Re: {Semi-Fluff} Anti-Singularitarianism

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Mon Dec 20 2004 - 22:01:41 MST

--- Aaron McBride <aaaaronpapejetrorgwrote:

> Maybe my dreams are abnormal (or, more likely -
> I've misunderstood your
> point), but when I wake up, I don't have first
> person memories for the
> other characters in my dreams. I know I
> created them, but I don't think
> they have real experiences. "They" is I, and I
> don't remember their
> experiences, so I doubt their experiences ever
> existed. Maybe it's kind
> of like virtual particles... maybe "they" have
> virtual experiences that
> are just real enough for to make these
> characters behave like real
> people, but all it is is my guess at what what
> real people might do (but
> not actually experience).

This is precisely why they are NPC's even if they
are part of the PC. Your dream characters do not
have full agency because your 'self-symbol' or
self-awareness is functionally separate from
them. If a dream character includes your
self-symbol as part of the activated neural
pattern, you do not report in the morning that "I
dreamed of a pirate who was fully self-aware",
you report "I dreamed I was a pirate." You could
dream of a character who was not you, while
knowing from within that it was not you, but then
you would report something like "I dreamed I was
a pirate, but somehow I knew that the pirate was
not me." In the end, whatever you do encounter is
part of you, even the feeling that it is not.
But, ahem, this is a bit far afield of the
original topic. I don't want to go in circles
about theodicy either, except to note that Tipler
asserts any cosmology will eventually engulf
theology as more mysteries become explainable
facts, and when one is building worlds (however
sim or real) one becomes responsible for deciding
about such issues as agency and suffering within
Also, it's well to remember that most of us are a
bit gullible about Turing tests and are apt to
assign agency to a telephone answering machine,
if the replies are cleverly arranged enough.

I once descended a spiral stair to a shop
somewhere on Cape Cod and heard a well-bred
middle-aged lady greet me with the warmest, most
convivial "Hello!" you could ask for. She was a
mynah bird.

Tom Buckner

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