Re: How To Live In A Simulation

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Tue Mar 20 2001 - 13:05:43 MST

Chris Cooper wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm breaking out of lurk mode at last,please be gentle.I'm always
> fascinated by the unexpected directions these discussions take,but I'd
> like to start by merely pointing out one interesting tangent.

> > Is the
> > Singularity the current,technology-friendly version of the same world
> > ending/transforming myths that are at the heart of all the world's
> > religions?

No. Do you have any other questions?

I realize that this is an "interesting tangent", and that you haven't
lived through the endless dreary discussions on the Extropians list as I
have, and that there are probably some people on the list who haven't yet
been transhumanists long enough to be as heartily sick of this topic as I
am, so I'm not following my natural inclinations, which are to censor this
outright. You don't know, they don't know, I shouldn't snap at anyone;
fine, I accept that. It's even possible that there are a few people on
the list who, not knowing better, would take a KillThread as a confession
of Sacred Cowdom.

When I was five or so, I read a people-fake-up-a-ghost story in which the
wise protagonist explains at one point: "There are two ways to believe in
ghosts. One way is full belief; believing that ghosts and goblins really
exist. The other way is half-belief; saying you don't believe, that it's
a superstition, but still starting at noises in the night, and making up
strange explanations whenever you see something unusual. And in many
ways, half-believing is worse."

Stories are just stories. They don't matter one way or the other. The
fact that a story exists and is patently false does not provide data about
the truth of unrelated projections. "The world's biggest fool may say the
sun is shining, but that doesn't make it dark out." (Robert Persig, _Zen
and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance_.)

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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