Simulations all the way down


I’m sitting here in a Starbucks on Sunset Boulevard in L.A., on deadline, entertaining disturbing thoughts.

I’m pondering Joe Rogan’s podcast interview with Elon Musk I listened to yesterday (they got so high even I got the munchies).

They explored Musk’s ideas about how the world as we experience it might be a simulation.  

Musk pointed out that once you start developing the simulation technologies (such as video games and then VR), they inevitably continue to be perfected until one day they are literally indistinguishable from actual reality. 

One possibility is that some day we will create simulations so good that people will live in them without realizing they’re simulations. 

Another possibility is that some civilization has already created that quality of a simulation and that we’re all living in it now. 

(Musk makes the case that if it IS a simulation, we do not want to take the red pill and live in the real world, because simulations are always far less boring than the reality.)  

It occurred to me (or maybe they said it, I don’t recall) that both are possible — maybe we’re living in a simulation, and within that simulation we will one day create a simulation indistinguishable from reality. 

And maybe the beings that that created our simulation are living in another simulation. And so on. Theoretically, it’s possible that civilizations have been creating simulations inside simulations for trillions of millennia. 

Maybe it’s simulations all the way down.  

It’s a disturbing idea. But at least it would explain L.A.