Jaan Tallinn's Metaphysical Quest

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jaan Talinn - Singularity Summit 2012

Speaking at this year's Singularity Summit, Jaan Tallinn, creator of Skype and Kazaa, narrates a story that explores the notion of existing in multiple places simultaneously, the multiverse and the possibility we are living in a simulation of the computronium.
During his time at this year's Singularity Summit, Jaan Talinn took the opportunity to reflect on how he came to realize that the concepts of the Singularity were truly mind blowing to him when he first came across them.

Talinn starts his talk by saying that in recent years his mind was blown twice, first by the realization that the entire universe might transform as a result of the technology of the Singularity, and second the thought that the Singularity might not be as transformative if his model of the universe were different.  He structures his talk around the possibilities of hard take-off scenarios in the form of a story aided by outstanding cartoons from an unnamed Estonian artist.

Drawing on the work of Michael Vassar, Eliezer Yudkowsky, Nick Bostrom, Max Tegmark, Carl Shulman, Justin Shovelain and others, Taalin ventures forth on his metaphysical discussion.

Tallinn's goes on to present an anthropic argument for our apparently unusual position at the cusp of the Singularity. If post-Singularity super intelligent AIs or augmented people across causally disconnected parts of the multiverse are trying to communicate with each other by mutual simulation, then they might simulate the entire history of the universe from the Big Bang to find the other super intelligences. According to this argument, We ourselves may be part of a simulated multiverse.

Today, we run many simulations in our world. Similarly, says Nick Bostrom, our descendants are likely to be running many simulations of our universe: A multiverse.

the multiverse

The idea of the universe/multiverse as computation is still philosophically controversial, but if we live in a simulation, then our universe is indeed a computational simulation, possibly just another part of the computronium.

If we are just living in a simulation should that make us go crazy?  Talin says no and gives two reasons.  The first is that our actions still have consequences, and these might even influence the simulators.  The second was first posed by Michael Vassar - if you think you are Napoleon, and everyone that thinks this way is in a mental institution, you should still act like Napoleon, because if you are, your actions matter a lot.

In his talk, Talinn references this simulation of the universe:

SOURCE  Singularity Summit on FORA TV

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