[FoRK] Physical limit on total amount of computation vs. Bostrom...

Gordon Mohr (personal) gojomo at usa.net
Wed Apr 28 11:20:31 PDT 2004


Lucas Gonze wrote:
> 
> On Wednesday, Apr 28, 2004, at 13:38 America/New_York, Gordon Mohr 
> (PERSONAL) wrote:

>> If I were to run conscious ancestors (or lab
>> rats or recreational avatars or whatever) inside
>> a simulation, and I wanted them to take their
>> "universe" at face value, I might very well make
>> its computational-capacity ceiling appear pretty
>> low, to keep them in the dark as long as I'd
>> like.
> 
> 
> Eventually they'd discover the discrepancies you had to allow to plant 
> that deception. 

Why do you think there'd have to be discrepancies? Their ultimate
and self-consistent truth would be that the universe they reside in
hits an absolute computational ceiling, by design. No discrepancies
necessary.

Further, given my total control over the simulation, and ability
to restart, edit, or rewind the simulation at any time, they'll
only "discover" what I approve of them discovering.

(Though perhaps, I'm an hands-off scientist specifically researching
what civilizations of conscious individuals sometimes conclude about
their universes, given enough time, and so I always run my ceilinged
universes to their heat-death without intervention.)

> That would prevent you from simulating a non-simulation 
> beyond a certain point in simulated time, so there would be a time limit 
> on the age of a simulated universe.

Only the time limits I as the creator, living in a ceilingless
universe, would choose for my purposes.

And what do you mean to achieve by contrasting a simulation and a
"non-simulation"? Don't try to sneak in the postulate that some
things are unsimulable, if the issue is the possibility of a
ceilingless universe!

- Gordon



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