Re: virus: Re:virtuality
Tue, 31 Dec 96 09:54:16 GMT

Alex Williams wrote:

> [Drakir wrote:]
> > That would be a terrible situation to be in. To commit any act which relied
> > on the world being virtual would be the biggest gamble of your "life" :)
> > I would, personally, be incapable of such an action. The only point at
> > which the meme-structure would be altered by the existance of this
> > virtual world would be if there were conclusive proof that it does exist
> > and that the "real" world is in no way affected by actions inside this
> > virtuality.
> For that kind of proof you'd have to have something /extremely/
> persuasive and that you couldn't late be convinced was self-delusion
> or hallucination. I'm not sure that kind of proof /could/ be given to
> you.

Neither am I :) I just wanted to point out that *if* that proof could
be given, then it would impact on memetics quite seriously.

> > But what is pain? Pain isn't dangerous, it's a life saving mechanism.
> > IT's merely a firing of nerves and neurons which you interpret as pain.
> > It's the physical damage that pain is caused by which is dangerous,
> > and without pain many serious injuries my be ignored. If the pain is
> > real, but the damage is not, then it does not make any difference to the
> > alteration of the meme-structure.
> So, you don't mind torturing someone on the rack or punishing their
> flesh with agony as long as it doesn't leave any marks? Somehow I get
> the feeling that's not what you meant to communicate ...

Heh, OK, that's not exactly what I meant. I was saying that pain itself is
not damaging (Of course, I guess that it depends on the quantity of the pain,
I suppose a heart attack could occur if there is too much for the body to cope
with). In the instance of torture, I would argue that the causing of pain to
a "real" body cannot be undamaging. Chinese water torture causes brain damage
(I think :), Electric shocks of a high enough amperage kill braincells and
nerve cells, sticking knives in people severs flesh, etc etc....

The point is that if this body were "virtual" then none of those injuries
actually happen, and it's just pain for the sake of appearing real. The
injuries inflicted do not exist.

I see your point though, and am currently reconsidering my views :)

> > That's all based on faith though, and I could not act under such circumstances.
> How do /you/ know its based on faith, though?

I don't. I only know that I do not believe it, because I have no proof.
This is an idea which I debated, in passing, with XYZ. I argued that
conclusive proof of the existance of aliens can exist on an individual
basis simply by experience. Unfortunately this does not convince the
rest of the world. It's a difficult situation, and the problem that
arises is that people are prone to lying and delusioning themselves. If
no such vices existed, then the word of another would be conclusive proof.
Sadly, human frailties have made that impossible. I admit, I would *never*
know whether such a belief is faith or fact, but I do know that I would
not act on such shaky grounds if it were me in thier shoes.

> Perhaps they really
> /were/ visited by angels, taken up into heaven and sat at the feet of
> Jesus while He patiently explained why the sinners have to be cleansed
> by hot lead injections.

And if you look at the things religion makes people do, then it doesn't seem
that far fetched, either, does it?

> We don't know, moreover, we /can't/ know,
> even if it happened to you or I directly because there's still the
> chance its delusion or hallucination. You see my point?

Yup, and taken on board.

> Even if it suddenly became widely known we live in a completely
> virtual world, I don't think you'd see much difference after 35 -
> 50yrs. Everyone that would run rampant would get killed off or go
> into hiding and the rest would decide `real or not, I'm here I might
> as well get by.'

There would also be a group of people who would be thinking "Hmmm, OK, we're
inside this virtual world, generated by a computer. Can we do any of the

1) Escape into the 'real' world?
2) Move into other virtual worlds if they exist?
3) Change the programme for our own world?
4) Create our own 'perfect' world to live in?"

Those are the people who would be most memetically affected by such a situation.

Richard Jones "We are the New Breed We are the Future."