October 23, 2016

Simulations, Universes and Possibilities

There has been a lot more thought now on why our universe is nothing more than a sophisticated video game.

I have often thought about it as such, and I have likened light to be the medium of energy and information transfer in our Universe. I would think gravity and forces were caused by light information travelling to particles, causing them to move accordingly.

Now, according to me, it is hard to go back in time and jump into the future, expecting the Universe to compute all of these events quickly enough. Why, you may ask? Because it indeed takes a long time to compute your own life, one dependency at a time and one living entity at a time. Otherwise, Life would only be throwing coarsely accurate but completely random events at us than the true, perfectly accurate simulated future.

Now, time is pretty relative to who computes it. There are some frames in life, where when nobody's observing anything, the Universe could go on a rampage and advance our timelines rapidly. On the other hand, when there is a lot of observation going on, it forces our Universe to compute each frame painfully, more accurately, and would take a really very long time. This is often true when you increase your level of detail, such as through a telescope or a microscope - when you see things that you normally wouldn't. This is also true when you begin taking measurements from Twitter, Google, Newspapers, People or whatever feeds your gossip fancy.

Now take a mass/gravity calculation of a complex system, such as on our earth, for instance. To compute the destruction of a large building, The universe may very well take a very long time, but for you, it happens instantly. It may not be hard unless nobody observes it, or tries to deconstruct the destroyed footage. That, is the Universe for you.

Now a lot of people having been talking about trying to escape this Matrix - but unfortunately, you can not escape from it, you can merely stall it. If you run a Quantum Computer, you may very well be taking this Universe out to compute 2^2000 possibilities in every second.

And if the Universe doesn't care about taking the time to do this, it may give you unpredictable answers, or change the course of history by trying not to compute everything else it does, seriously enough. Or altering the reality to match its answers, all of which are very possible, given that we are in a simulation. In fact, we may very well be the cause of our simulation going wrong.

The slowest part of any game engine would usually be the Physics. Because it has to compute velocities first and then positions next, for a variety of objects. Also, fast moving or large objects are often problem children for our Universe, because the simulation timestep has to be be chosen wisely to avoid glitches, intersections and the like. Also, since there has to be coherence across all the chosen objects when it comes to observability of each other, there must be a co-ordination for all of them.

Which means all parallel computations are eventually going to be run serially, at the end of the day. Which makes the Universe a god of simulation in time.

May 26, 2016

In Loving Memory

This one is for my father, Viswanathan Raghavan.

Father, I owe it to you for being the most hardworking, honest and creative one in our family. I was not expecting you to go. I was always hopeful of a long term recovery and you left us too soon. I guess the pain must have been too much for you.

I am a little unhappy that we had to keep you on doctor orders in those last few days. And that we had to wean you away from all the food that you truly enjoyed.

I know we could not talk much, except for the occasional greetings. I know you were not entirely happy with our setup at home, but in the case you do get genetically incarnated on this dying planet again, I hope you do have a happier life - a life with more choices than the one you had here.

Having said that, rest in peace.