Re: How To Live In A Simulation

From: Brent Allsop (
Date: Tue Mar 13 2001 - 12:03:06 MST


> Robin Hanson <> wrote:
> >
> > How To Live In A Simulation
> >

> That *might* be useful if you (a) *know* that you're living in a
> simulation, and (b) are able to discern somehow the reason that the
> simulation is being run.

> In "reality", you're highly unlikely to know either of these, and
> making assumptions about *reality* is not likely to be effective.

        All these kinds of sim assumptions are bassed on what I
consider to be an obviously and critically flawed view of
consciousness in which any old abstract machine is just "like" our
subjective conscious experiences. All extropians seem to make this

        If anything like a "qualia theory of consciousness" turns out
to be true, there is something fundamentally important about the
phenomenal qualities of our conscious knowledge which can't be
simulated by any old purely cause and effect system.

        If you are interrested, I've got a draft of a paper I'm
working on describing such a qualia theory. I'd love any feedback
anyone might have on this:

    HTML version: <URL:>
    MS Word version: <URL:>

        I'm looking forward to telling you all "I told you so" when
they finally discover qualia in a few years, start effing ("Oh THAT'S
what salt tastes like")... and prove that you can't just simulate
consciousness on any old only causal machine.

        Red will always be fundamentally and primally red, and nothing
else will ever be "like" it. To so completely ignore this fact or
even its possibility is pure philosophical idiocy if you ask me.

        I think gross mistakes like this destroy the reputations of
extropians. It makes people dismiss much of what we have to say. If
instead we realized this and started predicting it, before scientist
actually discovered and proved it, then extrpopians would be
considered real prophets. Many more would start to give much more
credence to what we have to say. Let's not miss this opportunity to
anticipate THE greatest of all scientific descoveries ever made - and
that will be the discovery of the phenomenal qualities of conscious

                Brent Allsop

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