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Galap comments on Simulations Map: what is the most probable type of the simulation in which we live? - Less Wrong

5 Post author: turchin 11 October 2015 05:10AM

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Comment author: Galap 11 October 2015 09:47:35AM 4 points [-]

I don't think I'm in a simulation, and I only just now reading this became able to verbalize why that is.

I reject as a premise any arguments that rely on some kind of 'probability that I find myself as me'.The reason for this is that I don't think that such probabilities can be considered to exist. You may say that I could have been born a hunter-gatherer thousands of years ago, some guy living in the future, or some guy living in a simulation in the future, but I don't think that these really work as potentialities. The hunter-gatherer's experiences are different than mine, as are those of the future people. I am myself, and am a unique structure that has unique experiences. My 'consciousness' is what it's like to occupy this particular area of spacetime. The hunter-gatherer, future man, and simulation man have their own consciousness, but they are different than mine. In some ways it works to talk about these entities with similar structures as a class (people), but I don't think it works in the way some people think it does. People aren't electrons. Each individual is different, and thus the descriptor is only a classification to generalize about some general pattern that keeps coming up.

Basically, they all either exist or don't, so it's not like I should be surprised to find myself as myself. Everyone finds themself as themself.

And I also tend not to take argumentation as strong evidence for anything, because above all it has a lot of problems of interpretation. Sure it may sound convincing, but how do we know there isn't some flaw in the reasoning that we don't see? For everyday things, it's not such a big issue, but when we start going into things positing the existence of entire universes, I think it's gone far beyond the domain where it can be reliable. The fundamental assumptions we're making that we don't know we're making start to pile up and matter a lot. For example, imagine trying to argue about time before the concept of relativity had been imagined? Zeno's paradoxes before calculus? You're just not playing with the right deck, and a lot of the time you won't even realize it.

This problem is still pretty huge with empirical information, but there it seems a lot more manageable (read: sometimes, it's POSSIBLE to manage it).

Comment author: turchin 11 October 2015 07:23:59PM 1 point [-]

We can't take reality for granted. Most interesting things we see are simulations. For example, I see Mars. Most likely I see it on TV, or in dream, or in a book. So in most cases we need to invest to prove that the object is real, not that it is simulated. Most time we see images or dreams, not real things. So even in our world most experience are simulations. If I say you that I have a palace with 100 rooms, most likely I lie. So being skeptical means not believe in reality of anything, especially large and expensive.

Of course, it would be premature to start to believe that we are in the simulation without any practical evidence. But we should give simulation hypothesis higher a priory probability.

Comment author: Galap 12 October 2015 01:37:08AM 2 points [-]

Hmm.... I'd say that simulations and representations aren't the same thing. A representation only presents the appearance of something in some way, whereas a simulation tries to present the appearance of something for the same types of causal reasons the real thing has. So no, I wouldn't say that a video of mars is a simulation of mars.

Comment author: turchin 12 October 2015 04:20:08AM *  0 points [-]

I mean "Martian" movie. It is simulation of Mars, not actual video. Anyway my point is more like analogy, than straightforward argument. The key idea is that we should be sceptical to both possibilities: that we are real and that we are in simulation.

Comment author: Lumifer 12 October 2015 03:50:45PM 1 point [-]

Most interesting things we see are simulations.

You are confusing simulations and symbols.

Comment author: torekp 16 October 2015 05:23:36PM 0 points [-]

turchin uses some unfortunate language. For example opposing simulation people to "real" people. I'm skeptical too, but before we reject the hypothesis let's phrase it in the best form.

To wit, our universe is hypothesized to be caused intentionally by intelligent residents of another, for purposes analogous (in what ways? ) to those for which we create virtual worlds. That doesn't make us unreal.

Comment author: Lumifer 16 October 2015 05:29:40PM *  1 point [-]

To wit, our universe is hypothesized to be caused intentionally by intelligent residents of another, for purposes analogous (in what ways? ) to those for which we create virtual worlds.

Let's reformulate this in the traditional manner: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

Still sticking to traditional terms, the whole "we are a simulation" approach should properly be called "creationism".