Re: How To Live In A Simulation

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Thu Mar 15 2001 - 06:50:54 MST

Mark Walker wrote:
> > If the actual history of our descendants included many people who
> > believed that they were living in a simulation, then it could be
> > all right if a similar number of people in a simulated world
> > believe this. It might in fact be a problem if too few people so
> > believed.
>I agree. But your argument needs more than the possibility that this is
>correct. It all depends on the motivations of the experimenters. If the
>experimenters want to see what happens in worlds where the "victims" are not
>aware of the simulation then, we ought to act as if we are not in a
>simulation. (Given that we believe that they snuff out simulations that
>become self-conscious of their plight). On the other hand, if the
>experimenters want to look at what happens when creatures become aware of
>the fact that they are mere simulations then, perhaps your advice is

If they want to know more detail about their own history, in which
many people suspected they were living in a simulation, then they will
want to have a simulation in which many people suspect this as well.
Of course they don't want such people to have any proof, since their
own history didn't have any proof either, since it wasn't true then.

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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