Elon Musk is spending billions on developing a space travel programme. Photograph: Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Science & Tech feature (“What if virtual reality is outside the headset?” New Review) was fascinating, if somewhat more science fiction than one might have preferred. It has to be bizarre in the extreme that, if the hypothesis is true, we, the computer simulants/avatars, have started to believe that we are just that and there is some sort of intelligent creator culture designing us in the “real world”.
It would be far more meaningful if the big brains such as Ranyard, Bostrom and Musk et al, who are thinking up this stuff, devoted their undoubted cleverness to finding solutions for many of the ills of the human condition.
Elon Musk truly believes there is “a billions to one chance that we’re not living in a simulation”. What is the point of him, a simulant, putting billions of simulated dollars into a simulated research programme to send simulated space vessels to a simulated planet? If the scientists employed by two anonymous tech billionaires succeed in breaking us out of the simulation, then what? Won’t the whole thing crash or go into a new simulation programme that has been designed precisely to cope with that event?