Do you choose the blue or red pill?
Rick and Morty is an animated sitcom about the adventures of a mad scientist and his grandson through galaxies, dimensions, and altered realities. The show is popular for its satirical cynicism and mockery of current society. In one episode, Rick takes Morty inside his car battery to repair it. Morty is shocked to find out that there is another world living inside Rick’s battery. Their activities produce infinite energy for Rick without them knowing it. However, Rick finds out that the reason why they have suddenly stopped producing energy for him is because they found an alternative source of energy of their own: another world living inside another battery. Ironic right? But it brings up a question about our reality: are we inside someone else’s car battery? In a world where computers have surpassed human minds, how do we know we aren’t living inside a simulation?
It’s hard to tell because the whole point of being trapped inside a simulation is not being able to notice it. Plus, movies like The Matrix have done a good job spreading this panic around. The fear of having our real bodies suspended somewhere inside water capsules with a cable connected to our brains is real. However, some scientists don’t hesitate to reject this theory easily. According to a scientific finding, we are not a inside any simulation. This is one those times when you thank quantum physics for existing because who else would be able to prove our existentialist conspiracies theories wrong, but physics?
Without getting too much into the difficult jargon that comes with quantum physics, let’s leave it at the conclusions that Zohar Ringel and Dmitry Kovrizhin published in Science Advances: no modern quantum computer is able to create as big of a simulation as our universe. Computers are not there yet and I know what some of you would say, “My phone can do this and that, and technology will soon consume us all.” Maybe, but not right now. Although tech is progressively advancing, in order for a computer to store as much information as the electrons of our universe, it would require a memory big enough to store more atoms that the ones currently existing in our reality. Thus Ringel and Kovrizhin say it’s “impossible.”
But what about aliens? Well, we have yet to prove their existence and allow quantum physics theorists to tell us if such scenario is even possible. But I think that’s too much reaching without a logical hypothesis. Instead, let’s learn something from the fictitious world of sci-fi, in which there is always a person who is able to break free from the spell of altered simulations and he or she is trying to save us all.
In another episode of Rick and Morty, Rick is trapped inside an alien simulation where he is being tricked to believe he has to reveal his recipe for concentrated dark matter. But Rick is able to break free and tricks the aliens into making them believe they’ve got what they wanted from him. I personally don’t believe we are inside any simulation because I don't see a reason for computers or aliens to do so. Our activities barely produce energy for our selves, let alone we are slowly running out of our own resources. If we were in some simulation, life would be easier and comfortable for us and I see people whose everyday struggle feels very real to them.