The Andromeda galaxy and everything else in the known universe, including us, could be part of an advanced simulation. Indeed, this is the most probable scenario, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast on Sept. 7, 2018.
Credit: S. Ozime

Elon Musk thinks we’re all probably trapped in a “Matrix”-like pseudo existence.

The universe is 13.8 billion years old, so any civilizations that may have arisen throughout the cosmos have had loads and loads of time to hone their technological know-how, the SpaceX founder and CEO explained early this morning (Sept. 7) during a long, wide-ranging and very entertaining appearance on comedian Joe Rogan’s popular podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.”

“If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then games will be indistinguishable from reality, or civilization will end. One of those two things will occur,” Musk said. “Therefore, we are most likely in a simulation, because we exist.” [13 Ways to Hunt Intelligent Aliens]

“I think most likely — this is just about probability — there are many, many simulations,” he added. “You might as well call them reality, or you could call them multiverse.”

The “substrate” on which these simulations are running, whatever it may be, is probably quite boring, at least compared to the simulations themselves, Musk further told Rogan.

“Why would you make a simulation that’s boring? You’d make a simulation that’s way more interesting than base reality,” Musk said, citing the video games and movies that humanity makes, which are “distillation[s] of what’s interesting about life.”

The billionaire entrepreneur is far from alone in this interpretation; a number of physicists, cosmologists and philosophers find the simulation hypothesis compelling. If even one advanced alien civilization with a predilection for creating simulations has ever arisen out there, the reasoning goes, then it could theoretically pop off thousands — or perhaps even millions or billions — of “fake” universes. And it would be hard for the inhabitants of these digital realms to figure out the truth, because all the evidence they could gather would likely be planted by the creators. 

Indeed, the simulation idea is one of many possible explanations for the famous Fermi paradox, which basically asks, “Where is everybody?” (“Everybody” being aliens, of course.)

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The Atlantic hurricane season remains relatively quiet but the Pacific has been active.
NOAA Hurricane hunters flying into Hurricane Lane.NOAA

The Atlantic hurricane season remains relatively quiet but the Pacific has been active. As I write this, powerful Typhoon Soulik is threatening Japan and Hurricane Lane is a major hurricane that may now pose a threat to the United States this week. The latest models are projecting Hurricane Lane to move almost directly toward the islands of Hawaii, particularly some of the more populated areas. Here are five things that you need to know about Hurricane Lane.

Current Status (at the time of writing). At the 11 pm Hawaii Standard Time advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Lane had sustained winds of 150 mph and was moving westward at 12 mph. When sustained winds in a hurricane exceed 110 mph it is classified as a major hurricane. Lane is a powerful category 4 storm and the latest information from the National Hurricane Center says,

At 1100 PM HST (0900 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Lane was located by
aircraft near latitude 14.0 North, longitude 151.2 West. Lane is
moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 km/h) and this motion is
expected to continue through Tuesday, with some slowing in forward
speed. A gradual turn toward the northwest is expected Wednesday
into Thursday…..Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles (65 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles (205 km)……The estimated minimum central pressure is 950 mb (28.06 inches)………A Hurricane Watch may be required for portions of the main Hawaiian Islands on Tuesday.

Why Lane May Threaten Hawaii. According to hurricane forecasters, the weather forecast models have gradually converged to a solution that brings a northwest turn to Lane over the period Tuesday to Thursday (graphic above). By mid-week, Lane will be on the western side of an area of high pressure called a ridge, which will influence its more northwesterly trajectory. Initially this week, one of the more reliable models run by the Europeans was on the left side of the range of forecast tracks but has recently clustered with other models. The American GFS model (graphic below) brings Lane perilously close to the major islands by Thursday evening.

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Kroger is now offering driverless food delivery from one store in Scottsdale Arizona
You now have a chance to try Kroger’s self-driving grocery delivery… if you happen to live in the right part of Arizona.

70 Percent Of Consumers Will Be Grocery Shopping Online By 2024

You now have a chance to try Kroger’s self-driving grocery delivery… if you happen to live in the right part of Arizona.

You now have a chance to try Kroger’s self-driving grocery delivery… if you happen to live in the right part of Arizona. The chain has launched its driverless delivery pilot at a single Fry’s Food Stores location in Scottsdale, giving you a chance to receive foodstuffs courtesy of Nuro’s autonomous vehicles. Order through the Fry’s website or app and the robotic courier can deliver either the same day or next day for a $6 flat fee. You’ll have to live in the same 85257 ZIP code, so you can’t make them drive across town just to satisfy your curiosity.

Sadly, you won’t see Nuro’s custom R1 vehicle (above) roll up to your home in the earliest stages of the pilot — it’ll be a modified Toyota Prius instead, and the very first phase will include a just-in-case driver. The purpose-built machines will only start delivering your goods sometime in the fall, after they’ve completed certification and testing.

This isn’t the first self-driving grocery test in the state, as Waymo and Walmart are trialing pick-ups in Phoenix. This is, however, the first real chance many will have for driverless delivery. Just don’t expect to see this service spread far and wide for a while. Autonomous car companies have gravitated toward Arizona both due to its support for truly driverless testing as well as its warm climate and relatively sparse population. You won’t see mass adoption until completely driverless cars are both legal in more states and know how to handle snow, ultra-dense traffic and similar hazards.

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