FW: New website: The Simulation Argument

From: Emlyn O'regan (oregan.emlyn@healthsolve.com.au)
Date: Thu Dec 06 2001 - 17:02:38 MST

I think when Nick talks about Ancestor Simulations, what he means is
simulation of intelligent beings (possibly by simulating an entire universe
from big bang forwards). This would be distinct from (well, a superset of)
the idea of posthumans specifically simulating their own history in order to
"reanimate" their own real ancestors.


Samantha wrote:

>One question. Exactly why would posthumans run "ancestor >simulations"? Or perhaps I should ask for clarification and >expansion of that phrase.

Nick Bostrom wrote: It's not hard to think of other possible motivations: curiosity, art, nostalgia, wanting to "step into the past" and act out the role of a historically significant person, science of alternative routes of history, habitat for diseased or uploaded people, etc. What's interesting is that

future society will lack individuals with any of these desires or is very effective in preventing them from acting on them, or else we are in a simulation.

(Another possible cool reason for setting up simulations of various sorts, and to reward their inhabitants for virtuous behavior, is to create uncertainty about whether one is living in such a simulation. If one is uncertain about that, one would get an extra reason to act morally.)

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