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Projects > Story-of-the-Day > simulation

January 28th, 2017

"Hey, Scott. Can you come in here. I want to bounce an idea off of you."

I brought donuts in to share, so I set them down. I walk in and can tell she's been at the computer screen too long. "Yeah, what's up?"

She doesn't stop look at the screen while she talks to me, "I think we're thinking about this the wrong way. We're going by the hypothesis that everything in our reality is a simulation. We can even seem to hack our way into the 'computer' running it."

"Yup. How do we get out though?"

She looks at me excitedly, "That's exactly it! We can't. If Ms. Pac-Man were to wake up one day and become conscious, there's nothing she could do to escape. There are no Ms. Pac-Man pieces that can leave an arcade and exist in our world. It's the same with us. We are just made of pieces from our reality that can't make it out to the 'real' world."

I look at her while thinking through this, "Huh... Well, this is bad then, right? There's no chance of us opening a portal and walking over to the real world then. The DoD is going to be pissed they gave us all this money."

She looked really excited now. "No! Not at all. A smart Ms. Pac-Mac can still do a lot. She could break out of her program like we have. But instead of trying to escape, she could instead access everything she's connected to. She could move the controls on her own. Or maybe make the ghosts huddle in a corner."

I interjected, "Or...if there was a webcam, maybe she could take a look around at the people playing the games."

A twinkle appeared in her eyes and she turned quickly to the colorful text editor on her computer. Her hands typing away quickly as she managed to get out, "That is exactly why I wanted to talk to you."

A few hours later, I heard her yelling, "Scott! Scott! Come here!"

I walked over to the office and ran straight into something. Blood came rushing out of my nose. I went and grabbed some Kimwipes to stop the blood and came back. I held one hand out in front of me and walked forward. There was some sort of invisible barrier.

She turned around to look at me. "Oh no, sorry. I forgot that was on."

"Wait? What is this? Since when do you have a force field?"

"It's not a force field. I'm just changing the controls of our reality." She turned and pressed a few buttons. "Ok, it's gone. Come in and look at this."

I walked forward carefully led by my hand. As I walked in, she was staring at a screen with a lot of static but appeared to be an empty white room. The walls looked like clouds though. "What is it?"

She turned and pointed to the screen. "This is the webcam. I found something that was streaming a lot of data continuously so I piped it over to the screen."

We both silently stared at the empty room. And then it wasn't so empty. Something seemed to float in from the left. It had four limbs that moved around like tentacles, but with teeth all over them. There was nothing that resembled an eye.

"You're pulling my leg, right?"

She very quietly answered, "No."

The creature lifted one of its tentacles and pointed it directly at us.

I asked, "It can't see us, right?"

"Well, if we're in its program, then this thing can watch you take a shower if it wants."

The creature's teeth started vibrating. If there were sound, I imagine it would make a high pitched noise from how they were moving. Assuming there was air...

I thought about this, "Well, what would you do if you had an arcade game and your Ms. Pac-Man started messing with the controls?"

She turned and looked at me, "You're describing a bug in the program. I'd fix it."

"Hey, Scott. Can you come in here. I want to bounce an idea off of you."

I walk in and she grabs a donut. "Just kidding, I just wanted a donut."

I ask, "Any progress on figuring out how to test if our reality is just a program?"

"Nope, nothing at all."