Sleepless Nights & The Simulated Environment

I’ve been running on little sleep all week. I can’t manage to take a nap, one of the things I can usually do at any point in the day, and I’ve had some trouble going to sleep late at night. I think it’s just the stress of mid-terms and the excitement of my Halo 2 LAN Party Friday night. My professors are spreading out my papers and mid-term exams enough to give me time to study, but not enough to keep me from getting stressed.

After this week, I won’t be quite as bogged down. I have a mid-term next Wednesday, but it shouldn’t be too tough. Plus, I have a Photojournalism project due Monday, and I will be taking the pictures for it tomorrow night at the Lee County Fair.

But, enough about school already. I get plenty of that the rest of the day. Now is a time for quiet reflection. The sad, honest truth is that my reflections tend to lean toward talk of school.

Thinking of school, I was reading over my notes for my test in Technology, Literacy, & Culture, and I remembered I wanted to look up an argument by Nick Bostrom. Nick Bostrom argues in his paper, “Are You Living In A Computer Simulation?”

…that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation.

To sum it up, Bostrom argues that we either will never have the technology to simulate our environment or that we are definitely living in a simulated environment at this moment.

It’s kind of an interesting theory. I haven’t read the paper yet, but we discussed this argument in class in relation to one of Philip K. Dick’s stories, “Precious Artifact.” It’s something to really think over. Could we be living in a simulated enviroment? Think Matrix all over again.

Anyway, that’s the best I got for tonight. Maybe when I get around to reading the paper, I’ll have something worth blogging about.