Minecraft and the Simulation Hypothesis

There are a lot of fun theories out there, and the simulation hypothesis is one of them. As usual, Wikipedia puts it best:

The simulation hypothesis or simulation theory proposes that all of reality, including the Earth and the universe, is in fact an artificial simulation, most likely a computer simulation.

The idea that our universe might simply be a computer program running on an alien’s Raspberry Pi is fun to entertain, but most of us don’t take the idea seriously. It’s a thought experiment, if anything.

# Our Simulation

It’s hard to truly put a finger on what’s out of the ordinary. Perhaps it’s that the U.S. has a TV star as a president; regardless of your political stance, this is weird. Maybe it’s the increased severity in natural disasters: earthquakes, fires, and viruses all feel more common than they used to, and let’s hope we don’t see another Big One in our lifetimes. It could just be the whacky weather patterns, like certain places seeing snow in May or heat records being broken seemingly every year.

It just seems like we’re on the brink of something… Regardless of the root cause, I think you know the feeling I’m talking about.

If we really do live in a simulation, the ever-increasing oddities could be explained by the fact that we’re reaching the limits of the hardware that powers it, just like the limitations of floating points created the Far Lands in Minecraft. Naturally, if such a hypothesis were to hold true, we should be able to observe things get weirder and weirder as time goes on. With the direction the political, economic and literal climates are trending, that seems likely. Under this theory, though, we might even see a law of physics break; wouldn’t that be something?

For now, I’ll try to find solace in the idea that our simulation must soon be coming to an end.

1. Yes, this is the “got sued by Sony for letting people run Linux on their PlayStation 3’s,” “jailbroke the iPhone,” and “founded an open source autonomous driving software startup” George Hotz. ↩︎

2. For a visualization of the floating point format, check out the neat converter here↩︎