Apparently it's logical

Humans today are apparently trapped in a virtual world, an environment created by advanced "posthumans," according to this story in the NY Times today.

"My gut feeling is that the odds are better than 20 percent, maybe better than even. I think it’s highly likely that civilization could endure to produce those supercomputers. And if owners of the computers were anything like the millions of people immersed in virtual worlds like Second Life, SimCity and World of Warcraft, they’d be running simulations just to get a chance to control history — or maybe give themselves virtual roles as Cleopatra or Napoleon.

It’s unsettling to think of the world being run by a futuristic computer geek, although we might at last dispose of that of classic theological question: How could God allow so much evil in the world? For the same reason there are plagues and earthquakes and battles in games like World of Warcraft. Peace is boring, Dude."


Anonymous said...

You might be interested in this essay on the subject: The Simulation Argument.

Also, check out some Philip K. Dick books, if you haven't already. He's my favorite scifi author, and I've read at least a good third of his stuff. (He was rather prolific, so there are, like, a few dozen novels and about eighty short stories. Hard to work through the whole library, but I'm trying.) I'd still like to get my hands on his 8,000+-page Exegesis one of these days. Anyway, he was pretty much the first scifi author to really get into the "simulated world" theme. (Well, there's Bradbury, sort of, but with Dick it became almost an obsession.) You might also be interested in a lot of the religious overtones in his works. He wrote a lot about Christianity and Gnosticism, in a very interesting and rather unique way. I think you'd really enjoy it.

My favorites of his books are VALIS, The Divine Invasion, Ubik, A Scanner Darkly, The Simulacra, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, and The Man in The High Castle. So far, at least.

I'm also working on some short stories on the subject. I'll have to let you know if/when I ever finish them, if you're interested.

Glad to see you're blogging again.

Isaac, The Rookie said...

Thanks, it's good to be back! And thanks for the sources-- I'll be checking those out.

Anonymous said...

Great. I really do hope you check out Dick -- his themes have become pretty ubiquitous throughout scifi, and he was really well-informed with regard to philosophy and theological history and such. Keep us posted as to what you think, if you do end up reading some.