UFO Conjecture(s)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Are we a simulation?

In John D. Barrows book “One Hundred Essential Things you Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know: Math Explains the World” [W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., N.Y. 2008], Barrow presents a chapter [19] Living in a Simulation, from which I’ve culled these passages:

“Once you take seriously the suggestion that all possible universes cab (and do) exist then you have to deal with another strange consequence. In this infinite array of universes there will exist civilizations far more advanced that ourselves, that have the capability to simulate universes…the would be able to watch the evolution of life and consciousness within their computer simulations.” [Page52/53]

“With in these universes, self-conscious entities can emerge and communicate with one another.” [Page 53]

The physicist Paul Davies suggests that there is a high probability that we are living in a simulated reality, and is there a way to find out the truth? [Page 53]

“Even if the simulators were scrupulous about simulating the laws of Nature [in their created world or universe], there would be limits to what they could do.” [Page 54]

“They may know a lot about the physics and programming need to simulate a universe, but there will be gaps or, worse still, errors.”[Page 54]

“…gradually…little flaws will begin to build up.” [Page 54]

“…logical contradictions will inevitably arise and the laws in the simulations will appear to break down…The inhabitants of the simulation…will occasionally be puzzled by the observations they make.” [Page 54, italics mine]

“Mysterious changes would occur that would appear to contravene the very laws of Nature…” [Page 55]

“…if we live in a simulated reality, we should expect to come across occasional ‘glitches’ or experimental results that we can’t repeat or even very slow drifts in the supposed constants and laws of Nature that we can’t explain.” [Page 55]

Don’t these observations by Dr. Barrow resonate – when it comes to quantum theory and the UFO mystery (or even paranormal events themselves)?

Dr. Barrow’s musings were the province of Mac Tonnies blog and interest, and are the pressure points for persons who visit here, such as Bruce Duensing.

That we may be a simulation doesn’t grab this writer but it's an imaginative hypothesis that can’t be dismissed out-of-hand.

Plato, Descartes (somewhat) thought, and many current physicists accept the possibility, that we do live as a simulation.

The UFO phenomenon seems to provide a substantiation for Dr. Barrow’s method(s) to discern if we live as a simulation or not.

The possibility intrigues, but that is all it does….(for me).



  • Time to quit screwing around and get on with the "and happily ever after" phase of the simulation.

    By Blogger Frank Stalter, at Monday, July 11, 2011  

  • Frank:

    I don't think there's a "happily ever after" -- noting what happened to that guy who fell out of the ball park stands, trying to capture a baseball for his son.

    The gods (or simulators) are malicious.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, July 11, 2011  

  • See chapter 3 of Barrow's book and the little matter of the monkeys typing out the works of Shakespeare.
    Particularly that bit at the end. The mind boggles!

    By Blogger cda, at Monday, July 11, 2011  

  • Yes, CDA, that Chapter and others are truly interesting.

    I sometimes think monkeys are writing these posts (and some of the comments too).


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, July 11, 2011  

  • Rich:

    I kind of sometimes think we're living in a "Dark City" world.

    If you haven't seen this film, it's far better than the somewhat similar "Matrix" movies.

    And it stars Richard O'Brien as the definitive creepy MIB!

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Monday, July 11, 2011  

  • A simulation as a proxy representation of "reality" leads back to the limited range of our biological perceptions, in that all that we experience is a biological simulation. There is more that is unseen or not sensed than what is sensed. To me, projecting our own biology onto the entire universe as a end run anthropomorphism is a inversely considered stereotype, a cheap shot, a not so clever reductionism. Why bother with a simulation, a proxy? Our biology as a model for the universe? The conceit this represents goes nowhere except back into one's navel.

    By Blogger Bruce Duensing, at Monday, July 11, 2011  

  • Dark City is a terrific metaphor, Nick, for our real reality.

    And those damn MIBs are everywhere, subliminally, but ubiquitous.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, July 11, 2011  

  • Check out Mr. Duensing's exceptioanl blog for material that truly represents cognition of the highest kind:


    He provided, as I note in a comment inside the previous posting here, a brilliant counter-point to my view(s) on Moby Dick and existence.

    You would do well to check it out.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, July 11, 2011  

  • Matrix theory has always fascinated me. When we observe the universe at the quantum level, it is pixilated is it not? :) I have always felt there was something unreal about the universe and everything in it, which led me to read many of the so called "enlightened beings" writing. They all say the same thing for the most part, "reality is an illusion". Things are certainly not as they appear, but a computer simulation is not what i imagine it to be. More of a lucid, extended dream state. That is why when the buddha realized his true nature he was asked "what are you?" to which he responded, "i am awake".

    By Blogger Adam, at Tuesday, July 12, 2011  

  • I apologize for the double post but something just occurred to me. In an attempt to to answer the question "are we a simulation" one would benefit greatly by enquiring into the nature of the mind. Every action we take, every decision we appear to make is guided by our thought process and the mind. But where do these thoughts come from? We like to take credit for our thoughts, but i liken thoughts to a bird flying into a house through the front door then out through the back door. Do we claim ownership of the bird? Our thoughts appear and disappear in a moment, and because they appear to be personal, we claim them as our own. But where do they come from? Perhaps your computer simulation or something of the like?

    By Blogger Adam, at Tuesday, July 12, 2011  

  • "I sometimes think monkeys are writing these posts (and some of the comments too)."

    I beg your pardon! Comments written by monkeys? Ridiculous!

    I'll have you know, sir, that is simply not true, and deeply insulting. Some of us are, instead, orangutans, or really great apes. See? No tail! 8^}

    On the other hand, I do think some of the most curious UFO cases are, in turn, an esoteric form of abstuse simulation, recursively keyed to our consciousness and cognitive capabilities -- (Us orangs are all into alliteration)

    Monkeys? Not so much...

    Sort of like the imagery of the great Oz--the question to be asked is who or what is maniplating the displayed stagecraft from behind the recondite curtain for our edifying disinfotainment.

    Xen koan:
    What is the sense of one ufo passing?
    Whatever you think it is.

    And if we are part of a simulation created by "others" (which I doubt), they must be drunken, amateurish hackers coding in old-style planetesimal hexadecimal to program our low-rez 8-bit worldview display. Too many self-evident glitches for my taste.

    By Blogger steve sawyer, at Tuesday, July 12, 2011  

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