My Credo

“Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.”
Bertrand Russell

“In the game of life and evolution there are three players at the table: human beings, nature, and machines. I am firmly on the side of nature. But nature, I suspect, is on the side of the machines.”
George Dyson

“So what will we do when our intelligence is in the range of a googol (10¹ºº) calculations per second? One thing we may do is to engineer new universes. Similarly, our universe may be the creation of some superintelligences in another universe. In this case, there was an intelligent designer of our universe—that designer would be the evolved intelligence of some other universe that created ours.”
Ray Kurzweil

I believe our universe exists inside a machine, a supercomputer running a simulation that is so complex that it will take us several centuries before creating it ourselves.

As a consequence reality is a projection of our consciousness, as in Eastern philosophies or as in Berkeley. Nothing exists if not observed, or better it exists as potential until is calculated into existence by interacting with us. Time travel is technically possible, and so instantly reaching every corner of the universe and beyond. Those who created us live in a dimension above us within an universe that is basically a Russian doll containing ours. I suspect they wonder, like we do, who created them… The hypothesis that the universe may be a digital computer is actually nothing new, it was pioneered in 1967 by Konrad Zuse, the man who built the world’s first programmable computer.

While I cannot prove this idea to be true it’s interesting to notice how, differently from any other idea of “god” humanity ever developed, it should be possible to investigate this one using the scientific method. I have no idea of how we could do that, I am just an artist who was far from being good at maths. But if any computer scientist, or physicist, or curious creative mind is listening, please comment and share your views it’s all up for debate here.

I think one thing we can all agree on is that humans will try to build that machine. It may take centuries but we already started to do it, as a matter of fact increasingly complex universe simulations are already on our map. My take on it is that we will do it because it’s in our nature to do it.

Let’s assume that this freaky idea I am here exposing spreads and becomes mainstream, as I think it will be (even though I doubt I’ll get to see that day). How would that change our culture? Not easy to predict, but you can bet its impact would not be inferior to Darwin’s. The philosophical consequences are many, some I have already mentioned, I’d like to suggest these four for your consideration:

  1. There is an intelligent creator and it might be technically possible for us to get in touch with this fellow, who in a way we can consider our god even though he/she/it is likely to have a creator as well. The mystery of the ultimate source remains unsolved but we would finally have an answer to a fundamental question that has been with us since the dawn of ages: who are we and where do we come from.
  2. Humanity has a common purpose: to build that machine. As mentioned we are already building universe and life simulators but we must reach a level in which complex forms of life can arise from the system, including creatures made in our likeness who like us can develop self-awareness and the illusion to be separated from the rest.
  3. We are all in the same humble boat, all brothers and sisters united by the same destiny. Racism and all other isms and making war to each other are plain foolish (many people think this way also today, but such an eye opener about our true nature should reinforce the concept and help it become truly dominant).
  4. We are pieces of code written in a language that is way beyond our words and dualistic thinking. As a consequence, the importance we give to words should decrease. If you think about all the deaths and suffering caused throughout history by giving too much importance to words you may agree with me that this broadening of our perspective should be a positive thing. In the future people who give too much importance to words may appear as primitive as we would today consider primitive a peasant from the middle ages doing the most crazy things out of foolish superstitions.

This machine would in practice be for us a huge scientific experiment. I like to imagine it, using a bit of irony, to be regulated by principles like the following:

  • Our primary purpose is to study how the universe, life, evolution, and civilizations work. We should operate as a silent god, avoiding to interfere as much as possible and leaving those little creatures alone, observing how they behave, watching them as they commit our same stupid mistakes.
  • When needed, if a civilization is stagnant it’s ok (upon approval) to divinely intervene to give it a boost. Acts of compassion or other minor interventions like prank calls can be tolerated. We are god, after all, and being completely powerless would lower the morale of our team (we would tend to develop empathy for those little creatures and their stories). What is critical is to not let the little creatures discover that we exist. We want them to feel our presence but we must be careful not to leave too many traces of our work. We don’t want to take the risk that those simple minds start to kill each other in our name. Apart from slowing down their progress, or even menacing their survival, to some of our researchers witnessing all that suffering could cause depression. And we like to take care of our employees.
  • Those little creatures need to figure it out by themselves that we exist. When they do it, they will be ripe to start building a universe inside a machine themselves which is crucial for our experiment. We must let them do it their way, without interfering as there is a lot we can learn from their work. The way they engineer the communication between the dimension above and the one below may enable us to find a way to establish a two way communication, as to say to get in touch with our creators.
  • Once a civilization inside the machine reaches our level of intelligence we can finally come out of the closet, start to have relations, collaborate with the little creatures, maybe bring some remarkable specimen up from the dimension below to visit our world by installing their consciousness into one of our robots (yes, it should be technically possible). It’s important to notice how civilizations inside the machine have more potential than ours as we can accelerate their time and make thousands of their years pass in one second. In a way, we are breeding geniuses and innovators from whom we can learn a lot.

Well, it may not happen exactly in these terms but I hope I managed to give you a hint of how radical can be the impact of this new thought on our culture. Indeed, it may take centuries for us to build a similar machine, if not millenniums, but if more people start to put their minds on it some strong arguments supporting the digital universe theory may arise already during this century.

One of my primary artistic missions is to accelerate the coming of this awareness by inspiring people who are brighter than me. I am just an artist, a common man who is happy to serve a cause that he considers good. Even if I may well be the only person in the world who pro-actively supports it.

This belief I have here exposed comes form what Jung would call “spirit of the depths” and is at the core of my artistic activity. My other key artistic message, apparently more occult in nature (but the contrary is true), is the Ten Commandments for the Digital Millennium. My mission is not to convince people but to inspire people, especially those from the new generations.

UPDATE: On June 2nd 2016 Elon Musk publicly declared that there is ‘one in billions’ chance we are NOT living in a computer simulation. I am so excited that one of the most influential figures of our time shares my same belief, both because of the tremendous acceleration he’s giving to the arising of this awareness, both because when a such a genius shares your view people will be less inclined to consider you crazy 🙂

[ 04/10/2015 03:07 pm ]

Sono d’accordo con te e con il pensiero che hai espresso, anche io qualche anno fa ho iniziato a pensarla nello stesso modo e a comportarmi di conseguenza (con una relativa diminuizione di stress devo dire).
Più che dalla tecnologia sono comunque spaventato dalla razza umana, è capace di atrocità incredibili.

  • barabeke
    [ 05/10/2015 01:46 am ]

    sono d’accordo con te, anch’io sono preoccupato e per questo ho fatto questo coming out non esattamente vantaggioso per me… faccio quello che posso! 🙂

[ 08/10/2015 05:30 am ]

I unfortunately believe in the New World Order and the slavery of the majority to support a psychopathic elite. Because only psychopaths would destroy lives by plotting financial bubbles and an industry of war in order to accumulate even more riches than they already own and which they don’t need. Earning money (scientific study) triggers the same high as sniffing cocaine: it’s addictive. So you have psychopaths addicted to money, the worst possible association. Humankind is a cancer on this planet. Not everyone, of course. But enough people to corrode the whole planet. Sorry for my pessimism. This is the sort of thing you can’t tweet. On Twitter is the inspirational quotes–in which I believe, anyway 🙂

  • barabeke
    [ 08/10/2015 06:58 pm ]

    Thanks for your comment Nicole. Even though there are many reasons to be pessimist, don’t forget that these reasons mostly depend on a system which turned money and profit into our gods. In an age in which technology has the potential to create abundance for all there is no reason why our technology shouldn’t be used for that purpose. Capitalism will inevitably fall because it needs a prosper middle class to exist, and one thing technology is doing is making work less and less necessary (and it will get faster). We can just hope this fall of capitalism won’t happen in a violent way, or with a new global dictatorship replacing it. My artistic action is directed to prevent this to happen and contribute in building the ground for a more equal world where all humans can thrive and flourish and be freed from the slavery of work as necessary condition to survive. Today I saw this Zeitgeist video from Peter Joseph that perhaps will change your mind. Just the fact that other 23 million people viewed it is a sign that there is hope for humanity:

[ 12/10/2015 09:18 pm ]

If you really look at it, we already operate like super computers. Our bodies automatically make billions of decisions for us function (or not) every second. Our brains are intricate receivers and processors of information from the inside and out and our reality and experience is dependent on how we choose to interpret our world. We have reached a point in our shared reality that our planet is experiencing the reprocussions of the illusion of separation. It served us once as a way of survival, use natural resources since we can rule over nature, use indigenous people as slaves n cause genocide since we can be rulers of other people and now we’ve combined both to run a capitalist based world (mine resources for profit n enslave ppl to do the work, make them dependent on the resources n of course make them pay for them). This consciousness or rather unconsciousness was necessary to occur in order for those who are meant to awaken to do so and create a new consciousness based on avoiding all the mistakes of the old. This is what I believe it is to create another universe, be in touch with another dimension and with the creator, by creating a new consciousness that is all encompassing, all inclusiveness and it begins at the individual level. We are the infinite and the whole in one, all one and the same with unlimited potential. We in essence are the essence experiencing itself so it may know itself in all possible ways. The good, the bad, the ugly and everything and everyone in between.

  • barabeke
    [ 13/10/2015 12:20 am ]

    Thanks for your reflection Joanna, I agree with what you say. The awakening of this consciousness though right now is possible only for few seekers, the main reason being in my opinion that most people just don’t have time to get introspective, they are too immersed in mundanity, in struggling to earn a living, in dealing with relationship issues. But we are now entering an age in which it’s possible and sustainable to free humanity from the necessity to work in order to survive. Technology enables abundance for everyone, we will get to the point in which everyone as birth right will have enough resources to lead a simple life. If people will be in the condition to dedicate their time to what they love without fear of starving as a consequence, more people will have the opportunity to get introspective and focus on their own evolution. If schools will be more focused in enhancing the knowledge of students and developing their critical thinking rather than preparing them for the job market, if we teach all children how to meditate, all this would greatly help. But as the world is now, it is impossible for this consciousness to arise in a significant way as humanity is currently enslaved to the god our history led us to choose: profit.

[ 27/11/2015 08:44 pm ]

You are awesome?

I Love Elon
[ 03/06/2016 08:33 pm ]

Elon’s just defined God friends.
It’s God’s video game.
We, humanity have gotten ourselves into our current mess.
We can co-create with God to get out. In the process of doing that, we will learn not to do it again. ?
Thanks for the forum barabeke : )

  • barabeke
    [ 03/06/2016 09:10 pm ]

    Thanks for sharing your love for Elon, I love him too he’s great and I am grateful that he popularized my belief, which I hold since January 2005. Back then I was afraid that everyone would have considered me as crazy, just a decade after I am much more comfortable in expressing it! 🙂

Juergen Schwarz
[ 07/10/2016 05:38 pm ]

I believe that out of several reasons, the Simulation theory is right. The statistical argument has been often discussed, but there are indications in physics (I am physicist by education, although not active in that area any more) that the theory might not only be right, but provable at some point. Some of those would be:

– Quantum entanglement between particles over large distances (dozens of kilometers), telling us that space and reality are not what they seem

– Non-infinite Universe, both in size and in time, created by the Big Bang, this would be a precondition for a “full detail” simulation simulating each and every particle in full details (this differs with your view of an on-demand reality, I understand)

– Loop Quantum Gravity, one of the current Unification theories competing with String theory, claims space is not existing a priori, but formed by quantum loops, which might be interpreted (in my view) as representations of simulation “bytes” or “cells”. The LQG theory allows to make predictions which might be testable.

– Fine-tuning of certain constants which is required e.g. for Carbon to exist, forming the basis of life. Either we got lucky with “our” universe, or somebody made sure the basis is there in their simulation for something interesting to happen…

The strange thing is that a belief in Simulation is not much different from a belief in God. Simulationists just do not put any labels on God (or the Gods) before having spoken with Her.

Which brings me to the point that I believe the quest to “break out” may be futile, but that it might be possible to “scientifically prove” this world is a simulation. I just do not have any idea what will happen when a significant part of the scientifically educated believes in this proof and in the Simulation.
[ 19/10/2016 10:30 am ]

I think this is more likely If, however, we can’t create realistic simulations, it will be because we’ve suffered some calamitous event and, thus, humanity is doomed. “[Either] we create simulations indistinguishable from reality or civilization ceases to exist,” Musk said.

Read more:

[ 04/02/2017 02:52 am ]

Everything is possible.