You have to simulate a smaller or more coarse-grained universe than the one you're in.

Possibly a stupid question, but wouldn't a simulation of N human minds be feasible even if a simulation of a universe with N human minds is not?

I'm not sure where you're going with this. We clearly have a universe, although it's possible that it's being simulated at lower detail than it appears. If you had a universe simulating itself, you'd have to simulate N minds, the computer, and the rest of the universe. The computer also simulates N minds, the computer, and the rest of the universe, so in order for it to work correctly, it needs to be simulated at the same detail as the N minds, the computer, and the rest of the universe combined. It's one thing to simulate the computer to the same detail as everything else combined, but you have to do it including the computer. You're simulating N minds an infinite number of times.

Open thread, Dec. 15 - Dec. 21, 2014

by Gondolinian 1 min read15th Dec 2014309 comments

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