This was in the news a couple of weeks ago, but it was a bit too silly — even for us — so we ignored it. The science websites we visit ignored it too. This is the Amazon listing for what it’s all about: The Simulation Hypothesis: An MIT Computer Scientist Shows Why AI, Quantum Physics and Eastern Mystics All Agree We Are In a Video Game.
The “MIT computer scientist” who wrote the thing is described at Amazon like this:
A graduate of MIT and Stanford, Rizwan Virk is a successful entrepreneur, video game pioneer, film producer, venture capitalist and bestselling author of Zen Entrepreneurship. Riz’s video games, including Tap Fish and Penny Dreadful: Demimonde, have been played by millions.
Well, Whoop-de-do. A computer game seller has written a book that says we’re all characters in a game of “Drool Trek” or something, and you have no more reality than the pixels in a Pac-Man game. Very exciting. Very original. Oh, Amazon says the book’s publisher is Bayview Books. Their website (Bayview Books) says their founder was none other than “Riz Virk, who was frustrated with traditional publishing. We are a publishing entity to help innovative authors with books that don’t fit into traditional publishing tropes or genres.”
Perhaps you can understand why we ignored the “news” about Riz Virk’s book. But the news didn’t go entirely unnoticed. At the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute, they posted this a week ago: MIT’s Rizwan Virk on Simulation Theory, AKA Intelligent Design. It was written by Klinghoffer. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
An MIT computer scientist [He’s not on their faculty], Rizwan Virk, has a new book out, The Simulation Hypothesis, making the case again that we live not in a “base reality” (a real world) but, more likely, in a computer simulation. What are the odds, in his view? “I would say it’s somewhere between 50 and 100 percent. I think it’s more likely that we’re in simulation than not.”
Ooooooooooooh! More likely than not! Well, if you consider the creationist’s concept of the universe, which was arbitrarily poofed into existence by some kind of intelligence who observes and plays with, but who isn’t part of that universe, then your life is no different than if you were pixels in a Pac-Man game. It’s all the same, really.
Scott Adams, a favorite commentator of mine [about whom we know nothing], thinks so as well and concedes that this is amounts to a form of ID, albeit not the kind advocated by our more familiar design proponents. Says Adams, “The odds of us having an intelligent design, meaning we’re created by another species of humans, are pretty close to 100 percent.”
Ooooooooooooh! Close to 100 percent! After that stunning information, Klinghoffer babbles on for a few paragraphs, and then concludes his post with this:
Like Adams, I’m given pause by how often stories in the news, especially the names of figures in the news, are so perfect, “on the nose,” or ironic that it appears to show the hands of the simulators. Or, simulation theory aside, it could also mean that the intelligent agent responsible for the design of our “base reality” has a sense of humor, which seems highly likely.
So there you are, dear reader. According to the “theory” of intelligent design, whether you were created by the deity described in Genesis, or the gods on Mt. Olympus, or some cosmic super nerd who lives in his mother’s basement and plays video games all day — it all amounts to the same thing: You and your universe were created for the amusement of your masters, and your life has no more significance than … well, it really has no significance at all.
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