Maybe we shouldn’t try to get unplugged.

Hard Reboot

If we're all living inside a complex computer simulation, we should probably accept our fate — lest our universe get unplugged.

At least, that's according to Nanyang Technological University philosophy professor Preston Greene, who penned a New York Times op-ed arguing that we should stop looking for evidence of simulation theory — because proving the universe is simulated would probably render the simulation useless for whoever's running it, meaning we could all get scrapped like a wayward family in "The Sims."


Greene invokes the idea of a double-blind clinical trial, the gold standard for experimental design when testing something like a new pharmaceutical. The way it works is that a group of people get the experimental drug and another gets a placebo, but neither the experimenters nor the participants know who got which to ensure that no outside factors affect the study.

While high-profile names in tech like Elon Musk and hacker George Hotz have both expressed a desire to experimentally test simulation theory and "escape" or at least figure out what's outside the purported simulation, doing so would be like someone in a clinical trial learning whether or not they're taking a placebo.

Save State

If we invalidate whatever experiment is being conducted in our simulation, then it could "cause the annihilation of our universe," writes Greene.

We could either get rebooted, "The Good Place"-style — or blinked out of existence.

READ MORE: Are We Living in a Computer Simulation? Let’s Not Find Out [The New York Times]

More on simulation theory: Sorry, Elon. Physicists Say We Definitely Aren’t Living in a Computer Simulation.

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