David Chalmers interview: Virtual reality is as real as real reality

The odds that we are all living in a simulation are quite high. What’s more, we can never prove that we are not.

Virtual Reality, Mind

1/27/2022 8:51:00 PM

The odds that we are all living in a simulation are quite high. What’s more, we can never prove that we are not.

Philosopher David Chalmers explains how virtual worlds shed light on questions such as what is reality and are we living in a simulation, and explores what corporate metaverses mean for humanity

. In 1994, at the age of just 28, he coined the phrase “the hard problem of consciousness” to describe the seemingly intractable problem of subjective felt experience – why there is something it is like to be you. Two years later, he developed the concept of “zombie” thought experiments – using theoretical agents identical to us in behaviour and outward experience but with no inner life – in an attempt to tease out the nature of conscious experience.

In 1998, Chalmers struck afamous bet with neuroscientist Christof Koch that we wouldn’t discover a distinctive signature

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When is a fact not a fact? When it is claimed to be the explanation of our explanations. (David Chalmers: Virtual reality is as real as real reality) And then there is that pesky biology problem. Verdade. Poucos mostram quem são de verdade e usam a realidade para criar personagens avatar e quando não conseguem sustentar se matam. A brincadeira nas redes vai te matar. Tudo criação feita pelo homem vc tem que saber usar da maneira correta. Tolos é irresponsáveis adoradores

Perhaps we are really just photons in somebody’s vertial reality game. No. It's a fantasy that's sounds more like a religious myth backed by the same nonsensical argument 'You can't disprove it.' The matrix began many centuries ago. The difference now, it's digitised! He can't prove this 'as real as either'. I call bullshit. Also consider, if you're dreaming, you most often don't know this, only maybe later. But if you're awake, in general you know. It's same with solipsism. You can't prove to ys there are other people. Still..

With what we know now perhaps not ! If we're living in a simulation, I think we've all experienced a cumulative up-date over the last two years and we've installed Version 1.1. The restart should sort it all out 🔁 'It's simulations all the way down' This is why I stopped subscribing....sad to see it rebrand itself over several years as a competitor to Fortean times!

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Pascal-as-Tech-Bro Sad news As Richard Feynman would say 'It's simulations all the way down' 😳 I concur Forgetting Occam’s razor taken to its illogical conclusion. Somebody needs to turn off and on again! It’s crashed. Maybe run a virus scan before restarting it. So aliens could be visiting us but unable to see us. They may only see our planet like mars (empty and dust). Mars might be a simulation that we can’t see due us not having the correct bio mechanisms in our eye👁.

'We can never prove that we are not'. Well shoot, if I'm not getting the high score this month, then we are NOT in a simulation, dig? I liked Iain M Banks thoughts on this - basically coming down to fidelity at ultra high resolution examination of our reality combined with musings on theoretical limits for information density.

In realms of theory we can never prove that our theory is, irrefutably, the one.

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If it's possible, it's certain. But is it possible? Dear MPs. This feels like the human body radio. It is Weird. Scared. Unnatural. And Dangerous! DanielAndrewsMP ScottMorrisonMP SpokespersonCHN iingwen VictorianCHO Any believers in this nonsense would claim that criminals are more likely to be innocent of their crimes & that all was really an illusion

It is not high or anything, it is basically zero, that's just creationist pseudoscience. People fight tooth & nail to support the Great Simulation idea but resist just as virulently the idea that God in His Providence watches over each one of us. It's almost as if, given the choice, they'd rather opt for Descartes' Evil Demon controlling them than Jesus loving them.

Saying it’s likely makes no sense. If we’re inside a simulation our evidence and logic all exist within the simulation so we can’t know anything about the real world. Could equally argue we’re living inside a unicorn’s fart. Ever heard of Occam’s razor?! We're not sure what lies at the bottom of a black hole but we do know for sure what's at the bottom of this rabbit hole - the intersection of philosophy, religion, and mysticism. Unknowable, untestable, unfalsifiable.

It could be a simulation but at the same time if someone dies, there is no restart. We are simulating our evolution with computers. I think that Machine Learning and Neural Networks are important for us to understand how we humans function.

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Well with Putin, Trump and Johnson In existence I can well believe it. I read that yesterday in my copy that landed on the doormat on Friday. Interesting article. We have no way of knowing if the Universe is a simulation or not. We have no way of calculating odds for either case. All we know about the Universe is what we can reliably observe of it; we are forever ignorant of that we can't observe.

Am I dreaming you, or are you dreaming me? We can't prove either, either. (Do I get to be in New Scientist now?) Oh come on. Really? That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Well if your life goes around pleasing and sharing with other people, then it's confusing to some. People did great before internet, but only a handful use it to learn and have easy access to some useful information. Rest just argue over useless information.

No matter how perfect, a simulation is bound to go wrong due to so many 'objects' being dealt with in a single instance. Chaos (systemic anomalies) should rule, at least occasionally. It doesn't, hence, simulation unlikely. His questions arise from using natural languages, e.g. English. Mathematics, on the other hand, as the language of science, doesn't allow for such 'language goes on holiday', we're sure of reality. One such reality is the smartphone that he holds, which is a product of 300 years

It isn’t a “simulation”. It is a universe surrounded by infinite universes. The “multiverse”.

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Let’s say we are living in a simulation. How does that change the way you live your life? Are you going to do things you otherwise would not do and say, ‘Well fuck it, it’s just a simulation!’? Jesus Christ new scientist not on a Monday Simulation stimulation, for the won’t of a T a dream was born you can prove that we are not living in a simulation.

Surely of interest for Floridi 😊 ... and maybe for GiovanniFanfoni Wow cool, you just fucking make me dissociate, thanks /s Who the fuck shares something like this w that phrasing, as an official science news org? Remember The Sims? Computer screen is real, you are not, you mean?🙄 We can never prove that dragons do not exist but it doesn’t mean that dragons exist.

Is this Science or Philosophy?

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Of course we can. As made obvious from previous DES sessions, there has to be a natural limit to DES capabilities when using Type5 methodologies. If the universe is an environmental simulation then it'll still be impossible to corrupt a Data-Engine. Where do I get the cheat codes? But whom or what controls the simulation?

'The odds that we are all living in a simulation are quite high.' No, they're not. By using quantum computing we create big bangs for that data to exist within to carry out simulations to solve certain problems. We live in one so we're just deepening the well TheSamKhater John Paulson made some great calls during the financial crisis but after that he too went to seed

This has been answered long ago. The odds we’re living in a “video game” are zero. We can also never prove that we are not living in a video game. To suppose something is true because we can’t prove otherwise is weird logic.

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ufotwitter It's more likely than not, and it would explain a whole lot. What’s the difference anyway Moving on. Go cure cancer or something important. Is expressed as a sophism but could be more real as the reality itself. So, being matter of a human perception -and we do not have another one- the only way to learn that is to ask any other entity living next to us (dog, cat, alligator, or any plant) how they see us.

The more i read on quantum physics, the more it's a possibility. I’m not sure how that calculation can be made. An odds calculation with such a prediction must be inputting a lot of conjecture. I’d read the story if it weren’t behind a pay wall… One might argue that everyone simulates their own reality, regardless of living inside one or not.

Isn't that the ultimate philosopher power-move? theory that can never be disproved massive, slow motion stroke of the chin I want a word with the programmers, please … The question is that if all this is actually a simulation, are we really 'living'.

Choose the red pill Interesting. I wonder, what would it look like if we weren't in a simulation, and if there is also a story to be told about the evolution of the Intelligent Design meme? 🥲 Or earth isn't the ultimate place...it doesn't have to be a 'simulation'...I think anyone who thinks they have it figured out is arrogant. There's a high chance, we as humans don't have the capacity to understand it...and that's why we make up terms like 'simulation'

Old himall Buddhism teaches us all of our life is Virtual Reality. We can explain it by physics as follows, The odds are pretty high we live on a little speck that's sitting on a flower that Horton is carrying around. We can never prove or disproves this. Cogito, ergo sum, and all that. Dumb How do I level up?

Enough of dragging philosophy into science. We are all sick of this crap. Try ego death, come back from it and see the truth. This is stoned teenager philosophy. You can't prove many negatives. And the idea of simulation as reality is just rhetoric based on a whole chain of assumptions. How did you calculate those 'odds'?

I really don't like articles like this! I need to believe I'm real. Come off do you really believe in this crapster reality , this must be programmed.

David Chalmers has long made waves in the world of consciousness . In 1994, at the age of just 28, he coined the phrase “the hard problem of consciousness” to describe the seemingly intractable problem of subjective felt experience – why there is something it is like to be you. Two years later, he developed the concept of “zombie” thought experiments – using theoretical agents identical to us in behaviour and outward experience but with no inner life – in an attempt to tease out the nature of conscious experience. In 1998, Chalmers struck a famous bet with neuroscientist Christof Koch that we wouldn’t discover a distinctive signature , or “neural correlate” of consciousness, within 25 years. Although we now understand a lot more about the links between brain activity and consciousness, with little more than a year to go, Chalmers is quietly confident he will win that bet. He thinks consciousness can’t be reduced to a brain process. He has speculated that it is a