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Sunday, April 4, 2021

CONTEXT: Estimating the Probability We Are Living in a Computer Simulation


It is shown that under reasonable assumptions a Drake-style equation can be obtained for the probability that our universe is the result of a deliberate simulation. Evaluating loose bounds for certain terms in the equation shows that the probability is unlikely to be as high as previously reported in the literature, especially in a scenario where the simulations are recursive. Furthermore, we investigate the possibility of eavesdropping from the outside of such a simulation and introduce a general attack that can circumvent attempts at using quantum cryptography inside the simulation, even if the quantum properties of the simulation are genuine.

The authors do note, however, that one potential solution to the Fermi paradox might be that we are in a simulation and the absence of aliens is due to the simulators using a variable level of complexity to reduce the computing power required. If the simulation is confined to Earth, there would be no reason to include intelligent aliens from other planets. Here is a PDF version of the paper.

Posted at April 4, 2021 10:46