The current cottage industry in philosophy departments of speculation about our living in a simulation stems from a conversation I had with Hans Moravec at the Artificial Life conference in 1987. (I was invited because I knew the organizer, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... when he was a volunteer at the L5 Society.) Hans was rapping about the ever falling cost of computation and waving around a two inch thick paper draft of “Mind Children.” On the spur of the moment, I stopped him and said, “Hans, do you realize how unlikely it is that this is the first time we have had this conversation?” Hans gave me this really blank look, rare on one of the brightest people I have known. I explained that, given the ever falling cost of computation, we would eventually simulate history, including this conversation. And like Civil War reenactments and SCA, we would do it many times, making the chances of this being the first time virtually zero. Hans went away sandbagged. He later wrote “Pigs in Cyberspace,” references here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
We also discussed the conversation and the topic on the Extropian mailing list in the early 1990s.
Thinking back, I must have had in the back of my mind a book, Simulacron-3, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... that I read many years before.
Elon Musk doesn’t take this speculation seriously because he consistently works hard to make our world a more interesting place. You can’t take a chance that this is not the base reality.
On the other hand, perhaps making the world more interesting is a way to keep the simulation sysops from turning it off. :-)
PS Speaking of making things more interesting
Shorter version that was shown at the White House recently