# Ten conspiracy theories for nerds (or conspiracy theory theory)

Not your usual cup of tea, here is one of them:

The Simulation Argument.This is legion in popular culture from “The Matrix” and “Inception” and other sci-fi, so we’ll just refer you to Nick Bostrom’s formulation of it. In theory we could tell the difference if something happened in the manner of The Truman Show where a light labeled “Sirius” falls from the sky. But are there any such events?We offer one complexity-related observation. Although it is routine to say that classes like and have universal simulation, this isn’t strictly true. The universal function for doesn’t belong to —if it did, then would be in some fixed polynomial time bound, which it isn’t. Although proving this is technically murkier for “random” or “promise” classes like , the essential idea holds for any reasonable complexity class. Thus a universal simulation involves dropping down to a lower grade than the resources on which you draw. If our universe is convincingly universal, perhaps this is a well-motivated reason to reject the argument.

Perhaps the conspiracy is that so many people are intent on getting us to believe the simulation hypothesis. Here is another one:

Factoring Really Is Easy.This is similar to the last, but nowtheycan factor in polynomial time on a laptop, rather than need a quantum computer. Ken and I think this one has a much higher prior, almost on the order of “Breaking Engima Really Is Easy” in 1939.

If I understand properly, that is from a collaborative post from Pip and Ken Regan.