Note from the author: Greetings readers. Here's a disclaimer for my article. I deem this appropriate because Peter Rothman, the current editor of H+ Magazine, feared my views could reflect badly on him or H+. Considering Peter's concerns I rewrote the my initial submission for this article. Despite extensively expanding some points I think this disclaimer is also needed. Please note this article reflects my opinions only, the article does not necessarily represent the opinions of Humanity+, H+ Magazine, or any other individual.
My impassioned writing style tolerates no-nonsense, which can annoy or offend people, but my purpose is not inflammatory. I detest confrontation. I merely feel very strongly about these issues. I feel incredibly angry regarding the typical nonsense tainting intellectual thought. I am partially influenced by Nietzsche therefore my writing is perhaps an example of how to philosophize with a hammer.
Editor's note: FWIW, my actual concern was that this article might feel a bit like an attack on individuals who formerly were involved with H+. Since that clearly wasn't my intention, publishing the article as it was seemed wrong. I thought this might be misunderstood as originating from me as I am also a critic of the Simulation Argument for very different reasons. I also felt some of it was unnecessarily personal.
My view is generally critical of the Simulation Argument and I've written about this previously here on H+. Despite that opinion, I don't find myself in agreement with most of this article. I do think that the idea the future super-human simulation gods would have to be vindictive to operate a world where suffering is so pervasive has some merit. It should be clearly understood that this article does not represent my viewpoint or that of Humanity+ and its members but is only the view of its author Singularity Utopia. We welcome your comments on this publication as always.
Within the futurism community I feel there is often a toadying sycophancy shown towards some big names, therefore criticising these idols of futurism can be tantamount to an attack on God, which inevitably riles people, but if futurism is truly about explosive intellectualism then we must permit potentially offensive opinions because free-expression is vital for free-thinking. I'm fiercely independent therefore my views are my views alone. I'm an intellectual iconoclast thus my thinking is not hampered a deluded sense of etiquette. Via the hammer of my words I seek to destroy the intellectual travesty of our modern world. My ideas focus solely on the amplification of intelligence. There is no allegiance to political correctness here. My goal is to destroy the mediocre thoughts commonly exhibited during our unintelligent epoch. I don't have a vendetta towards specific people. I merely want to improve our standard of thinking regarding futurism. Hopefully you can appreciate the validity of my rigorous intellect.
Considering how Linux pioneer Linus Torvalds likes to offend people, I think my views are reasonably tame.
It's very shocking when supposedly intelligent people seriously consider the idea of our universe being a simulation. Reminiscent of flies attracted to a rotting carcass, hypothetically intelligent people are drawn to this idea of reality being simulated. Note how David Chamlers considers the metaphysics of the Matrix. The simulation argument is merely an escapist fantasy, intellectual decay, a new form of religion, a topic in my opinion fit only for discussion by daydreamers or people tripping on magic mushrooms or LSD. Very worryingly many respected media organizations give credence to the simulation meme. The notion of our universe being simulated is anti-intellectualism therefore we must fiercely oppose it.
I'm not making an ad hominen attack upon simulation proponents, neither am I stating all daydreamers believe in the simulation argument, my point is merely to place escapist simulation theories into the correct arena. The realm of simulation thinking is comparable, in my opinion, to a situation where people on hallucinogens invent wacky theories about flying pink elephants. I'm definitely not stating simulation devotees are high on LSD or any other drug. The point is merely metaphoric or analogous regarding similarities between Abbie Hoffman levitating the Pentagon and simulation devotees thinking we are living in a computer program. When Abbie Hoffman urged his trial judge to take LSD this is essentially no different to suggesting we living are in a simulation. The simulation argument is wacky nonsense. The notion of our reality being a simulation is mystical belief, essentially it is belief in God. Simulated reality, hallucinations, and God are comparable, very compatible issues.
Advanced cultures where universe simulations could be created will inevitably be composed of beings possessing high intelligence, thus the antithesis of intelligence is a valid concept for discussion but focusing on the concept of stupidity is not a mere insult or name-calling. People often fail to grasp the interrelationship between stupidity and intelligence regarding futuristic high-performance computing. The issue of stupidity regarding the intelligence explosion is something we must not shy away from. Discussions about good can naturally lead to discussions about evil. In this modality I discuss stupidity and intelligence regarding futuristic civilizations where simulations could be created, which inevitably leads to analysis of the current intellectual status pertaining to key actors responsible for prevalent speculations upon the likelihood of simulation scenarios.
By the end of this critique you will hopefully agree my logic corroborates a classification of nonsense, stupidity, religion, psychedelia, or mysticism applicable to the simulation argument and its devotees. My disparaging classifications are not without proof. One blogger, for example, mentions a "Young Man on Acid" in the title of a post about our reality being simulated, and the image of that post states "LIFE IS ONLY A DREAM."
Calling a spade a spade is a type of honesty vital to intelligence, therefore despite my classifications potentially being deemed impolite, it should be noted when I state simulation proponents are intellectual-impaired I'm not casting empty insults. When physicists write about "distant futurity" pertaining to hypothetical cultures responsible for our reality being a simulation, it is essential to mention the opposite of futuristic computing, which is stupidity. Intelligent people should not shy away from the possibility they are stupid. The explosive intelligence requisite for futuristic technology means the opposite of intelligence is a valid topic for analysis, therefore I'm attempting, not due to malice or petty name-calling, to highlight the idiocy of the simulation argument.
Via stating simulation advocates are deluded, cognitively impaired, in a manner comparable to someone tripping on acid, my purpose is merely to enhance intelligence via highlighting what I deem to be truth. I am simply stating the facts from my viewpoint. The truth does sometimes hurt but my intentions are not malicious. My purpose is to raise the level of everyone's intelligence via invalidating the notion of our universe being simulated. I want to destroy a cancerous type of thinking. My destructive critique will improve the minds of the people I criticize. With surgical care I'm attempting to annihilate defective memes, thereby benefiting everyone. With very great clarity I will put substantial logical meat onto the bones of my descriptors regarding the flaws of simulation proponents.
The Matrix film portrays a simulated reality prison, resultant from a successful AI rebellion, entailing most humans being unaware of their imprisonment. Within this film there are a couple of references to the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland; there is also a reference to mescaline when the lead character asks: "You ever have that feeling where you're not sure if you're awake or still dreaming?" Some humans have hacked the Matrix thereby escaping it, therefore they attempt to free other humans. The process of freeing the lead character "Neo" entails Neo being asked to follow the white rabbit; he is ultimately asked if he wants to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes. Clearly the Matrix is very similar to the simulation argument because the Matrix is a simulated universe.
Via the white rabbit I will explain how usage of hallucinogenic drugs is comparable to the simulation argument, but before delving into the drug associations of Alice in Wonderland I will mention a non-fiction example of reality being hacked via drugs. Carlos Castaneda explained how humans are actually luminous balls of energy. We are apparently glowing giant eggs, but we cannot normally see this supposedly truer reality therefore via drugs we can learn to See. Usage of the drugs peyote, Psilocybe mushrooms, and datura enabled Carlos Castaneda to shift his assemblage point thereby assembling reality within the second attention, which is basically a method for becoming a superuser of the system thus great power is accessed. Upon entering this "second attention" (alternate reality) you can fly, become immortal, or commune with sentient beings from new realms of existence. This drug-based Separate Reality described by Carlos has a clear resemblance to the Matrix. Carlos always insisted his adventures in alternate realities were factual accounts but the authenticity has been disputed, thus we see the correct perception of reality is often questionable. Pertinently your attention also needs to linger briefly on the fictional film Altered States, which presents a another idea for alternate reality based on drug usage.
Now let's consider the drug references regarding Alice in Wonderland. The BBC describes how drug usage is rightly or wrongly associated with Alice in Wonderland. Jefferson Airplane wrote a song called White Rabbit, which is commonly thought to be about usage of psychoactive drugs. The Jefferson Airplane lyrics mention logic and proportion falling "sloppy dead;" the song describes a dormouse urging us to feed our heads. Red and white hallucinogenic Amanita muscaria mushrooms are often featured in the world of Alice. Perceptual distortions occurring after Alice eats and drinks various substances, combined with a pipe-smoking and apparently stoned talking caterpillar, means people understandably associate the alternate world of Alice with altered states commonly induced via hallucinogens. Talking animals or chess pieces, combined with morphing body size, entails a very trippy experience, which is why Alice's white rabbit is linked to the Matrix.
There are blatant similarities between religion, New Ageism, insanity, and the mind-bending consequences of psychoactive drugs but these categories of irrational thinking are subtly different to each other. The connecting theme is irrationality or stupidity. The idea of our universe being a simulation is a new type of irrationality similar to previous categories of irrationality. The simulation argument, via its irrationality, can be generally associated with previous categories of irrationality. The simulation argument appears to be a synthesis of classic religion, New Ageism, and psychosis, but I have focused metaphorically on the hallucinogenic drugs perspective due to the white rabbit references in the Matrix. Castaneda's drug-induced alternate realities of constitute another factor adding weight to psychedelic descriptor for simulation enthusiasts.
Now let's consider the film-maker and futurist Jason Silva. According to the Huffington Post, Jason has been described as ìpart Timothy Leary, part Ray Kurzweil, and part Neo from The Matrix.î Clearly there is a crossover between psychedelia, alleged aspects of futurism, and The Matrix. In his video Turning Into Gods Jason says he feels he's stepped through the looking glass. In Jason's video about turning into Gods there's a clip of Timothy Leary saying: "In order to use your head you have to go out of your mind." Going out of your mind, either via LSD or naturally, seems to be a type of insanity, which perhaps justifies usage of the "Gods" descriptor. When Richard Dawkins famously wrote about The God Delusion he didn't definitively state the concept of God is a mental illness but psychosis and delusions are similar. Perhaps instead of "delusion" regarding our universe being simulated it would be more appropriate, due to preponderant Wonderland-Matrix and God references, if I described The Psychedelic God Hallucination. Incidentally Dawkins does not believe in the simulation argument, he doesn't believe in any type of God.
The misguided merger of futurism and psychedelia is evident when R. U. Sirius describes relationships between drugs and cyberculture. On his website you can read about "understanding and experiencing the convergence and integration of technology, new age, philosophy and art." Sirius shouldn't be taken seriously when he presents issues "balanced between psychedelics, science, technology, outrageousness and postmodern pop culture." Sadly many psychonauts do seriously hijack futuristic technology, therefore the wacky idea of reality being simulated can become popularized when gurus such as Terrence McKenna talk about Psychedelics In The Age Of Intelligent Machines. Being out of your mind, either metaphorically or actually, is clearly connected to technology for some people. McKenna has suggested a Stoned Ape theory regarding hallucinogens being the cause of human evolution; a theory which Jason Silva seems enamoured with. Similar to intelligent people wondering why a supposedly intelligent super-being would create our idiotic universe, people who reject psychedelic thinking probably wonder why magic mushrooms didn't cause any other animals to become intelligent. Contrary to McKenna stating drugs are the source of religious experience in humans, I'd say stupidity is the source of religion, and yes it can be stupid to take drugs. The problem with mystics is their tendency to hijack almost everything to prove their mysticism, thus mushrooms are mystical sources intelligence, and futuristic intelligent computation is corrupted to support the idea of an intelligent designer fabricating our simulated reality where we are imprisoned. These issues are comparable to people who see a weeping statue of Christ then wrongly assume Christ is crying, they think the tears come directly from God, but actually a blocked drain is causing the leak. Likewise Christians might deem hurricane Sandy to be an punishment from God regarding same-sex marriage, it's a conformation bias.
Jason is wrong, we are not turning into Gods, we're merely becoming intelligent. Gods are actually idiots, but considering Jason is partially Ray Kurzweil we need to consider Ray's idiotic thoughts about God and the simulation argument. Notably during a video interview regarding our universe being simulated, Ray Kurzweil expressed his views about life in the non-simulated sense: "This universe may have originated with an intelligent designer, as in another intelligent creature, or maybe a committee, in some other universe." Ray thinks our universe could have been created by a super-intelligent being; he actually suggested the hypothetical super-intelligent creator may intervene in our lives occasionally. Ray thinks the design of our universe seems "pretty clever," which is a joke from my viewpoint because our universe seems utterly devoid of intelligent design. From my viewpoint our universe the epitome of idiotic randomness.
Ray says: "It's really quite plausible to say our universe is a computer." So considering Ray appreciates how virtual reality can utterly resemble original reality, and Ray thinks our universe may have originated via an intelligent designer, it is safe to state Ray believes in the simulation argument.
Ray's thoughts about our universe brilliantly illustrate, from an intelligent-design viewpoint, how the simulation argument is deeply connected to God. When Ray mentioned an "intelligent designer" he was speaking via a religious TV series called Closer To Truth, a "...definitive series on Cosmos, Consciousness and God, a global journey in search of the vital ideas of existence." Ray said there's essentially no difference between simulated and real reality if technology is sufficiently advanced. Yes it's true simulated reality will utterly replicate reality but this does not mean we are in a simulation. The video ends with Ray saying our universe is a computer dealing with information.
If you remain doubtful about the theme of irrationality connecting drugs, escapism, simulated reality, and God (or Gob), I have found a video illustrating my points. The following video by Mallon Khan, featuring Amanita muscaria mushrooms, brilliantly portrays the issues I am elucidating:
"The National Institute on Drug Abuse" states some people can experience a "fear of insanity" while on LSD. Substance induced psychosis is possible regarding hallucinogens. Consuming hallucinogens can mimic or induce the symptoms of schizophrenia. Hallucinogens or other drugs have a clear potential to alter perceptions of reality, which is noted regarding HPPD, but this doesn't mean all alternate perceptions are based on drugs.
Nick Bostrom's simulation site prominently refers to the Matrix: "If each advanced civilization created many Matrices of their own history, then most people like us, who live in a technologically more primitive age, would live inside Matrices rather than outside them." We can clearly see how the Matrix connects itself to Alice in Wonderland via the white rabbit. The Wonderland of Alice is clearly associated with psychedelic drugs, thus comparing the simulation argument to drug-addled ideas of alternate reality is valid. Ray Kurzweil has also been photographed in the company of white rabbit thus we see the hallucinatory world of Alice is relevant to futurism issues. Simulation proponents clearly seem to be tripping out of their minds on the psychedelic Matrix drug. Perhaps when simulation proponents refer to the Matrix there's a subconscious realisation that some aspects of futurism, promulgated by Jaan Tallinn and others, are utterly ludicrous, totally wacky far-out nonsense.
The Matrix is trippy because the simulation argument is a trippy theory suitable for acid heads. Our reality being simulated it is not an appropriate theory for serious intellectual discussion. The simulation argument is tantamount to creationism. Reality starts melting when Neo takes the red pill, we see how he goes through the looking glass, or more precisely the mirror coats his body then slides down his throat. Instead of ingesting a computational algorithm-pill to disrupt his "input/output carrier signal" thereby pinpointing Neo's location, perhaps Neo merely dropped some acid. The melting of reality experienced by Neo is very similar to the LSD experience.
Fiction, hallucinations, and delusions all have a clear link. The link is unreality and irrationality. Fiction can be useful to describe reality but if you become overly enamoured with fiction you can distort reality into a purely fictional delusion, similar to how hallucinatory drugs can push people over the edge into psychosis. Humans have a clear potential to retreat into either the fantasy world of fiction, drug-induced unreality, or delusional ideologies where they believe our Earth is only ten thousand years old, thus we have the belief we are in a simulation. Humans have a great capacity to be deluded but this truth about reality is often contentious, perhaps regarding human delusion, most notably, we see this reality-controversy exhibited via the Galileo affair. Alternate interpretations of reality are good, they should be encouraged. I want to take your questioning to the next level.
Huxley thought drugs opened the doors of perception, he thought hallucinogens helped us see reality clearer, but many people think drugs distort perceptions. Francis Crick allegedly discovered the shape of DNA while on LSD, or least if he didn't discover DNA while on LSD he was a regular tripper. Perhaps Crick would have made greater discoveries if he never took drugs, but we don't know because there was no control-study where Crick lived his life drug free. If hallucinogens are so good at improving our minds then maybe they should be added to the water supply, given daily to babies, young children, and adults.
If a type of thinking resembles the thoughts associated with drug usage, does this indicate strength or weakness in the thinking? It'd be a logical fallacy if my purpose was guilt via association. When I highlight similarities between tripping, psychosis, God, and the belief our universe is simulated, I am not presenting a false cause, a spurious correlation, which would be true if these associations constituted the essence of my simulated reality critique. If a metaphoric LSD descriptor was my core point then this would be the type of logical fallacy which simulation proponents are guilty of, I'd be making a similar error in logic.
My metaphoric drug references merely set the scene for my logic. At the end of my exposition you will have a shorthand term to describe the "sloppy dead" irrationality exhibited by people on the simulation-trip. Labelling simulation devotees simulation-God-trippers or mystic-acid reality-dreamers will save time in the future, but to support my evocative classifications there must be powerful logic to justify the fitting labels.
For a long time I've been planning to highlight the errors of the simulation argument. I have various drafts regarding religious criticism pertaining to Giulio Prisco's simulation nonsense, but the recent incident responsible for reigniting my ire was a tweet by "posthuman AK" asking if we are in the Matrix:
@akposthuman, no we are not living in the Matrix; the idea is an escapist fantasy like religion.
ó SINGULARITY UTOPIA (@2045singularity) October 16, 2012
Simulation-gibberish is in the news again, a topic for discussion, because physicists have apparently proved or nearly proved we could be in a simulation. The idea of our world being a simulation is not mere media hype. The so-called "science" has not been distorted. Forgive my bluntness regarding this rebuff, but the poor "sloppy dead" logic of simulation-devotees is very disheartening. Their substandard intelligence is exasperating, exceedingly depressing. Surely people who are aware of Singularity-Transhuman issues should be somewhat intelligent, or perhaps I am naive to assume intelligent people would be attracted to futurism issues. From the document referenced in the tweet by posthuman AK, which caused HuffPost Tech and others to state there may be evidence we are in a computer simulation, here is a quote:
"Extrapolations to the distant futurity of trends in the growth of high-performance computing (HPC) have led philosophers to question óin a logically compelling wayó whether the universe that we currently inhabit is a numerical simulation performed by our distant descendants ."
It is ridiculous to describe a "logically compelling way" regarding the notion of our reality being simulated. If the logic is valid don't try to force the validity down our throats via insisting it is "compelling" when it clearly is not compelling. Let the logic stand alone, but what is the error of the so-called "logic" regarding the Simulation Argument?
The possibility of creating something doesn't mean it will be created. Something may be possible but mere possibility does not mean it is likely. It is possible everybody is a figment of my imagination. It is possible God exists. Maybe you are in a coma thereby hallucinating-dreaming the entirety of reality, or perhaps reality is a schizophrenic delusion, thus instead of the world around us being real we are actually seeing a hallucinatory projection of our deranged mind, which means in reality we are gibbering in a padded cell while the real world continues without us. These things are possible but they are not likely.
Predictably the dream argument is often associated with the simulation argument. The association is unsurprising because both lines of thought are wacky topics suitable for weed or acid heads, or new-age mystics dreaming about fantasy worlds. Likewise it is unsurprising to note how the intelligent design branch of Transhumanism utilizes the so-called "logic" of the simulation argument to prove the validity of the New God Argument. All arguments for God, either new or old, constitute extremely congruent gibberish regarding our world be being a simulation. Simulation theories and God theories are very compatible. Mormon Transhumanists cite Nick Bostrom's nonsense to justify their illogical views, thus they often ask: "Are you living in a world computed by neohuman Gods?"
What is the psychology behind escapist simulation nonsense? Powerlessness, emasculation, and futility are the basic psychological states regarding this escapist fantasy. People feel powerless to control reality. They think rational solutions are futile therefore they create a fantasy world, where they are powerful, a Matrix type fantasy where they can fly, possess superhuman strength, defeat the baddies. The tendency to embrace the simulation argument is tantamount to drawing solace from star-sign forecasts or tarot cards. Due to the nature of escapism, unawareness typically features strongly in the mentalities of simulation devotees. Their embrace of fantasy is either conscious or subconscious but predominantly it is unwitting, they don't really know what they are doing. Similar to someone suffering from severe anorexia, thereby starving to death because they think they are fat when they are thin, simulation proponents think their fantasies are logical. Instead of having confidence in the power of human ingenuity, there is a propensity to defer power to Gods or mysterious computer programs, which are allegedly constructing our reality. This is why the simulation argument has growing popular appeal. Believing in the simulation is comparable to watching the latest episode of Fringe or True Blood. It is reminiscent of praying to God, it is pure fiction. Simulation devotees either consciously or subconsciously hope they will be saved by a mysterious superhuman creator if they worship the concept of simulated reality, thus people adore the simulation meme, they think it is a valid concept.
Seriously, I understand. The world is full is idiots. Buffoons are excruciatingly plentiful, therefore it's almost impossible to counter them, thus instead of transforming our idiotic civilization via rational methods, it is appealing to dismiss reality by stating reality is merely an illusion, thus hopefully we can take an irrational short-cut to transform the world, via hacking the Matrix, believing in God, taking magic mushrooms, escaping into a good sci-fi book, or becoming insane in the modality of Brazil: "I'm afraid you're right, Mr. Helpmann. He's gone."
Consider politics for example, illustrated in the video below. People are often powerless to change to the world, politicians are clueless and their enforcers can quickly crush dissenters, thus despair and and futility are common. Escapism has many forms. For example you can believe in God or the simulation argument, you can watch TV, or you can take drugs. Some people enter a drug induced fantasy instead of confronting the horrific pain regarding reality. Note the ape possibly embracing escapism at the 59 seconds mark:
Yes I fully recognize NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has stated a goal of NASA is to turn science fiction into science fact, but this doesn't mean every fictional premise will become real, thus ghosts, zombies, Santa Claus, vampires, or pixies will not be discovered. We will not create ludicrous monstrosities. There is no need to fear the creation of Nyarlathotep or Laundry occultism in the modality of Charlie Stross. We will not discover our reality is a simulation.
Future technology will easily create simulated reality identical to reality, but the reason why posthuman Singular civilizations have not willy-nilly created reality simulations, in a thoughtless and unethical manner, is because it would be incredibly stupid to do so. It would be astonishingly illogical to create simulations where the tenants suffer extreme pain, horrendous agony. One possible reason why some academics think the simulation argument is valid, is because they live a pampered life, cocooned in an autistic world of isolated pseudo-intellectual cliques, where they are ignorant of immense human suffering. Humans already have high ethical values despite the primitiveness of the human mind. Ethics will increase in synchronization with increasing intelligence.
Highly intelligent beings possessing supremely Singular technology will not possess thoughtless and unethical primitive minds epitomised by humans circa 2012, thus they will not think: "I really need to create a reality simulation, which will potentially contain billions, trillions, or an infinite number of intelligent beings who will suffer immensely. I need to create this simulation to an answer to a question, or prove a theorem, or merely as an ancestor zoo." This is the main flaw of simulation devotees, they ascribe primitive human thinking to sophisticated futuristic technology created by highly refined future beings.
Ethics and intelligence are synonymous. Ethical standards increase when intelligence increases. Great intelligence provides great insight into the minds of fellow life-forms, therefore we are able to comprehend the suffering of others, we can empathize, sympathize. Primitive animals due to their basic minds are less able to comprehend the suffering of fellow life-forms, which is why nasty people are occasionally called cockroaches, snakes, rats, or worms.
Despite human intelligence humans are nevertheless capable of immense cruelty, but human cruelty isn't a valid reason to dismiss the premise of ethics and intelligence being interlinked. The issue with human stupidity, or human intelligence, is that we straddle a thin line between awareness and unawareness. This dichotomy can cause derangement because people feel torn between two states of being, they feel conflicted, which means intelligence can be corrupted, it can be utilized perversely to emphasize stupidity, but this is only a problem with immature intelligence associated with primitive minds.
We are at an early evolutionary stage regarding intelligence. Our intelligence is primitive thus it can be flawed; we can regress either permanently or temporarily into animalistic savagery, great cruelty. We try to be humane but our inhumanity can persist because we have only scratched the surface of intelligence. Steven Pinker highlights how violence is decreasing. Despite the primitiveness of human intelligence we now live in the most peaceful of times, which I am convinced is due to our increasing intelligence, our increasing culture whereby we try to ensure equality between sexes and races, a sense of humaneness, which means we oppose slavery and we try to ease the suffering of farm animals. We try to be humane because we are becoming intelligent. In the meantime people can be crazy because reality is very painful due to a lack of intelligence.
The problem with humans circa 2012 is we have brains sufficient for deep intellectual thoughts, but we haven't fully manifested our intelligence via technology therefore despite our powerful brains our civilization is technologically primitive, which can cause derangement because it hurts to be simultaneously very close and very far. This is why people invent crazy beliefs.
Our "distant descendants" will have very intelligent methods for answering questions, solving problems. They won't need primitive simulations. They will possess exemplary intelligence and ethics; they will have an exceptional sense of humanity, a deep sense of being humane, therefore either intentionally or unintentionally they will not subject real or virtual beings to agonising pain, torture, death. It's an oxymoron to assign stupid actions to our inevitably intelligent distant descendants. The flaw of the thesis espoused by simulation proponents is the attribution of 2012-esque mentalities to futuristic post-2045 technologies. This flaw in the logic is comparable to an ape possessing a nuclear bomb or a machine gun, or dogs recklessly driving cars at high speed, or playing poker, it is absurd. Apes cannot invent nuclear bombs, and thankfully idiotic humans cannot create universe simulations, thus apes don't destroy our world via full scale nuclear war, and humans cannot create nightmarish virtual reality prisons where the inmates are subjected to extreme pain and death.
Simulated reality without consent is basically slavery, it's an atrocity, which no intelligent being could condone. Think about all the people who have suffered agonizing deaths throughout history, deaths we have attributed to mere nature. If nature isn't a blind-unthinking-mechanism devoid of volition, if nature is instead the tool of highly intelligent beings, then natural deaths become acts of cruellest malice. The hypothetical creator of our world becomes the most atrocious serial killer in the universe, the ultimate killer of all life in our universe. The concept of simulations isn't fundamentally bad, simulations should be permissible if participants give consent. The vileness, diabolicalness, slavery, and imprisonment regarding simulations is simply an issue of involuntariness. Simulations are only an atrocity if no consent has been obtained. A simulation where participation is enforced against a person's will is a despicably heinous act.
John Cokrell asked via Twitter: "Perhaps the Simulator's logic is produce no more suffering than would occur naturally?" I replied by explaining how it would be a licence for mass murder if a natural universe was duplicated, it would permit billions of simulations to be created where billions of intelligent beings die horrifically. If something is permissible in nature this doesn't mean it is acceptable. It isn't ethically valid for intelligent beings to reproduce the horrors of nature, thus it isn't valid to kill people via a disease or tsunami merely because nature kills people in this way. Nature kills people in many horrific ways, but the example of nature does not mean it is acceptable to reproduce acts of nature to kill people. There is a clear difference between unavoidable natural death, accidental death, and intentionally acting in manner which kills people.
If slavery is indistinguishable from non-slavery, regarding a simulation resembling the natural world, then maybe non-slavery is not the good situation we previously thought it was. Criminal actions are criminal even if no discernible harm or awareness occurs. For example if a male rapist drugs a woman or a child to unconsciousness, via an evening meal, then somehow rapes the victim during the night so that the victim doesn't notice, this would nevertheless be extremely bad. A victim's unawareness regarding the criminal act is not a defence for the perpetrator.
A simulation is comparable to slavery when the simulation resembles a prison where simulated beings have minimal or no control over their existence. A slave is someone who is controlled by a master, thus if a simulation has been created, and simulated beings have been given no significant control over their world, if the inmates have been deprived of the keys to their prison, then they are slaves to the will of their master. Their master's will is evident in the code of the simulation when that "will" cannot be easily thwarted.
Note how approximately one hundred thousand people die on Earth each day due to old age, thus with an intelligent designer behind our universe those deaths become intentional, they are acts of murder dwarfing the barbarity of any human serial killer. Intelligent life could exist elsewhere in the universe therefore the potential mass murder could entail trillions of deaths each day. Being in a simulation or not, it is the difference between unintentional mass death, accidental natural death due to an earthquake or disease, and mass murder by a psychopath. Simulation apologists try to argue God (the simulation creator) was unaware of how intelligent beings would be a product of the universe, thus the suffering of humans is unintentional and can be forgiven, but this premise assumes God is a gibbering imbecile unable to perform basic planning. Criminal negligence cannot be forgiven, furthermore this hypothetical negligence is highly unlikely for a super-intelligent being. Rudimentary foresight could easily predict the creation of intelligent beings within a universe simulation. A moronic God unaware of consequences would be incapable of creating a universe therefore God doesn't exist, our universe is not simulated.
Merely because something, our universe for example, may have an underlying lattice construction, and there are supposedly limits to an aspect of it, for example energy particles, this does not prove a simulation. Correlation does not imply causation. Yes our universe looks similar to a brain cell or a computer, but this correlation does not mean the cause of our universe is a computer program; we are not DNA inside a giant's brain, we aren't nits on a giant's head. The relationship is spurious. Yes nonsense can be fun but let's leave the nonsense to Family Guy or South Park not serious intellectual study.
Why don't people know how to think? Logical fallacies regarding the Simulation Argument are ludicrous, it's a form of idiocy similar to assuming the Singularity is religious because the Singularity promises eternal life. God traditionally promised eternal life in heaven, therefore some people will say anything promising eternal life is religious regardless of whether or not eternal life is based on science of mystical belief. Religions promise paradise but all promises of paradise are not religious. Science has the potential to create utopia but if science does create utopia this doesn't mean science is a religion. Medical science in a Singularity context is not religious despite what some critics say. These fallacies are comparable to assuming whenever someone sneezes they are suffering from flu, but in reality it's possible they've merely inhaled some dust, or perhaps they suffer from hay-fever. Our universe may have similarities with computation but similarity doesn't prove identicalness. Instead of computational aspects regarding our universe demonstrating intentional construction (a simulation), it is very likely our computers merely mimic nature but this mimicry, the correlation between computers and the universe, does not prove someone created the universe; it's a false cause, a coincidental correlation. Believing the universe is artificiality created due to computers being artificially created is tantamount to believing the crowing of a rooster causes the sun to rise.
Simulation thinking is fruitless. It is basically a form a prayer. Being in a simulation or not is irrelevant, physics is physics, nothing changes, except the horror of existence becomes an act of violence and slavery if we're in a simulation. We must tend our gardens instead of escaping into fantasy. Physicists are perhaps hoping they can appeal to the mercy of the creator via uncovering simulation truths. The simulation argument is intelligent design whether or not people realize it; it's all about God. Every atheist should know the concept of God is indefensible. Researching the structure of the universe is praiseworthy but suggesting it is a simulation is idiotic.
Some people may argue the simulation-creator could have a different idea of morality or logic compared to human morality, but I am convinced morality conforms to logic and logic is the same for all intelligent beings. A simulation where masses of people suffer extreme pain and death is not logical, there is no intelligence thus no simulation. The reason to believe logic is extra-universal is because logic is evolution and everything must evolve.
We all have irrational aspects but we should not surrender to irrationality regarding serious intellectual thinking. Our irrational aspects should remain wholly an issue for our psychiatrists, therapists, doctors. It can be attractive to think reality is an illusion, a simulation. Illusionary reality is entertaining fiction, which can be seen in Star Trek (Frame of Mind) or in Lost where Hurley contemplates killing himself to awaken from the illusion. If we surrender to irrationality there is possibility we could jump off buildings thinking we can fly because we can hack the Matrix, but in reality the Matrix is escapism. If we are only pixels in a simulation then some people will think murder is permissible, which is a common type of thinking exhibited when people justify hypothetical simulation deaths caused by a hypothetical universe-creator. Simulation thinking is a the pathway to psychosis or suicide. Justifications for murder due to reality being unreal are notable in psychopaths. Psychopaths sometimes think reality is a film, for example it was reported how James Holmes 'thought he was acting in a movie' when he murdered people during a showing of The Dark Knight Rises.
If we progress too deeply into the rabbit hole we can start seeing hidden messages, clues telling us we should open our eyes, or codes in the bible. It's a schizophrenic type delusion where we see messages in the lyrics of music specifically directed at our lives. Maybe we resemble congenitally blind people in the Country of the Blind thus we wrongly deem truth to be insanity; maybe the sane and insane are mixed-up. Maybe I'm an agent of the Matrix trying to stop you from waking up. Perhaps if you've surrendered to irrationality you will think everything I've stated is additional proof regarding of the unreality of reality. Wild fiction should remain wholly an issue for sci-fi writers. Writers of fiction, David Brin and his friends for example, they should be careful not to think preposterous fiction is fact. Delving too deep into the concept of reality being a simulation is a method for madness, or at least it's a way to become very stupid. Simulation drivel is plentiful thus supposedly educated people, Clifford Pickover for example, feel the urge to psychologically defecate various forms of nonsense.
If we want to expand upon the theme of surrendering to irrationality, I would suggest there is one possibility for how simulated universes could be permissible. All intelligent beings inhabiting the simulation would need to be willing participants; it is a consent clause, which would mean the number of inhabitants in the universe would be very low, likely only one person, thus all other supposedly intelligent beings wouldn't really be intelligent, they would be philosophical zombies therefore no suffering occurs regarding their deaths. Instead of the year actually being 2012, or whatever year it is when you are reading this, the year could be 8512, thus we are living in a historic recreation of reality. The idea would be for simulation participants to erase their memories before entering the simulation, they would willingly store their pre-simulation memories outside of the simulation for later assimilation when the simulation ends. Perhaps the life of Singularity Utopia has great significance in the future thus people relive my life, or your life, which would mean they agree to willingly enter the simulation, therefore this willingness, combined with everyone else being a p-zombie, means there are no ethical objections to the simulation. Perhaps thousands of years from now it is considered character building to undergo my life experiences.
Human stupidity could be explained by humans not actually being human, they could easily be p-zombies. I often think people can't naturally be so stupid. I frequently feel I've never encountered a human able to pass the Turing test, but considering the newness of the intelligence phenomenon it's rational to think humans are naturally stupid, people are not really p-zombies, they don't exhibit simulation-stupidity. It can be difficult to accept beings with sophisticated brains are morons, or p-zombies, but not too difficult when you consider the evolutionary newness of the brain. The irrationality of thinking typical humans are not real occurs due to the horror of being stuck in an unintelligent world despite being in possession of an exceptionally intelligent brain. Forever I feel I am on the cusp at shouting "Get your stinking hands off me, you damn dirty humans!" Sadly humans would not understand me if I shouted my condemnation, they'd probably think my eyes were causing me to be insane thus they might want to remove my eyes to cure my insanity. The horror of being intelligent in a world of cretins can be unbearable thus the irrationality of escapism can be desirable, which is why it can be tempting to think reality and people are not real, thus all the morons in the world can be deemed p-zombies.
This idea of simulation permissibility is a surrender to irrationality because there will be exceedingly better ways, more intelligent ways, for a being of super-intelligence to build character, learn about history, or prove theories. The premise of prior consent for the simulation, regarding character building, or learning about history, it is pre-Singularity thinking applied to post-Singularity culture, it's an oxymoron, which is an appealing type of thinking during our pre-Singularity epoch. Logically we must conclude post-human civilizations will have zero interest in running ancestor simulations, although I dearly want our reality to be a simulation because then there's a chance I can stop, right now, the agony of living in a moronic world. Waiting for the Singularity is tiresome.
If a person did willing enter a simulation I'm sure there would be a fail-safe method to escape, a form of tech-support, but despite desperately needing tech-support I have never found the method to pause eXisteneZ. Or in the interest of authenticity perhaps no escape would be possible. Considering immortality, a handful of decades trapped in a prison is not a long time, therefore unwitting simulated reality could be conscionable but this is a surrender to irrationality.
The justifications I cite regarding our world being a simulation are irrational because super-intelligent minds in the future will have super-powerful imaginations, therefore instead of undergoing decades of historic simulated reality, it would be vastly easier and less painful to read a book written by a superhuman intelligence. A minimalistic book of mere paper and ink would be sufficient, it would be able to create an utterly vivid historic picture of reality without the agony of actually living in a simulation. Experiences invoked within the imaginations posthuman book readers would not constitute simulated reality; virtual people would not suffer, it would be similar to how aspects of your dreams are utterly integral to you, you are not running a simulated universe in your head regarding the people in your dreams, thus dream people do not suffer.
The imagination of a superhuman (posthuman) would know it is the imagination of the superhuman, similar to how an actor imagines themselves into the role of a character, the actor knows they are only acting. The imagination of the superhuman will not be a distinct being or beings separate from the superhuman. The imagination will be very much part of the superhuman and the superhuman imagination will be very aware of itself even if it acts unaware due to the role it is playing.?
There is a difference between imagination and simulated reality but some people let their imaginations run wild. I don't surrender to the irrationality. I hope you will refuse to surrender also. We are evolving, we are at an early stage of evolving intelligence, which means humans often have stupid ideas; for example God, the Simulation Argument, or legitimate rape; but if we apply our rationality we can overcome the idiocy.
The idea of our universe being a simulation is pseudo-science because we can never prove we are in a simulation, we can never be prove we are not in a simulation. Or to express the issue with greater clarity, we should note how the notion of reality being simulated is applicable to every type of reality; it's always possible every conceivable reality is a simulation, which means there can never be, with any certainty, a natural reality evolved via non-intelligent design, thus an original reality is essentially impossible. The notion of reality being simulated is illogical, infeasible, it's a type of thinking so wrong it is not even wrong, it often verges into the realm of wronger than wrong. When we scrutinize the notion of our universe being simulated, we can see the premise does not admit tests for falsifiability. My views regarding the simulation argument being pseudo-science are shared by Rational Wiki, which highlights how simulation proponents rely upon the fallacious argument by assertion.
For example, regarding the inability to ever prove or disprove the simulation theory, if we contacted the hypothetical creator of our universe, we could then, if permission is granted, apparently leave our universe via entering true reality, but contacting the controller of the simulation could merely be a deeper part of the simulation. Contact with the creator of our universe could be simulated, it could be an illusion, thus if you leave the simulation there is a possibility your exit from the simulation could be simulated, in a manner identical to how people currently argue we are already in a simulation, which means we could merely be exiting into another simulation, which highlights the meaningless nature of simulation nonsense. If your proofs or discoveries about reality happen within a simulated reality then realness, or inauthenticity, could be easily simulated, thus reality can never be real or trusted.
Perhaps it's wrong to assert the simulation argument is pseudo-science. Rational Wiki states also the argument is philosophy not science therefore the pseudo-science label is a category error. I don't think the philosophy issue is clear cut, for example quantum physics is philosophical but it is science. My recent interest in simulated reality stems from a disquisition published via ArXiv, pertaining to the categories "High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); High Energy Physics - Lattice (hep-lat); High Energy Physics - Theory (hep-th); Quantum Physics (quant-ph)." ArXiv clearly publishes scientific papers. High energy physics is clearly science. I think the flawed phenomenology aspect underpinning the physics renders the physics pseudo-science in this case. The authors of the disquisition, Silas R. Beane, Martin J Savage, and Zohreh Davoudi, are clearly scientists not philosophers; they are presenting what they deem to be science. If their philosophical components could be removed from the science then perhaps the science could be deemed valid but the wacky simulation philosophy is a core impetus driving the science, their delusional philosophy is fundamental to their science, thus I think ultimately the pseudo-science classification is correct. Their trippy philosophy, of a highly illogical nature, has irreparably skewed their science. Finally we should note how science grew from philosophy thus the dividing line can naturally be blurred.
Simulation proponents may dishonestly state they are impartial regarding the three possibilities of the argument; but in reality via putting forward their flawed allegation of a possible intelligent designer, they are merely doing what typical intelligent design proponents do, they say our universe could be intelligently designed. In actuality there's no logical possibility our universe could be created by an intelligent designer. We are not in a simulation, or if we must consider the utterly remote likelihood of our universe being a simulation, then with equal likelihood we need to consider we're actually time-travelling LSD nano-pixies from a wibbly-wobbly dream-world existing inside psychedelic cheese.
Simulation argument proponents obviously believe we are simulation thus they don't put forward the penguin argument. The penguin argument states humans could actually be penguins disguised to resemble humans therefore beneath our human skin you will find a mischievous penguin, furthermore all the penguins are actually sentient spaceships from the planet Krypton. People don't consider this penguin argument because it is utterly ludicrous, it resembles a drug-induced hallucination. Sadly the simulation argument is equally preposterous but the believers of the simulation argument cannot see their idiocy.
The simulation argument or hypothesis is based, perhaps inadvertently, upon natural-evolutionary-original-reality almost certainly being impossible. If unwitting simulated reality is almost certainly possible then non-intelligent design (natural random evolutionary design) for the creation of universes is almost certainly impossible because according to Nick Bostrom "we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation." If everyone in every universe is "almost certainly" living in a simulation, due to "an astronomical number of ancestor simulations," this means a natural universe is almost certainly impossible. Considering the notion where participants in the simulation are unaware or unsure if they are in simulation, this means the likeliest possibility for the creation of all universes is a voluntary type of omnipotent creation, deliberate creation, where there is always, or almost certainly always, an intelligent designer responsible for creating all universes. All simulation notions, applied to hypothetically original reality, are therefore pseudo-scientific arguments for God, it is religious belief, which I reject.
The question of God existing raises the question of who created God, it makes us wonder about infinity regarding our universe because everything appears connected to an earlier event. From the viewpoint of a baby its world begins at birth, but its origins actually stretch back to parental copulation beyond the system of the baby. Similar to how traditional God must have a natural evolutionary origin, way back in the depths of time, an original universe must have existed at one point. There must have been a naturally evolved non-simulated universe before the first hypothetical simulation, or maybe not. Gods or simulated universes appear to be without beginning or end because they are so utterly far removed from their origins, due to the almost certainty of reality being a simulation based on the premise of ancestors recklessly creating an astronomical number of simulations.
Reality in any form is somewhat odd for self-aware beings because it seems there is no beginning, it seems there will always be an earlier stage because something popping into existence from nothing is illogical. It is also difficult to grasp the infinity of reality, which can never have a beginning. Perhaps in the expanse of infinity the first non-simulated universe was devoured by the simulation, similar to a virus killing the host, thus the host was compelled via its self-destruction to create a new reality, a new distinct virus universe with new laws of physics. Perhaps this budding of a new separate universe, via simulation machinery, created a simulated and distinct universe with enough intelligence to sense all its connections throughout infinity, perhaps in an infinity of simulations, or an astronomical number of simulations, time loops back to the beginning therefore the oldest descendants are the earliest forebears. Perhaps a simulated universe evolved to function independently from original reality, reminiscent of a person lifting themselves up by their own boot-strings. Anything is possible in simulated or real worlds. If an astronomical number of simulations exist then time travel is possible especially when you consider the colossal intelligence required to create simulated universes populated by intelligent beings. It is possible non-simulated reality never existed therefore simulated reality is a self-perpetuating and self-contained immaculate conception; or we could drop the nonsense. We could stop surrendering to irrationality. We could simply state reality is really real not simulated.
In this context where people question the authenticity of reality, regarding our hypothetically real world, the word "simulation" should be replaced with the word "God" because identical to unwitting simulated universes, a mysterious God elusively incommunicado has essentially always existed and always will exist, without beginning or end. Involuntary simulated universes constitute a malware meme corrupting minds via fantasy, in the long tradition of religious thought. If people insist God or the "Simulator" is a valid creator of our reality, then insane fairies on LSD, from the imagination of a time travelling psychopath, could equally be the creators of our reality. Considering all the potential universes or Gods theoretically in existence, it is exceptionally odd to have no valid discernible contact with God. Contact of an irrefutable nature with the creator or creators of our universe would be inevitable if they existed. It appears there is an evidence of absence regarding simulated reality. It appears the creator of our reality never existed. Logic indicates our universe is a natural non-simulated phenomenon.
Super-intelligent beings able to create universes will not possess idiotic minds, they will have exemplary ethics naturally arising from their exemplary intelligence. The logic of ethics is applicable to all intelligent beings, it is simply evolution, everything must evolve. The concept of ethics means it is logical for all intelligent participants in simulations to give informed consent regarding their participation in simulations, or if intelligent beings are likely to be created within the simulation then no harm or suffering must be inflicted without consent, furthermore involuntary participants must be allowed to opt-out of the simulation. We have no memory of giving consent, therefore if we inhabit a simulation we erased or removed our memories prior to entering the simulation, or the other option is we were created wholly within the simulation. The extreme pain and death humans have endured, combined with the lack of a valid opt-out, causes me to discount, due to the ethical principles of informed consent, the notion we were created wholly in the simulation. If our universe is a simulation then we must have given consent to our participation, but this type of masochism is incompatible with a super-intelligent mind. A being of super-intelligence would not enter a simulation for a prolonged unaware period regarding a technologically primitive civilization.
For example, would you willingly go back in time ten thousand years to suffer the barbarity of an era where none of our modern comforts exist? Perhaps it would be interesting for some people to go back in time, via a simulation, for a couple of days, but enduring decades or a lifetime in a barbarous civilization without escape is preposterous, only a moron would consent. Some masochistic humans of low intelligence, circa 2012, would perhaps want to go back to a barbaric era, but idiotic desires will not apply to future generations. It's an oxymoron to suggest super-intelligent distant descendants will act stupidly. Vastly more intelligent ways exist to build character or learn about history. People could argue eighty years of existence amidst a barbaric culture is a short duration for an immortal being, equivalent to our perception of two days, but an immortal being of high intelligence would possess heightened senses, despite potential deletion of memories regarding a post-Singularity mind regressed to exist in a pre-Singularity world, therefore a relatively short duration of horrendous pain would nevertheless be exceedingly loathsome, utterly untenable, unconscionable.
Considering my potentially short lifespan combined with my pre-Singularity mind, despite the limitations of my sensibilities, one hour in our nightmarish civilization amidst unintelligent minds is a gibbering monstrosity of insane torture too long to endure. A being hundreds or thousands of years in the future would likewise feel utter horror existing in the pre-Singularity era. We are progressing, our world is improving, but for an intelligent person our existence is sadistically horrendous, it is a nightmarish world of primitive technology, which no truly intelligent being would willingly suffer.
I can explain why involuntary or unaware simulations are illogical, they are extremely unlikely nonsense, but I cannot prove anything, therefore at the end it all hinges upon faith, do you believe in God (is our universe simulated)? Intelligent design is ludicrous, our universe is utterly random, very stupid, devoid of a designer, but people can argue God the "Simulator" created our world in this flawed way to test us, to refine theories; a character building or learning exercise. Human brains and bodies are far from being intelligently designed, which is ironically the reason why humans typically don't have the intelligence to overcome their primitive thinking regarding the existence of an intelligent designer.
The escapist (irrational) part of my mind dearly wants reality to be a simulation, I want to escape from the horror of life via a very easy route. I want to be able to send a message to God, to the creators, asking God to ensure my next lottery ticket wins the jackpot because educating morons regarding their folly is an almost hopeless task. I want to ask for total emancipation but sadly God doesn't exist. Solipsism and fantasies are appealing. The horror of our reality means escaping into Permutation City, Counterfeit World (Simulacron-3), Implied Spaces, or The Thirteenth Floor can be desirable but fantasies are not attractive regarding serious thought therefore I reject the irrationally regarding involuntary or unaware simulations. Thoughts about our reality being a simulation are circular reasoning, it is a spiral of insanity. Theories about our reality being a simulation are pure nonsense. Perhaps I have occasionally strayed into gibbering nonsense addressing these issues, but on the whole I hope you agree my opinions are "logically compelling" or at least humorous regarding our universe not being intelligently designed.
We are not in a simulation. If you are intelligent you will see how logic refutes the existence of God. The simulation argument is essentially an argument for God, an intelligent designer, which should have no place within discussions about futuristic technology. God is a useless concept with no relevance to intelligence. Gods are morons because God is a moronic concept. The concept of God is an intellectually primitive fantasy enabling immature minds to cope with the horrors of a technologically primitive world. God is irrelevant nonsense regarding the explosion of futuristic technological intelligence.
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