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You and I are NOT humans. ...So what?

4 years ago
You think you're human, but you're not. You and I are not humans. We're each a sequence of Java code. I'll prove it to you.

El "Gordo" de la Loteria de Navidad in Spain is generally considered to be the largest lottery in the world. Imagine you're holding a ticket for that lottery. The probability that you're holding the jackpot-winning ticket is 0.00001% (https://www.laloterianavidad.com/noticia/son-probabilidades-ganar-gordo-loteria-navidad-1003.html). How confident are you that you're holding the winning ticket? Are you willing to accept, as a "fact", that you are, let's face it, not going to win this lottery?

Ok, so you're actually holding a different ticket in a different lottery: the lottery of real-life reality. The probability that your life is unfolding in the actual, real-world reality is an exponential order of magnitude tinier than your probability of winning el Gordo de la Loteria de Navidad.

Here's why:
FACT 1: For as long as there have been machines capable of computing large amounts of data (the last 80 years or so), a great many professionals have been running a large-and-ever-increasing number of computer-generated simulations, each one populated by huge numbers of simulated humans, like you and me, which are programmed to believe they're living in "reality". Anthropologists, political scientists, civil engineers, architects, urban planners, vehicle manufacturers, video-games designers, sociologists, psychologists, marketing managers and many others run large-scale simulations in order to test their hypotheses and carry out their research to inform the projects they are working on.

There are, literally, millions of simulated worlds out there in existence, populated by algorithms which are programmed to believe they are inside a "real" human world; and so there are quintillions upon quintillions of individual entities out there which are all experiencing the kind of things that you and I experience every day.

FACT 2: If you compare, for example, a computer-simulated game of tennis from the 1970s to one nowadays, it's clear that they've gone, in only a few decades, from being very obviously fake, crude and rudimentary to being hyper-realistic. Imagine how indistinguishable from real-life reality such a simulation is going to be in 2050, or 2100. And imagine how many quintillions more entities there will be living in those simulated realities, compared to the (relatively tiny) number of humans (only 7.5bn) who are currently living "real-world" lives. ...And, importantly, all those algorithms believe they're "real" people.

THEREFORE: Just do the math. How extraordinarily unlikely is it that any one entity which experiences the sorts of interactions and events that you and I experience every day is living in actual, real, genuine, 21st-Century reality? How much massively, overwhelmingly more probable is it that any one individual entity such as you and I are, in fact, living in a simulation? Exactly.

It's scary, but it's true.

So, are you ready, now, to accept as a "fact" that you are an algorithm? And, more importantly, does this new understanding of what we all are change anything about how we should live our lives?