One idea is that we're living in a simulation, a fake universe Davies calls it. From reading The Fabric Of Reality, I've became convinced that even virtual reality can tell us a lot (maybe everything) about reality. So it was with a jolt that I read:
If the universe is a sham, why bother to find out how it works?I'd answer that even an illusion is real, it's just not what we think it is. A virtual reality simulation of a car isn't a real car, but it is modeled in a computer, which is real. So each part of the simulation maps onto a part of the computer, so you get a mapping between virtual reality and reality. If you can work out this mapping, you can understand reality!