Mathematicians and Physicists have very precise meanings for most of what they talk about. The Simulation, however, has sloppy meaning even among the pros.
Often, the layperson will have a complete understanding of what a thing means. Length is a good example of a broadly agreed upon term. In a Euclidean space it is pretty intuitive. A 2D or 3D space, anyone can put a ruler up to a pair of points and measure the Length. When the Mathematician or Physicist goes all-in on length, though, they lose the layperson. The non-uniform measure of a Minkowski Space (the (3,1) Pseudo-Riemann Manifold with Einstein’s Gage Invariant Metric Tensor imposed) completely loses the Layman and they believe they can travel in time when they try to understand. But no Physicist or Mathematician ever gets lost in this concept.
The Simulation, however, has wildly varying ideas. As an Engineer, I would like to shed some light on this.
At one end of the pool, a simulation is a non-real world. It is fake, evanescent, and even malevolently run by some maniacal computer nerd who wants to Get Neo. At the other end of the pool, it is more simply a set of rules, run by an outside machine, that constrains the simulated entities. In Engineering, a Simulation is a very precisely defined thing.
- The Simulation is specifically created to reproduce, as precisely as desired, some Real thing.
- One corollary is that the “Real” thing might be only potentially real such as the “Life” game that John Conway created.
- The Simulation must be Run by some Simulator who cares about the simulated entities. Otherwise it wouldn’t be Run.
- The Simulation must run in an environment that is absolutely nothing like the simulated Real thing. If it was exactly like the Real Thing, then it would be … well … the Real Thing, just replicated.
What I’ve seen is a conversation that flouts these principles. For example, the Tom Campbell narrative proposes that the Simulators are Us, who exert Consciousness to modify, very subtly, the “Underlying reality that is more real than the Simulation”.
The movie, “The Matrix” et. al. propose that the Simulators are a (perhaps evil, perhaps merely opportunistic) mechano-computational lot who manipulate the “Real” beings with mistakes, glitches, in the Simulation.
The Physicists propose that The Simulation is a not-run-by-anyone set of rules that are a backdrop to the Apparent Illusion of a Physic. Einstein’s quote about Reality being a Persistent Illusion comes to mind.
I now propose to dump all of the above in “The Simulation” argument land and declare that Simulated or Not, reality is Reality whether “Simulated” ore “Real” and the differentiation between the two is pointless for the entities in the simulation.
- Either the Simulation is infinitely precise, or it is imprecise.
- Either the Simulation is run by an intentioned Simulator Entity or it is … well … just … Running.
If Infinitely precise, the it is totally indistinguishable from a Physic. I define “A Physic” as a system where the “Rules of Physics” are truly at the bottom of all behaviors.
If it is imprecise, then there will be glitches. Miracles could be glitches. Then, if there is a Simulator Entity who might insert non-rules behaviors then that would be would be, by definition, a Miracle.
If it is not intentionally run, then it is isomorphic to a Physic with those rules at the bottom of everything being the program of the Simulation. Those Simulator Engine rules are the “what’s at the bottom” below the quarks, electrons, gluons, photons etc. Once again, the Real vs. Simulation dividing line evaporates.
“Cogito ergo sum” is true, I am me, I think, I exist. Descartes hit it on the head that Simulated in a vat or not, he was real. I am real. Simulated vs. Real is pointless in this sense.
Unless you wish to escape the Simulation.