Re: are we in a simulation?

From: John Collins <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 10:01:13 +0100

Stephen Paul King wrote:
>Does computational complexity (such as NP-Completeness, etc.) >and computational "power" requirements factor into the idea >of simulated worlds?

 Yes, I think that's a point I was trying to get accross in my previous post under this heading: That although in a certain sense we are simultaeously in lots of different universes, in some of which we are being 'simulated', we might expect never to find ourselves to be in a simulation if our universe is difficult to simulate. Which universe we are actually 'in' is only decided when we make new quantum mechanial measurements. The results of these measurements correspond to us finding new particles, or correlations between particles; the result of a long enough series of 'measurements' might correspond to our meeting an alien, and a sufficiently long series of measurements might yield the result that we meet aliens who turn out to be simulating us.
   Lets say we'd need to make 10^20 bits worth of measurements to have the possibility of finding someone simulating us, and outnof the 2^(10^20) possible results, only one result would show that w4e a re being 'simulated'. Then we would expect to find that we are not being simulated, and our universe would contain more information making it harder to simulate: If the length of the bit chain which we would have to measure to find that we are being simulated (which corresponds to the log of the amount of information aliens would have to contain to simulate us) increases linearly with the number of measurements we have already made, then the total probability if we lived forever, making more and more measurements, of us finding that we a re being simulated would be finite, and could be very small.
Received on Wed Jun 11 2003 - 04:53:37 PDT

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