Breaking into the Simulated Universe

Campbell’s Consciousness is both the consciousness we find manifest in lifeforms and also the very computer behind our universe—Fredkin’s Other.  It is this outline of consciousness that, when pressed upon by what Campbell calls the “Fundamental Process” of evolution, any number of interactions, lifeforms, universes, realities, or rulesets could naturally emerge.  Anything from cellular automata, to a multiverse, to nature’s “inordinate fondness of beetles” could subsequently appear.  All realities, lifeforms, and interactions are possible under Campbell’s two assumptions: Consciousness exists (as defined), and Evolution exists.

From this model, there is no need for a master programmer or an ancestor simulation.  Instead, those overlords are chucked outright for a single, arguably dim at first, conscious computer that is always forced to either evolve or die.  In the illusory worlds of virtual reality, consciousness itself is entirely real and actually holds center stage.

To Campbell, Consciousness is fundamental.  We, our individual consciousnesses, are partitioned parts of The Big Conscious Computer that crunches out this and every other universe and lifeform.  So, where we really are is in Fredkin’s Other; Fredkin’s Other is Campbell’s Consciousness.  Our avatar—our body—appears to be “in” a simulated universe, a video game.  While our actual awareness experiences this universe as physical spacetime, both the universe and ourselves are actually an information data-stream processing and occurring in Other.

If Fredkin’s Other is Campbell’s Consciousness, then almost everything about life, consciousness, the universe itself, and the simulation hypothesis falls entirely into place.  This would explain why quantum mechanical observations by and large for almost a century seem to be sensitive to, what physicists have called, “observers”, or “measurement.”  It is because consciousness is the fundamental—indeed the essential—medium through which the simulation must be rendered.  Without a consciousness (a player) there is no video game to render and really no need to.

Source: Breaking into the Simulated Universe

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