The answers here didn't really address what I was looking for (How many bits are needed to simulate the universe?), so...

If we are in a simulation, can we presume the simulation only needs to be perfect at the levels at which we consciously observe it, and it can therefore become more and more 'fuzzy' as we 'zoom out' (ie, we don't need to simulate all the atoms on the moon etc)? If so, in order to make the simulation just good enough to pass all our tests, only a fraction of the bit space for simulating the whole universe would be needed, and there must be plenty of opportunities for data compression too.

In other words, to create a simulation of the universe as "we observe it", how much storage is likely to be required?

  • $\begingroup$ I think the question as currently posed is too vague, and requires further clarification as to the underlying assumptions. I also don’t think the idea that we live in a simulation is coherent - but that is a different (philosophical) problem. $\endgroup$
    – Martin C.
    May 1 at 7:41
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I agree with Martin C.'s comment, but if the core of the question is "How many bits are required to specify the state of (any given part of) the universe," then you can find some relevant research under the heading holographic principle. Susskind, one of the original experts in the field, has some relatively easy-to-read papers about this. $\endgroup$ May 1 at 9:39
  • $\begingroup$ Nice question (+1), but it could be better to add some explanation concerning "we live in simulation". Probably we explore the simulation like Universe and the question is how realistic it should be compare to some reality. In this context we try to build very realistic computer game with long time simulation including for instance dream without dreams... $\endgroup$ May 1 at 9:52

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