Simulation Overflow: The Runtime

The universe is described as having went from a state of nothing to being everything in a trillionth of a second. You know what else has that property? Software programs. Software programs go from a state of absolute nothingness to a state of infinite proliferation every time they are turned on.

And what is software—like us—but an animation of electricity into different patterns and formations?

In thinking about the nature of our existence in the past, I had imagined that our simulation was contained in some external, irreconcilable environment. But come to think of it, if our own universe is the animation of electricity into different formations, perhaps the container is more of the same, and is thus less containing and more fencing. In which case, I have more hope that we may one day make that eternal discovery.

I read somewhere that it is most curious that man views the death he had been under for billions of years prior to birth, as more comely than the impending death which he approaches, which would go on for another innumerable billion years. Are they not the same? You feel after precisely as you did before—that nothingness that is so hard to describe or ponder.

I was laying down the other day, minding my own business, and watching some untopical video about perhaps some supply chain this or logistics that—perhaps some Wendover video—when suddenly I was struck with a thought that ejected me from my world. What if we never discover the nature of all this? See, given all the infinite existential angst we ignore to live a productive life, I had at least found closure in the fact that while we may today be clueless, surely we are progressing towards uncovering this great mystery. If not by 2200, then surely by the year 2,000,000 we shall have it all figured out. But, two million years is pocket change for this brazen universe. It may go on for another fifty billion years without the slightest clue it even exists.

Can it be that it continues to proliferate for another dozen billion years, and whatever consciousness within truly still has no idea why it exists or by what will it does? How tragic. How truly lonely, depraved, and tragic. I am ok today living in complete cluelessness, but only because I hope that our collective efforts are somehow pushing us closer to some thread of hint as to the nature of these string vibrations.

As stated, all signs point to this being a simulation in the absolute literal sense—a meticulous software program that went from not existing, to existing instantaneously as soon as the run script was called. Which begs the question, what is the runtime of our simulation? Is it virtualized, or does it run natively in the host environment? Well, this is much easier to reason about when we consider our own simulations. In which environment does our software run? Software appears to run in a virtual world with no equivalent or transfer between ours, but really, software very much runs natively in our own world. Namely, software is an arrangement of electricity into particular formations—that same electricity which animates us. Humans and software, in this light, are not so different from one another.

Does our simulation have any interest in exposing its nature to us? Well, suppose we were to build some impeccable simulation of our own with beings that can wonder. Would we want to show them our world at some point? I think actually an astounding yes. We love showing off our creations, to those who would listen, like an evil villain loves exposing his intricate plot. We love to show others our world, like getting someone to listen to a song you like or watch a movie you can’t stop thinking about, if for no other reason than for that person to corroborate our sanity. In that same way, if you create a simulation and manufacture a being within whom you fall in love with, in the platonic sense, then it might actually be a very particular—and pressing—goal for you to introduce your world to them.

In the past I thought it unspeakable that we might one day interface with the externals of our simulation, the same way I would find it impossible for a character in a software program to escape the confines of their program and interface natively in ours. But if in fact all simulations, recursively speaking—the one we’re in, the one that simulates us, and the ones we create—if in fact they all exist in the same environment via unique and particular electrical formations, then I find this thought not so unspeakable, but perhaps only a matter of time until the electricity figures out more interoperable formations.

You'll only receive email when they publish something new.

More from Mo
All posts