Kevin's Watch Forum Index
 HomeHome   MemberlistMemberlist   RegisterRegister   SearchSearch   ProfileProfile   FAQFAQ   StatisticsStatistics  SudokuSudoku   Phoogle MapPhoogle Map 
 AlbumAlbum StoresStores   StoresItems Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Thought experiment: imagine the universe is a simulation!
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> The Close
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 18008

Thanks: 41
Thanked 186 Times in 178 Posts


26416 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:39 pm    Post subject: Thought experiment: imagine the universe is a simulation! Reply with quote

I've never really taken this question seriously, until today, when I watched this video. I've always thought that the idea was silly, and didn't really matter. If we're a simulation, and can't tell, then what difference does it make? It's almost like religion. Sure, god might exist, but if we can never test this hypothesis, it's useless. Even as pure philosophy, it seemed little different from Descartes's "evil demon" idea that a supernatural being is tricking us into believing that there is an external reality to our perceptions. No one really believes such things.

But then I realized that it's not just a frivolous idea, but a possible interpretation of quantum physics (of which there are many, and scientists can't decide which one is right). It actually explains quite a lot. First, think about simulated worlds in computer games. They don't really simulate a whole world down to the smallest details. What you see only gets rendered in detail when you look at it. This is because processing power is finite. So everything you're not looking at either doesn't exist or exists only as a mere potential. This is very much like the quantum world. The universe doesn't "compute" every single particle's position, momentum, spin, etc. In fact, we KNOW that particles don't have distinct properties until we measure them (i.e. "look" at them). But we have no idea why this should be the case. It's a deep mystery.

The simulation hypothesis would solve this problem. In fact, it solves many mysteries, including why there is a limit to the speed of light, why there is such a thing as quantum entanglement (aka "spooky action at a distance"), and why particles seem to know ahead of time that you are going to look at them, such as in delayed choice double slit experiments.

All the above is in the video link I provided. But I'm taking the idea further here. The simulation hypothesis also solves the problem of why the universe seems so mathematical. It really does seem to be following a program, or at least has parameters determined by a program. The program would be the laws of physics themselves. Fist doesn't seem to think this is much of a mystery, but many others are perplexed by the fact that virtually everything we encounter in the universe can be described mathematically. Why should an abstract formal system be so good at describing what is concrete and material?

The simulation hypothesis easily solves that problem.

But it solves even more: the Hard Problem of Matter. In the article Fist linked in my consciousness thread, this problem was described in terms of our ignorance as to what lies at the "center" of all the relations we measure in matter. All we ever see in our experiments (or even in everyday life) are the interactions of matter with other matter. Every property of matter which we categorize is one of these relations. But what is *it* that is being structured into these properties? If all the properties of matter can be modeled--simulated--mathematically, then what is the difference between a simulation and the real thing? The Hard Problem of Matter only arises because we assume (without proof) that there is a difference between reality and simulation. The "stuff" (i.e. matter) that is being structured into these mathematically "shaped" properties (e.g. momentum, mass, charge, spin, etc.), is the ONLY thing that could possibly make a difference between simulation and reality. But we don't know what it is and we can never witness it.

So what if there isn't any "stuff?" The Hard Problem of Matter disappears with the simulation hypothesis, because it only exists by assuming there's a difference between simulation and concrete reality. Without "stuff," it's no longer problematic to think purely in terms of mathematical relations.

So, with this theory, we can solve the quantum interpretation problem, the Hard Problem of Math, the Hard Problem of Matter . . . what about the Hard Problem of Consciousness? Well, there are many philosophers who already think that consciousness is an illusion. Basically a simulation being run on a brain. They don't think that there is a Hard Problem of Mind, dissolving that problem much like I've done with the H.P. of Matter. So in that sense, yes, it solves that problem, too. And now, suddenly, this idea no longer seems like silly speculation! It solves SO MUCH!

Let's stop there for a moment and ask ourselves: what kind of reality do we live in such that its deepest mysteries are easily solved by the theory that it's not real???

That blows my mind.

But let's not get carried away. First of all, I disagree with the idea that I'm not really conscious. Consciousness is the one thing that we have direct access to. This is where simulation and reality can be distinguished, where there is a difference between "seems conscious to others" and "seems conscious to me" can be delineated. If I'm just a simulation, then there is no me to fool with a simulation. Consciousness wouldn't be a necessary part of any of this. The simulation could go on without any of *us* watching it. Additionally, the universe would never have to be rendered in any detail if there were no one watching. All the mysteries of quantum mechanics would disappear if we didn't have to worry about what's happening "when we're not looking," or when we make a measurement. The fact that there are these mysteries means that there are indeed Watchers, because we do indeed make a difference.

So consciousness is real. But that doesn't tell us what it is. I've proposed several answers to this question in my other thread:

1. "The bridge between matter and meaning."
2. "Meaning looping back upon itself."

If there really is no matter, and it's all just mathematical relations, then 1 and 2 are the same thing. So can consciousness be comprised of pure meaning? After all, I'm assuming that it is immaterial in itself. I've resisted reductive materialism because what we do with our minds seems to be more than what science tells us matter is.

So what if there is no matter? It's all just meaning? In that case, the problem of reduction disappears, too. It's still a mystery how consciousness forms these loops of meaning, but it's no longer metaphysically incomprehensible. You no longer have two metaphysically distinct substances interacting and necessitating an explanation how they could possibly interact. Therefore, the mind/body problem disappears, too.

But wouldn't this just postpone all those problems? After all, if this is a simulation, then the simulation must be running on something, some hardware. Actually, I'm not even sure we could say that. If the simulation proves that you don't need matter in order to have a universe, why would there EVER have to be a distinction?

And at this point, my mind is too blown to track down all the implications.

Your turn! Razz
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche


Last edited by Zarathustra on Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wayfriend
whilom witling

Male
Joined: 21 Apr 2004
Posts: 19187

Thanks: 11
Thanked 226 Times in 208 Posts

Location: The world of the Bowling Green Massacre
44530 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
3 Member of Linden's Army


PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saying the universe is a simulation is identical to saying it's magical - it makes questioning how the universe works moot, by declaring it is off limits to questions. It's identical to saying it's a conspiracy - questioning how the universe works moot, because it's all operated by an unseen, unknown force.

Solving problems by waving your hand and saying it's moot isn't science. It's punting.

Thunder is just God bowling - that's an answer, too. I think the quality of the answer also matters. Answers arrived at by resorting to magic and conspiracy theories should not satisfy real scientists.
_________________
* I occasionally post things on KevinsWatch because I am a fan of Stephen R. Donaldson; this should not be considered as condonation of the white nationalist propaganda for which this forum has become a platform.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 18008

Thanks: 41
Thanked 186 Times in 178 Posts


26416 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For many scientists/philosophers, it's not inherently problematic to produce consciousness with a computer (i.e. simulation). However, I've argued that this is impossible in practice, because computers merely run algorithms and consciousness isn't an algorithm. It's much like my argument for why consciousness can't reduce to matter, because the laws of physics are also very much like algorithms. They don't contain purpose, intentionality, qualia, etc.

But all my reasoning was qualified by the possibility that we could develop computers that don't merely run algorithms, and that we could develop laws of nature that include "mental/immaterial" within them. So I've always believed that, eventually, we could build conscious computers and we can explain how mind evolves out of matter, but those explanations would radically transform how we think of matter, and those computers would operate under entirely different principles than today's computers.

So if we're going to solve the problem of how mind can evolve out of matter by speculating that there is no matter, only simulation, we've opened up a path to how we can transform our conception of matter and the laws which govern its interactions. The laws of nature wouldn't necessarily be "blind" or "purposeless" if they are instead artifacts of design. A program.

Does this similarly open a path to rethink our conception of computers? Is our current technology for computers limited by our conception of matter? What does it mean to build computers out of matter that is actually just bits of "code" in a vastly larger computer (i.e. the one simulating our universe)? I don't think this would limit us indefinitely, because consciousness obviously is produced out of this same "matter" (i.e. code). But how would changing our conception of matter help us to build computers that are conscious? How does realizing that laws of nature aren't "blind" and "purposeless" but instead artifacts of design help us in our project? Is there a way to turn that purpose to our own ends?

If we could do that, we'd be doing exactly what the alleged designers of this universe had done. We'd have their power.

Was that the purpose of this "experiment?" Not only to create life, but to create life that could also create life? Would that prove that we're not merely automatons ourselves, if we could figure out our own consciousness and produce it artificially? In effect, turn it inside out? Turn it into an objective principle? And this is something that could only be done "from the inside?" That's how you know your creation is not merely illusion??

Maybe the purpose of this simulation, our universe, is to answer precisely these questions. Maybe our designers are just as puzzled as to how they are conscious as we are. Maybe they set up a system they could watch, to see how consciousness evolves, in order to determine if they have correctly deduced the right principles which lead to its creation.

And here we are, trying to do the same thing.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 18008

Thanks: 41
Thanked 186 Times in 178 Posts


26416 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Saying the universe is a simulation is identical to saying it's magical - it makes questioning how the universe works moot, by declaring it is off limits to questions. It's identical to saying it's a conspiracy - questioning how the universe works moot, because it's all operated by an unseen, unknown force.

Solving problems by waving your hand and saying it's moot isn't science. It's punting.

Thunder is just God bowling - that's an answer, too. I think the quality of the answer also matters. Answers arrived at by resorting to magic and conspiracy theories should not satisfy real scientists.
That's what I've always thought, too, until I realized that it actually has explanatory power. That's the opposite of declaring it is off limits to questions. It's actually an answer.

It's also the opposite of saying it's magical, if it's the product of technology. And for that universe which contains this simulation, all the questions would still apply. We might even be able to deduce some things about that universe by studying the code of this one, just like you can learn some things about our own computer hardware by studying the software that is designed to run on it. Figuring out the program (i.e. laws of physics), is still revealing.

I do agree that it seems to make some things conspiratorial. But naturalism isn't without its basic mysteries. Why is there something rather than nothing? Why does the universe have this particular mathematical form? Etc. Naturalism answers the most basic questions of reality with a shrug and "that's just the way things are." (In other words, punting.) I'm not sure how that's any better than what I'm proposing.

Also, we KNOW that computers will get more powerful. Our simulations will get more detailed. Extrapolating from this, we can imagine aliens who have vastly more powerful computers already. They might already be able to make simulations of universes rich enough to spawn their own simulations, which can then spawn simulations, etc. There could be quite a long chain of such simulations. So assuming that OUR universe is the one that is at the top of this chain is like winning the lottery. The odds that this one is the real one decrease dramatically once you acknowledge that the possibility of universe simulation is not merely an idea, but a reality on its own. Given this very real possibility, we must consider what kind of criteria we'd need to assure ourselves that we are not in one of the simulations, but in the original.

Sheer incredulity isn't enough--especially when the theory explains at least 4 of the biggest mysteries we can imagine (see my opening post . . . did you read it?).
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wayfriend
whilom witling

Male
Joined: 21 Apr 2004
Posts: 19187

Thanks: 11
Thanked 226 Times in 208 Posts

Location: The world of the Bowling Green Massacre
44530 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
3 Member of Linden's Army


PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
That's what I've always thought, too, until I realized that it actually has explanatory power.

So said every priest who claimed that appeasing their god would cause the crops to grow better.

Zarathustra wrote:
It's also the opposite of saying it's magical, if it's the product of technology.

No, that's patently false. Technology beyond our ability to see, appeal to, or affect is EXACTLY magic. Calling it a different term, and saying it arises from a different source, doesn't change that it's magic.

Magic is magic because of what it IS - positing that something outside of nature - e.g. supernatural - is the cause of things. And that's exactly what simulation theory posits - something outside of our universe, something not required to obey the natural laws of OUR universe, makes everything work.

It really is "God bowling", on every conceivable level.
_________________
* I occasionally post things on KevinsWatch because I am a fan of Stephen R. Donaldson; this should not be considered as condonation of the white nationalist propaganda for which this forum has become a platform.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 18008

Thanks: 41
Thanked 186 Times in 178 Posts


26416 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly, WF, I think you are arguing against a caricature of my position, or creating one for that purpose.

Have you read my posts, or just the title? Have you watched the video? What do you make of the idea that this hypothesis solves half a dozen or so of the hardest problems known to man? That's not something to scoff at.

From Scientific American:

Quote:
The idea that the universe is a simulation sounds more like the plot of "The Matrix," but it is also a legitimate scientific hypothesis.


There are even ways to test it:

Quote:
Such existential-sounding hypotheses often tend to be essentially untestable, but some researchers think they could find experimental evidence that we are living in a computer game. One idea is that the programmers might cut corners to make the simulation easier to run. "If there is an underlying simulation of the universe that has the problem of finite computational resources, just as we do, then the laws of physics have to be put on a finite set of points in a finite volume," said Zohreh Davoudi, a physicist at MIT. "Then we go back and see what kind of signatures we find that tell us we started from non-continuous spacetime." That evidence might come, for example, in the form of an unusual distribution of energies among the cosmic rays hitting Earth that suggests spacetime is not continuous, but made of discrete points. "That's the kind of evidence that would convince me as a physicist," Gates said.

_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wayfriend
whilom witling

Male
Joined: 21 Apr 2004
Posts: 19187

Thanks: 11
Thanked 226 Times in 208 Posts

Location: The world of the Bowling Green Massacre
44530 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
3 Member of Linden's Army


PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am stating my opinion of the theory, and why I have that opinon. Hate my opinion all you want to. Ascribe my opinion to my bad character all you want to. But my opinion will remain.
_________________
* I occasionally post things on KevinsWatch because I am a fan of Stephen R. Donaldson; this should not be considered as condonation of the white nationalist propaganda for which this forum has become a platform.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 18008

Thanks: 41
Thanked 186 Times in 178 Posts


26416 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
I am stating my opinion of the theory, and why I have that opinon. Hate my opinion all you want to. Ascribe my opinion to my bad character all you want to. But my opinion will remain.
I'm not hating anything, nor talking about bad character. You are talking about "magic," "priests," "conspiracies," and "God bowling," even though I haven't mentioned any of those things. Therefore, from the substance of your own posts, it seems that you either a) don't understand what I'm talking about (at least in the detail in which I mean it) and therefore addressing a simplified version in terms of caricatures, or, b) purposely creating the above quoted caricatures despite knowing full well that I'm not talking about those things.

None of your points reference anything I've said, except for the title of the thread and the bare minimum meaning that "simulation" could convey. If you're just here to make fun of the idea, well then, mission accomplished. If you'd like to go beyond constructing demeaning metaphors, then I invite you to read my posts, read the article, and watch the video.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hashi Lebwohl
Director of Data Acquisition

Male
Joined: 06 Jul 2009
Posts: 12834

Thanks: 24
Thanked 120 Times in 116 Posts

Location: UMCPHQ
72021 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Caesure1 Insequent1 UMCPHQ


PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This thread is almost tempting enough to make me come back here to discuss it.
_________________
No matter how thinly you slice it, it's still bologna.

What is the secret of Zen? Burn all your Zen books.

If you can't handle losing then you don't deserve to win.

Don Exnihilote wrote:
Hashi, if you thought you were wrong at times, evidently you were mistaken.


Mensa and Intertel
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Skyweir
Lord of Light


Joined: 16 Mar 2002
Posts: 18095

Thanks: 19
Thanked 67 Times in 67 Posts

Location: Australia
33602 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Lord's Staff1 Oath of Peace1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Saying the universe is a simulation is identical to saying it's magical - it makes questioning how the universe works moot, by declaring it is off limits to questions. It's identical to saying it's a conspiracy - questioning how the universe works moot, because it's all operated by an unseen, unknown force.

Solving problems by waving your hand and saying it's moot isn't science. It's punting.

Thunder is just God bowling - that's an answer, too. I think the quality of the answer also matters. Answers arrived at by resorting to magic and conspiracy theories should not satisfy real scientists.


I watched your video and agree with Wayfriend.. I think you can understand how anyone can take that perspective. A computer simulation denotes a computer programmer. Who is it that has the ability to create such a program?

Also the proposition itself denotes I am not a real boy _ but a wooden algorithm. That as you have said consciousness that I possess is also not actual but part of the program.

Its an interesting model through which to eliminate all ... HARD problems. As you also said yourself this simulation contains incredible detail. Far more advanced the Grand Theft Auto or anything the Zeus Z computer ... or whatever it was named ... to date, has yet to mimic.

And as I think, it was you who also said the mental immaterial element unlikely to be replicated.

As to the mind arising from the material .. I absolutely believe that consciousness arises from the material and as a direct consequence OF the material, the physical.

Human survival would be physically compromised without the mind, the consciousness. I believe consciousnesses is an evolutionary imperative.

But I am intrigued by panpsychism
Quote:
Maybe consciousness-the elusive subjective aspect of our brain states-is the ingredient missing from physics. Perhaps phenomenal properties, or 'proto-phenomenal' precursors of them, are the fundamental intrinsic properties of matter we're looking for, and each subatomic particle is a tiny conscious subject.

This solves the hard problem: brain and consciousness emerge together when billions of basic particles are assembled in the right way. The brain arises from the particles dispositions to interact and combine, and consciousness arises from what the particles are like in themselves.

They are two sides of the same coin-or, rather, since on this view consciousness is the fundamental reality underlying physical reality, brains are manifestations of consciousness. As it holds that there is a single reality underlying both mind and matter, panpsychism is a form of monism.

I dont prescribe to panpsychism as a sort of metaphysical or ontological explanation that leads me back to the mystical.

I dismiss the mystical and metaphysical uncategorically. I see no answers arising from such exploits of fancy.

And although a useful model to explore understanding, I see no answers in the computer simulation theory .. just as you suggested or someone suggested that it merely delays the question ..

The computer simulation theory provides us the space necessary to explore the questions of being, consciousness even .. possibly even allow us a different frame of reference within which to consider the question of being AND remove the hard problems from the process.

But I do not see CST as providing the answers to these conundrums.
_________________
health and healing

'Smoke me a kipper .. I'll be back for breakfast!'

EZBoard SURVIVOR
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 18008

Thanks: 41
Thanked 186 Times in 178 Posts


26416 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyweir wrote:
wayfriend wrote:
Saying the universe is a simulation is identical to saying it's magical - it makes questioning how the universe works moot, by declaring it is off limits to questions. It's identical to saying it's a conspiracy - questioning how the universe works moot, because it's all operated by an unseen, unknown force.

Solving problems by waving your hand and saying it's moot isn't science. It's punting.

Thunder is just God bowling - that's an answer, too. I think the quality of the answer also matters. Answers arrived at by resorting to magic and conspiracy theories should not satisfy real scientists.


I watched your video and agree with Wayfriend..
You agree that computer simulations are identical to magic? Computer simulations are entirely natural. When my son is playing on his PS4, I'm not worried that he is summoning Satan or conjuring anything. Agree all you want, it's a ridiculous comparison.

As I've posted above, it's a testable hypothesis. It's also entirely natural. And it's false to say that it removes the explanation entirely beyond our reality. Computer software is dependent upon its hardware. It *runs* on hardware. So the explanation for our reality would not be entirely removed from this reality. Everything Wayfriend said was wrong, except for the conspiracy point.

Skyweir wrote:
A computer simulation denotes a computer programmer. Who is it that has the ability to create such a program?
Seriously? Are you asking me to name him? How do I know? I'm talking about advanced aliens. And they wouldn't have to program everything, just the laws of physics, and let it run. If we ("lowly humans") can figure out the laws of physics, there's no reason why an advanced species can invent them from scratch and program them into a computer.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Skyweir
Lord of Light


Joined: 16 Mar 2002
Posts: 18095

Thanks: 19
Thanked 67 Times in 67 Posts

Location: Australia
33602 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Lord's Staff1 Oath of Peace1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL

I agree with Wayfriend that it is akin to a mystical answer. Not identical .. akin to.

Interesting that an alien race could institute a matrix like computer program. Again unlikely that such a hypothesis could be ACTYALLY proven .. it relies on faith, belief .. of those that incline themselves to believe such a scenario.

Im not saying its NOT possible .. it could be .. just like there could be a god .. and life beyond the grave .. perhaps god IS the alien? And life beyond the grave IS life beyond the matrix.

But my guess is .. if it is a possibility it nevertheless delays the resolution of the hard problems .. not answer them.

But as a hypothetical it certainly could assist us to understand more than we currently do.

Im in no way being disingenuous or attempting to run you or your idea down. I dont so readily accept the hypothesis beyond a model to enhance our understanding.
_________________
health and healing

'Smoke me a kipper .. I'll be back for breakfast!'

EZBoard SURVIVOR
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
Fist and Faith
Magister Vitae


Joined: 01 Dec 2002
Posts: 18486

Thanks: 100
Thanked 96 Times in 92 Posts


10513 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Foul Duck1 Lord Mhoram's Victory1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have we made any games, or has anyone written a scifi book, or do we have any human creation in any medium, with a very detailed, in-depth system of mathematics and laws of physics that are NOT the same as ours? I would think it's impossible to invent an entirely different type of reality in any detail. Many of us have fun finding inconsistencies in fiction, whether books or movies. And I'm only talking about plot. How much more difficult would it be to create a reality that is based on math and physics different from our own? I can't imagine. And the more detailed the game, the more detailed the math and physics has to be. Far easier to set our games in worlds with physics we know.

So I'm thinking the aliens who programmed our reality are living in a reality with the same math and physics that we know. If so, why would the aliens not have the same Hard Problem of consciousness that we have?
_________________
We are not required to save the world. We are required to stand up as truly as we can for what we love. -SRD

All lies and jest
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest
-Paul Simon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
wayfriend
whilom witling

Male
Joined: 21 Apr 2004
Posts: 19187

Thanks: 11
Thanked 226 Times in 208 Posts

Location: The world of the Bowling Green Massacre
44530 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
3 Member of Linden's Army


PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

People so often fail to realize that a computer simulation is not real. "Of course I know that!" they will say. But it goes deeper than people realize. Because then, frequently, they will believe there is, in some sense, an "inner reality" inside a simulation. A simulated world, where things happen.

All a simulation is is numbers which change over time by running functions. There is no "internal world" in which things happen, not in any sense at all. None.

Everything that makes you think there is an internal world is a byproduct of visualization techniques. Numbers become rendered as pictures of walls and doors. This only happens when we ask for it, and the sensation of reality exists ONLY within the observer, because we've created a convincing visualization.

When you don't arrange for an external visualization, it's just numbers becoming other numbers. Its just bowls of marbles, where you add, remove, and move marbles from one bowl to another based on rules you choose. Sure, it's a lot of bowls. But moving marbles never creates a dragon.

Of course simulations are useful. And of course they can be predictive. We've all noted that our universe is based on mathematical laws. Therefore, we can simulate it.

(My understanding of the simulation theory predates this topic. And it's unlikely to waver because someone claims I disagree with them ONLY because I didn't read their post and are thusly so uninformed that my opinion must be suspect.)
_________________
* I occasionally post things on KevinsWatch because I am a fan of Stephen R. Donaldson; this should not be considered as condonation of the white nationalist propaganda for which this forum has become a platform.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 18008

Thanks: 41
Thanked 186 Times in 178 Posts


26416 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyweir wrote:

I agree with Wayfriend that it is akin to a mystical answer. Not identical .. akin to.
So you don't agree with him, you are correcting him. He said "identical," not "akin."

But it's not akin, either. You can't test the "god bowling" idea. God might be bowling up in heaven; who knows. You can't test magical creationism. You can't test most things priests say.

You CAN, however, test this theory. This is a scientific theory. The things WF is talking about are not.

Skyweir wrote:
Interesting that an alien race could institute a matrix like computer program.
You wouldn't even need aliens. It could be humans 100 years in the future using quantum computers to run simulations of their own past.

Skyweir wrote:
Again unlikely that such a hypothesis could be ACTYALLY proven .. it relies on faith, belief .. of those that incline themselves to believe such a scenario.
Did you read the article I linked? It doesn't require faith. It requires measuring cosmic rays.

Skyweir wrote:
But my guess is .. if it is a possibility it nevertheless delays the resolution of the hard problems .. not answer them.
It answers those questions for our world. Maybe there are different answers in the outer world.

Wayfriend wrote:
People so often fail to realize that a computer simulation is not real. "Of course I know that!" they will say. But it goes deeper than people realize. Because then, frequently, they will believe there is, in some sense, an "inner reality" inside a simulation. A simulated world, where things happen.

All a simulation is is numbers which change over time by running functions. There is no "internal world" in which things happen, not in any sense at all. None.

Everything that makes you think there is an internal world is a byproduct of visualization techniques. Numbers become rendered as pictures of walls and doors. This only happens when we ask for it, and the sensation of reality exists ONLY within the observer, because we've created a convincing visualization.

When you don't arrange for an external visualization, it's just numbers becoming other numbers. Its just bowls of marbles, where you add, remove, and move marbles from one bowl to another based on rules you choose. Sure, it's a lot of bowls. But moving marbles never creates a dragon.

Of course simulations are useful. And of course they can be predictive. We've all noted that our universe is based on mathematical laws. Therefore, we can simulate it.
That's the point, Wayfriend. Quantum physics tells us that reality isn't defined (or "rendered") until someone looks at a part of it. If you had read my posts or watched the video, you'd realize that your counter argument above actually makes my point. In fact, it's the first point in the video. That's what I meant by saying the theory has explanatory power. No physicist can explain why our reality seems to act like a simulation, where it's not rendered in any detail (visual or otherwise) until an observer looks at it, almost as if it's just a bunch of code until a visualization is needed. Why would it behave like a simulation? One possible answer: because it's a simulation!

Wayfriend wrote:
(My understanding of the simulation theory predates this topic. And it's unlikely to waver because someone claims I disagree with them ONLY because I didn't read their post and are thusly so uninformed that my opinion must be suspect.)
I don't find it surprising at all that your biases and assumptions predispose you against treating this with an open mind.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche


Last edited by Zarathustra on Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:12 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 18008

Thanks: 41
Thanked 186 Times in 178 Posts


26416 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
Have we made any games, or has anyone written a scifi book, or do we have any human creation in any medium, with a very detailed, in-depth system of mathematics and laws of physics that are NOT the same as ours? I would think it's impossible to invent an entirely different type of reality in any detail. Many of us have fun finding inconsistencies in fiction, whether books or movies. And I'm only talking about plot. How much more difficult would it be to create a reality that is based on math and physics different from our own? I can't imagine. And the more detailed the game, the more detailed the math and physics has to be. Far easier to set our games in worlds with physics we know.

So I'm thinking the aliens who programmed our reality are living in a reality with the same math and physics that we know. If so, why would the aliens not have the same Hard Problem of consciousness that we have?
It doesn't have to be different from our own. Like I said above, it could be humans in the future running simulations of their own past.

But here's another possibility: they ran millions of different simulations, starting with different values for the universal constants, or even different laws of physics, and then stepped back to see how they evolved. Most didn't produce anything interesting. Our simulation did. It would be an experiment to test which kind of physical laws lead to stable, life-producing universes. They wouldn't have to invent anything. Trial and error would do.

As for having the same hard problem of consciousness, yes, maybe they would. As I said in my second post here, maybe this would be a way for them to try to figure out that problem, just as building AI in our world would be part of our own attempt to understand consciousness.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
wayfriend
whilom witling

Male
Joined: 21 Apr 2004
Posts: 19187

Thanks: 11
Thanked 226 Times in 208 Posts

Location: The world of the Bowling Green Massacre
44530 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
3 Member of Linden's Army


PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Skyweir wrote:

I agree with Wayfriend that it is akin to a mystical answer. Not identical .. akin to.
So you don't agree with him, you are correcting him. He said "identical," not "akin."

I never said a computer simulation is identical to magic. EVER.

"Saying the universe is a simulation is identical to saying it's magical. [then explains what I mean]"

"I think you are arguing against a caricature of my position, or creating one for that purpose."

It would think it was only irony, if I didn't know better.
_________________
* I occasionally post things on KevinsWatch because I am a fan of Stephen R. Donaldson; this should not be considered as condonation of the white nationalist propaganda for which this forum has become a platform.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 18008

Thanks: 41
Thanked 186 Times in 178 Posts


26416 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:
Skyweir wrote:

I agree with Wayfriend that it is akin to a mystical answer. Not identical .. akin to.
So you don't agree with him, you are correcting him. He said "identical," not "akin."

I never said a computer simulation is identical to magic. EVER.

"Saying the universe is a simulation is identical to saying it's magical. [then explains what I mean]"



I really don't see the difference. How does "saying" alter the meaning of "identical?"

Take these two statements:

A = "The universe is x."
B = "The universe is y."

A = B.

Therefore x = y.

The only way for A and B to be identical (i.e. your claim) is if x and y are identical (i.e. my paraphrase). If x and y aren't identical, then A = B is false. You may not have explicitly said x = y, but it is implied by your claim that A and B are identical.

Either way, my saying that the universe is a simulation is in no way identical to saying that the universe is magical, precisely because simulations aren't magical. So if you concede the latter point, you must admit that you were wrong in the former point.

I absolutely loathe this nit-picky style of discussion where we talk about what we think the other meant, rather than talking about what was said, and all the offense/outrage involved. Do you have any points about what I've actually said here? If not, go troll someone else's thread. You have barged in here with assumptions and caricatures and counter-arguments that are actually my own point, and what are you accomplishing? You aren't moving this discussion forward, you're just drowning it in shit.

I opened this discussion with an acknowledgement that even I thought it was silly at first. Then I gave a very detailed analysis about how I might have been wrong. I presented this idea with the humble attitude that I might not have given it enough credit, hoping to entice others with a similar open mind. And at your first objection, I tried to meet you halfway by declaring, "I used to think so, too!" I offered understanding, empathy. Even to you. But it was not deserved. For my effort at meeting you halfway, I was compared derisively to a priest.

Go away. Shoo. Skidaddle. Stop shitting in my thread.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Fist and Faith
Magister Vitae


Joined: 01 Dec 2002
Posts: 18486

Thanks: 100
Thanked 96 Times in 92 Posts


10513 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Foul Duck1 Lord Mhoram's Victory1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
It doesn't have to be different from our own.
That's my point. I'm saying that, whoever they are, if they're like us, their video games/simulations/whatever operate with the same laws of physics that we have. So the Hard Problem would have to be explained for them, instead of us. Meaning the Hard Problem had not been solved in a meaningful way. Only for us.

Zarathustra wrote:
But here's another possibility: they ran millions of different simulations, starting with different values for the universal constants, or even different laws of physics, and then stepped back to see how they evolved. Most didn't produce anything interesting. Our simulation did. It would be an experiment to test which kind of physical laws lead to stable, life-producing universes. They wouldn't have to invent anything. Trial and error would do.
Could be. I suggested evolution in a program not too long ago. The idea was not workable as I started it, because, iirc, wf said there is no error in the copying of digital information/programs. Not sure I'm remembering that exactly. But anyway, I don't see any reason evolution, and consciousness, can't exist in that medium as easily as they do in ours. After all, we're in a universe where particles interact in specific ways, and DNA replication is simply pairing. What could go wrong with any of that?
_________________
We are not required to save the world. We are required to stand up as truly as we can for what we love. -SRD

All lies and jest
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest
-Paul Simon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 18008

Thanks: 41
Thanked 186 Times in 178 Posts


26416 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:
It doesn't have to be different from our own.
That's my point. I'm saying that, whoever they are, if they're like us, their video games/simulations/whatever operate with the same laws of physics that we have. So the Hard Problem would have to be explained for them, instead of us. Meaning the Hard Problem had not been solved in a meaningful way. Only for us.
If the solution to our hard problem of consciousness is that it's not dependent upon matter, because it can be simulated in a computer, then this helps to solve the problem for them, much as it would help solve the problem for us if we developed AI that was conscious. If consciousness can be created in ways that the underlying matter doesn't make a difference--only the structures themselves matter--then the constituency problem (i.e. "how does consciousness arise from matter?") is a nonissue; it comes from these specific forms, rather than anything material. And the historic problem (i.e. "how did consciousness evolve") is also a nonissue because that traces back to computer software (at least for us--the historic problem would remain for them).

There would seem to remain a question as to the relation of our consciousness to the hardware which is running the software producing the simulation, but that question reduces to the hard problem of math: the reason that matter can encode math (in computers) is related to the issue of why matter can be structured by abstract formalism at all.

If you can replicate a reality and consciousness in a simulation, matter itself is removed from the equation entirely--not just for us, but also for them. It cancels out, for all levels. The "higher order" matter (of the computer hardware running our simulation) is not necessary to produce consciousness in the simulation, because consciousness in the simulation is constructed out of pure information, rather than arising organically from "lower order" matter (which is actually computer code).

So I think that this experiment would solve the hard problems of mind and matter, for those running the simulation. This in turn solves the hard problem of math. If you eliminate matter from your set of problems, then all you're left with is math.

So perhaps a simulation of a universe that includes "matter" which evolves into consciousness (note the absence of scare quotes) is itself some advanced form of proof that reality is actually just math/meaning/structure, and that everything else can derive from this. The key is that consciousness is real at all levels, from simulation to reality. It can be created and destroyed, but there is no meaningful distinction between one that is created from form and one created from matter, because everything is actually pure form. In fact, that is the proof that everything is pure form.

The only problem I can see is how they'd know we are conscious, and not merely automatons or Turing machines. But maybe they have found technological ways to "share" subjectivity, and that's not an issue at all.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche


Last edited by Zarathustra on Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:58 pm; edited 4 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> The Close All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next
Page 1 of 7

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by Earthpower © Kevin's Watch