When you start questioning the nature of human experience – how or why we perceive things the way we do, – very quickly, what we think of reality begins to unravel. You realize that most of “reality” is constructed in our minds. Our brains are always being selective about what they focus on and what they ignore completely, meaning that we can disregard a huge amount of information. And vice versa, our brains are filling in the blanks in order to make sense of what’s happening.
There is an interesting awareness test video on Youtube. Can you count how many times the team in white passes the ball?
Virtual Reality and the Simulation Hypothesis
So how does all this relate to virtual reality? Well, if you consider how selective our brains are with information, and how many mental shortcuts they take, it’s really not that hard to fool us. So creating an immersive, totally believable virtual reality isn’t that far fetched of an idea. Going further, there are philosophers living today that argue that we may already be living in a virtual or simulated reality. These are some of the things we talk about in this episode.
In this episode of the Future Thinkers Podcast:
- What you can learn from Minecraft
- How easy will it be to create a believable virtual reality?
- Why what we think of as “reality” is not all that real
- Is there an equation for intelligence?
- Could we be living in a simulated reality?
Mentions & Resources:
- Samsung Gear VR Headset
- Minecraft, the popular open-world building game
- Oculus Rift, an immersive virtual reality headset
- The Simulation Hypothesis in the modern iteration
- The equation for intelligence by Alex Weissner-Gross
- The “End poem” from Minecraft, (click the “show” button next to spoiler warning)
Question of the episode:
Do you think it is possible to create a completely believable virtual reality? Why or why not? Answer in the comments below.
More by Future Thinkers:
- Techno Social Systems and Space Exploration with Vinay Gupta (FTP018)
- Cyborg Buddha – Transhuman Enlightenment with James Hughes (FTP025)
- The Age of Em: 1 Year After We Upload Ourselves to The Internet with Robin Hanson (FTP030)
- Mapping the Mind and Finding Meaning with Dr. Jordan B. Peterson (FTP038)