Re: life in a test tube (was Re: is information the bottom line?)

J. R. Molloy (
Sat, 13 Feb 1999 11:27:13 -0800

Tim Bates has asked,
>Just for a laugh - what happens if you terminate yourself and you are a
>simulation? Can you? Do they Reboot you? Do you know?

A simulation that terminates itself (assuming it does so autonomously) requires a Free Will mechanism. (See last post in the Free Will thread). Obviously, having terminated itself, the simulation can _not_ then discover anything further concerning the nature of its own simulated status.

People can terminate themselves, not because they rise above the complexity level of simulations (simulations may also self-terminate, depending on whether their programs allow this feature), but because they have planning agents in the brain which allow them to carry out such a plan.

If humans exist as simulations projected by the intricate complexities inherent in genetic algorithms, quantum physics, and biological evolution (a holographic paradigm), then certainly these complexities might Reboot them. The probability that existence Reboots or resurrects an adult consciousness depends on the complexity of the consciousness in question, and on whether sufficient resources exist for this project.

If, in contrast to resurrecting a personalized consciousness (i.e., a specific identifiable personality), the project involves reconstituting a pure consciousness, meaning a consciousness without content, or a so-called Buddha consciousness, then of course existence (by "existence" I mean all and everything that exists -- which Frieden's information-based methods might find contains information too great to specify in a differential equation) can produce them by the billions.

The unique and individualized personality generated by the body and brain exists as a simulation, as you have conjectured, and as some others have posited. If it terminates itself (and people do commit suicide sometimes), "they" (genetic algorithms, biological evolution, etc.) may Reboot it, but this would involve rebooting the entire holographic universe from which it derived, which seems like an awful lot of trouble just to recapture a single personality.

Consequently, the only eternally recurring consciousness that populates existence in significant numbers has no content, no individualized personality, no unique identity. It rather resembles a general purpose computer. I predict that the selfish notion of extending one's own identity eternally will succumb to the more powerful realization that pure consciousness has its own reasons for emerging.

But just for a laugh,

A zenji was asked by the Emperor of Japan, "What is hell and what is heaven?"
The zenji looked at the Emperor and said, "You son-of-a-bitch! Have you looked at your face in the mirror lately? I have never seen such a dirty-looking fellow before!"
The Emperor became enraged! He had not expected such a thing from such a saint.
The Emperor pulled his sword out of its sheath. He was going to cut off the head of the zenji. As the sword came close to the zenji's neck, he said, "Wait! You are entering hell. This is the gate to hell." Catching himself in the middle of his sword-thrust, the emperor understood -- "True!" He threw the sword away, fell at the feet of the zenji, and the zenji laughed and said, "This is the way to heaven! You have already experienced both within a single moment. The distance between the two is not much."

Why don't Communists believe in reincarnation? Well, look at it this way: Who would want to come back to life as a Communist?

Surmano explains to the rabbi the theory of reincarnation: "Let's say, your holiness, that you die tomorrow. A flower blooms on your grave after a few days. A cow comes and eats the flower. The next morning the cow has a good shit. I go for a walk, see the shit and say, 'Ah, your holiness, you haven't changed a bit?'"

--J. R.

`.. , . .`..><((((>`..`..`...><((((> This just in: No one knows why anything exists at all. `.. , . .`..><((((>`..`..`...><((((>
Determinants may reside in our genes,
the likes of which our cunning cannot fathom.