Re: Simulation argument in the NY Times

From: Norman Noman (
Date: Fri Aug 17 2007 - 16:08:04 MDT

On 8/17/07, Vladimir Nesov <> wrote:
> Friday, August 17, 2007, Norman Noman wrote:
> NN> Strictly speaking, to "simulate" entails REPRESENTING certain key
> NN> characteristics or behaviours of a selected system. Representation is
> an
> NN> intentional act, and only intelligent entities have intentions.
> However, if
> NN> due to profound coincidence a computer running simcity popped out of
> nowhere
> NN> through quantum uncertainty, most people would still consider that a
> NN> simulation, and the unlikelihood of this sort of event is what I was
> talking
> NN> about.
> It's a question of being prepared. Say, you are being copied, so that
> 1000 copies of you will be sent to labor camps and 1 copy of you is
> given a substantial money compensation. One moment you are sitting in
> a copying device, next moment there are 1001 of you. Which of them do
> you expect yourself to become? With what probability?
> This question is not correct: you will become each one of them.
> Expectations before the procedure can only prepare you to operate
> more effectively is _some_ of future situations. This is a tradeoff:
> you can't have general expectations, so in some of the futures you
> will be less prepared than in others. Choice of futures to prepare for
> is arbitrary,

I don't see that it is. In the above scenario, I'd be preparing for the
mines of mercury, because being handed a big bag of money doesn't really
require preparation. Seems like an easy enough choice. If 1000 of me were
getting shipped to the desert and one was getting shipped to mount everest,
I'd be preparing for the desert because I'd rather there be more of me than
less of me.

such as correlation to certain measure of this or that
> outcome.

I don't even know what this means.

This is a kind of remnant of evolution, which tried to infect
> as much future branches as possible with given DNA.

I'm not really sure what this has to do with the topic at hand. Under the
many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics, everything is being split
into zillions of possibilities constantly.

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