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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5851/dont-worryyou-dont-exist-or-why-long-range-planning-is-really-impossible/

Don’t worry–you don’t exist: Or, why long-range planning is really impossible

November 6, 2006 by

I previously blogged about one of the papers by attorney Peter Jenkins. Now, from the “uhhhhh…. HO-kay” files comes his latest, in the Journal of Futures Studies, Historical Simulations – Motivational, Ethical and Legal Issues. Abstract:

A future society will very likely have the technological ability and the motivation to create large numbers of completely realistic historical simulations and be able to overcome any ethical and legal obstacles to doing so. It is thus highly probable that we are a form of artificial intelligence inhabiting one of these simulations. To avoid stacking (i.e. simulations within simulations), the termination of these simulations is likely to be the point in history when the technology to create them first became widely available, (estimated to be 2050). Long range planning beyond this date would therefore be futile.

Shades of Douglas Adams! Forget “in the long run we are all dead”–we are just a simulation. So, no need to worry.

Update: The Universe as a Hologram: Does Objective Reality Exist, or is the Universe a Phantasm?

Update 2: Our world may be a giant hologram

Update 3: Our Universe May Be a Giant Hologram.

{ 21 comments }

Jeremy November 6, 2006 at 12:15 pm

I showed this abstract to a friend and he pointed out that it is incredibly similar to the plot of the movie The Thirteenth Floor. Has anyone else noticed this?

Yancey Ward November 6, 2006 at 12:47 pm

I always thought that Star Trek: The Next Generation did the most clever fictional adaptation of this sort of idea in it’s “Ship in a Bottle” episode from, I think, 1993.

George Gaskell November 6, 2006 at 2:49 pm

It’s pointless to debate the particulars of crazy-talk, but what’s the problem with “stacking”? Why would a simulation within a simulation be a deal-breaker?

Could it be that the people who are running the simulation that is our lives are just too afraid to contemplate the idea that THEY might be nothing more than a simulation being run by someone else??? Hmmmmmmmm???

Riddle me that, Mr. Jenkins.

James Redford November 6, 2006 at 5:35 pm

Stephan Kinsella, I have to ask you: what do you think it means to exist? The reason for my asking is because your notion of existence as expressed in this post by you is not veridical.

The following is René Descartes’s proof of the existential reality of one’s own existence: I think, therefore I am. (“Je pense, donc je suis,” as contained in Discourse on Method by Descartes [1637].) This is a true claim.

I read the abstract of the article you link to, but I haven’t as yet been able to download the article. But one claim from the abstract which I’m certain is a non sequitur that the article will not be able to demonstrate is the following:

“”
To avoid stacking (i.e. simulations within simulations), the termination of these simulations is likely to be the point in history when the technology to create them first became widely available, (estimated to be 2050). Long range planning beyond this date would therefore be futile.
“”

I’d like to read the entire article so as to pinpoint the exact flaw in their reasoning, but from this statement alone it seems that they are making a negative value judgement on what they call stacking (i.e., nested levels of implementation). Yet even within this abstract a contradiction is made, for previously it said “It is thus highly probable that we are a form of artificial intelligence inhabiting one of these simulations.” (Which is an exceedingly true claim. Statistically speaking, the likelihood of this particular claim being false is infinitely improbable.) But this itself would be an example of what they call stacking.

In short, there is no problem with “stacking.” For one thing, unless the entirety of the multiverse is emulated exactly, then the physical simulation that one is running is quite unlikely to exactly be one’s universe’s previous history. Furthermore, even if one is exactly emulating the entirety of the multiverse, that emulation (in its entirety) will be *new* for the society running it.

The fact of the matter is that we exist on a level of implementation with infinite levels of implementation above us. Collectively, this is known as the Mind of God, or simply God, or simply *existence*.

And the fact that we are an emulation being run on a computer hardly implies that we are not real. We are as real as real can be. But everything that is real can be perfectly rendered by a sufficiently advanced society. The reason is because all matter and energy (which per E=mc^2, are simply different permutations of the same thing) are simply nothing more than *information*. There is an upper bound on the amount of bits that are required to *perfectly* render any given finite quantity of matter, of which is called the Bekenstein Bound (after Dr. Jacob Bekenstein).

By the way, Stephan Kinsella, I’m glad that some of my teachings have had an effect on you. Ergo, your somewhat recent statement of “an ought from an ought.” (Your September 8, 2006 11:19 AM reply under “How We Come to Own Ourselves,” http://blog.mises.org/archives/005577.asp .)

Artisan November 7, 2006 at 7:46 am

It really makes me think more of “the Matrix” than of “The Thirteenth Floor”…

Ian Parker November 7, 2006 at 9:32 am

There is one very interesting point that I don’t think anyone has raised and it is that it is possible to have a siimulation of a simulation.#

To run a simulation you do not in fact have to run a simulation on every atom. All you have (in effect) to do is to simulate the content of out minds. Thus if we look at something the object is only real when we are actually looking at it.

There is a model of the Universe and if you look at an astronomical object you will get the simulation for that object.

Now if we run a simulation within a simulation, gueess what, all our computer does is to extract a little bit of power from the main simulation. This may be a little hard to grasp, but what we have is, in essense, a steady state.

Also if you put 2050 as being a date it means that interstellar travel is effectively impossible. This has in fact in fact been put forward as a possible solution to the Fermi Paradox.

James Redford November 15, 2006 at 7:25 am

— Stephan Kinsella wrote:

> It may be news to you that if I post something it
> does not mean I agree with
> it. Of course I don’t agree w/ this article. It’s
> utterly stupid. Duhhh.
>
> Thanks for figuring out the is-ought dichotomy for
> me. And Hume.
>
>
> Stephan
>
> N. Stephan Kinsella

Hi, Stephan Kinsella. Apparently you semi-consciously read my reply to you. I already knew that you didn’t agree with the article that you referenced in your post. That ought to be apparent by my response, if you were to actually fully consciously read it.

As I said in my response to you, I haven’t read the article as I haven’t been able to download it. I have only read the abstract of it (which is what my comments pertaining to the article were limited to), which is what you posted. So when you say that the article is utterly stupid, does that mean that you have actually read the entire article? If so, can you please send it to me?

Moreover, in my reply I was disagreeing with your comments on the abstract of the article. In the title of your post you expressed the notion that we don’t actually exist if we are emulations/simulations being run on a computer. I took issue with that notions of yours, and showed how that is not true.

Lastly, your comment “Thanks for figuring out the is-ought dichotomy for me. And Hume.” mistates my comment to you on this matter, and indeed rises to the level of dishonesty, unless you are particularly forgetful.

Mainstream philosphy is quite aware of the is-ought dichotomy. But you derived the notion of deriving an “an ought from an ought” from me (as contained in your September 8, 2006 11:19 AM reply under “How We Come to Own Ourselves,” http://blog.mises.org/archives/005577.asp ). Specifically, from a February 23, 2000 email and a September 11, 2004 email from me, both of which contain the phrase by me. In both cases, you initiated the contact with me, and those dates are my replies to you. I am the first person to use the “ought from an ought” phrase on the internet, as can be demonstrated from Google’s usenet archive ( http://groups.google.com/advanced_search ). The first recording of the phrase on the internet occurs on September 19, 2000 in a post by me under one of my old handles, Tetrachordine Omega. I also used this phrase a number of times on the Anti-State.com forum, at a time when you were also active on the forum.

So I find it scandalous that you are here attempting to pretend that you didn’t derive this phrase and the concept expressed by it from me. This is one of my babies that I’m quite proud of, and for you to here affect that you didn’t get it from me is opprobrious.

I hope your words above are the result of some form of mental lapse. But I here ask you to never again act as if you didn’t get this phrase and the concept expressed by it from me.

Stephan Kinsella November 15, 2006 at 7:36 am

Redford: your comments above show why libertarians are so marginalized–they act like such oddball weirdoes. They do not even know how to act in normal society.

Your contentions are silly and ridiculous; that you seek, Person-like, to “document” them with careful web research only makes it pathetic. First, if I had gotten the idea from you, it would not be “dishonest” to have forgotten this, with the thousands of conversations I’ve had. But what are you implying–? that you own the term “ought from an ought”? You sound like a Randian, thinking you have invented time-old ideas. Or worse, a Galambosian, who wants to own little terms etc. that they “create”. Rand’s very ethic is explicitly hypothetical and recognizes one can only get an ought from an ought. Did she go forward in time to 2000 and get this from you too?

Search the web for “ought from an ought”. Tons of references. Here’s one from 1973. Paraphrasing “the smell of ether pervades”–weirdoes abound in this movement.

James Redford November 15, 2006 at 8:04 am

Stephan Kinsella, you wrote:

“”
Redford: your comments above show why libertarians are so marginalized–they act like such oddball weirdoes. They do not even know how to act in normal society.

Your contentions are silly and ridiculous; that you seek, Person-like, to “document” them with careful web research only makes it pathetic. First, if I had gotten the idea from you, it would not be “dishonest” to have forgotten this, with the thousands of conversations I’ve had. But what are you implying–? that you own the term “ought from an ought”? You sound like a Randian, thinking you have invented time-old ideas. Or worse, a Galambosian, who wants to own little terms etc. that they “create”. Rand’s very ethic is explicitly hypothetical and recognizes one can only get an ought from an ought. Did she go forward in time to 2000 and get this from you too?
“”

So you here tacitly admit that you got the phrase “ought from an ought” and the concept expressed by it from me. That’s at least a start in the right direction by you.

And no, Mr. Kinsella, I don’t own the phrase or the concept expressed by it. So-called “Intellectual Property” is not valid property. My issue with you on this matter is that you pretended as if you didn’t get the phrase and the concept expressed by it from me, hence your remark “Thanks for figuring out the is-ought dichotomy for me. And Hume.” Of which comment by you even mistates this issue here since mainstream philosophy is already quite familiar with the is-ought dichotomy, but the concept of deriving and ought from an ought is virtually unknown.

Go ahead and use the concept and the phrase. That was my intent when I put it out there: that it would become well-known. But don’t pretend that you didn’t get it from me when an innocent remark is made to you concerning where you got it from.

Concerning your comment that my “comments above show why libertarians are so marginalized–they act like such oddball weirdoes. They do not even know how to act in normal society.”: Stop projecting your moral failings on to all libertarians, Stephan Kinsella. Simply because you are a liar and a plagiarizer does not mean that all libertarians are. But you are correct that such behavior on your part is not likely to overjoy people–quite the contrary.

Stephan Kinsella November 15, 2006 at 9:00 am

Redford:

So you here tacitly admit that you got the phrase “ought from an ought” and the concept expressed by it from me. That’s at least a start in the right direction by you.

I have no idea what you are jabbering about. These are ravings. The phrase “ought from an ought” is not new to you. I just cited a use of it in 1973. It’s an obvious implication of Hume’s insight. You are not the first to think of it. Get over yourself.

Whether I “got” the phrase from you, I have no idea. You did not introduce the is-ought dichotomy to me, Redford. I suspect I phrased it this way because it is an obvious way to phrase an aspect of this Humean insight. I never claimed I originated it.

mainstream philosophy is already quite familiar with the is-ought dichotomy, but the concept of deriving and ought from an ought is virtually unknown.

Really? Do a google search for it–not on your loser “usenet” groups, but on the web as a whole. A simple search by me found a 1973 reference, and many others.

Go ahead and use the concept and the phrase.

Wow, thanks for your permission.

That was my intent when I put it out there: that it would become well-known.

What an amazing figure in the history of the philosophy you promise to be!

But don’t pretend that you didn’t get it from me when an innocent remark is made to you concerning where you got it from.

I have no reason to think I “got it from you”. But then, I’m not bizarrely obsessed with keeping notes from years back tracking the origin of every single thought I’ve developed.

Simply because you are a liar and a plagiarizer does not mean that all libertarians are. But you are correct that such behavior on your part is not likely to overjoy people–quite the contrary.

Those reading should realize what this nutjob–formerly “Tetrahedron Omega”, another sign of weirdoness–is claiming: that my statement that you can’t get an ought from an is, but only from another ought–based on the is-ought dichotomy of Hume, and based on the hypothetical ethical reasoning of people like Rand and Hoppe–is “plagiarizing” from this dude since he claims that years ago he used this phrase in message boards I frequented. Uhhh yeahhhhh. Time for the lithium, Omega.

James Redford November 15, 2006 at 6:22 pm

Stephan Kinsella, you wrote:

“”
I have no idea what you are jabbering about. These are ravings. The phrase “ought from an ought” is not new to you. I just cited a use of it in 1973. It’s an obvious implication of Hume’s insight. You are not the first to think of it. Get over yourself.
“”

You know exactly what I’m talking about because I made myself quite clear. This is more of your disingenuousness.

Nor did I say that I was the first to think of the phrase. Rather, what I said originally was,

“”
By the way, Stephan Kinsella, I’m glad that some of my teachings have had an effect on you. Ergo, your somewhat recent statement of “an ought from an ought.” (Your September 8, 2006 11:19 AM reply under “How We Come to Own Ourselves,” http://blog.mises.org/archives/005577.asp .)
“”

To which you pretended ignorance by replying “Thanks for figuring out the is-ought dichotomy for me. And Hume.” Of which comment by you even mistates this issue here since the field of philosophy is already quite familiar with the is-ought dichotomy, but the concept of deriving an ought from an ought is virtually unknown.

So my comments all along here have pertained to the fact that you incorporated some of my teachings, i.e., the fact that you got the concept and phrase of “an ought from an ought” from me–not that I originally invented the concept and the phrase (although I did independently come up with it, in the sense that I thought of it on my own, and didn’t get it from anyone else). But you didn’t want to publicly admit that I have taught you things which you find of value, since after all you here call me a “loser” and a “nutjob,” which are more of your disingenuousness.

And you didn’t get the concept and phrase “ought from an ought” from a 1973 article (which you simply found by doing a recent Google search after my last reply, as you further below admit), you got it from our email correspondence that you initiated from having read my public postings. As you here also acknowledge that you didn’t get it from a 1973 article:

“”
Whether I “got” the phrase from you, I have no idea. You did not introduce the is-ought dichotomy to me, Redford. I suspect I phrased it this way because it is an obvious way to phrase an aspect of this Humean insight. I never claimed I originated it.
“”

Here again you are being disingenuous by going out of your way to misconstrue the issue, as the field of philosophy is already quite familiar with the is-ought dichotomy, but the concept of deriving and ought from an ought is virtually unknown.

Continuing, you wrote:

“”
“”
mainstream philosophy is already quite familiar with the is-ought dichotomy, but the concept of deriving and ought from an ought is virtually unknown.
“”

Really? Do a google search for it–not on your loser “usenet” groups, but on the web as a whole. A simple search by me found a 1973 reference, and many others
“”

Great, so you here admit that you merely found a reference to a 1973 article which contains the phrase, not that that article is where you got the phrase from. As far as “many others,” I would hardly call 13 Google results as demonstrating that the field of philosophy is that familiar with the concept of deriving an ought from an ought. Indeed, it demonstrates that the concept of deriving an ought from an ought is virtually unknown. Whereas *all* of the usenet examples of the phrase are from me, starting in September 19, 2000.

Concerning your remark on “[my] loser ‘usenet’ groups,” you are the one who originally initiated email contact with me from your having read my usenet postings. So this remark by you is more of your disingenuousness.

Nor have I ever made any issue about who invented the phrase and concept. I didn’t say that I was the first to think of the phrase (although I did independantly originate the concept and the phrase, as I didn’t get it from anyone else). Rather, what I said originally was,

“”
By the way, Stephan Kinsella, I’m glad that some of my teachings have had an effect on you. Ergo, your somewhat recent statement of “an ought from an ought.” (Your September 8, 2006 11:19 AM reply under “How We Come to Own Ourselves,” http://blog.mises.org/archives/005577.asp .)
“”

That is, I was simply commenting on the fact that you were incorporating my teachings to you on this matter. I was happy to see that you were doing so, and hence I stated that I was glad to see that some of my teachings had an effect on you. But you had to be disingenuous in your response to me rather than admit that you found some of my teachings to be of value, since after all you here call me a “loser” and a “nutjob,” which are more of your disingenuousness.

A simple remark by you to the effect of “Yeah, thanks for that phrase, James” would have sufficed, but you couldn’t bring yourself to publicly admit that you got something of value from me. Indeed, simply saying nothing would have been far better than your current dissembling replies to me.

For Heaven’s sake, I already originally told you that I was glad that you were using it! You didn’t have to go out of your way to pretend like I had two heads for my having said that to you originally.

I almost couldn’t care less who uses my writings and teachings for whatever purpose (so long as its nonaggressive), or even whether they cite me or not. I’ve seen my writings cut-up and pasted into other people’s works without citing me, and I don’t really care. But when you affect as if I’ve got a second head growing out of my neck when I simply make an innocent and friendly remark to you stating that I’m glad to see you using some of what I taught you, then that certainly is behavior that I find to be opprobrious.

You also wrote:

“”
“”
“”
I have no reason to think I “got it from you”. But then, I’m not bizarrely obsessed with keeping notes from years back tracking the origin of every single thought I’ve developed.
“”

Simply because you are a liar and a plagiarizer does not mean that all libertarians are. But you are correct that such behavior on your part is not likely to overjoy people–quite the contrary.
“”

Those reading should realize what this nutjob–formerly “Tetrahedron Omega”, another sign of weirdoness–is claiming: that my statement that you can’t get an ought from an is, but only from another ought–based on the is-ought dichotomy of Hume, and based on the hypothetical ethical reasoning of people like Rand and Hoppe–is “plagiarizing” from this dude since he claims that years ago he used this phrase in message boards I frequented. Uhhh yeahhhhh. Time for the lithium, Omega.
“”

Yet again you are being disingenuous by acting as if it is not a very common practice on the internet to use fanciful handles.

Moreover, you here are again being disingenuous by going out of your way to mistate the nature of our contacts and also to mistate my claims. As I said above, I state the phrase “an ought from an ought” and the concept of it in a February 23, 2000 email and a September 11, 2004 email from me to you. In both cases, you initiated the contact with me from your having read my public postings.

Hence, your present attempt to pretend as if my public postings didn’t catch your attention further demonstrates how disingenuous you are being, as this correspondence which you initiated on both occations (in 2000 and 2004) shows that you most certainly did take notice of my public writings on this matter, and were moved enough by my public postings to initiate contact with me on two separate occations.

Not only are you a flagrant liar, Stephan Kinsella, but you’re also an incompetent liar. I’ve got you dead to rights on this. Below is contained the text of our relevant email correspondence (which you initiated each time from your having read my public postings), wherein I use this phrase and its concept on two separate occations (in 2000 and 2004) to you:

http://www.geocities.com/vonchloride/n-stephan-kinsella-emails.txt

Stephan Kinsella November 17, 2006 at 4:38 pm

I posted a reply to Redford on Daily Apology; all subsequent comments that originally appeared here have been moved there as inappropriate to this forum. Any further comments should be made there, not here.

Stephan Kinsella November 20, 2006 at 10:09 am

Ccomments been moved offlist to this post on Daily Apology.

Stephan Kinsella November 20, 2006 at 3:55 pm

Comments been moved offlist to this post on Daily Apology.