Re: New website: The Simulation Argument

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Sun Dec 02 2001 - 06:07:29 MST

Nick Bostrom wrote:
> It follows that the
> transhumanist dogma that there is a significant chance that we will one
> day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we
> are currently living in a simulation.

Hm, leaving aside the fighting words "transhumanist dogma" (why go
there?), I can't say that I recall ancestral simulations playing any
significant part in most transhumanist scenarios. Personally I always
thought it would be a horrible thing to do even if possible and
permitted. A Friendly SI outcome does not allow for nonconsensual
simulations, and most ancestral simulations would presumably fall into
that category.

Of course, to some extent this argument is disingenuous, since the
Bayesian argument requires only a very small probability of an SI that
runs lots of ancestor simulations for the simulated ancestor worlds to
outnumber real ones. I'm just saying that "posthumans running ancestor
simulations" is not necessarily the most probable projected outcome, in
either my own model or transhumanism in general.

It was a horrible thing Durham did to those Lambertians... Permutation
City deserved what it got.

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

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