[ExI] Simulation

Dave Sill sparge at gmail.com
Fri Jun 18 17:55:52 UTC 2010

On Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 1:34 PM, Bryan Bishop <kanzure at gmail.com> wrote:
> Here's one problem that you might not be thinking about- how could a
> simulation (inside of the reality that we live in and to some extent
> haven't yet experienced) ever fundamentally replace the reality that
> it is running within?

If, by "replace" you mean "serve as a substitute for", then I think it's
pretty easy to imagine a virtual reality that's as rich as the one that we
can only assume is real.

If you mean literally replacing the universe with a virtual reality, I don't
think that's possible or desirable.

 Who are you quoting here?

> " ... And more, I would say that the so-called virtual realities are
> misnamed: they should be called something like "simulated
> experiences." Because they aren't real, and can never be so, any more
> than a map can be the territory.

Virtual realities/simulated experiences are as real as anything, they're
just not tangible by those outside them.

> And more, for the same reason that a
> map is necessarily less detailed than the territory that it describes,
> a virtual reality can only ever be a pale shadow of the real thing.

Nonsense. I could, for example, take a salt crystal and construct a virtual
reality based on it that incorporates vast complexity that isn't there in
the real crystal.

Such constructs might prove amusing, or even useful and illuminating,
> but how could they ever take the place of the essential reality that
> they represent? ..."

It won't happen overnight, and it won't be the product of one
person/team/corporation, but I don't see any limit to the richness possible
in VR.

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