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November 24, 2021

The Simulated Multiverse by Rizwan Virk ~ a Nonfiction Review

by MK French

Rizvwan Virk is a successful entrepreneur, investor, bestselling author, video game industry pioneer, and indie film producer. Virk currently runs Play Labs @ MIT, leading to a unique experience able to explore the idea of parallel worlds and multiple simulated realities. With the media dealing with multiverses, it's definitely a hot topic right now. Riz had previously spoken on the topic and wrote the book "The Simulation Hypothesis," outlining the hypothesis that our reality is a simulation, rather like the Matrix.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Simulated Multiverse
October 2021; Bayview Books; 978-1954872004
ebook, print (353 pages); nonfiction

This book goes further than that, outlining at first how he came to research this book, then the theory of the Mandela effect and what the simulation hypothesis is. From there, Virk moves on to the concept of multiverses, quantum worlds as a way to create multiverses, how to build digital worlds, and the algorithms necessary to run the simulations for each digital world. This background draws from philosophy, the famous Platonic shadows in the cave, as well as how philosophers thought about consciousness, to more modern attempts at explaining digital worlds and the possibility that our world is a simulation. It's a theme brought up by multiple people over time and isn't quite the crackpot theory that it first sounds like.

At first, I highlighted my copy of the book, and it felt like when I used to read books on string theory for fun. (Yes, I'm a nerd and used to read more scientifically than just sci-fi and fantasy.) This does involve mention of string theory in the section of quantum mechanics, as string theory posits multiple dimensions beyond the four we're used to. (length, width, height, and space-time) These other dimensions exist mathematically and involve geometry and physics beyond easy understanding. This kind of reality is currently involved in cutting-edge computing, and our technology is making great strides in virtual and augmented reality. Many movies for various reasons use virtual backgrounds and sometimes even characters in shots, which can be nearly indistinguishable from reality for the average viewer. What if our reality is the same way? What if we're all in a really complex simulation?

Trying to define reality and consciousness is a difficult question and one that occupied many great minds for centuries. New discoveries in math and science force new interpretations to concepts once held to be inviolate, and Virk is doing the same with our sense of reality. This is a fascinating book to read, and it's laid out in easy-to-understand language, even if you didn't read string theory for fun! The concepts build on each other, laying out the framework of the theory and what evidence there is behind it. Even if you don't believe that we're living in a computer simulation, this is a start to understanding the theory and the concepts that are being played around with in the media today.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever. 

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