Are We Pawns in a Giant Sim?


Some mathematicians hypothesize that the universe is a giant simulation, writes Edward Frenkel, in a 2014 New York Times article. And when we discover a mathematical truth, we are unearthing aspects of the code the Master Programmer used.

But perhaps mathematicians are merely creating a metaphoric container—a myth, if you will—to hold a greater truth incomprehensible to the human mind. Theirs would not be the first discipline to do so.

Gaming industry social scientists suggest that we’re living in a giant game, our behavior dictated by Master Game Designers and Storytellers.

Religious and spiritual leaders relay stories of divine figures and sacred texts that dictate our behavior.

Scientists tell tales based on emerging evidence, be it a belief in a physical, mechanistic world (Newtonian science) we can know—and control—by taking apart, or a belief in a relational field (quantum physics) where what you look for is what you find.

Every discipline has its stories. But the meta-narrative is the same: there is us (powerless) and there is something outside ourselves (powerful). Each discipline’s story is a way to make meaning of the incomprehensible: a greater truth, a deeper knowing, a more glorious mystery.

Photo credit: “Clouds” by Edward Stojakojic is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


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