Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

How do you prove that something is NOT?

It’s relatively easy to prove that planet Earth is not flat (eg, plane, spaceship). However, how do we prove that we are not living in a (computer) simulation? Also see this Nautilus article. Actor Jim Carrey did not realize he was living in a simulation (ie, The Truman Show) until he noticed some cracks (eg, my 2017 blog).

I was reminded of this phenomenon, called evidence of absence, when I watched the new Jack Reacher TV series on Amazon Prime Video. When accused, how do you prove that you did not commit a murder? This issue becomes relevant when the police adopts a tunnel vision (eg, my blogs).

Evidence of absence is evidence of any kind that suggests something is missing or that it does not exist. What counts as evidence of absence has been a subject of debate between scientists and philosophers. It is often distinguished from absence of evidence. Evidence of absence and absence of evidence are similar but distinct concepts.” Wikipedia

The problem with any simulation is that it is – by definition – an imitation of its original. Hence, there should be no differences. Only imperfect simulations would reveal flaws between the original and its imitation.

The above shows the various kinds of truth, as defined by the philosopher Karl Popper (1902-1994):

  1. Absolute truth: we may never be able to evidence this truth (eg, “we are (not) living in a simulation”);
  2. Objective truth: also known as (verifiable) facts (eg, planet Earth is not flat);
  3. Subjective truth: also known as beliefs or opinions or “known unknowns” (eg, simulation hypothesis).

In 2003, philosopher Nick Bostrom “proposed a trilemma that he called “the simulation argument”. [] Bostrom’s trilemma argues that one of three unlikely-seeming propositions is almost certainly true”:

  1. “The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage (that is, one capable of running high-fidelity ancestor simulations) is very close to zero”, or
  2. “The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running simulations of their evolutionary history, or variations thereof, is very close to zero”, or
  3. “The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one.”
    Source: Wikipedia

Contrary to Nick Bostrom, his second argument is much more likely than his third. Moreover, the second argument is near-reality as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is building humanoids (eg, arxiv, IEEE, Futurism, MIT-news, video). In my view, humanoid sapiens is the successor of homo sapiens.

In and of itself, I agree with Bostrom’s trilemma albeit that I use different probabilities (ie, zero, one, zero).

The Real Me (2020) by Zero One Zero
artists, facebook, no lyrics found, video, no Wikipedia

Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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