From: Tennessee Leeuwenburg (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Mar 07 2006 - 18:09:32 MST
Simulation or whatever.
We can suppose our universe (reality, whatever) to bear the same
relation to ourselves as a simulation might bear to a simulated
This is a reasonable abstraction.
However, we can't really know anything concrete about that. It can never
be more than speculation, because it's invalid to make an inference from
an unknown. By definition, that which is outside of our universe is
unknown, and that which is known is inside of our universe.
The computer simulation suggestion supposes "that which is outside of
our universe" to be essentially the same as "that which is inside of our
universe". This is inherent in the idea of of a computer, which is an
embodied mechanism functioning according to logics which only apply in
If you want to take simulation less literally, and suppose our universe
to be merely contained by a super-container, then that's not
philosophically unreasonable. However, we can't make inferences about
the specific nature of that container.
As Wittgenstein puts it, to know the limits of something implies knowing
what both sides of the limit are. One can never truly know what it's
like to be in a box, if one does not know what's outside of a box.
(because one will fail to properly understand what is meant by a box).
One can only imagine "containedness", not the nature of that
However, it's possible that we are contained, and in the concept
containedness exists the possibility for escape. We might not need to
know the true nature of our container in order to get out of it. Or
there might be a leak.
Ack, sorry for rambling and being a bit quick and easy with this email.
I'm at work and in a rush.
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