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jb5 comments on High Challenge - Less Wrong

22 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 19 December 2008 12:51AM

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Comment author: jb5 19 December 2008 12:07:26PM 6 points [-]

There's so much to consider here. For me at least, for something to be fun, I have to know that there's a challenge. For it to be a challenge, there has to be the possibility of failure. There has to be scary parts, that remind you of failure. There has to be multiple real, meaningful, obvious paths that suggest fun in the short term, but disaster in the long term, that you have to look at and reject. There have to be rewards that are enticing, but incredibly rare and difficult, and other rewards that are easier, faster and more localized.

But more importantly, to me, you have to believe it is real - you can't *know* you're sitting in a fun-generating machine (FGM) - you might wonder about it, but have no real ability to test it.

I can see the possibility of some super-advanced version of me thinking "I want to run a simulation where I live in the 20th and 21st centuries back on Earth", configuring the simulation in various ways, and then "jacking in" to the simulation. All of my memories are suppressed, and 38 years of apparent time later, I'm stuck here arguing on forums with you guys ;-)

Eventually I "die", and the simulation ends, super-advanced me "wakes up" and gets to look at my list of accomplishments and challenges, etc, and chuckle over the choices I've made, in my abysmal ignorance. Then, perhaps, he sits around every once in a while, wondering if his super-advanced life is just a simulation in some even-more-advanced entity's FGM.

It's turtles all the way down.