Re: Invasion of the Meme Snatchers

Date: Fri Feb 15 2002 - 16:54:04 MST

In a message dated 2/15/2002 5:24:10 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

<< I agree, but one has to ask what what level of "proof" would be
 required that such nanobots do not exist. To prove it demonstrably
 in my mind, one would need to slice up the brains of every
 individual on the planet at the 0.1-1 micron level and look
 for signs of nanobots. I don't see a high probability for people
 rushing to sign up for this clinical trial.

I am guessing that we would have uncovered astounding, anomalies, had such
'unusal bacteria, prions, existed. There are lots of biologist who would have
reported something 'very curious'. So far, no great surprises. When I first
read Professor Walkers' proposal of the question, the idea of the
mitochondria inside the cells of just about everything living, might be such
an anomaly. But why not just accept the more obvious argument, that this is
an earthly, phenomena?

<<This may be a subtle point, I'm not sure. But obviously there is a
transition point between whether one wants to run the "reality" in a
virtual world or the physical world. It depends largely, I think, on
how soon one would like to see the results and the granularity of the
simulations (finer granularity presumably has greater needs to move
into the real "reality") and perhaps on an economic analysis of how
much of the available energy in the universe do you use to run
the simulation in a VR vs. reality (if one is looking at optimizing
ones long term resources). In the visible universe, little optimization
seems to be taking place, so we are either in the real reality or one
constructed to appear as if the optimization of resource utilization
is of no concern.>>

I would argue that technically, it would seem that it would be easier
producing a computer that runs a simulation, that merely moves electrons
around in continuous off-on states, then it might be to slam 50 kilograms of
matter, that may have been somehow, pre-programmed, and produce life,
sensation, and intelligence. I could be wrong on this, but do not see how.

<<Its a numbers argument. If "perceived" reality is a reflection of
"real" reality and in our "real" reality we can foresee the possibility
of running such simulations, then the odds are that we are one of
the simulations rather than the "real" reality (because the number
of simulations is much greater than the single reality).>>

Well that certainly is logical. However, there are so many human example of
performing projects that are anti-economical, like idiotic wars etc. To
propose that this is a non-reality, must require some evidence, I would
think. Carl Sagan also said that extrodinary claims require extrodinary
evidence. Where is the red pill? (matrix-speak)


I believe that it does matter that the Utility Fog does or does not enjoy its
existence as it drifts amongst the stars, and that's what makes it all
practical. If the Utility Foglet decided that human music is rather enjoyable
to study, and imitate, then there is a practicality to existentialist
cosmology. If a human being decides that She or He wishes to make their
living as an Astronomer, and would not like being a Marketing Sales Rep, then
there is a practical-ness to their choice of careers. Existential may indeed
seemingly impact the practical.

Similarly, the Utility Fog may decide to pay the Solar System a friendly,
vist (No Sunlight Blocking Please) and converse with the planets inhabitants
via radio signal. It might exchange some useful information in a trade of
music data for fusion power data, for example. Certainly, the earth's human
population would have the existential experiences changed.

I do hope that Professor Walker also chimes in regarding this thread, but
then it might serve him no practical use, or existential pleasure ;-)


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