In a discussion about philosophy, Nick Prince said, "If we are living in a simulation. . ."
 
To which John Mikes replied, "I think this is the usual pretension. . .   I think 'we simulate what we are living in' according to the little we know.  Such 'simulation' - 'simplification' - 'modeling' - 'metaphorizing' - or even 'Harry Potterizing' things we think does not change the 'unknown/unknowable' we live in.  We just think and therefore we think we are."
 
This interchange reminded me of thoughts I had as a child - I used to wonder if if everything I experienced was real or a dream.  How could I know which it was?  I asked my parents and was discouraged, in no uncertain terms, from asking them nonsensical questions.  I asked my playmates and friends, but they didn't know the answer any more than I did.  I had no other resources so I concluded that the question was unanswerable and that the best I could do was proceed as if what I experienced was reality. 
 
Now, many years later, I have this list - and Wikipedia - as resources.  But, as John Mikes (and others) say, I still cannot know that what I experience is reality.  I can only assume that reality is how things appear to me - and I might be wrong.
 
Norman Samish

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