Re: How To Live In A Simulation

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Thu Mar 15 2001 - 14:47:26 MST

Robert Bradbury wrote:
> > 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.
>Hmmmm, what if the purpose of the experiment is to see
>how many ways civilizations can crash and burn when
>the singularity hits? Or, on average, what is the
>probability that a civilization will even make it
>to the singularity? Or, what conditions precisely,
>cause civilizations to choose "relinquishment"? ...
>These questions to me suggest lots of reasons that civilizations
>are run up-to and through the sub-civilization simulation stages.
>You have to keep in mind an MBrain can run the entire
>mental thought capacity of "humanity" from the dawn
>of Homo erectus until now in a few microseconds.
>You can run many instances of the entire history of
>humanity from the beginning to the end without much trouble.

I had in mind the relative costs. Sure, let's grant that
there would be many simulations that go all the way through
and then some. But the cost of the later part of those sims
is vastly larger than the cost of the earlier part. So there
should be a lot more variations on sims of us than sims of
a civ so advanced it sims others. And it is the relative
number of sims of each period that determines the chances that
our sim (or my sim now really) will be continued to that point.

Robin Hanson
Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University
MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030-4444
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323

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