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Thread: The Simulation Argument

  1. #1 The Simulation Argument 
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    Found this to be interesting.
    The Simulation Argument (SA).
    Paper by Nick Bostrom:
    ARE YOU LIVING IN A COMPUTER SIMULATION?
    Abstract
    This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.
    The conclusion sounds fun.
    Conclusion:
    A technologically mature “posthuman” civilization would have enormous computing power. Based on this empirical fact, the simulation argument shows that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage is very close to zero; (2) The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero; (3) The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one.

    If (1) is true, then we will almost certainly go extinct before reaching posthumanity. If (2) is true, then there must be a strong convergence among the courses of advanced civilizations so that virtually none contains any relatively wealthy individuals who desire to run ancestor-simulations and are free to do so. If (3) is true, then we almost certainly live in a simulation. In the dark forest of our current ignorance, it seems sensible to apportion one’s credence roughly evenly between (1), (2), and (3).
    Unless we are now living in a simulation, our descendants will almost certainly never run an ancestor-simulation.
    Emphasis mine.

    Also, a nice blog entry about the SA.
    The dark side of the Simulation Argument

    And something for laughs.

    Also:
    The Simulation Argument FAQ


    The old brain-in-a-vat argument, rehashed. Damned if it is true, damned if it is not. Have fun.


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  3. #2 Re: The Simulation Argument 
    Forum Ph.D. Leszek Luchowski's Avatar
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    Simulations of human personalities, communities, and entire civilizations is already quite common. If not on computers, it is done in the brains of fiction writers and movie script authors.

    So you can start by looking for some evidence for or against the proposition that you are a character in a book or a movie; a concept exploited in Sylvester Stallone's Last Action Hero.


    Leszek. Pronounced [LEH-sheck]. The wondering Slav.
    History teaches us that we don't learn from history.
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