Turing Church newsletter 10/1/2021

Turing Church news, thoughts, reading list.

Greetings to all subscribers, and special greetings to the paid subscribers! Yesterday I was discussing with a journalist and I realized that I am still very much of a double mind about whether Turing Church should or shouldn’t become a more organized church. I am thinking about this, comments welcome.

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Much to my surprise, I found that I like doing the podcast. I understand that a well done podcast (I’m a beginner and I have much to learn, but I will learn) is a very immediate and effective communication channel.

In the last podcast episode I started explaining my views on technological resurrection, which is a cornerstone of Turing Church. For the next podcast episode, hopefully to be recorded next week, I will have one or more guests. I will alternate between monologues and discussions like this discussion with Lincoln and Micah. To record podcast episodes with guests I use the Stage channel of the Turing Church Discord server. This allows others to listen in and ask questions in real time. If you want to participate please join the Turing Church Discord server (see the About page).

The Inspiration4 story ends with the release of the fifth and final episode of the Netflix show "Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space."

More and more ordinary people will have the chance of going to space, and eventually humanity will expand beyond the Earth. This has important spiritual implications. See my book “Futurist spaceflight meditations.”

Reading list

The Simulation Hypothesis: An MIT Computer Scientist Shows Why AI, Quantum Physics and Eastern Mystics All Agree We Are In a Video Game” (2019), by Rizwan Virk.

For those unfamiliar with the simulation hypothesis, it is the idea that our reality is a simulation computed in a higher level of reality. In simpler words, the world is some kind of game universe and we are characters in the game. Virk’s book traces the history of the simulation hypothesis and outline its implications.

Analogies with computer games help making sense of issues in fundamental physics, such as the limit speed of light, quantum entanglement, and quantum collapse. For example, it doesn’t make much sense to waste resources to compute something that nobody is looking at. Better to compute it just in time when somebody is looking. But perhaps this is more than an analogy and the universe is really some kind of computer game? In a simulated universe, time travel to the past is a rewind of the simulation to a previous state.

I think “The Simulation Hypothesis” is a great work of popular scientific speculation with spiritual implications. Virk says, and I agree, that the simulation hypothesis “bridges the gap between religion and science in ways that weren’t possible before,” and “may just be the answer that provides a single framework, a coherent model that brings together science and religion.”

This is, I believe, something that today’s world very much needs. I never miss a chance to emphasize that the simulation hypothesis, inspired by technology, is essentially equivalent to religion.

In the last few days I have been reading an advance copy of Virk’s sequel to the book. “The Simulated Multiverse: An MIT Computer Scientist Explores Parallel Universes, The Simulation Hypothesis, Quantum Computing and the Mandela Effect” will be published on October 15. I will post a review next week.

Philip Dick is the hero of “The Simulated Multiverse.” With his visions of multiple realities and simultaneous alternative timelines, Dick often anticipated Virk. I have been re-reading Dick’s works and watching the Amazon TV show “The Man in the High Castle,” inspired by Dick’s novel of the same name. Dick’s philosophical writings are published in the collections “The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick: Selected Literary and Philosophical Writings” and “The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick.”

A few months ago I was interviewed on a Swiss RadioTV show (in Italian) dedicated to Philip Dick on occasion of the publication of new Italian translations of his works (beginning with “Ubik”). In my interview (part 3) I emphasized the enormous impact of science fiction masters like Dick on culture and science.

Dick is featured in Gregory Benford’s novel “Rewrite” (see my review), where some people remember other timelines and can intervene to change their current timeline.

Dick also speculated on how it all could work. “Ubik” (my favorite Dick’s novel) presents “a motion along a retrograde entropic axis,” Dick said, which “could be called a scientific rather than a philosophical idea.”