Re: virus: Re:virtuality
Mon, 30 Dec 96 10:19:24 GMT

> We may becoming more and more immersed in a virtual reality,
> but what where are we coming from and going to? The cup is
> not half-empty nor is it half-full. It is completely full. It is just that
> half of it is water and the other half is air. If we are being immersed
> in water, and water is virtual reality, what does the air represent then?

A "real" world, or a previous "virtual reality".

> If we can know both sides of the coin, so to speak, then we have a
> reference point by which we can distinguish what is virtual and what
> is real.

Here lies the root of all problems with this thread. Can we ever
distinguish (I know we've had this idea before, so I won't go into it)?
Probably not.

> > Just suppose that we do live in a virtual world, wouldn't that explain why
> > there are mathematical formulas that dictate what happens around us?
> Mathematical formulas do not dictate what happens around us. They
> are symbolic descriptions *derived* from what happens around us. And
> that is why they aren't completely accurate descriptions of reality.

OK, point taken. *But*, if we build these formulas of the world around
us, we can describe what's going on, and how things will react. Then,
if we are to tell a computer that X is the formula for action Y, and A is
the formula for action B (I'm thinking on quite a large scale at the moment,
more cosmic, but it also applies to a molecular level), then when those
actions are due to happen, because of an interaction with event C or
whatever you like to call it, then the computer executes the command
and produces an outcome which then causes events D, E, F, G, etc to
occur. This outcome, is interpreted in the "virtual" world as something
like (For example) the earth orbiting the sun. All it is, though, is a
mathematical computer model. It does not matter, WRT the outcome whether
the symbolism is the same or not.

> > > They are all just questions about reality and not descriptions of reality.
> We can ask as many questions as we want but the questions don't mean
> anything if the questions are not relevant to the subject on hand. Let's not
> ask questions at all even, let's just describe reality first as it is and then
> draw conclusions (instead of the other way around).

Surely the describing of reality will throw up a lot of sub-questions which
will need to be answered before a final definition can be reached.
Nonetheless, I'll throw in a poor definition of reality (without using
a dictionary for the simple fact that I don't have one to hand), for
us to disect:


1) The actual presence of an observer's surroundings
2) The percieved world in which an observer exists
3) That which exists (!)

Bad, I know, but I did just make them up. Already I see problems, but I
want to see what other people have got to say.

> That was the entire point I was trying to make to John. We can ask questions
> that have no answer or we are not sure about, and then turn around and
> act like we really proved something by asking a question we can't answer.

Isn't that what philosophy is all about? :)

> We haven't proven anything. But when you describe reality, you start to
> see things more as they really are and not what they might be.

But defining reality could be a bigger problem than anticipated.

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