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Virtual Dictionary

The Simulation Argument

The Simulation Argument is a nature of the universe argument made by philosopher Nick Bostrom. It states that:

At least one of the following propositions is true:

(1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a 'posthuman' stage;

(2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof);

(3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.

The argument works, by assuming [1] is false, and the human race is not extremely likely to wipe itself out before reaching a posthuman stage of development. That would imply that a large proportion of civilisations as advanced as ours go on to be post-human (or post-insert_species). Assuming that these species then become technologically advanced enough to run a large number of computer simulations without losing the necessity of simulation ([2] is then false.) That means that each highly developed society is running a massive number of very powerful simulations.

If both [1] and [2] are false, then we are faced with the knowledge that only a very very few of all possible civilisations are not simulated. Astronomically few in fact. Therefore, statistically the chance of this civilisation running in a simulated world is so near certain as to make the difference negligible. Therefore [3] is most likely true.

Below, we offer a selection of links from our resource databases which may match this term.

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The Simulation Argument


Resources in our database matching the Term The Simulation Argument:

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Linked resource
The Simulation Argument: Why the Probability that You Are Living in a Matrix is Quite High
The film "The Matrix" Promoted a lot of philosophical musing on the nature of reality. One philosopher, Nick Bostrom, postulated 'the Simulation Argument', the belief that the world we live in, is in fact itself a simulation, and a complex scientific proof to support the idea.

This resource list houses links to all simulation argument resources housed on this site, or linked in from elsewhere. Its purpose is to aid and simplify your research.

Linked resource
Why Make a Matrix? And Why You Might Be In One
Revisiting the Simulation Argument, and an essay on why detailed, immersive simulations on the scale of the Matrix movie might be built, the philosophy of whether or not you are living in one right now, and realistic explanation for many of the common expected fallicies of this argument.

Decoding Reality is very much a Simulation Argument book. In its pages, physicist Vlatko Vedral argues that we should regard the entire universe as a gigantic quantum computer.

Locally Hosted resource
Realistic Supernovas thanks to Simulation Runs
It is always pleasant when a research simulation unveils data that can be used in all sorts of other simulations – in addition to it's expected result. A new simulation on the formation of stellar novas, and the shapes they take, has provided just that.

Programming the Universe is a Simulation Argument book. Lloyd, a professor at MIT, works in the vanguard of research in quantum computing: using the quantum mechanical properties of atoms as a computer. He contends that the universe itself is one big quantum computer producing what we see around us, and ourselves, as it runs a cosmic program.

Linked resource
It's Only A Game
Another well thought out counter-argument to all those who say that virtual environments are oly games. This one comes from the MUD sphere.

Locally Hosted resource
Balance in the Blood not just the Ear
Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation. For those of us familiar with it, it's a possible panacea to cure simulation sickness, and rope the sense of balance of the user directly into the simulation. Unfortunately, it seems there is a fly in the mixture.

Locally Hosted resource
Safety Simulations benefit from Manufacturing Simulations
Even the most vigorous, modern crash test simulation, with all known variables accounted for, can be wrong. Sometimes these differences are unavoidable with the computational power limitations of the simulation computers, sometimes its another, unforeseen cause.


Industry News containing the Term The Simulation Argument:

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(Press Release) Sponsorships by the National Center for Simulation and the UCF Institute for Simulation and Training Highlight the Use of Geospatially-Enabled Simulators to Increase Homeland Security and Emergency Response Training and Prep...

Held December 5-8, 2004 at the Washington Hilton and Towers in Washington, D.C, WSC 04 blends cutting-edge research, innovative applications, exhibits from top companies in the simulation industry and international speakers from across the ...

The Huntsville Simulation Conference (HSC) is an annual conference located in Huntsville, Alabama with international participation.

25 October 2005 - The Advanced Research Center
26-27 October 2005 - The Huntsville Ma...

The hallowed halls of academia are not the place you would expect to find someone obsessed with evil (although some students might disagree). But it is indeed evil?or rather trying to get to the roots of evil?that fascinates Selmer Bringsjo...

Tuesday, January 25, 2005
The Westin Long Beach Hotel
Long Beach, CA

The workshop series has two goals:

- to create a community of researchers and practitioners in immersive and simulation based ...