Dyson Spheres



You still awake?

“Yeah I think so. What time is it?”

Do you know what dyson spheres are?

“What are you talking about?

Dyson spheres. You know what they are?

“The vacuum cleaner?”

No. They’re hypothetical structures that capture all of a star’s energy output. Imagine a solid shell completely enclosing a star, perfectly maximizing the consumption of all of the star’s possible energy. It would make us a Type II civilization on the Kardashev scale. It would–

“That’s nice, hon.”

Know what a matrioshka brain is?


Multiple dyson spheres, nested inside of each other, like Russian dolls. It would extract the entire output of a star, channeling this incredible magnitude of energy into a godlike, hyperintelligent computer.

“You’re so cute when you–”

The question is, what possible uses could there be for a computer that powerful?

“I don’t know, baby.”

A perfectly simulated universe, that’s what. The most advanced virtual reality possible. Ever play a video game, like Super Mario 64, and go exploring just to check things out? But then sooner or later you hit the limits of the world that the programmers created? Walk in a straight path and sooner or later you hit an invisible wall? There’s be no walls in a matrioshka brain’s super virtual reality. Distances would be infinite. Details would be infinitesimal.

“Mmm. I gotcha.”



What if we’re living in a simulation? What if none of this is real?

“It’s getting late, honey. You should get to–”

How would we know? We wouldn’t know. We couldn’t know.

“I’d know.”

But how? You couldn’t. What is real?

“I’d feel it.”

But the simulation would fool us into feeling things!

“It wouldn’t fool me. Nothing can simulate the way I feel about you, babe. I know what real is. I love you.”

But isn’t love simply the release of oxycontin and dopamine? Surely a hyperintelligent AI would be able to–

“Oh shut it.”


“Shut up.”

Sorry, boo.




What if I told you I have a matrioshka heart? Multiple layers of love, powered by the sun? All for you?

“Too late.”

Night boo. Love you.


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