Re: How To Live In A Simulation

Date: Thu Mar 15 2001 - 12:28:36 MST

Besides the problem of handling the time boundaries of a limited-scale
simulation, there is the problem of space boundaries. This was
demonstrated graphically in The Thirteenth Floor when the road disappeared
at the end of the desert. But can we really assume that there was an
entire city of simulated people who never needed to leave Los Angeles?
This would require all kinds of hacks and patches. Where does the food
come from? The sim would have to materialize it and somehow cover up the
memories of people who knew. There are thousands of industries which
require communication and transportation to other parts of the world.
All this would have to be hacked in.

If we consider a sim which has a core of real people surrounded by a
bunch of zombies we have a similar problem. It is rare for a group
to be completely self-contained in close relationships. Most of the
real people will have at least some interaction with the zombies, and
in some cases it will be intimate and long-term. Can a zombie really
fool a real person so completely? It's hard to credit.

A possible fix for both of these is what we might call "partial zombies".
We could have real people surrounded by partial zombies, who are
surrounded by full zombies. Partial zombies would have awareness
and consciousness but would not represent parties in the simulation.
In effect, they are actors. They know about the sim (at least with some
parts of their minds) so they don't have to be fooled by the full zombies
- they accept that they're just stage extras. But they are conscious
and aware and play the part necessary for the sim.

This ends up with a scenario somewhat like The Truman Show, where Truman
was the only real character in the sim, and everyone else was an actor.
If they had had more technology they could have populated the rest of
the world with zombies as needed.


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