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Thread: Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?

  1. #1
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    Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?

    I'm a big fan of philosophy, but I find much of it useless, esp. the old time philosophers since the field of Evolutionary Psychology and Neurobiology answers all of their ponderings. Evolutionary Psychology does not get media coverage from the Marxist leaning American mainstream media, so many people still believe old-time philosophers are still valid. Here is the international Evolutionary Psychology headquarters: http://www.hbes.com/

    One example of an obsolete philosophical pondering in whether we have free will. But, Evolutionary Psychology has shown us that evolution simply drives the brain to function in ways that maximizes reproductive success. As such, our natural inclinations are set for such a goal. Second, neuro-biology has shown that our brain at the micro-level is just a computer program, where the ones and zeros in the binary code are analagous to the patterns of synapses in the brain. The speed of nerve conduction in the brain is analagous to the processor speed, front-side bus speed, PCI bus speed, and so forth in the computer, and the amount of neurons in the brain is analagous to the computer RAM, cache, and hard-drive size. Thus, humans have no more free will than does a super-computer.

    But, getting back to the title of this thread, we have modern philosophers now, many whom I still think are useless because they ignore or are unaware of the answers evolutionary psychology and neuro-biology provides. But one philosophical perspective that I believe has validity is the claim that we really cannot know reality in the absolute sense:

    http://www.simulation-argument.com/

    ABSTRACT. Those who believe suitably programmed computers could enjoy conscious experience of the sort we enjoy must accept the possibility that their own experience is being generated as part of a computerized simulation. It would be a mistake to dismiss this is just one more radical sceptical possibility: for as Bostrom has recently noted, if advances in computer technology were to continue at close to present rates, there would be a strong probability that we are each living in a computer simulation. The first part of this paper is devoted to broadening the scope of the argument: even if computers cannot sustain consciousness (as many dualists and materialists believe), there may still be a strong likelihood that we are living simulated lives. The implications of this result are the focus of the second part of the paper. The topics discussed include: the Doomsday argument, scepticism, the different modes of virtual life, transcendental idealism, the Problem of Evil, and simulation ethics.
    Details behind this argument are at http://www.simulation-argument.com/

    Regards.

  2. #2
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    So, AA, you started this thread because of a biological need to satisfy evolutionary psychology? Can you elaborate on why?

    I have considered the possibility that we are all part of a computer program. I keep coming back to the question: Who programmed it? Who constructed the hardware it runs on? God? The Architect and the Oracle? Two white mice that are representations of hyperdimensional beings?

  3. #3
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    Am I living in a computer simulation?

    No.

    ANything else?

    I find the old brain in a vat debates to be pointless and tiring. Dress it up as computer simulation and it changes nothing, it is still the brain in a vat debate. If you were a simulation, your only hope on knowing it would be to assume the sim was poorly written. You might think you have some evidence, but even that evidence was put there by the sim as was your response, so there you are back at zero. So what is the point?

    If all I want to do is have an excuse to sneer at philosophies I don't wish to accept, I don't need to invent the brain in a vat.

    As an aside, you present your view along with inflamatory rhetoric. The remarks about MArxist media and other such irrelevancies do nothing to make anyone more sympathetic to your arguments and will alienate many - such as myself. I for one would be more inclined to consider your positions if you simply stated them and your reasoning without all the hostile additions.

  4. #4
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    ToSeeked by almost two years. Must be some kind of record.

    Are We Living in a Simulation?

  5. #5
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    It really doesn't matter so long as the simulation is consistant we would never know. If it screwed up every once in a while we would prolly figure it out eventualy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stregone
    It really doesn't matter so long as the simulation is consistant we would never know. If it screwed up every once in a while we would prolly figure it out eventualy.
    A glitch in the matrix?

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    Yeah pretty much.

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    Re: Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jpax2003
    Quote Originally Posted by Stregone
    It really doesn't matter so long as the simulation is consistant we would never know. If it screwed up every once in a while we would prolly figure it out eventualy.
    A glitch in the matrix?
    It doesn't even have to be computer-created. Remember Truman almost getting hit by "SIRIUS (9 Canis Major)"?

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    Great! I finally accept the fact that I'm encoded in pi and now you move me to a computer simulation!

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    Been reading Gibson a bit too much lately? Did you know he typed his manuscripts on a manual typewriter?

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    A MANUAL typewriter? SO THAT is what they do. I have one at home, I thought it was a cat perch.

    Did you know you can actually play solitaire without a computer?

  12. #12
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    Nah. do not belive that we are in a computer simulation. I mean if we were, you still have to ask yuorself: Why did they create the Mime? A being of such pure evil could never be creatied willingly by a programmer.






    Seriously? No. Yes i believe we evilved, yes i believe the brain can be explained in computer terms. Does that mean that our brain is a computer programmed by some other being? no. Everything in our brain, all our actions, all our manerisms are learned, and evolved throught millenia of trial and erorr.

  13. #13
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    Re: Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Humphrey
    [edit]erorr.
    That pretty much says it all. On to the next topic... 8)

  14. #14
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    Oh, so is it like Tron? Are we all computer programs that still have a biological or higher dimensional User? Are we avatars of a superstring entity or entities?

    So, is the poet correct when she says that your eyes are the Windows(TM) into your soul?

    I guess ctrl+ alt+delete works in real life as evidenced by this parsing: Control. Alternately, delete. Hmmm, the essence of big government?

    So if we assume the programmer is God, or at least resembles one by virtue of having godlike powers over us, then who is Satan? Bad AI? Virus? Malware? Script-kiddie? Hacker/Cracker? Kid brother who wants to play space invaders while God is trying to finish his 10th grade cyber-biology paper?

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    Re: Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?

    And who's that guy over there wearing the Red Hat? Prometheus? :-k

  16. #16
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    Re: Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Asian-American
    Second, neuro-biology has shown that our brain at the micro-level is just a computer program, where the ones and zeros in the binary code are analagous to the patterns of synapses in the brain. The speed of nerve conduction in the brain is analagous to the processor speed, front-side bus speed, PCI bus speed, and so forth in the computer, and the amount of neurons in the brain is analagous to the computer RAM, cache, and hard-drive size. Thus, humans have no more free will than does a super-computer.
    First I can't remember that these points have been shown somewhere and second, even if all these alalogies exists, the conclusion mustn't hold. Just because a walking robot, has same speed, leg lengths and other things doesn't means that we are just robots.

  17. #17
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    If we don't have free will, then why bother?

  18. #18
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    Without evidence of this being the case, I see it as just an interesting idea which has no direct effect and is therefore of no practical value.

    (Without meaning to offend anyone, [edit - I removed this bit, really a bit much]).

    The most interesting idea I've seen on this line is this:
    1. say there is only one "real" Universe.
    2. say that it is posible to simulate a (subset of the) Universe in a computer.
    3. say there could be many computers simulating Universes.
    4. it follows (apparently) that we are much more lilely to be in a simulated Universe than in the "real" Universe.

    I had trouble with that.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw
    Without evidence of this being the case, I see it as just an interesting idea which has no direct effect and is therefore of no practical value.

    (Without meaning to offend anyone, [edit - I removed this bit, really a bit much]).

    The most interesting idea I've seen on this line is this:
    1. say there is only one "real" Universe.
    2. say that it is posible to simulate a (subset of the) Universe in a computer.
    3. say there could be many computers simulating Universes.
    4. it follows (apparently) that we are much more lilely to be in a simulated Universe than in the "real" Universe.

    I had trouble with that.
    If you start with three speculations, you can prove anything. I wouldn't be troubled by this at all, if I were you.

  20. #20
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    I don't where I read an interesting argument about this.

    If we lived in a computer simulation, we might find out because of anomalies in physical systems.
    A computer cannot practically simulate a physical system with infinite accuracy.

    For example, the popular Pioneer anomaly might be the result of rounding errors done by the computer that calculates the motion of the Pioneer using Newtonian Mechanics.

  21. #21
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    To answer the original question, I am not living in a computer simulation.

    However, most of the rest of you are living in a computer simulation.

    Enjoy.

  22. #22
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    Re: Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?

    As Enzp said, this is just the old brain in the vat (we called it brain in a box) debate. It was the kind of thing that kept me up all night, talking with my friends, when I was 15 (ah, the good old days).
    Quote Originally Posted by Asian-American
    <snip>
    The speed of nerve conduction in the brain is analagous to the processor speed, front-side bus speed, PCI bus speed, and so forth in the computer, and the amount of neurons in the brain is analagous to the computer RAM, cache, and hard-drive size. Thus, humans have no more free will than does a super-computer.
    Even if the computer analogy was true (and I'm not sure it is, what evidence is there that the brain is binary), I don't see how that follows that I have no free will. No matter what the hardware is, it is the programming that counts, and there is a lot different programs that can be run on the same type of computer or in the same type of brain.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  23. #23
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    Is Searle's Chinese Box argument of any value here ? :-?

    To what end would such a program have been constructed?

    Would each person be simulated by a parallel processor / sub program?

    With the exponential growth rate we have, would there not be an upper limit to how many beings the great computer could handle

    (Or maybe that is the purpose of wars, a special program designed to run system purges so processor space is freed up)

    Are we going to be demolished by the Vogons 5 minutes before the final read out?

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    Re: Re: Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks
    Is Searle's Chinese Box argument of any value here ? :-?

    To what end would such a program have been constructed?

    Would each person be simulated by a parallel processor / sub program?

    With the exponential growth rate we have, would there not be an upper limit to how many beings the great computer could handle

    (Or maybe that is the purpose of wars, a special program designed to run system purges so processor space is freed up)

    Are we going to be demolished by the Vogons 5 minutes before the final read out?
    Ah, computer-synthesized soup! Good!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sticks
    <snip>(Or maybe that is the purpose of wars, a special program designed to run system purges so processor space is freed up)
    Yep, what we call natural disasters and diseases are just the Universal Computer's System Tools to make more space on the hard-drive.

    Hear us, oh great Operating System, spare us this day from the Ctrl-Alt-Delete! Neither Format us nor Delete us. Raise us up to Archival Storage. Shelter us from the Blue Screen of Death.

    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  26. #26
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    If we were living in a computer simulation, the programmer might have thought about some lines starting with "on Error GoTo" !!

    (bureaucratics... )

  27. #27
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    And God said, "Let there be Light!"
    Unable to parse voice command. Please Restate.
    "Let there be Light!"
    Dictionary module missing, reloading backup, please restate.
    "Let there be Light!"
    Hardware fault in Sound Hardware:Microphone --Harmonic Distortion, please lower voice and restate.
    "Let there be Light."
    Command Accepted, Please input color, brightness, contrast parameters, and also light source or sources dimensions, locations, illumination levels, color temperature....
    "To Hell with it!" God pushes the button.

  28. #28
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    I know I'm not in a computer simulation. I don't have a little green doohickie above my head...

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kristophe
    I know I'm not in a computer simulation. I don't have a little green doohickie above my head...
    Does living in a computer simulation imply that the universe has a reset button somewhere? 8-[

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas
    If we were living in a computer simulation, the programmer might have thought about some lines starting with "on Error GoTo" !!

    (bureaucratics... )
    Nah...

    On Error Resume Next

    Just accept it and move on.

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