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Brian Whitworth - are we living in a computer simulation?

"Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine"~Sir Arthur Eddington

Brain Whitworth

Many of you have become familiar with the interesting work of a physicist and consciousness explorer Thomas Campbell who published his theory in the 'My Big Toe' trilogy, which I highly recommend to everyone interested in finding more about the nature of this reality. 

Recently I have come across another interesting researcher who was born in England, grew up in New Zealand and became a psychologist then computer analyst and later professor. Brain now works at Massey University in Auckland and researches how human and social requirements can "drive" technology design and evaluation. His vision is that people and computers are more than people or computers.

Bear with me for a second! Brian Whitworth's interest stretch far beyond this. He wrote two amazing papers that are just great food for thought. Below are the abstracts from both of them, see for yourself and leave some comments if you like so we trigger some discussions.

 

The emergence of the physical world from information processing

This chapter links the idea of the physical world is a virtual reality to the findings of modern physics. What is usually the subject of science fiction is here proposed as a testable theory subject to empirical evaluation. We know from physics how the world behaves and from computing how information behaves, so whether the physical world could arise from information processing is a question that can be evaluated. This chapter presents a prima facie case that modern physics now makes the virtual reality hypothesis more likely than traditional objective reality assumptions. If a photon is a pixel on a multi-dimensional screen that creates space, the speed of light could reflect its refresh rate. If mass, charge and energy all arise from information processing, the many conservation laws of physics could reduce to a single law of dynamic information conservation. If the universe is a virtual reality, then the big bang creation was simply when the system was booted up. Deriving the core physics from information processing could reconcile relativity and quantum theory, with the former how processing creates the space-time operating system and the latter how it creates energy and matter applications.

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Simulating Space and Time

This paper asks if a virtual space-time could appear to those within it as our space-time does to us. A processing grid network is proposed to underlie not just matter and energy, but also space and time. The suggested "screen" for our familiar three dimensional world is the inner surface of a four-dimensional hyper-sphere bubble. Light waves and matter travel on this surface in directions defined by its architecture. Time derives from its processing sequences, as movies run static states together to emulate events. Yet what is proposed to exist is not the static states but the dynamic processing between them, with quantum collapse the irreversible event giving time its direction. In this virtual reality, empty space is null processing, directions are node connections, time is processing cycles, light is an information wave, objects are information tangles and energy is information in transfer. This strange interpretation suits a world where empty space is not empty, directions warp, time dilates, light never tires, existence smears and energy is the common currency of all interactions.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 June 2010 08:37