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Stimulate Your Possibly Simulated Mind

 

It’s refreshing to know that as a child my imagination was for me an early link to post-humanism. I would play with my doll house and wonder if they really thought they were living their own lives. It would go deeper into, did I think I was living my own life. Was their some much bigger force, like me manipulating the dolls, controlling everything that happened around me? Some may argue that this force is religious, but we can go as far to think of a current post-human state. Dreaming is another aspect of life that always fascinated me and could further link us to this state. How the mind can create worlds both familiar and unfamiliar is fascinating. How I could have the same dream, and later learn to control its outcome once the realm became familiar to me, almost like a level in a video game. One would wake up so puzzled and intrigued with the power the mind possessed and the world in which one awoke into. If the suspension of reality made the dream feel real temporarily, who’s to say this current state is any less illusory? What sense is it that helps us recognize the difference between dreaming and waking up? Nick Bostrom goes as far to compare our minds to a computer, “Memory seems to be a no more stringent constraint than processing power”. Could it be that our interpretation of memory is just a processor programmed a certain way? Glitches causing us to forget some things while accurately remembering others. After all, our computers storage space is mockingly referred to as memory. So let us entertain the thought that post-humanism isn’t something to look forward to, but something responsible directly for our own existence. 

We’ve all had this dream, or so I hope for the most part. You wake up in your room with the same clothes you put on before bed. The television is on the same channel it was when you turned over and briefly shut your eyes. Everything seems normal, but something happens to let you know it isn’t. Whether it’s your ability to unconsciously remind yourself you fell asleep five minutes ago, or the dragon sitting in your living room as you pour yourself a glass of water. Something throughout the dream lets you know you’re not actually in your apartment, but some imaginary form of it with matching drapes and all. When you wake up you begin to question whether this is real life or another dream. Is real life a dream? Some dreams are so mundane you cannot help but question your reality. Ever worked a job so repetitive you can “do it in your sleep”? Anyone who has worked a part time job has found themselves lured into sleep and falling into the routine of checking people out at a register or mopping up the spill in aisle three. Could we be living in a simulated world? After all, we find so much entertainment in our own versions of simulations such as movies and video games. Who’s to say our own existence doesn’t stem from that same obsession in the future, and the advance technology that would be available to make a whole world of conscious beings feasible. 

In our egotism, modern day humans tend to look ahead at their possibilities and shy from the answers held in the past. Technological advances are what draw present day human’s attention the most. The latest gadgets are always being sought and in just five years the laptop I am typing on will be out shown by its latest version. One may wonder what drew the first philosopher to think of things like Ontology and the perception of reality. Even in the past reality was something that had doubt, without the modern complications of technology. Today you can go up to any teenage boy and ask if he has played the latest and most realistic game GTAV, and more chances than not you’ll get a positive answer. Ask that same adolescent if he believes his life is a video game and the reaction won’t be as welcoming. Why is it so easy for us to indulge in such realistic games and not question our own realities? Many movies have played on this theme such as “The Matrix” and “Repo-Men”. What intrigues me the most is that I doubt Parmenides was watching these films with his date when the philosophy of Ontology dawned on him. Long before simulation existed great minds were questioning the perception of reality. Now we have video games where we can play a game of golf, go to yoga, and then rob a bank all in one sitting. We then save this progress on a memory card so that when we return, we pick up right where we left off. One has to stop and ask themselves why do these things in a game when one can easily enjoy yoga in real life.

The fact that we create a memory for these simulated characters draws heavily on our own ability to remember anything. Cases of amnesia can be thought of as a clearing of the chip for the sake of the argument. How could someone possibly just forget everything they’ve ever known in an instant? Amnesia is rational to us, yet entertaining a reality where the mental recollection of one’s life is programmed is not. Are we getting a hint of the paradox here? It is not in one’s right mind to believe one to be acceptable thinking yet the other to be canceled out as science fiction. In the article Machines ‘to match man by 2029’, there is a list of challenges facing humanity. On that list is the enhancement of virtual reality. That being a priority in our future is proof that our obsession with simulation does not weaken. The nano-bots that engineer Ray Kurzweil explains are in the making will enable us to “remember things better and automatically go into full emergent virtual reality environments through the nervous system” (Briggs). This technology is deliberately wired directly into the human body, making it a part of the body. This would intertwine technology with emotion. If we can foresee this in my lifetime, one cannot dismiss the possibilities a hundred years from 2029. Possibilities that might be responsible for the lives we live today. So be sure to play by the rules in this game of life and hope the being controlling your destiny doesn’t decide to drive you off of a cliff. If you feel that your life being a simulation is impossible by modern standards, remember this, “our current computing power is negligible by post-human standards” (Bostrom).

WORKS CITED

Bostrom, Nick. “Are You Living In A Computer Simulation?” Philosophical Quarterly 53.211 (2003): 243-255. Web.

Briggs, Helen. “BBC NEWS | Americas | Machines ‘to match man by 2029’.” BBC News - Home. BBC, 16 Feb. 2008. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.

Turner, Rebecca. “The Simulation Argument.” World of Lucid Dreaming. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2013

cantstop-love:

scvlptures:

depression is when you don’t really care about anything

anxiety is when you care too much about everything

and having both is just like what

Having both is staying in bed because you don’t want to go to school and then panicking because you don’t want to fail. Having both is wanting to go see your friends so you don’t lose them all, then staying home in bed because you don’t want to make the effort. Having both is insanely hard and sucks to deal with.

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Something I have to keep reminding myself  (via shutdownthecity)

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One day I’ll wake up and be glad I did

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I don’t know what’s killing me more; talking to you or not talking to you.
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