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Are We Living In "The Matrix"?

Rational_Thinker9119
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6/27/2016 12:43:47 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
We now know that matter is merely virtual particle fluctuations in the vacuum. This is very strange indeed if our reality isn't virtual, but if it is then it makes perfect sense and would be expected. Also there are facts about our universe which are brute facts and arbitrary if we assume reality isn't virtual, but make perfect sense if reality is virtual. Mass, energy, and spacetime are quantized at the Planck level, but why? It seems to be arbitrary. However, if the universe is a virtual reality then we would expect digitization, which would be why mass, energy, and spacetime are quantized. We know Special Relatity entails a universal speed limit (the speed of light), but why did the universe have to be that way? It seems to be arbitrary and a brute fact of physics. However, if the universe is a virtual reality then there would naturally be a processing rate which would explain the existence of a universal speed limit without brushing it off as "that's just the way it is". Also, anybody who has had too many screens open at once on their desktop can tell you that it slow things down quite a bit (the frame rate drops). This would explain time dilation (when time slows down near bodies with a lot of mass). However, if reality is not virtual then time dilation is "just the way the universe works" without any underlying reason for it all. Mass curving space would be akin to a processing gradient which bends the transmission. The laws of physics also have stunning algorithmic simplicity, why though? That's just the way it is? A brute fact? Or does it have to do with the code our universe is programmed with? Every photon and electron are the same; there have never been any measured differences between two photons, or between two electrons. We can conceive of a universe that didn't have to be this way. However, if the universe is virtual then it had to be that way due to digital equivalence! Also in quantum mechanics there is something in called quantum tunneling where a physical object can suddenly appear past an an impassible barrier. If reality isn't virtual then this makes little sense, but if reality is virtual then this akin to state transitions (entity processing spread across a network that "restarts" at any point).

In conclusion? There are almost countless scientific facts about our universe that are just arbitrary, brute, and downright absurd and make no sense. However, all these facts make perfect sense if we are living in a virtual reality. The universe behaves exactly as it would if it were a simulation, holographic and virtual. It would be very unlikely that the universe acts exactly like a virtual reality but it wasn't. So because the virtual reality hypothesis explains way more than the non-virtual realty hypothesis (which is filled with arbitrary brute facts), then we can confidently conclude that we probably live in The Matrix. So remember don't try and bend the spoon, that's impossible, only try and realize the truth... There is no spoon ;)
Rational_Thinker9119
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6/27/2016 1:30:07 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
Also in a virtual reality you only see what we need to see. If you are driving in Grand Theft Auto and you are about to turn right, the structures existing on the right don't realize themselves until the character looks in that direction. In quantum mechanics (at least the standard formulation, particles don't have definite positions until an observation/ measurement is made then the wave-function collapses. If reality isn't virtual then there is no reason why our physics should be like this. It's very arbitrary and strange. If reality is virtual however, this is exactly what we would expect!
Shawn_Hartnell
Posts: 103
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7/3/2016 6:49:13 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/27/2016 1:30:07 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Also in a virtual reality you only see what we need to see. If you are driving in Grand Theft Auto and you are about to turn right, the structures existing on the right don't realize themselves until the character looks in that direction. In quantum mechanics (at least the standard formulation, particles don't have definite positions until an observation/ measurement is made then the wave-function collapses. If reality isn't virtual then there is no reason why our physics should be like this. It's very arbitrary and strange. If reality is virtual however, this is exactly what we would expect!

The computer that creates your experience of your "matrix" is your brain. :) Complicated physics not required. ;)
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/3/2016 10:03:06 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/3/2016 6:49:13 AM, Shawn_Hartnell wrote:
At 6/27/2016 1:30:07 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Also in a virtual reality you only see what we need to see. If you are driving in Grand Theft Auto and you are about to turn right, the structures existing on the right don't realize themselves until the character looks in that direction. In quantum mechanics (at least the standard formulation, particles don't have definite positions until an observation/ measurement is made then the wave-function collapses. If reality isn't virtual then there is no reason why our physics should be like this. It's very arbitrary and strange. If reality is virtual however, this is exactly what we would expect!

The computer that creates your experience of your "matrix" is your brain. :) Complicated physics not required. ;)

The point I'm making is that the brain is digital, and that the virtual reality hypothesis better explains physical facts than the assumption that virtual reality is non-virtual ;)
Shawn_Hartnell
Posts: 103
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7/3/2016 11:06:30 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/27/2016 12:43:47 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
We now know that matter is merely virtual particle fluctuations in the vacuum. This is very strange indeed if our reality isn't virtual, but if it is then it makes perfect sense and would be expected.

How so?
Shawn_Hartnell
Posts: 103
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7/3/2016 11:11:10 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 6/27/2016 12:43:47 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
We now know that matter is merely virtual particle fluctuations in the vacuum. This is very strange indeed if our reality isn't virtual, but if it is then it makes perfect sense and would be expected. Also there are facts about our universe which are brute facts and arbitrary if we assume reality isn't virtual, but make perfect sense if reality is virtual. Mass, energy, and spacetime are quantized at the Planck level, but why? It seems to be arbitrary. However, if the universe is a virtual reality then we would expect digitization, which would be why mass, energy, and spacetime are quantized. We know Special Relatity entails a universal speed limit (the speed of light), but why did the universe have to be that way? It seems to be arbitrary and a brute fact of physics. However, if the universe is a virtual reality then there would naturally be a processing rate which would explain the existence of a universal speed limit without brushing it off as "that's just the way it is". Also, anybody who has had too many screens open at once on their desktop can tell you that it slow things down quite a bit (the frame rate drops). This would explain time dilation (when time slows down near bodies with a lot of mass). However, if reality is not virtual then time dilation is "just the way the universe works" without any underlying reason for it all. Mass curving space would be akin to a processing gradient which bends the transmission. The laws of physics also have stunning algorithmic simplicity, why though? That's just the way it is? A brute fact? Or does it have to do with the code our universe is programmed with? Every photon and electron are the same; there have never been any measured differences between two photons, or between two electrons. We can conceive of a universe that didn't have to be this way. However, if the universe is virtual then it had to be that way due to digital equivalence! Also in quantum mechanics there is something in called quantum tunneling where a physical object can suddenly appear past an an impassible barrier. If reality isn't virtual then this makes little sense, but if reality is virtual then this akin to state transitions (entity processing spread across a network that "restarts" at any point).

In conclusion? There are almost countless scientific facts about our universe that are just arbitrary, brute, and downright absurd and make no sense. However, all these facts make perfect sense if we are living in a virtual reality. The universe behaves exactly as it would if it were a simulation, holographic and virtual. It would be very unlikely that the universe acts exactly like a virtual reality but it wasn't. So because the virtual reality hypothesis explains way more than the non-virtual realty hypothesis (which is filled with arbitrary brute facts), then we can confidently conclude that we probably live in The Matrix. So remember don't try and bend the spoon, that's impossible, only try and realize the truth... There is no spoon ;)

It seems to me that you are calling anything for which the reasons are unknown to be arbitrary.

Is it possible we simply don't know yet? Otherwise, a long time ago you'd be saying. Matter is quantized in atoms. That's a brute fact, arbitrary.
keithprosser
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7/3/2016 11:41:29 AM
Posted: 5 months ago
I think that is a fair point. I'd say we don't know any positive reason to reject the 'matrix/brain in vat' hypothesis, but as long as our information is known to be imperfect it is premature to assert that we do live in a simulation.
Perhaps amongst the most glaring gaps in human knowledge are a) the incompatibility of GR and QM and b) the vexed question of the nature of consciousness. I think we need better 'handles' on those issues before prouncing anything too definite!

A problem I have with all this idealism based stuff is that it doesn't seem to suggest any way forward. It seems to me that in order to do any science at all - to learn anything - we have to ignore idealism and proceed on the assumption of realism anyway.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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7/3/2016 3:03:12 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/3/2016 11:11:10 AM, Shawn_Hartnell wrote:
At 6/27/2016 12:43:47 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
We now know that matter is merely virtual particle fluctuations in the vacuum. This is very strange indeed if our reality isn't virtual, but if it is then it makes perfect sense and would be expected. Also there are facts about our universe which are brute facts and arbitrary if we assume reality isn't virtual, but make perfect sense if reality is virtual. Mass, energy, and spacetime are quantized at the Planck level, but why? It seems to be arbitrary. However, if the universe is a virtual reality then we would expect digitization, which would be why mass, energy, and spacetime are quantized. We know Special Relatity entails a universal speed limit (the speed of light), but why did the universe have to be that way? It seems to be arbitrary and a brute fact of physics. However, if the universe is a virtual reality then there would naturally be a processing rate which would explain the existence of a universal speed limit without brushing it off as "that's just the way it is". Also, anybody who has had too many screens open at once on their desktop can tell you that it slow things down quite a bit (the frame rate drops). This would explain time dilation (when time slows down near bodies with a lot of mass). However, if reality is not virtual then time dilation is "just the way the universe works" without any underlying reason for it all. Mass curving space would be akin to a processing gradient which bends the transmission. The laws of physics also have stunning algorithmic simplicity, why though? That's just the way it is? A brute fact? Or does it have to do with the code our universe is programmed with? Every photon and electron are the same; there have never been any measured differences between two photons, or between two electrons. We can conceive of a universe that didn't have to be this way. However, if the universe is virtual then it had to be that way due to digital equivalence! Also in quantum mechanics there is something in called quantum tunneling where a physical object can suddenly appear past an an impassible barrier. If reality isn't virtual then this makes little sense, but if reality is virtual then this akin to state transitions (entity processing spread across a network that "restarts" at any point).

In conclusion? There are almost countless scientific facts about our universe that are just arbitrary, brute, and downright absurd and make no sense. However, all these facts make perfect sense if we are living in a virtual reality. The universe behaves exactly as it would if it were a simulation, holographic and virtual. It would be very unlikely that the universe acts exactly like a virtual reality but it wasn't. So because the virtual reality hypothesis explains way more than the non-virtual realty hypothesis (which is filled with arbitrary brute facts), then we can confidently conclude that we probably live in The Matrix. So remember don't try and bend the spoon, that's impossible, only try and realize the truth... There is no spoon ;)

It seems to me that you are calling anything for which the reasons are unknown to be arbitrary.

Is it possible we simply don't know yet? Otherwise, a long time ago you'd be saying. Matter is quantized in atoms. That's a brute fact, arbitrary.

But the Virtual Virtual reality hypothesis explains all these facts better than any other hypothesis. Meaning, it is the best explanation we currently have even if we don't know 100% sure it is true.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/3/2016 3:04:20 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/3/2016 11:06:30 AM, Shawn_Hartnell wrote:
At 6/27/2016 12:43:47 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
We now know that matter is merely virtual particle fluctuations in the vacuum. This is very strange indeed if our reality isn't virtual, but if it is then it makes perfect sense and would be expected.

How so?

http://www.newscientist.com...
Shawn_Hartnell
Posts: 103
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7/3/2016 3:09:31 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/3/2016 3:04:20 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/3/2016 11:06:30 AM, Shawn_Hartnell wrote:
At 6/27/2016 12:43:47 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
We now know that matter is merely virtual particle fluctuations in the vacuum. This is very strange indeed if our reality isn't virtual, but if it is then it makes perfect sense and would be expected.

How so?

http://www.newscientist.com...

How so that it would be "very strange if reality isn't virtual" and would be expected if it was?
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/3/2016 3:10:19 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/3/2016 11:41:29 AM, keithprosser wrote:
I think that is a fair point. I'd say we don't know any positive reason to reject the 'matrix/brain in vat' hypothesis, but as long as our information is known to be imperfect it is premature to assert that we do live in a simulation.
Perhaps amongst the most glaring gaps in human knowledge are a) the incompatibility of GR and QM and b) the vexed question of the nature of consciousness. I think we need better 'handles' on those issues before prouncing anything too definite!

It's funny you mention that because the way many scientists are unifying GR and QM now is via the holographic principle. In fact, space and time emerging from quantum information seems to be the easiest way to unify the two.


A problem I have with all this idealism based stuff is that it doesn't seem to suggest any way forward. It seems to me that in order to do any science at all - to learn anything - we have to ignore idealism and proceed on the assumption of realism anyway.

Ironic, as science falsified naive realism:

http://arxiv.org...
keithprosser
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7/3/2016 4:07:31 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
The important word is 'naive'. If reality was limited to what is inuitive then science would be rather boring - things would be as they seem and all the weirdness of QM and black holes wouldn't happen. Science has demolished the reality of the familiar.

It may be that what science is doing is discovering the rules the divine programmer has written into his (remarkably detailed) simulation. Has the divine programmer left little clues that it is a simulation in such things as quantisation and entanglement? I don't know how we could hope to ever know, except by carrying on finding out as much as we can about our universe and seeing what turns up.

On a personal level, I find the idea of the word as simulation interesting enough to discuss over a campire and some beers, but I can't see how it provides anything useful. It doesn't explain anything - it only explains them away. By explaining everything with glib slogans (such 'nothing is real') it actually exaplains nothing. Entanglement? No problem - space does not exist. Non-entanglement and apparent distance? No problem - space is a mental construct. It's too easy - it's too like the 'goddidit' pseudo-explanations of religion.

The idea that reality is mental doesn't lead to any predictions. What will dark matter turn out to be? I don't think we can get a useful answer to such questions by idealistic means, if there are such things as 'idealistic means'. It is only by assuming that there is some reality underpinning it that we will learn more about dark matter. Of course once realists have unravelled that puzzle, idealists will just say it is part of mental reality! It is a pity idealists can't say anything about dark matter now to save a lot of time.
Shawn_Hartnell
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7/3/2016 6:02:37 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/3/2016 4:07:31 PM, keithprosser wrote:

The idea that reality is mental doesn't lead to any predictions.

If you hold your breath long enough you will see stars in front of your eyes.

There's one.
Furyan5
Posts: 1,228
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7/3/2016 7:53:58 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
What difference does it make either way? This reality is the only one we know. Everything we experience is broken down to electrical impulses travelling to our brains via the nervous system and converted into information. Are they real? According to every understanding of what is real, yes. To us the universe is real.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/3/2016 8:06:13 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/3/2016 4:07:31 PM, keithprosser wrote:
The important word is 'naive'. If reality was limited to what is inuitive then science would be rather boring - things would be as they seem and all the weirdness of QM and black holes wouldn't happen. Science has demolished the reality of the familiar.

It may be that what science is doing is discovering the rules the divine programmer has written into his (remarkably detailed) simulation. Has the divine programmer left little clues that it is a simulation in such things as quantisation and entanglement? I don't know how we could hope to ever know, except by carrying on finding out as much as we can about our universe and seeing what turns up.

On a personal level, I find the idea of the word as simulation interesting enough to discuss over a campire and some beers, but I can't see how it provides anything useful. It doesn't explain anything - it only explains them away. By explaining everything with glib slogans (such 'nothing is real') it actually exaplains nothing. Entanglement? No problem - space does not exist. Non-entanglement and apparent distance? No problem - space is a mental construct. It's too easy - it's too like the 'goddidit' pseudo-explanations of religion.

The idea is that entanglement actually implies space doesn't exist, not that we are just using it as an explanation. There doesn't seem to be any other logical explanation.


The idea that reality is mental doesn't lead to any predictions.

Yes it does, if reality is mental then time and space don't exist. Which is exactly what modern science is suggesting (via quantum entanglement and the wheeler-Dewitt equation).

What will dark matter turn out to be? I don't think we can get a useful answer to such questions by idealistic means, if there are such things as 'idealistic means'. It is only by assuming that there is some reality underpinning it that we will learn more about dark matter.

There is some reality underpinning it... A mental reality.

Of course once realists have unravelled that puzzle, idealists will just say it is part of mental reality! It is a pity idealists can't say anything about dark matter now to save a lot of time.

We don't even know dark matter and energy exist, they are just ad hoc postulates contrived in order to make the current paradigm work for all we know.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/3/2016 8:07:09 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/3/2016 7:16:59 PM, keithprosser wrote:
If that's the best idealism can come up with it's definitely not worth bothering with!

That's your opinion, but the father of quantum theory disagreed.
Rational_Thinker9119
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7/3/2016 8:08:41 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/3/2016 7:53:58 PM, Furyan5 wrote:
What difference does it make either way? This reality is the only one we know. Everything we experience is broken down to electrical impulses travelling to our brains via the nervous system and converted into information. Are they real? According to every understanding of what is real, yes. To us the universe is real.

Not to modern science it's not, look at virtual particles and the holographic principle.
keithprosser
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7/3/2016 8:17:33 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/3/2016 8:07:09 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/3/2016 7:16:59 PM, keithprosser wrote:
If that's the best idealism can come up with it's definitely not worth bothering with!

That's your opinion, but the father of quantum theory disagreed.

I was referring to Shawn Hartnell's post above:

If you hold your breath long enough you will see stars in front of your eyes.

I'm sure Shawn is delighted to be considered the father of quantum theory! Actually, I'm not sure who the father of Quantum theory is - Planck? Einstein possibly, but he rather disowned quantum theory. Bohr? Schroedinger?
Furyan5
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7/3/2016 8:17:43 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/3/2016 8:08:41 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 7/3/2016 7:53:58 PM, Furyan5 wrote:
What difference does it make either way? This reality is the only one we know. Everything we experience is broken down to electrical impulses travelling to our brains via the nervous system and converted into information. Are they real? According to every understanding of what is real, yes. To us the universe is real.

Not to modern science it's not, look at virtual particles and the holographic principle.

So what is real? We know a solid object is actually made up of billions of individual atoms but that doesn't allow us to pass through a wall. 90% of science is theory which we will never be able to prove. I'm not saying you wrong. I'm not saying you right. All i'm asking is, does it really matter?
MasonicSlayer
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7/3/2016 10:29:26 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/3/2016 11:41:29 AM, keithprosser wrote:
I think that is a fair point. I'd say we don't know any positive reason to reject the 'matrix/brain in vat' hypothesis, but as long as our information is known to be imperfect it is premature to assert that we do live in a simulation.
Perhaps amongst the most glaring gaps in human knowledge are a) the incompatibility of GR and QM and b) the vexed question of the nature of consciousness. I think we need better 'handles' on those issues before prouncing anything too definite!

A problem I have with all this idealism based stuff is that it doesn't seem to suggest any way forward. It seems to me that in order to do any science at all - to learn anything - we have to ignore idealism and proceed on the assumption of realism anyway.

If you try to discover what makes a different world tick by staying in time to this world, nothing will rhyme, and nothing will ever make sense. If I told you that in my world up is down, you will look down expecting to see up. If I told you a guy walked into a room, yet he never came back out, you will walk into the room, and you will not find him. You will search ever crevasse of the room, yet still you will not find him. You will conclude there is a hidden door or window, or a staircase concealed. You will conclude anything other than accepting the fact that he simply vanished into thin air.
Shawn_Hartnell
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7/4/2016 5:26:03 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/3/2016 7:53:58 PM, Furyan5 wrote:
What difference does it make either way? This reality is the only one we know. Everything we experience is broken down to electrical impulses travelling to our brains via the nervous system and converted into information. Are they real? According to every understanding of what is real, yes. To us the universe is real.

I disagree. Want to turn this into a debate itself?
Furyan5
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7/4/2016 5:34:49 PM
Posted: 5 months ago
At 7/4/2016 5:26:03 PM, Shawn_Hartnell wrote:
At 7/3/2016 7:53:58 PM, Furyan5 wrote:
What difference does it make either way? This reality is the only one we know. Everything we experience is broken down to electrical impulses travelling to our brains via the nervous system and converted into information. Are they real? According to every understanding of what is real, yes. To us the universe is real.

I disagree. Want to turn this into a debate itself?

Debate what? Whether a virtual reality is real to a virtual being? Or whether a physical world is more real to a physical being than a virtual world is to a virtual being?
Both are confined to rules over which they have no control.