Re: Simulation argument in the NY Times

From: Tom McCabe (
Date: Wed Aug 15 2007 - 12:52:26 MDT

Of course, you might also conclude:

 - The universe has two spatial dimensions, and is
inhabited by a race of unintelligent blocks falling
down at a constant rate.
- The universe is ruled over by a race of humanoid
extradimensional aliens.
- Your power to influence events in the universe
depends primarily on how many magic points you have.
- If you die, you can always return to an earlier time
by using a restore point, or revive yourself with a
magic mushroom.
- One, two, or at most a few dozen people in the world
display intelligence; the rest all act like idiots.
- The world has remained medieval for thousands of
years, despite the ready availability of materials
necessary to develop technology (metal, gunpowder,
wood, etc.)
- Death is an all-or-nothing process, as you can get
shot five times and live, but you always die on the
sixth time.
- The outnumbered, outgunned party usually wins the
- And a whole bunch of other absurd stuff. If this is
a simulation, why should we expect it to be any more
realistic to the simulators than video games are to

 - Tom

--- Norman Noman <> wrote:

> On 8/15/07, Byrne Hobart
> <> wrote:
> >
> >
> > It is quite frankly much more likely that outside
> the box they have
> > > created a simulation that is significantly
> different from their own
> > > "universe" than one that is similar.
> > >
> >
> >
> > And if there is a similarity, it's going to be the
> kind that the Simulator
> > (and probably the simulations) isn't aware of --
> which is pretty annoying
> > when we're trying to figure it out.
> >
> > If I had to guess, just based on how humans design
> video games, I would
> > say that the most certain judgment you can make
> about them is that they
> > aren't nihilists: they like picking goals and
> pursuing them, so everything
> > in their fake-world wants to do stuff and tries to
> do it. The only video
> > game I can think of that doesn't fit the pattern
> does so intentionally:
> >
> >
> From examining one video game, one might easily
> guess that:
> The universe has three major spatial dimensions, and
> one time dimension
> Gravity exists
> There is a civilization of intelligent creatures
> which have two legs, two
> arms, two eyes, and one mouth
> They wear clothes
> They speak english
> They have reasonably complex technology, such as
> guns, airplanes, elevators,
> electric lights, plumbing, and the ability to create
> large buildings.
> They enjoy video games
> This seems not-insignificant to me. Of course, one
> could reasonably object
> that if reality is a simulation, it is unlikely to
> be a game, and even if it
> is, alien games may be much more or less like the
> worlds of their creators.

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