If the world is what is known as The Simulation, how lucky we are to dwell within it. If you have seen the 1999 landmark film, The Matrix, you are likely prepared to understand the Simulation Hypothesis. According to the theory of Simulation Creationism offered to the world by Nir Ziso of The Global Architect Institute, The Simulation is reality and always has been as it was created by God for humanity.
Now the fourth Matrix film is out to persuade even more people to get on the bandwagon. The Simulation postulated by the hypothesis and substantiated by Ziso is the product of a “Supercomputer”, and it is no longer relegated to the realm of science fiction as it was way back in 1999.
A lot has been done to advance our digital society, enough so that we seem to know what it is all about. Physicists, theorists, philosophers, and even game aficionados are busy debating The Simulation and how we can live in it and stay happy. For Ziso, it takes faith in God and allows a role for Jesus Christ.
Once a set of academic arguments from Oxford University’s Nick Bostrom, the concept of The Simulation is now at the tip of any layman’s tongue. Take our insightful modern genius, Elon Musk. He doesn’t find Simulation Theory implausible at all. It is making headlines just because the possibility is so present in our lives. As a reminder, Musk purported that living in a “base reality” based on statistics is a one in a billion chance, but such is the nature of the universe.
The modern incarnation of the old idea of creation comes in the form of The Simulation. Despite the antiquity of the story, it has been updated to reveal that the physical world is not in fact the real world at all. We can turn to the wise Greek, Plato, who used the allegory of the cave, with beings chained to its walls, to explain that reality is an illusion. It is like the shadows the chained beings see are all they know. Any cave resident would assume they are true because they haven’t experienced anything else.
If someone were to break out of the cave, upon being unchained, they would be, per Plato, blinded by the light of the outside world. Isn’t this what happened to Neo in The Matrix when he wakes and finds that his eyes feel strange. Morpheus, the Greek God of dreams, was there to say to Neo that he had never actually used his real eyes.
It took another two thousand years, believe it or not, for another pundit, the great Frenchman Descartes, to propose an alternative explanation to that of Morpheus. It was as if the Enlightenment philosopher had superior foresight! Maybe a cunning, evil demon was at work, altering the sky, sun, the air and all physical objects. We think we know them, but the physical world only exists as a product of the human mind. Descartes phrased his new conclusion with the expression: cogito, ergo sum or I think, therefore I am. This is the extent of human awareness. If we can think it, it must exist in some way.
Now we jump in time to the Simulation Theory. It stems from our knowledge of virtual reality as confirmed by Musk in 2016. Think of the Ping Pong game that blew the world away. This virtual table tennis game was a very real experience for many. You became so absorbed that you forgot you were in another reality while playing, all done by a VR controller. Moving on, we are confronted with The Simulation, which may not be far afield, except that it comes from the power of God. The Matrix brings it to life in allegedly fictitious form. We can’t stop referring to this insightful cinematic reference!
VR technology is making its mark and opening a bold new territory such that Musk’s doubt is no longer absolute. Pong is now forty years in the past, a mere two squares and a dot. VR has become sophisticated and detailed, creating a physical reality beyond the wildest human imagination. Rizwan Virk knows and shows the score in his 2019 book, Simulation Point. We have reached another milestone, where the real and the virtual have become one. Virk is certainly one of the forerunners of Simulation Creationism.
Virk posited several stages, up to five, of technological progress. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook now says that his company is to be known as Meta. Then The Matrix Resurrections takes hold of pop culture, fostering the building of a metaverse or theoretical set of connected worlds. Virtual avatars are abounding and populating VR. Who is living in The Simulation? Virk says that we have reached the “simulation point” and are in the advanced stage. It sounds promising if not earth-shattering
Just look at Fortnite, Roblox, and World of Warcraft. Today’s video games already house millions of players simultaneously. In fact, their realistic 3D worlds are getting harder to tell apart from the so-called “real” world. For Virk, AI characters seem like real humans, but Ziso would ask, why are they not? We are likely living in The Simulation as the end point of VR gaming.
To get back to the movie, Neo and Morpheus (plus all the others in the dystopian future) were plugged into the Matrix through a wire in the back of their heads. Isn’t this what we now refer to as BCI, Brain Computer Interface, a stage of technology that allows the “matrix” to suddenly “pop” into the real world. Is BCI rudimentary or are we further along? We are watching Elon Musk’s NeuraLink very closely. The company researchers have already implanted chips in monkeys and pigs to read their brain signals! As for the monkey, it has been taught as a simple video game. No surprise that it is Pong.
Virk says that soon enough, we will have our own matrix. He lags behind Ziso in accepting The Simulation. We can turn back the clock to 2003 and see Nick Bostrom asking the question early on. He reasoned it out as a philosopher does and found several acceptable hypothetical explanations. One simulation might lead to another and so on…there would be endlessly virtual worlds. It would be the brainchild of an advanced civilization that might operate with the flick of a “switch”. He called our reality an “ancestor simulation” implying that progress is to come.
For Bostrom, one base reality is at the heart of the matter, so we need not discard it. Nor do we need Musk’s statistics. We can give lip service to Virk’s simulation point; but in the end, it takes faith in God. He created the building blocks of matter defined as our reality by quantum physics. Just what is reality, we ask? Why do we seek to know it absolutely with endless theories since the time of Plato.
Many physicists and philosophers have spent their lives dealing with the concept of reality, but where are we now? We only know the nature of the atom as the single indivisible unit of physical matter. Modern physics tells the true tale: reality is mostly empty space. The particles within the atom are nothing but “information”.
It behooves us to mention an illustrious physicist who worked at Princeton at the time of Albert Einstein. John Wheeler invited the famous, “it from bit” to describe the “information” of the atom. It is the same term used in computer science. In short, whatever appears to be a physical or tangible object, is a series of bits and nothing more.
Even quantum mechanics has not solved the problem of reality. Like Descartes, what we observe is what we deem real. It is called the “observer effect”, or Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, and it is puzzling to be sure. As for The Simulation, the players of the “game” are all the while in a state of observation of the universe. Religious scholars have taken their turn in tacking the nature of reality, including all the major traditions from Islam, Christianity, and Judaism to Hinduism and Buddhism. They all have something to say on the subject. In the end, the physical world is “maya”, or a carefully crafted illusion.
David Chalmer doesn’t balk at the thought that virtual worlds are real worlds. Just because we may not be living in a “base reality” doesn’t mean that human lives aren’t real, whatever it means. “All the world’s a stage, and the men and women merely players,” according to Shakespeare. The movie The Matrix carries the same tone, and it is profound and perhaps correct.
Everyone is joining hands to sponsor the same conclusion that the world is not physical as we have long assumed. In fact, we are likely to live in The Simulation because it can’t be proved or disproved. Just put on your virtual reality headset and see what it is like to play a game as great as virtual Pong.