Friday, October 14, 2016

Computer, end program!

Hey, did your mind just get blown by that two trillion galaxies thing? Huh? Really? It was like yesterday. But whatever, doesn't matter because the infinite wonder of the universe around us is all just a hoax. You've heard about this, right? Simulation Hypothesis? The theory that what we accept as reality is actually just an elaborate computer simulation? Kind of like that ridiculous movie, The Matrix. Yeah, you heard me, ridiculous.
Above: the human batteries the machines were using to power their
simulation so that the human batteries wouldn't know they were in a
simulation and being used as human batteries. (source: illogical plots)
Above: assorted hats, perfect for
holding onto in moments of surprise.
Did I just re-blow your mind? No? Good. Because after all, the idea is preposterous, insane and untestable. It's the kind of thing college kids come up with after a long night of Assassin's Creed and pot. Well hold on to your hats or, if you're not wearing a hat, why not try one on? I think it'd look good on you. Anyway, hold on to it because some ultra-rich Silicon Vally tech guy is not only trying to prove that we're all being Truman Show'd by aliens, but he's trying to find a way to get out. Which seems like a remarkably terrible idea.

It would explain a few things.
Look, I'm not saying that it's impossible that we're all living in some giant holodeck, I'm saying that if we are, breaking out of it is probably not the best move. The theory suggests that the universe as we know it, all two hundred trillion galaxies of it, are a simulation being run by aliens or a A.I. or humans way more advanced than us, possibly as some kind of game or experiment. We're basically living in The Sims, and maybe someone's throwing things at our civilization to see how we'll react. Hurricanes, pandemics, whatever.

In my defense, it's not nearly
as good as you remember.
Great. Anyway, the tech guy, who will doom us all? Sam Altman. The article about him in the New Yorker was written almost entirely in business-speak which I don't understand or care about, also says that he's got scientists working on a way to break the simulation. And then what? Well, nobody knows. With access to the inner workings of reality I suppose we could do anything. Like, anything. Live forever, fly, spout pseudo-philosophical nonsense while trying to look serious in wrap-around sunglasses. Yeah, like a dog with a bone.

Above: So this, but with reality.
Ok, god-like control of our universe sounds pretty awesome. Granted. But if everything we know is a super-realistic simulation, wouldn't messing with it, I don't know, skew the data? If I were the hypothetical ultra-advanced beings who built all of reality as some kind of science experiment and my Sims suddenly started flying around and learning Kung-Fu, I'd have to hit the reset button. I mean, the data would be useless, right?

Look, I'm not trying to sound all pro-alien overlord here, I'm just saying that on the off chance that Simulation Hypothesis fans are right and all of this is just running in someone's Xbox, maybe we shouldn't poke at the source code, you know?
For those keeping score, Silicon Valley's tech industry has not only made the
Bay Area completely unaffordable, it now threatens reality as we know it. Way to go.

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