Hey bro! My name is Philip Volna, and today, March 5th, 2019, I’ve come up with some interesting thoughts that I’d like to share with you.
The question is “What if we are a computer simulation?” or “What if we are a constantly evolving self-simplifying organism that exists in order to serve a higher purpose (which I think is our instinct rather than something we are trying to find)?”
Even though we are made of flesh and bones, we are an algorithm because we have “wires” or “nervous system” which sends signals which we already know today as “1s” and “0s”, the so-called binary code.
We quickly teach computers to speak our language by moving from abstractions to more of a data-like approach. Thus, computers don’t speak abstractions they speak the binary code.
At some point in our lives, we realized the importance of creating a computer since we need to store all the data that we’ve gathered through millions of years. We found that without storing this data anywhere we are losing the potentially reusable pieces of knowledge and so we have to learn again. That’s just impractical.
Did you get it?
We are an algorithm that creates algorithms that can teach themselves like we do using huge selections of data. We have taken ourselves as an example, simplified it, and created a convolutional neural network or AI that will help us speed up the process of evolution.
For example, let’s have a look at a self-learning algorithm which already exists today. What the algorithm does is you give it a lot of data and you tell it what you want. You run the algorithm and it starts validating whether it’s what you want or not. It will process millions of bytes of data, millions of trial and error operations to finally say “oh, here is what you want. I solved it.”
The algorithm has “committed” its digitized life to serve a higher purpose. Your purpose. It went through millions of tests until it learned and solve the problem. Then it dies – you rebuild it for another need.
The process of machine learning resembles our own evolution.
Humans are constantly evolving. Some 1.8 to 1.3 million years ago, first humans appeared. What happened before that was probably a selection of stupid “trial and error” algorithms that have learned to create something smarter. Like us, humans.
What happens after is the same process. Humans were dumb millions of years ago compared to us today, but they were already taking their steps towards evolving to serve a higher purpose.
The evolution ran millions of tries, a huge (for us, but is it really that huge?) selection of potential bytes of data (= humans) until it learned to create smarter humans.
We were evolving just like the algorithms we create and teach today. And our ancestors taught us algorithms. And the ancestors before our ancestors taught them algorithms.
We’ve always passed knowledge to each other, generation after generation (why is there even a thing called generation? Aren’t we evolving, but faster? Faster than our ancestors)
Let’s look at a simpler example:
Family generation. A man and a woman are alcoholics and drug addicts. They give birth to a child. A child looks at his family and says “I will not be like you two. I will be better.” A kid works his ass off to become something greater. Why is he doing it?
Eventually, this person creates his family much better than his parents. With his loving wife, they give birth to another child. They give him everything he wants, and he becomes either an alcoholic and drug addict or an even better kid. If he is a drug addict the process repeats. If he is a bright kid, then evolution becomes exponential. He becomes somebody like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Thomas Edison, etc.
We’ve always created something that another human being could use. From here we have the thing called empiricism.
We convert our experience into reusable pieces of data which other algorithms=humans can use. And they will create other reusable blocks of data.
We’ve always tried to carve something on the stone, write something on the wall, create a book which was rewritten into thousands of copies, we’ve created libraries.
Today, we have things like the Internet which is a huge library which has different libraries like GitHub (open-source pieces of code for developers), Wikipedia, Courses, etc.
Why? We are always determined to simplify things for other generations. We are determined to pass what we’ve learned. We accumulate knowledge and we share it.
The problems we’ve faced when sharing knowledge:
We share knowledge to simplify lives for other generations because we are a self-evolving algorithm that seems to be driven by the purpose of simplifying things even more.
But why? For whom? For what?
It seems like we create such algorithms to solve our human problems. What “thing” created us, humans, to solve what problems?
It may seem like with all the technologies, world-class problems, emotions, and feelings we are making things more complex.
I think we are actually making things simpler. We are on a mission to take complex solutions and decompile them so we can use these bytes of data to achieve whatever we are programmed to achieve.
We are the self-simplifying algorithm.
Simplification = reusable information (cyclic information, like a Computer Function).
And we are by nature very cyclic. Our environment is cyclic. For example:
Assumably, we’ve evolved from simple forms of life to what we are today to be able to “go back” and simplify what we’ve learned and save this knowledge somewhere. Your mission is to teach the computer to know what you know and serve a higher purpose even better. Because you will die and the information will remain. It took humans less than 100 years to build a computer and millions of years of knowledge sharing and evolution to be able to understand the need for building a computer. How much time will it take the computer to teach another computer? A week? A second?
We have the input and the output all the time. We take complex tasks and break them down into binary things to create reusable patterns for the next generations. For example:
We create platforms like WordPress, Outsystems, Einstein AI (Salesforce), Unity 3D, Unreal Engine, etc., not only because it’s a good business but because it helps us, humans, accumulate reusable solutions.
It all leads me to think about that we’re living in a computer simulation which was created by something to solve another much bigger problem. Something that is yet far out of reach for us.
I assume that by relying on my observations and “logic.” Most of the things I’ve talked about I have no deep understanding about (not even close), but maybe that is what’s making me unbiased (hopefully) as to the interpretation of the available data.
It’s interesting that we humans are evolving on different levels all the time. The new generations that are forming all the time are “new cycles”, aren’t they? And each separate individual has their own evolution. For example, compare yourself to Elon Musk. The knowledge gap is huge.
Probably, yes. For example:
But, let’s look at it from another perspective:
Today, as my thought evolution suggests, I believe that we all live to serve a higher purpose. Even though being just a small fraction of a huge algorithm is slightly discouraging, it makes perfect sense to me and gives me a reason to live my life to the fullest or create bugs in the system and play Minecraft all day long and then commit suicide.
These were my thoughts for today. Contribute to empiricism and leave a comment below. Also, become a part of the algorithm and share this piece of brain food with your friends.