Re: Simulation aware

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Mon Dec 03 2001 - 13:31:25 MST

Gordon Worley wrote:
> In short, if people know they live in a simulation causes problems, this
> is not a simulation because we wouldn't be able to think about it,
> because thinking about it would ruin the simulation.

Under that logic, doesn't arriving at the above conclusion falsify it?

The normative chain of reasoning is probably as follows: "I don't know
whether or not the purpose of a simulation requires simulants unable to
think about the possibility that they occupy a simulation. If it does, my
thinking through this chain of reasoning shows that I am not in a
simulation. If not, my thinking through this chain of reasoning shows
nothing. That I am thinking through this chain of reasoning is therefore
very minor evidence against the general proposition that I am in a
simulation, but it certainly does not constitute proof."

But if instead someone concludes "...therefore I must not be in a computer
simulation," their apparent tendency to favor this non-normative
conclusion might be taken as evidence showing that

                          ERROR DETECTED AT ADDRESS 336996351123355
                                   NON-PERMITTED DEDUCTION (TYPE 9)

this world is definitely *not* a computer simulation.

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

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