UFO Conjecture(s)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

UFOs and Virtual Reality

virtual3.jpg

The ruminations that Earth and human existence are a computer simulation (Virtual Reality) is not dismissed lightly by some in the scientific community, and accepted by many in the computer sciences.

Jaron Lanier provided a piece in Discover magazine [November 2007, Page 29 ff.] entitled “Are we trapped in some god’s video game?”

In it he quotes philosopher Nick Bostrom: “it is almost a mathematical certainty that we are living in someone else’s computer simulation.”

The idea that this existence is “virtual” is not new. William Gibson's Neuromancer covered the topic in fiction [1984] and even Immanuel Kant touched on the possibility in his 1781 “Critique of Pure Reason” [Transcendental Aesthetic, Section II, Time, 7, Elucidation].

Therefore, if our existence is virtual, then UFOs have to be virtual also. (Virtual reality can’t subsume real reality, and vice versa.)

The scenario goes something like this, as Lanier has it in his Discover column:

“If a simulation is perfect in every way, it is by definition indistinguishable from the thing it simulates…

[Trying to determine the difference between real existence and virtual existence] people are interested in…the existence of an entity that can look into the lives of players in VR, a powerful player who is usually but not necessarily hidden. It’s similar to believing in a god…Some people imagine this creature as a pimply nerd in the sky who is running a cosmic copy of The Sims, who are us.”

Lanier’s suggestion of a kid/nerd would explain why UFOs are so confusingly variable in behavior and configuration, even schizophrenic-like.

Jacques Vallee’s other-worldly UFOs would be easily explained if UFOs are the by-product of the computer simulation that is life, our life.

That is, the nerd who has created us – our virtual reality – is an immature being, a kid as it were.

And UFOs are just one of the many aspects of this kid’s “game.”

Such a virtual reality would explain the nonsense(s) of humanity: wars, natural disasters, crime, and UFOs.

(It could also account for the esthetic aspects of this existence – the music, art, literature – but that for another time, and another virtual reality; one that runs parallel to our virtual reality, and explained by quantum mechanics.)

UFOs may be the clue to this game of god (or the gods); a clue that we’ve mistaken for a reality that doesn’t actually exist but which we have access to in our confined simulation.

But one can’t expect ufologists to render the clue meaningful as ufologists seem to be quirky avatars that our nerd/god created to make his game, and our virtual reality, more bizarre, for this nerd/god’s silly entertainment.

12 Comments:

  • How is such a discussion any different from discussing how many angels can dance upon the head of a pin?

    By Blogger Epinoia, at Monday, January 07, 2008  

  • It's no different, and your point is?

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, January 07, 2008  

  • I might also postulate that last night everything doubled in size -- EVERYTHING.

    My 'point' (cute pun, BTW) is that the discussion is essentially meaningless.

    By Blogger Epinoia, at Monday, January 07, 2008  

  • Epinoia:

    Your postulation is correct, of course: the discussion is meaningless.

    And that's our point about UFOs also: they're meaningless.

    (Like your "point" too.)

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, January 07, 2008  

  • How do you explain the similarity of accounts, then?

    On a tangential topic, my great aunt 'saw' an 'angel' the morning of her death. My mother, who works at the hospital, knows from experience that such 'visions' generally mean that the outlook is not good for the patient. In other words, the correlation of 'angel sightings' and death are significant.

    Can we suppose that if my great aunt were an atheist who had never been exposed to Christian mythology, that she wouldn't have 'seen' an 'angel'? Or would she have 'seen' the same thing, yet had no words to describe what she 'saw'?

    By Blogger Epinoia, at Monday, January 07, 2008  

  • Hallucinatory visions at death have to be discounted on the face of them.

    There are too many aspects to mental aberration when humans are in dire straits to pursue such visions.

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, January 08, 2008  

  • You appear to have missed my point. There is a similarity of accounts regarding UFOs, just as there are similar accounts of 'angels' by people who are near death.

    You can discount them, of course. Sure, they are almost certainly hallucinations. But, again, you can't simply sweep the accounts away by calling them hallucinations. There is a similarity that must be explained. I suggested one explanation -- these people are exposed to Christian mythologies, and therefore see Christian symbols when they are near death. But do non-Christians see anything similar, yet do not have words to attribute to the 'visions'?

    Are UFO and alien sightings by people similar because they have been conditioned by various publications, or is there something about the human brain which might also account for the similarity of accounts?

    By Blogger Epinoia, at Tuesday, January 08, 2008  

  • Epinoia:

    No one here missed your point.

    The near-death visions and UFO visions are NOT similar, and not related in any way.

    As for non-Christian visions at death, they are amorphous (as recounted in the literature) while Christian visions have a vague specificity: A Jesus-like entity or angelic visages.

    Both experiences, however, leave much to interpretation after the fact, and no evidentiary clues that link them; that is, all the visions are without determinants that can be lumped together to form a concrete "reality."

    Everything is in the minds-eye of the beholder.

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, January 08, 2008  

  • I didn't mean to imply that Angels and UFOs are similar. I suggested that they might both be conditioned by cultural elements (ie. 'publications')

    It's a 'chicken and egg' kind of issue. Which came first? The sightings, or the publications about UFOs?

    A cross-cultural study would be best, I suppose. Do Chinese people tend to see 'greys'?

    By Blogger Epinoia, at Tuesday, January 08, 2008  

  • Epinoia:

    UFOs exist, as you know.

    Persons have visions, some when they are approaching death.

    Both antedate publications.

    Chinese people tend to see the "yellows." (But I digress.)

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, January 08, 2008  

  • In the technical sense, yes, UFOs do exist. People do see things in the sky which are 'unidentified'. Whether they are piloted by beings from other solar systems is another issue. Which I am sure you understand.

    What I am trying to press, however, is the similarity of accounts. It seems that so many of the accounts have similar elements -- disc or saucer shapes, for example.

    There is nothing bizarre, in my mind at least, about people seeing things that are unidentifiable. But when multiple sightings have elements of similarity (shape, for example), then one supposes that there is something causing that. What other reason would there be for so many people seeing the same shaped objects in so many different places?

    Hallucination is certainly a good psychological explanation. But it doesn't address the common aspects of that which is being hallucinated.

    Using drugs as an example... If I give a hundred people some hallucinatory drug, and 95% of them report seeing a man with a white beard, that seems to indicate something.

    I am tempted to attribute the 'saucer' or 'disc' shapes to the sci-fi culture, but the painting by Filipo Lippi would seem to suggest otherwise.

    How do you explain such a similarity of accounts?

    By Blogger Epinoia, at Tuesday, January 08, 2008  

  • E:

    There is no similarity to UFO sightings.

    The phenomenon (or phenomena) is diverse in the extreme, which undercuts the extraterrestrial hypothesis.

    (How many alien civilizations are fixated on the Earth?)

    The near-death visions have a commonality: the tunnel with light at the end, an entity that greets the dying, and a feeling of bliss.

    UFOs are all over the place, and not just geographically or aerially.

    Researchers are dealing with two separate (two different) things.

    Your so-called Sci-Fi culture accounts for some UFO sightings.

    And publications (or movies and Tv shows) account for others.

    UFOs only remain unidentified because persosn who see them are remiss in accumulating data properly: the witness syndrome.

    Ufologists have not seen, generally, any UFOs. They pursue the matter from second-hand or hear-say evidence.

    Thus they also are remiss in identifying the elusive phenomenon.

    Paintings of UFOs (mostly by primitive or Renaissance artists) indicate something that a few photographs and movies or video have captured (along with radar blips): a phenomenon that has been benign (despite abduction accounts) and without tangibility that can be verified.

    So where does that leave us?

    With a curiosity that is merely that -- a curiosity.

    To take UFOs on as a career or serious avocational hobby seems a bit loopy to the RRRGroup and this writer.

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, January 08, 2008  

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