Sleight of Mind
Posted by aogSunday, 02 September 2007 at 20:51 TrackBack Ping URL

I found the “what if the universe is a simulation?” discussion not very interesting. You’d do better to watch The Thirteenth Floor which has actual plot twists and raises a much more interesting question (far more interesting than The Matrix did).

But the reason it was uninteresting reminded me of this post about how life might have come to Earth via comets.

The common thread is both theories just, as we code slingers say, “swish the dirt around”. They don’t explain anything, they simply move the problem from here to there. Where / how did life start? Not here on Earth, somewhere else. What is the fundamental reality? It’s not here in this simulation, it’s over there. Most of the multi-verse theories have the same aesthetic flaw, which is why they’ve never been attractive to me. If we don’t assume, a priori, that we have access to reality, then there’s no point in asking any more questions on the subject.

P.S. One interesting question that could arise is the defintion of “simulation”. What if the physical structure of the universe is the computation engine that’s “simulating”us? Some of the commentors on the original article say “it would take as much mass and energy as is in the Universe to run the simulation”. Well, hey, the Universe, it turns out, contains as much mass and energy as it contains! But is that a simulation? Actually, I need to do another post on this because it interects with an old post at the Daily Duck I have been meaning to write about.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
Hey Skipper Monday, 03 September 2007 at 00:00

Well, hey, the Universe, it turns out, contains as much mass and energy as it contains! But is that a simulation?

And that is an improvement on swishing the dirt around how?

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 03 September 2007 at 00:16

At least you’re not multiplying entities.

Ali Choudhury Monday, 03 September 2007 at 08:20

How does Thirteenth Floor compare to Dark City?

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 03 September 2007 at 09:10

I liked Dark City better, but that was because it was more cinematic. Thirteenth Floor is more film noir like.

Michael Herdegen Monday, 03 September 2007 at 10:02

…raises a much more interesting question (far more interesting than The Matrix did).

It seemed to me that the genius of the Matrix trilogy was almost all in the cinematography. (As well as Carrie-Anne Moss’s catsuit, and overall styling). The actual storyline and dialogue were pretty flacid, for the most part. Everyone’s a critic, etc., but it really should have been two films.

But it did raise existential questions, and in a youth-friendly format, so maybe some kids who had never before considered such things were inspired to go on to explore more deeply.

Annoying Old Guy Monday, 03 September 2007 at 13:37

I would basically agree. I liked The Matrix but I would rate Dark City and The Thirteenth Floor as more interesting movies. As here, credit where credit is due. I think, in fact, that the acclaim for The Matrix is a big part of what ruined the sequels.

cjm Thursday, 06 September 2007 at 18:49

“Dark City”, imo, is a better, more serious movie than “13th Floor”. it has better acting, a better story, and better effects. having said that, i like “The 13th Floor” quite a lot, so definitely check it out.

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