TED Conversations

Alex Swanson

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A literal online reality, based in a completely accurate "physics engine" ... A Utopia, of sorts.

The word "Utopia" has always scared me, as it should. Every attempt by humanity to create has ended in devastation. The fact of the matter is not human nature, as so many try to pin it on, but the problem is the world in which we live. We simply cannot create enough for everyone to have an equal share. We can generate resources, it simply does not happen.
But what if we create a world in which we can?
A virtual world.
Now I'm not saying that we create a virtual world that WE live in, but rather, we create a virtual world /that lives on its own/. We have already started. Online games creating their own universe, forging there own rules from the ground up. Why not take it one step further. Imagine the possibilities that could happen if we developed a physics engine that mirrored ours, then set a coded version of DNA to life inside the engine itself? We would not create life, but copy it into a computer system .A living, breathing being to exist inside a virtual reality. One being turns into a dozen, a dozen turns into a million. Imagine an entire reality that could exist in a virtual world. A world built from scratch. One where we could "copy, paste" food, water, shelter. What we can make here is limited. What can be made there is unlimited. What if the civilization of humanity was simply a stepping stone into a new humanity? A humanity where cancer could be found within coding, and simply deleted? A humanity where limitless knowledge can be accessed within your own mind?
Now, this for certain NO UTOPIA, for that idea is impossible, but is not one step closer?
It's an idea beyond modern technology. It would require immense detail, and immense effort to complete. WE just don't have it yet. Yet at the rate computers are advancing, is it really such an impossible idea?