Re: Opting out of the Sysop scenario?

From: James Higgins (
Date: Sat Aug 11 2001 - 03:26:42 MDT

At 11:17 AM 8/6/2001 -0700, you wrote:
>Perhaps we can think about it as a legal system. We all agree to obey
>the rules for our own protection, vs. reverting to anarchy. This is
>a starting point however, because any technologically deficient Legal
>System can't statisfy everyone. The current U.S. system violates the
>volition of, say, murderers and adults who want to have sex with
>children. It allows humans to slaughter animals which really annoys
>members of PETA. It allows abortions which really annoys the Christian
>Right. It prevents you from growing certain natural plants and
>smoking them.

The thing with current systems is that if they don't work, you can
remove/change/overthrow them. In fact, the founding fathers of the US
tried to ensure that the citizens would always have the ability to
overthrow their own government if it became tyrannical. If nothing else,
you can leave as there are many countries all with their own
governments. So you get to pick and choose. If the one you are in goes to
hell, you can move.

There will be no choice in the Sysop's realm. And if things go bad (this
is always a possibility, no matter how small) everyone is stuck and thus
possibly screwed.

>In a VR enhanced society with Friendliness, we can live
>out our fantasies, whatever they are, in complete safety with respect
>to other sentient beings. A lowest level prevention mechanism of a
>physical operating system would prevent one sentient from actually
>harming another.

Not exactly.

Acting out your fantasies might be incredibly difficult. According to the
suggested rules you can't simulate people in VR. If they are a "real"
person you are simulating, acting out your fantasies with a simulation of
them is deemed to violate them. Second, if you create a simulation of a
person it becomes a citizen, permanently get assigned the computing
resources you allocated to it and gets its own full volition. Thus you
can't simulate anything.

Which means if you want to act out your fantasies, your going to need other
"real" people to cooperate. This has all sorts of problems. First, the
way it sounds is that the sysop warns you not to read any incoming messages
from people you don't trust. So it will be very hard to meet new
people. Second, any "VR" type setting better be a private setting. If you
wanted to go to the mall in VR, for example, you would need hundreds or
more individuals to play along. Try getting an individual to play at being
a sales clerk, chef, waiter, butler, etc.

>This "prevention" though, is a form of "control". There seems no way
>around it. It is the *feeling* of being under another's control that
>is bitterly rejected. Perhaps one way out of the contradiction is to
>voluntarily live in a make believe world where we "think" we have
>complete free will and then periodically are "revived", reminded
>that we, ourselves, set ourselves up to believe this fake reality for
>our own peace of mind and are given the choice of continuing the
>simulation or not.

Actually, its more about sealing the human race into a logical cell with no
way of escape in an emergency.

>Would you be willing to take "The Illusion of Freedom with Periodic
>Resuscitation" as a compromise? ;-) If not you could always stay
>on old Earth OR try to travel faster than the galactically
>spreading'll have those real choices at least. The other
>way is to deactive your "need" to feel free of the Operating System,
>but for some reason, I don't think you'd want to do that.

I'd take the "try to travel faster than the galactically spreading sysop"
option (for at least 1 copy of myself), but I don't think the powers that
be on this list want to even offer that option to anyone.

James Higgins

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