More proof that scientists need to open the windows a little more and inhale the fumes a little less comes with the news that New Zealand scientist Brian Whitworth is planning to explore whether or not the world is, as Lawrence Fishburne tried to tell us, just an elaborate virtual reality simulation after all. Such an idea is a sci-fi staple by now - appearing in not only The Matrix but also The Invisibles and smegma-obsessed '80s sitcom Red Dwarf amongst others - but Whitworth's willing to take it futher.

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[L]ogically the world could be an information simulation running on a three-dimensional space-time screen. Indeed, if the essence of the universe is information, matter, charge, energy and movement could be aspects of information, and the many conservation laws could be a single law of information conservation. If the universe were a virtual reality, its creation at the big bang would no longer be paradoxical, as every virtual system must be booted up.


If true, then the real question will end up being, "Who is the cosmic Steve Jobs?"
The Physical World As A Virtual Reality [arxiv.org]