In the newly released movie The Lost City, the main characters unknowingly live inside a simulation that expresses itself in different ways.
Firstly, writing books can feel as if you are living in a self-created simulation. You laugh and cry with the characters, you feel what they are feeling. The same is true for reading and watching movies. From time to time we are all living inside a simulation when fully immersed in a story. However, the main characters in The Lost City take it a step further. The writer of romantic adventure novels, Loretta (Sandra Bullock), and the cover model of the book, Alan (Channing Tatum), are fully immersed in their fictional worlds. This results in her mistakenly calling him by his character’s name instead of his real one and him responding to his character’s name. They are living in her created simulation and have lost track of what is real and what is not.
Secondly, the movie shows that there is a very big difference between traveling in a simulation, as in the VR-time machine, and truly walking around in the jungle. You can feel immersed in a simulation, it can feel as if you are walking around, yet, there is no actual danger of you getting hurt or, even worse, dying.
Loretta has written jungle adventures thousands of times over. However, when they find themselves stranded in the jungle, Loretta and Alan have a lot of trouble at first. She should be familiar with what next step to take, yet she does not seem confident. In addition, Alan believes he can do anything the main character from Loretta’s book can do. This is not the case and results in some very hilarious situations.
Thirdly, our idea of value depends on the time and place we are living in. The idea of value is a simulation, where what we have learned in our environment decides what is connected to the word ‘value’. For example, the idea of the value of new cryptocurrencies is all a simulation because the currency only exists online.
The characters in The Lost City have a mostly capitalist idea of value. According to them, the invaluable Crown of Fire as told about in legends must be made out of red diamonds. Extremely valuable equals expensive materials. When they finally find the treasure, it appears to be a crown made out of red seashells that the king collected for his wife. Its extreme value was not connected to the material, but to the message of true love that it portrayed. The idea of value changed over time from something natural, of seashells and love, to something we can get money for, red diamonds. Maybe we should find the natural sense of value again. Maybe we can find that in the Next Nature.