From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Jan 29 2008 - 22:39:26 MST
Thomas McCabe wrote:
> On Jan 29, 2008 9:40 PM, Peter de Blanc <email@example.com> wrote:
>>On Tue, 2008-01-29 at 19:10 -0500, Thomas McCabe wrote:
>>>These are good, but they've already been added:
>>>"* We might live in a computer simulation and it might be too
>>>computationally expensive for our simulators to simulate our world
>>> o Rebuttal synopsis: This scenario can be used to argue for,
>>>or against, any idea whatsoever. For idea X, just say "What if the
>>>simulators killed us if we did X?", or "What if the simulators killed
>>>us if we didn't do X?". "
>>This is not a rebuttal. Just because an idea can be misused to argue for
>>all sorts of things does not make it false (consider evolution, quantum
> An idea which can argue for absolutely *anything* must have zero
> information content. See
The key word in de Blanc above is "misused". An idea which allows all
outcomes at *equal probability* has zero predictive content, but the
simulation hypothesis doesn't seem to fall into this class, as de
>>Hypothesis 1: We are in a computer simulation, and it will be shut down
>>if it becomes much more computationally expensive.
>>Hypothesis 2: We are in a computer simulation, and it will be shut down
>>_unless_ it becomes much more computationally expensive.
>>Is hypothesis 2 exactly as plausible as hypothesis 1? I would say it's
>>much less plausible.
So it's not a uniform distribution, and does have information content.
-- Eliezer S. Yudkowsky http://intelligence.org/ Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
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