Re: screwing the inscrutable

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Thu Jul 12 2001 - 23:26:03 MDT

At 11:36 PM 7/12/01 -0400, Eliezer wrote:

>Nobody's found any actual
>flaws in the Matrix yet.

No, the most you can say is that you don't take seriously the claims of
those who do report finding flaws in the Matrix.

The more testable, robust claims from the field of parapsychology can be so
interpreted. Obviously this science, parascience or `science' arose (like
science proper) from naive folk beliefs, many of them in retrospect
palpable misunderstandings of natural phenomena or counterintuitive
probability distributions. But the work I've occasionally cited here by,
say, the Princeton University anomalies researchers (invariably dismissed
cursorily and unread by Eliezer and others who know how the world is
*really* hinged) might be understood as evidence for a Matrix.

Then there's creepy personal testimony. This is where the scientifically
minded reach for our face masks, and rightly so. Still, it was a very odd
experience when I got a lift home from a guest lecture I'd been giving and
the young woman at the wheel, who seemed to know nothing about me, casually
mentioned in response to an idle comment of mine that... well, when she was
a child/adolescent, her mother and their friends had regularly held Ouija
board seances, and following one of these events when all the ladies had
repaired to the other end of the room to take tea and scones she'd noticed
the inverted glass lift into the air from the table and hurl itself toward
the wall, where it had struck without breaking and slid down to the floor;
this was reportedly also seen by all the adults in attendance, something
her mother confirmed recently. No earthquake, no hands Ma. I dunno. If that
*is* the world we live in, things are not so simple. The Matrix or
something like it could still be Ockham's cut.

Damien Broderick

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