"Elon Musk believes we are probably characters in some advanced civilization's video game"
There's a headline that will get your attention.
Musk, the Tesla guy, was speaking at a conference this week when the topic came up. Here is the gist of it as reported on Vox Technology:
"By far the best moment of Recode's annual Code Conference was when Elon Musk took the stage and explained that though we think we're flesh-and-blood participants in a physical world, we are almost certainly computer-generated entities living inside a more advanced civilization's video game.
"Don't believe me? Here's Musk's argument in full:
"The strongest argument for us being in a simulation probably is the following. Forty years ago we had pong. Like, two rectangles and a dot. That was 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. Soon we'll have virtual reality, augmented reality.
"If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, even if that rate of advancement drops by a thousand from what it is now. Then you just say, okay, let's imagine it's 10,000 years in the future, which is nothing on the evolutionary scale.
"So given that we're clearly on a trajectory to have games that are indistinguishable from reality, and those games could be played on any set-top box or on a PC or whatever, and there would probably be billions of such computers or set-top boxes, it would seem to follow that the odds that we're in base reality is one in billions."
The idea that we are living "The Matrix" isn't new, but it has been gaining steam in recent years as more serious scientists and thinkers jump on the bandwagon. Whether it's provable or not is another question, but regardless, it is an intriguing theory.
Proponents cite the universe's mathematical underpinnings; how the universe is so fine-tuned for life that just a slight change one way or the other and we wouldn't be here. Or the mystery of life itself, still waiting to be solved. Opponents believe it's just so much nonsense and how can reputable scientists even entertain the notion.
It's a good bet the concept has been around in one form or another since the ancient Greeks (doesn't everything trace back to the Greeks?). There's the famous line from Shakespeare's "Hamlet": "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
And what if we are just living out some advanced civilization's idea of entertainment? Somebody get a messaged to them: We don't find the Donald Trump Presidency campaign amusing. And one more thing: Could you please program me buying the winning lottery ticket?
Whether Musk and company are right or wrong doesn't change things, does it? Life, simulated or real, will press on. Like, to quote a favorite movie line, "We ain't had breakfast yet."
In the end, Churchill said it best:
"A riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma."