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With advances in quantum computer processing, the possibility of mapping entire universes inside computers is now more plausible than ever. Seth Lloyd, director of the Center for Extreme Quantum Information Theory at MIT, wrote that a quantum computer with a 300-qubit processor could instantaneously perform more calculations than the number of atoms contained in our univer With advances in quantum computer processing, the possibility of mapping entire universes inside computers is now more plausible than ever. Seth Lloyd, director of the Center for Extreme Quantum Information Theory at MIT, wrote that a quantum computer with a 300-qubit processor could instantaneously perform more calculations than the number of atoms contained in our universe. With this in mind, at the time of publishing D-Wave announced that their team had designed a 512-qubit computer processor. If we as humans eventually develop the capability to program and run computer simulated universes, then there is a likelihood that this has already been achieved many times before. Further, there is a high probability that we reside inside a computer simulation. In this enlightening new work, Mark J. Solomon entertains just one central idea, that all of us exist within a computer simulated universe. With this one concept, the author works through a reasonable set of observations, repercussions and predictions. This book will expand your thinking on the structure and nature of the universe as well as your accepted notions of reality itself.


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With advances in quantum computer processing, the possibility of mapping entire universes inside computers is now more plausible than ever. Seth Lloyd, director of the Center for Extreme Quantum Information Theory at MIT, wrote that a quantum computer with a 300-qubit processor could instantaneously perform more calculations than the number of atoms contained in our univer With advances in quantum computer processing, the possibility of mapping entire universes inside computers is now more plausible than ever. Seth Lloyd, director of the Center for Extreme Quantum Information Theory at MIT, wrote that a quantum computer with a 300-qubit processor could instantaneously perform more calculations than the number of atoms contained in our universe. With this in mind, at the time of publishing D-Wave announced that their team had designed a 512-qubit computer processor. If we as humans eventually develop the capability to program and run computer simulated universes, then there is a likelihood that this has already been achieved many times before. Further, there is a high probability that we reside inside a computer simulation. In this enlightening new work, Mark J. Solomon entertains just one central idea, that all of us exist within a computer simulated universe. With this one concept, the author works through a reasonable set of observations, repercussions and predictions. This book will expand your thinking on the structure and nature of the universe as well as your accepted notions of reality itself.

30 review for On Computer Simulated Universes

  1. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    I came across a reference to this intriguing book earlier this week and mailed the author to ask if I could get a review copy. He kindly sent me one yesterday afternoon, and I'd finished reading it before bedtime. It actually turns out to be more a paper/pamphlet than a book, so you're warned that the price is kind of high, at least if you think these things should be calculated per page. The basic thesis is that our universe may well be a simulation that's been constructed by some advanced civil I came across a reference to this intriguing book earlier this week and mailed the author to ask if I could get a review copy. He kindly sent me one yesterday afternoon, and I'd finished reading it before bedtime. It actually turns out to be more a paper/pamphlet than a book, so you're warned that the price is kind of high, at least if you think these things should be calculated per page. The basic thesis is that our universe may well be a simulation that's been constructed by some advanced civilization. I've seen this idea before; in particular, Paul Davies has a section on it in The Goldilocks Enigma , where he claims to have invented the argument. The way Davies tells the story, it's easier to construct a simulation than a "real" universe, and many advanced civilizations will reach the point where they can build simulated universes. Hence there are more conscious minds in simulated universes than in real ones. Hence we are most likely living in a simulation. Solomon makes it a bit more concrete by looking at current trends in quantum computing. As he says in the first paragraph:Seth Lloyd, director of the Center for Extreme Quantum Information Theory at MIT, recently wrote that a quantum computer with a 300-qubit processor could instantaneously perform more calculations than the number of atoms contained in our universe. While there might be a tendency to think that running simulated universes on computers is pure fantasy, at the time of publishing, D-Wave, the current creator of the most advanced quantum computing technology, announced that their team had designed a 512-qubit computer processor. DWave also announced a goal of doubling the size of their qubit processing capability once every 12 months.The author reads this as meaning that we are not far from being able to build computers that can simulate a whole universe. If he is correct, then the rest of the essay isn't particularly far-fetched. The simulations could be run much faster than real-time, and the simulated universes could quickly give rise to civilizations that themselves were capable of building simulated universes. There would be deep nestings of simulated universes: in the author's picturesque phrase, we would be living in a Russian doll universe, or matryoshkaverse. Other interesting consequences follow. But does the construction get off the ground? There is something extremely counterintuitive about the thought that a small part of the universe - a quantum computer only a bit more advanced than what we have now - can contain as much information as the whole of the surrounding universe. Mathematics tells us that the only way a part can be as large as the whole is if both are in fact infinite. So it seems to me that this only makes sense if the quantum multiverse being manipulated by a quantum computer is infinite. Can that really be right? Admittedly, the mathematics of quantum mechanics uses Hilbert space, which is infinite-dimensional. But if quantum computers were performing calculations by harnessing computing power that was literally infinite, rather than just very large, surely I'd have heard about it before? I am embarrassed to say that I can't immediately spot a fallacy, even though I suspect one is there. I clearly need to learn more about the fascinating subject of quantum computing; I said the same thing to myself after reading David Wallace's The Emergent Multiverse , but I didn't do anything about it. This time round, something might happen. Mark Solomon, thank you for the wake-up call! __________________________ Wait a minute... I think I was rather sleepy earlier this morning. The quantity of information in the universe certainly isn't infinite according to current theories. (This is the basic insight behind the Holographic Principle). So the information in a quantum computer must be very much less than the information in the whole universe, and hence the computer can't simulate the universe. It did seem like rather a lot to expect. Anyway, I've already ordered a copy of Deutsch, and hopefully that will push me in the direction of learning more about quantum computing, so reading Solomon's book was far from being a waste of time.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nick Wellings

    The author of this book, kindly approached me with a review copy, and I am offering my thoughts. I am not a specialist in physics, formally educated in mathematics or the sciences, but I am familiar with the substance of the argument. About a decade ago it found popular expression in articles like "Are You Living in the Matrix?", a question drawn from Nick Bostrom’s seminal "Are You Living in a Computer Simulation" paper (http://simulation-argument.com/simula...). The main idea of that paper is The author of this book, kindly approached me with a review copy, and I am offering my thoughts. I am not a specialist in physics, formally educated in mathematics or the sciences, but I am familiar with the substance of the argument. About a decade ago it found popular expression in articles like "Are You Living in the Matrix?", a question drawn from Nick Bostrom’s seminal "Are You Living in a Computer Simulation" paper (http://simulation-argument.com/simula...). The main idea of that paper is precisely as the title suggests. That you and I and our world may be computer generated and we may indeed live in a world akin to the Matrix. Solomon's idea is the same, that our universe could be all made by a computer, us included. To contexualise his argument, Dr Solomon begins by discussing the Canadian startup company D-Wave, who are trialing room temperature Quantum processors. We are in the early days of Quantum Computing. D-Wave claim to have run annealing programs and achieved results in advance of similar processes run on normal, or classical computers. However, as with anything, there is debate and contention: it has also been shown that the opposite is really the case, despite being purpose made for quantum annealing, a purpose made program running on a desktop computer exhibits superior processing power and crucially, speed, over the D-Wave: http://www.archduke.org/stuff/d-wave-... (zip to summary conclusions eg: "Prog-QAP on a single core of a normal desktop processor is at least 120 times faster, and the C version (not stored here) at least 12,000 times faster, than the Blackbox/D-Wave hybrid solver, as it is used in [2], at optimising the Quadratic Assignment Problem (QAP).") For more on the D-wave controversy see here: http://bluenotetechblog.com/is-that-q... McGeoch has a paper here http://www.cs.amherst.edu/ccm/cf14-mc... claiming the latest (at time of press) hardware was up to 1000 times faster than software. Who is right? The debate seems between those who are eager to believe and those who are less convinced. Regardless of who is right and wrong, let's not forget that the D Wave machine is a specialised instrument, an Adiabatic quantum computer and not a general computer or all purpose chip. In short, we have a way to go before we have a Quantum Computer in every home. We are lucky enough (or unlucky, depending on how badly you want a Quantum Computer!) to know we are at a comparatively early stage in the QC development cycle. The fantasy is that QC will become cheaper, ubiquitous and as above and crucially, more powerful because faster than standard silicon (or carbon or what-have-you) based computers, and Solomon takes this to its logical end point, that we may have a computer powerful enough to model whole universes. Solomon first invites us to consider that Moore's Law is failing, and Rose's Law will take over. I always thought Moore's Law was more a line of best fit and a handy rule of thumb, which worked fairly well, be accident or design. Rose's law is the same idea, but for Quantum computers and seems to me to be conjecture and expectation, one heuristic lifted into the realm of another in hope. But of course, I could be wrong. Solomon doesn't quite define what he means be living in a simulated universe. We can only guess that if we do live in one we wouldn't know what one is like. Similarly, we can't quite know we do live in one as there's no ready proof we can as yet find, nor a test we can develop to refute or affirm. (Incidentally, Bostrom and Chalmers both put the likelihood that we are living in one at 20%.) Are We Living In the Matrix? Let's assume we are living in a simulated universe then. What does that change for us? My answer: nothing. If we had proof, it would be of course mildly existentially odd, or even terrifying. Bostrom himself says nothing has changed for him since he thought of the idea, and rightly so. We must always remember that Bostrom’s argument is to interrogate the nature of ontological and metaphysical ideas we have been using, and by extension to interrogate the assumptions of certain philosophical ideas. We might liken it to Putnam's Twin Earth, Mary's Room, or the Chinese Room or other gedanken, inasmuch as we can postulate without ontological or existential commitment beyond what the gedanken questions: we use the formalism in pursuit of questions and more formalism. we don't live or die by its findings. Thus, living in a simulation, were it to be verified would be a curio, then. A fact of life. Let's briefly consider if the scenario can be true. The scenario can be allied with the mathematical problem of P = NP problem (http://web.archive.org/web/2006111914...) a conundrum which is part of the Clay Maths prize, which means, its really difficult and we don't know if it even has an answer. A large body of mathematicians seem to think that P does not equal NP, which means really big problems may have no solution, which directly links to computability: can you have a program that solves these problems? if not, then we may have a hard limit on computability, which seems related as Manny and others have said, to Turing completeness and the Halting problem, though as anyone who might read this can see, I am no expert at all on these questions. Why do I raise this computability problem? Because given enough variables and values, there'd need to be an awful lot of number crunching to do for even the mightiest UCQC (Universe computing quantum computer - my term for a really big universe simulating computer.) Also, we have a fundamental problem in physics about determinism. A two ball problem is fairly easy to solve. A three less so (Poincare had a go and got a prize for his efforts) but anything over three becomes pretty much impossible. We have as humans, excuse the pun, a hell of a lot of balls. Can a UCQC take into account this? Let's assume it can. Can it then take into account our human volition? If we grant the existence of free will (versus those like Dennett and van Inwagen who claim it is an illusion of sorts) then the UCQC must generate not only our environment but also our potentialities. It must offer, in the words of Monod, both Chance, and Necessity. That's a lot of computing power. Let's say that situation A offers choice x or y. Times that by 7 billion for every moment of bifurcation and you get a lot of explosiion of variables, and degrees of freedom. In short, it must calculate not only the verdical moment we think we each share, but if free will is available, it must compute the reality, or appearance of such, of each choice and moment of our lives.(Interestingly, if we follow van Inwagen we could suppose that the UCQC removes a lot of computing time and effort if it only gives us the illusion of free will!) We may hit upon another problem: current physics seems to be taken the "Multiverse" model more seriously. This is an interpretation of Quantum mechanics which says that every action happens for real, in a separate world. We get a very un-parsimonious circumstance, a blossoming of worlds. As Bostrom himself says, the simulated universe may be only investing power at the moment it needs to, to main the illusion of verisimilitude. Our UCQC may be less fastidious and "fine grained" all the way to the bottom, and more a Truman show-esque Potemkin village for each of us. (As such, might Kant's struggle to define the objective and subjective, a problem we are be-deviled with to this day, merely be a result of his, and by extension our -likely- alien programming? i.e. "Who will know the substance from the substrate?" We would not be allowed to question our programming. (or would we in some simulation?) Certainly if we assume that the number of baryons in the observable universe is 10^80, and we remove all those that are non-epistemically involved, i.e. not interacted with locally, then that’d remove a lot of computing power, time and energy. And, energy is a critical factor here, given a computer sufficiently powerful to model even a selectively generated universe, I wonder if a UCQC calculating the exact velocity of each particle must be, essentially, infinitely thermodynamically involved? Proponents of QCs say they are very thermodynamically and energy efficient, but I’d love to know the energy cost of one Q-bit and scale up from there. How much energy would be needed? What could generate these energies? And, further, cool the machine(s)? Solomon wonders if simulations are being run to map data backwards from origin, or forward as solution to existential threat (eg Bostrom's Doomsday scenario) We may then wonder, given sufficient computing strength, why the Designers gave us semblance of lives? Are our actions that necessary to calculate and model? Surely any historical data can be gleaned modelled and mapped, abstracted with degree of generality that excludes the variable and human. Isn't that how science proceeds? Or rather, OUR science? Couldn't we presume any sufficiently advanced society could model behaviour in all degrees of freedom and do without giving us an ontic illusion? I liked that Solomon gave a cute and creative solution to the fitness problem (why our universe seems fine tuned for life). He says we are in goldilocks universe because our programmers created it thus, but as with God, always one level removed (the "god of the gaps argument".) He also asks who fitnessed their universe, which is a good question! These preceding questions really only tackle the philosophical with the philosophical, they are as Hamlet said "words words words". We lack an acid test. Yet the book does as Solomon wishes, and offers us food for thought. (I would love to know the algorithm the UCQC uses to bound social interaction, plus the physical bounds like substrate, processing power, energies and flops and all that.) Contra Clarke, Solomon asks us to take seriously the idea that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from everyday life. Cynically taken, Solomon’s paper shares Tegmark’s fetishisation of computability, information and data, and as such sits in the recent trend of Kurzweillian soteriology, "techgnosis" and high fantasy, the displacement of God, not ghost, into the machine – techno-rapture as our future (or prison?). But isn’t that the fun? We may one day have Ringworlds, Dyson Spheres, and Universe simulating computers, or we may not. We may, Promethean-like, or um, Lucifer-like? fall down precisely because of our technology or run up against “existential, exogenous threats” loosely called the Doomsday scenario (http://www.nickbostrom.com/existentia..., http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0512204), which our Designers are furiously trying to calculate against . Or perhaps we are nothing more than complicated Sims equivalents, glorified Tamagochi? Designers, if you are out there, drop us a clue!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    "Computer? Arch!" Nothing happened. So, at least I'm not a holodeck-character on Starship Enterprise, am I? But maybe I'm an actor in a sophisticated computer simulation run by an advanced civilization? At least that's the basic theses of this book. I received a copy of it from the author - out of the blue - because I've made some comments on another review. For this I'm very grateful. This book contains quite some thought provoking statements (not to say mind bending). As far as I can see, the lo "Computer? Arch!" Nothing happened. So, at least I'm not a holodeck-character on Starship Enterprise, am I? But maybe I'm an actor in a sophisticated computer simulation run by an advanced civilization? At least that's the basic theses of this book. I received a copy of it from the author - out of the blue - because I've made some comments on another review. For this I'm very grateful. This book contains quite some thought provoking statements (not to say mind bending). As far as I can see, the logic behind those statements and the conclusions are sound. That is if you accept, only for the sake of argument, the basic assumption of one (or many nested) simulated universe(s). The only point on which I would disagree with the author, is the question of free will. The most interesting topics, to me, that are covered here are the question of "Why?" and the section about the indistinguishable influence between the computer simulated universes we might create and the entity or civilization that runs our own simulation. Confused yet? Don't be. You don't need a degree in rocket surgery to understand this book. I recommend this book. But that's irrelevant. Whether you read it or not, is predetermined anyhow, or maybe not? This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gary Beauregard Bottomley

    The author had previously sent me a copy of this book about three years ago and I finally got around to reading it. I think the book (more of an essay) is really well done. There’s not a single thing in it where I haven’t at some time thought the same thought, but he puts all of the thoughts together with coherence as an essay should. Most people naively think that we live in a simulation is an absurd thought. Most people haven’t thought about it correctly like this author has. I would strongly r The author had previously sent me a copy of this book about three years ago and I finally got around to reading it. I think the book (more of an essay) is really well done. There’s not a single thing in it where I haven’t at some time thought the same thought, but he puts all of the thoughts together with coherence as an essay should. Most people naively think that we live in a simulation is an absurd thought. Most people haven’t thought about it correctly like this author has. I would strongly recommend this Neil deGrasse Tyson moderated debate on “Are we living in a Simulation”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgSZA... Tyson gets it. The other scientists on the panel, by and large, are gifted in their domain but only for the range in the area of their specialization and don't understand the nature of philosophy and why it’s important and how philosophy of science could make them better at doing science. Our truths are based on our ‘arche’ (categories) and those are chosen by the human intellect and may not be unique or correct. The 'present-at-hand' gives the 'ready-at-hand' and comes together through human being ('dasein', that which takes a stand on its own understanding). The world is not understood through atomization (read Kierkegaard, or Nietzsche for further amplification). There are a couple of things I would add to this book. Einstein said “time is an illusion”, Bergson and most of quantum physics disagree. The author definitely leaned toward a necessary universe without free will. That would imply cause and effect are just labels we put on things to understand the world (Bertrand Russell says that too). Contradictions only exist within logic but within physics we cannot reconcile entanglement (the author speaks about that as he should), Heisenberg Uncertainty, and the double slit experiment (for the second two, a footnote in ‘Philosophy of Science’ edited by Curd, shows how they violate the mutually exhaustive rule of logic. There are only three laws of logic: reflexive, mutually exhaustive and contradiction, and Wittgenstein will say the reflexive is never applicable except in trivial cases). These ideas all show that there is a crack in our worldviews and it would be as if we are in a Mario Bros. video game where we can only know what the programmer allows us to understand. In Aristotle’s ‘Ethics’ and ‘Metaphysics’ he deals with a necessary world, but only later adds a special category in a short paper of his for the human intellect. Spinoza does not. He just assumes necessity and no free will. To me, it seems, within a computer simulation there is not free will. That is how I see our existence. Having no free will doesn’t mean we are in a computer simulation, but I think if we had free will I would say we were not in a simulation. (BTW, free will in Western Civilization was created by Augustine because he wanted to allow God to judge us for our acts, and he defined it as the will that is analogous within God when He created the universe). Feynman would say that we can explain quantum physics to the 10th decimal place, but nobody understands it. His world, quantum physics, explains the world digitally. Einstein world is understood continuously. Currently the two world views are not reconcilable. It often seems to me as if we are inside a computer simulation because we often aren’t able to understand our own reality at a fundamental level. We only explain it. I don’t want to end on a pseudo-scientific assertion, but I think that it’s possible to (at least in theory) make a hypothesis that can be falsified to support the assertion that we are in a simulation. I think Nick Bostrom (who is quoted within this book frequently) probably has some ideas on that. I realize I'm not connecting all the dots and showing why I think we live in a simulation, but it's a idea I somewhat support and have thought about often. I think when you are given eternal time and infinite space the most logical conclusion is we reside in a simulation or we will survive to create a simulations for others. This book is a fun read. I liked the way he wrote because he just assumed his reader was interested in the topic and does write sometimes somewhat complex sentences. He does say at the end of the book he wrote it in order to spark interest in the topic. I think the overwhelming majority of the people I have met just reject the simulation hypothesis outright but I really think (for most of them) they just never have thought about the problem beyond it as a form of solipsism (‘me ism’) and reject it on those kind of terms. (If I were to write a paper on this topic, I would definitely include Descartes, Hegel and most of all Heidegger. Heidegger has elegant reasons for dismissing solipsism, but he would also say, according to Herbert Dryfus, that Super AI is impossible, but I definitely disagree with that. I think Super AI is inevitable. Thus leading to living in a simulation).

  5. 4 out of 5

    uosɯɐS

    The author of this book, kindly approached me with a review copy, and I am offering my thoughts. First of all, I'm not sure it could properly be called a book, as fiction novels for example, are usually at least 20k words and this was only about one quarter of that length. Not that I care, it was nice to be able to read it in an afternoon. Anyway, it was very interesting. For example, I didn't know that "a quantum computer with a 300-qubit processor could instantaneously perform more calculations The author of this book, kindly approached me with a review copy, and I am offering my thoughts. First of all, I'm not sure it could properly be called a book, as fiction novels for example, are usually at least 20k words and this was only about one quarter of that length. Not that I care, it was nice to be able to read it in an afternoon. Anyway, it was very interesting. For example, I didn't know that "a quantum computer with a 300-qubit processor could instantaneously perform more calculations than the number of atoms contained in our universe." Hmmm. I've not read much on quantum computing, someday perhaps I'll get around to more of that... and I didn't realize that the Moore of Moore's Law was the co-founder of Intel, or that there was now a corollary for quantum computing in the form of Rose's Law. Interesting :) The author keeps saying things like "If computer simulated universes happen to exist, then there is a high probability that we reside within at least one and likely more than one simulated universe." I would rephrase this as "There is a high probability that any given universe [...]", of which, of course, our universe is one. However, I would expect there to be some sort of observable characteristics that might predict whether we are say, a later or earlier universe (I don't remember the details, but in Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe I do remember being quite impressed that Smolin was able to offer examples of detectable characteristics that might tell us something about the universe(s) we were spawned from). Anyway, something like that would be needed for this idea to ever graduate to being a real theory. How do you test it? Could any test results falsify the theory? This was hinted at, with the analogy of music recordings "one could, theoretically, be able to devise an analytical method for counting the number of CD copies of copies created since the original recording." But if we don't yet have a method for doing this with CDs, then it seems a distant prospect that we'll ever have this capability for universes, especially when, unlike the CD analogy, we don't have access to the original for comparison, and we don't know anything about universe genetics (since we don't even know if there are universes other than ours). I liked the point that, for all we know, our time could be running backwards from that of our progenitor simulation/universe. MJS has coined a new term: matryoshkaverse (or, Russian doll universe). Love it! Overall, I'd say it was a fun read for an afternoon - I'd be much more impressed if there were more ideas about how to actually test a theory like this. But if something like this is true, I think it'd be cool if those who started the simulation would take an active interest, like the Ragged Trousered Philosopher has suggested.

  6. 5 out of 5

    A.J.

    I came across this book during the course of researching a concept for a series of novels I've written that, while not technically related to one another in a strict sense, have underlying themes (and recurring standalone characters). At first, I was put off by this work's price, coupled with its relative brevity of approximately 50 pages. I hardly want to pay $5 for a full-length novel (particularly of the self-published variety); $7 for what's essentially the length of a Masters thesis? Heh, n I came across this book during the course of researching a concept for a series of novels I've written that, while not technically related to one another in a strict sense, have underlying themes (and recurring standalone characters). At first, I was put off by this work's price, coupled with its relative brevity of approximately 50 pages. I hardly want to pay $5 for a full-length novel (particularly of the self-published variety); $7 for what's essentially the length of a Masters thesis? Heh, no. I bit the bullet anyhow, and I'm glad I did. Solomon has written a very concise but thorough, thought-provoking book, laying out considerations and presumptive truths for our universe having been simulated by a far more advanced civilization. Let me be clear - this book isn't arguing whether or not it's feasible that our universe has been computer simulated; Solomon starts out with the premise that it already undeniably is. Maybe it's a stretch (then again, after reading this, I'm incredibly inclined to believe it's not, which is saying something for my generally skeptical self). By starting off with that aspect of reality already settled, however, Solomon is able to present some really interesting lines of reasoning about what then may, may not, cannot, or must be true about the world we live in, as well as the primary/original advanced civilization and other potential simulated universes in existence. Basically, it was the perfect food for thought to help me finalize the fictional worlds I've been writing in, in anticipation of publication. On Computer Simulated Universes is a worthwhile read even if you aren't a writer hellbent on making their stories as scientifically plausible as possible though. It brings up some great considerations, some that if you're anything like me I expect you'll want to bring up among other similarly inquisitive folks. The book is written in a way that's completely digestible for those without much solid basis in the hard sciences and, while not venturing ever into traditionally philosophical approaches, acknowledges other angles this topic could be approached and cites sources accordingly. In sum, Solomon has written a small gem that a wide variety of audiences will appreciate -- assuming they're willing to accept his initial, immutable premise that we're all existing within a computer simulated world from the outset.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    Roughly 40 years ago, I read a science fiction short story that I still think about. In it, a person falls asleep in an odd location and ends up waking up and repeating the previous day all over again. He discovers that he is not in fact a person but is now a simulation of a person, repeating the same day over and over again, as is everyone else he knows. And why would this be happening? Marketers are using this simulation to determine what slogans sell the best. I have always thought that is a Roughly 40 years ago, I read a science fiction short story that I still think about. In it, a person falls asleep in an odd location and ends up waking up and repeating the previous day all over again. He discovers that he is not in fact a person but is now a simulation of a person, repeating the same day over and over again, as is everyone else he knows. And why would this be happening? Marketers are using this simulation to determine what slogans sell the best. I have always thought that is a pretty good explanation for the world I live in. Reading Solomon's short booklet shows the march of science has driven philosophical questions about that same topic. His first argument is about why we should think we are in a simulated universe. If you assume that is true, then he follows up with what that implies for how we live. I'm not sure I buy the argument, but it certainly is something interesting to think about, and I'm glad I read it. I am also not sure what the value is in thinking that you're in a simulation - it seems that more good comes out of assuming you are not. But I am sure that if I exist in a simulation, then it is being created for monetary purposes, and marketers are in charge. This seems to be an excellent book to hand out to your friends before a night of philosophical discussions, especially for those science minded. I received a copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads program.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I was so surprised by how much I liked this book. When I first picked it up I thought it would be way over my head and I would never understand what it was about but I was so wrong. I wish everyone I know would read this book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Jones

    I should first say that if you do not appreciate this genre, then this book really won't be for you. Fortunately, I do happen to enjoy this genre quite a bit and like reading about issues having to do with metaphysics, philosophy of science, etc. For those who don't know, there have been some relatively sound arguments that have come out over the last few years stating that we all live inside a computer simulated universe. No, Really!! So what you will need to accept as a premise (sort of like a I should first say that if you do not appreciate this genre, then this book really won't be for you. Fortunately, I do happen to enjoy this genre quite a bit and like reading about issues having to do with metaphysics, philosophy of science, etc. For those who don't know, there have been some relatively sound arguments that have come out over the last few years stating that we all live inside a computer simulated universe. No, Really!! So what you will need to accept as a premise (sort of like a thought experiment I suppose) is that we live in a simulation. With this assumption, the author conjectures what this might mean for the universe(s) we live in. He first states that if we end up running computer simulated universes, then this has likely already been done many times before and there is a good chance that we all live inside of a computer simulation. This has been said before but Dr. Solomon goes on to discuss what this would mean for concepts like Free Will, Time, Ethics, etc. What I found intriguing was his explanation of how natural selection might work regarding the evolution of universes. Basically, he reasons that if computer simulated universes exist then simulations inside simulations would exist too with different universes having different physics. From an evolutionary perspective, simulated universes with certain physical traits would tend to survive longer and produce more habitable environments for more advanced civilizations to produce a higher number of simulated universes themselves having those desirable physical traits, and so forth. The book is on the short side and I do wish he had elaborated more on his central concepts. But maybe, if this book is successful, there will be a follow-up. A really cool read. I don't imagine all of what he has written is plausible, but some of it is really sort of mind-blowing when you think about it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeffery Turner

    What an unusual book! Being in IT I am aware of the constant increase in computing power we see each year. So when Mark threw out a quantum computer with enough addressable data points to build a literal simulated universe I was amazed. Then the real meat of this digital sandwich was served up. We may be in a simulate universe ourselves. I am not sure about that but Mark does a good job explaining this and it will make you think, or make you head spin and explode depending on how you view reality What an unusual book! Being in IT I am aware of the constant increase in computing power we see each year. So when Mark threw out a quantum computer with enough addressable data points to build a literal simulated universe I was amazed. Then the real meat of this digital sandwich was served up. We may be in a simulate universe ourselves. I am not sure about that but Mark does a good job explaining this and it will make you think, or make you head spin and explode depending on how you view reality, God, time, and existence. This is a deep book conceptually and while it is only 47 pages long you will get hundreds of pages worth of reflection and thought out of reading it. So I recommend reading it but hold on to your hat..... BTW, I won it in a Giveaway! Jeff Turner

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jakep

    Very Awesome. I believe the book is ahead of its time. Probably won't get read much though unless a known reviewer gets it out there. Very Awesome. I believe the book is ahead of its time. Probably won't get read much though unless a known reviewer gets it out there.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Kent

    A brief re-hash of some heady food for philosophical thought. Its a mere 44 pages and deserved some fleshing out. As it stands, it feels too much like a hobbyists pamphlet.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tarun

  14. 4 out of 5

    Robert

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  16. 5 out of 5

    Robin

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Trease

  18. 5 out of 5

    Edwin

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lanijiro

  20. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

  22. 5 out of 5

    Erik Lundqvist

  23. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  24. 5 out of 5

    Brent Willett

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emerson Spartz

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rob

  27. 4 out of 5

    👑 💀

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Savard

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lynnell Koser

  30. 4 out of 5

    joseph mathay

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