[ExI] simulation as an improvement over reality
spike66 at att.net
Sat Dec 25 21:07:08 UTC 2010
Someone made a comment a few days ago to which I didn't reply but that has
been rattling around in my brain like a golf ball in a 55 gallon drum. I
think it was under this subject line, and the meme went something like this:
when or if we figure out how to upload and simulations replace actual
exploration of nature and interaction with the material world, that event in
a sense is analogous to collective meme-death, since we would then cease to
take in new information externally, replaced by processing information
already contained in the simulated universe.
Who wrote that? Intriguing notion. Do step up and claim that meme, for it
didn't get much well-deserved discussion at the time.
I can find an analogy of sorts. In our current world we know exactly where
all the useful cosmological notions arise: the big universities which have
cosmology departments and lots of physics PhDs, places like Haaahvard and
CalTech and the research centers such as CERN. We don't go into the
Australian outback looking around for someone who has fresh and relevant
ideas on cosmology. So the CERN people and CalTech people become a closed
system. They don't care what you and I have to say or what the Australian
aborigines have to say about cosmology.
In a weakly analogous way, we can imagine a post-uploading MBrain which
stops seeking wisdom from outside, and stop broadcasting their memes abroad,
assuming it a useless activity. If that transmitted wisdom disagrees with
the notions of the receiving civilization it is heresy, if it agrees,
A major puzzle in my own life has been why the cosmos are not buzzing with
signals. Why is it so quiet out there? I estimate one in ten star systems
has life forms, one in a thousand multicellular with perhaps one in a
hundred thousand with tech-capable life forms. That makes for a buuunch of
tech life forms in this galaxy alone.
If technologically advanced life forms typically upload and turn inward, it
offers a good explanation for why it is so quiet out there. They aren't
listening to us and don't care to talk, for they are busy.
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