Re: virus: Re:virtuality

XYZ Customer Support (
Thu, 26 Dec 1996 14:27:48 -0700

> From: Schneider John <>

> > Is there any way we can tell if the world we live in is not an
> > artificial world impregnated into our brain thinking in our real
> > body somewhere far away?

Which raises another question as well: What if that other body
is not the real body, but belongs to yet another world somewhere
far away, and we are just the result of a dream within a dream within
a dream...and so on ad infinitum?

> > How do we know if everything we are living through is artificial?

The answer is really rather easy John. What does "artificial world"
mean? What does "real body" mean? Where is "somewhere far
away"? What is the "world we live in"?

If you answer all the above questions in as much detail as you are
able, you will discover one thing common to the orginal question:

They are all just questions about reality and not descriptions of reality.

If we limit ourselves from speculating on things which are not known to
exist or cannot be proven to exist (ie -- fantasy) and instead,
concentrate on *describing reality* as it is, the answer becomes crystal

But if you look at the original thought behind that question (Am I a butterfly
dreaming he is a man or am I a man dreaming he is a butterfly? -- Zhuangzi
speaks), the real question concerns the paradox of perception. Simply put,
we are buffered from experiencing reality by our senses and our biases, so
how is it that we can really know what reality is? For example, we can never
really see what is before us. The eye is like a camera that reflects the *image*
of what is before us onto the retina. The retina transforms light energy into
neurological impulses which travel to the back of the brain where the mind
*interprets* what it *thinks* it is seeing. It cannot interpret that which has
no label or has not been taught to see. Hence we can talk about the "existence"
of optical illusions even though optical illusions technically don't exist. We
just pretend that they exist.