consider simulation earth:
"it's called naive realism but it's completely what everyone has to go by in life here on earth. you have to accept the external world as a model in principle at least, you know, you have to learn to navigate from A to B on the planet, and assume everyone you see is a person you could interact with."
"what i always had a problem with, even when i was a kid when i more or less accepted everything, is this, i see things in front of me, you know, really at a distance, well, are they really things in front of me or is that just like a physical part of my eyesight, my field of vision, in front of me, and could it really be both? and then when i teleported, i knew physical motion was not real, so the world had to have some kind of virtual aspect to it."
"yeah, there's a kind of duality between naive realism and science against what's thought of as magic, don't you think? it's like, you teleport, well honey, mechanical motion and the external world were never real, so hey, why not? it's like you're watching a 3D YouTube video that just jumped to another scene, right? you're walking along and you suddenly teleport to another part of town. clairvoyance and telepathy? well, you just pick up what the people actually right next to you like forever because nobody really moves in real space think. objects not behaving scientifically? well, nobody said the laws of motion work perfectly, especially when people are emotional. telekinesis and mind over matter? well, as idealism has it, the world is mostly a mental construct. shapeshifting? well, i've had different bodies in my dreams. no big deal."
"yeah but still, what i'm saying, when you realize that earth is not what it seems, that it must have some virtual aspect at the bare minimum, i mean, you go a bit wild in what you think. right, if you dismiss solipsism to start with, the concept that you're the only one in existence, as too depressing for one, and two, it doesn't seem likely that my own unconscious could produce this much on its own, there must be other people, and then on the other end of the scale, you dismiss naive realism, that everyone you see is a real person, that there are billions of people on earth, i mean, even if one person you saw on the street were not real, was a fault in the system, that would deny naive realism, wouldn't it? so then you try to strike a median view, so let's say just under half the people are real, you still need a lot of people to produce all this media, right? but then you think, is there really just one simulation earth running? maybe it's like most people are still in alpha version, i'm running beta version, and there are details that are different in different versions, though fundamentally the simulations are the same, like, i think Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States but in alpha version, Abraham Lincoln doesn't even exist, or something like that. and then you think, well, maybe some other countries are completely virtual, you know, maybe you shouldn't go there, it would strain the simulation. and you think, maybe all the Russians are in like the Russian sector of real space, maybe the English speakers are spread out. how are real people connected and what data flows through, anyway?"
"yeah, but doesn't it make you paranoid about the virtual people, the NPC's, the non player characters? is there any control over them? i mean, it's like someone a long time ago imagined someone, someone who never exists really, and then eventually when simulation earth is up and running, they've manifested as a character in it. how else could they have got there?"
"well no, in the end, they're not real, they're like some kind of electronic configuration. i mean, it's not like they're external demons trying to enter this reality!"
"in a paranoid fit one night, that's exactly what i thought. it's scary, people that are not real, like, taking over reality."
"i mean the unconscious produces details, the imagination constructs personal like data or something, it's probably harmless. just think of them as robots."
"well that just leads to the question, is it programmable in some way? can we somehow break into the system and change the outcome? code the Matrix? you know, if it's like an electronic arcade game, can we cheat?"
"yeah, there's lots of stuff on that, you know, the law of attraction, consciously concentrating on outcomes, writing stuff down, and so on. and there's a quote from Star Wars: Episode I, Qui-Gon Jinn says to Anakin Skywalker, "your focus determines your reality." but what you said about an arcade game, i was thinking, if in an advanced amusement arcade you had the most convincing virtual 3D reality game, wouldn't there be a moment you think to yourself when you took the headset or whatever off, this is just what the regular world is?"
"and would people take life so seriously if they thought of it as just an arcade game, a virtual experience? but i guess for now, there's nothing else. i mean, it's not like there ever is an external world that's real, that there's a room there where my brain is and there are plugs leading into the computer, no, it's completely cleanly invisibly wired, you know? i haven't got the best memory. i would say i have impressions and ideas of what life was before earth but nothing i can definitively say is a memory. it's not convincing to me the theory that time is a linear chain of progressive change, that the future will keep being different from the past. i don't think that's the case. i think it's most likely that when i die, game over on earth, i just go back to what it was before, you know?"