The Container

Game-simulations are never exact replicas of the world they’re simulating. They’re minimal implementations containing fragments of a whole, typically highlighting a particular activity. The graphics and other sensory data are never as fully immersive as the real-deal. Take Minecraft as an example, it focuses mainly on mining, survival, and block-building. This leads to the hypothesis that whatever contains our own simulated world, is likely beyond our current in-game comprehension.

In other words, a Minecraft avatar can’t fathom what a peach tastes like, or what taste even is. The smooth, non-blocky edges of everything in this world would look alien. The idea of billions of players all interacting on a single server without massive lag would be unthinkable. The concept of a non-infinite globe might even seem claustrophobic to an avatar used to an infinitely expanding world. Yet the many roles and activities and choices in our world might seem daunting to a character that’s only ever mined and slaughtered zombies.

The fact that we’re here says something about the world beyond this one. Maybe that world is too safe and not very intense — perhaps a bit boring. In games, we get reckless don’t we? We go at a higher intensity, we fight things, we die. Or sometimes a simulator is used for pure practice, like a flight-simulator for example. Maybe we’re learning to live as part of a greater civilization. Perhaps we have to earn our way into whatever world lies beyond this one.

The clues of artificiality are everywhere yet we’re too immersed to care. But one thing is for sure: if we’re here, we’re obviously meant to interact with this place in the best way we can. Whether it’s for fun or training, we better get our head in the game and act like we want to be here. Every endeavor is improved by a good attitude. And there’s always the possibility that this is in fact a rehabilitation facility for those that had trouble in the greater society. Either way, accepting and appreciating our position here is the only way to go.


Meat Based

Dear Rich, I’m not sure I like the idea of a purely virtual world. I like my world to have some meat on it.

Well dear reader, a meat-filled world means that you’re subject to the laws of meat. Sure it’s fun to pretend you’re a physical being, but to actually be one? Take driving a car for example — are you NUTS! Meat can’t drive machines at speeds in excess of seventy miles per hour, it’s just not possible. A clumsy cartilage-connected creature just doesn’t have the necessary reaction time.

And what about airplanes? A flying canisters of well-packed meat successfully taking off, soaring through the air, and landing at regular intervals? No that’s not going to happen either — that’s pure fantasy-land fodder my friend. Have you also not noticed that you’re well-fed, well-clothed, and live within a pretty decent shelter? Yeah? You think that kind of well-run regularity happens in a meat-based universe? Nope.

But do you know where well-timed intervals and infinite allotments do occur? In computer-run simulations, that’s where. Natural disasters destroy meat, disease runs rampant amongst meat, accidents regularly occur when dealing with meat — but for some reason you’ve escaped all that — is that luck dear reader? Or perhaps virtual realms that look-out for your well-being aren’t so bad after all?

Maybe instead of idolizing meat, you could show some appreciation toward the spectacle of light and sound that’s been entertaining you lo these many years. I’m not trying to criticize your opinion dear reader, but let’s be real here, you’re expecting life as a piece of meat to be a piece of cake — I’m just letting you know that life as pixelated light ain’t so bad.

Woods or Vat

Dear Rich, I’m not sure which one is true: am I a lost child in the woods or a brain in a vat?

Well dear reader, let’s examine your options. If you’re a lost child in the woods, that narrative usually doesn’t end well unless you’re found by a woodsman or an animal-mother raises you as her own. And let’s be honest, if you actually found yourself in an inhospitable environment, you’d be dead on arrival. Therefore, because of your childlike ignorance, we know that this is NOT a hostile environment — you’re not “lost in the woods” — not even close — something is maintaining your presence here.

We can therefore deduce that you’re within an artificial setting. Now the question becomes: does a prefabricated world actually exist or does your consciousness simply imagine it exists? If you examine human civilization, the events are for the most part pretty fantastical. Voyages around the globe, empires, world-wars, mass destruction, massive storms, political intrigue, flying-machines, space-travel — crazy narratives comprised-of-coincidences fill the history books. It’s unlikely therefore, that you’re standing on solid ground.

Instead, you’re more likely to be within a dream-like setting in which strange and unusual circumstances happen all the time. Clearly you’re surrounded by narratives, yes? Your life seems to be a story that’s intermingling with a whole bunch of other stories. And if you listen to some of those stories, you’ll hear about lives that follow fanciful journeys — pathways seem to be carved through life just to make someone’s dreams come true.

Or, perhaps a virtual-world forms from a dreamer’s aspirations. In other words, a dreamer has an idea to accomplish something and then a world manifests based on the dreamer’s expectations. If true, that means the world you experience is extremely malleable — it can be shaped into whatever you want it to be. If you’re currently experiencing a crappy world for instance, that’s on you — it means you have to stop being so negative — the world is simply doing what you want and fulfilling your expectation of nastiness.

So dear reader, there you have it — you’re not necessarily a brain in a vat, but the world you’re experiencing is a virtual one. And that’s a good thing. If you were in an all-natural chance-based world you’d be dead already. The other beneficial aspect, is that you’re free to alter your virtual-world at-will. If you change your perspective to a positive one, and expect to experience better outcomes, you’re sure to see a substantial improvement in all aspects of your world.

Magical Day

Dear Rich, do you believe in magic?

Yes, without a doubt. If you had asked me anytime before a few years ago I probably would have said no — so for most of my life I did not believe in magic.

What changed your mind?

Well, I met a magician. I often refer to her as “my friend” or sometimes “my wife” or around the house I call her by various nicknames.

I have without a doubt witnessed her paranormal abilities. I’m a born skeptic and doubter and value the scientific-method — yet after two decades of living with her, I couldn’t deny it any longer.

I think what finally allowed me to stop denying her ability was my acceptance of Simulation Theory. Previously, I had believed in a purely physical world that conformed to the laws of physics, a world ruled by logic and reason. If anything didn’t conform to that worldview, I simply dismissed it. But once I saw the likelihood of a simulated reality, then all bets were off — of course magic is real, why not.

In a simulation, where it’s all just flickering pixels, I think things can be wished into existence — and that’s what I’d label as magic. And I’ve most certainly seen my friend wish things into existence. I’ve also witnessed her communicate telepathically with her family members. In a simulated experience, distance isn’t real, it’s merely a list of coordinates on a plane.

Okay, so who’s crazier now, you or your friend?

Well I’m currently living in my dream house and I did absolutely nothing to get here except to accept my friend’s ability to make magic happen. And tonight I’ll be strolling through the Magic Kingdom, because that’s my backyard. How’s that for crazy?

Solid Conspiracy

My friend was wondering aloud why people tend to attack Mandela-Effect believers. I offered her the suggestion that it’s for the same reason people don’t readily accept Simulation Theory.

Because this world tries to portray itself as a physical reality, there’s a system-wide conspiracy authored by the simulation itself, to downplay any talk of virtuality. And to be honest, as players within the game, we should want it that way. A movie for example, is best experienced when fully immersed in the experience, not when you’re constantly losing focus due to non-plot related distractions.

My own goal with spirituality for instance, is to allow myself to become fully immersed in the world. As it is, I’ve always been way too distracted by the meta-game. I overanalyze everything to the point that I barely engage in actual gameplay. I think it’s fine to be an observer or commentator on life, but it’s not fine when you sit on the sidelines due to fear/anxiety.

But back to the point. If true, the Mandela-Effect demonstrates a malleable reality, a concept contrary to the idea of a solid physical reality, thus the system will attempt to shut-down proponents. I think there’s a similar trend when any theory purporting a malleable reality is presented.

For instance, the Law of Attraction or even the miraculous nature of Christianity is often outright denied. In a virtual world, of course you can manifest whatever you want, of course the sick can be instantaneously healed — yet you’ll find yourself generally unpopular if you spout that stuff too often. If you recall, Jesus wasn’t particularly liked by all either.

“You need to work hard within the confines of society’s rules! No wishing allowed!” or “You can only be healed by the prescribed method that’s customary within our particular time-period! No miracles!” Whatever scene we find ourselves in, we’re generally not supposed to use cheat-codes.

But we must also consider the possibility that the world couldn’t care less about maintaining the illusion of a solid physical reality. Quite possibly, it’s the players themselves that maintain this restriction. Perhaps we’re allowed to shape the world any way we want — yet we don’t, simply because we believe we can’t. But when that self-imposed barrier is removed for some reason, that’s when the magic happens….

Real or NPC

Being that I believe in Simulation Theory, I tend to evaluate people on the basis of whether they’re actual players or merely NPCs (non-player characters). I was thinking about designing an evaluation to determine who’s who — like a Turing Test. But of course it relies on the assumption that other players share my perspective — it’s possible that other players relate to the game in a vastly different manner than I do. But I suppose it’s also possible that I’m not really a player, but a confused NPC.

From my perspective at least, I tend to judge people as actual players if they exhibit the following behaviors.

They demonstrate an appreciation for the absurdity of their humanness. In other words, “wow existence is weird huh?”

They demonstrate a well-functioning sense of humor. Being a human that poots and poops is a silly thing. Because we’re not natively so, being a human is an awkward experience that’s inherently funny.

They demonstrate an inability in dealing with humanness, i.e. they’re not an automaton effortlessly performing an assigned role. In other words, they don’t mechanically adhere to pre-fabricated societal roles. They’re confused or frustrated at times by the concept of existing — they may have an existential crisis for instance.

They try to figure out who they are and what their character is capable of. They engage in introspection and wonder about themselves.

Well those are just a few quick ideas. Again, I can obviously pass this test because it’s designed around me. But perhaps other players have a different way of experiencing the game. So, it’s not a sure thing. It’s also possible that we’re all players, and some of us just have a shallow gameplay style.

In other words, some people aren’t providing their full attention, their character is on auto-pilot most of the time. Whereas in a lot of video-games I’ll turn the “assists” and “auto-pilot” modes off and try to do everything manually. It could be the case with this world too, where I’m attempting to manually control my character without relying on too much assistance (or I just suck at this game even with the helper settings turned on).

Fringe Benefits

What are some benefits of living in a simulation? Sickness, accidents, catastrophes — these things aren’t real, they’re simply scenarios we elect to engage in. But it’s not necessarily a conscious decision, more of a belief and mindset we foster. If we don’t want particular scenarios in our lives, we shouldn’t fantasize about them in our thoughts. For example, worry may very well manifest the exact situation we’re worrying about.

In a simulation, chance doesn’t exist, we summon things into our lives by our focus. For instance, if we focus on a particular goal, that’s the one we accomplish, not some random result. In other words, if I train to win a 400 meter race, I won’t accidentally win a weight-lifting competition. If I focus on developing a long-term relationship with a significant-other, I’m not going to one day randomly abandon him/her.

In a simulation, we need only follow the paths we prefer. This is why meditation is such an important tool to utilize, as it’s the practice of maintaining focus. The simulation is considerate enough to keep offering suggestions in order to keep us constantly engaged, avoiding boredom. With meditation, we can shut out the suggested paths we don’t prefer and focus on the ones that delight — otherwise we’ll tend to focus on whatever the next suggestion is, no matter its effects (positive or negative).

For example, if I constantly scan my body for pain, I’ll find what I’m looking for. I’ll then begin wondering what malady I’m suffering from — for months I’ll imagine the worst and likely find that too. The simulation is very accommodating and will fulfill whatever we focus on. But if I dislike medical dramas and want no part in those scenarios, then I shouldn’t apply my focus to such things. We do ourselves a disservice obviously, if we keep our thoughts filled with things we don’t prefer.

It’s our job as participants to seek out the scenarios we find fulfilling and focus on them. In order to make the most immersive experience possible, the simulation requires our active participation. We are most certainly free to choose the worst options, and in our confusion we just might do so. This place is intense, and we can get so overwhelmed and frightened that we focus on pessimistic outcomes that lead us to believe the world is a horrible place full of pain and suffering.

But it most assuredly is not. It’s a fulfillment generator, a realm in which dreams do come true. But it’s up to us to determine the nature and quality of our dream. And we do that by honing our focus, adjusting our attitude, and maintaining our appreciation. We must seek out what we like, sincerely immerse ourself in the process and find the fun, and be thankful for this grand experience. It’s like any daunting activity, oftentimes we have to push past the initial hard part to get to the good stuff.

If we maintain a good attitude and stick with it, things work out in the end — that’s how it goes in the simulation. And because it’s a virtual experience, satisfaction is guaranteed*.

*Good luck gettin’ your money back! :-)