In 2003, Philosophical Quarterly published a paper by philosopher Nick Bostrom titled "Are You Living In a Computer Simulation?" In the introduction, Bostrom argues that one (or more) of the following propositions must be 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. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.
The TED-Ed video above looks at how we might be able to run experiments to learn whether or not we are currently living in a simulation.
Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowship-winning philosopher Elizabeth Anderson recently spoke with Joe Humphreys at the Irish Times about America’s toxic obsession with by-your-bootstraps individualism, and specifically how it relates to poverty. There are plenty of impactful quotes throughout the interview, but the parts that stuck out the most to me—as an agnostic born into an Irish […]
Actor Keanu Reeves answers one of life’s greatest questions in the way only Keanu Reeves can.
“Consciousness is what allows us to be aware of both our surroundings and our own inner state.” In the first of a three part video series, “Kruzgesagt – In a Nutshell” examines “how unaware things come aware.” Stay tuned for theories of consciousness that of course may be as much about philosophy as they are […]
There’s much ado about coffee brewing methods these days, but most of us – at least on the busy weekdays – just want our morning joe to be consistent, easy, and most of all, fast. If that sounds like anyone on your Christmas list, they’re going to get a lot of mileage out of the […]
Online shopping is going to be through the roof this month, and you’d better believe that hackers know it. If you’re going to invest in a virtual private network, now is the time. Especially when Windscribe VPN is offering its own holiday discount. At their current price point, it’s well worth jumping on the paid […]
Cheap massage chairs are a common Christmas gift, but we’re willing to bet they don’t get a lot of actual use from the people who could really use a massage. We’re talking about people with deep, chronic joint pain or anyone who does a serious workout on a regular basis. For that kind of soreness, […]