and, speaking of irrefutability…

“My gut feeling, and it’s nothing more than that,” he says, “is that there’s a 20 percent chance we’re living in a computer simulation.”
– Nick Bostrom, another brilliant Oxford Prof.

Check out the NYT article. Bostrom’s “gut feeling” is that there’s a 20% chance we’re merely virtual. John Tierney, who authored the piece, thinks the chances are better than even. Well – doesn’t that change the odds of Pascal’s Wager.

Now, this isn’t a new thought, obviously. We’ve had movies like The Matrix and The Thirteenth Floor, and I’m sure the concept has been around since before then. Michael Ende explored similar subjects in The Neverending Story. What I want to know is, what are the odds that the guy who thinks he is running this simulation is actually himself in a computer simulation? And, what are the odds that his mother will make him shut down and go to bed? What are the chances that the simulation is running on Windows and it will blue screen?

Hmm… let’s see: Red pill, or blue pill?

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3 Responses to and, speaking of irrefutability…

  1. me says:

    If you don’t (being a vegetarian in the simulation), you’re not likely to survive to the next level.

  2. Quixote says:

    Does this mean I don’t have to eat my vegetables?

  3. I’ve always liked the red pill because it tastes like candy. When I was a kid, I used to have this recurring dream that all of my life experiences involved a sort of projection similar to what your post discusses (except three-dee animation and virtual reality were not even that present in sci-fi.) Then I read a sci-fi story, I think maybe by Heinlein.

    The protagonist opens the curtains in one room, and it is a beautiful, sunny day. Then he goes to another room, opens the curtains and it is a gloomy, rainy, day. Seems the controllers made a programming error (at least that part was prescient) and he discovered what they were doing.

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