What is real? It's a question that has puzzled and amused countless people. As human beings, we're capable of directly perceiving only a fraction of what surrounds us. From a personal point of view, reality seems pretty limited. Is the Internet real? Am I real? Are you?
Many philosophers have put forth the notion of reality being an illusion. One recent version of this theory made the news in 2003. That's when Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at the University of Oxford, put forth an interesting question. What if our reality is actually a computer world that exists in some other reality? At first, you might scoff at the suggestion. But Bostrom's argument is fascinating.
First, Bostrom says, assume that we will reach a point technologically in which we can create a simulated version of a universe -- perhaps even a copy of our own. This could be the singularity, when humans use our understanding of technology and biology to become transhuman. Bostrom argues that if we can create a universe simulation, we almost certainly will do so. Further, we would probably create as many simulations as we could in order to learn more about our own universe, among other reasons.