On 3/12/2012 2:53 AM, acw wrote:
On 3/12/2012 05:43, Stephen P. King wrote:

Could it be that we are tacitly assuming that our notion of Virtual is
such that there always exists a standard what is the "Real" version? If
it is not possible to tell if a given object of experience is real or
virtual, why do we default to it being virtual, as if it was somehow
possible to compare the object in question with an unassailably "real"
version? As I see it, if we can somehow show that a given object of
experience is the _best possible_ simulation (modulo available
resources) then it is "real", as a better or "more real" simulation of
it is impossible to generate. Our physical world is 'real' simply
because there does not exist a better simulation of it.

Sure, given a mathematical ontology, "real" is just the structure you exist in - an indexical. This real might be limited in some way (for example in COMP, you cannot help but get some indeterminacy like MW)- a newtonian physics simulation might be real for those living in it and which are embedded in it, although if this would really work without any indeterminacy, I'm skeptical of.

I should have been more precise, when I said VR, I didn't merely mean a good digital physics simulation where the observer's entire body+brain is contained within, I meant something more high-level, think of "Second Life" or "Blocks World" or some other similar simulation done 1000 years from now with much more computational resources. The main difference between VR and physical-real is that one contains a body+brain embedded in that physical-real world (as matter), thus physical-real is also a self-contained consistent mathematical structure, while VR has some external component which prevents a form of physical self-awareness (you can't have brain surgery in a VR, at least not in the sense we do have in the real world). The main difference here is that the VR can be influenced by a higher level at which the VR itself runs, while a physical-real structure is completely self-contained.


I am mot exactly sure of what you mean by "indexical". As to brain surgery in VR, why not? All that is needed is rules in the program that control the 1p experience of content to some states in game structures. The point is that if we are considering brains-in-vasts problems we need to also consider the "other minds" problems. We should not be analyzing this from a strict one person situation. You and I have different experiences up to and including the "something that is like being Stephen" as different from "something that is like to being ACW". If we where internally identical minds then why would be even be having this conversation? We would literally "know" each others thought by merely having them. This is why I argue that plural shared 1p is a weakness in COMP. We have to have disjointness at least.



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