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Author Topic: We're almost certainly living in a simulation  (Read 1745 times)
herzmeister
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April 11, 2012, 09:36:14 PM
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It is most rational to assume that we're all very likely not living in a real universe, but in a simulated universe. We're being simulated on the hard drives of computers of the future.

This is called the "Simulation argument" and is seriously discussed in academic circles. It was introduced in a paper by philosopher Nick Bostrom of Oxford University.

There is little to assume to make this argument robust. Consciousness is at last the result of information processing. Then you have to grant that humans of the future build and run simulations of the past in the way we run simulations today (Sims games, etc), and then there is just one short move: the simulated universes almost by definition will outnumber real universes, and therefore we're far more likely to be among the simulated ancestors than the real ancestors.

Found in this video debate about consciousness and afterlife (sequence starting at 18m 20s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbzd6ZbCowY&t=18m20s

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulation_argument
Bostrom's Paper: http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html

Quote
[...] 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. It is then possible to argue that, if this were the case, we would be rational to think that we are likely among the simulated minds rather than among the original biological ones. Therefore, if we don’t think that we are currently living in a computer simulation, we are not entitled to believe that we will have descendants who will run lots of such simulations of their forebears. [...]

So what does this mean for Bitcoin? It's an in-game currency for this simulated universe, will they trade with it in the next outer simulated universe? And the next? omg buy buy buy!  Shocked

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wogaut
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April 11, 2012, 09:52:55 PM
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Well, I say "cogito ergo sum" (I think therefore I am), so it is irrelevant to me and my life whether we are in a lab system or not.

Stephen Hawking also basically says that it would be hard for us to figure out whether we live in a simulation as long as the laws of nature are consistent. He is quick to also add an argument against that, since it would be rather "entertaining" for our masters to tinker with the laws of nature, which to our best knowledge hasn't happened yet.

Then also, quoting from the Matrix movie:
Cypher: [Cuts a piece of steak and holds it in front of him] I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After 9 years, you know what I have learned? [Eats the piece of steak and sighs contently] Ignorance is bliss.

Mmmmmm, steak...

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April 11, 2012, 10:09:38 PM
 #3

It is most rational to assume that we're all very likely not living in a real universe, but in a simulated universe. We're being simulated on the hard drives of computers of the future.

This is called the "Simulation argument" and is seriously discussed in academic circles. It was introduced in a paper by philosopher Nick Bostrom of Oxford University.

There is little to assume to make this argument robust. Consciousness is at last the result of information processing. Then you have to grant that humans of the future build and run simulations of the past in the way we run simulations today (Sims games, etc), and then there is just one short move: the simulated universes almost by definition will outnumber real universes, and therefore we're far more likely to be among the simulated ancestors than the real ancestors.

Found in this video debate about consciousness and afterlife (sequence starting at 18m 20s):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbzd6ZbCowY&t=18m20s

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulation_argument
Bostrom's Paper: http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html

Quote
[...] 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. It is then possible to argue that, if this were the case, we would be rational to think that we are likely among the simulated minds rather than among the original biological ones. Therefore, if we don’t think that we are currently living in a computer simulation, we are not entitled to believe that we will have descendants who will run lots of such simulations of their forebears. [...]

So what does this mean for Bitcoin? It's an in-game currency for this simulated universe, will they trade with it in the next outer simulated universe? And the next? omg buy buy buy!  Shocked

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D0BeLz5blM&t=1m23s

Introducing constraints to the economy only serves to limit what can be economical.
herzmeister
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April 11, 2012, 10:33:24 PM
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since it would be rather "entertaining" for our masters to tinker with the laws of nature, which to our best knowledge hasn't happened yet.

Our regular laws of nature are already weird enough.

* Quantum superposition, probability waves collapsing into particles where there is an observer => rendering engine much?

* Quantum entanglement => references to the same object in the machine's memory much?

* Error correcting computer code discovered within equations of string theory  Shocked

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bool eval(bool b){return b ? b==true : b==false;}


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April 11, 2012, 10:41:11 PM
 #5

 ... it´s the mice! Read the book! It´s all written in the book!

The paining (sic!) is done with the QPainter class inside the paintEvent() method.
(source: my internet)
wogaut
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April 11, 2012, 10:42:10 PM
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since it would be rather "entertaining" for our masters to tinker with the laws of nature, which to our best knowledge hasn't happened yet.
Our regular laws of nature are already weird enough.

And you would just leave it at that running your simulation and look at it like a TV show? I certainly wouldn't; too tempting to mess with it. Or maybe they are messing with it once in a while, then the whole simulation crashes or gets out of hand and they just restart it from a backup and we'll never know.



Ean
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April 12, 2012, 02:52:35 AM
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We're being simulated on the hard drives of computers of the future.

What future? The simulated future? So we live in a simulation run by computers that hasn't been simulated yet?

Quote from: Douglas Adams
The World Wide Web is the only thing I know of whose shortened form takes three times longer to say than what it's short for
the joint
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April 12, 2012, 02:55:59 AM
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This is fun, except it's wrong.

But it's close.

herzmeister
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April 12, 2012, 07:15:43 AM
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There is no such morality in the modern scientific mathematical-mechanical world view either. You have no free will, you are determined by your genes and the imprinting from your environment. Guilt, responsibility would be merely artificial constructs.

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organofcorti
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Poor impulse control.


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April 12, 2012, 07:26:13 AM
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I just told my Ex-wife that this is just a simulation so I’m not sending the child support next month.  She told me her attorney specializes in simulated ass raping in court. Any ideas how I can get this program to crash before next month?

Not without thermonukes. Many, many thermonukes, cbh.

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Nachtwind
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April 12, 2012, 07:35:54 AM
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You computer scientists need such a huge amount of money for your work. You buy computers, components etc. Take an example on the matematicians - they only need paper, pen and a trashcan.. or even better, look at the philosophers - they dont even have a trashcan.
organofcorti
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Poor impulse control.


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April 12, 2012, 08:06:32 AM
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You computer scientists need such a huge amount of money for your work. You buy computers, components etc. Take an example on the matematicians - they only need paper, pen and a trashcan.. or even better, look at the philosophers - they dont even have a trashcan.

You sound like you're already living in Permutation City.

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April 12, 2012, 11:01:32 AM
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I just told my Ex-wife that this is just a simulation so I’m not sending the child support next month.  She told me her attorney specializes in simulated ass raping in court. Any ideas how I can get this program to crash before next month?

You just have to terminate your ex-wife process, easy peasy.

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April 12, 2012, 04:49:49 PM
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I just told my Ex-wife that this is just a simulation so I’m not sending the child support next month.  She told me her attorney specializes in simulated ass raping in court. Any ideas how I can get this program to crash before next month?

You just have to terminate your ex-wife process, easy peasy.
$ kill -9 ex-wife && ps aux | grep ex-wife

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the joint
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April 15, 2012, 07:38:01 PM
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There is no such morality in the modern scientific mathematical-mechanical world view either. You have no free will, you are determined by your genes and the imprinting from your environment. Guilt, responsibility would be merely artificial constructs.

Gotta love false dichotomies.

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April 15, 2012, 07:45:40 PM
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Gotta love false dichotomies.

which one  Angry

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April 15, 2012, 07:46:54 PM
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Gotta love false dichotomies.

which one  Angry

Free will vs. Determinism.

herzmeister
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April 15, 2012, 08:03:52 PM
 #18

all right, to save you some time, I asked the mighty interwebz oracle myelf, as you can find anything these days, and I got this:

http://www.optimal.org/peter/freewill.htm

In the end of the day it's all in the definition of such terms. With new findings in science and technology they have to be re-defined perhaps, and also anybody can tweak them a bit for the purpose of writing some smart essay.

Quote
Conclusion

Are we just glorified robots ? Is a Porsche Turbo just a glorified '54 Beetle ? Perhaps

In the same vein, the author goes the "glorified determinism" route here imho.

(Maybe discussion of this should continue in another thread if desired.)

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April 15, 2012, 08:55:38 PM
 #19

Free-Will (Intention) is self-evident.  Determinism is reasoned ('X' caused 'Y').  They are complimentary to each other at the same time they're differentiated.

This is a good place to start when you run into philosophical dichotomies and/or paradoxes:

Any logical understanding of anything is fundamentally binary.  This is true because any particular condition is only identified in contrast to what it is not (e.g. An apple is an apple because it's not a not-apple).  Everything is understood through a series of yes-or-no operations.  That is, a logical understanding of something requires that it be understood in yes-or-no operations and not yes-and-no operations, until you shift your understanding to a higher level of syntax.  Only when you shift to a higher syntax do yes-and-no operations exist.

As an example of this shift in syntax, consider spatial dimensions.  Zero dimensions is represented by an infinitesimally small point with no height, width, or length.  The first dimension is linear, the 2nd-dimension is a planar, the 3rd adds depth, the 4th is time-based, etc.  Each successive dimension represents the sum of all possible combinations of conditions in lower dimensions.  So, for example, the time-based dimension contains all possible combinations of conditions in the 3rd dimension.  That is, it contains them simultaneously.

This simply means that paradoxes (i.e. two occurring events that are understood to be mutually exclusive at a lower level of syntax) exist at higher syntax levels.  Free-Will and Determinism are not exceptions.

herzmeister
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April 15, 2012, 10:16:21 PM
 #20

ah yes, that's in line with Hegel's Thesis, Antithesis, Synthesis triad.

I was basing my statement on a specific scientific world view though, where this triad would not apply simply because one of the theses is already falsified, i.e. where your statement

Quote
Free-Will (Intention) is self-evident.

would not be agreed upon. But again, probably just another matter of exact definition.

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