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Simulation Argument
Posted: 07 October 2011 02:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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I was just arguing against the idea that it is an ancestor simulation specifically, and the idea of assigning a probability to such a thing.

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Posted: 07 October 2011 02:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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domokato - 07 October 2011 02:28 PM

I was just arguing against the idea that it is an ancestor simulation specifically, and the idea of assigning a probability to such a thing.

I agree.
No matter where in time you start, IMO it would be impossible to assign spacetime coordinates to every particle in the universe. Even on a small scale local level the ancestor spacetime condition could never be replicated with “certainty”.

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Posted: 07 October 2011 03:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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Is it even possible to replicate any portion of spacetime at any time? How do you go back in time to record the spacetime conditions which existed even an hour ago.
Unless you created a seperate universe, you could not replicate and/or modify spacetime within a spacetime in the same universe. That would result in all kinds of paradoxes and conflicts in the same coordinates, i.e. chaos.

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Posted: 07 October 2011 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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By his own words, Bostrom is not talking about exact ancestor simulations, under that limitation the SA would be meaningless. The SA considers classes of individuals where each class/civilization satisfies some set of ill defined characteristics that makes them ‘human-like’, regardless of whether they are simulated individuals or not.

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Posted: 07 October 2011 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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Otis - 07 October 2011 04:25 PM

By his own words, Bostrom is not talking about exact ancestor simulations, under that limitation the SA would be meaningless. The SA considers classes of individuals where each class/civilization satisfies some set of ill defined characteristics that makes them ‘human-like’, regardless of whether they are simulated individuals or not.

Perhaps I am missing the thrust of the argument.

For my clarification,

a) Hominids are a class of individuals with human-like characteristics. Is that a natural simulation?
b) What level of “ill defined characteristics” is sufficient to have a “simulation”?
c) Modern sophisticated interactive games have “simulations” of behavior, i.e. soul
d) How do you create a physical 3D simulation?
e) How do you project (insert) a 3D simulation into a “hostile” 3D environment (like earth).
f) An AI with simulated human-like parts?

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Posted: 07 October 2011 05:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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Write4U - 07 October 2011 05:03 PM
Otis - 07 October 2011 04:25 PM

By his own words, Bostrom is not talking about exact ancestor simulations, under that limitation the SA would be meaningless. The SA considers classes of individuals where each class/civilization satisfies some set of ill defined characteristics that makes them ‘human-like’, regardless of whether they are simulated individuals or not.

Perhaps I am missing the thrust of the argument.

For my clarification,

a) Hominids are a class of individuals with human-like characteristics. Is that a natural simulation?
b) What level of “ill defined characteristics” is sufficient to have a “simulation”?
c) Modern sophisticated interactive games have “simulations” of behavior, i.e. soul
d) How do you create a physical 3D simulation?
e) How do you project (insert) a 3D simulation into a “hostile” 3D environment (like earth).
f) An AI with simulated human-like parts?

a, c, e & f) I don’t understand what you mean by these, you need to clarify your terms.

b) I assume you mean what is the set of characteristics by which we classify civilizations as to be considered or not to be considered in the SA, the answer is I don’t know precisely. Bostrom has only said that individuals need not be the same, “We don’t assume that you could literally recreate all the historical figures, like Winston Churchill and Moses, but other people like that, like a kind of run of human like history with human like characters, the individuals might differ, but the overall type of people that would exist would be the same”.

d) People already run 3D simulations, unless you’re asking about a specific type of simulation?

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Posted: 07 October 2011 08:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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Otis - 07 October 2011 05:58 PM
Write4U - 07 October 2011 05:03 PM
Otis - 07 October 2011 04:25 PM

By his own words, Bostrom is not talking about exact ancestor simulations, under that limitation the SA would be meaningless. The SA considers classes of individuals where each class/civilization satisfies some set of ill defined characteristics that makes them ‘human-like’, regardless of whether they are simulated individuals or not.

Perhaps I am missing the thrust of the argument.

For my clarification,

a) Hominids are a class of individuals with human-like characteristics. Is that a natural simulation?
b) What level of “ill defined characteristics” is sufficient to have a “simulation”?
c) Modern sophisticated interactive games have “simulations” of behavior, i.e. soul
d) How do you create a physical 3D simulation?
e) How do you project (insert) a 3D simulation into a “hostile” 3D environment (like earth).
f) An AI with simulated human-like parts?

a, c, e & f) I don’t understand what you mean by these, you need to clarify your terms.

b) I assume you mean what is the set of characteristics by which we classify civilizations as to be considered or not to be considered in the SA, the answer is I don’t know precisely. Bostrom has only said that individuals need not be the same, “We don’t assume that you could literally recreate all the historical figures, like Winston Churchill and Moses, but other people like that, like a kind of run of human like history with human like characters, the individuals might differ, but the overall type of people that would exist would be the same”.

d) People already run 3D simulations, unless you’re asking about a specific type of simulation?


I was trying to clarify the concept of a “simulation” in my mind.

a) the point was that nature is running simulations through DNA instructions.

c) we can simulate realistic behavior in a computer game. But how do you simulate a physical object to any degree of molecular detail?

e) how does one make a simulation interact with reality?

f ) Would you classify AI as a simulation of human intelligence?

b) I submit that it is impossible to simulate the life experienes of a real person. Any other simulation is story telling (the events and characters are fictitional and are not based on actual events.

We can use simulations only in a very restricted way. In Cern they are simulating what happens when particles collide at near SOL speed. Just look at the apparatus and energy used to produce a few results, which we don’t even fully understand. Any simulation on a larger scale would take too much energy to even begin to create a simulated environment or person.

As I said before we do simulate civilizations at a given moment in time, but for a spontaneous self directed simulation how do you simulate motive and desire which are the driving forces of human interaction with each other and nature.

[ Edited: 07 October 2011 08:06 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 08 October 2011 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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a) the point was that nature is running simulations through DNA instructions.

In what way do the series of operations that DNA takes part in constitute a simulation?

c) we can simulate realistic behavior in a computer game. But how do you simulate a physical object to any degree of molecular detail?

Bostrom argues that it doesn’t have to be to any degree of molecular detail.

e) how does one make a simulation interact with reality?

The simulated individuals reside in a simulated world, they do not interact with our world.

f) Would you classify AI as a simulation of human intelligence?

Does that AI have the characteristics of a human intelligence? If not then no.

b) I submit that it is impossible to simulate the life experienes of a real person. Any other simulation is story telling (the events and characters are fictitional and are not based on actual events.

Bostrom isn’t saying that simulations of real (as in you and me) people would be run. If you mean, in a more general way, that it is impossible to simulate a conscious individual then this is mere assertion about what you think consciousness is, it doesn’t stand as a valid argument against the idea of substrate independence.

We can use simulations only in a very restricted way. In Cern they are simulating what happens when particles collide at near SOL speed. Just look at the apparatus and energy used to produce a few results, which we don’t even fully understand.

High energy particle physics experiments like those run at CERN do not simulate collisions, they perform them. Unless you mean what the phenomenologists do. As to whether the results are fully understood, as far as I am aware, rather disappointingly, they’ve yet to see anything beyond what is expected by the Standard Model.

Any simulation on a larger scale would take too much energy to even begin to create a simulated environment or person.

Qualify this please, I don’t see how the energy of the collisions at the LHC have anything to do with simulations.

As I said before we do simulate civilizations at a given moment in time, but for a spontaneous self directed simulation how do you simulate motive and desire which are the driving forces of human interaction with each other and nature.

We run no simulations of civilizations. As to how to simulate emotional states, well that’s an open question is it not? The SA asks that we presume that it is possible to do so, you can contest this, but without certain knowledge of how emotional states arise I don’t see how such an argument can be meaningful.

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Posted: 08 October 2011 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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Back to one of my questions, which i think got lost a little:

Lets say we are not the center of the simulation, and therefore not decieved in any way, would we be able to find out how the world really looks like, that we live on a chip for example?

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Posted: 08 October 2011 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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Alexander80 - 08 October 2011 10:20 AM

Back to one of my questions, which i think got lost a little:

Lets say we are not the center of the simulation, and therefore not decieved in any way, would we be able to find out how the world really looks like, that we live on a chip for example?

Both domokato and I responded to this question earlier. In my case I said:

I’m not sure how, the simulated civilization’s empirical investigations would amount to ours in that they would just be investigating the rules of their universe and they would have no referrant by which to conclude that they are a simulation, unless they observed divine intervention or its like.

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Posted: 08 October 2011 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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Thats why I asked the question again, cause they would not be the object of deception, wouldnt they get clues, like things not working in synchronity, information of the material brains and the surrounding for example.
Not everything would work in exact synchronity, right?
in the 3d Space you could have influences of particles/energy from many angles at the same time, this wouldnt work that well in a computer environment which would have to store, move massiv ammounts of data and do calculations which, unlike the real 3d world, are not in such vincinity, cause you would have to connect different Blocks of Data carriers.
Like there you have all you need to create joe Smith on RAM sector A do you move this Data to RAM B if he moves to tokio (if tokio is generated with data from B) or do you simply make some sort of short cut?
In such a case a Simulation would produce more Information then the real 3d world (short cuts and transfers), the whole thing would start to lag in some parts, am I right?

What I do not know is if this could work in a Space with more than 3 dimensions.

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Posted: 08 October 2011 05:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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Otis

a) the point was that nature is running simulations through DNA instructions.

In what way do the series of operations that DNA takes part in constitute a simulation?

In what way do you propose to fashion simulations, if not by a method of duplication.

c) we can simulate realistic behavior in a computer game. But how do you simulate a physical object to any degree of molecular detail?

Bostrom argues that it doesn’t have to be to any degree of molecular detail.

But things behave in accordance with their molecular structure. Making 2 sticks walk across a screen does in no way simulate a person walking.

e) how does one make a simulation interact with reality?

The simulated individuals reside in a simulated world, they do not interact with our world.

A self contained virtual reality simulating what? Can you simulate sentience or gravity? Does a simulated object have mass? How does it acquire its mass if not from actual physical properties? How does an object acquire physical properties if not from its moleculat and atomic structure.
IMO, any simulation of reality (as we know it) could only be of a metaphysical nature, not subject to physical law.
 

f) Would you classify AI as a simulation of human intelligence?

Does that AI have the characteristics of a human intelligence? If not then no.

Then what does it simulate?

b) I submit that it is impossible to simulate the life experienes of a real person. Any other simulation is story telling (the events and characters are fictitional and are not based on actual events.

Bostrom isn’t saying that simulations of real (as in you and me) people would be run. If you mean, in a more general way, that it is impossible to simulate a conscious individual then this is mere assertion about what you think consciousness is, it doesn’t stand as a valid argument against the idea of substrate independence.

Yep, substrate. The devil lies in the details. Without details (atomic/molecular structure) which govern how a virtual world would evolve, how can we call it simulation of persons or civilizations.  We don’t even know what consciousness and how causality functions, but without these details you cannot simulate a reality, even if it is virtual. Even a virtual reality must function in accordance with natural universal laws. If not it is merely a superficial approximation of a simulated artificial reality, unable to sustain itself without an external programmer or energy source. It could never function independently.
Sorry, but IMO we cannot play god and create a functioning reality independent of reality.

We can use simulations only in a very restricted way. In Cern they are simulating what happens when particles collide at near SOL speed. Just look at the apparatus and energy used to produce a few results, which we don’t even fully understand.

High energy particle physics experiments like those run at CERN do not simulate collisions, they perform them. Unless you mean what the phenomenologists do. As to whether the results are fully understood, as far as I am aware, rather disappointingly, they’ve yet to see anything beyond what is expected by the Standard Model.

There you have it.

Any simulation on a larger scale would take too much energy to even begin to create a simulated environment or person.

Qualify this please, I don’t see how the energy of the collisions at the LHC have anything to do with simulations.

The energies required to create a single simulated event (particle collision) is extremely large in our reality, but is of no significance compared to the available energies in the Universe. It is simply impossible to mine energy from a simulation. At least not if we are ignoring details like gravity, potential energy, chemical interaction which provide the energy for reality (simulated or not) to express itself in a coherent way.
Question: In a simulation where does the energy come from?

As I said before we do simulate civilizations at a given moment in time, but for a spontaneous self directed simulation how do you simulate motive and desire which are the driving forces of human interaction with each other and nature.

We run no simulations of civilizations. As to how to simulate emotional states, well that’s an open question is it not? The SA asks that we presume that it is possible to do so, you can contest this, but without certain knowledge of how emotional states arise I don’t see how such an argument can be meaningful.

Seems we run simulations of many things and events all the time. The problem is that we can ONLY pinpoint a specific moment in time as a static representation without a “life” of its own.

Otis - 07 October 2011 04:25 PM

By his own words, Bostrom is not talking about exact ancestor simulations, under that limitation the SA would be meaningless. The SA considers classes of individuals where each class/civilization satisfies some set of ill defined characteristics that makes them ‘human-like’, regardless of whether they are simulated individuals or not.

All I see is a mindless zombie sitting in a cafe, forever drinking coffee from a cup which never empties. A simulation of a person drinking coffee.
But I should like to hear a (possible) way, how the cup will physically empty, how this person digests that coffee and how the caffeine raises his bloodpressure, causing him to have a heart attack. Just an off-the-cuff simple example of the obstacles in a simulated reality.

One thing is clear. We do not live in a simulated reality, because our reality can be reduced to Planck scale. No simulation could ever attain such detail. At best a simulation of reality would be superficial and artificial. But Reality is not superficial, nor artificial, it is Physical.

[ Edited: 09 October 2011 12:36 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 10 October 2011 10:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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dougsmith - 04 October 2011 03:02 PM
Mingy Jongo - 04 October 2011 01:29 PM

Just a note, I think you are conflating two different types of solipsism between your two points.  Hume’s theory leads to epistemological solipsism, the idea that direct experience is the only thing one can be certain of existing.  Metaphysical solipsism, on the other hand, goes beyond that and makes the stronger claim that only direct experience exists.

Actually, no; my point is that on Hume’s theory there is no more to metaphysics than experience. I don’t think Hume can make sense of an external object that cannot be experienced. (At least if you take seriously what he says in the Treatise about ‘impressions’ and ‘ideas’).

Even if one can not make sense of an external object that can not be experienced, that does not mean that such an object can not exist.  After all, we can not make sense of ourselves not existing, but that does not mean we may not exist at some point.  I do not know for sure, but Hume’s writings give me the impression that he rejects traditional metaphysics not because he believes there is nothing beyond experience, but because it is pointless to speculate about such.

[ Edited: 10 October 2011 10:50 AM by Mingy Jongo ]
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Posted: 10 October 2011 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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Mingy Jongo - 10 October 2011 10:38 AM

Even if one can not make sense of an external object that can not be experienced, that does not mean that such an object can not exist.  After all, we can not make sense of ourselves not existing, but that does not mean we may not exist at some point.  I do not know for sure, but Hume’s writings give me the impression that he rejects traditional metaphysics not because he believes there is nothing beyond experience, but because it is pointless to speculate about such.

Well, yes and no. I think you’re right about his intentions, but if you follow carefully his metaphysics of the mind—how it is that we have ideas about things—you quickly see that he has no mechanism for giving us ideas about things that cannot be experienced. Every idea we have is of an experienced thing—necessarily.

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Posted: 10 October 2011 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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dougsmith - 10 October 2011 12:37 PM
Mingy Jongo - 10 October 2011 10:38 AM

Even if one can not make sense of an external object that can not be experienced, that does not mean that such an object can not exist.  After all, we can not make sense of ourselves not existing, but that does not mean we may not exist at some point.  I do not know for sure, but Hume’s writings give me the impression that he rejects traditional metaphysics not because he believes there is nothing beyond experience, but because it is pointless to speculate about such.

Well, yes and no. I think you’re right about his intentions, but if you follow carefully his metaphysics of the mind—how it is that we have ideas about things—you quickly see that he has no mechanism for giving us ideas about things that cannot be experienced. Every idea we have is of an experienced thing—necessarily.

I agree.  However, that does not rule out existence outside of experience; just the hope of one having an idea about such a thing.

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