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Salem
12-22-2003, 03:09 PM
Are you sure? (http://www.simulation-argument.com/matrix.html)

JaWiB
12-22-2003, 04:11 PM
Wow...that's a load of crap

Fahrenheit
12-22-2003, 04:20 PM
Don't stay up late worrying about this...

spoon_
12-22-2003, 04:52 PM
I KNEW IT!

joshdick
12-22-2003, 05:16 PM
I think it's very interesting, and I appreciate that he thought some things through so well, but I think he neglected a few things. Most notably, I think his probabilities are way off.

viaxd
12-22-2003, 05:37 PM
> Don't stay up late worrying about this...
Too late....
> I KNEW IT!
Yeah, me too .

frenchfry164
12-22-2003, 05:37 PM
Can't these guys give up? :rolleyes:

Silvercord
12-22-2003, 07:44 PM
it shows that we should accept as true at least one of the following three propositions:
(1) The chances that a species at our current level of development can avoid going extinct before becoming technologically mature is negligibly small

(2) Almost no technologically mature civilisations are interested in running computer simulations of minds like ours

(3) You are almost certainly in a simulation.


well, I mean, obviously those three possibilities are the only ones that would make sense, right?

its things like this that started prohibition you *belch* know

*ClownPimp*
12-22-2003, 09:55 PM
I like it, I think its a strong argument

Waldo2k2
12-22-2003, 10:32 PM
if he could spell properly I might give him and ounce of credit...
civilisation??
it's called spell check you loser.

joshdick
12-22-2003, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by Waldo2k2
if he could spell properly I might give him and[sic] ounce of credit...
civilisation??
it's called spell check you loser.

No, actually you're the loser. That's the British spelling of the word. The author works at Oxford University. If you thought before you spoke, I might give you an ounce of credit.

curlious
12-22-2003, 11:45 PM
Sounds like some star trek scenario. Of course we are striving to model even simple organisims and as we advance so to will the simulations. Hopefully as we advance it will be both socialy as well as technically so the wars will be less of an occurance and scenario one will decrease in probability. As to two why would we want to simulate ant behaivoir, a sufficiently advanced technology would certainly be interested in simulating the human mind if we do not. Finally it makes me think about dreams which are like a form of simulation. What scares me is getting trapped in a simulation and having to die to get out.

-KEN-
12-23-2003, 12:11 AM
That's one of the most awful arguments I've ever heard. Ever. It's not thought-provoking in the least, unless that thought is "JESUS CHRIST IS THIS STUPID!"

Waldo2k2
12-23-2003, 12:40 AM
>>If you thought before you spoke, I might give you an ounce of credit.

where the hell is oxford??? :confused:

ease up man i wasn't being serious

minesweeper
12-23-2003, 12:47 AM
>>where the hell is oxford???<<

In Britain.

joshdick
12-23-2003, 12:51 AM
Originally posted by Waldo2k2
>>If you thought before you spoke, I might give you an ounce of credit.

where the hell is oxford??? :confused:

ease up man i wasn't being serious

Sorry if I took you too seriously. I've been known to do that often. It just ticks me off that people don't take an argument seriously just because it seems unlikely or counterintuitive. Even worse, it really ........es me off when people spout uneducated opinions like, "He's such an idiot! He's completely wrong!" without any supporting arguments. Arguments aren't won by shouting the loudest. I wish people would sincerely try to discuss an issue like this.

Waldo2k2
12-23-2003, 12:54 AM
>>In Britain.

i know

*ClownPimp*
12-23-2003, 01:20 AM
Even worse, it really ........es me off when people spout uneducated opinions like, "He's such an idiot! He's completely wrong!" without any supporting arguments.
I was just about to post the same thing until I saw your post. I think those who are just dismissing his argument as stupid really dont understand it.

VirtualAce
12-23-2003, 05:32 AM
Educated or not this guy's got too much time on his hand too even be thinking about this.

*ClownPimp*
12-23-2003, 05:53 AM
Of course stuff like this is what professors of philosophy do with their time =P


but I think he neglected a few things. Most notably, I think his probabilities are way off.
can you elaborate?


well, I mean, obviously those three possibilities are the only ones that would make sense, right?
if you have some other possible senarios that arent covered by those three, lets here em.

Just trying to jump-start some meaningful discussion, although I'm not sure why I care =/

caroundw5h
12-23-2003, 07:36 AM
Educated or not this guy's got too much time on his hand too even be thinking about this.


That is the only time one can think on these levels and come to any significant conclusion. One can only truly know themselves when they spend time alone. Not to mention find out truths.

Fahrenheit
12-23-2003, 07:46 AM
Find out truths? Yeah...

Kinasz
12-23-2003, 09:27 AM
if you have some other possible senarios that arent covered by those three, lets here em

1. We are the first species to evolve to our current level of intelligence and technology?

2. Jesus is the son of God

3. I think it was Renee Descretes who said " I think therefore i am" and there are a few religions where people think they are god. Dont know how i feel about this one.


I think it is a very well thought through argument, however pointless by it's own conclusion.

Another thought.. perhaps you are the only simulated mind. Everything else, including people, that you interact with is conjured up by the simulator to see what you'll do.

caroundw5h
12-23-2003, 09:50 AM
1. We are the first species to evolve to our current level of intelligence and technology?



Jesus is the son of God


Prove it.

On both counts.

*ClownPimp*
12-23-2003, 10:08 AM
1. We are the first species to evolve to our current level of intelligence and technology?
Of course that is *possible*, but there is no evidence to support that claim. Whether we are the first or a simulation or a simulation run by an advanced civilization inside a simulation, it would be indistinguishable as far as we are concerned. Furthermore, that really has no bearing on his argument.


I think it is a very well thought through argument, however pointless by it's own conclusion.
Depends on what you consider pointless. The conclusion that it is probable that we are living in a simulation may not (does it?) have any direct bearing on how we live our life day to day, although it is interesting to consider it.

[edit]

Another thought.. perhaps you are the only simulated mind. Everything else, including people, that you interact with is conjured up by the simulator to see what you'll do.
Hmmm, now how would that affect the way we live our lives day to day :p

vasanth
12-23-2003, 10:29 AM
May be we are inside a simulation that is inside another simulation which is inside another simulation............... blah blah blah blah

-KEN-
12-23-2003, 12:46 PM
Originally posted by caroundw5h
Prove it.

On both counts.

He was just throwing out random, stupid, unprovable arguments. Just like the guy in the article.


Oh shi--I've said too much! THE BLACK HELICOPTERS OUT TO GET MEWJKEWQROIAJDFPOIJADFOPAWDJFPOJSAD....

VirtualAce
12-23-2003, 02:39 PM
That is the only time one can think on these levels and come to any significant conclusion. One can only truly know themselves when they spend time alone. Not to mention find out truths.


??

You really need to get out more.

joshdick
12-23-2003, 02:46 PM
After reading more of the papers on that Web site, I have found more convincing evidence of a high probability that we are living in a simulation.

The more likely our descendants are to be rich, long-lasting, and interested in simulating us, the more simulations of people like us we should expect there to be on average, relative to real people like us. And so the more we expect our descendants to be rich like this, the more we should expect that we are in fact living in a simulation [Bostom 2001].

I think that makes good sense. I think it's commonly accepted that our species will either never achieve a posthuman stage or posthumans will be very technologically advanced. If posthumans have the technology, resources, and desire to simulate us, they will.

Now on to the probability. There are now about 6 billion of us living right now. Say posthumans run exactly one simulation of this time period full scale. The probability of being in a simulation is already 50%. If they simulate a single person more, the chances are that we are in a simulation.

Now think how long the posthumans could last.

If we now suppose that human civilization lasts for ten thousand generations after the C-threshold, and has an average population of ten billion, there will be 1.0 x 1014 MD-streams, compared with 2 x 1012 original D-streams. With fifty simulated streams for every real stream, you have a one in fifty chance of actually being alive in the year 2002. On more optimistic scenarios, your predicament is even more precarious. If humankind has a long history – one million generations exist after the C-threshold, say, with constant or improving technology – and a larger average population during this period – a hundred billion, say – then we can expect a total of around 1.0 x 1017 MD-streams to occur, which would reduce your chances of being alive in 2002 to around one in fifty thousand! In this case, even if only one in a thousand people ever take a virtual reality trip back to 2002, the chances that you are really living in 2002 are still only one in fifty.

Basically, the more likely that posthumans are to run simulations more frequently, the higher the chance that we now live in a simulation.

VirtualAce
12-23-2003, 02:49 PM
I wish someone would simulate closing this thread.

ZakkWylde969
12-23-2003, 03:13 PM
If we were why would our simulation have no bugs at all? Every piece of software has a bug in it from what I have read. So one that large has to have a hole and it would have been exploited by now.

frenchfry164
12-23-2003, 03:29 PM
Hehe, maybe deja-vu is the bugs in the simulation

edit: If this crap was true, you wouldn't realize the bugs, because your mind developed around them.

Sang-drax
12-23-2003, 05:10 PM
The question whether we are living in a simulation or a 'real' world has absolutely no meaning at all. The two cases are equivalent.
As long as there is no way to communicate with the 'outer world', it doesn't exist.

Besides, his argument is weak. When he talks about civilizations, he implicitly assumes that the outer universe has the same properties as ours. A computer simulating a universe must be larger than the universe.

Also, a computer simulation assumes that everything about the universe is well known, but according to modern physics this is impossible. Let me quote Stephen Hawking:


We cannot even suppose that the particle has a position and velocity that are known to God but hidden to us. Such "hidden variable" theories predict results that are not in agreement with observation.

Lurker
12-23-2003, 05:18 PM
I'm glad I took the blue pill.

Sang-drax
12-23-2003, 05:24 PM
The weakest part of his argument is the actual computing power required.
Suppose we have a civilization A at the 'outermost' level of reality. As A becomes more and more technologically advanced, they will eventually begin to simulate another civilization (according to Bostrom). Lets call this civilization B.

As B progresses they will eventually have computers that are able to simulate other civilzations.
But if the B computers can preform N operations per second, the A computers must perform N+M operations per second. If the computers in B are powerful enough to simulate another civilization C then the computers in A need to be much more powerful.

This soon gets out of hand. Especially since Nick Bostrom proposes that "The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one.".

Everyone that has played games with an emulator knows that emulation takes lots of computing power.

Sang-drax
12-23-2003, 05:30 PM
Although he is correct when he states:

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.
His second proposition:

2) The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero;
needs to be rephrased:

2) The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are capable of running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero;

Lurker
12-23-2003, 05:44 PM
Originally posted by frenchfry164
If this crap was true, you wouldn't realize the bugs, because your mind developed around them.

I was actually thinking about this recently - what if there was some weird thing, physically impossible, right in front of our noses, however, we don't even think it to be so? Like if a bullet was fired, but stopped in mid-air. I'm not saying it would be something so obvious, but something smaller possibly?

joshdick
12-23-2003, 06:00 PM
Bubba, no one's forcing you to read this thread.

Sand-drax, I think you misunderstand his three propositions. The author shows that at least one of those three must be true. Either our species never reaches a posthuman level, posthumans almost never run simulations, or we are likely in a simulation ourselves.

joshdick
12-23-2003, 06:04 PM
Oh, and about bugs.

A civilization advanced enough to simulate human conciousness might be so advanced so that significant bugs rarely ever show up in their programming.

Couldn't the posthumans just pause the simulation if there's a problem, patch the system, rewind, and resume?

There is another paper on that site talking about the likely glitches in such a simulation.

Shadow
12-23-2003, 09:18 PM
Originally posted by Sang-drax
Everyone that has played games with an emulator knows that emulation takes lots of computing power. For accurate, bug-free, stable emulation, yes, it cannot be ran on ghetto PCs. The most powerful PC hardware(read: CPU) out there right now is actually not powerful enough to emulate a few certain games. Sanfransisco Rush for instance, when emulated, runs at ~20 frames per second on a 3ghz P4.

*ClownPimp*
12-23-2003, 10:16 PM
As B progresses they will eventually have computers that are able to simulate other civilzations.
But if the B computers can preform N operations per second, the A computers must perform N+M operations per second. If the computers in B are powerful enough to simulate another civilization C then the computers in A need to be much more powerful.
While this is true in the long run, it is only required there is 1 or 2 levels of simulation running simulations for it to become far more likey that we are ourselves in a simulation as opposed to not being in one.


A computer simulating a universe must be larger than the universe.
yes, but as he stated in the paper it is not necessary to simulate the entire universe, just enough so that those in the simulation arent aware of any differences. So it is only required that they simulate a very small fraction of the universe.


Also, a computer simulation assumes that everything about the universe is well known, but according to modern physics this is impossible.
Thats not true. For a *perfect* simulation, yes, everything about the universe must be known. But what they would be trying to achieve is only 'close enough' simulation so that those in the simulation arent aware of any irregularities. So problems like heissenburg arent necessarily a problem to run a convincing simulation.

Sang-drax
12-24-2003, 04:29 AM
Originally posted by joshdick
Sand-drax, I think you misunderstand his three propositions. The author shows that at least one of those three must be true. Either our species never reaches a posthuman level, posthumans almost never run simulations, or we are likely in a simulation ourselves.
Yes, and that is true (of course).
But the title of his Brief, popular synopsis is "Why the Probability that You Are Living in a Matrix is Quite High" which is quite misleading.

VirtualAce
12-24-2003, 05:00 AM
Everyone that has played games with an emulator knows that emulation takes lots of computing power.


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.

Sang-drax
12-24-2003, 10:33 AM
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.
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.

Sang-drax
12-24-2003, 10:36 AM
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.
On a different topic: this isn't as easy as you (seem to) think.
The SNES and x86, for example, has completely different instruction sets and architechture. It is very, very hard to take SNES asm and convert it to x86 asm and run it with the desired effect.

jEssYcAt
12-24-2003, 12:59 PM
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.

Lurker
12-24-2003, 02:06 PM
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?

-=SoKrA=-
12-24-2003, 02:21 PM
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.

VirtualAce
12-25-2003, 01:10 AM
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.

Sang-drax
12-25-2003, 02:21 AM
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.