Do we live in a simulation?
The Sims 3
Published on December 13, 2019
In this serie of articles, we saw that we could live in a simulation. In this article, we’ll touch a quite strange question…
What is the difference between Hardware and Software?
In the computer world, the difference between hardware and software seems obvious. The hardware is what you can kick, while you cannot kick the software.
We also saw that there can be a somewhat infinite regression of simulations in the software part: on your computer, you could run a simulation, in a simulation, in a simulation… You can even simulate the hardware behavior in a software. This special kind of simulators are called “emulators”, such as VMWare. So, you can run VMWare inside VMWare inside VMWare… Like an infinite regression. But if you go through this hierarchy of emoultors in the opposite way, it seems that at some point you hit a sort of “rock bottom”. This rock bottom is not an emulator anymore: it’s the hardware.
The figure above shows the infinite regression of simulations. So what’s the difference between hardware and software? Well, the simple answer is that we live at the same reality level than our hardware. An entity living in a computer simulation would pretty much consider the simulation artifacts as real and tangible hardware.