So I was out on my daily government sanctioned walk listening to the podcast for "Genre" and I had an idea. I checked the Westworld subreddit and didn't see anything about it so I thought I'd flesh it out here. I agree that by the end of the season we will find out that portions of the season were in a simulation, but I do not think this is a mirror world created by Robo Hobo or Serac.
In an interview before the season Jonathan Nolan said, “This is season is a little less of a guessing game and more of an experience with the hosts finally getting to meet their makers”. Now maybe I'm being a naive sweet summer child, but I believe him when he says this. If any of the current simulations theories are correct, then he straight up lied lol.
The show already has a established the letterbox aspect ratio as the cinematic language telling us were in a simulation. We see it in the Forge and in War World once Maeve realizes what's going on. We don't see this aspect ratio anywhere else in season 3 including the "glitches in the matrix" that people point to as evidence of a Robo Hobo simulation. It's one thing to have a twist. It's another thing to trick you're audience. Again that also is relevant to making “This is season...less of a guessing game...".
We know that there are limits to Robo Hobo's knowledge. That's essentially what the divergences are showing us. Even if Serac is aware of Delores' presence, he's unable to predict her actions, at least up until now. I doubt that Robo Hobo knows what Bernard and Stubbs are up to either considering he's a wanted man. Also just because of the nature of the story we mostly have hosts as POV characters. There are some possible glitches with Jesse, but he's not exactly a reliable narrator. Let's assume for the sale of argument that Serac is a regular human. I can't think of any simulation glitches from his POV. How would Robo Hobo be able to simulate all these scenes that are happening from a hosts POV? For example, the rocket scene with Bernard, I don't think Robo Hobo would have anyway of knowing what Bernard and Stubbs were up to at that time. That said, there could be more info in future episodes that knocks down this argument.
I went and did some research on Simulation Hypothesis, and by "reasearch" I mean I read the Wikipedia article lol. So here's Nick Bostrom's description
Many works of science fiction as well as some forecasts by serious technologists and futurologists predict that enormous amounts of computing power will be available in the future. Let us suppose for a moment that these predictions are correct. One thing that later generations might do with their super-powerful computers is run detailed simulations of their forebears or of people like their forebears. Because their computers would be so powerful, they could run a great many such simulations. Suppose that these simulated people are conscious (as they would be if the simulations were sufficiently fine-grained and if a certain quite widely accepted position in the philosophy of mind is correct). Then it could be the case that the vast majority of minds like ours do not belong to the original race but rather to people simulated by the advanced descendants of an original race.
The slight detail I think people are missing is that outside of the Westworld fandom discussions about Simulation Hypothesis usually center around us being inside an ancestor simulation. So my theory is that when we see these glitches were watching an ancestor simulation being run by the hosts in the far future when humanity is extinct or maybe severely endangered. If this is true it makes a re-watch more interesting without convoluting the plot or making Nolan a liar. Also if this is a far future simulation so powerful that it can simulate consciousness then I can forgive the show for not using the letterbox aspect ratio. There's essentially no way differentiate that simulation from reality. It also conveniently explains how the simulation knows what Delores and Bernard are doing throughout the season.
This would really tie in the post credit scene from season 2 where we see William
in the real world in his own version of an ancestor simulation. If humanity collapses they way that Robo Hobo predicts it, that explains why hosts would be interested in an an ancestor simulation or testing the MiB for fidelity. This also ties in with Ford's master plan to get hosts off the island and his sentiment that they are the next evolution of humanity.