X-Message-Number: 21638
Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2003 09:48:56 EDT
Subject: Fermi; simulation

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If advanced cultures could help the disadvantaged but choose to leave the 
jungle to its own devices, we have essentially the old problem of evil, with 
godlings instead of God. If WE achieve advanced powers, surely some of us, at 
least, will intervene on behalf of the lower animals, wherever they may be 
found. (But I don't think there is much force in Thomas Donaldson's argument 
that we will intervene for self protection, since the time lags are so 

As to what we, as putative beings in a simulation, could do to find out more 
about our situation or influence it, I have said before that we could "pray." 
In other words, if we are in a simulation, then presumably there is a 
programmer paying attention, and we can signal to him. No guarantee of 
response, but if he felt like it he could pass a miracle and give us 
explanations or/and a better situation.

Robert Ettinger


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