At the turn of the 21st Century, the idea of a computer simulation of reality was introduced to the public through the masterful Matrix Trilogy, where the character Neo (Keanu Reeves) is initiated by Morph (Laurence Fishburne) into the mysteries of the Matrix.
Morph asks Neo if he would like to go “deep down the rabbit hole,” presenting him with two pills, a blue pill or a red pill. If Neo takes the blue pill, he can forget all about the revelation, and resume life as before.
If Neo takes the red pill, he will assume the consequences of this new discovery. Of course, Neo takes the red pill, and the adventure begins.
In 2003, Nick Bostrom of Oxford University serious proposed that we may all be living in a very advanced simulation. A decade before, people would have asked him what dope he was on. However, computing power and bandwidth had already grown very interesting. Nick suggested there was at least a 33% probability that a superior civilization has created us as characters in a computer-generated matrix.
We are fast edging into a whole new era of virtual and augmented reality, following upon the big push from Silicon Valley and Hollywood to create 3D features, first on the silver screen and now on TV.
Google has just come out with its cardboard viewer that lets you insert your Android or iPhone and view 3D right from your smart phone. VR is projected to explode in the fall of 2016, as manufacturers and Hollywood pour 100’s of millions, if not billions, into its promotion.
Today, computing power is literally a million times more than it was 50 years ago. Any solar-powered, throwaway calculator today has far more memory and power than a mainframe once did. Any handheld device now has more power than a supercomputer back in the 1980’s.
Computer chips surround us, and sensors are embedded in our cars and everyday appliances. Many of us spend far more time on our screens than our parents did on TV.
Have you ever considered the following…?
To take the computer simulation theory literally introduces many philosophical problems.
If supercomputers in the future are creating our present, then who created those computers? Were they other people? And if so, who created them? We are merely begging the question as to who caused it all.
One need only notice the deep unrest throughout our planet. We continue to develop advanced technologies when billions of us don’t get fed.
Something is out of balance. This proposition assumes deep emotional and spiritual intelligence, not just I.Q. After all, science and technology gifted humanity with nuclear weaponry!
That said, simulation is a powerful, contemporary metaphor for the truth. Quantum physics has forever dismantled the old materialist model that things are really out there, and we must blindly conform to them.
Everything is comprised of particles, which appear in vast regions of empty space, and the particles, themselves, are mere probability clouds. They only appear when an observer consciously chooses to measure them.
High technology can be used for good or evil. While the Department of Defense continues to invest billions in killer weapons, billions are being invested for benign commercial purposes, such as helping blind people see once more, and maimed people walk again.
Yes, Virtual Reality can be used for shoot-em-up games to pump adrenalin into teenagers. Users can commandeer artificial drones that go bomb the enemy. Students can refine their skills in dominating other people, getting their way at all costs.
However, Virtual Reality can also be used in highly realistic simulation games where you get to literally explore other times and places, or even other worlds. You can go back into the ancient Roman Empire and see the birth of Christianity, or you can go to work building a colony on Mars.
You can even simulate a whole new universe, and develop immense appreciation for the one we already have.
Virtual Reality can even be used to set up an environment where people learn spiritual principles to relate to people of different cultures and religions, such as Christians meeting Hindus, and Jewish people meeting Muslims.
VR is exciting and worth exploring. Perhaps you, yourself, will be motivated to go and create a new world of your own. Go and experience Virtual Reality in a totally different light. Who knows… it might have some positive impact on your everyday reality!