# Argument from possible simulation

#### connick

##### Junior Member
Sorry, instead of writing "axioms that forestall subsequent reasoning" I should have written "axioms that do not forestall subsequent reasoning" or something along those lines.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
excreationist said:
Yes it is possible that there is a small amount of demand....[for deceiving everyone about addition]
Yes, but it's also possible that there is a ton of demand or even that simulations in the outside world must misrepresent arithmetic (assuming there is something equivalent).
"Must"!? I completely disagree with that though I don't have a counter-argument that would convince you that you are wrong.
As you have alluded to before, maybe it is impossible or at the least impractical to simulate everything in minute detail. Maybe if we reach the observational boundaries of the simulation we find that numbers are truncated or rounded or there is just a big gray wall with a sign that says "out of memory".
I was saying that I don't think the 10^57 atoms in the Sun are constantly simulated but are instead approximated. Intervening on an atomic level when people are counting circles, etc, would make things more CPU intensive.
It's all purely speculation because, again, we can't know anything about the outside world.
You keep on asserting that. I disagree but am unable to convince you that your belief is flawed.
The fact that we can't know means that anything could be possible, even things that might make no sense to us.
Yes according to you, even having no simulation creator, no limit to resources, no causality, time, etc?
excreationist said:
So you could have five objects - count them and it counts up to four. Then get half of them and count them - four. Then take those away and count the remainder - four. So 4 - 4 = 4....

It would cause a problem with economics and finance... Say there were 5 coins... when you count them you get 4. Then you give "4" (one) to one person, another "4" (one) to another, etc, until you suddenly have zero (I assume zero doesn't count to four).
I can imagine all sorts of scenarios where inconsistencies in a simulation might cause strange behavior like what you describe above. I likewise imagine that, in a world where math was "broken", the beings there might not bother to engage in economics and finance.
Again I have a problem with this but am unable to convince you.

excreationist said:
I'm talking about simulations that are like the world we find ourselves in...
Well, at the outset we were talking about "a" simulation, not a specific subset of simulations that only meet certain criteria.
I thought you said that we can't know anything about the simulation that we are in.... (i.e. simulations like our own)
It shouldn't be surprising that I am insisting that arithmetic need not be consistent in a simulation. It's readily provable because we can make simulations where math is broken in exactly the ways I have already described. We can do it right now.

Here is a function that adds two numbers together:

{
return num1 + num2;
}

Here is a "broken" version where the result is always four:

{
return 4;
}

Here is another "broken" version where the result is a random integer:

{
return rand();
}

You could use any of these functions in a simulation.
When a person is counting circles do you think it would involve computer functions just like that? I think neural networks are involved as a key part of how the simulation works.

....I hope that my examples above and before will convince you of the fact that the way math works in a simulation can be purely arbitrary.
When counting circles in a very detailed simulation (that can go down to the atomic level) addition naturally works. (counting the parts and the total) Note that people learn (or invent) the names of the numbers - they aren't programmed it by an outside programmer using functions like you mentioned.

To make it involve incorrect addition you've got to intelligently intervene a lot - by making the physical circle drawings or the perception of them change... that kind of deception would involve decoding the thought processes in everyone's brains and tweaking things across many neurons, etc.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
"Must"!? I completely disagree with that though I don't have a counter-argument that would convince you that you are wrong.
As you have alluded to before, maybe it is impossible or at the least impractical to simulate everything in minute detail. Maybe if we reach the observational boundaries of the simulation we find that numbers are truncated or rounded or there is just a big gray wall with a sign that says "out of memory".
I was saying that I don't think the 10^57 atoms in the Sun are constantly simulated but are instead approximated. Intervening on an atomic level when people are counting circles, etc, would make things more CPU intensive.
It's all purely speculation because, again, we can't know anything about the outside world.
You keep on asserting that. I disagree but am unable to convince you that your belief is flawed.
The fact that we can't know means that anything could be possible, even things that might make no sense to us.
Yes according to you, even having no simulation creator, no limit to resources, no causality, time, etc?
excreationist said:
So you could have five objects - count them and it counts up to four. Then get half of them and count them - four. Then take those away and count the remainder - four. So 4 - 4 = 4....

It would cause a problem with economics and finance... Say there were 5 coins... when you count them you get 4. Then you give "4" (one) to one person, another "4" (one) to another, etc, until you suddenly have zero (I assume zero doesn't count to four).
I can imagine all sorts of scenarios where inconsistencies in a simulation might cause strange behavior like what you describe above. I likewise imagine that, in a world where math was "broken", the beings there might not bother to engage in economics and finance.
Again I have a problem with this but am unable to convince you.

excreationist said:
I'm talking about simulations that are like the world we find ourselves in...
Well, at the outset we were talking about "a" simulation, not a specific subset of simulations that only meet certain criteria.
I thought you said that we can't know anything about the simulation that we are in.... (i.e. simulations like our own)
It shouldn't be surprising that I am insisting that arithmetic need not be consistent in a simulation. It's readily provable because we can make simulations where math is broken in exactly the ways I have already described. We can do it right now.

Here is a function that adds two numbers together:

{
return num1 + num2;
}

Here is a "broken" version where the result is always four:

{
return 4;
}

Here is another "broken" version where the result is a random integer:

{
return rand();
}

You could use any of these functions in a simulation.
When a person is counting circles do you think it would involve computer functions just like that? I think neural networks are involved as a key part of how the simulation works.

....I hope that my examples above and before will convince you of the fact that the way math works in a simulation can be purely arbitrary.
When counting circles in a very detailed simulation (that can go down to the atomic level) addition naturally works. (counting the parts and the total) Note that people learn (or invent) the names of the numbers - they aren't programmed it by an outside programmer using functions like you mentioned.

To make it involve incorrect addition you've got to intelligently intervene a lot - by making the physical circle drawings or the perception of them change... that kind of deception would involve decoding the thought processes in everyone's brains and tweaking things across many neurons, etc.

Not to mention that it would literally break the universe. If a universe does not allow grouping things to create a grouping, specifically, of those things; or fungible exchange, many, literally nothing in that universe would make any sense. It would near-instantly fill with rand(), and then become whatever the final result of the final rand() recursion produced. That whole universe is a non-starter, quite literally.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
connick:

They don't seem to explain why it is easier for humans to calculate 1000 + 1000 than 757 + 954....

#### connick

##### Junior Member
excreationist said:
"Must"!? I completely disagree with that though I don't have a counter-argument that would convince you that you are wrong.
For context, I stated:
connick said:
it's also possible that there is a ton of demand or even that simulations in the outside world must misrepresent arithmetic
I'll start by asking, if you disagree, could you try and articulate why? Even if you can't come up with a response that definitively refutes what I've said, if you could even tell me why you feel or suspect this is wrong, it will help me understand your thinking process and your position on the subject.

Since a being inside of a simulation cannot know for sure what goes on outside of a simulation, then pretty much anything is possible in that outside world. It is entirely possible that in an outside world, there are limitations on how a simulation may be constructed. One of those possible limitations could be that "real" math cannot be faithfully represented in the simulation. As such, it's possible that even if a faithful representation of arithmetic was desired it might not be possible to implement.

As an analog, consider the limitations about what we can and cannot simulate. It is impossible (or so it seems) for us to simulate the behavior of every atom in our universe because that would require too much memory and computational power. Therefore, we have to truncate, round, approximate or otherwise misrepresent the actual behaviors we would like to simulate. It could be the same in an outside world. These limitations could be negligible, like rounding off at the billionth decimal place, or they could be gross, like forbidding certain operations entirely. I cannot, nor do I need to, enumerate all of the possible limitations of an outside world because 1) they are unknowable and 2) it suffices to say that the possible limitations are endless.

excreationist said:
I was saying that I don't think the 10^57 atoms in the Sun are constantly simulated but are instead approximated. Intervening on an atomic level when people are counting circles, etc., would make things more CPU intensive.
With regard to the first sentence here, please see above. Regarding the second sentence, I understand why you might think that, but it is not necessarily true.

As a counterexample, consider that if we are in a simulation, any portion of it could be "filled in" rather than computed. That is to say, in any of our counting examples, you could just pause the simulation, execute a counting function and then backfill the memory of whoever or whatever was doing the counting. To draw from the Matrix, Neo didn't need to go through the trouble of learning kung fu, there was no simulation of the learning process, they just loaded it in.

It would be easier (at least in the context of how we have historically performed simulations) to implant a memory, say, of having a childhood dog, than it would be to simulate the entire experience of having a childhood dog.

To approach from a different angle, as we've discussed before, maybe there are no practical limitations on computational resources in an outside world, so there is no need to favor macro or micro scale implementations of any feature of a simulation.

In summary, nothing about the way we make simulations necessarily describes the rules, limitations, best practices or even the nature of simulations in an outside world.

excreationist said:
You keep on asserting [that we can't know anything about the outside world]. I disagree but am unable to convince you that your belief is flawed.
Again, if you could even give me an inkling of why you feel this way, it would go a long way towards resolving our differences in opinion.

I'll try to expound on how I justify this assertion.

How could someone within a simulation learn anything about the outside world? What methods could be used? If Pac-man were sentient and wondered about what our world was like, what could he possibly learn and how? I contend that he has no tools to probe our world and gain any answers. Similarly, I contend that we have no such tools as either. We can't, even in principle, lift the veil of the simulation.

Further, even if we thought that we had some tools that allowed us to gain insights about the outer world, those tools and the results they produced, could themselves be part of our simulation. Even if a face appeared in the sky and said "you are in a simulation" and proceeded to explain the outer world in detail, we'd have to question if that was just part of the simulation.

Further still, even if we had exploratory tools or revelations and even if we could be absolutely certain that they provided reliable information about the outside world, we would still have to question whether that outside world was itself a simulation. It could be, as the saying goes, "turtles all the way down."

If you can conceive of a way to get reliable information about an outside world and be certain that it is not itself a simulation, then I think you could reasonably disagree with me. Barring this, I think you are compelled to agree with me that nothing about an outside world is knowable.

excreationist said:
Yes according to you, even having no simulation creator, no limit to resources, no causality, time, etc.?
That's right. Why would a world outside of a simulation have to be anything at all like how it appears on the inside? If we can't know anything about it then anything is possible, really. All we would know is what we learned from inside the simulation but, in the same way Pac-man might be perplexed by the absence of points for fruit in the outer world, we might be similarly confused if our outer world didn't have any of the aforementioned entities or attributes.

excreationist said:
Again I have a problem with this but am unable to convince you.
Spell out your problem with it and we can discuss it.

excreationist said:
I thought you said that we can't know anything about the simulation that we are in.... (i.e. simulations like our own]
That's right. You went from talking about "a" simulation to "simulations that are like the world we find ourselves in". Those are two distinct ideas because the former could have any properties whatsoever, but the latter confines us to a subset which meet certain criteria. Of course, those criteria have been arbitrarily selected by you without any justification other than that the broader argument has been met with disagreement.

This is a mix of the Texas sharpshooter fallacy and special pleading. By narrowing your original premise with qualifications in this way you are working toward a conclusion by drawing your target around where the bullets have already struck. It's special pleading in that there is no reason to talk about only simulations like the world we live in when the original argument is applicable to simulations at large.

In simple terms, why should we exclude from our discussion simulations which are not like our world when they are equally likely to exist as ones that are like our world?

excreationist said:
When a person is counting circles do you think it would involve computer functions just like that? I think neural networks are involved as a key part of how the simulation works.
No, I don't think it would necessarily be like that. I was just providing examples to demonstrate that a simulation could be constructed in a way such that mathematics don't work in the way we are familiar with.

excreationist said:
When counting circles in a very detailed simulation (that can go down to the atomic level) addition naturally works. (counting the parts and the total) Note that people learn (or invent) the names of the numbers - they aren't programmed it by an outside programmer using functions like you mentioned.
But that's exactly what you are proposing. Your premise is that we could be in a simulation, which implies that everything, including arithmetic, is not natural, but simulated. Moreover, if we were to assume it was created (as opposed to forming out of nothing or some other exotic origin) then the way arithmetic works is indeed "programmed" by the creator. They would have decided how math works in the simulation. Their decision about how it works could match the way things work in their "real" world or it could be something totally different as suits their whims.

excreationist said:
To make it involve incorrect addition you've got to intelligently intervene a lot - by making the physical circle drawings or the perception of them change... that kind of deception would involve decoding the thought processes in everyone's brains and tweaking things across many neurons, etc.
As I showed before, this need not be the case. There are ways to circumvent having to tweak lots of little things. Just gloss over the act of counting and substitute a post hoc memory of the act. If you're familiar with Last Thursdayism you'll get the gist. A simulated past and an implanted memory about a past that never occurred would be indistinguishable from the perspective of the subject.

Also, since we have no idea what the outside world is like, it's entirely possible that the available computing power is inordinately greater than what we possess. If the entire history of our universe could be simulated in a nanosecond in the outside world then it would be trivial to meddle with vastly less complex things like a few billion human brains on one measly little planet among a septillion others.

excreationist said:

They don't seem to explain why it is easier for humans to calculate 1000 + 1000 than 757 + 954....
Again, they're just examples that provide incontrovertible proof that simulations can be constructed 1) such that mathematical operations yield results that are inconsistent with math as we know it and 2) that the math within a simulation need not be consistent.

Jarhyn said:
Not to mention that it would literally break the universe. If a universe does not allow grouping things to create a grouping, specifically, of those things; or fungible exchange, many, literally nothing in that universe would make any sense. It would near-instantly fill with rand(), and then become whatever the final result of the final rand() recursion produced. That whole universe is a non-starter, quite literally.
Quite possibly. However, my point here was just that you can create a simulation with broken math, not that any such world behaves in a tenable way.

In our experience with simulations, broken mechanics are typically undesirable because they spoil the intent of the simulation (e.g. video games). Nevertheless, there is nothing fundamentally stopping us from making broken worlds. It's too bad, because debugging video games would be a breeze if it were inherently impossible to screw up a simulation.

Also, the examples I gave were very gross ones to get a point across. Always getting four for a sum or always getting a random number is a pretty severe departure from math as we know it, but I'd hazard a guess that there is a broad spectrum of how "broken" a system could be and still be tolerable.

If, for example, radioactive decay events are truly random, then we already have an instance in our world where the behavior of some mechanism boils down to the equivalent of a rand() function. Of course, this indeterminacy hasn't caused our universe to devolve into incomprehensible chaos.

To come full circle, I'll restate my original objection to ex's first premise. If it's possible that we're in a simulation then it's possible that nothing is knowable. If nothing is knowable then there is no way to judge the extent or nature of what we cannot know.

Accept the first premise and you are in an unassailable but mute position. Reject the first premise axiomatically and you can remove the gag.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
[again, more fairly good words]

So, after making my post, I realized in point of fact that our universe actually employs some absolutely insane mechanics at a basic level.

One particle, when near other particles, may randomly become some yet different particle purely on the basis that sometimes this transmutation just .. happens.

It is, in fact, not too dissimilar from your example as I think about it.

If we are to assume we are in a simulation, things can still be known, within that context. Namely about two things: the simulation of course has some behavior owing to it's mechanics; and that the "higher" universe is one that is capable of generating such simulation of this shape. Or in other words, "if there is a creator god, that creater god must be consistent with being a being that would create this thing, specifically."

Or, in other words, I can say things about the skill, intent, and design of the designer. When looking at the universe, I can't help but wonder that such a being must necessarily be a rather shitty individual.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
connick said:
it's also possible that there is a ton of demand or even that simulations in the outside world must misrepresent arithmetic
I'll start by asking, if you disagree, could you try and articulate why? Even if you can't come up with a response that definitively refutes what I've said, if you could even tell me why you feel or suspect this is wrong, it will help me understand your thinking process and your position on the subject.
I already said I doubt that it is likely that a simulation (or the outside world) would misrepresent arithmetic - so I also disagree that it MUST misrepresent arithmetic.

....As a counterexample, consider that if we are in a simulation, any portion of it could be "filled in" rather than computed. That is to say, in any of our counting examples, you could just pause the simulation, execute a counting function and then backfill the memory of whoever or whatever was doing the counting...
If you are making everyone in the world think that any addition results in 4 then there is a lot of pausing.... but you don't see why I think that is a problem. Also note that each brain has a 100 billion neurons and perhaps many thousands of neurons would need to be tweaked at a time.
excreationist said:
You keep on asserting [that we can't know anything about the outside world]. I disagree but am unable to convince you that your belief is flawed.

...according to you, even having no simulation creator, no limit to resources, no causality, time, etc.?
That's right. Why would a world outside of a simulation have to be anything at all like how it appears on the inside?
I think asserting that there could be no causality or no simulation creator is going overboard but I can't convince you that any problem exists. And me saying that no-one that I know agrees with you would be a fallacious argument.

....If the entire history of our universe could be simulated in a nanosecond in the outside world then it would be trivial to meddle with vastly less complex things like a few billion human brains on one measly little planet among a septillion others.
Even if it is practical to deceive everyone and make them think everything adds up to 4 it doesn't mean that there is demand for it. Though of course you disagree.
excreationist said:

They don't seem to explain why it is easier for humans to calculate 1000 + 1000 than 757 + 954....
Again, they're just examples that provide incontrovertible proof that simulations can be constructed 1) such that mathematical operations yield results that are inconsistent with math as we know it and 2) that the math within a simulation need not be consistent.
"incontrovertible proof"? That sounds like a case of complete confidence in your views:

Like I was saying to properly deceive people with addition you have to worry about them counting "physical" objects such as circles. It's not just a case of:
{​
return 4;​
}

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
....So, after making my post, I realized in point of fact that our universe actually employs some absolutely insane mechanics at a basic level.

One particle, when near other particles, may randomly become some yet different particle purely on the basis that sometimes this transmutation just .. happens....
I think it is just a case of large-scale physics working differently to small-scale physics. (we are used to large-scale physics)

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
....When looking at the universe, I can't help but wonder that such a being must necessarily be a rather shitty individual.
Because there is suffering in the world? If most of the world involves philosophical zombies then suffering isn't universal.

Last edited:

#### connick

##### Junior Member
Jarhyn said:
So, after making my post, I realized in point of fact that our universe actually employs some absolutely insane mechanics at a basic level.

One particle, when near other particles, may randomly become some yet different particle purely on the basis that sometimes this transmutation just .. happens.

It is, in fact, not too dissimilar from your example as I think about it.

If we are to assume we are in a simulation, things can still be known, within that context. Namely about two things: the simulation of course has some behavior owing to it's mechanics; and that the "higher" universe is one that is capable of generating such simulation of this shape. Or in other words, "if there is a creator god, that creator god must be consistent with being a being that would create this thing, specifically."

Or, in other words, I can say things about the skill, intent, and design of the designer. When looking at the universe, I can't help but wonder that such a being must necessarily be a rather shitty individual.
You're right that some of what appears to take place in this universe is pretty out there. It seems like the smaller or farther away things get, the more unintuitive things become.

It's important to make the distinction between assuming we could be in a simulation and assuming that we are in a simulation. In the case of the former, we can't know either of the two things you mention. If there's an equal chance of being in a simulation or not, then we can't know anything about the simulation (because we have to entertain the possibility that things are "real" and not simulated) and we can't know anything about the real world (because we have to entertain the possibility that things are simulated). If we assume the latter, that we are definitely in a simulation, then I agree with you that we can know 1) that the simulation is capable of producing what we observe and, if there is a creator, that it must be capable of creating a simulation such as ours.

excreationist said:
I already said I doubt that it is likely that a simulation (or the outside world) would misrepresent arithmetic - so I also disagree that it MUST misrepresent arithmetic.
You've said that you disagree, but you have not explained why you disagree. I've explained several time why questions of likelihood about the outside world are unanswerable. Do you agree that in order to assess the likelihood of something you need to know some basic facts? For instance, in order to know how likely it is that a simulation misrepresents mathematics, wouldn't you need to know about how mathematics are represented in simulations like the one under consideration?

Also, please note that I did not say that a simulation must misrepresent arithmetic. What I said was that it is possible that it must be misrepresented. We don't and can't know what goes on outside our world, so we don't know if they are limited in what they can implement within the simulation for one reason or another.

excreationist said:
I think asserting that there could be no causality or no simulation creator is going overboard but I can't convince you that any problem exists.
I think that it pushes the limits of comprehension for me to suggest that even causality might be a deception and that a simulation could be creatorless (even in the broadest sense of the word "creator"). I gave these points considerable thought because my intuition wants very hard to disagree with them. However, with some detached scrutiny, I've arrived at the conclusion that the seemingly unintelligible nature of these possibilities doesn't disallow them.

If it's possible that we're in a simulation then it's possible that the outside world is nothing like the inside of the simulation. Also, our experiences may be limited to only what has occurred within such a simulation. As such, it's possible that we're biased toward what makes sense in the context of the simulation. In a more extreme case, we may even be inherently limited in our thinking by virtue of how we are simulated. That is to say, we may not even possess the capacity to understand the outside world, even if it were laid bare to us.

excreationist said:
And me saying that no-one that I know agrees with you would be a fallacious argument.
It would be. Just as me saying that no-one that I know agrees with you. So what? We won't determine which position (if either) is correct by a popular vote.

excreationist said:
Even if it is practical to deceive everyone and make them think everything adds up to 4 it doesn't mean that there is demand for it. Though of course you disagree.
And I've given the reason why I take the position I do, but I'm still seeking the reasons why you think any guesses can be made regarding what is in demand in an outside world. I don't think we can know if there is no demand or great demand for anything in the outside world. How would you know how much demand there is for a particular kind of simulation? How would you even know who or what is there to generate demand or fulfill it? How would you even know what the objects in demand (or not) are like?

Any tool that you could come up with that could give us insight into the outside world (even if it is possible only in principle), would completely topple my argument and I would readily concede. Further, I would thank you profusely because such a tool would be utterly invaluable. Worthy of a Nobel prize in fact. I wish I could think of one myself, but I can't and I don't think it's for a lack of trying. I think it's a fundamental barrier.

excreationist said:
"incontrovertible proof"? That sounds like a case of complete confidence in your views:
If you say it's impossible to jump over a fence, all it takes is one person to jump over it to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it can be done. If you say that it's impossible for a simulation to simulate mathematics in an inconsistent way, then all it takes is a single simulation which simulates mathematics in an inconsistent way to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it can be done.

I've provided at least two examples of simulations where math is made to be inconsistent. That's incontrovertible proof that it can be done.

As for the Dunning-Kruger effect and the chart you've shown twice now, please allow me to make a brief aside, because you seem to misunderstand the concept.

The Dunning-Kruger effect hypothesizes (and there has been some evidence collected to support this hypothesis) that people with low ability at a task overestimate their own ability. Notably, and conversely, study of this idea indicates that people with high ability tend to underestimate their own ability.

It does not hypothesize that a high level of confidence indicates a lack of knowledge in a field. In fact, you can see plainly from the illustration (bear in mind that it is only an illustration for gross, explanatory purposes) that both the low knowledge and high knowledge regions are high in confidence. How is it that you take an expression of confidence and equate that with a lack of knowledge when that is not even what the Dunning-Kruger effect describes?

I suggest you do a little more reading on the subject, because the way you present and use it belies a lack of knowledge regarding what was hypothesized, what was observed and the mechanisms proposed to explain the observations.

To conclude this aside, I'll note that the "field of knowledge" in question here is cursory observation and deductive skills. You don't need any formal education to see a person jump a fence and assess that as proof that the fence can be jumped. Similarly, it requires minimal education or credentials to make the same assessment that an example of inconsistent mathematics in a simulation constitutes proof that it can be done.

excreationist said:
Like I was saying to properly deceive people with addition you have to worry about them counting "physical" objects such as circles. It's not just a case of:
{
return 4;
}
I disagree. If I create a simulation, everything about that simulation is under my complete control. I create the world, I create the behaviors, I have virtually unlimited power. I can dictate the outcome of anything I please. I can decide that when people attempt to count objects they just blow up or turn inside out or split into litters of kittens.

It doesn't matter how hard it might be to implement any particular aspect of a simulation (in fact, in our experience it's harder to make consistent and complete simulations than not). All that needs to be understood is that it can be done in principle, which I have demonstrated.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
.....The Dunning-Kruger effect hypothesizes (and there has been some evidence collected to support this hypothesis) that people with low ability at a task overestimate their own ability. Notably, and conversely, study of this idea indicates that people with high ability tend to underestimate their own ability.
Those with high ability are only partially confident about what they know (about 60% in the graph) (because they believe that the topic is very complicated and so aren't completely sure about it - they aren't actually more knowledgeable than they think - so they aren't underestimating it). I mean I think the graph is showing that they don't have 100% knowledge in their field - but they have the highest amount of knowledge currently in their field. The bottom of the graph about knowledge goes from "low" to "high"... (not to 100% knowledge)
It does not hypothesize that a high level of confidence indicates a lack of knowledge in a field.
You said earlier that you don't consider yourself an authority on the topic so you aren't on the right-most part of the graph.
In fact, you can see plainly from the illustration (bear in mind that it is only an illustration for gross, explanatory purposes) that both the low knowledge and high knowledge regions are high in confidence.
The low knowledge region involves 100% confidence. The high knowledge has about 60% (on that graph).
How is it that you take an expression of confidence and equate that with a lack of knowledge when that is not even what the Dunning-Kruger effect describes?
Like I said you also said you're not an authority on the topic - i.e. you aren't at the right-most place on the graph.

Anyway I hoped that I could change your mind about your belief that there could be a high demand for deceiving people about addition such as making addition always add up to 4 (even when counting physical objects). Well it seems it is impossible for me to do this. I had already given up on the other topics and now I'm also giving up on the topic of deceiving people about addition and making it add up to 4....

Also I don't want to try and justify my beliefs any further - I already have to some degree in the past and it won't affect your confidence in your beliefs.

#### George S

##### Veteran Member
If I were to try to write a simulation of a whole universe I would make the laws of physics as close to real physics as it is possible to simulate. Anything continuous would need an analog component so a hybrid computer (digital and analog) would be my first choice. As quantum computing comes into its own I would hybridize a second time and have three platforms of computing power in one, so, a tri-hybrid computer which I would quickly name "Trinity."
Simulated time (as a spacetime location) is easy enough. Simulated duration would advance at every location at 1 sec/sec. Trips which leave a location (x,y,z), move through space and return to (x,y,z) take a shorter time than the duration at (x,y,z) if we properly simulate Einstein's equations. There will be (x,y,z,t) and (x',y',z',t') which cannot be distinguished because the distance is so small it is beyond the hardware capability of the digital portion. The location(s) of the electron in a bare hydrogen at the lowest energy state become a cloud of points (see [YOUTUBE]W2Xb2GFK2yc[/YOUTUBE]).
But, of course, if I were designing a VR simulation I might use gross macro-scale approximations to real physics. The hardest would be to add in the other senses like proprioception and others (see [YOUTUBE]L45Q1_psDqk[/YOUTUBE]),
including the feedback of weight, temperature, smell and taste of VR objects. (A block of wood feels warmer than the iron skillet at the same temp.)

#### connick

##### Junior Member
excreationist said:
Those with high ability are only partially confident about what they know (about 60% in the graph) (because they believe that the topic is very complicated and so aren't completely sure about it - they aren't actually more knowledgeable than they think - so they aren't underestimating it). I mean I think the graph is showing that they don't have 100% knowledge in their field - but they have the highest amount of knowledge currently in their field. The bottom of the graph about knowledge goes from "low" to "high"... (not to 100% knowledge)
Again, that graph is an illustration, not a plot of real measurements. It's also not from the authors of the associated studies either. It also misconstrues the findings of the authors as you have done in your explanation which, apparently, is based primarily on this illustration and not the actual work of Dunning and Kruger or their critics. Further, there are compelling criticisms of the actual findings which suggest that such an effect, if it exists, may not be caused by cognitive biases in self-assessment at all.

The graph may seem like a convenient cudgel to wield against people with whom you disagree, but to the astute observer it's actually an ill-conceived and flimsy diversion based on popular, but oft-misunderstood papers. It's a bit like if you shared an illustration suggesting that people with big vehicles have small genitals and then said, "hey, look at what connick drives, he must be compensating for something." It's a popular idea that scores cheap points in the court of public opinion, but at its base it's just a cop-out - a poor substitute for a substantive argument.

excreationist said:
You said earlier that you don't consider yourself an authority on the topic so you aren't on the right-most part of the graph.
Apart from the graph being a misrepresentation of an already tenuous concept, authority and knowledge are not interchangeable. Knowledge is typically required to convincingly establish oneself as an authority, but not having or claiming authority does not indicate a lack of knowledge.

More importantly, arguments stand on their own merits, regardless of an individual's knowledge or authority. If my two year old makes a sound and valid argument, it's a sound and valid argument, despite the fact that she's never set foot in a school and that nobody views her as an authority. This conflation between an argument and the person making it is yet another form of fallacious reasoning (see argumentum ad hominem).

excreationist said:
Anyway I hoped that I could change your mind about your belief that there could be a high demand for deceiving people about addition such as making addition always add up to 4 (even when counting physical objects). Well it seems it is impossible for me to do this. I had already given up on the other topics and now I'm also giving up on the topic of deceiving people about addition and making it add up to 4....

Also I don't want to try and justify my beliefs any further - I already have to some degree in the past and it won't affect your confidence in your beliefs.
To be quite candid with you, it doesn't seem like you made much of an effort to convince me of anything or attempt to justify your beliefs. I spent a lot of time reflecting on your arguments and my thoughts before writing each response. I carefully read each of your posts and attempted in good faith to address them point by point. Unfortunately, you did not afford me the same courtesy. You seem to have skimmed over a lot, failed to address cogent criticisms, despite repeated pleas in earnest, and shifted the goalposts several times.

I wish we could have come to some kind of meaningful conclusion here but if you want to abandon the conversation, I can't compel you to stay.

All I can do is urge you to disabuse yourself of fallacious forms of reasoning. They are roadblocks to understanding and communication. If you ever want to resume this discussion, you know where to find me.

I wish you the best of luck.

#### connick

##### Junior Member
George S said:
If I were to try to write a simulation of a whole universe I would make the laws of physics as close to real physics as it is possible to simulate. Anything continuous would need an analog component so a hybrid computer (digital and analog) would be my first choice. As quantum computing comes into its own I would hybridize a second time and have three platforms of computing power in one, so, a tri-hybrid computer which I would quickly name "Trinity."
Simulated time (as a spacetime location) is easy enough. Simulated duration would advance at every location at 1 sec/sec. Trips which leave a location (x,y,z), move through space and return to (x,y,z) take a shorter time than the duration at (x,y,z) if we properly simulate Einstein's equations. There will be (x,y,z,t) and (x',y',z',t') which cannot be distinguished because the distance is so small it is beyond the hardware capability of the digital portion. The location(s) of the electron in a bare hydrogen at the lowest energy state become a cloud of points (see ).
But, of course, if I were designing a VR simulation I might use gross macro-scale approximations to real physics. The hardest would be to add in the other senses like proprioception and others (see ),
including the feedback of weight, temperature, smell and taste of VR objects. (A block of wood feels warmer than the iron skillet at the same temp.)
Thanks for the video links George. I'll probably check them out over the weekend if I can find the time. Thanks also for your humorous musings on the subject of creating simulations.

I was actually thinking during this discussion about how interesting it might be to create some simulations that are deliberately broken in a variety of ways. How far can you break math or physics before a simulation collapses?

There are some that I've already encountered such as games with abnormal topographies. It's pretty baffling when you can exit a room, walk down a hallway, take three left hand turns and end up in a room that's different from the one you started in. In fact, I first encountered this kind of behavior directly when I used to code for an old MUD (multi-user dungeon, text-based RPG). Each "room" (a la Zork or other text games of old) had a list of exits and their corresponding cardinal direction. However, the links are made on a room to room basis and not in some fixed coordinate system, so you could make one way paths, parallel paths, superimposed paths or even looping paths. I'm quite looking forward to an upcoming title called "Miegakure" which involves gameplay in four dimensions.

Since you mentioned VR, I'll also note that I've played a couple which involve changes in the scale of the world which can produce an unnerving sensation.

I guess I owe it to myself to check out some other notable titles like Manifold Garden, Anti-Chamber and Superliminal, before I get too distracted by thinking of how to make my own bizarre worlds.

Anyway, thanks again!

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
....I wish we could have come to some kind of meaningful conclusion here but if you want to abandon the conversation, I can't compel you to stay.
We both think we're right and that the other side doesn't really understand our points.... then we might go off on tangents (e.g. my counting circles example) which just results in more and more counter-arguments which we don't accept. You are pointing out more instances of fallacious reasoning in my posts but I just suspect some of your reasoning is flawed.
All I can do is urge you to disabuse yourself of fallacious forms of reasoning. They are roadblocks to understanding and communication. If you ever want to resume this discussion, you know where to find me.

I wish you the best of luck.
Thanks.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
If I were to try to write a simulation of a whole universe I would make the laws of physics as close to real physics as it is possible to simulate. Anything continuous would need an analog component so a hybrid computer (digital and analog) would be my first choice. As quantum computing comes into its own I would hybridize a second time and have three platforms of computing power in one, so, a tri-hybrid computer which I would quickly name "Trinity."
Hi I think our possible simulation would probably use machine learning.... like in Flight Simulator 2020 (allowing it to fill the world with grass, trees and buildings, etc, based on satellite images, etc)
This neural network observed PacMan being played and then could recreate it:
Machine learning roughly simulating the universe - not just plain math physics like you're used to:
https://phys.org/news/2019-06-ai-universe-sim-fast-accurateand.html
Machine learning can even do creative things like draw a cartoon of a "baby panda with headphones wielding a blue lightsaber" or a photorealistic "teapot in the style of a rubik's cube"
See:
https://talkfreethought.org/showthr...-system-GPT-3-and-generating-images-from-text
Simulated time (as a spacetime location) is easy enough. Simulated duration would advance at every location at 1 sec/sec.
Yes that would be the case if a player was playing it like a normal video game, but it could put the player's mind on overdrive.... like in Alan Watt's 75 years in 8 hours dreams or 55 years in a couple of minutes for "Roy" (Rick and Morty)

#### Ephesians

##### Banned
Banned
I believe in a kind of God...

More persuasive argument:
1. It's possible we're in a simulation
2. The simulation needs a creator
3. The creator could be called 'God'
Therefore there could be a God.

My personal reasoning:
1. It is likely we're in a simulation (according to Elon Musk's reasoning)
2. The simulation needs a creator
3. The creator could be called 'God'
Therefore it is likely there is a God.
The Simulation Hypothesis is essentially theism in disguise.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
I believe in a kind of God...

More persuasive argument:
1. It's possible we're in a simulation
2. The simulation needs a creator
3. The creator could be called 'God'
Therefore there could be a God.

My personal reasoning:
1. It is likely we're in a simulation (according to Elon Musk's reasoning)
2. The simulation needs a creator
3. The creator could be called 'God'
Therefore it is likely there is a God.
The Simulation Hypothesis is essentially theism in disguise.
Yeah though the creator isn't eternal....

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
I believe in a kind of God...

More persuasive argument:
1. It's possible we're in a simulation
2. The simulation needs a creator
3. The creator could be called 'God'
Therefore there could be a God.

My personal reasoning:
1. It is likely we're in a simulation (according to Elon Musk's reasoning)
2. The simulation needs a creator
3. The creator could be called 'God'
Therefore it is likely there is a God.
The Simulation Hypothesis is essentially theism in disguise.
Yeah though the creator isn't eternal....
It is, from the perspective of the universe they created. Just not themselves. It also opens a big can of worms that most theists try to escape from, but like the madness-inducing tentacles of an elder god, thus will invade one's thoughts with plagues of something far worse than doubt: understanding.

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
Simulation interupt service routie 12A....false alarm no response required

#### Elixir

So, I have more than a little experience with the metaphysics and logic of "simulation".

Plainly put, there is no real difference between that which exists "as a simulation" or something that exists "on its own".

Really, "simulation" only has meaning when presented with a context, a set of things "around" the subject.

The universe is what it is, regardless of what context drives those relationships. It is simultaneously a simulation, and not-a-simulation, BECAUSE IT IS THE PRODUCT OF ALL EVENTUALITIES THAT PRODUCE IT!
Exactly.
IOW, vis a vis the OP,
SO WHAT?

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
So, I have more than a little experience with the metaphysics and logic of "simulation".

Plainly put, there is no real difference between that which exists "as a simulation" or something that exists "on its own".

Really, "simulation" only has meaning when presented with a context, a set of things "around" the subject.

The universe is what it is, regardless of what context drives those relationships. It is simultaneously a simulation, and not-a-simulation, BECAUSE IT IS THE PRODUCT OF ALL EVENTUALITIES THAT PRODUCE IT!
Exactly.
IOW, vis a vis the OP,
SO WHAT?
So, it tells us that we are on our own WRT ethical game theory that does well for each other here.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
Yeah though the creator isn't eternal....
It is, from the perspective of the universe they created.
Our universe might only be able to support life for several dozen billion years longer. All we can say is that the creator is older than that (though from their point of view it might only be a few years - with parts sped up a lot more). Even if our universe will last a googol years all we could say is the creator is older than that (though from the creator's point of view it could be a much smaller duration). It doesn't follow that a simulation involving a googol years must imply a creator that lasts literally an infinite number of years. You could say the creator is "immortal" though (from the point of view of the simulation).
Just not themselves. It also opens a big can of worms that most theists try to escape from, but like the madness-inducing tentacles of an elder god, thus will invade one's thoughts with plagues of something far worse than doubt: understanding.
I'd say it is incompatible with theists who say that the creator is eternal - i.e. living infinitely longer than a googolplex years.... I think this non-eternal nature is good because it is being more specific about the nature of the creator.
Just not themselves.
Well when I am talking about an eternal creator I am talking about from their own point of view.....

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Yeah though the creator isn't eternal....
It is, from the perspective of the universe they created.
Our universe might only be able to support life for several dozen billion years longer. All we can say is that the creator is older than that (though from their point of view it might only be a few years - with parts sped up a lot more). Even if our universe will last a googol years all we could say is the creator is older than that (though from the creator's point of view it could be a much smaller duration). It doesn't follow that a simulation involving a googol years must imply a creator that lasts literally an infinite number of years. You could say the creator is "immortal" though (from the point of view of the simulation).
Just not themselves. It also opens a big can of worms that most theists try to escape from, but like the madness-inducing tentacles of an elder god, thus will invade one's thoughts with plagues of something far worse than doubt: understanding.
I'd say it is incompatible with theists who say that the creator is eternal - i.e. living infinitely longer than a googolplex years.... I think this non-eternal nature is good because it is being more specific about the nature of the creator.
Just not themselves.
Well when I am talking about an eternal creator I am talking about from their own point of view.....
So, here's the rub. A creator with finite years in their own existence can create an eternal universe in which they do not ever not exist.

It starts with establishing a "time loop symmetry" at "the start".

Time has "a point where things changed" but no real "beginning". The creator was there for that.

Then at "the end", you have a similar structure: all the particles rip apart but ostensibly keep doing that in a way where the measure of number just loops back around meaninglessly forever.

The creator was there in that moment too, and in all moments hereafter.

Essentially, just populate each bound of time with a "spin lock".

#### George S

##### Veteran Member
The reality we experience could be a simulation. That is, this claim cannot be disproven, no more so than a random creator-god hypothesis. Both suppose that there is a containing reality in which an actor creates a sub-universe within that actor's reality. This does nothing at all to advance the state of knowledge about reality. Whence that containing reality we wonder. Does it have the status of "just is" or is it possibly a simulation or creation in a containing reality. The buck stops somewhere at "just is."

Let us suppose that it is "turtles all the way down." An infinite stack of realities. Whence, we must wonder, came that stack. "Just is?"

How about we go with simplicity: Our reality is known to exist. It could be the One that "just is." Some reality must be in that state; it could be ours.

If there ever was a state of nothing at all that state was (given our existence) unstable.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
Let us suppose that it is "turtles all the way down." An infinite stack of realities. Whence, we must wonder, came that stack. "Just is?"
I think that each simulation has less discrete events in time and spatial resolution than the universe it is running on. It also requires the simulations to contain simulations and I think most simulations wouldn't contain simulations that are indistinguishable from reality. So I don't think it makes any sense to have turtles all the way down. It is conceivable that there could be an outer universe that allows infinite computing resources but that wouldn't be the case for an infinite number of simulations inside it.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
The reality we experience could be a simulation. That is, this claim cannot be disproven, no more so than a random creator-god hypothesis. Both suppose that there is a containing reality in which an actor creates a sub-universe within that actor's reality. This does nothing at all to advance the state of knowledge about reality. Whence that containing reality we wonder. Does it have the status of "just is" or is it possibly a simulation or creation in a containing reality. The buck stops somewhere at "just is."

Let us suppose that it is "turtles all the way down." An infinite stack of realities. Whence, we must wonder, came that stack. "Just is?"

How about we go with simplicity: Our reality is known to exist. It could be the One that "just is." Some reality must be in that state; it could be ours.

If there ever was a state of nothing at all that state was (given our existence) unstable.
This is, ultimately, where I fall on the issue. A universe as an identity, once it hits a point of irreduciblity, is it's identity. It is simultaneously caused by all things that cause it and none of them.

These kinds of properties, and their consideration, is what I expect a lot of religious concepts came from, concepts such as "soul" and the like. It's easy to get sloppy and "want of reality" to be something else and so try to make thaumaturgy of that in any way but through "the hard way, slogging through this soup of reality and doing the work".

I admittedly occasionally walk the paths of ritual, song, and story, and this yields ritual, song, and story in return. It just doesn't yield bread*.

*Except when it does. Expect the cost to be commensurate with the cost of
bargaining for bread in any narrative ever.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
So, here's the rub. A creator with finite years in their own existence can create an eternal universe in which they do not ever not exist.

It starts with establishing a "time loop symmetry" at "the start".

Time has "a point where things changed" but no real "beginning". The creator was there for that.

Then at "the end", you have a similar structure: all the particles rip apart but ostensibly keep doing that in a way where the measure of number just loops back around meaninglessly forever.

The creator was there in that moment too, and in all moments hereafter.

Essentially, just populate each bound of time with a "spin lock".
A quote from Elon Musk:
"...the games will become indistinguishable from reality. ...there would probably be billions of such computers and set-top boxes. ...it would seem to follow that the odds that we're in base reality (NOT a simulation) is one in billions"​
There is also the Roy game and Alan Watt's dream thought experiment.

The purpose could be for entertainment and personal growth. These simulations would mostly run forwards in time though often run faster than real time (like in the Roy and dream examples).

So I don't think they're compatible with your scenario of not having a beginning. Your scenario is possible but I think it is much more likely that it isn't the case assuming that there are billions of simulations. Those examples also do not involve an eternal universe. I think another problem with the kind of "block universe" you're proposing is that you've got to store data from every point in time which would involve huge amounts of memory.

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
So, here's the rub. A creator with finite years in their own existence can create an eternal universe in which they do not ever not exist.

It starts with establishing a "time loop symmetry" at "the start".

Time has "a point where things changed" but no real "beginning". The creator was there for that.

Then at "the end", you have a similar structure: all the particles rip apart but ostensibly keep doing that in a way where the measure of number just loops back around meaninglessly forever.

The creator was there in that moment too, and in all moments hereafter.

Essentially, just populate each bound of time with a "spin lock".
A quote from Elon Musk:
"...the games will become indistinguishable from reality. ...there would probably be billions of such computers and set-top boxes. ...it would seem to follow that the odds that we're in base reality (NOT a simulation) is one in billions"​
There is also the Roy game and Alan Watt's dream thought experiment.

The purpose could be for entertainment and personal growth. These simulations would mostly run forwards in time though often run faster than real time (like in the Roy and dream examples).

So I don't think they're compatible with your scenario of not having a beginning. Your scenario is possible but I think it is much more likely that it isn't the case assuming that there are billions of simulations. Those examples also do not involve an eternal universe. I think another problem with the kind of "block universe" you're proposing is that you've got to store data from every point in time which would involve huge amounts of memory.
"Having a beginning" is a function of context. "A beginning relative to what?"

Imagine a system where you can "look up an image at a time". Just one person, in an infinite field, with a box. I could simulate this fairly easily, and with a little bit of imaginative massaging, just ignore the fact that our environment is composed of 'memories' being processed particularly by a single processor, and not spacetime units being processed by field interactors.

I, being the quantum entity defined by x86 mechanics that I am in this simulation turn the pad to "the day before Last Thursday"

I see a Wednesday before last Thursday, in which my egg that I hatched from is almost ready to hatch.

I turn it back further, and I see the egg getting smaller.

I turn it all the way back to the Thursday Before Last, and now it's just a barren field.

I turn it back to the Wednesday before that, and now it's just a barren field. I turn it back further...

You guessed it, barren field.

I, from the outside, have looped the barren field state and have a mechanism that no matter how far back you turn that little screen of yours, you see a barren field.

But not only that every frame of that "barren field" at any point in time is subtly unique! There are clouds overhead, and when you rewind the time infinitely, the clouds still fly backwards. Different clouds, always, same as the sky above now.

No matter how you play with your past viewer, if you go before "last Thursday" you will see infinite time.

In the mean time, the universe came to exist Last Thursday, and while the universe, extrapolated that you can view, has infinite time.

Let's even say that I being the clever asshole that I am, made it so you can use your pad to view the future, too. You watch yourself fiddling with the pad for a few moments, get confused, then agitated. You see yourself scrabble frantically with the pad for a few seconds, then walk on, then you see yourself get apprehensive again, then a rock falls on you.

You get confused, and then agitated, then scrabble with the pad frantically to look into the far future that is just passing clouds and you splattered messily under a rock, eventually soaking into the ground, and then just a rock sitting on a barren plain with flaking blood falling off to be sucked down under the bizzare earth where your body went. Then you sigh, walk on, get apprehensive again, and then the rock happens.

Time goes on forever in both directions observably. Even as the creator, I can arbitrarily set "time" and see how my universe looks at that time, to infinity forward, to infinity back, assuming my system is properly scalable.

I wouldn't. Large calculations get fucky. Thankfully "you" never do. You get hit by a rock before you crash the simulation with an unreasonable request.

Never mind that for me, this is all of about 120 seconds of watching an egg spawn, a dude pop out of it, a dance of their neural network activation as all this happens, they look at the screen, and then get hit with the rock.

It's not unlike a time crystal.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
Time goes on forever in both directions observably. Even as the creator, I can arbitrarily set "time" and see how my universe looks at that time, to infinity forward, to infinity back, assuming my system is properly scalable.
Infinite amounts of time require numbers that are infinite in length. That means a year value with more than a googolplex to the power of a googolplex zeroes. I think that simulations can not involve numbers that are infinite in length - or if it can it just involves a single value for "infinity".
I believe there can be virtual history and futures - so time travel is possible - but not to histories that are literally an infinite amount of time away.
Here is a related example:

I'd say the virtual history of the fossils isn't as "real" as the current events in the simulation....

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Time goes on forever in both directions observably. Even as the creator, I can arbitrarily set "time" and see how my universe looks at that time, to infinity forward, to infinity back, assuming my system is properly scalable.
Infinite amounts of time require numbers that are infinite in length. That means a year value with more than a googolplex to the power of a googolplex zeroes. I think that simulations can not involve numbers that are infinite in length - or if it can it just involves a single value for "infinity".
I believe there can be virtual history and futures - so time travel is possible - but not to histories that are literally an infinite amount of time away.
Here is a related example:

I'd say the virtual history of the fossils isn't as "real" as the current events in the simulation....
That's just the thing though. From inside my little world, all frames of the past are just a product of the infinite number line, and if they weren't, it would still take your dude so long to type in the number that the rock would be falling on them as they were trying to type it in, at any rate.

There is no point in the continuity of that universe that is not calculable for all infinite time, forwards and back.

I can put the data that describes this identity of an infinite functional continuity in a fairly small, finite place.

It helps that at the boundary points of our own theoretical cosmology exist inflationary periods that may well translate to the same inflation, or perhaps a differently seeded one of the same manner. Perhaps I tweak it such that the rock's reaction unfolds it into a new mind, an egg that hatches that will inevitably also get a rock dropped on it. Now time tesslates!

Still, this is infinite continuity, albeit spacetime is circular there rather than scroll shaped.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
Time goes on forever in both directions observably. Even as the creator, I can arbitrarily set "time" and see how my universe looks at that time, to infinity forward, to infinity back, assuming my system is properly scalable.
Infinite amounts of time require numbers that are infinite in length. That means a year value with more than a googolplex to the power of a googolplex zeroes. I think that simulations can not involve numbers that are infinite in length - or if it can it just involves a single value for "infinity".
I believe there can be virtual history and futures - so time travel is possible - but not to histories that are literally an infinite amount of time away.
Here is a related example:

I'd say the virtual history of the fossils isn't as "real" as the current events in the simulation....
That's just the thing though. From inside my little world, all frames of the past are just a product of the infinite number line, and if they weren't, it would still take your dude so long to type in the number that the rock would be falling on them as they were trying to type it in, at any rate.

There is no point in the continuity of that universe that is not calculable for all infinite time, forwards and back.

I can put the data that describes this identity of an infinite functional continuity in a fairly small, finite place.

It helps that at the boundary points of our own theoretical cosmology exist inflationary periods that may well translate to the same inflation, or perhaps a differently seeded one of the same manner. Perhaps I tweak it such that the rock's reaction unfolds it into a new mind, an egg that hatches that will inevitably also get a rock dropped on it. Now time tesslates!

Still, this is infinite continuity, albeit spacetime is circular there rather than scroll shaped.
It requires more than the ability to simulate infinity years forwards and backwards.... it also has to allow a googolplex to the power of a googolplex years and that number plus one and that number plus two, etc. It's not just about going to infinity but also every number in between. I think that in every universe, besides perhaps the outermost physical universe, there is a limited amount of resources so it would be impossible to represent near-infinite values (like a googolplex to the power of a googolplex to the power of a googolplex).

As far as time that is circular goes, there would be times that are being currently simulated rather than it all being continuously simulated. For it to be continuously simulated would imply "block time". But I think that would involve huge amounts of memory.... multiplying the amount of information by the number of time intervals (though with some optimisations). I don't see any reason to believe that the simulation I might be in has circular time.

BTW by infinite time I mean a literal infinity (with the ability to represent absolutely any near-infinite number in between). In the past mathematicians could use thought experiments which don't have any limitations on the possible numbers....

#### George S

##### Veteran Member
We don't need the exact location of every particle to simulate air in a balloon.
To simulate the exact location and momentum of every particle would take a storage larger than the universe being simulated. Because of this simulations are simplifications. We see this all the time. Even General Relativity is a simplification. Special Relativity even moreso.

Simulation of time is problematic because there are two meanings. There is time as a coordinate in spacetime, and there is time as duration. Time's white hole is everywhere with time-as-duration being constant regardless of spacetime coordinate. Time-as-duration ('proper time') is as constant as the speed of light being constant everywhere.

How should we simulate the boundary of a black hole? To the external observer time stops at the event horizon, and yet to an astronaut passing through the event horizon time-as-duration still advances mercilessly at one second per second, and light still goes at c.

How should we simulate the random continuous quantum something-from-nothing in empty spacetime locations? Less duration, proper time, passes in walking around the house than not. You run around a track and a stationary mechanism times you. It will show more duration than an identical clock you carry with you.

#### excreationist

##### Married mouth-breather
We don't need the exact location of every particle to simulate air in a balloon.
I am a fan of "level of detail".... I don't think every single one of the 10^57 particles in stars like our Sun need to be constantly simulated.... though if you observed them more closely it would involve extra detail....
To simulate the exact location and momentum of every particle would take a storage larger than the universe being simulated.
And there is pressure for simulations to be as optimised as possible - so the set top boxes and computers Elon Musk talks about would get the maximum bang for their buck by taking shortcuts....
Simulation of time is problematic because there are two meanings. There is time as a coordinate in spacetime, and there is time as duration.
I see time being related to the ability of things to change. If nothing is changing then I'd say it is timeless. Usually time in games can't be a coordinate because you can't properly go backwards in time - unless you are storing the information regarding everything quite regularly. Though you could take a single snapshot and go back to that. There is also a relationship between the amount of time that passes in a simulation vs outside... which would be faster or slower than "real-time".
How should we simulate the boundary of a black hole? To the external observer time stops at the event horizon, and yet to an astronaut passing through the event horizon time-as-duration still advances mercilessly at one second per second, and light still goes at c.
As far as black holes go, time slows down which makes things less CPU intensive - which would help compensate for the extra interactions of crowded matter within a dense space.
How should we simulate the random continuous quantum something-from-nothing in empty spacetime locations?
That could be approximated on a large scale using something like machine learning. It means that things aren't completely predictable by us on a close-up level. An intelligent force could take advantage of this and so intervene in a way that isn't detectable using statistic analysis - see these excerpts from "The Imitation Game"....

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
We don't need the exact location of every particle to simulate air in a balloon.
I am a fan of "level of detail".... I don't think every single one of the 10^57 particles in stars like our Sun need to be constantly simulated.... though if you observed them more closely it would involve extra detail....
To simulate the exact location and momentum of every particle would take a storage larger than the universe being simulated.
And there is pressure for simulations to be as optimised as possible - so the set top boxes and computers Elon Musk talks about would get the maximum bang for their buck by taking shortcuts....
Simulation of time is problematic because there are two meanings. There is time as a coordinate in spacetime, and there is time as duration.
I see time being related to the ability of things to change. If nothing is changing then I'd say it is timeless. Usually time in games can't be a coordinate because you can't properly go backwards in time - unless you are storing the information regarding everything quite regularly. Though you could take a single snapshot and go back to that. There is also a relationship between the amount of time that passes in a simulation vs outside... which would be faster or slower than "real-time".
How should we simulate the boundary of a black hole? To the external observer time stops at the event horizon, and yet to an astronaut passing through the event horizon time-as-duration still advances mercilessly at one second per second, and light still goes at c.
As far as black holes go, time slows down which makes things less CPU intensive - which would help compensate for the extra interactions of crowded matter within a dense space.
How should we simulate the random continuous quantum something-from-nothing in empty spacetime locations?
That could be approximated on a large scale using something like machine learning. It means that things aren't completely predictable by us on a close-up level. An intelligent force could take advantage of this and so intervene in a way that isn't detectable using statistic analysis - see these excerpts from "The Imitation Game"....

Oftentimes, the ability to "undo" is more to the tune of a journal, and it doesn't really allow you to go "back", and even if it did let you jump extra-causally into another continuity, there is a continuity of your continuities and your adventure still exists across some form of time of your own reference frame.

I'm more than a little happy that our reality behaves in such a way as to make such silliness not obscure the nature of time more than it already is.

When speaking of universes, identity is singular.