Re: How To Live In A Simulation

From: Chris Cooper (
Date: Tue Mar 20 2001 - 13:49:14 MST

  Well,I certainly started off on a bad foot!As you said,perhaps this subject
has been discussed to death before I arrived,if so,sorry.One of the things
that I enjoy in reading these posts are the sincere attempts to tackle the
bigger philosophical and ethical issues brought to light by the
Singularity.The only reason that I even posted my limited musings was due to
something in your previous post:

> Transhuman means transhumanly
> persuasive... a superintelligence could simply take over a human mind
> given realtime bandwidth, maybe even take over a mind using a memetic
> proxy (ultra-appealing religions, say).
I was just pointing towards the fact that just such a thing might have
already happened,or might be occuring even now.And to reply in kind to your

> Stories are just stories. They don't matter one way or the other.

Perhaps I'm missing your point,but I was frankly shocked to see someone as
obviously brilliant as yourself make such a statement,particularly in light
of the subject of memes coming up in the previous post.Myths,stories,etc. are
carriers for memes,both good and bad.I happen to think that matters quite a

> The
> fact that a story exists and is patently false does not provide data about
> the truth of unrelated projections.
But is it a fact that the story in question is patently false?If you plan on
creating God(i.e.,an all-knowing,all-powerful Sysop),you should at least be
open to the idea that someone else may have beaten you to the punch.

Eliezer,I dearly hope that this isn't taken as anything thing more than
gentle discourse.I have nothing but the highest respect for you,and everyone
else who takes the time to post here.Thanks for reading,and please continue
stimulating my tiny,pre-transhuman brain.

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:

> 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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