Re: New website: The Simulation Argument

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Sun Dec 02 2001 - 13:56:57 MST

On Sunday, December 2, 2001, at 01:56 PM, Nick Bostrom wrote:

> Eliezer wrote:
>> 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.

Or, maybe another way of looking at it is that, even if you don't think
Friendliness is likely to be an idea that would happen time and again,
if Friendliness is not implemented, the chances of the universe getting
toasted are so high that the chances of the universe getting to a point
that it could run a simulation such as the one we might hypothetically
be in is incredibly tiny.

> That's good, but as you say, the scenarios that are called into
> question are not only those where a civilization has large probability
> of some day running ancestor-simulation, but also scenarios where a
> civilization has any significant chance (even a very tiny one) of doing
> that ( - all assuming we are not in a simulation, of course). So this
> rules out all those scenarios we hear about people with human-like
> motives setting off into space and colonizing planets; it also rules
> out all scenarios where civilization develops along a "noisy" in a
> rather haphazard fashion. For example, I think most of the scenarios
> that arch-transhumanist Anders Sandberg is exploring in his role
> playing games are now refuted.

Even if there is some reason to run a simulation, there is no need to
create a simulation. Rather, SIs can play out scenarios based on
knowledge of the algorithms of human minds and their environment.
Perhaps post Singularity, theater changes from being introspective to
postspective, looking at how minds used to be rather than as they are,
since the average SI who is reprogramming verself would already know
quite a bit about verself.

Gordon Worley                     `When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty            said, `it means just what I choose                it to mean--neither more nor less.'
PGP:  0xBBD3B003                                  --Lewis Carroll

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