The Hidden Assumption in The Simulation Hypothesis

During a recent conference Elon Musk was asked by Joshua Topolsky whether he thinks we might be living in a simulation, to which he answered that the chances we are not living in a simulation is one in billions. The argument for the famous Simulation Hypothesis being true is that since we are now creating more virtual (computer simulated) worlds that are increasingly realistic and will eventually be indistinguishable from reality, those simulated worlds will out number real worlds (and we know of only one) by the billions. And so the chances we are living in virtual world made by an advanced civilization is infinitely greater than the chance we are living in the real world. Nick Bostrom Sidenote Of course originally, Nick Bostrom, who came up with the Simulation Argument (different than the Simulation Hypothesis) gave this entire idea about 30% chance of being true, as it depended on two other things being true first. That intelligent civilizations such as ourselves don’t destroy themselves somewhere around our level technological advancement. That said intelligent civilizations won’t lose interest in creating simulations But assuming those two are true, and I see little reason to think they aren’t, he proposes that the simulation theory is most likely correct. Back to Musk… Musk then asked: “Is there a flaw in that argument?” I think there is, and it is one that is either neglected to be mentioned or simply glossed over in discussions about the simulation hypothesis, but it is one that the whole concept hinges on. That is: What about consciousness? The big hidden assumption in this theory is that we... read more

Spiritual Awakening for Geeks

I recently came across Spiritual Awakening for Geeks. There is not a single word on there I don’t love. It’s the kind of thing I wish existed when I just got started.

Jacob Gotwals in his article What is Spiritual Awakening:

I started meditating in my 30s—mostly for stress reduction. Around the same time, I discovered the work of philosopher Ken Wilber. He expressed himself both in the language of science and psychology (which I was familiar with) and the language of mystical spirituality (which was new to me). His work bridged those two cultures, making a personal exploration of mysticism possible for me for the first time in my life.

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A Theory of Past Lives

I have a new theory brewing regarding a possible explanation for some spiritual/unordinary experiences, particularly visions of past lives or experiences that seem to validate their existence.

This came about in trying to resolve some of what spiritual teachers and some advanced meditators (plus plenty of new age people) claim about spiritual experiences. In it’s core it is the claim that special knowledge comes about from being advanced and having access to “higher” states of consciousness. For example, seeing other beings, other realms, experiencing psychic phenomena, and especially seeing your own or other people’s past lives.

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Draining The Bathwater

The biggest challenge I’ve had on the “spiritual” path, or the journey of discovering if there is more to us than what is externally apparent, is sorting what is true and truly valuable in this sea of teachers, teachings, spiritual circles and schools of thoughts. There are a lot of people claiming a lot of things. With not much personal experience, it is really hard to not only try make sense of it all, but to separate fact from fiction, and differentiate those who are telling the truth (as they understand it), from those who are confusing the truth (because they misunderstand it), and from those who are simply selling you bullshit.

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A Primer for LastTurtle.com

Like many others, I was born, grew up, started wondering about the world and at some point it hit me that I find myself existing in this form, in this world, and I don’t know why (or how come). I don’t know if the drive for understanding is inherent to humans or an evolutionary genetic quirk of a large part of the population (I put my money on the former), nature or nurture, or both, but it is what drove me, again like many others, to study science and try to find some answers about how the world works and perhaps even why it exists.

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