No, We are not living in a Simulation

I’d heard about the “Maybe we’re living in a Simulation” argument before but I had never read the details.

If I understand correctly it’s basically a “follow the logic” idea.

Simulations get better all the time and as such eventually there will be universe simulators that can simulate an entire universe.

Once you can do that there lots of people will run them therefore at any one time there will be millions X more simulated people than real people

QED: Odds are we’re simulated

This reminds me of the 1/2 way problem.

Before you can get somewhere you have to get 1/2 way there

Once you reach the 1/2 point you have to get to 1/2 the remaining point (in other words, go to step 1)

QED: You can never reach your destination because there’s always 1/2 remaining

The logic seems to work and yet we get to our destinations all the time. Clearly there’s a flaw somewhere. I think the same is true for the “We’re living in a simulation” logic.

Here’s where I think that flaw is. I think it’s impossible to build a universe simulator. Currently it takes more than 1 atom to simulate an atom. It seems like a universe simulator would need to simulate all atoms therefore since you can’t simulate all atoms without using more than all atoms you can’t make a universe simulator.

Now you may say, like a video game, we don’t need to simulate all of it, we only need to simulate the parts people look at. I think that’s false for a universe simulator though. Video games don’t actually try to simulate the real universe, they’re fake, stories, they take huge shortcuts, they use “game” physics, etc. A real universe simulator though can’t take those short cuts. Even if it only has to deal with observed portions of the universe those observed portions need to match real physics. That means even if no one is looking at someone part of this simulated universe, the moment they do look at it the simulator would have to compute all the physics for every atom for all of time since that part of universe was last observed until this moment so that it looks like time has passed correctly in that part of the universe. In other words the universal simulator can’t take shortcuts like a video game. It has to simulate every atom, at which point we’re back to it an impossible task because as pointed out above it would take more atoms to simulate atoms.

And so the flaw is clear. It’s the original assumption that a universal simulator could actually exist. It can’t.

Does that mean you can’t have a holodeck? No, we could have holodecks, but like video games they’ll take shortcuts. They won’t simulate the entire universe. Take a typical video game that supports foot prints or skid marks or mud tracks, they always fade out over time, usually fairly quickly because keeping around the tracks of the player forever is just too much to compute. The same will be true of holodecks. They’ll simulate some small portion of reality but not every detail and plenty of those details will be temporary. That’s all great and it will be fun when we get there but it doesn’t follow that from that we’ll be able to simulate entire universes and all the causality needed to make them consistent which is what we’d need to simulate the universe we’re in.

QED: We’re not in a simulation

There’s a Special Place in Hell for Dentists!

Going to the dentist is often hell for me.

I’ve already bitched about this before but DAMMIT! It HURTS! It’s fucking torture!

I brush and floss EVERY SINGLE DAY. I also use one of these dental pick type brushes after brushing and flossing to get into the cracks etc. Lately I started getting pain like the time a dentist caused me so much pain I needed 600mg of Ibuprofen every 3 hrs for a month. This new pain is similar feeling but not quite as bad. It’s comes and goes but generally I get it at least once or twice a day. Yesterday it came 3 times. If I’m lucky it goes away by itself but 5 times out of 6 I need to take 200-400mg of Ibuprofen and then 20-30 minutes later it’s gone. When it really hurts I can feel it from my temple to neck. (more…)

Japanese Rice Cookers are Noisy

9 years ago (the last time I bought I rice cooker) I got a middle of the road Panasonic rice cooker. It was silent. The one I bought before that was silent. Every rice cooker I’ve never owned since the 80s was silent. All the ones my friends had when I visited their homes were silent.

So, this time I also just picked a middle of the road Panasonic rice cooker only to find out they are no longer silent.

Apparently nearly all the rice cookers are now IH (Induction Heating) and so they need a fan to circulate the air. Panasonic doesn’t even make any non IH rice cookers in 2016. (more…)

Getting Phished

I just got phished.

I received a suspicious PDF in email. It had a name that made it sound like something I might personally be interested in from someone I met about a year ago. No idea if that was luck or by design. Even scarier if it was by design. (more…)

Yet more AirBnb issues

I know you’re wondering why I keep using AirBnb if there are so many issues

It’s basically because I’m homeless and I need a place to stay. Other than a hostel the cheapest hotels are $100-$150 a night. Go to and check. Pretty much every city there’s 5 tiers of prices. Bottom teir is hostels. Next tier up is $100-$150 a night. That’s $3k to $4.5k a month which is a lot of money. Yes, I’m finally working on settling back down and renting an apartment at which point I won’t be looking to rent short term apartments. In other words I’ll stop using AirBnB. That said wasn’t going to bring up this latest issue .. until AirBnB called. See below (more…)

All of Shinjuku is being rented on AirBnB

So a friend is trying to rent her apartment out while she’s on vacation for the last 2 weeks in June. Her place is behind Kabukicho, nearest station is Shin Okubo.

I don’t usually look over there because I’d rather stay in other places but I checked just for the hell of it …

I put in $70-$80 a night, June 15-30, entire place. Airbnb claimed 300+ places still available and that those were among the 17% left. That means just in that $10 span of price range there are over 1800 apartments available. And, that was limited to the area between Shinjuku station, the Yamanote line, Okubo Dori, and Meiji Dori. That makes it seem like practically all of Shinjuku is being rented on Airbnb


AirBnB issues in Nogizaka

I’ve ranted on AirBnb issues before but sadly I keep going back because I don’t have much of a choice since I’m effectively homeless at the moment.

I’ve rented about 22 places in the last 3 years. I think a couple were not AirBnB. I haven’t written a bad review yet even though given the rant linked above you’d expect I would have.

But, this last place I finally wrote a bad review. Maybe it was all the pent up rage of all the previous places. Maybe it was the particular response from this landlord. In any case I left a bad review. I can only hope that’s incentive for the guy to do better.

So what was the issue? (more…)

Why does sharing photos have to be this annoying?

So, … some company in the UK wants to use a photo of mine from flickr.

Some people contemplate their navel...

All my flickr photos are CC-BY-SA so they’re free to do whatever they want pretty much.

But, of course lawyers get involved and now they want to send me a licensing form for me to sign. It doesn’t say anything particularly bad, it’s just half the point of CC-BY is “you don’t need to ask because there’s an official license”.

I get they want to make sure it’s not a stolen image and get an actual signature. It’s more that printing out the form, which will cost a few cents and my time to find a printer or put the form on a USB and walk to the library. Then sign it. Then find a scanner and scan it or take a picture with my phone. Then send it back. Is just more than I want to do really. Given they’re not paying me why do I want to spent even 15 minutes dealing with his form?

Even if I just photoshop my signature in it’s still more work than I really want to deal with. On top of which the one scary part is if they get sued about the pic then they’ll pass that on to me. It’s a nothing special picture of some statues on the Louvre so I have no idea what those rules are.

Sigh…. Why does it have to be this complicated.

The Da Vinci Code for Mormons

So somehow I missed this 2013 New York Times article exposing a bunch of issues in the Mormon Church. It was brought up by this really good episode of Reply All.

I’m an ex-Mormon and this episode really resonated in a lot of ways. In particular I guess personally, even though I’m now 100% atheist I’ve defended the Mormon church in the past. I guess I would say as an atheist I believe all churches and all religions are wrong and so I’ve defended the Mormon church has being no different than any other church. By defending I mean when someone makes fun of the Mormon church for whatever (believing the nearest planet to God’s residence is the planet Kolab) I point out how that is no more a strange belief than any other religion’s beliefs (God lives in some alternate dimension we can’t see until we die).

What I find really fascinating though is that people can continue to want to believe even AFTER accepting the evidence their church is founded on lies. Religion isn’t decided by committee by definition. If it was it would no longer be a religion. So for example, at least according to that podcast, some people asked for priesthood for women in the Mormon church or acceptance of LGBT. Doing either of those makes the church no longer the church. It proves even harder the church was never true to begin with.

Let me make it clear. I’m 100% pro LGBT and women’s rights. That’s not my point and is one of the many reasons I’m atheist. My point is if a church has been saying for for hundreds or thousands of years that X is evil because God says so and then changes that to X is not evil they’ve just proven the previous hundreds or thousands of years were bullshit. At that point there’s no reason for the church to exist. Everyone should just leave. If you want a social club with emotional support fine, organize one. But asking a church to change it’s stance makes zero sense. If you succeed you’ve just proven your church is false.