Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Life, the universe and everything

In a program to be screened soon on Britain's Channel 4, the Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees opines that the entire universe we know may be a simulation in the computer of a race of super beings.

Not a new idea. Douglas Adams proposed as much in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The film The Matrix had it too. In fact, the idea has been kicking around in science fiction for years.

What if we are all just characters in a game controlled by joysticks in the hands of Olympian divinities? That would explain the sex and violence. "Yahoo!" shouts Zeus, "I just leveled Fallujah!"