Re: I haven't thought about it and neither have others

Posted by Ben on Mar 03, 2002 at 16:23

Re: I have thought about it and so have others (Shasta)

Of course there's the idea that we are in a virtual universe, and that processing power for simulating areas of the universe that we do not experience directly is too expensive. (After all, we couldn't simulate every sound everywhere in the universe).

Instead, an overall simpler simulation is brought in 'on the fly' to convincingly fill in the processes that supposedly go on outside of our direct perception. When you return to the forest and check the radio, you will find that the tape has stopped and the batteries have run down.. but during your absence, the simulation only recorded that the tape had a given length, and the baterries had a given charge. No other processing power was devoted to simulating this particular bit of the universe.

The true test to see whether you are actually in a virtual universe goes as follows:

1. Clear your mind, stand straight forward, and try to not think about what you are about to do. You don't want to give the simulation any warning of your intentions.

2. Suddenly jump and turn around!

3. If you are quick enough, you can catch the "retrace" of the scene behind you, as the simulation tries to catch up to your sudden change in viewpoint.

Of course this sort of mistake in the simuation usually triggers a "reality failure exception", and the simulation is typically reset back to a previous save state and run forward again to eliminate the discrepancy. The simulation processor isn't fooled the second time, and it will be ready with the information behind you.

However.. you never know when the simulation will suffer some major bug or glitch, and fail to backtrack the simulation. Beware though, because if you 'do' manage to see the retrace of the simulation, you're likely to be dragged off to the funny farm for claiming the world is being drawn "just for you".

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