[ExI] Affecting Past Experience

Russell Wallace russell.wallace at gmail.com
Mon Jul 23 17:01:55 UTC 2007

Stathis writes

> > My original experiment could conceivably be modelled without the need
> > for godlike powers. Suppose I am informed that I am living in a
> > computer simulation of a special kind. My whole life from birth to
> > death has been determined, and is being run in real time in day long
> > sections simultaneously on geographically separated computers, one
> > computer for each day of my life, so that the whole thing is over and
> > done with in a single day in the real world. I am also aware that
> > these computers are the focus of a bombing campaign by forces who
> > believe sentient software is blasphemous.

Interesting, but it doesn't quite work as stated.

Initial state for day T + 1 = final state for day T. Therefore, the whole
thing must have been run sequentially first, to create the series of initial

Now on day T you are given this news. But for the simulation to be valid,
for final state T to be initial state T + 1, you must have been given this
news in the original setup, back when the sequential run was being done and
the terrorist group hadn't yet forsaken political methods for violence.

But that means when you were first given this news, it was false. So... is
there even a fact of the matter as to whether it's true or false "for you"?

The general conclusion I draw from this is that doing funky things with
time/metatime isn't necessarily invalid, but it has a lot of subtle pitfalls
that need to be looked out for.
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