Re: What is this stuff? (was: US observations and notes)

From: Michael Wiik (
Date: Mon Dec 17 2001 - 10:22:00 MST

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <> wrote:
> Samantha Atkins wrote:
> > [...] That Mind very well might do some things that
> > create these additional strange loops like travel backward and
> > forward in its own timeline influencing and permeating its own
> > becoming, or creating complete new Universes and new sentients
> > in such a way that it can and does provide some nudges along the
> > way and can in some circumstances be partially accessed.

> But anyway, this hypothesis about reality - that spirituality represents
> drawing on a real, external source of knowledge, where this knowledge is
> more accessible to humans who place themselves in particular emotional
> states - is a straightforward one, and one to which I can
> straightforwardly reply "You're wrong." And you can reply "You're
> wrong." And there, I think, things rest, unless you'd like me to try and
> unlace your faith.

Perhaps some linkage is possible between Samantha's ideas and the idea
of universe as sim. Most of the time I'm pretty much a strict
materialist but have experienced states where I feel more 'open' to
(perhaps) the kind of cosmic influences to which Samantha refers. While
it's possible anomalies may be editted out of our experience I tend to
doubt this. Perhaps in the universe-as-sim we are more like neural
networks rather than computer programs such that while it's easy to
prevent future occurances of an anomaly, it's more difficult to edit out
past anomalies out of individual human histories. Hence my understanding
that a) almost everyone has had some sort of unexplainable psychic
experience, and b) these have failed to be reproduced in laboratory

Perhaps reality becomes more concrete under observation, and more
plastic under influence of religious/occult memes. We might all agree
this is true for an individual, but if our universe is co-created (or a
sim), perhaps it's true for base reality as well. If the latter, then we
might be able to determine if we are in a sim thru mass efforts at
anomaly detection. Or perhaps by 'stretching' the limits of the sim (if
we're in one) by (for example) all of us taking off in groups to
different directions in space. Or just get everyone to do something
unexpected tomorrow.


Michael Wiik
Messagenet Communications Research
Washington DC Area Internet and WWW Consultants

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