One of the more prominent philosophical approaches to understanding the nature of our reality in addition to environmental interactions and apparent cyclical behavior of civilization rest upon the simulation hypothesis. Simulation is not relatively new but rather a new method of explaining the nature of reality, sharing tenants with Buddhism as well as cross pollination with many other religions and philosophies. Given the rapid advances in technology, and fundamental knowledge of computer programming it begins to reason, that any uninterrupted advancement of technology will excel to an point in that virtual reality will begin to near a point indistinguishable from reality itself. The standard allegory as brought forth in much of science fiction being that if one were to never wake up from a dream, how would one be aware it is in fact a dream. For purposes of the inherent discussion one would avoid the inclusion of the multiverse theory, and this would only compound the possibilities to inconceivable probabilities.

Given the baseline assumptions of technological innovation driving humanity towards the precipice of artificial intelligence in addition to advances in virtual reality it is interesting to note a few considerations. In the absence of an doomsday scenario humanity will inevitably acquire such technology as to create an computer simulation in which individuals would experience realities as indistinguishable from reality. In general consideration of the simulation theory hypothesis many possibilities arise in questions, such as: could one predict the future by extrapolation of past trends, scientific modelling, common sense, etc. Additionally if one accepted the theory of  a simulation, would one live a life in much the same way as though convinced of living a non-simulated life at the bottom level of reality? To the extent one were able to understand the motives or intent of the creators of the simulation would it be possible to predict future events or conjecture to go about in accordance with actions which enhance the probabilities of a probable outcome? Would it be possible for a simulated individual to transcend into the simulator’s universe, or for the simulators to be given body’s to exist in the simulated universe? It becomes clear technology is raising questions regarding many themes which have been reiterated across religion, myths, and philosophy across the centuries.

The Matrix

In the light of scientific advancement, there are many areas of research which might support the idea of simulation theory, foremost being the more we advance in our knowledge of the universe the more it becomes apparent it is founded on mathematical laws and precision. “If I were a character in a computer game, I would also discover eventually that the rules seemed completely rigid and mathematical,” said Max Tegmark, a cosmologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “That just reflects the computer code in which it was written.” Other interesting considerations of conjecture may include propositions such as, are there moments when the simulation may necessitate program updates or corrections to fundamental programs? “Forty years ago we had Pong – two rectangles and a dot. That’s where we were. Now 40 years later, we have photorealistic, 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously and it’s getting better every year. And soon we’ll have virtual reality, we’ll have augmented reality,” says Elon Musk. “If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality.”

One of the ostensive contraindications which may raise doubt in regards to simulation theory would propose that if the reality in current existence is yet a simulation it may be proposed we are yet at the lowest level of simulation, which if true would propose the current simulated civilization does not have access to the level of computing power of the simulating civilization thus which the current existence would remain in a realm of lower resolution and will never gain access to such power never acquiring the ability to create realistic computational simulations, therefore the perceived ability to create realistic environments may be an illusion. Some however tend to perceive simulation theory as profound and game changing as Copernicus realizing the Earth not being the center of the universe. Previously scientist had attempted in vain to describe the complex behavior of planets with imprecise yet complex models however in light of the Sun being the center of the universe were able to drop such complex mathematics and calculations then became much simpler.

Given the proposed assumption one may arrive to a few conclusions regarding simulation hypothesis. Either the fraction of intelligent civilizations which may reach advanced technology is near zero, or the ability if humanity continues to progress on any moderate advancement of technology simulation theory is probable. If the former is true humanity will almost certainly become extent in the near future, or we are almost certainly living in a simulation, the implications of which are near inconceivable in the grand scale of humanity and civilization.