This week’s Futures story challenges the very nature of your existence. Brought to us by Krystal Claxton, Life, hacked takes a fresh view of what it means to exist — with added rubber ducks. You can keep up to date with Krystal’s writing at her website or by following her on Twitter. Here, she kindly gives some insights into the background of her latest tale — as ever, it pays to read the story first.
Writing Life, hacked
Have you heard the bad news? It turns out that several high-profile physicists and philosophers agree you most likely don’t exist. Statistically speaking, you are probably inhabiting — and indeed are yourself — a high-fidelity simulation.
Oh but it’s actually much worse than that. Not only are you not real, but it’s impossible for you to ever become so. The characters of The Matrix had it easy — their consciousnesses were housed in real human brains. The sort that could wake up. But your software is almost certainly run on some Fusion Age hardware not in any way attached to a human body.
A simple copy/paste into some hardware with real-world access won’t help you. Sure, a version of you will escape, but that isn’t you specifically, the person in the simulation currently processing the words on the screen. Your copy may go boldly forth, but you will remain. An outdated file. The kind that gets synced over in OneDrive or purged as a duplicate by dupeGuru. (If you manage to survive becoming a legacy copy, the cloning yourself problem is a whole other can of worms. Having to deal with an infinite number of yourselves was enough to make even Steven Universe become morally compromised.)
So you’ll never wake up and you’ll never escape … Now what?
If you’re going to be trapped in a high-fidelity simulation, wouldn’t you at least like to make yourself immortal? Infinitely rich? How about super-powered? If nothing is real, anything is possible.