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Escaping the Matrix: Could We Hack or Escape a Simulated Reality?

Since the dawn of human consciousness we have pondered and wondered upon the nature of our reality and where we sit within it. It has been what has given rise to religions and philosophies since time unremembered, an unanswered question that has driven the greatest minds of history. One pervasive modern idea on the nature of reality is that everything we see and do is part of a vast, complex simulation run by humans from far in the future, AI, or even aliens using hyper-advanced computers, and that you, I, and everyone around us are all living in essentially one massive and super sophisticated virtual reality program that perfectly mimics physical reality. Although bandied about for years, this idea, called the “The Simulation Hypothesis,” was first definitively formed and cemented in the public awareness in 2003, by University of Oxford philosopher Nick Bostrom, who proposed that our ancestors far in the future may have reached a point in computing technology in which they are able to create whole virtual worlds populated by artificial intelligence programs that exist digitally, us, for the purpose of perhaps recreating different eras of their past or their evolutionary history for their own study or amusement, it is impossible to know. Whatever their purpose, Bostrom speculated that there could feasibly be vast numbers of these virtual simulations being run by our descendants, aliens, or even those created by other simulations, making us possibly computer simulations within other more advanced computer simulations, which could in turn be simulations of others themselves. This then leads to the question that, if this is all indeed a hyper-advanced computer program, then could it be somehow hacked by us and could we even possibly devise a way to escape its confines? Let’s take a look.

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