# Is Our Reality Just a Simulation in The Matrix?

• HIGHLYTOXIC
In summary, the question asks if it is theoretically possible to create a simulation where the interactions between particles are not taken discrete steps. The answer is that it is theoretically possible, but would require a lot of error. Even if the simulation were to be perfect, it would not be a representation of reality because there are limits to how much accuracy can be stored. Furthermore, the question asks if it is possible to model reality without taking discrete steps. The answer is that it is possible, but would require a lot of error. Even if the simulation were to be perfect, it would not be a representation of reality because there are limits to how much accuracy can be stored.
I wonder...

Perhaps NP-hard type problem can provide a way of dividing real from illusionary? Any computer simulation must take a finite processing time, whilst "reality" should act instanteously, with the observer subject to the same sort of time as the universe. With more complex situations, then, a matrix style computed universe should have time inconsistencies, rather like "bullet time"? Just an idea.

There's no reason in principle why the computer couldn't correct itself to present the illusion of real-time computation, even if some of its computations took longer than they actually appeared to take. Suppose the computer takes 10 minutes of objective time to calculate an event that is supposed to occur over 1 minute in 'simulation time.' The computer could in principle stagger the time perception of the en-matrixed observor such that the 10 minute computation appears to unfold over the course of 1 minute, since it is known that subjective time dilation can occur in a human observor. In principle at least, then, it should be possible to systematically alter an observor's brain activity to produce the desired duration of time perception.

Originally posted by hypnagogue
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. [/B]
Ah, I see what you mean. But if instaneous velocity assumes instants and points then I can't see how it can help get around Zeno's objections to quantised motion.

I like your computation idea, but managing differences in processing time between different event by altering individual perceptions of time seems like stretching things a bit.

Last edited:
Originally posted by hypnagogue
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?

I am not argueing that, I am argueing that discrete space would necessarily mean non-continuous velocity, which would necessarily mean infinite acceleration.

You're basing that claim on a mathematical method that was created with assumptions of continuity in mind. Perhaps in the limit the continuous model would not be a perfect representation of discrete reality?

Originally posted by hypnagogue
Perhaps in the limit the continuous model would not be a perfect representation of discrete reality? [/B]
Isn't that true by definition?

I believe it can, however there would be no way to show that we are actually here. What can really prove it, maybe it is true? who knows...

Greetings,

Sort of like asking 'Why doesn't a game character know that it's a game character?'

Simply put, it all depends upon the game characters level of A.I. programming and preprogrammed knowledge. Do you program the characters level of A.I. around the programmed game world psychology and physics, or do you program it around our worlds psychology and physics? If you program an A.I. to simulate human's minds with human mental learning capabilities and then put it into a game world, then it would have the mental capabilities (the programming) needed to figure out that the game limits and game flaws are 'extremely bizarre puzzles that don't make much sense' for which the game characters would then dwell on and theorize on until they find a theory that best describes and explains it from their point of view - assuming that you (the programmer) don't intervene and give them 'special' knowledge of our world, which would then give them a basis of comparing their game world's psychology and physics to.

Plus, the amount of flaws and limits to the game world would depend upon the programmers knowledge, the programmers attention to detail, the limitations of the computer that the 'game' is programmed and running on, as well as each game character's level of A.I.

Also, just as games and programs go, when the cpu requires longer processing times (in your example of 10 minutes of real time processing = 1 minute of game time passage), the entire game lags and slows down effecting everything within the game simultaneously, so from the game character's points of view, they do not notice any time differences (sort of like when you are playing Diablo II and a lot of characters come into view, the entire game slows, characters and all). How game programmers reduce this lag time in real life in most 3D games is by making sacrifices - sacrifices in animation and graphics details, physics laws implemented, game world limitis, character's levels of a.i. and character capabilities.

If I myself had the necessary programming skills, psychology and physics understanding needed to create a game world that realistically and truly simulated both our world and the people in it, and the super duper computer needed to processes all of the necessary routines and functions fast enough for me to observe them in real time, and the time needed to write such a program, then yes, I would make it just out of curiosity (and entertainment).

Because of this, I would have to answer the original question 'Could we be living in a Matrix and just not know it?' as yes, I believe that it could be a possibility, however the memory and cpu processing requirements would be so extremely great that it is very unlikely that we are, simply because we (in this world) do not have the super duper computer needed to realistically simulate out world and everything in/on it in such fluidic detail for long lengths of time (long being longer than a few seconds), yet.

---------------------------------------

'Only you can live your life, and only your life you must live'

I was just thinking about something.

If consciousness signal are taken from the "real" world and implanted into "matrix" world, then there would be inexplicable changes in the world as the computing system reads your thoughts and inserts their effects into the matrix world like magic. If we could detect changes, which would probably be very hard, we could disprove the world's authenticity.
----------------------------
If all the people are actual people, and you are interacting in a causal manner with this world, what is the different, actual or effective, between such a world and the real world?

Couldn't you consider the whole universe as one big computer?

In order to do calculations to recreate a universe, wouldn't you need a calcuation system with at least as many objects as that which you are modelling?
---------------------------

Also, with the timing thing as it relates to not being able to compute stuff fast enough, if you were to slow people's thoughts down to compensate, then you'd have to slow everyone down at the same rate if each person isn't existing in a vaccuum.

You would never know unless there was something from the outside that contacted the inside, much like the movie. Even if there were errors in the system that was created you wouldn't know of them as errors leading to a fake world, but as odd experiences. Then you could go out and say everything that we cannot explain is a glitch in a program.

Originally posted by HIGHLYTOXIC
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...

I think really your question should be, should it matter if we are or are we not.

Reality is really the perception of reality and therefor doesn't have to be a real reality to have a state where ppl believe that it is reality.

imho

Hello MacTech, haven't seen you in... ages...

You would never know unless there was something from the outside that contacted the inside, much like the movie.
Hypothetical question, then. When Neo "woke up", did he in fact wake up, or did he simply go to sleep? How can it be proven one way or the other? How would Neo know if Morpheus was in fact inviting him into the Matrix, into a world where his delusions can be satisfied?

Originally posted by FZ+
Hello MacTech, haven't seen you in... ages...

Hypothetical question, then. When Neo "woke up", did he in fact wake up, or did he simply go to sleep? How can it be proven one way or the other? How would Neo know if Morpheus was in fact inviting him into the Matrix, into a world where his delusions can be satisfied?

*** WARNING ***

FZ+ = Agent of the system.

lol, I know I have been off of PF and elsewhere for a while but I'll try to come back again, hehe.

oh and about the matrix in general, There actually is no movie ever called the matrix it is just part of a mass dream and state of being in this computer driven world that is called the xirtam. Yep.

Originally posted by MacTech
I think really your question should be, should it matter if we are or are we not.

Reality is really the perception of reality and therefor doesn't have to be a real reality to have a state where ppl believe that it is reality.

imho

That's along the lines of what I said:
Originally posted by Dissident Dan
If all the people are actual people, and you are interacting in a causal manner with this world, what is the different, actual or effective, between such a world and the real world?

Couldn't you consider the whole universe as one big computer?

Can "the matrix" be true? Yes...
Would we know it? No...
Because the computer running it (probably distributed computing, like the grid)
Would detect a sizable amount of distortion (between a perfect simulation and its simulation, usually in small areas and only large enoough to be noticed)
And correct it (and possibly wipe all memory of it, by lowering the brainwaves of the person, more of the delta and theta waves, so that when they are concus again, (after a few seconds) they would never have the memory of the event (only a fraction of a second memory, while unconcious)

At most, they would think they have a memory problem.

You do not need to simulate more of the universe then is needed (just the earth, small calculations based on velocity (only on visible stars) and positions; not that much overhead involved)
For optimisation, if no-one is in the room, and nothing will happen there; it can be left out of most calculations; meaning less processor time needed, lowering the computer/person ratio.

Originally posted by HIGHLYTOXIC
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...

:) Do you really think anything, (machines or...) would need or bother to set a 'matrix world' as described in the movie when we're already surrounded by holywood, the world media, internet and the 'brilliant' idea of matrix movies themselves !?

Something that I didn't see addressed in the first few pages of the discussion of precision:

Why would the Matrix NEED perfect precision? Human eyesight (for example) has limited resolution, color depth, and framerate limits. The Matrix just has to be better than human perception.

I think the wisdom here is that reality is only as real as our perception of it. If it's real to us, then it is reality. So in essence, we define our own reality through our mind's interpretation of it.

If the matrix had glitches, they could present themselves as anomolies(flying saucers,ghosts, etc). That was proposed in the movie. And as someone already pointed out, without a baseline reference, how WOULD we know it was fake, since we are not aware of any other existence? We could be born, live an entire life, and die never knowing our existence was altered from it's original form.

• Science Fiction and Fantasy Media
Replies
3
Views
2K
• General Discussion
Replies
6
Views
2K
• Quantum Physics
Replies
1
Views
900
• Science Fiction and Fantasy Media
Replies
22
Views
3K
• Science Fiction and Fantasy Media
Replies
13
Views
2K
• General Discussion
Replies
2
Views
794
• Science Fiction and Fantasy Media
Replies
2
Views
1K
• Quantum Interpretations and Foundations
Replies
5
Views
2K
• Quantum Physics
Replies
13
Views
1K
• General Discussion
Replies
5
Views
1K