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Neil deGrasse Tyson: We’re likely living in a simulation

Larry King NowJul 03 '17

Neil deGrasse Tyson – like Elon Musk – says it’s hard to argue that we aren’t living in a simulation, explaining that with the computing power to create worlds – that can create worlds, that then create more worlds – the likelihood that we’re living in the “real world” is, at best, slim.


Larry King: Like Mr.Musk thinks, are we living in simulation?

Neil deGrasse Tyson: I find it hard to argue against that possibility.

Larry King: Meaning?

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Meaning, you look at our computing power today and you say, “I have the power to program a world inside of a computer.” Well, imagine in the future when you have even more power than that and you can create characters that have for example, free will or their own perception of free will. So, this is a world; and I program the laws that govern that world. That world will have its own laws of physics, and chemistry, and biology. Now you’re a character in that world and you think youhave free will, and say, “ I want invent a computer.” So you do. “Hey! I want to create a world in my computer.” And then that world creates a world in its computer. And then, you have simulations all the way down. So now, you lay out all these universes and throw a dart, which of these universes are you most likely to hit? The original one that started it or the countless simulations...the daughter simulations that unfolded thereafter? You’re gonna hit one of the simulations. So, statistically, based on that argument -which first appeared by a philosopher from Oxford name Nick Bostrom, back in the 1990s, right when computers were becoming real enough to think this through- it’s hard to argue against the possibility that all of us are not just some creation of some kid in a parents basement programming up a world for their own entertainment. And then, every time something weird happens in the world, some disruptive leader takes charge, I wonder if that programmer just got bored and just had to stir the pot. So throw somebody in there just for their own entertainment. For me, that’s some of the best evidence that we live in a simulation; because this happens every time there’s peace and tranquility in the world.

Larry King: But if it’s true, what can we do about it? If like the Truman movie, we’re in that...

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Yeah, well, he can try to escape by going through - like in the Truman movie... to go through the barrier. But, if you were programmed by somebody, yeah, you’d know. There’s nothing you could do.

Larry King: So what difference does it make if I’m programmed by someone, since I don’t know it?

Neil deGrasse Tyson: I guess it doesn’t make any difference at all.

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