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Benevolant LEM
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Total posts: [45]
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Benevolant LEM:

See ALL the stars!
(This is technically for a work, but since it's a relatively deep philosophical question, I'll put it here)

It's a point a vague, short amount of time in the future, and someone has invented Brain Uploading and is offering it as a service for free. Specifically, they offer to upload your mind to a malleable, completely virtual environment, ala the ultimate Wide Open Sandbox. (Think The Matrix crossed with Garry's Mod) The uploaded minds can talk and interact with each other, in any manner they please, including plain telepathy. There are no resource shortages; absolutely anything at all, including physically impossible things, can be constructed from nothing. There is no chance of accidental death or harm, as the minds can continue as long as the systems involved keep running  *. The environment can be anything you want it to be, even up to Alien Geometry level.

(In other words, the Polises from Diaspora)

So have a question: 1) Would you take up the offer? 2) Would you have taken it up at any point in the past?

edited 28th Feb '11 1:57:52 PM by Yej

Da Rules excuse all the inaccuracy in the world. Listen to them, not me.
 2 Usht, Mon, 28th Feb '11 2:01:11 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
1) No. Programs and simulations are best viewed from the outside. By limiting our reality to what we can make we are limiting ourselves.

2) Ashamedly, yes, because everything in there would be easy.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
Azor Ahai
Can you return to having a physical body when you want to?
Hodor
See ALL the stars!
[up] Yes. But why would you want to?
Da Rules excuse all the inaccuracy in the world. Listen to them, not me.
 5 Usht, Mon, 28th Feb '11 2:08:24 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Because being God is boring.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
Absolute freedom? Playing like a God on a world of my own making, even if it's fake? Plug me in right now. I could use a few millennia of consequence-free sex and violence and drugs and death metal.

The only bad thing about simulations is that you can't feel them. If I could feel a simulation, would I care about whether it was a simulation at all?

Short answer? No. Long answer? I still don't care, honestly.

And you can keep the body tongue.

edited 28th Feb '11 2:19:22 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
See ALL the stars!
[up] Why wouldn't you be able to feel it? People feel (and die) in the Matrix, after all.
Da Rules excuse all the inaccuracy in the world. Listen to them, not me.
 8 Ralph Crown, Mon, 28th Feb '11 2:28:47 PM from Next Door to Nowhere
Short Hair
What happens when Godlike Entity A wants to do X, Godlike Entity B wants to do Y, and X conflicts with Y? It's not true omnipotence.
Under World. It rocks!
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
[up] Different instances of reality?

[up][up] I'm saying: If I'm able to *feel* the simulation, plug me in.

edited 28th Feb '11 2:35:43 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 10 Pykrete, Mon, 28th Feb '11 2:59:27 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
If it's nonpermanent I'd probably give it a shot. What worries me is the possibility of behavioral addiction.

 11 Usht, Mon, 28th Feb '11 3:04:58 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
@Pykrete

There's been several books on that topic. The only one that comes to mind right now is the third or fourth book in the Pendragon series. Basically, an entire super nation becomes desolate because everyone is busy being in the simulation machine instead of, you know, feeding, having kids, and maintaining society.

Regardless of how on topic that is, it would still factor in to whether or not I get in the machine because let's face, reality will go on and I'm not going to miss that.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 12 Grain, Mon, 28th Feb '11 3:07:00 PM from South Northwest Earth
Only One Avatar
[up][up]But what if Godlike Entity Z wants to control all possible realities?

edited 28th Feb '11 3:07:33 PM by Grain

Nihilist Hippie
"There's been several books on that topic. The only one that comes to mind right now is the third or fourth book in the Pendragon series. Basically, an entire super nation becomes desolate because everyone is busy being in the simulation machine instead of, you know, feeding, having kids, and maintaining society.

Regardless of how on topic that is, it would still factor in to whether or not I get in the machine because let's face, reality will go on and I'm not going to miss that."

Actually being a mind upload could have profound advantages. In addition to being practically immortal, you potentially could think and communicate millions of times faster. Most importantly, uploads could reproduce at astronomical rates. Virtual reality would quickly become the place where anyone who's important does things. Meat humans would become primitive fossils, left behind and possibly exterminated for more computational resources. This of course all being very hypothetical. wink

edited 28th Feb '11 3:22:37 PM by LoveHappiness

"Had Mother Nature been a real parent, she would have been in jail for child abuse and murder." -Nick Bostrom
 14 Pykrete, Mon, 28th Feb '11 3:16:26 PM from Viridian Forest
NOT THE BEES
Actually, anyone who's important would be running the servers. And could hold crucial features ransom.

 15 Usht, Mon, 28th Feb '11 3:23:01 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
@Love Happiness

Very hypothetical, seeing as you'd need a perfect brain upload. However, I can see that, yes, with a complex enough system, you can use bodies to make more bodies, I suppose, but that brings up ethical questions of "What do we do with the kids?" And that would also make for a very long contract to sign.

@Pykrete

Yeah, but what if the server managers become addicted too?
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
The Joke-Master
No, because of the continuity problem. It would not be me running around in an endless simulation, it would an electronic program simulating the responses of my mind that would be put through a world simulator while my real mind is still in my head.

Even if not for the continuity problem, it would still be:

1) A lie.

2) The ultimate wasted life.

3) The ultimate act of cowardice.

4) Would make self-improvement impossible.
Peace is a myth. Equality is a lie.
Nihilist Hippie
"No, because of the continuity problem. It would not be me running around in an endless simulation, it would an electronic program simulating the responses of my mind that would be put through a world simulator while my real mind is still in my head.

Even if not for the continuity problem, it would still be:

1) A lie.

2) The ultimate wasted life.

3) The ultimate act of cowardice.

4) Would make self-improvement impossible."

Well, I think a unitary continuous "self" is an illusion. AS for the rest, why it be a lie? Presumably everyone would be aware of reality. Why would it be the ultimate wasted life? On the inside, it could easily be wonderful. Cowardice... huh? And actually, being an electronic software program should make self-improvement far easier, kind of obvious.
"Had Mother Nature been a real parent, she would have been in jail for child abuse and murder." -Nick Bostrom
 18 Usht, Mon, 28th Feb '11 4:55:36 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Except if you can define reality as you want, why bother improve?
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
I agree with LH.

Assuming the continuity problem can be sidestepped/fixed, I'd be all for the upload. I wouldn't care that everything is fake. My life is screwed up enough that it'd be a wonderful reprieve.

I know it's cowardly and all, but I'm simply not the kind of guy that passes a Leave Your Quest Test. I'm wired to flunk them.

edited 28th Feb '11 4:57:22 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
The Joke-Master
"Well, I think a unitary continuous "self" is an illusion. AS for the rest, why it be a lie? Presumably everyone would be aware of reality. Why would it be the ultimate wasted life? On the inside, it could easily be wonderful. Cowardice... huh? And actually, being an electronic software program should make self-improvement far easier, kind of obvious. "

It is a lie because you (if not for the continuity problem) would be completely replacing all sensory and intellectual input with false data. It would be the ultimate wasted life because you would accomplish absolutely nothing productive while in the simulation. Cowardice, because it is running away from reality to wallow in a comforting illusion.

And I honestly have no idea how one could possibly reach the conclusion that it would make self-improvement easier. You would be divorced from your body entirely, leaving yourself to physically atrophy, and by granting constant, instant, effortless gratification to the mind, would reduce your capacity to think critically, overcome challenges, think around problems, or get over setbacks.

If you spent too long inside, you would be left with an imobile, frail body, greatly reduced or eliminated capacity to endure negative events emotionally or mentally, and with a mind dulled by disuse.
Peace is a myth. Equality is a lie.
Nihilist Hippie
"It is a lie because you (if not for the continuity problem) would be completely replacing all sensory and intellectual input with false data. It would be the ultimate wasted life because you would accomplish absolutely nothing productive while in the simulation. Cowardice, because it is running away from reality to wallow in a comforting illusion.

And I honestly have no idea how one could possibly reach the conclusion that it would make self-improvement easier. You would be divorced from your body entirely, leaving yourself to physically atrophy, and by granting constant, instant, effortless gratification to the mind, would reduce your capacity to think critically, overcome challenges, think around problems, or get over setbacks.

If you spent too long inside, you would be left with an imobile, frail body, greatly reduced or eliminated capacity to endure negative events emotionally or mentally, and with a mind dulled by disuse."

Well then, I guess we have irreconcilable differences. First off, who say's it's false? It corresponds to something in real reality, and there's no real important difference between an emulated object and an "actual" one.

Second, you could easily being doing all sorts of productive things. In fact, you could do all the same things that you could in real reality, through an android body. It vastly expands the range of activities you can do, the kind of people you can be.

Again, I don't see it as cowardice because I don't see it as an illusion in the first place. If it's participatory, well then there you go. If not, that's their prerogative, I won't judge. As for why it would make self-improvement easier, it's because your mind would become profoundly manipulable. That pretty much says it all, I think.

edited 28th Feb '11 5:20:22 PM by LoveHappiness

"Had Mother Nature been a real parent, she would have been in jail for child abuse and murder." -Nick Bostrom
 22 Usht, Mon, 28th Feb '11 5:16:15 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Why is why, folks, Heaven Is Boring (apparently not a trope, should we make that a trope?).

In exchange for achieving perfect happiness through a world that you can completely control, you've lost what you've been working towards. In losing that, you've lost your ability to be happy again because there's nothing better than what you're at and after a while, that will get dull because you make the reality, there's no more achievement.

And seeing as you mentioned Garry's Mod, time to quote Yahtzee:

"And what sets Minecraft apart from other similar ideas like Garry's Mod is that you've got to work... which makes your golden cock all that much more lovable when you're done with it."

Ignoring the fact that Yahtzee builds golden genitalia in Minecraft, you get the general idea.

edited 28th Feb '11 5:17:45 PM by Usht

The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
The Joke-Master
"Well then, I guess we have irreconcilable differences. First off, who say's it's false? It corresponds to something in real reality, and there's no real important difference between an emulated object and an "actual" one. "

I'm reminded of a quote about how nourishing a photograph of oxygen is to a drowning man.

"Second, you could easily being doing all sorts of productive things. In fact, you could do all the same things that you could in real reality, through an android body. It vastly expands the range of activities you can do, the kind of people you can be."

You are no longer discussing the scenario from the OP, but something totally different.

"Again, I don't see it as cowardice because I don't see it as an illusion in the first. If it's participatory, well then there you go. If not, that's their prerogative, I won't judge. As for why it would make self-improvement easier, it's because your mind would become profoundly manipulable. That pretty much says it all, I think."

Except it is an illusion. If you don't see it as one, that just makes it a more effective illusion. You would be doing nothing, simply being fed input about whatever is being simulated.

I fail to see how having a malleable mind is in any way conducive to self-improvement, although that does raise the issue of possible abuse of the system by whoever is running it.
Peace is a myth. Equality is a lie.
Nihilist Hippie
"In losing that, you've lost your ability to be happy again because there's nothing better than what you're at and after a while, that will get dull because you make the reality, there's no more achievement."

No, if you wanted to be happy then you could. You set your happiness level to maximum permanently. You could also remove the capacity for boredom, and/or ensure that your life always is extremely exciting. Even if this sounds boring, it isn't.
"Had Mother Nature been a real parent, she would have been in jail for child abuse and murder." -Nick Bostrom
The Joke-Master
"No, if you wanted to be happy then you could. You set your happiness level to maximum permanently. You could also remove the capacity for boredom, and/or ensure that your life always is extremely exciting. Even if this sounds boring, it isn't. "

If you lack any sense of pride, self-worth, or simple respect for yourself as a human being, sure. If you actually put even the slightest value on independent thought, responsibility, or any form of achievement, then that would be utterly pointless.
Peace is a myth. Equality is a lie.
Total posts: 45
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