Just a little déjà vu?

Hot on the heels of that Second Life/digital identity documentary I shared earlier is news of another documentary exploring virtual themes, but of a very different kind. Have you heard of simulation theory? It’s like Second Life, but instead of being outside looking in, we’re on the inside wanting to look out.

Are we all living in the Matrix? Behind a documentary on simulation theoryThe Guardian
Coincidences we accept as quirks of chance are just imperfections in the system we’ve been plugged in to, whatever shape it might take. We could be brains in a vat, receiving electrical stimuli through wires manipulated by scientists, or perhaps we’re nothing more than bytes of data on some intelligent being’s hard drive. Plato posited that we could be shackled in a cave, mistaking the shadows on the wall for the things casting them. From VR video games to pop culture, any number of metaphors speak to the core concept of a dimension that can be seen through by those who know how to look. In the case of the more adventurous psychonauts accepting these figurative ideas as literal fact, some even attempt to control the illusion.

What is Simulation Theory? Do we live in a simulation?Built In
New York University philosophy professor David Chalmers has described the being responsible for this hyper-realistic simulation we may or may not be in as a “programmer in the next universe up,” perhaps one we mortals might consider a god of some sort — though not necessarily in the traditional sense. “[H]e or she may just be a teenager,” Chalmers said, “hacking on a computer and running five universes in the background… But it might be someone who is nonetheless omniscient, all-knowing and all-powerful about our world.”

Yes, as conspiracy theories go, it’s pretty out there. But think of it as just another whacky creation myth. I mean, do you really understand superstring theory and quantum entanglement? Nah, me neither.

Author: Terry Madeley

Works with student data and enjoys reading about art, data, education and technology.

3 thoughts on “Just a little déjà vu?”

  1. The mere idea of being manipulated by a “stronger force” is counter-creative. The gift that idea would stifle is, theoretically, choice. The more predominate action of a human being is making choices. The second most predominate action that follows the first is experiencing the results of choice. Entertainment follows those two predominate actions somewhere, anywhere, everywhere. Raymond :)♡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re quite right about choice, I think. Another thing that comes to mind is this. If we’re being manipulated by a “stronger force”, what’s to stop us from wondering about whether an even stronger force is manipulating *them*? Where does it end?

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      1. Interesting thought. I would say it is only a couple of degrees off with the 129,600 general possibilities to wonder. Time having some constraints, time after time I would rather incline to presume a one true course.

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