# Why we are probably not in the Matrix

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Tollorin
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15 Mar 2019, 4:35 pm

naturalplastic
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17 Mar 2019, 9:07 am

Interesting.

Another factor is the simple fact that... there are such things as irrational numbers.

In a simulated universe you wouldn't be able to have numbers with endlessly long strings of digits. Or that's what one expert said.

I have been trying to find the U Tube video that talked about that. Saw it months ago. It was one of the "Vsauce" videos. But the theme was not either simulation, nor irrational numbers, as I recall. It was just an interesting aside at the end of the presentation. The narrator said "think you irrational numbers for keeping it real". Lol! I would post the vid if I could find it.

Fnord
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17 Mar 2019, 10:58 am

Check out his article: https://www.quora.com/Do-irrational-num ... simulation

It’s title is “Do irrational numbers like pi disprove humanity being a simulation?”

liminal
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18 Mar 2019, 4:49 am

NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab only bothers using 15 digits of pi in their calculations, because that's good enough for their purposes.

At 15 digits, the calculation of a circumference of a "25 billion mile diameter circle would be wrong by 1.5 inches".

If you used 40 digits, you could calculate the circumference of a circle that is the size of the observable universe and you'd be accurate within the size of a single hydrogen atom.

So for practical purposes, you don't need to hard-code an infinite string of irrational numbers into a simulation. You would probably never be able to tell the difference between one simulation that uses 40 digits of pi and another simulation that uses 40 billion digits of pi.

You'd have to closely examine the circumference of every circle in the universe-simulation and hope to discover one that was a single hydrogen atom too short.

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Hackerman
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29 Mar 2019, 7:51 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Interesting.

Another factor is the simple fact that... there are such things as irrational numbers.

Except that irrational numbers are a theoretical notion. They don't necessarily exist in nature.

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la_fenkis
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29 Mar 2019, 8:38 pm

Hackerman wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
Interesting.

Another factor is the simple fact that... there are such things as irrational numbers.

Except that irrational numbers are a theoretical notion. They don't necessarily exist in nature.

Numbers are a theoretical notion, they don't exist in nature.

Also, The Matrix (the idea presented in the movie) is a metaphorical simulation that uses computation as a literary device. The phrase "welcome to the desert of the real" spoken in the movie is a reference to the "desert of the real" mentioned by Jean Baudrillard with respect to his views about how meaning is changing in the postmodern era of civilization. In the sense of his ideas many people are living in The Matrix.

https://web.stanford.edu/class/history3 ... lacra.html

And also, if the universe were a simulation it wouldn't approximate itself. The words "for our purposes" show quite clearly that it's only our purposes which allow approximation. How many digits of pi are needed to approximate an infinitely wide universe without iteratively introducing increasing error that would quite quickly lead the whole thing to utter incoherence?

naturalplastic
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31 Mar 2019, 4:13 am

Hackerman wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
Interesting.

Another factor is the simple fact that... there are such things as irrational numbers.

Except that irrational numbers are a theoretical notion. They don't necessarily exist in nature.

Like Fenkis said. ALL numbers are theoretical notions and don't exist in nature. Further ...irrational numbers are morecommon than rational numbers, and are (if anything) MORE natural, and less theoretical than rational numbers.

Circles seem "real", and "natural". But if you divide the diameter of a circle into its circumference you get the irrational number Pi. Cant have circles without Pi. Actually circles (like all geometric figures) are also a human abstraction. But if you think of circles as "real" then you have to accept Pi as real.

la_fenkis
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31 Mar 2019, 7:41 pm

^ I would go so far as to say that beyond the simple counting of objects that are perceived to be distinct from one another, that numbers are not clearly connected to the things they purport to represent. Numbers in and of themselves bear no meaning. It's only through an imposition of some conceptual model that we come to believe that numbers wrangle the phenomena of the universe. The idea of simulationism/computationalism being an extreme endpoint of this kind of thought process. If reality is simulated in any way it's in the language we use to talk about it.