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Why You're Probably Not a Simulation

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Channel: Cool Worlds
Categories: Astronomy   |   Society / Culture   |   Philosophy   |   Science   |   Social Science  
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Have you ever have a dream you were so sure was real? The simulation argument challenges our very notions of reality by asking whether everything we perceive is nothing more than an elaborate computer simulation. Recently, we've even seen headlines like "one in a billion" probability that we live in the real world. Could this be right? How does this affect how we think about our lives? And are there any counter-arguments to save us? New research from the Cool Worlds Lab resolves.

You can now support our research program and the Cool Worlds Lab at Columbia University:

Thank-you to Kevin Clark, Tom Widdowson, Denny Smith, Stephanie Hackley, Mark Sloan, Laura Sanborn, Kolos Kantor, Patrick Herman, Abel Aganbegyan, Claudio Bottaccini, Daniel Brunk, Douglas Daughaday, Scott Fincher, James Kindred, Andrew Jones, Jason Allen, Steven Baldwin, Jason Black, Stuart Brownlee, Shivam Chaturvedi, David Denholm, Tim Dorais, Glen Downton, Eneko Urrestarazu, Gordon Fulton, Sean Griffiths, Peter Halloran, John Jurcevic, Niklas Kildal, Jack Kobernick, Wes Kobernick, Valeri Kremer, Marc Lijoi, Sheri Loftin, Branden Loizides, Anatoliy Maslyanchuk, Blair Matson, Ocean Mcintyre, Laini Mitchell, Jeffrey Needle, Andr Pelletier, Juan Rivillas, Bret Robinson, Zenith Star, Lauren Steely, Ernest Stefan-Matyus, Mark Steven, Elena West, Barrett York, Tristan Zajonc, Preetumsingh Gowd, Shaun Kelsey, Chuck Wolfred, David Vennel, Emre Dessoi, Fahid Naeem, Francisco Rebolledo, Hauke Laging, James Falls, Jon Adams, Michael Gremillion, Pierce Rutherford, Trev Kline, Tristan Leger, Lasse Skov & Takashi Hanai.

::Our new paper upon which this video is based::
Kipping, David (2020), "A Bayesian Approach to the SImulation Argument", Universe, 6, 109:

::Other references used::
Bostrom, Nick (2003), "Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?", Philosophical Quarterly, 53, 243:
Carroll, Sean (2016), "Maybe We Do Not Live in a Simulation: The Resolution Conundrum", Preposterous Universe:
Poundstone, William (2019), "The Doomsday Calculation: How an Equation that Predicts the Future Is Transforming Everything We Know About Life and the Universe", Little, Brown Spark

00:00 Prologue
01:39 Simulation Argument
05:34 Consequences
10:01 Counterarguments
20:32 Probability
28:01 Nulliparous
32:01 Finale

::Video clips used::
Matrix code clip by thebiggsmith
Unrealistic Engine 4 footage by PredCaliber
Sierra supercomputer video by Verge Science
Fly through space video by ESO/L.Calada/
Supernova simulation by S. Drasco/C. Ott/SXS Collaboration:
Blackhole simulation by ESO/S. Brunier
Atom visualization by Nature Videos
Data center footage by G Suite/Google
Elon Musk interview by Recode
Neil deGrasse Tyson clip from StarTalk
Simulation debate clip from AMNH

::Movies/TV scenes used::
The Matrix (1999) Warner Bros.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003) Warner Bros.
Into the Wild (2007) Paramount Vantage
The Grey (2011) Open Road Films
The Truman Show (1998) Paramount Pictures
Cloud Atlas (2012) Warner Bros.
Dorian Gray (2009) Momentum Pictures
Red Dead Redemption 2 (2019) Rockstar Games
Tenet (2020) Warnes Bros.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) EuropaCorp Distribution
Pride and Predujice (2005) Focus Features
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (1999) 20th Century Fox
Westworld (2016) HBO

Music used is licensed by (SS) [], or via Creative Commons (CC) Attribution License (, or with permission from the artist
"Cylinder Four" by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license:
"Fragmented" by Hill, used with permission from the artist:
"Painted Deserts" by Shimmer licensed via SS
"We Were Never Meant to Live Here" by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license:
"Y" by Joachim Heinrich licensed under a CC Attribution license:
"Cylinder Five" by Chris Zabriskie licensed under a CC Attribution license:
"Horizon" by Joachim Heinrich licensed under a CC Attribution license:
"Trace Correction" by Indive licensed licensed under a CC Attribution license:

#SimulationTheory #SimulationArgument #CoolWorlds

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