X-Message-Number: 16639
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2001 20:55:18 -0500
From: david pizer <>
Subject: Is Life a game?  How can you know?

Is life a game?  How can you know?
From: David Pizer

(I'm sure some of you have thought of this), suppose a race of beings have
lived for billions or trillions of years.  They have figured out how to
have personal immortality.  They have figured out how to escape the
destructive repercussions of Big Crunches and Big Bangs, if they happen,
every so many billion years.  They have provided for every want or need
they could ever think of.  Now, what else is there for them to do?  

The reason I ask this question, is "they" might be "us" some day (or even
now).  One starting question is, then, if one is immortal beyond any power
to cause one's destruction, and one has lived for trillions of years, what
does one do to keep from becoming bored, perhaps to the point of insanity
or wanting to commit suicide?

I think for the first million years of immortality, should it come to us
that are reading this message, one's time might be spent overcoming the
most destructive forces of nature, Black Holes, Big Crunches, Exploding
Galaxies, whatever.  Once that is done, things might get weary.  Many of us
believe a joy in living is to figure out how to keep doing that- how to
keep alive and satisfy our needs.  But what if every  problem has been
solved?  What then?  

When contemplating this potential dilemma, the only solutions I can think
of to avoid eternal boredom, for the person who literally has everything,
are forms of entertainment.  Entertainment can mean looking at art,
listening to music, etc, but the kind of entertainment that I think will be
the only relief for eternal boredom will be fantasy trips into other
make-believe-type lives where there are make-believe challenges  like we
have in this present life.   How to live to maturity?  How to get things we
want while we are mortal (while we think we are mortal)?  Believing
ourselves to be mortal, how to make ourselves immortal?  How to avoid
destructive forces in the universe?  Once we have conquered these things
for real, we will probably recreate them in a fantasy escape world and put
ourselves in that world.  To add to the enjoyment, (or relief from
boredom), I would think there would be a competitive nature to this, so
that when the fantasy trip was over, someone who made it further (in some
way) than anyone else would be "the winner."  Then everyone could start all

I would speculate that in order to win, one would have to come to know
things that count for points before the other contestants did.  And the
piece of knowledge that would count for the most points would be to fully
realize that you are in a fantasy world.   

So the question that puzzles me, as much as Descartes probably questions
what would be a starting point for knowledge, is: "If you created a perfect
fake world, how could you ever know if the world you were in was fake?"

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