It's interesting to me that the simulation hypothesis has so much in
common with Buddhist philosophy. In fact, Buddhism already answers this
sort of thing.
Alan Watts, as a Zen Buddhist, presented the view that life is essentially
a game played out at the cosmic level. All life is essentially the
source of consciousness, God, the Atman.. whatever you want to call it.
God desired to experience life as Alan Watts, and Richard Nixon, and dogs,
and lions and gazelle in order to expand its experience, its awareness, of
Put another way, intelligent life is the part of the universe that
endeavors to understand itself. We're the Universe's subconscious. We are
the dreams of the ultimate mind.
So, the equivalent Buddhist question would be - why would an incredibly
advanced mind dream of us? Well, the answer to that is why do you dream
the things you dream? It's a statement of desire, or of dread - because
fundamentally life is a bit boring, and its much better if you're banging
supermodels or running from zombies. So those things come up in dreams.
Likewise, its incredibly boring being God. Imagine it. Never being
surprised, needing nothing, all goals can be met without the slightest
effort, and so on. It would be an incredible drag.
Casting this notion into the framework of a simulation, one might say that
this advanced civilization is simply bored. Imagine Star-Trek type
technology, where you just hit a button and get a perfect steak. The SAME
steak, every time. There is no need to cook, because you'll never beat the
machine, and yet in the end.. it all ends up tasting plastic.
Even with our meager technology, a great many people enjoy "roughing it"
in the woods, camping and going low-tech. They enjoy getting away from TVs
and phones and nonsense, and getting back to a more basic existence.
No need for existential crisis. Just a desire for life to be flavorful.
> So many people have proposed we're simulated...
> Now why would such an extremely advanced civilization / collective
> want to simulate us? Is this an unanswered question?
> Certainly they have long since
> - solved biology, live forever, down/up load their brains against trauma
> - solved life and mobility throughout their universe
> - lost and forgotten their prehistory
> - etc
> They could sim anything they want. So why sim us?
> Because something happened to them, something very big, something
> serious and existentially threatening. And now they're *desperately*
> trying to learn about death, life, humanity, the individual... something
> they lost but is still encoded in them just enough to let them think of
> making the sim...