Re: Movie reviews: A Beautiful Mind, Vanilla Sky, Waking Life

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Tue Jan 15 2002 - 19:03:42 MST

"Amara D. Angelica" wrote:
> Reviews of these films are now on
> but this was really an excuse for me to delve into the fascinating ideas of
> Nick Bostrom and Robin Hanson on living in a simulation. I want to also
> thank Robert Bradbury, Mike Lorrey, and John Grigg for their contributions
> and help, along with others who have commented on these films on the list.

Nice article, however I want to make a point about Robin Hanson's
article "How to Live In a Simulation". You say regarding this that:
>>>Since such simulations would be very costly, they would probably be limited in time and space. To make the simulators less likely to drop you from their simulation or end it, you should be entertaining--"funny, outrageous, violent, sexy, strange, pathe
tic, heroic ... in a word 'dramatic.' And since the simulators may want to play famous people, you should "keep famous people happy, or at least interested... and try to stay personally interesting to the famous people around you." Sounds like a typical H
ollywood cocktail party.<<<

I'd have to contest this view. I would instead come from the "nail that
pokes out gets hammered" or "squeaky wheel gets the oil" point of view
in this. If there are multiple beings 'playing' the simulation, then
sticking your neck out can, in fact, cause a significant risk of
personal danger. The more 'interesting' you are, it is also more likely
that at least you will piss off one of the real players, and get whacked
as a result.

In fact, we may be seeing some real evidence of this in our world. For
instance, take world leaders. A recent statistical analysis of world
leaders demonstrates that they have a low average life expectancy and
that 60% of national leaders in the 20th century died violently from
assasination or execution. If our world is indeed a simulation, then it
follows that people like world leaders, if they are not 'played' by
'real' players, stick their necks out by being "funny, outrageous,
violent, sexy, strange, pathetic, heroic ... in a word 'dramatic.'" and
thus attract the negative attention of the real players.

Similarly, it seems, from observations of the press, that movie and
television actors have low average life expectancies, are more prone to
dying from violent and/or addictive behaviors. If they are not being
played by real players, then they may be incurring the negative
attention of them.

This is the same mindset involved in one Fermi paradox explaination:
that everyone expects the universe to be a violent place, so its best to
not broadcast signals and poke out the neck of your species/world.

Thus, if we are living in a simulation, the best individual course of
action is to keep one's head down, mouth shut, and just try to get
through life with as little hassle as possible. Does this sound

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