Nick Bostram is a Swedish philosopher who reasons that the idea of people being simulations really isn’t that big of a stretch outside reality (source).
The idea of the ‘post human’ era is defined by Bostram as a time in which humans have become so advanced with technology that they become “consistent with physical laws and with material and energy constraints” (source). A civilisation such as this would have enormous computing power and thus the ability to produce a mass-scale human simulation.
Assuming computer capacity will continue to grow in the future, it is highly possible, Bostram argues, that running simulations of human ancestors will become a trend. If this were the case, it can be said that many of our minds would belong to people simulated by advanced descendants of the ‘original human race’, rather than the original race itself (i.e. what we perceive to be us).
Given this idea, Bostram argues it would be rational to believe that we are among simulated minds rather than original ones.
“If we don’t believe we are currently living in a computer simulation, we are not entitled to believe that we will have descendants who will run such simulations of our forebears”
Basically, Bostram’s idea is that if we believe that our humanity will reach a point in time where it can create running simulations of itself, there’s no reason we cannot believe that “the original humanity” (if it exists) has already done this and we are the result (source).
Based on the fact that a post human civilisation would have this incredible computing power, Bostram argues that one of the following (at least) must be true;
- The number of human-level civilisations which reach a post human stage is extremely close to zero;
- The amount of these civilisations who run the aforementioned simulations is very low;
- The fraction of people like us who are living in a simulation is close to one.
According to Bostram, if (1) is true it is unlikely we will reach a post human stage. If (2) is true, there is a strong convergence amongst super humans in that none stand out as wealthy enough or interested enough to start a simulation. If (3) is true, we are almost certainly a simulation (source).
Bostram concludes that if we are not living in a simulation now, it is very unlikely our descendants will ever manufacture one.
So are we all Sims? I left it to YOU to decide! It’s kinda unanimous ;).