• Qmeri
    154
    This assumes hardcore causality though. We already know that prediction is epistemically not always possible, which means that for certain processes we predict outcomes in terms of probability. This is an issue for things such as complex systems, chaos theory and quantum indeterminancy. I was not primarily suggesting anything about things that do not affect our observations but things not being relevant for our observations as they fall within the scope of probabilities. We'd never notice the absence of simulation of such objects.Benkei

    It doesn't actually assume hardcore causality since the uncertainty of a probability based world requires even more processing power. The probability based quantum world of ours is actually a very good argument against us living in a simulation since a probability based world where almost infinite number of possible quantum states affect the next possible quantum states and their probability distribution is almost infinitely complex to calculate. Classical mechanics require almost infinitely less processing power. Uncertainty doesn't remove causality until the wave function collapses. Before that all the possible quantum states causally determine the next probability distribution. The only non causal thing in quantum mechanics I'm aware of is the new information generated by the collapse of the wave function since it can't be predicted.

    If you mean that you could create the illusion of probabilities by pretty much making a predetermined movie as our simulation, where none of the probabilities are actually calculated and are actually just predetermined, that could work to reduce the amount of processing needed to give us a simulation of our experiences(Although I'm quite dubious about this since I have no idea how to make a predermined set of experiences and what kind and how much of processing such would actually require). But you will still have to demonstrate that these "predetermined" worlds are hugely represented in simulations in order to show that our current processes are more likely in a simulation than in the "real" world.

    But I do agree that this is a good start to show it possible that you can technically have more simulations of our experiences even without as many processes as in the "real" world. I don't think I ever disagreed with this. I even said in the original argument that one only needs to demonstrate that there are more simulations of our experiences in simulations with fewer processes than in the real world. You have only started to demonstrate it possible, but most possible simulations can still be something else than efficiently processed versions of our experiences, making it also possible that our experiences still happen more frequently in the processes of the "real" world than in the processes of a simulation.

    Second, I don't think it's about "things" either but about qualities. How does the quality "weight" influence lenght and width of an object? How does smell do that? What I'm suggesting is that when I look at something from a distance, the simulation would not have to render weight or smell. The tree falling in the forest where there's no one to hear it, doesn't need to make a sound. It does not need to render completely anything happening beyond my field of observation. In more general terms, anything outside my reference frame doesn't need to be fully rendered.Benkei

    Already addressed this point. Try to come up with a quality you can both demonstrate to exist and that doesn't affect our observations in any way. I personally believe in a somewhat solipsistic world anyway where pretty much only the information that constitutes my observations exists for me for certain logically necessary reasons. But this information pretty much contains pretty much everything everyone else believes to exist too since pretty much everything observable for others ends up affecting my observations at least indirectly. Like a tree falling when I'm not seeing it still affects things like gravity in tiny ways affecting my observation.

    So, while I believe in a world seemingly like something that is according to you, easier to calculate, I disagree with you since I think this is that is the way the "real" world is and because probability based worlds are harder to calculate. (Unless you demonstrate a way to create predetermined experiences with the illusion of probabilities. Usually a system that can process a complex simulation is always less complex physically than a system that can store all the occurences of a complex simulation. Computer memory is physically, although not technologically, more complex than the computer processor. Any reasonable amount of memory is physically bigger and contains more physical processes than a processor.)

    I guess if one compares a non-solipsistic probability based world and a solipsistic probability based world, the logically possible non-solipsistic probability based worlds are more harder to calculate on average. But even then most of all processes happen in non-simulated worlds like the original argument demonstrates. You will still have to demonstrate that solipsistic worlds are hugely more represented in simulations in order to show that our current processes are more likely in a simulation than in the "real" world.
  • Benkei
    3.3k
    Try to come up with a quality you can both demonstrate to exist and that doesn't affect our observations in any way.Qmeri

    I already did! Weight is irrelevant when I'm not holding it. So it doesn't need to render that quality at that time. Just like a computer that doesn't render anything beyond a horizon in an fps. It's the same concept.

    It doesn't actually assume hardcore causality since the uncertainty of a probability based world requires even more processing power.Qmeri

    If there's no such thing that doesn't affect anything else then you're proposing hardcore causality. It comes with it by definition.

    The probability based quantum world of ours is actually a very good argument against us living in a simulation since a probability based world where almost infinite number of possible quantum states affect the next possible quantum states and their probability distribution is almost infinitely complex to calculate. Classical mechanics require almost infinitely less processing power.Qmeri

    Classical mechanics is good enough most of the time so a simulation would use that and relativity to describe the macro world most of the time. QM is but one of the examples I gave, that while more complex, it doesn't require us to introduce every instance that went before as input as long as outcomes stay within the probability. So when there's epistemic probability we can forego a lot of history.

    But you seem to missing the point. The point is, a simulation does not require to simulate every instance fully and certainly not the entire natural history. A processor doesn't need to simulate itself, it's simulated by whatever is outside and it only needs to do that when we're directly observing the processor. The outcome of the processor would be caused by the simulator not the processor. Only a direct observation would have to simulate the world as if the simulated processor caused the simulated outcomes.

    If I close my eyes the simulation can stop rendering colour, light and dimensions etc. The point is that not all instances in the world need to be simulated and certainly not every quality at all times.

    EDIT: another example, the movement of planets can be described accurately without knowing how they were formed, what they consist of, how many meteors struck it and whether it supports life or not. I can simulate the movement of planets, without having simulated the planet's history.
  • BrianW
    969
    The idea that there can be a simulation that is separate from reality is the least thought out idea. A simulation has to be projected from somewhere. And no matter how many gradations we conceive of towards the simulation we choose to consider, the fundamental origin will always be reality. And, the reality and simulations are connected and influence each other. For example, a painter, the art and the canvas describe each other mutually, each according to its connection with the other. The same applies to video games, the console, the electricity, the players, etc. Ultimately, everything exists in, and is connected to reality. Differences and separations only exist in perspective. And what is perspective outside of consciousness, of awareness? Nothing.
    So, a simulation is a limited activity of some consciousness/awareness which ultimately must belong to a greater consciousness/awareness because nothing can exist outside of consciousness/awareness. Therefore, consciousness is perspective (e.g. a simulation, a concept); it is also existence, as well as reality, and is ultimate.
  • Qmeri
    154
    I already did! Weight is irrelevant when I'm not holding it. So it doesn't need to render that quality at that time. Just like a computer that doesn't render anything beyond a horizon in an fps. It's the same concept.Benkei

    You seem to be thinking of experience as a computer game, where after simulation one has to render that simulation. I disagree. I think experience comes naturally out of our physical processes and needs no extra rendering step and if we simulated a human mind experiencing something it would not need to be rendered in order for that simulated mind to experience the simulation.

    Although, if you think of a matrix-like simulation where after simulating, that simulation has to be transferred to a human brain, then yes, that is rendering the simulation to a brain. It's actually a process reality doesn't have to make and increases the amount of processes that kind of simulation requires compared to reality.

    Classical mechanics is good enough most of the time so a simulation would use that and relativity to describe the macro world most of the timeBenkei

    Not true. While we may not have the technical expertise to differentiate between a classical and quantum system in macro scale, it can be fundamentally done and is therefore philosophically relevant, since there would be a difference between a "true" and a simulated experience no matter how minute. Even if a single electron changes its place because of quantum mechanics, it changes the mass distribution of a planet changing its course.

    another example, the movement of planets can be described accurately without knowing how they were formed, what they consist of, how many meteors struck it and whether it supports life or not. I can simulate the movement of planets, without having simulated the planet's history.Benkei

    I agree with that one does not have to simulate times before and after our experiences therefore reducing the required processes. I already acknowledged this in my last post where I said that a solipsistic system needs less processes than a non-solipsistic system. You still have to demonstrate that A: it reduces the amount of required processes enough to counterweight the enormous advantage reality has in the number of processes. B: solipsistic simulations are so frequent that they outnumber the amount of singular observers in the real world which still has more processes in it than simulations have and can therefore fundamentally contain more observers.

    EDIT: A solipsistic simulation of an observer is a more complex system with more processes than a non simulated observer for the same reasons a simulation of a world requires more processes than just the real world.
  • Gnomon
    811
    Therefore if we don't specify our own processes and prove that they are somehow necessarily hugely more represented in simulated worlds than in non-simulated worlds, we most likely live in a non-simulated world. Any thoughts?Qmeri
    I'm only superficially familiar with Simulated World theories, and mostly with those of Tegmark's Mathematical Universe and the Matrix movie. But I note that most of those theories seem to assume that the processor is a space-time machine limited by the laws of physics. But what if the processor actually creates Space-Time? I'm referring to Donald Hoffman's concept of space-time as the interface of our reality. In that case, physical objects are symbols (icons on a screen) referring to metaphysical Forms. If so, the hypothetical simulated worlds would be simulations within a simulation.
  • TheMadFool
    6.5k
    This is because of something I call processor efficiency. I define it as the percentage of real time speed a processor can simulate itself in real time. We can see in practice that processors we have are very inefficient and many more "natural processes" that make up the processor are needed to simulate one of those processes. And a processor that can simulate its processes faster than it itself is, would cause absurdity since the processor it simulates could simulate a processor even faster etc... causing an infinitely fast processor.Qmeri

    I don't understand. Why does a simulation processor need to simulate itself?
  • Qwex
    366
    The world is a simulation, fed by a star. The universe is one big simulate state. Obviously stars and planets are important.
  • Qmeri
    154

    I don't understand. Why does a simulation processor need to simulate itself?TheMadFool

    It doesn't. That was just an example to demonstrate that a processor that could simulate a more complex thing than itself in real time would cause absurdity because then it could simulate a more powerful processor than itself which could then simulate a more powerful processor than itself etc... producing an infinitely powerful processor.
  • Qwex
    366
    @Qmeri, I think you misunderstand what simulation means.

    So much so, I'm confused by the original post. Truthfully, it's nonsensical.

    Yes, the world is a type of simulation.

    Where you might be confused is whatever image you apply to to term 'simulation.'
  • jorndoe
    1k
    To simulate the universe in every detail would require more than just the simulation itself, presumably a good deal more, considering what we know about simulations.
    Rather unparsimonious, possibly going the way of regress. (Simulations all the way down?)

    Otherwise, such a simulation would be targeted specifically at experiencers, animals, us (kind of self-elevating).
    So, the Moon would literally not be there when no one was looking, as it were.
    This starts to reek of deus deceptor, dream thought experiments, Zhuangzi's butterfly, perhaps solipsism, the usual.

    Moving towards such unverifiable-unfalsifiable hypotheses seems like a difference that makes no difference.
    It would renders our's a "toy universe" at the whims of the simulators.
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