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August 14, 2007

You're almost certainly a computer simulation

Neo confronts the architect in The Matrix Reloaded

Check out the big brain on the New York Times. Today's Science Times section of the NYT has an article on the work of Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom. Bostrom puts forth a theory that at first sounds crazy -- that all of us and everything we know -- that the entire world -- is just the creation of a very large and sophisticated computer program.

I know, this all just sounds like The Matrix, but Bostrom has a well thought-out argument. It basically goes like this... in the not too distant future computers will be powerful enough to completely simulate the human brain. If computers will theoretically be able to simulate humans, there's every reason to believe that someone will go ahead and have a computer do just that. Further, if computers will be simulating human consciousness someday, there's every reason to believe that it's already happened...that it's actually already the future, and we're all just little subroutines in a massive computer program.

Want to have your mind blown? Read John Tierney's article in the Times, or Bostrom's website on his theory, www.simulation-argument.com.

Posted by Chris Spurgeon at August 14, 2007 09:54 PM