Re: New website: The Simulation Argument

From: Bryan Moss (
Date: Mon Dec 03 2001 - 16:09:26 MST

Nick Bostrom wrote:

> ABSTRACT. This paper argues that at least one of the
> following propositions is true: (1) the human species is
> very likely to go extinct before reaching a "posthuman"
> stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely
> to run a significant number of simulations of their
> evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are
> almost certainly living in a computer simulation.

The safe bet would be (2) then. Although you argued that we
might build computers powerful enough to loosely simulate the
world, you didn't seem to back up the larger assertion that we
can state the configuration of a part of the universe at a
particular time, and without that I doubt you could achieve
any kind of consistency in an "ancestor-simulation." There's
even a hint of an argument against simulations here: if your
physics allows you to state the exact configuration of some
part of the universe at a particular time, then there's the
chance that you're living in a simulation, therefore you can't
know that your physics is correct -- PARADOX! Of course, you
can argue forever that we're being tricked and that every
inconsistency noticed is revised or worked-around or whatever,
and before long the whole game becomes tedious (both to those
of us in the simulation and those outside, no doubt).


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