Saturday, October 15, 2016

Simulation

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"Many people in Silicon Valley have become obsessed with the simulation hypothesis, the argument that what we experience as reality is in fact fabricated in a computer; two tech billionaires have gone so far as to secretly engage scientists to work on breaking us out of the simulation."

--Tad Friend, from the article Adding a Zero in the 10/10/16 issue of The New Yorker

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In my opinion as a non-billionaire nature guy, the "simulation hypothesis" mentioned above is a good sign. It means the hyper-rational, hyper-materialistic worldview that's been building for three hundred years or so is about to implode in a glorious reductio ad absurdum. On the other hand, perhaps the four river otters I saw feeding and playing in this stretch of Lagunitas Creek, where it empties into Tomales Bay, were secretly engaged in espionage for the great programmer in the sky.



Not that I think the tech billionaires are entirely wrong, mind you. I think it's more a matter of perspective, or even language. If a young man who eats, drinks and defecates code senses that his life is a simulation, it could seem reasonable in his mind that a computer is behind that sensation. In a sense, he is right. The computer that's behind the simulation he senses is implanted in his own brain. In alchemy, they call that the uroboros, the snake that swallows its own tail.  



I wonder if I could get some kind of reward for straightening them out. At least one of those guys is bound to figure it out sooner or later, assuming they don't just leave the thinking to someone else. I mean, in that case, forget it. How would they know the hired scientists aren't just working for The Man?



I would recommend those two tech billionaires take the red pill, like the ones all over this rose bush. You can't hire scientists to plumb the depths of The Matrix for you. You have to go yourself.



In the end, we're not just bits of computer code. We are objects bathed in light.



I believe we are born with a tendency toward expanding our awareness, our consciousness. Most take the blue pill and live in the simulation. A few take the red pill, or are given it without their knowledge, only to end up getting hacked before they reach the bottom of the rabbit hole. 

Meanwhile, a California bay laurel holds the world together with its roots and its branches.

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