Total Mindf*ck: Tech Entrepreneur Elon Musk Says We're In 'The Matrix'
Elon Musk, tech engineer and man who wants to put us in space by 2025, believes that we may be characters in some advanced civilization’s video game. At the Recode’s Annual Code Conference, a member of the audience, journalist Josh Topolsky, asked Musk a philosophical question on whether an advanced civilization would be able to create a simulation, and what the chances are that we may be in that civilization. Musk admitted to have thought of this answer in full, and believes that the reality we think we’re living in may not even be basic reality. So, are we in The Matrix or what? Musk laid out a convincing argument:
“The strongest argument for us being in a simulation probably is the following,” he said. “Forty years ago we had pong. Like, two rectangles and a dot. That was what games were. Now, 40 years later, we have photorealistic, 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously, and it’s getting better every year. Soon we’ll have virtual reality, augmented reality.”
“If you assume any rate of improvement at all,” Musk continued. “Then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, even if that rate of advancement drops by a thousand from what it is now. Then you just say, okay, let’s imagine it’s 10,000 years in the future, which is nothing on the evolutionary scale. So given that we’re clearly on a trajectory to have games that are indistinguishable from reality, and those games could be played on any set-top box or on a PC or whatever, and there would probably be billions of such computers or set-top boxes, it would seem to follow that the odds that we’re in base reality is one in billions. Tell me what’s wrong with that argument. Is there a flaw in that argument?”
At this point, I'm really running out of crazy things to say. Any suggestions?https://t.co/dGVJBcSZn2
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 4, 2016
This is an intense philosophical situation. Maybe everything we do is being controlled, not by God or whatever forcer you choose to believe in, but rather someone else in a much more advanced world than we think we live in. Musk referenced philosopher Nick Bostrom’s paper, “Are You in a Computer Simulation?” You want to grab an edible to read that one, but essentially, Musk used the article to support his theory, which lays out the facts indicating that we are most likely, if not definitely, living in a computer simulation.
Musk ended with this: “Either we’re going to create civilizations that are instinctual from reality, or civilization will cease to exist.” I don’t know how to feel or what to do with all of this information, but I know I need to be in the fetal position. Watch the full video above, and then try looking at your flesh and bones in the mirror afterward.
Lead image by Kathryn Chadason
Stay tuned to Milk for more philosophical musings.