Can The Matrix be TRUE?

  • #1
HIGHLYTOXIC
47
0
Can "The Matrix" be TRUE?

Hi guys,
I am a really big fan of Keanu Reaves and The Matrix Trilogy.

This question just came to my mind while I was watching the Matrix Revolutions.

CAN WE BE LIVING IN A WORLD WHICH IS DESCRIBED IN THE MOVIE? IF WE ARE, HOW DO WE KNOW WE ARE AND IF NOT, HOW DO WE KNOW THAT WE ARE'NT?

Just Curious to know what u guys speak...
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Dissident Dan
237
2
Any fake world would inevitably have flaws (inconsistencies or "glitches", such as the deja vu cat). I have not seen any flaws in this world, so I think that it's pretty safe to say that we are living in the real deal.
 
  • #3
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,275
40
A fake world doesn't necessarily have to have any flaws. There is no way to discover whether or not the world is "real," because there is no firm way of distinguishing "real" from "non-real." Bottom line: yes, of course, we could be living inside a Matrix.

- Warren
 
  • #4
Dissident Dan
237
2
A fake world would be a mere representation. If you were to perfectly recreate a world, you'd have to make an exact copy, in which case it would be real. If the world is not an actual copy, calculations are needed to represent the world. Any calculations required to make a fake world would inevitably have an amount of error to them.
 
  • #5
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,275
40
Originally posted by Dissident Dan
Any calculations required to make a fake world would inevitably have an amount of error to them.
You're just assuming that; it doesn't have to be true. In fact, it seems like a rather arbitrary assumption to me.

[mentor mode]
By the way, your signature is much, much too long. Please limit it to four lines or less.
[/mentor mode]

- Warren
 
  • #6
FZ+
1,599
3
Of course the Matrix is wrong, for simple reasons of thermodynamics.

But regardless...

Any calculations required to make a fake world would inevitably have an amount of error to them.
An error from what? Presuming we do not have access to a comparison, we would accept the errors as a part of our existence. Magic is a fudge of an explanation - in more ways than we can imagine?:wink:
 
  • #7
Dissident Dan
237
2
There are always limits to how much accuracy with which we can store numbers. Digital systems are limited by number of digits. Even some sort of analog system would have some sort of precision problem, especially given the HUP (if you consider the HUP relevant).

Also, is it possible to non-discretely model a complex system of interactions as would be necessary to model reality perfectly?

Maybe some people (a lot, actually) would accept or not notice the errors, but people would inevitably notice inconsistencies.
 
  • #8
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,275
40
Originally posted by Dissident Dan
There are always limits to how much accuracy with which we can store numbers. Digital systems are limited by number of digits. Even some sort of analog system would have some sort of precision problem, especially given the HUP (if you consider the HUP relevant).
Quantum mechanics dictates that you don't need infinite precision to create such a simulation. The HUP itself could be evidence that we're inside a computer simulation!

However, you're missing the fact that even if our universe could not be simulated on a piece of computer hardware that we know about, it doesn't mean the universe couldn't be simulated on a piece of computer hardware we've yet to invent.

There simply is no way to rule out the possibility that our world is a simulation -- none at all.

- Warren
 
  • #9
Dissident Dan
237
2
Firstly, a system is either digital or analog. It's pretty obvious that a digital system has precision problems. It's harder to prove that an analog system must have these problems, so I'll have to think about it for a while.

Does anyone know if it is (theoretically) possible to calculate interactions without taking discrete steps?

Finally, if something acts exactly as reality, what is the difference between that existence and reality?
 
  • #10
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,275
40
It's not at all obvious that a digital simulation would have problems. You're making all kinds of invalid and arbitrary assumptions.

- Warren
 
  • #11
hypnagogue
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,277
2
Even assuming there would be some inconsistencies that would inevitably be noticed, the computer system could always take ad hoc actions to ensure those inconsistencies never had a big impact on the populace. If need be, in principle the computers could rewire a person's brain to be conformist. Or simply have the person killed in a 'freak' accident.

But more to the point, as FZ said, even if people noticed such 'inevitable' inconsistencies and weren't 'corrected' by the computers, they would just try to accept and incorporate such inconsistencies as fundamental aspects of reality. Because as far as they know, the matrix is fundamental reality. Are you suggesting that if you open your drawer tomorrow and find black socks instead of your expected white socks, it will make you suspicious that you're living in a computer generated world that has just experienced a glitch?
 
  • #12
An important question is, what good does it do one to take on the view that reality as we know it is a grand illusion?
Even if one doesn't find the real matrix(I hope not), they are likely to not take things at appearance as much after seeing that movie.
 
  • #13
TENYEARS
472
0
The movie is somewhat realistic, when I was young, very young I had an experience which would be similar to events which happened in the movie. I am saving it for a book or something I don't quite know yet. This particular event happened a few times in my life.
 
  • #14
hypnagogue
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,277
2
Spill the beans! I promise I won't turn around and write your biography before you get a chance. :wink:
 
  • #15
darknite
4
0
yeah! what did you do? Dodged bullets?
 
  • #16
Dissident Dan
237
2
Originally posted by chroot
It's not at all obvious that a digital simulation would have problems. You're making all kinds of invalid and arbitrary assumptions.

A digital system has a finite number of digits. That means that there is necessarily a limit to the precision. A limit to precision means that there must be error.
 
  • #17
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,275
40
Originally posted by Dissident Dan
A digital system has a finite number of digits. That means that there is necessarily a limit to the precision. A limit to precision means that there must be error.
And there is a similar limit to an analog system: the charge of the electron.

Besides, as I've already said, our universe does not seem to permit perfect precision anyway, as evidenced by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

- Warren
 
  • #18
TENYEARS
472
0
No, I busted a dust collecting device and ate cookies. Just jokin, actually not really, but there is more.
 
  • #19
Dissident Dan
237
2
Originally posted by chroot
And there is a similar limit to an analog system: the charge of the electron.

Besides, as I've already said, our universe does not seem to permit perfect precision anyway, as evidenced by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

- Warren

Well, the system of calculating wouldn't necessarily rely on electricity, so number of electrons may not necessarily be a limiting factor.

HUP dictates that we cannot know exactly what the momentum and velocity are. This may be due to the interactions necessary to measure and/or the non-point nature of actual matter. However, over a long time span, the error would make itself more and more obvious through an uncountable number of iterations.
 
  • #20
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,275
40
More unsupported assumptions. And I should remind you that you're the one who said "a system is either analog or digital." Now you're trying to convince me there could be a system which is neither. Give it up.

- Warren
 
  • #21
Canute
1,559
0
There do not have to be 'faults' in the phenomenal world just because it's an illusion. It isn't a copy of anything.

If there are any faults they would show up in metaphysics, since in the end, if the phenomenal world it is an illusion then it cannot be proved to be real. And guess what, that's just where the faults do show up.

The best essay on the Matrix I've found is here:
http://www.unomaha.edu/~wwwjrf/gnostic.htm [Broken] (Titled - 'Wake Up! Gnosicism and Buddhism in the Matrix')

The authors point out that the Matrix is not metaphysically complete as a theory of illusion, since it never explores what lies behind the regress of illusions. The Matrix is an illusion, but equally so might be the world outside the Matrix. The film doesn't explore how profound the illusion might be.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #22
Dissident Dan
237
2
Originally posted by chroot
More unsupported assumptions. And I should remind you that you're the one who said "a system is either analog or digital." Now you're trying to convince me there could be a system which is neither. Give it up.

- Warren

I must not have been clear in what digital and analog mean. They do not necessarily have anything to do with electricity. Analog and digital describe how information is coded, regardless of the medium.

Digital means that values are stored in digits. Each digit has a finite number of possibilites (base 10 has 10 possibilities), and there are a finite amount of digits.

Analog is that which is not digital. Perhaps you could somehow represent a value as the distance between two particles, for example. Of course, if you took that route, you'd have to replicate the universe in order to completely "calculate" it, and what you'd end up with is the actual universe, itself.

The finiteness of digital presents error in two ways. Firstly, not all numbers are representable in all bases, no matter how many digits. For example, you cannot represent 1/3 as a decimal in base-10. And there is also a limit to precision in the number of digits.
 
  • #23
ewoodlief
30
0
Originally posted by chroot
It's not at all obvious that a digital simulation would have problems. You're making all kinds of invalid and arbitrary assumptions.

- Warren

Technically, a "digital" world would have precision errors if you classify a precision error as a situation where some quantity required more precise specificity. However, if reality were discrete and the precision of such a digital world were matched to that of reality, then any precision errors would go unnoticed and be irrelevant--which violates the above classification of a precision error in the first place and can no longer be considered as such. It seems to me that his assumption is on the discreteness of reality.

For the moment, I agree that we couldn't know whether or not this was the "real" reality (no pun intended.)
 
  • #24
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,275
40
Originally posted by Dissident Dan
I must not have been clear in what digital and analog mean.
I understand entirely what you're saying. My response is that you're not clearly thinking about the consequences. First, there is no evidence that our universe really is continuous at all -- it is very possible that at the Planck length, space is discrete. If that's true, then you could certainly simulate our universe on a digital computer.

Like I said, you're making assumptions.

- Warren
 
  • #25
Dissident Dan
237
2
Perhaps if our world is a simulation, space could be discrete. But if it is "real", then the idea of discrete space is nonsense. It would mean that infinite forces would be acting on objects as they instantaneously move from one discrete unit to another.
 
  • #26
hypnagogue
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,277
2
Why infinite forces?
 
  • #27
ewoodlief
30
0
Originally posted by Dissident Dan
...It would mean that infinite forces would be acting on objects as they instantaneously move from one discrete unit to another.

Gravitational influence is calculated from mass and distance. Distance is discrete only if space (the realm in which we measure distance) is discrete. In your above reasoning, you wrote "... move from one discrete unit to another" which is in direct conflict with "infinite forces".

So if space is discrete, then the forces which are distance dependent will also be discrete. If discrete space still seems nonsensical to you, could you please clarify what you mean?
 
  • #28
Canute
1,559
0
By Chroot
I understand entirely what you're saying. My response is that you're not clearly thinking about the consequences. First, there is no evidence that our universe really is continuous at all -- it is very possible that at the Planck length, space is discrete. If that's true, then you could certainly simulate our universe on a digital computer.
- Warren
Aren't Zeno's paradoxes of motion pretty good evidence that spacetime is continuous? To me they seem to prove it.
 
  • #29
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
10,275
40
Zeno's paradoxes are mathematical, not physical. Calculus solved them hundreds of years ago.

- Warren
 
  • #30
Canute
1,559
0
That isn't actually the case. Continuous motion in quantised spacetime is as paradoxical an idea as ever. But I suppose it's a bit off topic.
 
  • #31
String Theorist
7
0
Wuzzup peeps,

Nick Bostrom, PhD of the Philosophy Faculty, Oxford University, makes the case that we are living in a real matrix, see http://www.simulation-argument.com/ I have not read it as yet, but looks pretty cool.
 
  • #32
Dissident Dan
237
2
Quantized space would mean infinite forces, because a particle would exist at one point for a given amount of time (having zero velocity while there), and then leap instantaneously to the next (infinite velocity), and then have zero velocity again as it stays at that point for some amount of time.
 
  • #33
hypnagogue
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,277
2
You are just arguing here that instantaneous velocity is impossible, essentially a restatement of Zeno's arrow paradox (yup, Zeno again). If instantaneous velocity is a feasible concept in a continuum, why shouldn't it be a feasible concept in a quantized space as well?
 
  • #34
Canute
1,559
0
Do you mean instantaneous travel or instantaneous acceleration to a velicity? Why is instantaneous travel implied by a spacetime being a continuum?
 
  • #35
hypnagogue
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,277
2
I mean instantaneous velocity-- the notion that an object at a particular point in time has a velocity (and is not, as our intuition might tell us, at rest at each individual point in time). The notion of instantaneous velocity might be counter-intuitive, but it is necessary for solving Zeno's arrow paradox and, more importantly, has served as an extremely useful concept in physics.
 

Suggested for: Can The Matrix be TRUE?

  • Last Post
Replies
25
Views
4K
Replies
6
Views
808
Replies
13
Views
942
Replies
5
Views
2K
Replies
40
Views
5K
Replies
3
Views
1K
Replies
12
Views
1K
Replies
9
Views
2K
Replies
4
Views
874
Top