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Benevolant LEM
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Benevolant LEM:

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

Sigh...

"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."

No, I would be doing things in virtual reality. And for all you know, this reality could be simulated. What then? I guess my point is I only care about the experiences themselves. We have access to nothing else, anyway.

"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."

You could control your personality precisely. Download new knowledge and skills. Do I need to ask you to use your imagination?
"Had Mother Nature been a real parent, she would have been in jail for child abuse and murder." -Nick Bostrom
 27 Usht, Mon, 28th Feb '11 5:37:27 PM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Even if this sounds boring, it isn't.

You can't prove that. That's the problem, while humans have been shown to get bored over time, even when supposedly given unlimited resources. However, you're claiming that we won't if we're given enough. There's never been a case where this has been shown to be true.

IE: Brave New World: Sex and drugs to maximum can only do so much...

EDIT: Great, so we can spread and share information with our minds. That sounds like a useful tool to have outside of the machine where we can apply information like that. Inside the machine, just limits possibilities even faster.

edited 28th Feb '11 5:38:39 PM by Usht

The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
The Joke-Master
"No, I would be doing things in virtual reality. And for all you know, this reality could be simulated. What then? I guess my point is I only care about the experiences themselves. We have access to nothing else, anyway."

Do you have any reason whatever to posit the idea that reality is an illusion?

In any case, operating based on sensory input is one thing; intentionally using known falsehoods is another entirely.

"You could control your personality precisely. Download new knowledge and skills. Do I need to ask you to use your imagination? "

Have you no pride whatsoever? Have you no confidence, no will to accomplish anything? Would you honestly rather chop off parts of your own mind to be replaced by pre-packaged thoughts to make yourself over in the image of another than actually learn anything?
Peace is a myth. Equality is a lie.
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
Does the machine have Strong AI or Weak AI?

Because if it had strong AI, I'd love to create Loads and Loads of Characters and hundreds of worlds and stories. Live some as The Hero, others as an Anti Hero or even a straight-up villain, and many, many others as a secondary character. Watch those AI characters and those worlds I just made up interact, in real time, while you can actually FEEL what's happening.

It'd be beyond cool.

I doubt I'd ever get bored inside the machine.

edited 28th Feb '11 5:47:47 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
Nihilist Hippie
"Have you no pride whatsoever? Have you no confidence, no will to accomplish anything? Would you honestly rather chop off parts of your own mind to be replaced by pre-packaged thoughts to make yourself over in the image of another than actually learn anything?"

I did start a prior thread where I explicitly said I loathed myself. Does that answer your question? As it is, I see the last part as a very loaded question, but sure why not.

edited 28th Feb '11 5:50:42 PM by LoveHappiness

"Had Mother Nature been a real parent, she would have been in jail for child abuse and murder." -Nick Bostrom
The Joke-Master
" As it is, I see the last part as a very loaded question, but sure why not."

How do you object to that sentence?
Peace is a myth. Equality is a lie.
Nihilist Hippie
"A loaded question is a question which contains a controversial assumption such as a presumption of guilt.

Such questions are used rhetorically, so that the question limits direct replies to be those that serve the questioner's agenda. The traditional example is the question "Have you stopped beating your wife?" Whether the respondent answers yes or no, he will admit to having a wife, and having beaten her at some time in the past. Thus, these facts are presupposed by the question, and in this case an entrapment, because it narrows the respondent to a single answer, and the fallacy of many questions has been committed. The fallacy relies upon context for its effect: the fact that a question presupposes something does not in itself make the question fallacious. Only when some of these presuppositions are not necessarily agreed to by the person who is asked the question does the argument containing them become fallacious. Hence the same question may be loaded in one context, but not in the other. For example the previous question would not be loaded if it was asked during a trial in which the defendant has already admitted to beating his wife.

A loaded question may be asked to trick the respondent into admitting something that the questioner believes to be true, and which may in fact be true. So the previous question is "loaded, " whether or not the respondent has actually beaten his wife.

This fallacy can be confused with begging the question, which offers a premise no more plausible than, and often just a restatement of, the conclusion.

The term "loaded question" is sometimes used to refer to loaded language that is phrased as a question. This type of question does not necessarily contain a fallacious presupposition, but rather this usage refers to the question having an unspoken and often emotive implication. For example, "Are you a murderer?" would be such a loaded question, as "murder" has a very negative connotation. Such a question may be asked merely to harass or upset the respondent with no intention of listening to their reply, or asked with the full expectation that the respondent will predictably deny it."

[1]

Pretty much this.
"Had Mother Nature been a real parent, she would have been in jail for child abuse and murder." -Nick Bostrom
 33 Shrimpus, Mon, 28th Feb '11 6:03:09 PM from Brooklyn, NY, US
Assuming that you would use some destructive quantum analytics to bring the mind into the simulations it would still be a frission of the continuity of my consciousness. The I that would enjoy an eternity would not be the I that is now. Still for a person who does not believe that there is anything waiting for me after death I would take the chance late in life to impress a shadow of myself onto this world. Then perhaps I would seek to return to our world via some mobile terminal.

 34 Ratix, Mon, 28th Feb '11 6:08:43 PM from Someplace, Maryland
This is basically asking if you wanna become a permanent resident of Second Life: VR Edition.

On the one hand, I'd rather be able to just log in for an hour a day like any other game than stay there permanently. On the other hand, if people are moving in permanently, I can see it being treated as emigrating to a new country. And since, barring a way to keep your body alive or make a replacement, you're there to stay, I imagine it would be taken more seriously than Second Life currently is, since it'll have a full-time dedicated population.

As for productivity, that depends completely on how you use it. Mindless hedonism is just one potential outlet. I can see architects, engineers, and military tacticians field testing their ideas easily with this system. You can simulate various limited resources to see what methods designed to conserve them work best, which can benefit people back in the real world (and given the future is likely to have wars over dwindling resources, it can save lives in the process too). And of course, total freedom to design means those with creative talent will be valued for their service; you could make a killing on designing games, world scenarios, or just being paid to tell interactive stories.

My main concern is, though the scenario suggests that the servers shutting down is not possible, realistically that should always be a threat. Which would make a failed server this world's equivalent of a natural disaster unless you had a lot of redundancy built in. And even if there's no physical resources, a 10-mile high palace should take up more server space than a one bed shack. So unless we're talking near limitless storage capacity, space on the server still has value, which could be bought and sold as any other commodity. Hello virtual economy that has enough similarities to the real-world as to be a competitor.

So, to sum up: No to becoming a permanent resident, even if it sounds like fun I'd rather keep my mind in case of a server crash. Yes to logging in temporarily like any other game. Can't think of a time in my life I'd become a permanent resident.

Pro-Freedom Fanatic
Not really, Ratix. Only your immediate surroundings need be loaded into memory wink. Disk space is cheap tongue.

I would like to become a full time AI copy, but if you keep your body, it opens up even more awesome possibilities: Swapping physical bodies with willing parties.

edited 1st Mar '11 5:20:11 AM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
 36 Ratix, Tue, 1st Mar '11 5:51:21 AM from Someplace, Maryland
Nevertheless, I'm sure someone will find a way to make it allegedly free, even if it's just selling stuff they create 'cause it's easier than doing it yourself.

Another possibility the people who complain that it replacing your sensory input with false information have overlooked: What if you don't HAVE those senses to begin with? If a blind person uploaded, could they see in the virtual world? If so, it would revolutionize vision therapy.

Granted, I've heard that being deprived of vision for extended periods or even being born blind, your brain fails to recognize vision input, such that even if you could see, you wouldn't be able to interpret what you see as well as those who've been seeing all their lives. In that case, the virtual world now provides a place to experiment on that without invasive trial-and-error surgery and providing a program of baby-steps-toward-seeing or something like that.

Even if it doesn't lead to curing disabilities in the real world, there would still be a segment of the population who would prefer to be virtual and fully functional, than real and disabled.

edited 1st Mar '11 5:53:25 AM by Ratix

 37 Yej, Tue, 1st Mar '11 8:53:20 AM from <0,1i>
See ALL the stars!
SH, the machine can produce Strong AI, but it would be true Strong AI, with all the moral and ethical implications that produces. Weak AI of varying degrees is all over the place. (In the novel I stole this from, the servers are managed by weakly-intelligent nanotech, hence they can't fail.)

[up] Ratix, one problem with it being Allegedly Free: what could you possibly use as currency? grin

Usht, you seem to implying the only "meaningful" life is one where you gain something, whether that's conventional resources, "character building", or something else. I'd argue that that's completely untrue, and that infinite resources might help you achieve some goals rather than making them meaningless.
Da Rules excuse all the inaccuracy in the world. Listen to them, not me.
 38 Usht, Tue, 1st Mar '11 9:43:01 AM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Great, can you define a few of these goals?
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 39 Yej, Tue, 1st Mar '11 9:46:45 AM from <0,1i>
See ALL the stars!
"Build a [mechanism] in the smallest space possible." "Prove [arbitrary mathematical statement]." "Make the most beautiful image you can on a 5D canvas."

Even a combination of infinite resources and weak AI don't detract that much from those sort of achievements.

edited 1st Mar '11 9:47:42 AM by Yej

Da Rules excuse all the inaccuracy in the world. Listen to them, not me.
 40 Usht, Tue, 1st Mar '11 9:57:56 AM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
One more question, on what sort of physics should I be assuming this program runs on? It can apparently manage 5 dimensions in such a manner that the human mind can comprehend despite being limited to 3 dimensions. I'd like to know how this works.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
See ALL the stars!
It can't run 5D in a way a human can understand, but there's no requirement to remain human anymore.
Da Rules excuse all the inaccuracy in the world. Listen to them, not me.
 42 Usht, Tue, 1st Mar '11 10:23:22 AM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
So this will edit my brain while we're at it. Tell me, just how is that supposed to work? And you still haven't answered the physics question.

See, the problem with this machine so far is that in order for it to offer infinite possibilities, it has to have infinite possibilities. That's a big, big hurdle to jump.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
See ALL the stars!
Re: your brains, a mind, in this scenario, is a computer program. It's data. Data can be edited. (Though obviously very carefully.)

Re: physics, does it actually matter? Ours.

Re: "infinite" possibilities, sure you only have finite memory and disk space to use, but I don't think that limits you that much.

edited 1st Mar '11 10:42:28 AM by Yej

Da Rules excuse all the inaccuracy in the world. Listen to them, not me.
 44 Usht, Tue, 1st Mar '11 10:47:59 AM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Re: your brains, a mind, in this scenario, is a computer program. It's data. Data can be edited. (Though obviously very carefully.)

I'm glad my brain can be edited to comprehend the fourth and fifth dimension. But that's still not being proven possible and therefore is a limit.

Re: physics, does it actually matter? Ours.

Yes, because our universe currently exists in a third dimension (plus time!) and can't handle higher dimensions or even philosophical dimensions. The fact that it wouldn't be able to produce anything greater than a 2D replica of Escher's paintings means it's not infinite.

Re: "infinite" possibilities, sure you only have finite memory and disk space to use, but I don't think that limits you that much.

Given a sufficiently large population of people, someone will eventually attempt to make a really, really large machine. Given the infinite amount of time you've given, how long into infinity do you think it'll be before that person can't expand that machine any longer?
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
 45 Yej, Wed, 2nd Mar '11 8:55:44 AM from <0,1i>
See ALL the stars!
The actual technical details aren't really that relevant to the philosophy. tongue (And can be handwaved by "Future-tech!" anyway.) Feel free to start a new thread if you want to discuss the computability of the mind and/or extra dimensions, though.

But to answer the last question, I can't really think of any practical reason you'd need a computer bigger than say, a Dyson Sphere, especially if you have near-Strong AI optimizers. You certainly don't for any human-scale activity.

edited 2nd Mar '11 8:56:37 AM by Yej

Da Rules excuse all the inaccuracy in the world. Listen to them, not me.
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Total posts: 45
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