RE: New website: The Simulation Argument

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Sun Dec 02 2001 - 21:14:12 MST

At 02:20 PM 12/3/01 +1030, Emlyn wrote:

>One piece of the argument which troubles me is this:
>"Since the experiences that an observer has if she is living in a simulation
>are indistinguishable from those she has if she is living in unmediated
>physical reality, it follows from a very weak form of the principle of
>indifference that the probability of her living in a simulation equals the
>fraction of observers that live in simulations[5]. "
>This seems to take it for granted that an entity living in the "real world"
>(at the root) and an entity living inside any level of sim are equivalent in
>terms of what I might call "being", for want of a better term. ie: there is
>no significant difference between a simulated being and an actual being.

This seems to me perhaps the key to the fallacy in the paper. Nick assumes
univocity all the way down and sideways, whereas a Tiplerian version argues
for redemptive or meliorative alternative instantiations of all possible
worlds, while a pure `experimentalist' perspective might expect every
possible world, including unmitigated suffering to the highest degree
inflicted as widely as feasible. The former would make the likelihood of
this universe being exactly simmed very low indeed; it is an intriguing
exercise to consider the P values if the later is the case (are we most
probably in one of the `most mediocre possible worlds'? not too hot, not
too cold, just pretty damned ordinary).

Damien Broderick

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