Now let us shift, step by step, from general Cosmist philosophy to Cosmist views of coming technologies....
Anyone exposed to modern science fiction movies or novels must have asked themselves: Could we be living in a "simulation" world, like the world in the film The Matrix?
Of course we could be.
But one thing to notice about the situation in that movie is: the only reason it made any difference to the characters that their world was a simulation, was that there was a way out ... into some other reality beyond the simulation, in which the simulation could be viewed as a simulation.
In fact, the concept of "simulation" is too limiting.... A "simulation" is a copy of something else, and that's not really what we're worried about when we talk about our world being a simulation. What is really at issue is whether our universe is a pliable, manipulable, adjustable external system from someone else's perspective. Whether its apparently fundamental properties could be changed by some entity who lives outside it. In the rest of this chapter I will use "simulation" to mean "pliable, manipulable, adjustable external system for someone."
To say our world is a "simulation" in the commonly-used sense is, in essence, to say: there is another perspective from which the patterns that we observe as invariably true (that constitute our "objective world") are in fact pliable and manipulable, able to be changed around in various ways. And this must not be a purely theoretical perspective; it must be possible for some intelligent being to make use of this manipulability by changing around the nature of our world or some similar world, causing it to become a different sort of world.
In principle, there is no way for us to know whether our world is a simulation or not. And, estimating the odds is mainly an exercise in futility, given our current level of knowledge.
But, it is not unreasonable to expect that becoming more intelligent and/or exploring more and more of our universe, could enable us to understand this possibility better -- and maybe, to perform some Matrix-like "level-jump" into some perspective from which our world is a manipulable, pliable simulation.
But what are the odds that the perspective from which our world is a simulation is very similar to our own world? This is also hard to answer. Maybe the perspective or "universe" from which our world is a simulation is wholly different from our own perspectives as residents of this universe. We might not even recognize it as a "world" at all, if we were to encounter it.
Just as the realm of Third is patterns all the way down, the universe may well be simulations all the way down ... but this is only interesting if there is some practical way to access the simulations/realities at levels below ours in the posited hierarchy....