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Credit: Teun Hocks.

Reality is not a simulation, and you do have to care about other people

The alt-right's intellectual firepower comes in part from a Thiel-funded Silicon Valley think-tank that has promoted the idea that reality is a simulation run by ultra-powerful computers from the future. After all, if reality's a simulation, why bother worrying about homelessness?

The best article about the Machine Intelligence Research Institute is "Come With Us If You Want to Live," which nails through live reporting exactly how nihilistic the rationality fetish can get.

But the whole notion is sophomoric stonerism. Computers don't have access to a higher reality: "Empirically, increasing computational power will not necessarily transform the water of computer games into the wine of a full-fledged simulated world."

Nov 22, 2016

Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman propounds conscious realism, which avoids quantum physics' difficulty with one reality beheld by many observers to basically argue that we all do share in some world, but the reality we know is just an evolutionarily useful fiction.

From the video: "The desktop doesn't exist to display the reality of the computer. It is there to hide that reality. You don't want to know about the diodes and resisters and all the megabytes of software. If you had to think about that you could never write your text file or edit your photo. Evolution has given us an interface that hides reality and guides adaptive behavior. Space and time are your desktop. Physical items are simply icons on that desktop." 

We don’t recognize advanced life because it forms an integral and unsuspicious part of what we’ve considered to be the natural world.

Caleb Scharf: What if life itself is part of the fabric of reality?
↩︎ Nautilus
Nov 22, 2016

Our production of the world, our interpretation of it, what we've been told to experience and what we've been told we have to do, both bore and distress me. I don't want to live in someone else's dream.

Poet Alice Notley draws from unreality, "where nothing coheres."
↩︎ University of Arizona
Nov 22, 2016
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