Simulated Universe, Simplified
The mathematical and computational complexity of a simulated universe has been a constraint on the hypothesis. But one aspect of the universe, time, may provide a level of simplification that makes it feasible. It has been speculated that all of time, past, present and future, exist in what is referred to as the “block universe.” Such a construct requires very large amounts of data. However, individual entities, say humans, cannot observe the past as the only control they have with time is slowing it down to move to the future. This provides two levels of simplification for a simulation engine.
First, individual entities (IE) can only observe the past if the source is sufficiently away from them in space. This is because the information is carried at the speed of light and one has to be sufficiently away from the source of information to coincide with its arrival at one’s space coordinate. In other words, humans cannot observe yesterday or even last century from their current space coordinates that are in close proximity to historical positions. However, they can observe a past that is sufficiently away from them. They can observe the Sun as it were 8 minutes ago but not anything further back in time. And they can observe galaxies millions of light years away and even the origin of the universe. For the simulator, this provides a very nice simplification. As the observations at a distance that is possible for each individual entity is roughly the same, the past can be replaced by a single picture for everybody. In other words, individual pasts do not exist, only a combined singular past exists. The IE lives only in the present and none has a recent and customized past. The simulator can effectively disregard all past except for a single picture of the distant past that everybody can observe. This also simplifies the simulation of the IE as it lives only in the present and that can be reduced to a single bit of data, an on-off switch at the limit as time tends to 0.
Second, even though an IE can slow down time by moving fast or staying close to high gravity, such a traverse of time into the future is only perceived by the observer and not by the IE itself. This provides analogous simplification to the previous case, as the fast moving IE can be replaced by a singular picture for all observers. In other words, those who witness an IE moving into the future will all see the same. No customization is needed and just like the past, the future could be replaced by a single picture for all possible observers.
Thus, the simulation of the contemporary universe could be a lot simpler process without any variation in the past nor in the future for all participating IE. Further, the IE could be simulated by a single bit as it lives only in the present with no ability to move to the past or the future. The observational powers of IE into distant past and near future can be replicated by singular pictures that everybody observes.