Are we "living" inside a computer simulation?

johnee

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Link

ABSTRACT. This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.
From NY times :

Dr. Bostrom assumes that technological advances could produce a computer with more processing power than all the brains in the world, and that advanced humans, or “posthumans,” could run “ancestor simulations” of their evolutionary history by creating virtual worlds inhabited by virtual people with fully developed virtual nervous systems.

Some computer experts have projected, based on trends in processing power, that we will have such a computer by the middle of this century, but it doesn’t matter for Dr. Bostrom’s argument whether it takes 50 years or 5 million years. If civilization survived long enough to reach that stage, and if the posthumans were to run lots of simulations for research purposes or entertainment, then the number of virtual ancestors they created would be vastly greater than the number of real ancestors.
:)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Populus

mgargan1

macrumors 65816
Feb 22, 2003
1,218
0
Reston, VA
I wonder what kind of hardware they're running...

the Core Jesus Duo?

Lets, just hope that the computer doesn't crash! Like it did with the dinosaurs...
 
Comment

rcassee

macrumors newbie
Aug 14, 2007
2
0
Well, I am fascinated with this!
It comes very close to what's been on my (simulated?) mind for the last years.
However, unfortunately this is, where it stops. All the rest is more assumptions on assumtpions and then it gets to vague for me.
But very interesting, thanks!
 
Comment

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,238
4
at what point would we be classified as 'self-aware' then?

its an interesting mental exercise. but it doesn't do much
 
Comment

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,238
4
Maybe you just think you are self aware.
well see, thats what i'm getting at. and at what point would the 'overseers' or what have you decide that its a critical point of awareness.

and by this i mean that we are self aware of being 'captive' in such a system. which i believe is just about impossible. so the 'simulation' continues.

besides this being self aware in the normalized sense is impossible enough.
 
Comment

jczubach

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2007
385
0
northwest
dam i was just thinking that lol - maybe a pop up once in a while ( are you sure you want to install the new update ?)
It's an astral projection/mind reading talent i've developed. Nice apartment by the way, but you should clean behind the toilet,.:rolleyes:i know it's hard to reach and everything..
 
Comment

l'homme

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2006
59
0
only agree if posthumans runs by a bug free system, i don't want to be full-filled with service packs! ha ha:)
 
Comment

OutThere

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2002
5,730
3
NYC
I read about this in the new york times, but missed the thread. It bugs me out a lot to think about it so I have since pushed it out of my thoughts (or are they really just functions and directives?), thanks for remind me. :p
 
Comment

zflauaus

macrumors 65816
Nov 19, 2004
1,166
3
You know how people close to death say, "I see a light?" Well, what they don't tell you is what color it is. It's blue.

[This was brought to you by the Grim Reaper division at Microsoft. Remember, if it's not Microsoft, it's not real.]

:D
 
  • Like
Reactions: LizKat
Comment

ErikCLDR

macrumors 68000
Jan 14, 2007
1,795
0
YAY I'm a Sim.

If only I could find out how to type in "Rosebud;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!"
 
Comment

ghall

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2006
3,771
1
Rhode Island
YAY I'm a Sim.

If only I could find out how to type in "Rosebud;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!;!"
Get with the times. It's "motherlode" now. :rolleyes:

Whodduh thunk it. God is actually a nerd sitting at a really powerful computer. I wonder what the specs are. :p
 
Comment

Jasonbot

macrumors 68020
Aug 15, 2006
2,467
0
The Rainbow Nation RSA
Surely a simulation wouldn't allow for 'real' people with real thoughts and emotions. Thus this argument can't be true. Think of a simulation as something like a self sustaining second life environment going on without external help- we know that those bits of code won't have thoughts (just really snazzy code)
 
Comment

Similar threads

  • revmacian
0
Replies
0
Views
410
  • senseless
22
Replies
22
Views
2K
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.