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The simulation hypothesis

Jake0
Posts: 4
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5/15/2014 10:42:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I didn't post this in the science or technology sections because those discussions seem to be focused on currently existing science and technology, while the simulation hypothesis is more of a philosophical topic that can't currently be tested.

The version of the argument for a simulated universe that my friends recently posed to me goes something like this:

1. If intelligent life will eventually be able to simulate the entire universe and

2. if intelligent life living in the simulated universe will eventually simulate its own universe, and so on, then

3. because there is only one original universe and all of the others are simulations, the probability that our universe is a simulation, rather than the original, must be approaching 100%.

I won't bother poking holes in the argument based on all of the assumptions it makes: that intelligent life forms won't destroy themselves before developing this ability, that each simulated universe somehow evolves intelligent life or that each universe is simulated containing intelligent life, in which case we were simulated at some point in our development before developing this technology, etc. I don't really care about these questionable premises for the purpose of this topic.

What I have a serious problem with is the assumption that an infinite chain of simulations is physically possible. My counterargument to the simulation argument is as follows:

1. If intelligent life forms will never have access to an infinite amount of information (that is, an infinite amount of matter and energy with which to create computer programs), then

2. an infinite number of simulations is impossible given that one of the simulated universes will eventually contain so little information (matter and energy) that life forms intelligent enough to simulate a universe will be unable to exist. In other words, the last universe that can be simulated will be the universe that has had to be oversimplified (by the simulated life forms simulating it, due to a lack of information contained within the previously simulated universe) to the point of being unable to contain life intelligent enough to simulate a universe. Therefore the probability that our universe is simulated is not approaching 100%, but is instead approaching some other value, depending on how efficiently universes can be simulated (how little information from each previously simulated universe is withheld from each simulated universe).

Though there are many other problems with the simulation hypothesis, this seems to me to be the most obvious logical contradiction within the version of the argument posed to me by my friends. They seemed to treat "simulation" as some amorphous, infinite source of "stuff" that could shape universes within universes forever. But maybe they were misinformed about the particulars of the argument; I'm not very familiar with it myself.
ismycorerecorded
Posts: 36
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3/14/2017 10:40:19 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 5/15/2014 10:42:03 PM, Jake0 wrote:
I didn't post this in the science or technology sections because those discussions seem to be focused on currently existing science and technology, while the simulation hypothesis is more of a philosophical topic that can't currently be tested.

The version of the argument for a simulated universe that my friends recently posed to me goes something like this:

1. If intelligent life will eventually be able to simulate the entire universe and

2. if intelligent life living in the simulated universe will eventually simulate its own universe, and so on, then

3. because there is only one original universe and all of the others are simulations, the probability that our universe is a simulation, rather than the original, must be approaching 100%.

I won't bother poking holes in the argument based on all of the assumptions it makes: that intelligent life forms won't destroy themselves before developing this ability, that each simulated universe somehow evolves intelligent life or that each universe is simulated containing intelligent life, in which case we were simulated at some point in our development before developing this technology, etc. I don't really care about these questionable premises for the purpose of this topic.

What I have a serious problem with is the assumption that an infinite chain of simulations is physically possible. My counterargument to the simulation argument is as follows:

1. If intelligent life forms will never have access to an infinite amount of information (that is, an infinite amount of matter and energy with which to create computer programs), then

2. an infinite number of simulations is impossible given that one of the simulated universes will eventually contain so little information (matter and energy) that life forms intelligent enough to simulate a universe will be unable to exist. In other words, the last universe that can be simulated will be the universe that has had to be oversimplified (by the simulated life forms simulating it, due to a lack of information contained within the previously simulated universe) to the point of being unable to contain life intelligent enough to simulate a universe. Therefore the probability that our universe is simulated is not approaching 100%, but is instead approaching some other value, depending on how efficiently universes can be simulated (how little information from each previously simulated universe is withheld from each simulated universe).

Though there are many other problems with the simulation hypothesis, this seems to me to be the most obvious logical contradiction within the version of the argument posed to me by my friends. They seemed to treat "simulation" as some amorphous, infinite source of "stuff" that could shape universes within universes forever. But maybe they were misinformed about the particulars of the argument; I'm not very familiar with it myself.

1) The ability to 'simulate' planets is thanks to everything within the universe being 'recorded'. The simulation is only possible because everything is 'recorded'.

2) You are wrong about 'an original' universe or 'original planet' and then everything else being a simulation. The universe is recorded EXTERNALLY, meaning that ALL PLANETS have the simulation feature enabled.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS THE "ORIGINAL UNIVERSE" or "ORIGINAL PLANET" -- all planets within the universe are, technically, recorded and therefore able to be simulated...like going back to the year 1999 - "on record".

3) That being said, there was never an original copy and then simulated copies. That's not how it all happened. Also, it's not a device created WITHIN the universe. It's recorded OUTSIDE of the universe -- which means yes, infinite simulations are possible and do not require additional storage, memory, hard disk space, ect.

4) All versions of earth are 'real versions' - maybe a "first version" but that version is no different than the second version of earth -- both are using the same technology to exist, same recorder, same version number. The 'first' version of earth is, in fact, simulation-enabled and therefore no different.

4) 'Versions' are what people call them, not simulations. Simulations are when your core is imported into a recording of 1999 or the year 1472 and since it is illegal to be imported into a foreign body, your bloodline must be "pushed back" and the version you are transferring to must be "edited" so that you can have the same body and the same 'core' in 1472 even though your body did not originate from your birth parents, it will still originate in identicle form, thanks to the editing program.

In better words a simulation is when your core is imported. There is no such thing as a simulation of a planet -- even though there can be infinite versions of a planet recorded on 'the system' outside of the universe - they are not 'simulations' just recorded versions....this feature is enabled by default on each planet, each space, everywhere in the universe because everything is recorded externally outside of the universe. Recording it was the key to importing and exporting in and out of each version...and plus you can edit everything on the computer....I've seen people with access to editors so that they can change their school projects and ect or so they can customize the game they are playing or so that they can be imported back to a year where they were never born.
3RU7AL
Posts: 1,199
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3/16/2017 9:01:08 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
This is the crux of Tyson's point: if we take it as read that it is, in principle, possible to simulate a universe in some way, at some point in the future, then we have to assume that on an infinite timeline some species, somewhere, will simulate the universe. And if the universe will be perfectly, or near-perfectly, simulated at some point, then we have to examine the possibility that we live inside such a universe. And, on a truly infinite timeline, we might expect an almost infinite number of simulations to arise from an almost infinite number or civilizations " and indeed, a sophisticated-enough simulation might be able to let its simulated denizens themselves run universal simulations, and at that point all bets are officially off.

https://www.extremetech.com...

I think the main problem with this techno-solipsism is the injection of the word "infinite".

Your protest against "infinite" this and "infinite" that is basically a problem with the word "infinite". No-conceivable-thing (this includes "nothing") can possibly be "without limit" (infinite) because if it was, that one thing would supersede all other existence.
Believing in "objective reality" is just like believing in heaven.

Please adhere to obvious epistemological limits.
n7
Posts: 1,465
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3/17/2017 1:16:12 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
Searle's room. Can't be in a simulation if you can't create artificial intelligence.

Unless it's like matrix where the environment is simulated and not the intelligence.
404 coherent debate topic not found. Please restart the debate with clear resolution.


Uphold Marxist-Leninist-Maoist-Sargonist-n7ism.
NHN
Posts: 1,219
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3/19/2017 1:20:30 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/17/2017 1:16:12 AM, n7 wrote:
Searle's room. Can't be in a simulation if you can't create artificial intelligence.
Searle's room undermines strong AI (AGI), not AI (independent computational intelligence) as such.

Unless it's like matrix where the environment is simulated and not the intelligence.
The reality of a Matrix world, or that of any "higher reality" located "beyond" the senses, isn't testable. And since we wouldn't be certain that that Matrix world would be the ultimate reality, such an explication would be a case of infinite regress. The simulation hypothesis functions on the level of a thought experiment, following the lines of Bostrom's argument, but once it is presented practically it falls apart due to the infinite regress fallacy.
I am fascinated by the idea that our civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness.
--Werner Herzog
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,469
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3/19/2017 5:57:49 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
Brian Whittworth makes a pretty convincing case that we live in a virtual reality:

http://brianwhitworth.com...

I think it's being simulated in a mind, sort of like how dreams are apparently physical worlds simulated in minds.
3RU7AL
Posts: 1,199
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3/22/2017 7:14:58 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/19/2017 5:57:49 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I think it's being simulated in a mind, sort of like how dreams are apparently physical worlds simulated in minds.

So we all exist in the mind of Brahman?
Believing in "objective reality" is just like believing in heaven.

Please adhere to obvious epistemological limits.
3RU7AL
Posts: 1,199
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3/29/2017 4:31:03 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 3/19/2017 5:57:49 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Brian Whittworth makes a pretty convincing case that we live in a virtual reality:

http://brianwhitworth.com...

I think it's being simulated in a mind, sort of like how dreams are apparently physical worlds simulated in minds.

Thanks for the link. Great stuff.
Believing in "objective reality" is just like believing in heaven.

Please adhere to obvious epistemological limits.