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Can The Matrix be TRUE?

  1. Jan 27, 2004 #1
    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.......
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 27, 2004 #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.
     
  4. Jan 27, 2004 #3

    chroot

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    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
     
  5. Jan 27, 2004 #4
    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.
     
  6. Jan 27, 2004 #5

    chroot

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    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
     
  7. Jan 27, 2004 #6

    FZ+

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    Of course the Matrix is wrong, for simple reasons of thermodynamics.

    But regardless...

    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:
     
  8. Jan 27, 2004 #7
    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.
     
  9. Jan 28, 2004 #8

    chroot

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    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
     
  10. Jan 28, 2004 #9
    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?
     
  11. Jan 28, 2004 #10

    chroot

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    It's not at all obvious that a digital simulation would have problems. You're making all kinds of invalid and arbitrary assumptions.

    - Warren
     
  12. Jan 28, 2004 #11

    hypnagogue

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    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?
     
  13. Jan 28, 2004 #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.
     
  14. Jan 28, 2004 #13
    The movie is somewhat realistic, when I was young, very young I had an experience which would be simlar 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.
     
  15. Jan 29, 2004 #14

    hypnagogue

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    Spill the beans! I promise I won't turn around and write your biography before you get a chance. :wink:
     
  16. Jan 29, 2004 #15
    yeah! what did you do? Dodged bullets?
     
  17. Jan 29, 2004 #16
    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.
     
  18. Jan 29, 2004 #17

    chroot

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    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
     
  19. Jan 29, 2004 #18
    No, I busted a dust collecting device and ate cookies. Just jokin, actually not really, but there is more.
     
  20. Jan 29, 2004 #19
    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.
     
  21. Jan 29, 2004 #20

    chroot

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    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
     
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