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Comment Sony is the one I want protection from, though. (Score 1) 42

I'm not really sure what the point of this would be. I'm currently unable to purchase new games using my credit card on my PSN account, because of some undefined error I'm not allowed to know. Adding a new credit card fails. PayPal fails. Tech support tells me I've entered my information incorrectly (without telling me what information is incorrect). Basically after years of working fine and no changes from my end, Sony has decided my money is no good. So if some Russian hacker wants to walk to Walgreens to buy a PSN cash card to upload to my account to purchase me some games, well, they should just go for it.

[And Sony leaks all my information in bulk, no need to crack my login for that.]

Comment Re:When did the mother gopher die? (Score 1) 225

I didn't actually use Gopher that much, though I knew about it. My main memory of Gopher was around 1995 when I was a research student again. I was interested in such search tools, and I remember searching on usenet for relevant groups. I was actually expecting a different one to be more important, though now I can't even remember what that system was called.

Possibly WAIS and Z39.50.


Comment Your computer changes after you turn it off! (Score 4, Funny) 62

Sometimes, after you turn your computer off, activity does not immediately cease! There are various thermal adjustments which continue to happen for hours after power down! Sometimes random electrical signals can be sent for no apparent reason!

Seriously, the human body is a complicated chemical plant without centralized control. Some stuff keeps happening. Other stuff doesn't. Big deal.

Comment Re:Flaw in the argument ... (Score 1) 951

When you think about it, there's a lot that's pretty fishy about our reality

  • The whole speed-of-light being a constant thing. That's just weird. Special relativity. Really ?
  • Wave/Particle duality. Yeah...
  • Quantum entanglement. Uh-huh ?
  • ...

Speed of light being non-constant is less weird? How about pi, is that being a constant weird?

With wave/particle duality and quantum entanglement, we understand them well enough to engineer useful consumer products based on them. What we don't understand is _why_ they are that way. But why is that evidence of anything? Complicated systems are complicated. Given current technology we can generate machine-learning systems which can successfully play at a high level in Go, but that doesn't mean we understand _how_ they manage this. That doesn't mean that they can't do it, and it doesn't mean that there's automatically magic involved. It just means that we have limits to our understanding.

Comment Re:I guess he's never worked on hardware or softwa (Score 1) 951

General relativity is a workaround/bugfix that preserves the old behaviour.

Is your argument that before Einstein formulated general relativity, the universe worked differently?

A bugfix would be where a creator changed something, not where the contents of the simulation changed their understanding of things.

Comment Re:I guess he's never worked on hardware or softwa (Score 1) 951

Singularities could be a bug.

Singularities are a feature, because it is generally agreed that they work pretty much the same wherever they exist throughout the universe. A bug would be if you could prove that one super-massive black hole was a singularity, but another was _not_ a singularity.

Comment Re:I guess he's never worked on hardware or softwa (Score 1) 951

How many bugs have we seen in reality?

Given the percentage of a population that are about to vote for someone who's running on a platform of building a wall around the country, I'd say the bugs are in the 100s of millions :)

They all arrived at their decisions using the same underlying systems of operation. Just because one chaotic system has different emergent properties than another doesn't make it a bug.

Comment Re:I guess he's never worked on hardware or softwa (Score 1) 951

Yeah, but what if bugs are the result of living in simulation? What if "base reality" is so much more such that it is possible for mathematics to be both complete and correct and has solutions for the halting problem? That would actually make it possible to eradicate all bugs in a system.

That's way out there. Once you have that, just ask the question you want answered, why bother with a simulation at all?

Also, the incompatibility between Einsteinian, classical and quantum physics is a pretty big "discrepancy" in the universe, and there may be more exotic physics to be found to explain Dark Matter and Energy.

This applies equally to all reality, though, so it's not a bug, it's a feature. Just because your user cannot understand a feature doesn't mean you didn't intend it to work that way. A bug is a thing that the creators of the software don't understand and didn't intend, and invariably you have a ton of bugs which don't happen uniformly, and thus are really challenging to fix. Reality doesn't have those.

Comment Re:Scientology not Science (Score 1) 951

As for those that think this level of simulation is impossible, it isn't.

Without ANY bugs? Really? The only way this idea works is if you have a divine programmer who cannot make any mistakes who created the universe. This is more like scientology than science.

Whose to say there aren't bugs? As a physics major in college I could certainly be convinced many aspects of general relativity and quantum mechanics could be considered bugs. Nothing can move faster than the speed of light? Oops. Quantum entanglement and superposition? We'll fix those in version 2.5. Hopefully by version 4 we can finally get the world to run by what you call Newtonian physics with no exceptions.

If a bug happens to everyone, it's damned easy to fix. But the annoying bugs don't. For the annoying bugs, 1% of your users are having the bug, their reports seem legit, but dozens of people have tried to reproduce it and can't. So you have evidence that someone's system is breaking the rules, you just can't see it.

It would be like if you could travel faster than the speed of light, and I can see exactly what you are doing to accomplish it, but I cannot go faster than the speed of light. It would be like if you reported that electroncs were a wave, and I reported that they were a particle, but we can never figure out why. THIS IS NOT HOW REALITY WORKS. Every time, it has turned out that differing experimental results are because the experiments were different, not because reality was different.

Comment I guess he's never worked on hardware or software? (Score 3, Interesting) 951

Let's say you have a computer program with 10,000 lines of code in it. How many bugs are there? OK, 100,000 lines, are there 10x as many bugs or 12x? 1M lines? Let's say you have a 10M-line computer program, there are going to be tens or hundreds of thousands of bugs in that thing.

How many bugs have we seen in reality? I don't mean "Oh, _that's_ interesting" and later we figure out general relativity - I mean bugs, the shit bluescreens, or if you look in a certain direction, things are different. How many have we found?

AFAICT, we've found _zero_. Every time we find a discrepency in the universe, later we figure out that it wasn't a discrepency, it's how the entire universe works, and our previous understanding was simply wrong. EVERY TIME. So either the bugs self-heal and become consistent universal features, or they weren't bugs in the first place.

If the universe is a self-organizing emergent property on some very fundamental operator, then I don't see how "simulated" differs from "real". We don't write software that way. We don't build hardware that way. I don't mean a little bit, I mean AT ALL, that's entirely alien to everything in software and hardware, to the point where you might as well be talking about something else entirely.

Comment Re:Not so ridiculous (Score 4, Insightful) 408

I changed my mind after reading the article, it's not a UI issue, the car gave the user a warning on the screen, and the user had a chance to cancel. Quote:

The driver was alerted of the Summon activation with an audible chime and a pop-up message on the center touchscreen display. At this time, the driver had the opportunity to cancel the action by pressing CANCEL on the center touchscreen display; however, the CANCEL button was not clicked by the driver. In the next second, the brake pedal was released and two seconds later, the driver exited the vehicle. Three seconds after that, the driver's door was closed, and another three seconds later, Summon activated pursuant to the driver's double-press activation request.

Yeah, this guy screwed it up (although it's kind of surprising how much information Tesla collects).

So his car was damaged by auto opt-in?

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 1) 830

It still doesn't sit right with me - my skeptical gut tells me it is silly - but where is the flaw in the logic?

Why is there any reason to assign equivalent probabilities to random hypothetical cases? We have a single example of intelligent life, and all our other candidates share almost all the same genetic code, so we have no basis to even make estimates. We do anyhow, but until you have that second example, you can't tell if we're a one-in-10-light-years occurrence, once-in-a-galaxy, once-in-a-cluster, once-in-a-supercluster, or what.

Also, as of yet we have no examples of anyone successfully building a simulation capable of evolving intelligent life. It's possible that gross physical constraints on the scalability of computing will prevent us from ever managing such a simulation.

Certainly if the simulated system is smaller than the simulator and runs more slowly than the simulator's universe, then it becomes more likely that we live in a real universe. Say our universe is ~10^23 miles across, and we can build a simulator a million miles across. Say the simulator needs 1000 of our most basic reality components to simulate one sub-reality component, and the simulation runs at 1/1000 speed.

Similar thinking works WRT timeframe, can the simulator survive for long enough that the simulated universe can evolve? A factor of 1000 slowdown means that the simulator's universe is going to evolve a great deal in the time it takes the simulated universe to have humans on earth. Is it really reasonable to imagine a simulation running for that long? We can't even maintain a consistent computing system for decades.

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Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce