This is a video by Tom Campbell. For those of you who don’t know who Tom is, he is a physicist who worked at Nasa. More importantly, he has also studied consciousness scientifically to produce one of the most comprehensive models regarding the relationship to reality and each of us as conscious participants. I’ve always been a big fan of Tom’s work as in my opinion he’s one of the genuine people out there who really understands what’s going on with regards to the evolution of consciousness and it’s relationship with reality.
Here is the video and I’ll drop in a few points regarding it.
In the video, Tom is discussing how our reality, the physical world that we exist in is in actuality a genuine virtual reality. Where many physicists are suspecting the idea that we may exist in either a hologram, a computer simulation and also a virtual reality; Tom hold’s absolutely no punches. This is a virtual reality that we exist in. Nick Bolstrom recently came up in another article, “There Is Some Hope That We Aren’t Living Inside a Computer Simulation” where Paul Franceschi from the University of Corsica debates the challenges that Nick presents as arguments as to why we may exist in a simulation.
Digital physics and simulation theory is not new to 21st century science. In fact, many physicists have struggled with the nature of reality based on new emerging challenges that emerge from Quantum Mechanics. The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics which addresses particle/wave duality and wave-function collapse is at the heart of the enigma as to why we do “not” exist in a physical reality as we perceive it to be.
For example, sub-atomic particles behave like waves under certain circumstances, then behave like particles under other circumstances. This means, when a particle behaves like a wave it is in a state of superposition as a wave-function. When the wavefunction collapses a “particle” is formed. As it goes with the collapse of wave-function it happens when the particle is under observation. This is known as the observer effect. Not only do photons and electrons behave this way; but research at the University of Vienna in Austria have observed wave-like behaviour in a beam of carbon-60 molecules – which are an order of magnitude larger than any other particles for which quantum interference effects have been observed.
Think about the implications of this research. Solid atoms in this case Carbon and even 60 carbon atom molecules behave as wave-function and particles. Particle/wave duality is not limited to sub-atomic particles. If solid matter, something so revered as the physical atom can be a wave-function that collapses into a solid particle immediately challenges the entire idea that physical matter is a solid-state only system. The fact is; it’s not. It is information in the form of wave-function. This information when under observation doesn’t “collapse” rather, it is now being “rendered” within the virtual reality system.
Richard Feynman said “Shut up and calculate” when addressing this enigma; it’s no secret in physics yet we are still believing that our world is a physical system; not an information system. Tom presents one of the most solid answers to what wave-function state particles are, he describes them as a probability distribution of information. When that information is being accessed ie the Observer Effect, the computational nature of reality now must “render” the data because that information is now being accessed. So it’s not particle’s collapsing from some mystical wave of energy; it’s a particle being rendered based on information because that data which represents that particle is being measured and observed. The system has to render the particle, it’s that simple. So wave-function collapse really should be called rendered information in the virtual reality model.
When information is not being accessed, it just exists as data. Tom takes this metaphor and wraps it up into self-similar models that we can understand such as comparing our reality to World of Warcraft because currently we have such a technology that shows virtual reality in multi-player online games. Tom will say that your computer doesn’t need to render the entire World of Warcraft all at once. That isn’t an efficient way to manage information; rather the game engine only needs to simulate what your character sees based on the data the server is sending to the client. Yes, all the data that represents the world exists, it’s real and can be explored but not all at once. The same holds true to our reality. We do not experience every detail of Earth nor the micro and macro Universes. We only experience what is relevant in terms of available information based on our sensory constraints.
One of Nick Bolstrom’s arguments stems from the idea that if we can simulate reality then we likely already exist in a virtual reality. In our idea of modern computer science we look at the computer as being the first system that simulates reality but hate to break it to you. Reality rendering farms exist in nature and have evolved since the time of Dinosaurs. If you blow off the idea that our reality is an information system that is rendering data into a view because it’s a virtual reality. Let me point out quickly that you are looking at a virtual reality simulation right now even if you cannot connect to that self-evident example. You’ve looked at it your whole life. You cannot escape it, it will always be a simulated model of reality that you look at.
Don’t believe me? Close your eyes. Well, where did all that visual reality go? Your brain is natures version of a virtual reality simulation system. Nature has LONG evolved virtual reality simulations long before computers were invented by man. The same holds true for most evolved biological technology. Nature has evolved cameras that we call eyes. It has evolved microphones that we call ears. Look at what already exists in nature and you will quickly find that nature has also evolved the brain which takes in sensory information, processes this information and “renders” this information into an simulation of reality. This simulation is your interface to the external world. It’s not made of solid particles. It emerges from anatomical information processing within the human brain.
So even though there might be a physical world (which is mostly wave-function non-solid state information) how your experience that world resides within the realm of virtual reality. Again, don’t believe that you are looking at a simulation of reality. Take the test. Close your eyes. There you have it folks. You’re brain is simulating reality as part of your survival package and has done so since birth. Every detail of reality that you experience stems from how the brain simulates sensory information. Touch, taste, sight, sound and smell are all by-products brought about by neurological information processing. The brain simulates taste, touch, smell et all the senses. Even our thoughts and emotions are part of that simulation. Should that frighten us? I don’t think so, that is simply the way it is when we address the virtual nature of sensory perception and the fact that our perception of reality is fundamentally composed from rendered information.
The next area that we observe reality being simulated stems from our ability to dream. When you fall asleep and start to have dreams, these dream-states are 100% virtual reality simulations. Sure we call them dreams, that’s the cultural label and many of us form our beliefs and opinions with regards to what dreams are. But the fact is, dreams present another working example within your own self that proves your are quite capable of simulating a reality-like experience and these simulations can be very, very real (until you wake up).
Here we have two states by which we experience virtual reality: Our simulated view of reality based on sensory information, and the dreams we have a night. Two completely different types of virtual reality simulations and both products of our consciousness at work involved in the simulations. The fact is, all we will ever know will be based on the principles of virtual reality because that is how we experience everything from reality to dreams. Virtual reality is how we exist as consciousness within the body. That’s our true experience of reality.
Back to Nick’s Simulation Theory argument he says if anything has ever evolved the technology to simulate reality then we are most likely existing in a simulation. Has Nick not considered that nature has already perfected this ability? It’s been right in front of us the whole time. Consciousness can and does simulate reality and this is always most evident in dreams. What if this consciousness has evolved as a system that can simulate entire realities like the physical world using the same mechanics which create and describe a dreamworld? Could we be existing in a type of dream created by a larger more evolved consciousness?
That is what Tom is pointing out in his model of reality. That consciousness has evolved the ability to be both the supercomputer that runs these simulations, and the awareness needed in each individual person participating in the simulation. That may be one of the most fringe type thoughts out there in today’s physical sciences but when science finally realizes we are living in a simulation they will go looking for the computer. Will they be capable and wise enough to realize that the computer is awareness, and consciousness. That it is them as individuals, and them as part of a collective consciousness reality system? Tom’s already beat them to the punch so the rest will be playing catch up if they can even swallow that red pill in the first place.
Hope you enjoy his video, read his book and watch more of his lectures. He’s doing great work and I have my own opinions but freedom of information is what it is. Feel free to discuss these ideas on my Forum