Possibility of us living in a simulated reality

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Yinlong
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Possibility of us living in a simulated reality

Postby Yinlong » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:29 pm

I don’t know if it is because of HBO’s recently premiered TV series Westworld or the recent breakthroughs in entertainment-grade virtual reality gaming platforms but I’ve seen the Simulation Argument by Nick Bostrom popping up recently to my social media radar more than once. Also, I’ve heard the topic causally discussed by my friends lately.

Perhaps because I saw original Matrix movie as a sensitive teenager (and it made a major impact then) I’ve somehow had a special spot pondering the probability of me and my surroundings being part of some simulated experiment. Bostrom’s theory made also somewhat big impact back when I was a student and inspired many wine-fueled conversations on the topic. For those who’re not familiar with Bostrom’s reasoning, here’s a short summary so you don’t need to move to Wikipedia:

Even if only a small percentage of highly advanced people in the future would be interested running simulations of their ancestors’ times, their computing power would so enormous that they could easily simulate vastly larger number of simulated persona than the number of their real ancestors. Hence, at least one of the following arguments is likely to be true:

1. "The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage (that is, one capable of running high-fidelity ancestor simulations) is very close to zero", or
2. "The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero", or
3. "The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one"

More information here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulation_hypothesis

I guess similar thought experiments (What if nothing we see and experience is “real”?) have been around throughout our history. For example, Plato’s Cave story has much similarities.

In any case, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the topic. Would it make any difference to you or your world-view if we found out there’s a larger probability that we’re part of some kind of a simulation? Some scientific research has tried, for example, to find if the universe has some finite resolution, which could imply that all is just a simulation. How much you put emphasis on your inner feeling, experience or insight on the topic?

So, is there a spoon? ;)
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Nefastos
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Re: Possibility of us living in a simulated reality

Postby Nefastos » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:02 am

Yinlong wrote:So, is there a spoon? ;)

Yes, the spoon is sacred formless energy. Even though we only grasp some faintest gross reflection of The Ultimate Spoon, that reflection is still the original spoon, or we couldn't even perceive it. The reality of a simulacrum comes from its innermost unity (not just likeness, but oneness) with the divine spoonness.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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ben Shachar
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Re: Possibility of us living in a simulated reality

Postby ben Shachar » Thu Oct 13, 2016 5:53 pm

As above so below. The simulation is no less real than the relative actual, which in turn as to the superreal and hyperreal. Leading us into the spheres and Jacobs Ladder. Man is god to man as god is man to god. The unitygod state is unremarkable, homogenous and static consci without affect of ous and ness (if I am not mistaken) Inherent of unity is the insinuation of the possibility of a disunified state. This is the first potential which is motion. Motion requires a centrifical point established because motion is embedded with two axis by which space is inherent (one dimensional motion is not possible from a unified state) thusly the "great sacrifice" is made. The sacrifice which is to be the model for all and any thereafter. The imposing of limitations or boundaries in order that identity becomes possible. Where god ends and the void begins. From a center point in all directions possible on x and y axis equally circumscribes a circle. God and the void are now two that is one and one that is two(gemini) this is two dimensional duality pictured as the yin and yang which so beautifully illustrates how a third dimesion is inferred and can be gleamed from a two dimensional data set. This is cancer or the breath also known as Pi and the female generative principle. At this point it is worthwhile to note that from unity in aries to Pi in cancer all has unfolded and defined as a result of the previous condition (though words like god and sacrifice are used they are esoteric which carry implications to humans but yet are not necessary to fulfill the expression) the possibility of a unified algorythm is not out of reach.
Most importantly, As above so below. This 3D info embedded within 2D data to project holographically is so effective that it is borrowed over and over again in every way possible social, emotional, and psychological, spiritual and biological actions use dimensional embedding to create robust dynamic systems.

Example : the ductless glands secrete hormones into the blood which are carried and then recieved to chemically trigger a response. That same chemical secretion carries a second set of data through pulsation and elicits an altogether seperate course of events. Possibly even unrelated to its inherent system.

As for the spoon, possibly a vast amount of energy is wasted applying force in a illusory 3rd dimension a fraction of which the mind can apply telepathically in 2 dimensions to accomplish the same feat?
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Re: Possibility of us living in a simulated reality

Postby RaktaZoci » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:17 am

This is an interesting subject and finally I have found some time to look into it more thoroughly. I'm not familiar with the mentioned newer theory, but as I've been reading the so-called classical philosophy lately, this reminded me of Descartes' doubt about the nature of perceived data. How can we prove that it is a reflection of an actual reality? He rationalizes that only the mind is real, hence his famous saying "I think, therefore I am". To doubt the existence of this thought process is in itself a thought process, so this proves that the mind is real, i.e. exists.

Didn't Kant also believe that we cannot really know anything of objects themselves?

To get back to the Matrix example, in a book I recently read they had compared two examples, Neo from The Matrix and Truman Burbank from the movie Truman show, who both live in a sort of virtual reality but are not aware of this. This is actually a very interesting philosophical argument, since it is kinda hard to actually prove that we are not just "Brains in a Vessel", as the book inscribed. Of course, seen from a Theosophical point of view, our life here on Earth could be described, in a manner of speaking, exactly like that.

Personally I'd say that we cannot untimately know what is the truth about this matter. I see it so that the element of Faith plays a major role, with which I mean the idea of what we perceive (metaphorically) our purest essence to be. That is, are we just a consciousness "trapped" in this material framework and as we die we cease to exist, or is there something more spiritual about our deepest core essence.

Nefastos' answer is really good, but since he most likely is on some higher level of realization it might be slightly hard to grasp. ;)

I appreciate ΛΟΓΙΝΟC's answer also, even though it shares similar cryptic outline as could be found in The Secret Doctrine. I see it describing similar thoughts are presented in Nefastos' text Fohat in Writings of Magic (being translated). The centerpoint, the circumference and their relation to Pi is a relevant idea, I believe, in the understanding of the nature of creation and cosmos, but still, extremely hard to grasp.
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Kenazis
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Re: Possibility of us living in a simulated reality

Postby Kenazis » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:20 pm

I am not very interested about this question for the following reasons: It seems that we really can't know this -living in simulation - to be either true or false. Next question that rises is "what it changes or matters if we would suddenly know that this is simulation?" And if we would be just brains in some liquid, how it does change things? This "just brains" thinking isn't far from today's neuroscientific "thinking".
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Re: Possibility of us living in a simulated reality

Postby RaktaZoci » Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:12 am

Kenazis wrote: And if we would be just brains in some liquid, how it does change things?
Well, from this point of view we could abolish all philosophical thinking, cause it doesn't really 'change anything', wouldn't you agree..? :) I might have read too much Plato lately, but isn't change related to the perceived world and stability to the world of the immutable? If we so can, by conclusion, determine what is "real" and what is not then possibly it could help us define the structure of reality, both physical and mental, from a new perspective..?
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Kenazis
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Re: Possibility of us living in a simulated reality

Postby Kenazis » Thu Oct 20, 2016 2:00 pm

RaktaZoci wrote:
Kenazis wrote: And if we would be just brains in some liquid, how it does change things?
Well, from this point of view we could abolish all philosophical thinking, cause it doesn't really 'change anything', wouldn't you agree..? :)
No, I don't agree with this. Philosophical thinking changes things big time in my opinion. I mean that if we would be just brains in some liquid, our other life (which we lived before this new knowledge) doesn't end, the laws would be same (?). And if we can't act differently in that liquid box, our life would change only by understanding that with all I've known, I'm also brains in some liquid. Do you follow this "excellent" reasoning?
RaktaZoci wrote:I might have read too much Plato lately, but isn't change related to the perceived world and stability to the world of the immutable? If we so can, by conclusion, determine what is "real" and what is not then possibly it could help us define the structure of reality, both physical and mental, from a new perspective..?
You mean that real is this immutable and not-real is the changing world? Why would immutable be more real than mutable?

PS. I don't know how far we are going from the original topic, but...
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Re: Possibility of us living in a simulated reality

Postby RaktaZoci » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:39 am

Kenazis wrote:You mean that real is this immutable and not-real is the changing world? Why would immutable be more real than mutable?
PS. I don't know how far we are going from the original topic, but...
Well, I think we are sort of circling it, since from the opening post:
Yinlong wrote:I guess similar thought experiments (What if nothing we see and experience is “real”?) have been around throughout our history. For example, Plato’s Cave story has much similarities.
In Plato's cave story there is a similarity to the model I was trying to express. If the observers never knew of anything else that the cave wall and thus believed that the shadows of "real" objects were actually real, the objects themselves still had to exist for the shadows to be possible.

The "shadows" in the changing world are a reflection of the "true" reality, in Plato's terms the world (or plane) of idea(l)s. And through these ideas we are able to comprehend what the shadows appear to be without just seeing utter chaos. Am I making any sense to you..?
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Kenazis
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Re: Possibility of us living in a simulated reality

Postby Kenazis » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:39 am

RaktaZoci wrote:In Plato's cave story there is a similarity to the model I was trying to express. If the observers never knew of anything else that the cave wall and thus believed that the shadows of "real" objects were actually real, the objects themselves still had to exist for the shadows to be possible. The "shadows" in the changing world are a reflection of the "true" reality, in Plato's terms the world (or plane) of idea(l)s. And through these ideas we are able to comprehend what the shadows appear to be without just seeing utter chaos. Am I making any sense to you..?
I know Plato's story about the cave and the shadows, and It's very very good at pointing out that certain idea. What I'm trying to say is: Even we would understand that there might be some source where these shadows are coming from, but we act solely in the world of shadows and have no access to the source, why we would then start to think this source to be more real than the world of shadows? If this "shadow-world" is in co-operation with the "world beyond it", perfectly mimicking it. I think this is comparable to thinking that Heavenly is more real than earthly, Spiritual more real than material etc. Maybe the problem lies in definition of "real".
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Re: Possibility of us living in a simulated reality

Postby RaktaZoci » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:59 am

Kenazis wrote:I think this is comparable to thinking that Heavenly is more real than earthly, Spiritual more real than material etc. Maybe the problem lies in definition of "real".
Here we step on the grounds of personal belief. I'm siding with Blavatskyan (?) thinking here that the material world is, in the end, only an illusion, a reflection of the true reality. As Nefastos so well described earlier:
Nefastos wrote:
Yinlong wrote:So, is there a spoon? ;)
Yes, the spoon is sacred formless energy. Even though we only grasp some faintest gross reflection of The Ultimate Spoon, that reflection is still the original spoon, or we couldn't even perceive it. The reality of a simulacrum comes from its innermost unity (not just likeness, but oneness) with the divine spoonness.
However I do believe (emphasis on the word) that it is possible to catch a glimpse of this "holy light" and through it find the potential to live a virtuous life while floating on this sea of Maya.
die Eule der Minerva beginnt erst mit der einbrechenden Dämmerung ihren Flug.
-Hegel

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