Re: virus: Re:virtuality
Mon, 30 Dec 96 09:51:05 GMT

Alex Williams wrote:

> wrote:
> > If there were no way of distinguishing between the real and the virtual
> > world (which I think we decided there isn't, but I missed most of that
> > thread, so feel free to correct me), then it has no effect of the meme
> > structures that are already in place, *but* if there is a possible way to
> > tell if we are in a virtual world at the moment, then I think it would
> > have massive implications on memes.
> However, as I just posted, that impact would be forward-propogative, it
> wouldn't have /real/ bearing on your perceptions or existance until
> then.
> As a gedanken experiment, /what if/ you were convinced that all
> existance is virtual, but you're wrong?

That would be a terrible situation to be in. To commit any act which relied
on the world being virtual would be the biggest gamble of your "life" :)
I would, personally, be incapable of such an action. The only point at
which the meme-structure would be altered by the existance of this
virtual world would be if there were conclusive proof that it does exist
and that the "real" world is in no way affected by actions inside this

> How does that differ from any
> other class of delusion? What if you're right, but no one else believes
> you save a small number and you start the Church of the Virtual?

As I said, there would have to be proof. I wouldn't have "faith" in
something unless there were good reasons for doing so, those being the
conclusive proof that I am correct.

> Maybe there's a meme keeping /you/ from going out and killing people
> wantonly, but ... Oops, almost gave away too much, there.


> What /if/ all reality is virtual and all the humans surrounding you are
> just people that put in their `virtual quarter' and get to `play out the
> game of Life,' until they're either killed or die of old age. Further,
> what if all the suffering and pain they feel is `real' in that when
> /you/ hurt you know you feel it, so why shouldn't they?

But what is pain? Pain isn't dangerous, it's a life saving mechanism.
IT's merely a firing of nerves and neurons which you interpret as pain.
It's the physical damage that pain is caused by which is dangerous,
and without pain many serious injuries my be ignored. If the pain is
real, but the damage is not, then it does not make any difference to the
alteration of the meme-structure.

> Would that
> `change the rules' enough for you to go around gunning people down,
> indiscriminately?

I wouldn't gun people down ... pass me the mincing machine ....

> What if the Christian extremist sects are right, the same ones that led
> to people going into abortion clinics and shooting pregnant women dead
> before they could damn their souls to Hell by commiting murder? Doesn't
> saving someone from eternal torment `change the rules'? Can you prove
> its /not/ the case?

That's all based on faith though, and I could not act under such circumstances.

I think I should make clear at this point that I do not necessarily believe
that we live in a virtual world, only that *if* we did, then this is
what I /think/ would happen.

Richard Jones "We are the New Breed We are the Future."