Re: {Semi-Fluff} Anti-Singularitarianism

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Mon Dec 20 2004 - 00:04:01 MST

--- Randall Randall <>

> On Dec 19, 2004, at 12:13 PM, Thomas Buckner
> wrote:
> > I call this the lobster dinner problem. Let's
> say
> > you have just proposed to your significant
> other
> > over a delicious lobster dinner in a lovely
> > restaurant overlooking the ocean, washed your
> > food down whith the best champagne, kissed
> > passionately, etc., etc. It's a very good
> day,
> > yes?
> > Not for the lobsters.
> > Can a stable world exist which is all
> proposal
> > dinners and no lobster deaths?
> Sure.
> In the limit, each sim might consist of so few
> actual persons that each can have whatever they
> need for contentment without interacting with
> any others (except the sim operator(s)).
> However,
> the only situation in which this would even be
> a
> problem would be a sim in which there were
> people
> who would be in pain in the absence of others'
> suffering, and such a need could simply be
> edited
> out of the possibilities for minds in that sim,
> or
> simulacrums could be provided to satisfy such
> an
> odd need.

Okay, but you see, I am not necessarily referring
to a stable sim world, but to any stable world,
and even if I were, it would exist as a component
of some 'more real' world. You refer to a sim
where no sufferers exist who can pass a Turing
test. Either it's pretty unpopulated in that sim
or else the PC's are interacting with NPC's who,
regardless of their sophistication, do not pass
the Turing test. If the NPC's can pass the Turing
test, who can still say they are not PC's? If I
recall, Hofstadter noted that we accord other
people the same Turing status as ourselves even
though we could insist that their agency is a
illusion; if we do not, we are deemed rude or
sociopathic. The lobster dinner problem speaks to
the 'argument from evil' and our very crowded
world of agents, even agents so lowly as the

Your 'solitary sim', actually, is a common
experience. We dream, and in dreams we can be as
reckless as we wish. We are the PC, we are the
sim operator, and even the NPC's are part of us,
and in the morning we are still whole.

Tom Buckner

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