fly (also known as "miracles"), a rollback, a reset or, in the most drastic case, just pulling the plug on the Universal Server.

So hey, wanna make a difference? Spread the news!

Just making sure, jeopardizing existence is not against CoC, right?
 

Kyrian007

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No problem
You'll be fine.
 

Thaluikhain

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I was expecting this to be about hastening the heat death of the universe. Somewhat.

Which using your computer to do this is contributing to. Somewhat.
 

Addendum_Forthcoming

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Thaluikhain said:
I was expecting this to be about hastening the heat death of the universe. Somewhat.

Which using your computer to do this is contributing to. Somewhat.
You can hasten the destruction of Earth by going outside and doing donuts on the street with your motorcycle or car.
 

Johnlives

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So does your existence, check out entropy. I hope you're proud.

Are there any realities we've created where the number of intelligences outweigh we meat people (perspective depending)? (If not that puts us at the bottom rung of the sim)

Also you've assumed a single observer. We're multiplayer.

Unlimited processing power? Admin's PC master race, keeps on upgrading, from certain perspectives as good as unlimited.

And there's assumption that they're looking at the humans. You ever looked at a fish tank? Fish are fun to watch.

Then you've assummed the admin cares about the sim as it not just in it for the lulz.
 

Drathnoxis

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I fail to see how Fermi's Paradox is a paradox. It's not remotely paradoxical. There are many logical reasons for why we have not yet been contacted by intelligent life.
 

Schadrach

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So what, planck length is just the resolution of the simulation, and planck time is our tick rate?
 

Ugicywapih

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Thaluikhain said:
I was expecting this to be about hastening the heat death of the universe. Somewhat.

Which using your computer to do this is contributing to. Somewhat.
Eh, heat death of the universe is only its "destruction", in the sense that it would become unlivable (and thus useless) from our perspective, at least it wouldn't stop existing whatsoever.

Johnlives said:
A couple very good points! Let me answer in order:
Johnlives said:
So does your existence, check out entropy. I hope you're proud.
As above, heat death of the universe is a manner of its destruction, but it isn't quite as total as absolute annihilation. Also, I recall reading a theory that due to the irreversible, unstoppable nature of entropy, it could be considered a measure of time - so, I guess everything contributes to destruction of the universe, in a way, yes, but putting it like that is a bit like saying everyone commits a form of suicide by aging.
Me? I'm being proactive here, by posting this I'm taking decisive action in not just petty erosion of the complex systems that enable life but in absolute eradication of all that is and ever was. Please don't lump me in with ambitionless bottom feeder world destroyers like that.

Johnlives said:
Are there any realities we've created where the number of intelligences outweigh we meat people (perspective depending)? (If not that puts us at the bottom rung of the sim)
I wouldn't say so, since AFAIK we haven't yet created a true self-aware AI (although our idea of the inner workings of consciousness are still quite vague, so it's kind of hard to even tell how far we are from that objective).
That being said, we're still enjoying a fast pace of technological progress, so (while according to that theory, bottom rung is generally the most likely) we still stand a chance of creating a matryoshka reality of our own later down the line.

Johnlives said:
Also you've assumed a single observer. We're multiplayer.
Now, this is a little vague since I don't know if it refers to my point of focus narrative or the odds of appearing in a shallow or deep sim.
Regarding the former, it only makes sense if we think of humanity as players - it could however also be seen as a part of the playground like in a single player strategy (which is more what I've been having in mind) - it's just that this element would, apparently, not be designed to function out of focus.
If you mean the odds of appearing in a shallow/deep sim (or even "real reality"), this does rely on the assumption of a certain equality of consciousness - that if you pool together all the existing sentients across all sims, deep or shallow, and the main reality, your odds of being each specific individual are equal, so you'll spawn in a reality with more independent entities. This assumption stems from our (my?) limited understanding of the nature of consciousness and is likely to be, at least to a degree, incorrect (for instance AFAIK brain hemispheres act with some degree of independence and talking to someone without raising your voice too much can supposedly elicit different responses based on from which side you approach them, indicating normal human psyche is not as uniform as we tend to believe), but in the absence of a clear system for quantifying the "strength" of consciousness and its structure, I find this assumption of equality acceptable as the simplest possible model.

Johnlives said:
Unlimited processing power? Admin's PC master race, keeps on upgrading, from certain perspectives as good as unlimited.
This relies on an assumption that we're an important enough project to receive upgrades. Furthermore, it's contingent on the assumption that there is no upper ceiling for technological progress, whereas, in theory, it should for example be impossible to write an amount of data within a system greater than the amount of data necessary to perfectly describe it - this would mean that either the system simulating us has data storage bigger than its point of focus (and that's assuming near-perfect write efficiency), or there should be noticeable granularity (think pixelization) on super-small scale, that will grow in scale as we go down the sim ladder (incidentally, I recall reading an article claiming this may have been recorder, but the results for that particular experiments weren't entirely conclusive anyway).


Johnlives said:
And there's assumption that they're looking at the humans. You ever looked at a fish tank? Fish are fun to watch.
True enough - again, I'm looking from the perspective of trying to find a unique feature of the apparent POF area and humanity fits the bill well enough, plus it would make sense that a the simulators would want to watch simulated entities rather than dead space rocks and gasballs (as evidenced by the distinct shortage of games featuring no life whatsoever).

Johnlives said:
Then you've assummed the admin cares about the sim as it not just in it for the lulz.
Yeah, I guess he might be, but pointing that out would detract from the sense of existential terror I'm looking to instill in the readers (although granted, the notion of existing for the lulz is also somewhat disheartening).

Drathnoxis said:
I fail to see how Fermi's Paradox is a paradox. It's not remotely paradoxical. There are many logical reasons for why we have not yet been contacted by intelligent life.
Many *possible* reasons, yes, just as there are some reasons why they might want to contact us. I'm not saying this is the only possible explanation for Fermi's Paradox, just that it fits well with an another far-out theory in a manner that I hadn't seen explored before.

Kwak said:
This is why people think the earth is flat.
No, you're flat!

Because you're probably a healthy and well-adjusted person without a significant belly! So there! >:-0
 

Terminal Blue

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Eh, I always saw this an example of how a logically sound premise can still be batshit insane.

The problem is in that it requires us to assume that there is a real universe (universe A) with numerous simulated universes within it. We are then supposed to weigh up the mathematical probability of us being in universe A versus universe B, C, D or whatever, including all the simulated universes created by people within simulated universes. This leads us to the conclusion that there is very little chance we are in universe A.

However, this is not a safe assumption, because are not simply weighing up the chance of us being in a real universe versus numerous simulated universe, but we must also account for the possibility that universe A never creates simulations at all, or has not done so yet. If universe A is the only universe, then if we assume a "real" universe exists at all, it must be our universe.

So Fermi's Paradox, rather than evidencing that we are in a simulation, could in fact just be evidence that no other life has reached a level of technological sophistication required to do magical things like build perfectly simulated universes with billions of artificial life forms, or to zip around in defiance of the laws of physics as we know them. Maybe any alien society with the power to manipulate the universe in this way will inevitably destroy itself due to some rando building an antimatter bomb in his shed, or maybe those who develop simulations don't use them for digital bloodsports but actually just go and live amazing hedonistic lives in them and stop progressing as a society because noone wants to unplug themselves from the neverending orgasm simulator and live in this horrible, horrible universe when they could just create a far better one for themselves.

The above are just fun examples, but the general principle about the maths holds true. We can't just assume that multiple universes already exist.

If you want some kind of existential dread. We live in a universe which could hypothetically as we speak be being devoured by vacuum decay, meaning there is a theoretical possibility that all our lives could end at any moment. The best answer, as always, is don't worry about it.