Friday, November 1, 2013

The universe is not a simulation, the universe is timeless.

To explain what I mean by that, let me show you how you can simulate a world, going forward (just like you and your PC are), containing virtual beings with a consciousness of time going backward.

If you ask them the direction of time they will point to the opposite direction (well you can't really ask in real time, you'd receive the answer before you ask, but you can embed rules to produce that answer and look for it, or you can switch the direction of the simulation while waiting for your answer, but that's somewhat cheating).

So how to do that:

1) Define a simulation, say a world similar to ours that contains sentient beings aware of time.

2) Take a state that you know contains a past with such intelligent beings.

3) From that state run the rules in reverse, now you'll naturally end up with multiple worlds, there might well be determinism when you go forward, but its mirror will produce indeterminism. If you've got enough computational power just generate them all, otherwise pick a few at random and hope your sentient beings will be in the sub-multiverse you're creating.

4) Eventually you should get someone answering your question.

If you can have sentient beings in your computer that go backward in time, why not have that in the universe already? After all quantum physics produces indeterminism, a good candidate for supporting creatures going backward in time. And, BTW, while all that is sitting on your hard drive, you do get time existing in a timeless state? All that to say that time is completely arbitrary, the universe fundamentally doesn't need time, time is only an emergent concept, that can have as many flavors as you are willing to call that time.

So that is why the universe is not a simulation, the universe is more abstract than that, it is pure timeless math.


  1. Hmmm... this shows the universe doesn't necessarily have a natural DIRECTION of time...

    However, another question is whether there can be intelligent beings that don't implicitly assume ANY direction of time in their basic mental operations...

    One possibility is: there are different intelligences in different domains, with different emergent-time-axes associated with them

    Another possibility is: there are some intelligences that have a kind of intelligence not bound to any directionally-flowing time-axis.... I think I talked to some once, but they may have been playing tricks on me ;D ...

  2. Wow, someone actually read my blog! I should blog more often. Ben, yeah, I totally see what you mean. It's a question of definition I guess, brought down to something very abstract, time exists (and co-exists) in very different forms indeed, and whether we want to call that time is up to us.