A computer scientist, SETI enthusiast, musician, and mathematician at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. David Anderson is of the view that if we are indeed living in a computer simulation of reality, logic then stands to reason that we should be able to somehow hack that simulation. He calls this “Unisym”- a hypothetical software that can add fun features to reality. But Dr. Anderson says that there’s another way of doing this since a simulation of Earth would be very complex to run.
According to Anderson the alleged computer-simulated “meta-universe” would be written and maintained by “meta-hackers” — basically just extremely advanced computer engineers — who, in theory, might be able to field “feature requests” from humans.
“Is there a mechanism by which we — from within the simulation — can submit feature requests to the Unisym repository?” Anderson ponders in his blog. “It’s conceivable,” he continues, “that the meta-hackers consider “pull requests” — changes to the source code — from our universe.”
Realistically though, meta-hackers that are maintaining all of this can’t possibly know what all our demands are. Which is why Anderson says that he is there to manifest it all and to feed the meta-hackers any creative tasks such as maybe getting a count of all the words you’ve ever typed or even obtaining unlimited money. But if you do send Anderson any requests to relay to the meta-hackers, he does have on big rule to keep in mind.
“I’m only interested in changes… that allows a new version of Unisym to continue simulating starting from the current state,” he warns. “Otherwise, the meta-hackers would have to start simulating from the beginning, and I might not exist.”
A popular modification is what Dr. Anderson calls “the look of death,” the ultimate expression of road rage: With a blink of your eyes, you could doom offending drivers and their cars to be incinerated by a powerful laser.
“Each such request should fork a new universe, for obvious reasons,” Dr. Anderson writes on his blog.
“It’s a safe bet that someone would give me the look of death within a day or two,” he writes. “And within a few weeks nearly all drivers would be incinerated. So, it’s probably best to implement this so that each look of death forks a new universe where the requested incineration happens, but the original universe continues without it.”