Following the philosophically constructive conversation between Harris and Tegmark which I posted recently, I will begin my status with a narrative about an alien from a distant world, a world so distant that no mortal can intuit, and yet, our alien is JUST LIKE US ...
He emerged from a great cosmic leap--a feat made possible by incomprehensible physics and a contrivance capable of warping Euclidean space, thus rendering unimaginable distances nix. To his surprise, he had arrived on a planet called Earth, populated by seven billion people--exactly like the place he called 'home'. But it couldn't be because, according to his calculations, home should be in another region of the megaverse, a land far, far away ... a blue world called 'Earth', too!
Could it be that he had never left? Perhaps his invention had somehow malfunctioned or doomed to fail from the start due to a major fallacy in his theory, a suspicious assumption about how the fabric of existence is supposed to operate. His peers would bemock him if word got out that he had been thinking illogically or counterintuitively in his experimentation on the premise that quantum mechanics exhibits WEIRDNESS. But a review of his theory confirmed the absence of loopholes; its desired practicality had been achieved and the young scientist was indeed an untold number of parsecs from his known universe. He knew now that the universe is not round, it's flat in all directions and his mathematics predicted an infinite multidimensional space--a megastructure that no human could ever imagine.
Our explorer had been so engrossed in the physics of his invention that he had completely neglected the implications of ACTUAL infinity. The cosmos was vast enough to allow the repetition of intricate molecular patterns on a planetary scale--a galactic scale, even--and a particular course of events could manifest an infinite number of times. His newfound Earth--an exact replica where a Robert Oppenheimer still developed the first atomic bomb, the Holocaust happened, and 9/11 marked the collapse of the WTC--was only a NATURAL coincidence. If our Earth was unique in Euclidean space, instead of ubiquitous, then it would be eldritch. But the pious masses back home wouldn't see it like that. Such coincidence, if known, would confirm their unfounded beliefs. Too much COINCIDENCE for the natural world in their eyes so God would have to be behind it; the new Earth would necessarily be deemed a miracle--a sign from God--because many of us lacked probabilistic imagination.
But contemplation of this fictional yarn reveals that the scientist's invention--which permits him to emerge in distant regions of existential space--is far more incredible than another me and you living in a twin world way out there. I've just asked you to imagine a brainy ape deciphering reality's hidden variables, wherefrom the product of his investigation instructs him on what to do to skip the space-time fabric lying between his world and a distant replica. Remember the thought experiment with the eternal monkey who recreates the entire Shakespearean repertoire on a typewriter? What if we are, in a sense, just like the monkey against the richness of the discoverable and that which we wouldn't recognise even if it hit us in the face? Beings such as us might require eternities in order to uncover certain revolutionary breakthroughs. Our limited minds have a propensity for premising scenarios which postulate a world matching our expectations and intuitions, but reality isn't there to confirm our musings; it doesn't care what we think about it based on ignorance and assumption, it merely follows its own rules whether we have the capacity to comprehend it or not. Reality just is and it's here for all to see.