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divendres, 1 de juliol de 2016

Elon Musk está equivocado. No vivimos en una simulación

El fundador de SpaceX y Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, sostiene que solo hay "una posibilidad entre miles de millones" de que vivamos de verdad y no en una simulación de computadora."En 40 años hemos pasado del 'Pong' a masivos juegos en línea con millones de jugadores simultáneos y en 3D, y cada año se mejoran. Pronto tendremos la realidad virtual, la realidad aumentada". Según Elon Musk, en un futuro "los juegos llegarán a ser indistinguibles de la realidad", lo que en su opinión no se trata de un hecho negativo. "O vamos hacia la creación de simulaciones que sean indistinguibles de la realidad, o la civilización dejará de existir".

"Una manzana simulado no puede alimentar a nadie", le responden un filósofo, Riccardo Manzotti, y un científico cognitivo, Andrew Smart:

The key question is what are simulations made of? Or, if you are more poetically inclined, what is the stuff that dreams are made of? Simulations are things that we use to talk or to think about other things. In this respect, they do not step out of Musk’s base reality. They are still base reality. They are made of the same stuff everything else is made of.

For instance, a 10-inch neoprene model of Mount Everest is still an object, albeit an object that is used to refer to a much bigger object. A flight simulator is a physical thing used to refer to real planes. A dynamic simulation on a computer of the galaxy is yet another object made of rather complex networks of electronic gates and devices cleverly connected. It is a dynamic object we use to refer to another object. But nowhere do we meet a pure simulation that is not an object.

The idea that simulations are a sort of immaterial entity that are, despite being dependent on their physical substrate, nonetheless different, is a leftover of the aforementioned belief in a higher—and possibly better—reality. It’s a belief that we have no reason to take seriously. The notion that we may mistake a simulation of the world for the world is both conceptually and empirically flawed.

Conceptually, it is a self-defeating notion—something that if taken to be truth, negates itself. In fact, if, say, simulated water might be a meaningful notion, what would it be made of? It could not be made of real stuff, because if it was, it would no longer be simulated water. However, neither could it be made of simulated stuff, because—that’s the point of being a simulation—there is no such thing as simulated stuff. All we know is physical. All we know belongs, once again, to base reality. Either way, simulated water cannot exist.

Empirically, increasing computational power will not necessarily transform the water of computer games into the wine of a full-fledged simulated world. Making bigger bows and stronger arrows will never lead to an H-Bomb. Sometimes there are conceptual gaps that cannot be bridged by incremental improvements. Living in a simulation is not like building a 1-mile-high tower, which is challenging but possible, but rather like having a planet with a certain mass and no gravity. No amount of technological progress will achieve the latter, no matter what.

Moreover, Musk’s confidence in the development of technology—that massive increases in computational power will transmogrify existing videogames into a real simulated world—is based on the confusion between the ideal notion of simulation, which does not really exist, and the actual thing a simulation is. The ideal notion of simulation is, in turn, based on the notion that there are disembodied minds or a higher level of reality over and above basic reality. This is highly questionable.
Leer en Motherboard el artículo completo.

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