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The Relative Reality Simulation Hypothesis

“Developing a simulation of a world populated by concious minds, requiring the least possible resources, could potentially lead to the creation of a universe similar or even identical to ours.”

“If the Relative Reality Simulation Hypothesis is better at explaining the strangest paradoxes and the biggest mysteries of our universe than current science, then it may be plausible that we live in such a simulation.”

The Technology

Simulating an entire universe with all of its elementary particles, elements, molecules, solar systems, and galaxies would require a tremendous amount of computing power. The same is true even for the simulation of just one single human brain. It may be hard to believe that this can ever be done.

The Relative Reality Simulation Hypothesis (RRHS), however, suggests to take a different road. It is based on the idea to simulate what we will call "Virtual Minds" (VMs) – instead of simulating an entire universe, the world experienced by such a Virtual Mind will be an emergent phenomenon.

There will be no global reality, in fact – each Virtual Mind will experience its own "Relative Reality" (RR), and the world inhabited by the those Virtual Minds will simply emerge by "synchronizing" the Virtual Mind's Relative Realities, thus drastically reducing the required computing power to run the simulation. The running speed of the simulation itself will then not be determined by the complexity of the world itself, but only by the number of simulated Virtual Minds.

The most surprising result of this approach is that the emerging world could be very similar, or even identical to our own universe, and that it the underlying technology could explain many of the paradoxes and scientific mysteries we currently experience.

So should we believe that we live in such a Relative Reality Simulation?

► Learn more about the hardware and software technology behind the RRS.

The World

The world emerging from such a Relative Reality Simulation (RRS) features a number of interesting features:

  • It is relativistic, the speed of communication (light) is limited, as this is a technical requirement of the simulation itself.
  • It features quantum effects, most notably an effect similar or identical to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.
  • Spacetime is an illusion, and there is no common past; in fact, the past itself is emergent.
  • It solves some of the most important paradoxes and mysteries of our world:
    • ​The world itself can be relativistic, while quantum effects do not necessarely have to be background-independent.
      • The same is true for the problem of time, as time can be both relativistic (sync) and absolute (VM) within the simulation.
      • It may also explain why it's so difficult (or even impossible) to find a Theory Of Everything (TOE).
    • It solves the problem of the interpretation of quantum mechanics (at least partly), as quantum effects naturally emerge within the simulated world (even in case there were no quantum effects in the simulation creators' world).
    • It solves the apparent paradox of quantum superposition (aka Schrödinger's cat).
    • It solves the Boltzman brain paradox – vacuum energy is an illusion, the simulation starts and ends with the existence of the simulated minds.
    • It solves the problem of the fine-tuned universe, as (most) physical laws themselves are emergent within the simulation.
    • It explains the positive cosmological constant, the hierarchy problem (why is gravity such a weak force?), as well as the origin and the fate of the universe.
    • It solves Loschmidt's paradox, as the minds always exist at the lowest point of entropy within the simulation (the second law of thermodynamics is interpreted differently). It also solves the arrow of time problem.
    • It solves the Fermi paradox – the are no aliens in the most simple implementation of the simulation.
  • It also allows for paranormal phenomena, although those are mostly avoided by the simulation's sync mechanism.
  • The creators of the simulation cannot observe the entire simulated universe at once, simply because there is no common world. They can however, track or record individual minds or emergent realities from synchronized minds.
  • The simulated world can feature philosophical zombies as well as robot minds, the creators can switch mind types and even influence the events within the simulated world.
  • The simulation speed depends on the number of simulated minds – given sufficient hardware capacities, it may run in real-time; but as long as the number of minds will be quite limited, it may run faster (the creators may artificially slow it down); or even slower, especially if there will be too many minds (the creators may speed up the simulation by artificially killing off people). 

► Learn more about the RRS world and the solves paradoxes and mysteries

The Meaning of Life

If you believe that we live (or could live) in such a simulation, then some very interesting questions may emerge, such as:

  • Will it be possible to find out if we live in a computer simulation, and if this simulation is indeed a Relative Reality Simulation (or something similar)?
    • Would it be possible to detect philosophical zombies or robot minds?
  • If we live in a "normal" simulation, then it will be hard to determine the purpose of this simulation, and our existence could even be unknown to the creators of the simulation. But if we live in a Relative Reality Simulation (as described on this website), then the creators of the simulation should definitely be aware of our existence. So what would be the purpose of the simulation in this case? 
    • Could there be a goal to be reached (individually, or as society or even humanity), could there be a "meaning of life"?
    • Did the creators only launch the simulation for entertainment or statistical research purposes, or do they actually care about us?
  • What happens if we find out that we actually live in a simulation, or if we can even find proof for this claim?
    • ​Will it be dangerous to find out if we live in a simulation?
    • How would be creators react?
    • Is there a risk that the simulation could be stopped?
  • If we should actually be Virtual Minds, what will happen if we die?
    • Will our processes simply be terminated, or can they be recycled / relaunched, downloaded, uploaded, or anything similar?

► Learn more about the philosophical implications of the hypothesis

The Paradox

While the RRSH may solve many of today's most tricky paradoxes, it will also introduce a new paradox. I will call this the "Relative Reality Simulation paradox", or the "Kirps paradox" (named after myself, of course), and it reads as follows:

“Trying to find out if we live in a computer simulation may greatly increase the chances that we live inside a computer simulation.”

This may sound crazy at first, but in the end, it's a quite simple conclusion that will even be true if we don't live in a simulation right now.

► Learn more about the paradox

Prerequisites

I tried to simplify everything as far as possible, so that anyone should be able to understand the fundamental ideas and implications of the RRSH. To fully understand everything, however, the following will be required:

  1. You should know about Nick Bostrom's Simulation Argmument (www.simulation-​argument.com, en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Simulation_​hypothesis), which basically states that it will be almost certain that we live in a simulation, as long as it will be technically possible to run such simulations (that's a simplified statement, read the officiall paper to learn the details).
  2. You basically should know how a computer works, what processors and memory are, how multitasking operating systems work, and what processes and inter-process communication are about (en.wikipedia.org/​wiki/​Process_​(computing)).
  3. You should already have heard of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity and the speed of light, light cones, and 4-​dimensional spacetime (Minkowski).
  4. Some basic ideas on what quantum mechanics is about will be a huge advantage if you'd like to understand the implications of the RRSH. Check out Werner Heisenberg's uncertainty principle at least. For the rest, you may have to read books, or you'll need to google a bit. Wikipedia may offer a lot of answers already, I will try to provide links when possible.
  5. Some common sense and imagination will be big advantages too.

The Author

I created this website after I had been developing the ideas behind the RRSH for about 30 years.

My name is Jos F. Kirps, I am a software developer, teacher, musician and science addict from Luxembourg, Europe.

► Learn more about me and / or about the history of this project.

Thank you for taking your time reading this – any feedback is welcome!

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