Re: Simulation argument in the NY Times

From: Vladimir Nesov (
Date: Wed Aug 15 2007 - 15:44:46 MDT

Thursday, August 16, 2007, Peter murray wrote:

Pm> On 8/15/07, Dagon Gmail <> wrote:
>> So let's assume this simulation argument has merits - it should have
>> some kind of functionality, right?

Pm> The simulation does not necessarily have to be purposeful or even
Pm> intentional.

Pm> Given a universe with infinite computational resources you can easily
Pm> imagine a buggy program spawning an infinite loop that performs some simple,
Pm> repetitive logical operation and/or resource allocation that grows without
Pm> bounds and yet is not noticed by the responsible entity (assuming the
Pm> infinite computation is performed instantly from the perspective of the
Pm> originating universe, as in some form of quantum computation for example).
Pm> Such simple operations could form the substrate and fundamental laws of an
Pm> entire universe which, over (internal) time, would expand from an initial
Pm> computational big-bang into a rich and complex Universe such as that we find
Pm> ourselves in today. Of course, if this were true, you'd expect the
Pm> expansion of the Universe to be accelerating. hmmm

Pm> In fact, given all our experience with writing software up to this point, I
Pm> would argue that the introduction of such a bug is inevitable. It may even
Pm> be a natural phenomenon. All you need is one universe with infinite
Pm> computation, and from there an infinite number of child computational
Pm> universes could "bud off" in parallel. There are likely are far more
Pm> (infinitely more) accidental or natural computational universes than there
Pm> are deliberate simulations.

What's the difference between a universe model implemented by contraption1 and
that same model implemented by contraption2 from subjective POV of
intelligent subsystem of that model? None. What's the difference then
if there's no implementing contraption at all? From subjective POV,
much as with many-worlds QM, universe splits at the moment when
discrepancy appears (teenage god starts tweaking a universe on his
contraption2). So if there's no evidence we are in a simulation, we
are not, at least in some of future branches.

 Vladimir Nesov                  

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