Philosophy 8/14/2007 3:21:00 PM
It’s unsettling to think of the world being run by a futuristic computer geek, although we might at last dispose of that of classic theological question: How could God allow so much evil in the world? For the same reason there are plagues and earthquakes and battles in games like World of Warcraft. Peace is boring, Dude.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/14/science/14tier.html?8dpc
+ Comment
Heh Or maybe, as suggested by Robin Hanson, an economist at George Mason University, you should try to be as interesting as possible, on the theory that the designer is more likely to keep you around for the next simulation.
leila it's funny that they think having lots of processing power is all you need to code and run a simulation properly. simulations always have limitations
Eric Ah, but as components of the simulation, we might not be aware of those limitations. It's sorta like raycasting; you only need to cast rays where the viewer is looking. :-)
Leila I see what you mean but I was thinking along the lines of scientific simulations where the results only make sense on certain time and length scales... for example you make space discrete in the simulation.
Dave The best part is what you should do differently if you suspect you are in a simulation <http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/08/13/even-if-life-is-but-a-computer-simulation/>: "If you might be living in a simulation then all else equal you should care less about others, live more for today, make your world look more likely to become rich, expect to and try more to particpate in pivotal events, be more entertaining and praiseworthy, and keep the famous people around you happier and more interested in you."
andrewb Nick Bostrom is pretty whacky, in a totally cool way. I first came across his 20% chance of simulation idea in a book by Nicholas Fearn called 'Philosophy', which discusses this and many other ideas. Well worth a look.


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