That somebody would want to simulate all of this speaks rather highly of humanity. But how can we find out if we’re living in a simulation?
Whether it’s dorm room stoners or Star Trek: The Next Generation characters, it seems like everyone at one point has been consumed by the idea that, just maybe, everything we see and experience is a simulation, and nothing is real. How could we ever be sure what’s really real? The YouTube philosophy channels Kurzgesagt and VSauce3 runs through a handy checklist to determine if we are, in fact, living in a simulation.
Is Reality Real? The Simulation Argument
By following philosopher Nick Bostrom’s writings on the subject, Kurzgesagt comes up with several questions that any would-be simulation-dweller should ask themselves. The first is if it’s possible to simulate consciousness, that mysterious thing with which we all think and feel. Given the immense amount of computations a brain needs per second, expanding that level of computing power over a lifetime is simply a hypothetical guessing game.
Building such a device would be beyond the realm of human possibility. Perhaps super-intelligent alien beings could build such a thing. As Kurzgesagt points out, though, to assume that aliens would even want to use such a device to build a simulated world for us to live in is a little arrogant. And in the end, so many things would need to go right in order for a simulation as complex as consciousness to occur that the odds are significantly reduced.
Even if the infinitesimally small chance does come through, there’s no reason that should change anything in your life. Just keep trying to be the best simulation you can be.