Nick Bostrom’s Simulation and the Buddha’s Programmer

 
zombieinjeans
 
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zombieinjeans
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03 May 2017 21:44
 

I was talking with a friend earlier today and we started laughing about something that I felt I needed to share. If the simulation argument is true, I wonder what the programmers thought of the Buddha? I mean how would that even have looked in the code? Whatever post-human teenager bought this online computer game and had the Buddha as a character, they are still chillin’ at the top of the leader boards. Either that, or when the Buddha came around he was calling tech support :p

 
 
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zombieinjeans
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05 May 2017 23:49
 

Damn, tough crowd…lol

 
 
sojourner
 
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sojourner
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06 May 2017 18:20
 

Well, I think it’s like… from that point of view (if you’re proposing he’s basically a video game-esque character and not a source of true enlightenment), why would he have stood out all that much, compared to all the other billions and billions of crazy characters they created? Or, if he did realize enlightenment via a complex algorithm, the simulation part of it becomes weirdly unimportant. I mean he concluded that samsara and all impermanent things are like illusions anyhow, and that would have applied just as much to the original ‘programmers’ as to him, the ‘programmed’ (if you think of causality as the ‘programmer’, this is more or less how we already understand the story, actually.)


I dunno. I go through phases of seeing spirituality (including Buddhism) as transcendental voyage; deep philosophy; and set of practical life hacks. As it’s spring and I am wheezing and unbelievably exhausted as I wade through life under a sea of smog and pollen, I’m leaning much towards the third at this point (If you ever notice this in your own ‘practice’, I find doing a daily meditation on equanimity and ‘joyful effort’ helps, btw. Noticing the dozens of small acts one performs in the service of others every day, even if it’s just filling the cats dish with food or smiling and letting another shopper go first or resisting the urge to serve me and the hubs a bag of Doritos for dinner because I am so ready to faceplant on the couch when I get home that even tearing open the Doritos seems like it would require heroic effort. Somehow finding joy in doing a little less makes it more possible to do a little more, even when exhausted.) So at the moment my thought is that it doesn’t matter if the Buddha was a primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary, quinary, senary, septenary, octonary, nonary, or denary level creation of determinism (maybe the teenager programmer was made by another teenage programmer who…) but I may give more thought to it when I am in a more poetic musey mood, ha ha! It is an interesting idea.

[ Edited: 06 May 2017 18:24 by sojourner]
 
 
zombieinjeans
 
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zombieinjeans
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06 May 2017 18:41
 

Hahaha yes, although the video game wasn’t really meant to be much more than humorous, the fact is that the Buddha would have had to be some form of code (in the simulation theory of course), I just think it’s so interesting to think about what that code would have looked like. A simulated consciousness that was able to turn itself inward to the point that it actually deleted lines of it’s own code (the 10 fetters), and freed itself from the program as you said. I wonder though what that would mean, preventing his lines of code from ever being recycled again? Deleting his code entirely? I realize that thinking about this serves no pragmatic purpose at all, but what’s the point if you can’t keep a sense of humor with it all, why be wound so tightly? I quite enjoy these Frankenstein-esque combinations of theories and ideas. Besides, who knows, I would love to find out how many times someone came up with a legitimately wonderfully genius idea just because they were speaking about it for the lulz.

 
 
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07 May 2017 07:01
 
zombieinjeans - 06 May 2017 06:41 PM

Hahaha yes, although the video game wasn’t really meant to be much more than humorous, the fact is that the Buddha would have had to be some form of code (in the simulation theory of course), I just think it’s so interesting to think about what that code would have looked like. A simulated consciousness that was able to turn itself inward to the point that it actually deleted lines of it’s own code (the 10 fetters), and freed itself from the program as you said. I wonder though what that would mean, preventing his lines of code from ever being recycled again? Deleting his code entirely?


If you think of determinism as self-programming, this is not so far off from the way we already understand the story! Kinda crazy, huh?

I realize that thinking about this serves no pragmatic purpose at all, but what’s the point if you can’t keep a sense of humor with it all, why be wound so tightly?


Ha ha, yeah, on my most humorless days I try to remind the words of Nelly Furtado - “When there’s no time for joking, there’s a hole in the plan”. Tis true.