Re: The Simulation Argument

From: <>
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2001 20:02:51 -0800

Nick Bostrom writes:
> I have just finished a paper (which had been existing in a half-baked
> form for much too long) that might be of interest to the list members. It
> has its own website at
> ...
> ABSTRACT. This paper argues that at least one of the following
> propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct
> before reaching a "posthuman" stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is
> extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their
> evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly
> living in a computer simulation. It follows that the transhumanist dogma
> that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans
> who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living
> in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are
> also discussed.

I wonder if you consider the possibility that there is no matter of fact
as to whether we are living in a simulation? Suppose that we live in real
life, and also get simulated one or more times, then our consciousness
cannot be localized to any specific instantiation.

Perhaps you are considering posthumans who simulate variations on possible
histories? In that case only those simulations which happen to match
the past exactly would give rise to this question, which is arguably a
small fraction of simulations assuming imperfect knowledge of the past.

Received on Sat Dec 01 2001 - 20:09:59 PST

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