The information age brought with it an increasing frequency of thoughts and concerns that we are likely in a simulation. This is to say that our lived experience is simulated. We touched on some of these theories and reasons why it is viewed as likely recently. This stress and worry has been a concern for many decades but as our ability to create games that more closely resemble our lived experience the concerns have broadened. Concerns about why we would be in such as system, what the system was built for, who built it, and what it could mean about life in general. What would super level intelligence or whoever is left to run and explore these simulations gain, loss, need, or want from these experiences?
When we look at why we ourselves play games it feels as simple as playing for fun. That is the answer for many, entertainment. In recent years, the 2013 estimate and 2016 estimate of the number of people playing games was 1.2 billion and 2.08 billion, respectively, worldwide.The video game industry today is a multi-billion dollar arena estimated to be around $23.5B in 2015. For others it is a profession. The Esports industry is slated to reach more than $900M in revenues this year. Moreover, the spread of technology has meant that more people are playing more kinds of games and the time spent playing games has been increasing on average as well.
It would seem that much of the anxiety around our realizations and concerns that we might too be in a observed simulation stem from what we focus on in the game experiences we have played so far and continue to play today. We stress at the thought of not being the main characters or on the same functional levels as the main characters because of what is done to these characters in the games we know today. Or we worry that we might be a main character and be on the wrong side of the social good accepted by those engaging in the experience. What things that we do not realize we do today will be seen as unthinkable social artifacts to be witnessed from the ideological safety or pressure of museums of the future? Things we talk about today like eating meat, criminal justice, and housing might be key for the next 100-250 years but things we likely do not realize will dominate beyond that. At this point it is better to think in generations given how generations have been compressing. The issues above would be obvious within 7-10 generations. What about 30-50 lived generations? What about 200? Maybe things like walking on grass or using words or thinking in terms of victory and defeat will be the relics relived to grow in those times. The feelings of anxiety from the thoughts of being in a simulation too would shift then as well. Such a change could be seen within the next 7 generations.
Single Electron Theory
There is another theory that is interesting to think about in relation to all of this, the One-electron universe. It can be weird to think about, but an interesting way to view it is by thinking about the fact that a large portion of the human body is actually composed of by microorganisms. The number of microorganisms outnumbers the number of human cells in the human body 10 to 1. The extension then comes by thinking of electrons as a single entity or species connected or connecting through our time and space. It is like the universe's version of microorganisms, the universe's microbiome.
It's All the Same Stuff
The largest animal on earth is the Blue Whale and the largest recorded by length came in at 33.6 meters. The heaviest weight on record was 173 tonnes or 190 short tons. Among the oldest living organisms is a tree system called Pando. It is also the heaviest known organism at 6,600 short tons or 6 million kilograms. The largest organism on earth is a plant system. It is an organism spanning 2,385 acres (or about 4 square miles) of Oregon forest. We would think that a whale feels much the same way we do as a moving animal. We would think an organism 4 square miles in size that does not move as we do would feel differently. What does an organism of this size experience?
Now imagine the weight of all the electrons in the universe. How would they be experiencing and sharing and changing?
The theory shared today is that there is one electron moving back and forth through spacetime, but we can also think of it as a living organism. Similar to the systems described above. It is component to us all and brings our experience together in ways we do not yet actively know. What we see in games and on either side of the simulation is what we see for consistency, but the continuity of the experience within the system or on the other side need not be consistent or in accordance with the reality we want to impose. Imagine if phenomena like the uncertainty principle, quantum tunneling, and how we view video games and simulations and technology are the result of electrons communicating and sharing what needs to be shared for them to exist as they are. Imagine thinking of quantum tunneling as the first particle stopping, the particles around it choosing which to change the momentum to in the next continuous section of spacetime, communicating the change, and having the particle move as expected on the other side,
There are a many things we can draw from and extend to by viewing electrons as an organism. Every reality is base reality! There is an assumption here being that all electrons are the same here, but this possibility is still exciting. Escape and exploration into a specific system just changes the scope we take part in. The self we express in games is a version focused on completing a specific task as presented. Many view life as a game where you level up through crawling at home, walking at school, running at work, to strolling through retirement. While the final stages of our experience remain a toss up for us still in the experience the simplification to this kind of progression can make it harder to draw the lines between the games we play and games in general. The lessons we learn are no less real. A larger point being that often the learning done together and alone here might be for another experience yet to come. Further, what would it mean if all of our experiences and truths and struggles are shared across a far reaching organism as old as the universe?
What does this all say about our universe and our place in it? Maybe there are no aliens because they all connected with the electron(s) and are experiencing our path as we do. Basically, there is less need for worry than we think and the worries we feel about what a higher intelligence would impose on us were we in their simulation might be undue. Where does this take us and how wide could this system go? What questions come to mind? Share your thoughts below so more than just the electron(s) knows.