Saturday, 6 August 2016


Bill gets some weird ideas, but that’s what we employ him for, not that he knows that since volunteering for the job. “Have you ever wondered if you’re really a brain in a jar, living in a simulation?”

I pointed out the obvious flaw, “If the simulation’s perfect, by definition you can’t tell. There’s surely a base reality at some level. Isn’t it simplest to suppose this is it?”

He was crestfallen for a moment, but then brightened up. “If it isn’t perfect, though, if there are flaws...”

“Like miracles?” I suggested. “But even religions mostly agree the age of miracles is over, if there ever was one.”

“Right,” he said, “The simulators patch them as soon as they notice. Maybe that’s what happens with freak science that doesn’t pan out, like cold fusion.”

I could see he was still turning this over, so I waited for him to come up with something. It’s what we employ him for, not that he knows it, like I said.

“Enlightenment experiences,” he finally said. “Not as common nowadays, but they still seem to happen. Maybe they can’t patch it out of our brains without destroying whatever it is they’re simulating us for. But none of these meditating monks realise what they’re dealing with, and anyone who stumbles on it by accident ends up either insane or preaching peace and love, not that there's anything wrong with peace and love but this is much bigger. Excuse me, I have to go and think about this.”

I took off my immersion rig and let the simulation handle my virtual body, as I contemplated Bill’s brain in the jar.

We were pretty sure we were in a simulation, and we desperately needed ideas for breaking out. How better than to simulate a simulation?

A shorter version of this will appear at Crap Mariner’s 100 Word Story Challenge tomorrow.

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