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Simulated Universe : Societies form

Simulated Universe Progress

It’s been a couple of years since the simulation started. Society has started to take shape on quite a few planets in the simulated universe. Basic economies and social structures have developed. Many of the planets in the simulated universe have advanced faster than we thought possible. Three in particular discovered and popularized electricity before they discovered fossil fuels. They are close to discovering nuclear forces. We’re hoping they develop computers soon.

Other planets have advanced much slower. One in particular is advancing much slower than the others. No science. Very poor communication. Terrible social structures preying on the weak. It’s sad.

Listening In

The researchers have discounted the chances of this planet solving the immortality problem before the others. While the scientific progress of the planet is disappointing, the social interactions are quite interesting. A few of the engineers built in an automated language translation feature, so we could watch them and understand what they’re saying. The first implementation of the translation software actually caused them to speak and understand the same language.

What an interesting accident! All the sudden the organisms could understand each other completely. They actually started to advance much faster. Once we realized what was going on we pushed a fixed version of the translation code and everything went back to normal.  They went nuts for a bit, but eventually behaviors normalized.

Funding and Entertainment

Back in our world, there’s quite a lot of intrigue and anger around this project. Some say it’s not ethical to simulate beings like this. Most are willing to concede when pressed if the gains are worth it. I’m not sure how I feel. Originally I didn’t think much of it, but after watching them interact, I’m not sure. In many ways we are very similar.

Speaking of ethically questionable. The administration has started live-streaming the least developed world. There are channels following kings, queens, tribes, wars, religious figures, poor people, and rich merchants. People are loving it. It’s insane. They’re saying we can use the revenue to beef up the computation power and hire more researchers. I thought everyone would be repulsed. Most are just thrilled to have more funding.

Crowd Interactions

Worse, engineering has been tasked with building a way to communicate with individuals on the planet. They want to make the shows interactive, allow viewers to vote on twitter, and then the characters will do what they say. Mike, from engineering, was telling me that they were going to do very small interactions. Apparently they’re going to try and get the organisms to do what the crowd voted via their own free will. I asked how he planned on doing that and he gave me quite a technical machine learning explanation.

From what I understand the organisms have a state transition function given some input they will perform some action, or state change. They’re going to use this function to reverse engineer an input that will result in the action the crowd chooses. Mike says they’re just going to speak directly into the mind of the organism. It’ll be as if they heard a voice in their head. Many of the societies on the planet are religious, so I have no doubt the inputs will be accepted.

I’m disturbed. I’m just hoping this doesn’t somehow affect any of the other planets, or the success of the project. I need this project to work. My daughter’s life depends on it. All of our lives do.


Thanks for reading 🙂 

I’m not really good at this yet, so if you have some feedback let me know

If you missed the first part of the story, check it out here

The simulated existence

init 1

We’ve finally reached the apex, the pinnacle of scientific progress. Technology, medicine, psychology, physics, economics, all have come together to give us potentially the most useful innovation. Simulated existence. The ability to simulate reality with a near level of detail as our own. At a much faster speed. Today, we’re turning it on.

Tech-billionaires, fearing death, knowing the possibilities of physics and artificial intelligence, dumped money into developing technology to find a solution to death. After countless conferences and papers a seemingly nonsensical solution started to seem feasible. Simulated reality.

At first people thought that they’d plug themselves into the simulated reality. They played with ideas of how they could slow perception down, and play the simulated reality at a faster speed that normal life. This would theoretically double or even triple the human life. Unfortunately the brain has its limits for how fast existence can be perceived. With no good solution in sight, a new idea emerged.

Faster than life

What if, instead of experiencing the simulated reality at double speed, we created a reality with organisms inside of it. The organisms would live in a universe with the same rules as our own. They would have the same pressures as we do. The same bodies as we do. The quality of the universe they experienced would be stripped down to the bare essentials. The goal? To get them to solve the immortality problem for us.

It took almost 20 years of design and engineering and 70 of the worlds richest people dumping almost their entire fortunes into the effort. Finally a system was built that could simulate a good enough reality at 10,00o times our speed. This meant 1 year in our time was 10,000 years their time. The plan was to run the simulated humans for 15 years.

Observation creates reality

We bootstrapped the simulated existence with as much information from our past as possible. As much as we knew, we tried to put in. Achieving a high simulation speed seemed impossible. We had to optimize. We had to cheat. We had to create a universe as realistic as possible, with minimal computation. The solution ended up being perceptual coalescence of reality. Basically we made it to where nothing was calculated until it was perceived or recorded by the simulated humans. It took a team of quantum physicists and computer programmers working closely together for months to finally get the performance at an acceptable rate.

It’s simple. It’s beautiful. It’s complex. And now. It’s on.


After talking with a friend about the potential uses of a simulated reality, I got the urge to write a short story about it. Here’s me giving that a shot.

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simulated existence - big bang

simulated existence – big bang