RE: Minds, Machines, and the Multiverse

From: Billy Brown (
Date: Thu May 04 2000 - 10:09:37 MDT wrote:
> I may have misunderstood Robert's point, which Billy takes as that
> running a computation within a VR would take less work than running the
> same computation in the physical world. This is clearly impossible.


> I thought he meant that you could create a VR where running the
> computation would take less energy than running it in a physical world
> approximately the same as the simulated one. This is theoretically
> possible.
> If so, and if you're going to live in the world where the computations
> are done, it may be more advantageous to live in the VR world.

A VR can be very advantageous when it comes to amenities, since (obviously)
it takes much less energy to create a virtual world than a real one. I
foresee a lot of interesting applications aimed at creating agreeable
environments for people to live in, protecting privacy, and enabling wide
social diversification.

> For example if you want to minimize energy costs in running your brain,
> you have two choices: live in the real world with an artificial brain,
> or live in a VR. The latter gives you more opportunities to save energy,
> because for example you can reverse time for the entire world in order
> to undo some reversible calculations.

Now we're going back to the same idea you ruled out in your first paragraph.
If a mind is implemented in software you already have complete control over
its 'reality'. There is nothing you can do by putting it in a VR that you
couldn't just do directly. There may be advantages of convenience or
flexibility in the VR approach, but a more direct implementation of any
given trick will always run faster and cost less energy.

Billy Brown

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