Re: How To Live In A Simulation

From: Nick Bostrom (
Date: Wed Mar 14 2001 - 17:36:25 MST

Robin Hanson wrote:
>Nick Bostrom wrote:
>>>Nick is right that "the naive transhumanist dogma that we
>>>or our descendants will become posthumans who'll run
>>>ancestor-simulations is false."
>>Actually, there should be the qualification "unless we are
>>currently living in a simulation" in there.
>I'm willing to believe that the chances are very small
>that any one simulation will be continued all the way
>until our simulated world began large simulations of
>its own.

If that's true, then our only hope is that the strong convergence
hypothesis is true. The evolutionary courses of virtually all posthuman
civilizations must converge onto a track where they'll never run a large
number of ancestor-simulations; or else we're doomed. ("Doomed" meaning
that we don't reach the posthuman stage. This could mean extinction,
getting stuck a pre-singularity technology levels, or getting to live
indefinitely in a relatively low-complexity afterlife-simulation when our
main simulation is terminated.)

Nick Bostrom
Department of Philosophy
Yale University

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