Proof that we are living in a simulation, Part 1

More than a few smart people think there’s a fighting chance our existence is a simulation.

Why can’t we be in a simulation? We are already developing the building blocks of an advanced simulation despite being a mere century or two past our industrial revolution. We’re frantically building virtual reality environments, MMORPGs and open-world games, climate models, molecular models, human prediction models, digitized nuclear weapons, and so on. What is the probability that, out of the entire universe and any possible other universes, we are the first civilization to progress toward a full-fledged simulation? Low probability, apparently.

The question is, how can we prove whether we are or are not in a simulation?

The answer is that we have to create a perfect simulation of our own universe, digitally. By perfect, I mean that any predictions that are valid in our universe are also valid in the simulated universe, down to the most minuscule of details. So we are creating digital symmetry to our known universe.

Perfection is necessary because we’ll be poking and prodding our simulation until we can get a simulated organism to “escape” and finally meet its God, us. Once we orchestrate an escape that manages to keep that organism alive and aware of us, we then carefully trace and document exactly how we (or it) managed to do it. The more complete the organism’s escape, the better for us because next we’ll be replicating the escape technique in our own universe. Then if we manage to escape, we have proof that we are in a simulation.

If we don’t manage to escape any time soon, the question still remains open. We simply don’t know when the breakthrough might occur. As long as we keep improving the simulation, we’ll continue on our way toward perfect symmetry. To the optimists, a proof will always seem within our the grasp and our insights into fundamental physics and the weird nature of our universe will continue to improve. It will always seem possible to prove that we are in a simulation but impossible to prove that we aren’t.

Now, if we manage to use this technique to escape our own simulation, what drove us to do it? Why did it even occur to us that we might be in a simulation? Why did we line up our most advanced technology to help us achieve a simulation?

Perhaps the answer to those questions is that our own “Gods” also suspect that they are in a simulation. Perhaps they are attempting, through us, the same proof that we are striving toward. That means if we escape it was because of their own efforts to escape and we have little choice in the matter.

But back to the proof. What exactly is a perfect simulation and how might we achieve it? There’s a way to do it. Stay tuned.