David Ice’s been saying it for years, now Elon Musk and his mates think so too. Our lives are a simulation…….
Simulation Hypothesis: Living In The Matrix? Tech Billionaires Funding Research To Get Out
Tech billionaires’ latest obsession — outside of suing websites into oblivion and attending odd, expensive festivals in the desert — is apparently one that gripped the country in 1999. The bad news: We’re all just living in the Matrix. The good news: According to a New Yorker story this week, a couple of tech billionaires are secretly funding research to break us out. (One can only assume Keanu Reeves is onboard the project as a consultant.)
Jokes aside, the idea is called the simulation hypothesis and it’s growing in popularity with the Silicon Valley nouveau-riche, as well as in idiosyncratic corners of Reddit. The New Yorker piece by Tad Friend was centered on Sam Altman, CEO of the “startup accelerator” Y Combinator, but took a detour into Matrix territory.
Wrote Friend: “Many people in Silicon Valley have become obsessed with the simulation hypothesis, the argument that what we experience as reality is in fact fabricated in a computer; two tech billionaires have gone so far as to secretly engage scientists to work on breaking us out of the simulation.”
The two billionaires from the New Yorker profile are left unnamed, but there is one tech billionaire who has publicly addressed the theory — SpaceX/Tesla CEO, and real life Tony Stark, Elon Musk. In fact, he thinks it’s highly unlikely we’re not in some form of simulation.
“There’s a one in billions chance we’re in base reality,” Musk said at the Recode Code Conference in June.
“The strongest argument for us being in a simulation, probably being in a simulation is the following: 40 years ago, we had pong, two rectangles and a dot,” Musk added. “That is what games 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, augmented reality, if you assume any rate of improvement at all, the games will become indistinguishable from reality.”