Just a few questions for some of you:

  • Running simulations with sentient beings is generally accepted as bad here at LW; yes or no?

  • If you assign a high probability of reality being simulated, does it follow that most people with our experiences are simulated sentient beings?

I don't have an opinion yet, but I find the combination of answering yes to both questions, extremely unsettling. It's like the whole universe conspires against your values. Surprisingly, each idea encountered by itself doesn't seem to too bad. It's when simultaneously being against simulation of sentience beings and believing that most sentient beings are probably simulated, that really makes it disturbing.

What's bad about running simulations with sentient beings? (Nonperson Predicates is about inadvertently running simulations with sentient beings and then killing them because you're done with the simulation.)

1Luke_A_Somers7y1 - Depends what you mean by simulation - maintaining ems who think they're in meat bodies? That's dishonest at least, but I could see cases for certain special cases being a net good. Creating a digital pocket universe? That's inefficient, but that inefficiency could end up being irrelevant. Any way you come at it, the same usual ethics regarding creating people apply, and those generally boil down to 'it's a big responsibility' (cf. pregnancy) 2 - I don't, but if you think so, then obviously yes. I mean, unless you think reality contains even more copies of us than the simulation. That seems a bit of a stretch.

Open thread, August 12-18, 2013

by David_Gerard 1 min read12th Aug 2013125 comments


If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post (even in Discussion), then it goes here.