Re: Evidence for the simulation argument

From: Brent Meeker <>
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2007 14:35:34 -0800

John Mikes wrote:
> This has been a long discussion between Jason and Mark. How do I get
> into it is
> by Mark's remark:
> "I don't think I go anywhere as far as John M. in this but then maybe that
> is just because I fear to let go of my sceptical reductionist walking
> stick. "
> --Stop half-way: when the guy received $10,000 in the bank in 100s and
> counted
> them ....37,38,39, - then stopped and said: well. so far it was a match,
> let me believe that the rest is also OK.
> We are much earlier into the completion of what we know about our
> existence.
> Then again you both wrote about simulations (even: emulations) horribile
> dictu:
> " The key point is that a wilful entity or conspiracy seeks to emulate
> all or part of another wilful entity's world to the extent that the
> latter can't tell the difference when the change is made."
> Untold: "restricted to details known" Nobody can simulate or look for
> unknown details. Of course "the latter" can't tell whether 'simulated'
> if looking only at the portion that matches. (I am not clear about
> "wilful entity".)
> The fallacy of the simulational business is more than that: you (get?)
> simulate(d?) HERE and NOW and continue HERE under these conditions,
> while THERE the simulacron lives under THOSE conditions and in no time
> flat becomes different from you original. That the world of THERE is
> also simulated? Just add: and lives exactly the life of THIS one? then
> the whole thing is a hoax, a mirror image, no alternate.
> *
> Jason: " A reversible computation is one that has a 1 to 1 mapping
> between input
> and output. " Going up in the $100 bills to #45, the map may change.
> Don't tell me please such "Brunoistic" examples like 1+1 = 2, go out
> into the 'life' of a universe (or of ourselves).
> How can you reverse the infinite variations of a life-computation? You
> have got to restrict it into a limited model and work on that. Like:
> reductionist physics (QM?) .
> It seems to me like a return to Carnot, disregarding Prigogine, who
> improved the case to some (moderate) extent from the classical
> reversible even isotherm thermodynmx,
> from which I used to form the joke (as junior in college) that it shows
> how processes would [theoretically] proceed, wouldn't they proceed as
> they do proceed.
> We can reverse a closed model content, all clearly known in it. Not life.
> Just count into the simulations and reversals the constantly
> (nonlinearly!) changing world not allowing any 'fixing' of
> circumstances/processes. No static daydreams.
> *
> Jason: "Quantum mechanics makes the universe seem random and
> uncomputable to
> those inside it, but according to the many-worlds interpretation the
> universe evolves deterministically. " - right on. I just wonder why all
> those many worlds are 'emulated' after this one feeble universe we
> pretend to observe. In my 'narrative' I allowed 'universes' of
> unrestricted variety of course 'nobody' can ever continue in a totally
> different 'universe' a life from here. With e.g. a different logic.
> *
> "Are you saying that a perfectly efficient computer could not be built
> or that the physics of this universe are not computable? "
> You mean: with unrestricted, filled memory banks working on the
> limitless variations nature CAN provide? A perfectly efficient computer
> could then compute this universe as well. Maybe not these binary embryos
> we are proudly using today. Indeed: you ask about the physics of this
> universe, is it the reductionist science we are fed with in college?
> That may be computed. Discounting the randomness and indeterminism shown
> for members of this quantum universe of ours.
> Sorry for the length and my unorthodoxy.
> John M

You seem to have two themes: (1) The universe is more complex than current physics makes it out and may not be computable, and in comparison, (2) Our ability to comprehend things is quite limited. But these two together imply that is quite possible that we live in a simulation. If the simulation is being performed in a universe like ours, one with very complex physics, then the physics of that universe could provide a simulation that was beyond our ability to discern as a simulation - because of our limited comprehension. The point is that the simulation doesn't have to simulate the whole complicated universe, only the part we can investigate and understand.

Brent Meeker

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Received on Sat Feb 24 2007 - 17:35:43 PST

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