The theory that our world is a “matrix”, that is, a virtual, artificially created space, has recently become quite popular. In particular, this is used to explain many strange and absurd phenomena that people observe. How likely is it that this theory describes the truth?
“Batteries” and “lab model”
In the fourth part of The Matrix, which was released recently, people play the role of “batteries”, giving their energy to machines. However, the Swedish-born philosopher Nick Bostrom believes that obtaining energy is unlikely to be the reason for creating a large-scale simulation, since maintaining human organisms would then take much more energy than they could generate.
In principle, the researcher suggests, the simulation could be created as a laboratory reproduction of reality in order to study some historical events or social problems.
Suppose scientists want to see what impact this or that economic reform will have on society. They simulate the right situation and study the consequences.
If the consequences do not suit them, the model is returned to its original parameters and a new program is written. However, if we assume that there are many such socio-historical experiments, then the number of “matrix intelligent units”, that is, the inhabitants of the virtual reality, will constantly increase.
In the end, it will turn out to be millions of times greater than the number of real people. So we are very likely virtual personalities, and not creatures of flesh and blood.
Electronic simulation impossible?
The next important point is the technical side of simulating reality. In order for the inhabitants of the simulation not to discover the “forgery”, everything must be arranged as reliably as possible.
That is, one cannot limit oneself to reproducing only the planet Earth with its immediate environment. So, the stars should look like real ones, and not just luminous specks in the virtual sky. Otherwise, astronomers will quickly expose this deception.
By the way, experts have calculated that there are more than one hundred billion galaxies in the observable Universe alone. And there are even more stars and planets.
To recreate all this digitally, enormous resources are needed, even taking into account the fact that our technologies are not yet so perfect as to closely examine each star through a telescope.
But even if such a universe were simulated, an unrealistic number of operators would be required to process the information. The complex structure of the universe testifies rather against the existence of the Matrix than in its favor.
And if you simulate consciousness?
Theoretical physicist Sabina Hossenfelder, in turn, believes that our “native” civilization simply could not create such a global model. Therefore, there must be some other intelligent civilization.
But so far, we have not found any scientific evidence that we are not alone in the foreseeable world. But the simulation of human consciousness is another matter.
“As far as we know, consciousness is simply a property of certain systems that process large amounts of information,” says Hossenfelder.
At the same time, it is not so important whether such a system was created on the basis of a biological brain or a computer platform, she adds.
Meanwhile, experts on brain problems argue that our consciousness is only able to create models of the surrounding reality, based on incoming information. And, since the models of reality are absolutely individual for each person, we cannot get an objective idea of the world around us, only a subjective one.
On the other hand, a virtual model can theoretically reproduce reality according to some algorithms embedded in it that imitate the laws of nature. Physicists have repeatedly tried to simulate natural processes, but have not been able to achieve ideal results.
The fact is that it is simply physically impossible to simulate the properties of each atom participating in a particular process.
Universe big and small
However, there is another concept. And why did we get the idea that the Matrix has a digital origin?
So, academician Valery Rubakov suggests that the Universe could have arisen from a very small region of space, and then begin the process of expansion. In this case, it is only a part of the “Big Universe”.
And it’s not a fact that this “pocket universe” was not created artificially. And that it is only one – there can be many such worlds.
They can exist both for the experimental purposes of a higher civilization living in the “Big Universe”, and as “backup realities” in case of some cataclysms that threaten the life of this civilization.
The last hypothesis seems to be much more thoughtful than the digital version. But we do not yet have information that can prove or disprove it. And perhaps never will be.