Basic background for those who've been following the ApostaSee broadcast discussion thread; but might also be newbies, or unfamiliar with the line of reasoning involved:
http://web.stanford.edu/class/symbsys20 ... eview.html
I prefer to call it an argument, rather than a legitimate formal "hypothesis", because I suspect it cannot pass the bars of "well formulated" or "falsifiable".
In other words, can it really be tested and subjected to a rigorous standard of reproducible results? Not always.
It reminds me a bit of the conflict between those who accepted the experimental results of Pavlov and his dogs as "settled science", versus those who simply explained his results as the repeatable consequences of torturing the dogs to insanity.
Would it explain anything more about animal "nature" or human behavior?
One thing useful out of the "Simulation Argument", that we may all profit from, is that it yields measurable or easily estimated probabilities; if not absolute certainties.
We all know how a shitty 4th generation FAX printout reflects simulation.
Or a troop of amateur actors playing out civil war battles, in period costume with period weapons.
Or whether a simulation can be implemented so "real" that genuine hazard might be involved as well; like with the super physical stunts of old Hollywood blockbusters, or Vince & Linda McMahons stable of acrobats.
But can we ALWAYS tell the difference? Probably not.
We will never know what the authentic "original" might have looked like, if it truly was a helicopter crash; versus one "simulated" for TV or the movies.
Any 1st generation FAX printout, would be a no-brainer.
So why did the following pass muster for the masses???
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQtSa-TZ ... re=related
I could spend the rest of my life pondering that one.
When it's only a generation or two, raised on TV and movie "reality".
Like "Pavlov's dogs"; trained with ringing bells, screeching whistles and flashing images on a screen.
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