Why I Think We Live in a Simulation.

Why it might be vital for us to create a simulation in the future and why we might be in one of them.

Sanjith Katta
The Startup
Published in
9 min readJul 3, 2020


Now I’m sure the first thing you picture when you read that title is me wearing a Tinfoil hat and writing this article. But let me tell you, I do not believe in random conspiracy theories, I don’t wear a Tinfoil hat or believe in crazy ideas such as the world being round; just kidding about the last one. But I want to take a more logical approach and reason out why it might be vital for us to create a simulation in the future and why we might be in one of them.

Before we begin, Let me clarify what type of simulation I mean when I use that word. Based on my previous conversations, I have realized that there are two most types of simulations. The first where each of our actions has a consequence, and our choices are our own; the second type is where our actions are predetermined and are not at all under our control. I believe the former possibility, for good reasons.

Let’s take a look at the different reasons why:

Our Biology.

From the second we wake up to the last thought before deep sleep, we are at the helm of our body, controlling where we go, what we do, what we eat, who we meet. Literally everything we do is because we, well, made ourselves do it. Yeah, sometimes we are forced to do things we aren’t fond of, but we still have a choice, do it or don’t. Either option has a different consequence, but it is still under our control.

We often fail to remember just how much power we have as a human being, with our ability to think, remember, recall, and converse with such ease. But in the midst of all that, we fail to question why we might have developed such a skill and why these skills that are so rudimentary to us are such a rare occurrence in nature. Now before you drown me with comments about Darwinian Transition and all the evidence we have pointed to the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA) being the root of life, let me stop you. Yes, I am aware! But I would like to present to you the possibility that prokaryotes’ initial existence might be part of the entire simulation.

What I’m saying is that the simulation could be a test to see what sort of species would become the most dominant in a given ecology. Why that species have developed superior traits and how that species would control, create, and conserve the environment that it so profoundly calls its habitat? As you are probably aware that 50,000 years ago, we shared the Earth with Neanderthals, yet we don’t see any Neanderthal walking around today. However, some of their genes are carried forward into humans because a few of them might have had some romantic encounters with us. Every time in history, when Homo sapiens and Neanderthals crossed paths, we survived, and they didn’t. Some say that it was because of the advancement in our technology, our desire to fit into social groups — keeping us safe — and also due to our superior understanding of our bodies and how to use it to our advantage. No matter what, the better species outlive the worse. So I think we passed the test.

However, that wasn’t the only time we had to compete with other species to survive, Long before, when we were more like our primate cousins, we had to struggle and survive to evolve into what we have become today. Some genes that helped us adapt are the reason we, and no other species, have evolved to the extent that homo sapiens have. So testing different gene combinations would generate the best alternative.

Let’s say that you have a task to find the most effective drug/cure for a particular disease. What do you do? There is a good chance you follow these steps:

  1. Conduct trials to find chemicals that can eliminate the cause of the disease.
  2. Develop different ratios of compounds that seem to affect the disease while proving safe for human consumption.
  3. Culture each batch to find the composition that yields the best results
  4. Run tests on those batches to find long term data and obtain results of the highest accuracy possible.
  5. Then you can get it approved by a federal agency and make the drug available for public distribution.

While we are incredibly familiar with the concept of testing multiple variations to find the best one, we never once think if we are test subjects in one such experiment. And the scary truth is, we could be. I do not have solid proof because if I did, I would probably be *boop* deleted from the system/universe. So I can only assume and acknowledge the existence of one such implementation based on logical and sensible arguments together with axioms.

“Alright, I think I can agree with you, but why might someone want to create a simulation targeted on testing humans?” asks Mr.Z ( He exists to ask the tough questions).

Simulations in the real world

Well, I’m glad you asked. The answer lies in our innate need to get the best when we can. Any human being prefers to choose the ‘best available’ option in any given situation, and if that is not attainable, only then will he choose the ‘most attainable’ option. So, why do we want the best?

We want the best job so we can be happy doing what we love as well as earn a lot of money. We want the best friends so we can spend quality time with people who care about us and promise cherishable memories in exchange for the most significant resource, our time. We want to eat at the best restaurant, for excellent food, purchase at the best fashion outlet for top-tier apparel, own the best car for the classiest looks and performance, and most importantly, live with the best partner so we can enjoy our life no matter what.

Unfortunately, to get the best, you need to try a lot of good, bad, worse, and worst. Then you can safely conclude that what you have chosen is the best. We perform these trials to test different products, which are similar to the simulations that are being run to get the best human civilization possible. And what do you do when you find something that fits the worse or worst category? You remove/delete/forget about it. Isn’t that what Darwinism suggests? Only the fittest survive because they are the best. We see the same in Engineering, Marketing, heck even in writing. No writer published all of their work. They submit to the world what they feel is their best work. And the only path to finding the best is through everything that fails to be the best.

To find the most aerodynamic car, you make various alterations to the design and test it multiple times in a wind tunnel. To invent the light bulb, Edison and his engineers had many failed elements, methods, and circuits. To take us soaring in the skies, the Wright Brothers’ numerous ideas were proven useless until a few reliable ones were found. So the key is to try until we succeed.

“Ok, let’s run the tests, but wait a minute, why would you need more than 108 Billion test samples?” exclaims Mr.Z.

How many times?

Yup, that’s how many Homo Sapiens have existed on planet Earth. So if Jeff Bezos gave $1 to every person that ever lived, he would still have close to $40 Billion in his wallet. Alright, talking about the Amazon King made the number of humans seem small, but let me remind you, A Billion is a one followed by nine zeros. 108,000,000,000; that’s the number of humans to have lived, and there’s a good chance no two human beings have the same DNA make-up. According to Forbes, based on estimates, there are approximately 60 new mutations in every human being. With 7 billion of us living, that’s 420 billion different variants, more than the total number of humans to have lived. But It doesn’t stop there. A more accurate calculation yields a number so high, calculators cannot process it. There can exist 3x10⁶¹⁴ different variations in our genes, and that’s more than enough samples, In my opinion.

Is it even possible to run such a simulation? I mean, if it’s anything like the best video game renderings we have, it is evident that the processing power required to render so many polygons is going to be tremendous. Quantum computers are theoretically potent. Nevertheless, according to scientists, it would be tough to simulate the entire universe. However, I feel that we do n’ t need to simulate the whole universe.

I feel that we can adopt a few ideas from the Truman Show. They didn’t have to recreate the entire Earth to make Truman Burbank believe that he lived an authentic life. All they had to do was create a big enough area to make him feel it was the real world.

Let’s consider a video game such as GTA V, which is probably the closest to real life in terms of graphics, physics, and other ideas we have in the real world. Anyone who has played the game would know that the entire map on GTA is not rendered all the time when the game is running. Only the part of the map where the player exists in is rendered with the highest quality. As you move around, the new region will be rendered and so on. To draw lines to the real world, we don’t need a complete render of the universe to make it seem real. For our current level of technological advancement, A good use of processing power would be to render the Earth, The Solar System, and maybe parts of the Milky Way. The rest of the universe could just be an image projected with high quality, that can emit not only visible light but also the different types of radiation on the Electromagnetic Spectrum.

But we are getting data from satellites that have traveled so far into space. When the Voyager 1 and 2 keep going deeper into space, they might be approaching the image that projects to us, the universe. But it would be safe to assume that the region that could be observed by the sensors on the probe will be simulated to give a better quality image and data. When you are running a simulation with a lot of processing power, almost anything is possible.

Only simulating what is necessary and projecting an image of the rest of the universe could be a reasonable technique to keep the simulation working while not overdoing it. With these simulations, we can run tests with different DNA make-ups of humans to find the optimum set of characteristics.

Fine, let’s say we run a lot of tests to find the most optimum human beings, now what? Demands Mr.Z impatiently.

The Golden Egg.

The same thing we do when we find the most optimum solution to a problem, implement it. Although I do not know the specifics, I am confident if we are all trials in the lab, our overlords are looking for a specific set of requirements for a human being, and when they find them, they will stop the simulation, ending what we call here our lives. Pretty straight-forward.

We have already come so far in science that we understand how to change the very code that makes us function, our DNA. Gene sequencing has become exponentially convenient with CRISPER, and our understanding has vastly improved. At this rate, we will be on track to creating genetically modified, nay, genetically manufactured humans in no time. Our current morals restricting it would soon be dust in the air, just like the ones that prevented the use of artificial methods to improve our appearance are slowly disappearing.

On a deeper level, we all crave for utopia or something close to it. No one likes the chaos, uncertainty, and torture that we must endure every day. Yes, our lives seem fabulous on certain days, albeit some days, we feel the weight of a thousand elephants on our shoulders. Given a choice, would you not prevent your future generations from experiencing such perpetual pain? Well, I would, even if it required me to build a simulation to find the best human traits that would contribute towards building a utopian empire in the perfect environment.



Sanjith Katta
The Startup

Blogger. Tech evangelist. Entrepreneur. I write to express.