I hope this question is valid here.

I am a mathematician and in my theory of computation class my teacher stated that "if the universe is computable and if we are able to create consciousness in a computer then we live in a simulation". According to him, he read this in a paper, but he was not able to tell us the title or the author of it, I am interested in the subject, can someone give me information or a reference to said statement?

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    $\begingroup$ It's more of a theoretical curiosity (or gimmick) than anything of fundamental interest (sort of but not exactly like the "all horses are the same color" proof), probably meant to encourage students to think about what it would even mean for the universe to be computable. $\endgroup$
    – TLDR
    Jun 14 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ @TLDR - No, the simulation argument is meant as a serious philosophical argument about the world (I know, since I sit a few doors away from Nick Bostrom). Note that it does not claim we are in a simulation, but rather shows that the alternatives are equally awkward. $\endgroup$ Jun 14 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ @AndersSandberg there is absolutely no way that Nick Bostrom is serious: the most quantum physics can say is that we and everyone throughout history have a perspective which sort of 'plucks' certain measurements from some background equilibrium/vacuum state of the universe. Even if we did exist in a simulation embedded in some larger or more complex reality(?), the origin of perspective would need to be accounted for somehow. $\endgroup$
    – TLDR
    Jun 14 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ @TLDR -You might find fault in the reasoning in the paper, but I know his motivations well. He is an old friend and my boss, and we have talked about this. $\endgroup$ Jun 14 at 20:39

1 Answer 1


I imagine your teacher was referring to this paper:

  • $\begingroup$ Yes, thanks ... $\endgroup$ Jun 14 at 16:32

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