I have just finished a paper (which had been existing in a half-baked form for much too long) that might be of interest to the list members. It has its own website at http://www.simulation-argument.com (which also contains a few related resources).

Are You Living In a Computer Simulation? Nick Bostrom (2001)

ABSTRACT. This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a "posthuman" stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the transhumanist dogma that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.

Nick Bostrom
Department of Philosophy, Yale University
New Haven, CT 06520 | Phone: (203) 432-1663 | Fax: (203) 432-7950
Homepage: http://www.nickbostrom.com

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