Re: virus: Fundamentals

John A (
Thu, 28 Mar 1996 21:58:42 -0600

Marek wrote:

> a) To what extent would you/we feel bound by our logic in dealing
> with the creatures we programmed? (I venture to suggest, that this
> being an 'experimental' program, we might want to create a multitude
> of such cpu-run universes, and act differently on each; use pure
> logic on one, while drown another in absurd. Naturally, I am
> avoiding here all matters of [im]morality of such experiments.)
> b) Would you, would we choose to communicate to them our existence
> and their own genesis? Would we stop them from doing too much evil,
> or interefere via "miracles"?
> c) Crux of the matter... Equipped with enough know-how to be able
> to create such simulations as this, we could also "append" to it
> another part of the program - the 'afterlife'. We would be in a
> position to 'reward' or 'punish' the living, reasoning, feeling
> creatures if we chose to do so. To them omniscient, we could
> select those that, say, adhered to whatever forms of spiritual
> belief they may have originated, and "pipe" them into the
> "heaven" computer, while sending others the the "hell" machine.
> Or would we reward logic, punish mysticism? Would we, most of
> all, feel under any obligation to the creatures we created?
> And what if such simulations were bought as Christmas gifts
> for kids to play with, much as today flight simulation
> games are?
> That is to say, I don't feel God is under any obligation to
> be - in our sense of the word - logical, or orderly.

Such a simulated universe would have certain implications about it that
were not discussed in this letter. First of all, such a computer program
would have a defined set of algorithms, known in the virtual world as
physical laws. The user (Us) of the program could only manipulate these
algorithms, not intervene in subjective instances, for the following
a.) Our "divine intervention" in a particualr case would require the
restructuring of all involved algorithms, possibly even the
reprogramming of the entire universe, and then restoring the original
program after our intervention. This would take a considerable amount of
time. If the beings in this simulated universe's thinking abilities
equalled that of humans, they would notice the laws of physics changing
and therefore could not be logical beings, in which case the programmed
universe would no longer be a simulation. If we were to do this, then
the virtual universe would not be logical, and therefore not a
simulation of our own, because our universe is logical.


b.) The user of this software (The "god" of the virtual universe) must
be aware of every event that occurs in this universe, as well as every
past event and perhaps all possible future events. Even if a human had
the time for an undertaking such as this, it may still be impossible.
For the human mind as we know it, anyway.

John Aten