Simulation Theory

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Typist
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Re: Simulation Theory

Post by Typist » Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:46 am

In a way the whole basis of our art is linked in with the idea of simulation (art itself being a simulation of a kind, something that takes your mind someplace else, or a glimpse into an alternate, or modified reality).
Good point, that's interesting. I hadn't thought of that, but I see your point. Your point made me realize simulations are not always physical stories, like movies. Listening to a symphony or instrumental jazz, or paintings etc, transport us in to a more abstract experience. I wonder how a simulator might expand these experiences?
If the 'programmer' doesn't know the answer, the simulator may not too. Emergent behaviour within the simulator could however, lead to new insight.
Good point, simulation programming would become a new form of art, perhaps the future of the gaming industry? Oh great, our simulations will be coded by pimply 19 year old nerdy guys. We're in lots of trouble now.... :lol:
A simulation of the breakdown of our society would be very revealing to many, especially if they didn't know it was simulated!
Wow, yes, that would be a scary one. A simulation of everybody in simulations, while the real society collapses around them.
This is interesting, as he was rich, in a way he was living in a world the rest of us simulate through fantasy. From the outside, we don't see the downsides of that fantasy world, another lesson that could perhaps be learned through simulation.
What happens if we develop technology that fulfills all our dreams by giving us everything we want, and after gorging for awhile, we then realize we STILL aren't happy? Could be a very existential moment, leading to suicides etc?
Simulating the reality of a starving child, or the plight of those trapped in war, or the symptoms of someone near death, either through old age or illness, could potentially raise our understanding of each other dramatically, in a way that words or video or art could not match.
Yes, a key question seems to be, what is our emotional strength? What kind of experiences are we capable of opening ourselves up to? This could be the main limiter of what we can experience in simulation. How brave are we?

I've been watching my wife go through this. She's very empathatic to the wildlife she rehabs. And sometimes the baby critters suffer and die.

If she closes herself off to protect herself from the pain of loss, she also dilutes the experience of love that motivates her interest in the hobby. I've watched her learn how to feel the pain of loss fully, and then let it go.

If we want to experience the peaks, we have to be sensitive and open enough to experience the depths as well. A simulator might really challenge us in this direction.
She was on TV here the other night, foxy beyond belief, even in a crap movie :)
WHAT? You've been lusting after MY Diane Lane in simulation?? That's it, I didn't know you couldn't be trusted. We're done here! :lol:

Croatguy
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Re: Simulation Theory

Post by Croatguy » Fri Sep 24, 2010 4:10 am

What happens if we develop technology that fulfills all our dreams by giving us everything we want, and after gorging for awhile, we then realize we STILL aren't happy? Could be a very existential moment, leading to suicides etc?
You should know there is no such thing as true happiness. It doesnt matter how much we have, we will never be happy, due to a meaningless existence, but we can still have pleasure. If this type of simulation were to be created I could imagine a bunch of hedonists really enjoying themselves as pleasures would be infinite. All non-hedonists would be the ones commiting suicide.

bytesplicer
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Re: Simulation Theory

Post by bytesplicer » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:07 am

Croatguy wrote:
What happens if we develop technology that fulfills all our dreams by giving us everything we want, and after gorging for awhile, we then realize we STILL aren't happy? Could be a very existential moment, leading to suicides etc?
You should know there is no such thing as true happiness. It doesnt matter how much we have, we will never be happy, due to a meaningless existence, but we can still have pleasure. If this type of simulation were to be created I could imagine a bunch of hedonists really enjoying themselves as pleasures would be infinite. All non-hedonists would be the ones commiting suicide.
I agree for the most part, though I think the more you limit what you think about, the happier you can be. Another issue is the human capacity for self-delusion. Despite knowing there will always be something wrong, we still aim for goals we 'think' may secure our happiness.

bytesplicer
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Re: Simulation Theory

Post by bytesplicer » Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:29 am

Typist wrote:
In a way the whole basis of our art is linked in with the idea of simulation (art itself being a simulation of a kind, something that takes your mind someplace else, or a glimpse into an alternate, or modified reality).
Good point, that's interesting. I hadn't thought of that, but I see your point. Your point made me realize simulations are not always physical stories, like movies. Listening to a symphony or instrumental jazz, or paintings etc, transport us in to a more abstract experience. I wonder how a simulator might expand these experiences?
If the 'programmer' doesn't know the answer, the simulator may not too. Emergent behaviour within the simulator could however, lead to new insight.
Good point, simulation programming would become a new form of art, perhaps the future of the gaming industry? Oh great, our simulations will be coded by pimply 19 year old nerdy guys. We're in lots of trouble now.... :lol:

Haha, still, those pimply 19 year olds probably also have an awesome fantasy back-catalogue!
A simulation of the breakdown of our society would be very revealing to many, especially if they didn't know it was simulated!
Wow, yes, that would be a scary one. A simulation of everybody in simulations, while the real society collapses around them.
This is interesting, as he was rich, in a way he was living in a world the rest of us simulate through fantasy. From the outside, we don't see the downsides of that fantasy world, another lesson that could perhaps be learned through simulation.
What happens if we develop technology that fulfills all our dreams by giving us everything we want, and after gorging for awhile, we then realize we STILL aren't happy? Could be a very existential moment, leading to suicides etc?
Simulating the reality of a starving child, or the plight of those trapped in war, or the symptoms of someone near death, either through old age or illness, could potentially raise our understanding of each other dramatically, in a way that words or video or art could not match.
Yes, a key question seems to be, what is our emotional strength? What kind of experiences are we capable of opening ourselves up to? This could be the main limiter of what we can experience in simulation. How brave are we?

I can see emotions being the main limiting factor on how and what we choose to simulate. As croat guy said the truly hedonistic may do well, while others end up topping themselves. Psychopaths may do extraordinarily well in a simulation world (not unlike in the business world today), perhaps in a simulation society evolution will select for lesser emotions.

I've been watching my wife go through this. She's very empathatic to the wildlife she rehabs. And sometimes the baby critters suffer and die.

Good on her. Though often painful, I think empathy is a wonderful gift. This also leads to the question about emotional attachment to simulations, how long before we see the first human/simulation marriage?

If she closes herself off to protect herself from the pain of loss, she also dilutes the experience of love that motivates her interest in the hobby. I've watched her learn how to feel the pain of loss fully, and then let it go.

Yes, the pain is necessary to drive what she does, but it's good to see she manages it well.

If we want to experience the peaks, we have to be sensitive and open enough to experience the depths as well. A simulator might really challenge us in this direction.

As in real-life, the highs can't really exist without the lows, leading to insensitivity if you have too much of one without the other. This, and the emotional factor you mention above, will be great challenges I think.
She was on TV here the other night, foxy beyond belief, even in a crap movie :)
WHAT? You've been lusting after MY Diane Lane in simulation?? That's it, I didn't know you couldn't be trusted. We're done here! :lol:
Don't worry, she's only a copy, with a few, ahem, modifications of my own design! I've released my version under the GPL, so you're free to download and adapt her should you choose ;)

Typist
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Re: Simulation Theory

Post by Typist » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:37 pm

Haha, still, those pimply 19 year olds probably also have an awesome fantasy back-catalogue!
Oh that's silly, they don't even know who Diane Lane is!!! :lol:

Seriously, your comment made me realize that emerging simulation technology would be led by young people, those not imprisoned within the old paradigms, just as we see today on the Net.

As the information and technology development curve accelerates, society is increasingly led by young people. In the past older people led due the value of their experience, but increasingly that experience of the passing era is a weakness.

Point being, will the exponential growth of information technologies, including simulation, create a society that is ever more flexible and robust, but ever less wise?

Will simulation follow the same path as TV and the Net, where the majority of the content is childish junk?
...perhaps in a simulation society evolution will select for lesser emotions.
Yes, that's pretty much what I just wondered above.
Good on her. Though often painful, I think empathy is a wonderful gift.
Yes, a gift that comes with a price tag.
This also leads to the question about emotional attachment to simulations, how long before we see the first human/simulation marriage?
Oh yes, of course! I had thought of simulation as an individual experience, but of course they will be networked together somehow. Duh! Good point!
As in real-life, the highs can't really exist without the lows, leading to insensitivity if you have too much of one without the other. This, and the emotional factor you mention above, will be great challenges I think.
Yes, you're right, this is a key point. The simulation experience could be similar to developing tolerance to drink and drugs. At first a little bit gets one off, but over time one has to increase the dosage to achieve the same effect. We can see this now with each TV show and movie having to continually add more and more dramatic content to keep viewers from falling asleep. It seems every show on TV is required to have an autopsy these days, as example.
Don't worry, she's only a copy, with a few, ahem, modifications of my own design! I've released my version under the GPL, so you're free to download and adapt her should you choose ;)
Ah! Good! See, I'm revealing my age, still stuck in the old paradigm, thinking there can be only one Diane Lane. Ok, thanks, I will download your version and check it out! :lol:

bytesplicer
Posts: 77
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Re: Simulation Theory

Post by bytesplicer » Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:46 pm

Typist wrote:
Haha, still, those pimply 19 year olds probably also have an awesome fantasy back-catalogue!
Oh that's silly, they don't even know who Diane Lane is!!! :lol:

Seriously, your comment made me realize that emerging simulation technology would be led by young people, those not imprisoned within the old paradigms, just as we see today on the Net.

As the information and technology development curve accelerates, society is increasingly led by young people. In the past older people led due the value of their experience, but increasingly that experience of the passing era is a weakness.

Point being, will the exponential growth of information technologies, including simulation, create a society that is ever more flexible and robust, but ever less wise?

We are Borg!

Will simulation follow the same path as TV and the Net, where the majority of the content is childish junk?

Yeah, we're seeing the beginnings of all this now. Old men (and no offence to the old, we all get there eventually) dictating terms in a world changed beyond their ability to adapt, clinging to the old ways, the generational problem.
...perhaps in a simulation society evolution will select for lesser emotions.
Yes, that's pretty much what I just wondered above.
Good on her. Though often painful, I think empathy is a wonderful gift.
Yes, a gift that comes with a price tag.
This also leads to the question about emotional attachment to simulations, how long before we see the first human/simulation marriage?
Oh yes, of course! I had thought of simulation as an individual experience, but of course they will be networked together somehow. Duh! Good point!

Not exactly what I meant. I mean an actual human falling in love with, and marrying, an actual simulation. Ultra realistic robotic bodies will eventually be sold for this purpose!
As in real-life, the highs can't really exist without the lows, leading to insensitivity if you have too much of one without the other. This, and the emotional factor you mention above, will be great challenges I think.
Yes, you're right, this is a key point. The simulation experience could be similar to developing tolerance to drink and drugs. At first a little bit gets one off, but over time one has to increase the dosage to achieve the same effect. We can see this now with each TV show and movie having to continually add more and more dramatic content to keep viewers from falling asleep. It seems every show on TV is required to have an autopsy these days, as example.

Yes, I think that's exactly it. Not just fictional TV shows either, as your thread on the role of media highlights.
Don't worry, she's only a copy, with a few, ahem, modifications of my own design! I've released my version under the GPL, so you're free to download and adapt her should you choose ;)
Ah! Good! See, I'm revealing my age, still stuck in the old paradigm, thinking there can be only one Diane Lane. Ok, thanks, I will download your version and check it out! :lol:

After reading through, had quite a horrific thought of the simulation "Lane's World" (or perhaps "Typist's Paradise"!), where every animal and plant has the face of Diane Lane. Ewwwwww!

Typist
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Re: Simulation Theory

Post by Typist » Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:31 pm

We are Borg!
We are Bored!
Not exactly what I meant. I mean an actual human falling in love with, and marrying, an actual simulation. Ultra realistic robotic bodies will eventually be sold for this purpose!
Ah, I get it now. Thanks, quite thought provoking. Yes, makes perfect sense. If the boundary between the real world and simulation is made blurry, this would seem to be a logical outcome.

The whole of idea of making a permanent commitment to a simulation is a brain twister, eh?
Yes, I think that's exactly it. Not just fictional TV shows either, as your thread on the role of media highlights.
Yes, the drive for more and more stimulation, from any medium that can deliver it.

This raises yet another futuristic angle. The brain can handle a certain amount of stimulation, but not an unlimited amount. We can propose that at some point we become burned out on all this hyper-realistic stimulation.

Then what?

One possibility could be that we then rush back in the other direction, and all become students of zen etc.

Another possibility is that we alter the brain so it can experience higher levels of stimulation longer.

That is, when the simulation technology is no longer the limiting factor, the brain will become the limiting factor, and perhaps we will then turn our attention to removing that limitation? Infinite stimulation?
After reading through, had quite a horrific thought of the simulation "Lane's World" (or perhaps "Typist's Paradise"!), where every animal and plant has the face of Diane Lane. Ewwwwww!
Oh great. Thanks a lot. You just ruined everything for me. You play rough! :lol:

bytesplicer
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:02 pm

Re: Simulation Theory

Post by bytesplicer » Fri Sep 24, 2010 2:08 pm

Typist wrote:
We are Borg!
We are Bored!

Haha that is more apt!

Ah, I get it now. Thanks, quite thought provoking. Yes, makes perfect sense. If the boundary between the real world and simulation is made blurry, this would seem to be a logical outcome.

The whole of idea of making a permanent commitment to a simulation is a brain twister, eh?

Not if you've ever played and enjoyed World of Warcraft. Very very easy to get sucked in. Both marriages (in this case to another player, no-ones married an orc yet!) and even a funeral have been conducted 'in-game'.
Yes, I think that's exactly it. Not just fictional TV shows either, as your thread on the role of media highlights.
Yes, the drive for more and more stimulation, from any medium that can deliver it.

This raises yet another futuristic angle. The brain can handle a certain amount of stimulation, but not an unlimited amount. We can propose that at some point we become burned out on all this hyper-realistic stimulation.

Then what?

One possibility could be that we then rush back in the other direction, and all become students of zen etc.

Another possibility is that we alter the brain so it can experience higher levels of stimulation longer.

That is, when the simulation technology is no longer the limiting factor, the brain will become the limiting factor, and perhaps we will then turn our attention to removing that limitation? Infinite stimulation?

Ah yes, our brains and bodies will have to go at some point.
After reading through, had quite a horrific thought of the simulation "Lane's World" (or perhaps "Typist's Paradise"!), where every animal and plant has the face of Diane Lane. Ewwwwww!
Oh great. Thanks a lot. You just ruined everything for me. You play rough! :lol:

You love it! :lol:

Typist
Posts: 500
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:12 am

Re: Simulation Theory

Post by Typist » Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:05 am

Just heard a radio story that says Japanese researchers are building a TV system that has 16X more resolution than HD TV.

The BBC reporters viewed it on a 100 inch screen, and say that on a screen that size the projected image fills your peripheral vision, and looks as real as looking through a window.

So, say you're in a room that is 8 foot square, has one of these screens on each wall, and are viewing an image shot with a 360 degree camera. You are in the simulation.

Not coming soon to a store near you, but coming sooner or later.

i blame blame
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Re: Simulation Theory

Post by i blame blame » Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:38 pm

Typist wrote:Just heard a radio story that says Japanese researchers are building a TV system that has 16X more resolution than HD TV.

The BBC reporters viewed it on a 100 inch screen, and say that on a screen that size the projected image fills your peripheral vision, and looks as real as looking through a window.

So, say you're in a room that is 8 foot square, has one of these screens on each wall, and are viewing an image shot with a 360 degree camera. You are in the simulation.

Not coming soon to a store near you, but coming sooner or later.
This would only be suitable for interactive entertainment though, as you'd miss at least half the action of a 360° film.

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Arising_uk
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Re: Simulation Theory

Post by Arising_uk » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:14 pm

I'll be more impressed when I can open them.
p.s.
Although if they're going to be as good as you say they will be a litigation monster :lol:
Which leaves me with the ethical dilemma of whether to laugh or not when someone tries to put their head through one, least of all me :)
p.p.s
Shit! The FPS and WOW brigades will love such resolution.

S G R
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Re: Simulation Theory

Post by S G R » Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:08 pm

I find Nick Bostrom’s thesis fascinating but:

In what way is what is being described is a simulation? If sentient beings are being created within some form of computer environment then these beings are real in their own right; they are not a simulation at all.

The crux of the situation is: do these beings have control over their own actions and life? Because if they have freewill and if this freewill extends to the point where they can kill themselves then this is about as real as it gets.

This shines a different light on what is being described. These are not simulations they are experiments being carried out upon sentient beings without their knowledge; high tech totalitarian systems of slavery.

I would say that Bostrom is wrong to think there is any ethical ambiguity in this scenario.

Typist
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Re: Simulation Theory

Post by Typist » Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:30 pm

Ah, yes, very interesting comment.

The whole push of this coming future will be to make the simulated characters ever more intelligent so they can respond to unique situations, deepen the illusion etc. And at some point this process will cross a line, and we will have created slaves.

Hmm....

i blame blame
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Re: Simulation Theory

Post by i blame blame » Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:42 pm

S G R wrote:I find Nick Bostrom’s thesis fascinating but:

In what way is what is being described is a simulation? If sentient beings are being created within some form of computer environment then these beings are real in their own right; they are not a simulation at all.

The crux of the situation is: do these beings have control over their own actions and life? Because if they have freewill and if this freewill extends to the point where they can kill themselves then this is about as real as it gets.
Free will is an ill-defined concept.

S G R
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Re: Simulation Theory

Post by S G R » Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:21 pm

i blame blame wrote:Free will is an ill-defined concept.
To those who don’t think it exists obviously, to the rest of us it is what makes choice possible.

A simulated entity that cannot make a choice is merely a programme however complex.

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