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Presumably it extrapolates the whole thing from a small piece of fairy cake?
Researchers at MIT and Harvard have created a a giant virtual universe – 350 million light-years squared – which can be used to simulate the real universe's development from 12 million years after the Big Bang to the present day, or around 13 billion years' worth of expansion. Dubbed Illustris, the pocket universe uses over 12 …
Presumably it extrapolates the whole thing from a small piece of fairy cake?
Either way, it's good work - Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters all 'round.
No it was a giant man who said hocus pocus, and everything appeared. A giant manface in the sky created the entire universe. Ha Ha Ha
So wrong. It was a quantum fluctuation in non-space and non-time (space and time don't come about until after the fluctuation, which makes no sense because there is no before the after) which then hyper expanded, driven by an energy we cannot identify so we just call it "dark". Ha ha ha.
One simpler idea, the 'universe' is infinitely large and infinitely old.
There are properties and particles that just exist, one is the strong attraction of particles,
the other is the general vacuum expansion of infinite empty space.
Eventually enough dust congregates together and chain reacts to makes a huge explosion.
It happens many times over infinity, what we see as the big bang is just one such occurrence.
The universe was already here we are part of a big bang, there are other big bangs further out there.
Shouldn't a simulation of the universe be measured in cubic light years?
"Shouldn't a simulation of the universe be measured in cubic light years?"
Only from our point of view - other lifeforms may have thier own measurements (dependng on the number of handily available dimensions) - and anyway, what the hell are you doing trying to introduce cubic light years to the Reg?
We need a better unit than that.
I mean, what's a cubic light year in comparison to the space in a politicians head?
One is far emptier than the other but contains a lot more bullshit than a cubic light year.
I think his point was that a universe of 350 million light-years squared implies it's a 2-dimensional, planar universe.
You complain about politicians but the alternative is men with guns.
Germany voted against traditional politicians in 1933. It was a long time before they voted again, especially in the eastern parts.
Godwin already? ^^;
Armed invasion of foreign nations, to remove unsympathetic governments and install a different government more amenable to your cause... I could be talking about Poland and France, or perhaps Iraq and Afghanistan. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, n'est ce pas?
Now all we need is for David Braben to include this model in the next version of Elite: Frontier (with procedurally generated surfaces for known extrasolar planets, natch, and of course Lave has to be in there somewhere...)
Somehow I doubt if this will fit on a single floppy disc like the original Elite did, I suspect a game that needs a truck full of discs for the universe might not be hugely popular. Otherwise a great idea.
I know lets make it an mmo.
hmmm.. maybe call it something like eve online :)
Maybe if he lets you sell it when you're bored with it.
Otherwise, no thanks. My copy, my license, my property. To give away or throw in a bonfire if I so choose. Not yours, Mr "I hate Second Hand Games" Braben.
"I know lets make it an mmo."
My God... it's full of stars....
"You may be right. This is what docking with a space station used to look like, and this is what it looks like now."
Pretty... I have a death wish, and an uncontrollable urge to pop off a missile or two and provoke the Vipers.
Watching that made me feel just how much empty there is out there....
The universe is funny that way. It's amazing how much empty is between nuclei and the electron shell as well, yet somehow it all seems solid.
That's pretty badass.
And the best part is that in a few years, we'll be able to run it in real time as live wallpaper on our phones...
Well, Moore's Law is running out of steam lately, so we may have to wait a little longer. Still, I hope we do make progress, so I can upload myself.
You can always run a set of a couple of iterations in a loop. Will be a bit before you're tired of that.. ;)
> we'll be able to run it in real time as live wallpaper on our phones
That's not the direction technology is going any more. You'll be able to STREAM it on your phone.
You, and everything else, might be simulated, but I know my thoughts are not.
If consciousness is an emergent property, arising once a particular threshold of complexity has been passed then how do you know that your consciousness is not an emergent property of a suitably advanced simulation?
One might argue that simulating a universe in enough detail to give birth to such a phenomenon would be impossible but that would be discounting the possibility that the simulation is in fact a crude representation of a significantly more complex 'real' universe.
I would think it would be impossible to prove that 'real' universe wasn't an infinitely older and more complex beast in which a civilisation had advanced far enough to have harnessed computing power on the order of magnitude sufficient to run a simulation of a universe to the detail we observe.
Remember, too, that there are still bits of this universe that elude our grasp, such as singularities. Who's to say that our inability to predict behaviour at a singularity isn't the product of some 'fudge factor' employed in a simulation? Or the uncertainty principle.
Or dark matter - perhaps our inability to account for some observations is due to a shortcut taken?
All very wishy-washy but the point is that the only way to maintain your position that your experience of consciousness is proof that you don't live in a simulation is to hold that consciousness is something outside of any natural law - something that can't be created except through a supernatural agency, whatever that may be.
Which is, of course, fine if that's the position you take!
We could be. But that theory adds no new explanations for what we observe. Moreover, it would require additional explanations, if true. Hence, we choose to drop it. Please just drop it. It's old and boring. Like me.
Great picture - good work.
We don't know. Let's just hope that some mega being has our simulation plugged into a decent UPS or whatever the meta equivalent is.
Read Greg Egan's "Permutation City"
"If consciousness is an emergent property, arising once a particular threshold of complexity has been passed then how do you know that your consciousness is not an emergent property of a suitably advanced simulation?"
It doesn't really matter. Descartes pondered this question as to whether he existed and concluded that it didn't matter, by just questioning it, either he himself or a different being that he was part of was doing the thinking. Cogito ergo sum, as he eloquently concludes :-)
>You, and everything else, might be simulated, but I know my thoughts are not.
That's what they want you to think.
A simulation of what?
"It doesn't really matter."
Absolutely. Well, not to me at least - I couldn't care a fig if I am 'real' or a simulation. Given that we can only perceive the world through the filter of ourselves, the question is largely nonsensical.
Which is what I take out of that most famous of assertions.
The poster I was responding to seemed (to me) to be taking it to mean "I think therefore I am real", whereas I read it: "I think therefore I am an entity capable of thinking."
In other words, all we can say is that we are aware of our own thought process, but beyond that, we cannot be sure. We cannot even say where these thoughts originate from, only that we are aware of having them.
At the moment, I am acutely aware of having finished my beer.
"A simulation of what?"
The way I am positioned right now; a simulation of a world without light or happiness of rest or, most importantly, beer.
Perhaps (present activites not withstanding) it is merely a simulation of Dan working too hard. That would explain it actually - I certainly would prefer not to be working.
why would anyone want to simulate such tedium?
just think, they could be saying to each other "yes that is a fair representation of what we see in reality" just before they switch us off.
Reminds me of an old Scifi story where scientists developed a sim universe and the occupants promptly broke out, anyone remember the story?
"anyone remember the story?"
The 13th floor? - or whatever it's based on...
Universe or multiverse?
Sounds like it was designed by computer people, with the traditional uni/multi confusion.
"Brain: that with which we think we think"
Ambrose Bierce, Devil's Dictionary.
I think you're confusing simulation with duplication. If there could be a clone of the universe, then surely consciousness would be possible in the clone. But the universe can't be cloned or duplicated, can it? Maybe consciousness could be simulated, but then it wouldn't be "real," would it?
> Scifi story where scientists developed a sim universe and the occupants promptly broke out
'The Cyberiad' by Stanislaw Lem. Also a great many episodes of Star Trek.
I think you have missed a point.
If we can run the sim in enough detail, at some point we will create god/gods and at that point all will become self furfulling with (insert god name of your choice) then taking over and filling in the details you missed..
Of cource (insert god name of your choice) has a far better computer than us becouse ( insert god name of your choice) if he/her realy cared microsoft would never come about, and apple would have developed in to a truly (we can hope) relieable and increadable op sys, my be Siri would be a new god instead of google and could answer all our questions in a sexy voice with a nude hologram doing all we request,.....
Bring on the ault, sim future i want to live there
If consciousness is simulated, then it is conscious, so would be as "real" as our consciousness, which many have said is not real.
"It doesn't really matter", well not really, but it's fun to think (cogito) about. Does anyone "really" care what the end of the universe will be in a gagillion years from now, or how it began a gagillion years ago. Not existentially (the "sum" part of Descartes famous quote). I don't think I remember the big bang, nor do I suspect I will live to see the IR heat decay long after the stars wink out. I suspect I will die long before then.
An image: the dark matter looks like a nerve network. A question: Could the universe rotate like shown in the film?
Rotate relative to what?
"Rotate relative to what?"
Rotate relatives to different homes each Xmas to avoid getting the drunken uncle once a year.
The observer, of course.