Who are you?

This is a discussion on Who are you? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally posted by Sang-drax My point was that the outermost computer must be able to simulate every civilization possible -- ...

  1. #46
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    Originally posted by Sang-drax
    My point was that the outermost computer must be able to simulate every civilization possible -- a close to infinite amount. Thus, it isn't possible to recursively simulate civilizations.
    Alternatively, perhaps this uber-civilization has learned (to within an acceptable margin of error) how all the different particles in their universe behave and their simulation is nothing more than a particle simulation. At some point in the universe, everything comes down to the protons, neutrons and electrons we are all made of (and gamma rays, photons, etc., i'm not a physicist, so I might be way off here).

    As with the study of biology and chemistry, we've learned how particular groupings of these particles interact, and so the simulation could use some of those interactions as sort of "macros" to optimize the simulation when it can, but in the end, it's still only emulating particles (albeit so many particles that we would indicate it as a number like 9.99x10^999999999999999...etc.).

    In addition, who says the computer they are simulating us on has to be fast? I could theoretically install "The Sims" on an old 486 with a Diamond Stealth VGA graphics card and a SB-16 sound card (assuming The Sims didn't complain about running so slowly). Then, when I run it, to watch my sim walk from one room to another might take 1/2 an hour. But if the sim is truly consious, she wouldn't notice the lag, rather she would notice her own constant stream of thought.

    This uber-civilization may not even be particularly interested in our thoughts, and perhaps might not even notice a civilization forming, it might be running the simulation to see how a star is formed, a galaxy is formed, they might have their view set to that of a black-hole to try and understand what it's doing, etc.

    I've been playing around with Celestia (check it out if you like Astronomy, http://www.shatters.net/celestia/
    it is a beautiful program!) and this has given me a whole new perspective on things. When you start, you are looking at Jupiter's moon Io. As you zoom out from Io, if you have Jupiter in view, you see just how small Io is compared to Jupiter. By the time you can see Jupiter getting smaller, Io has become nothing more than a spec on the screen. By the time Jupiter is becoming that same spec, you'll notice that the distances you are travelling to notice such things are astronomical (actually, they're measured in Astronomical units! )

    Just by looking at this, we may be an unintentional by-product of this uber-civilization's particle simulation, and in fact, our uber-civilization could be a particle simulation of some super-uber-civilization and so forth and so forth.

    While this is highly unlikely (unless this super-duper-uber-civilization is extremely long lived), this whole simulation could be running on some archaic computer equivalent to a TRS-80 with a whole-heck-of-a-lot of memory with just some basic rules per particle type (similar to the LIFE program where a cell dies if it has 0, 1 or >3 neighbors...)

    Hopefully my rambling actually makes some sense.

  2. #47
    The Defective GRAPE Lurker's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bubba
    Because most emulators will emulate on the fly - same reason that interpreters are so slow. But if the emulator parses the code and converts it to an x86 binary, loads it and runs it - the game will fly.
    This brings about the biggest question.....would you rather be interpreted or compiled?
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  3. #48
    Me -=SoKrA=-'s Avatar
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    Originally posted by Lurker
    This brings about the biggest question.....would you rather be interpreted or compiled?
    Interpreted, of course! Changes could be made virtually on the fly.
    SoKrA-BTS "Judge not the program I made, but the one I've yet to code"
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  4. #49
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Code:
    It is very, very hard to take SNES asm and convert it to x86 asm and run it with the desired effect.
    If I knew NES assembly, I could convert it to x86 rather quickly - I'm sure a program could do this rather effectively.

  5. #50
    S Sang-drax's Avatar
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    No, because x86 doesn't have the same instruction set. The NES has instructions that the x86 doesn't have and vice versa. Also, NES have special hardware support for rendering graphics easily.
    It just isn't feasible.
    Last edited by Sang-drax : Tomorrow at 02:21 AM. Reason: Time travelling

  6. #51
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    If it could do it on the fly, then it could also convert it to x86 before running. You would just have to wait for it to do its thing before running.

  7. #52
    Senior Member joshdick's Avatar
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    Would the simulated conciousnesses notice any difference though? I contend that they wouldn't realize if they were living quicker or slower in comparison to their creators.
    FAQ

    "The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs." -- Joseph Weizenbaum.

    "If you cannot grok the overall structure of a program while taking a shower, you are not ready to code it." -- Richard Pattis.

  8. #53
    Guest Sebastiani's Avatar
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    I would say that it is feasable (though not in this day and age) to produce this effect artificially. Still, even if we were part of such an experiment - we would never know it would we?
    Code:
    #include <ip.hpp>

  9. #54
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    Do you think this computer is running Windows or Linux?

  10. #55
    Senior Member joshdick's Avatar
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    Originally posted by sean_mackrory
    Do you think this computer is running Windows or Linux?
    You have to ask?
    FAQ

    "The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs." -- Joseph Weizenbaum.

    "If you cannot grok the overall structure of a program while taking a shower, you are not ready to code it." -- Richard Pattis.

  11. #56
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    No, because x86 doesn't have the same instruction set. The NES has instructions that the x86 doesn't have and vice versa. Also, NES have special hardware support for rendering graphics easily.
    It just isn't feasible.
    Of course the instruction sets are different. Hence the phrase, "If i knew NES assembly...." Nevermind....

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