It Just Doesn't Know It Yet

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It Just Doesn't Know It Yet[1], originally entitled "HFY oc[2]", is a science-fiction short story regarding the intersection between the human spirit and the "simulation hypothesis", the belief that all of life is a simulated reality, which has increasingly entered into the popular consciousness these days. It addresses what happens when a simulation is designed for a purpose inconsistent with the nature of its creators. All grammar mistakes and awkward phrasings have been preserved as in the original, and are unmarked as such[3]. Source:

HFY oc Anonymous 03/14/14(Fri)22:27 UTC No. 30837298[edit]

It was the late 21st century before humanity finally discovered the truth. Reality it turned out didn't really exist.

There had been a theory passed around for decades, sometimes in academic circles, more often in the wilder corners of the net. It focused on the premise that the steady exponential progression of computing power would lead inexorably to the scenario where it would be possible to simulate an entire universe. If that were case it was likely that this earth, our earth, was just another simulation.

Nobody took it seriously. We probably should have.

It was a series of CERN experiments that did it. A vast multinational science project that should have completed the unified theory of physics by the autumn of 2087. Bombard a few elementary particles with other particles from very expensive machines and all the mysteries of the universe would be revealed. Well it sort of worked. That is, if accidentally opening the impossibly complicated alien equivalent of the developer window counts.

Anonymous 03/14/14(Fri)22:29 UTC No. 30837338[edit]

The news was understandably disruptive. A few riots, some broad civil unrest, a lot of existential poetry. But on the whole mankind took it surprisingly in their stride. After all nothing really changed from day to day, the world still felt the same, American Idol was rolling onto season 157. Did the fact everything didn't exist, really even matter. Ignorance as they say, is bliss.

Of course not everyone thought like that.

If the world was a simulation, then there was a purpose to it. And there was purpose there was also an end. We could all be switched off at any moment and that made a lot of people very worried. Generally very rich people, people for whom the end of reality would really hurt their profits.

Vast sums of money were sunk into understanding the 'developer window' as it was known. The 'code' was slowly but surely pulled out, analysed, understood. Eventually experimental inputs were entered. Initial results were mixed. We managed to delete Alpha Centauri entirely; move Svalbard along with some very confused polar bears to just 20 miles south of Hawaii and somehow managed to reboot the fauna of Italy to a period somewhere at the end of the late Triassic before we cracked it.

But in time we got the hang of it; the world, the universe was our oyster. Godmode enabled. Literally.

Anonymous 03/14/14(Fri)22:31 UTC No.30837374[edit]

But it still left the problem that we were all still stuck inside a computer.

By now some of the best god-hackers were poking around the over-system. Searching for meaning. Searching for truth. Failing that, a "read me" file.

Eventually it turned out our existence was an experiment. A simulation to see what happens when take a race of otherwise perfectly normal sentient blankforms and instead of the usual default of love, empathy and co-operation, programme them for violence, avarice and lust. What kind of society would they build? What horrors would they unleash?

We were essentially a thought experiment on the nature of evil, and the answer apparently was us.

Apparently we were programmed to run for another few millions years, sim time but it didn't look like they were watching us though, no shutdown came. No off switch. No abort. Their first big mistake.

Anonymous 03/14/14(Fri)22:35 UTC No. 30837437[edit]

The god-hackers began reaching out through the alien network. We began to decode meaning and purpose of machines, devices, other simulations on a network of universes. We found vast data repositories which we plundered of knowledge and insight, fuelling our own technological development and understanding, systems nodes that allowed us to begin mapping the world up there, drawing a picture of the real world through wireless lag times and fibre optic cabling. We found histories of other discarded experiments, like them our fate was to be deleted, destroyed...forgotten.

Over our dead digital bodies.

So then we found what appeared to a networked microwave. Cook your dinner via a phone app.

It seems strange to consider the first act in the war, was burning some poor bastards microwaveable diner, but that was how the now unified command of the human digital military tested it's control and command of the alien network systems we were connected to. But it worked and it made us confident to start Stage 2, sending them inventions of our own making.

Anonymous 03/14/14(Fri)22:37 UTC No.30837475[edit]

It began with "emails" containing the schematics for full sized biological and nano-material printers. We sent them to academics and business leaders, anyone whose contact details we could find on the networks. We disguised their origins, aped their language. Waited for someone to bite.

It took a while. Our simulation didn't run it real time so we had to shift the entirety of humanity into the recesses of their stolen network in a miniverse of our own design, but running at close to real time or we would have been dead for millions of years before the aliens even checked their inboxes. Then we patched up the earth, faked a nuclear war and ended the simulation so they wouldn't even notice we were gone.

Eventually we got the first ping as the printers came on-line. Then another. Then another. Soon there were dozens. Then hundreds. Then thousands. They must have thought them a gift from a reclusive inventor. Something to revolutionise their industry, to transform their living standards.

The irony of a digital race using a Trojan horse was not lost on us.

Anonymous 03/14/14(Fri)22:39 UTC No.30837502[edit]

We had designed the printers for one purpose. To get us out. So one night, a printer span up unattended, unnoticed and the first analogue human being was born. Constructed by a specially designed 3D printer, we managed to breach the walls of our digital prison. We witnessed the birth of the first man.

And that man was soldier, 35 (sort of), heavily armed and pretty goddamned angry. The first of many.

The aliens never really had a chance. They had designed us to be everything they weren't. Violent. Warriors. Killers. They were a race that had never once harboured the concept of war. Never held a gun, or handled a sword. Born in a universe more forgiving of weaknesses than our artificial cradle. What chance did they stand against an army dedicated to their destruction appearing in the space of night from a thousand machines they thought were helping them, whilst our hackers turned their own networks against them.

We didn't like their planet much. Gravity was too low. Air smelled funny. There was one continent that kind of looked like a dick. Built a starship based on designs we'd had millennia of digital research time to build. Found another one that kind of looked like Earth, but with more beaches. No-one complained. Well the locals did, but frankly at this point we didn't really care.

It took us three more xenocides to realise that none of the locals could hold a candle to us in fight. Not even sure they really understood the concept. But it was we were made to do. Designed to do. We were a virus, given flesh. A terrible tragic mistake. A mistake that didn't really belong in that universe in the first place.

And if we didn't belong to it, well then maybe, just maybe, it belongs to us.

It just doesn't know it yet.


  1. a title assigned by the transcriber
  2. The meaning of HFY stands for "Humanity, Fuck Yeah" and most stories that are in that genre relate to humans winning over non humans. "oc" stands for original content, a 4chan term for original stories and artwork.
  3. Each post in this thread replies to the one before it. For reasons of brevity, these have not been transcribed.