New website: The Simulation Argument

From: Nick Bostrom (
Date: Sat Dec 01 2001 - 20:38:55 MST

I have just finished up my paper presenting the Simulation Argument, an earlier version of which was "leaked" and discussed here. It has its own website at (which also contains a few related resources).

Are You Living In a Computer Simulation? Nick Bostrom (2001)

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.

Nick Bostrom
Department of Philosophy, Yale University
New Haven, CT 06520 | Phone: (203) 432-1663 | Fax: (203) 432-7950

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