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At Mind Matters News: Dartmouth physicist slams the Matrix idea that life is an aliens’ sim

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A number of prominent people have taken philosopher Nick Bostrom’s idea that our universe is a computer sim seriously. But he says, among other things:

For Bostrom’s argument to work, a key assumption is that advanced intelligences will have an interest in simulating their ancestors — in this case, us. Why would they, exactly? Would they expect to gain some new information about their reality by looking at their evolutionary past? It seems to me that being so advanced, they would have collected enough knowledge about their past to leave them with little interest in this kind of simulation. Looking forward will interest them much more. They may have virtual reality museums, where they could go and experience the lives and tribulations of their ancestors. But a full-fledged, resource-consuming simulation of an entire Universe? This sounds like a colossal waste of time and energy. – Marcelo Gleiser, “The Simulation Hypothesis Is a Dangerous Illusion” at Big Think (July 6, 2022)

News, “Dartmouth physicist slams Matrix idea that life is an aliens’ sim” at Mind Matters News (July 10, 2022)

Takehome: Marcelo Gleiser dismisses the notion for physics reasons but he also objects to the way it casts doubt on free will, which we need to tackle our problems.

You may also wish to read:

Theoretical physicist shows why the sim universe is pseudoscience It’s a lot of fun in science fiction and some scitech celebs buy in. But Sabine Hossenfelder and others explain why it’s fiction. One problem is, computers can’t simulate human thought because it is often non-computational, which means it is something computers can’t do, by definition.

and

How can we be sure we are not just an ET’s simulation? A number of books and films are based on the idea. Should we believe it? We make a faith-based decision that logic and evidence together are reasonable guides to what is true. Logical possibility alone does not make an idea true.

2 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: Dartmouth physicist slams the Matrix idea that life is an aliens’ sim

  1. 1
    Fasteddious says:

    This is a dumb argument. Who are we to say what aliens might want to do or why? And don’t we create simulated universes ourselves? (Think computer and video games of various sorts, like Minecraft or The Sims.) There could be many reasons to simulate a universe. Besides, you don’t need to simulate the entire Universe, you just need to simulate the input/output signals for a few brains in a vat, as in the Matrix movies. Or like in a VR program, where much of what you perceive is not real.

  2. 2
    chuckdarwin says:

    Apparently, Elon Musk agrees with Nick Bostrom that AI presents a greater threat to our existence than the A-bomb. Personally, I think Elon Musk’s driverless cars present a greater threat to our existence than either…….. 🙂

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