It’s a pretty fine line between nuts and genius

And I think Elon Musk has now crossed over that line:

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk claimed that there is only a “one in billions” chance we are not living in a Matrix-style computer simulation at Recode’s annual Code Conference this week.

“The strongest argument for us being in a simulation probably is the following: Forty years ago we had Pong. Like two rectangles and a dot. That was what games were,” said Musk.


Now, 40 years later we have photorealistic, 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously, and it’s getting better every year. Soon we’ll have virtual reality, augmented reality.

If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, even if that rate of advancement drops by a thousand from what it is now. Then you just say, okay, let’s imagine it’s 10,000 years in the future, which is nothing on the evolutionary scale.

So given that we’re clearly on a trajectory to have games that are indistinguishable from reality, and those games could be played on any set-top box or on a PC or whatever, and there would probably be billions of such computers or set-top boxes, it would seem to follow that the odds we’re in base reality is one in billions.  


Tell me what’s wrong with that argument…” asked Musk.

“So is the answer yes?” asked a member of the audience in reference to reality being an artificial simulation.

“The argument is probably… Is there a flaw in that argument?” he replied.

Musk continued to argue that it would be a good thing if we are living in a simulation, claiming that if we weren’t, a calamitous event will wipe out humanity and stop it from advancing.

“Arguably we should hope that that’s true, because otherwise if civilization stops advancing, that may be due to some calamitous event that erases civilization,” he argued. “So maybe we should be hopeful this is a simulation, because otherwise either we are going to create simulations indistinguishable from reality or civilization will cease to exist. Those are the two options”.

Given that he now thinks we live in the Matrix, can he hand back those real billions of dollars of subsidies?



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.