According to this theory, we may live in a self-simulation created by our own thinking.

What if we ourselves, the people we meet and everything we see in life are not real but part of a simulation? We recently mentioned Nick Bostrom again in our article on the documentary A Flaw in the Matrix.

Indeed, this Oxford philosopher is the author of the book Do You Live in a Computer Simulation? (Do you live in a computer simulation?) This 2003 book focuses, as the title suggests, on simulation theory.

A new theory that goes even further

For those of you who don’t already know, simulation theory suggests that we live in a world controlled by technologically advanced beings. The beings in question would be descendants of people who would like to know more about their past. But as this study explains, another theory wants to go further. He argues that there are no advanced beings. Instead, everything we see would be a self-simulation created and managed by our own thoughts, much like a dream.

A connection to quantum mechanics?

We owe this new theory to the team at Quantum Gravity Research, a Los Angeles-based institute for theoretical physics founded by scientist and entrepreneur Klee Irwin. The group addressed the topic in their article “The Self-Simulation Hypothesis Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics” published last year.

A self simulation created and managed by our own thoughts, much like a dream. Photo credit: Shutterstock / Orpheus Imaging

In this book, experts speak of the universe as a “strange loop” that results from a mental self-simulation in conjunction with quantum mechanics. For them, our existence can be explained by one of the many models of quantum gravity.

Timeless emergenceism, a concept based on subthoughts

Like Nick Bostrom’s theory, that of the experts at Quantum Gravity Research supports the hypothesis that we are living in a simulation. However, the two differ in that Bostrom’s hypothesis is materialistic in nature. The Oxford philosopher actually regards the universe as physical in itself.

The theory of self-simulation, in turn, is based on a concept called “timeless emergentism”. He argues that the concept of time does not exist. Instead, we would be “emerging subthoughts” who experience and find meaning in the world through other subthoughts. To better explain this, the researchers invite us to view our dreams as our own personal self-simulations.