Are you a program?

You are born. Program Starts. You go to school. New subroutines are installed. You get your first job. New processing files are installed. You retire and die. Program reaches EOL. Are you a program? Some people in the scientific and philosopher circles are convinced that we are programs in an elaborate computer system. They claim this is the case because of the strange events happening in our day and age like the Oscars where “Moonlight” won instead of “La La Land” winning at the last moment or the Trump presidency. “La La Land” losing the Oscar is not proof of some higher intelligence doing a social experiment. It’s the sad or funny (depending on your point of view) f-up of an account who was to busy taking a photo of Emma Stone to keep the awards envelopes in order. While some could argue the Trump presidency has to be some sick teenage aliens’ idea of a practical joke, the normal mathematical statistics of life do make it possible. When 40 to 50 percent of the US population feel ignored and forgotten, anyone with a big enough purse can manipulate the situation and get in the oval office.

When I first heard this theory of our human existence just being programs in an elaborate virtual world, my first thought was ‘why, would anyone go through the effort?’. Some claim its a way for social scientist in the future to study past social phenomenon or to study their ancestors. Ok, that makes sense to a point. But as someone in this elaborate programmed world, I wonder why someone would go through the hassle to program me to be the way I am. Let’s say a future scientist is studying voting trends. If you need programmed people to vote either Democratic or Republican, then why have political parties or viewpoints that don’t allow for a person to vote their true convictions. I’m a socialist libertarian who mostly votes for candidates in the Democratic party. Not because I’m blown away by them. Though, there are a few that have promise. Mostly I vote Democratic because the Republicans in general seem so out of touch with reality and how most people live their lives. Plus, the hawkish warmongering views of the Republican party really make me uncomfortable, not to say the Democrats are much better. Wouldn’t it just be simpler to program me to be a Democrat instead of a Socialist Libertarian? It would be easier to program.

Example:

private String partyAffliation = “democrat”;


public boolean votes(String partyAffliation) { 

    if (partyAffliation.equalsIgnoreCase(“democrat”)) {

        return true;

    } 

    return false;

}

See… real simple to write compared with writing out a comparison class to determine which program should vote which way based on the thousand ways we view things politically. Why does it matter if a program likes blue over green unless the scientist are studying shopping and decorating trends. We humans are very complex. Our views on everything are mutable and sometimes change with the wind. I would hate to have to debug an exception when a program changes its “mind” then changes it yet again. Could you image the decision tree for a family of four or a group of friends figuring out dinner? Maybe that is why my food choices seem so narrow at times. My programmer got lazy.

But it’s not just my programmer being lazy. Why would a system need dog walkers or doormen for that matter? Programs can open their own doors. Dog owns can be programmed to think their dogs went on walks without a “full blown” human dog walker program taking up system memory. Why program someone to be a waiter or gas station attendant with full blown desires, wants, etc? The Japanese have more people in their population then jobs. To keep everyone a “productive” part of society, they have jobs that are not really necessary like greeters for stores and such. Why program extra people when they are just going to be greeters? Unless of course, the goal is to study a person mental health with a throw away job.  

Maybe the reason for so many programs is to have a certain amount of load on the system to study certain trends or statistical probability. Advance alien or future sociologist could be studying trends in group think. But even if those are the cases, why make us programs so complicated? The more complicated a system the more likely something will go wrong and ruin the study. So maybe, we are not here to be studied but we are here to entertain. And yes, watching a group of friends determine where they are going for dinner can be entertaining, but is war? Over the ages, we humans have had a violent history and current events are not any better. Not to sound pessimistic, but we let our xenophobia get the better of us more often than not. Maybe that is what the aliens are studying – 101 flavors of xenophobia to cripple a society. What if the scientist are studying an individual’s reaction to war? There is a lot of material to study there. Different cultures, religions, socio-economic status adds different variables for peoples’ reactions to the violence, destruction, and displacement of war.

What about those of us not directly effect by a war? Are we here to be studied or entertain? If i’m here to be someone else’s entertainment I feel really sorry for that entity because their life must be really boring to be entertained by me. Did they program me to feel sorry for them? I’m not sure I am sorry for them. Does that mean I’m malfunctioning? Will I be deleted soon or corrected with a new sub-routine? Is that what dreams are? New instructions being introduced to our programs. I’ve noticed that some nights, I will have different dreams but with the same theme or message being delivered – same message with different subroutines. If the advanced society or aliens are like the character Q from Star Trek, who is so bored that even we pesky humans looking interesting, it doesn’t say much for the future or aliens if they are entertained by me.

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