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Simulation Argument
Posted: 12 October 2011 10:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 106 ]
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Otis - 12 October 2011 06:11 PM
domokato - 12 October 2011 05:41 PM

Otis, how can the SA only require simulation of phenomena at the human level of perception when in actuality we can observe lower levels of phenomena like atoms and quarks?

It’s a sceptical argument, the idea is that if something isn’t directly observed then it isn’t necessary to implement it. Neither you nor I directly observe atoms or quarks, but if we were to perform some experiment that investigated these scales then QM/QFT would be implemented in the region of the experiment, at all other times the approximate implementation is sufficient.

QM/QFT locally implemented in the region of the experiment? Without an ancestor? That’s easy to say. 

The original paper presenting the Simulation argument:
   

Are You Living In a Computer Simulation? Nick Bostrom. Philosophical Quarterly, 2003, Vol. 53, No. 211, pp. 243-255. [html] [pdf] (An earlier draft was circulated in 2001.)
  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.

IMO, the foregoing means we are currently NOT living in a simulation (no 3) and therefore unable to create an ancestor simulation (no 2).
Therefore (1) is true.  This is what I have been arguing.
However (1) extinction before a post human stage is reached is of no significance to the universe.

I can envision a functioning Big (humanlike) AI in the real world, not the other way around. If we are living in a simulation then the concept of god is true. Who is the programmer and controller of this simulated world, a single BIG AI providing the digital environment and a population of little AIs, behaving and responding to this environment? And no matter what the little Ais investigate, the Big AI will provide the details at a local level?
    Scary thought.

[ Edited: 13 October 2011 10:01 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 15 October 2011 10:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 107 ]
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Write4U - 12 October 2011 10:55 PM

QM/QFT locally implemented in the region of the experiment? Without an ancestor? That’s easy to say.

I assume where you refer to an ancestor you mean that you find it implausible that QM/QFT could be implemented without a prior state? Maybe, maybe not, but in ignorance of how one would go about implementing such a thing and of what it would take to actually simulate human-style experience I’m willing to entertain these kind of assumptions because all we have are guesses (unless you can show me something that I have directly experienced that isn’t computable). On the other hand, personally, I think that simulations of the type considered by Bostrom are fantastically implausible, as wildly naive estimates of the number of operations it would take to simulate civilized history and heartfelt appeals to Moore’s law do not lend the argument any credibility in my eyes.

IMO, the foregoing means we are currently NOT living in a simulation (no 3) and therefore unable to create an ancestor simulation (no 2).
Therefore (1) is true.  This is what I have been arguing.
However (1) extinction before a post human stage is reached is of no significance to the universe.

I don’t quite follow your logic. Firstly, you do not and cannot know that you aren’t living in a simulation. If you did know that you weren’t living in a simulation, then this alone would not tell you whether an ancestor simulation is feasible or not. Although proposition 3 would certainly be false (at least in the terms of the variant of proposition 3 chosen by Bostrom) it does not follow that either proposition 1 or 2 is necessarily true. So, your conclusion that proposition 1 is true is unfounded, at least based on that logic. I see no meaning in your last point and in any case that particular variant of proposition 1 of the disjunction is just Bostrom being tendentious. A proper statement of prop. 1 is that civilizations are almost certain not to develop the necessary technology to be able to run ancestor simulations, this does not necessarily entail extinction. Also, as I have stated previously, I do not accept the disjunction proposed by Bostrom, his argument involves an elementary error in the very simple mathematical formulation of the fraction of simulated beings and he has since made some unwarranted assumptions in an attempt to justify this error.

I can envision a functioning Big (humanlike) AI in the real world, not the other way around. If we are living in a simulation then the concept of god is true.

A diluted and constrained variant of the concept of god maybe, in that this world would have a creator in the simulators and that those simulators would have the ability to violate the laws of this simulation, but the creator in these terms would not necessarily be either omniscient or omnipotent, even solely with respect to the simulation.

Who is the programmer and controller of this simulated world, a single BIG AI providing the digital environment and a population of little AIs, behaving and responding to this environment? And no matter what the little Ais investigate, the Big AI will provide the details at a local level?

Simulations of the type discussed by Bostrom would require some sort of program to keep track of what detail need be provided, although I severely doubt that such programs would need to be self-aware.

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Posted: 02 November 2011 10:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 108 ]
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We were debating under the assumption that the universe is quantized, but this, apparently, has not been proven yet.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/10/holometer-universe-resolution/

If he does find a limit to the universe’s resolution by exploiting the cosmos’ possible holographic underpinnings, however, Grote said it will make waves.

“It would be a very strong impact to one of the most open questions in fundamental physics,” he said. “It would be the first proof that space-time, the fabric of the universe, is quantized.”

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“What people do is they confuse cynicism with skepticism. Cynicism is ‘you can’t change anything, everything sucks, there’s no point to anything.’ Skepticism is, ‘well, I’m not so sure.’” -Bill Nye

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