Are you more real than me?


“We are all aware that the senses can be deceived, the eyes fooled. But how can we be sure our senses are not being deceived at any particular time, or even all the time? Might I just be a brain in a tank somewhere, tricked all my life into believing in the events of this world by some insane computer? And does my life gain or lose meaning based on my reaction to such solipsism?”

Project PYRRHO, Specimen 46, Vat 7
Activity Recorded M.Y. 2302.22467

I woke to this quote of Sid Meier’s Alpha Centaury, today…
It was a series of very thought provoking questions, those in the survey. Took me way back to my child years, when the first questions about perception…
-“Even we both identify it a such, how can I know the color I call red is the same color you are seeing?”

If my senses can be fooled while I’m dreaming into thinking it’s real, than my senses are not a valid tool to confirm reality. The solipsism inherent to those ideas took me to the “brain in a jar” hypothesis on my own, back then… Something to be left forgotten in the corner of your mind to keep sanity and not end up like Specimen 46, up there, but that would involuntarily surface once in awhile, when experiencing premonitions, deja-vus or someone proposing holographic explanations for our reality.

“But Occam’s razor…” Why? Who or what would create such an elaborate labyrinth to trap a conscience, or a series of them, supposing you are not all holograms… Or am I the one who isn’t real?

The Ancestor Simulation theory:

Are You Living In a Computer Simulation? ORIGINAL Nick Bostrom. Philosophical Quarterly, 2003, Vol. 53, No. 211, pp. 243-255. [html] [pdf] (An earlier draft was circulated in 2001.)

ABSTRACT. This paper argues that at least one of the following propositions is true: (1) the human species is very likely to go extinct before reaching a “posthuman” stage; (2) any posthuman civilization is extremely unlikely to run a significant number of simulations of their evolutionary history (or variations thereof); (3) we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation. It follows that the belief that there is a significant chance that we will one day become posthumans who run ancestor-simulations is false, unless we are currently living in a simulation. A number of other consequences of this result are also discussed.

Echoes of the Big Bang:
We investigate the origins of our Universe through the echoes of it’s creation… what we call background cosmic radiation. At the same time, the galaxies and stars we see in our firmament are showing the image of what has happened hundreds and millions of years ago, still reaching us with astronomical delay. Inside that light, in the form of coded holographic information, beyond our senses and our present computing capacity lays information that could be processed and read, ever-escaping it’s position at the speed of light.

Ender’s Ansible and superluminal communication:
Quantum Entanglement: The spin of certain sub-atomic particles can be linked and it’s turn direction would change at the same time on any of them, affecting the spin of the other… Instantly, and independent of the distance from the other “twin particle”. If stabilized through superconductive magnetic fields, that spin could be translated into a 0 and a 1, allowing for instantaneous superluminal communication.

An eye to the past:
From the moment superluminal communication is possible, a “Hubble-like” satellite could start to distance itself from the origin point, looking back and keeping instantaneous communication, from that moment on, farther back the longer it passes, that civilization would have an eye on their past, being able to even focus their attention on demand to a specific point in their past in the search for answers.
But of course, looking back with a magnifying glass it’s the crude representation of what our technology does with light information in all its wavelength… But there could be more to it, given enough processing capabilities, a “computer” anywhere in the universe catching our “light” could be running a simulation of our past, using real holographic information to eliminate uncertainty.

It’s not only us. Anyone could be running the simulation… Maybe someone from a different galaxy or a hold different Universe altogether.

Phase 2 Azure Voyage

How am I not myself?

… … How am I not myself?




No. No, I am not more real than you.


But does that make any of us real?


Yes. Yes, we are all equally real.

But now you must define “real”. :stuck_out_tongue:


Unfortunately for my sanity, I answered “yes” to the question of the survey “Do you you think some people are less real than you?”. I wasn’t just thinking on the existence of NPC interactions, but also the solipsistic doubts mentioned above…

How about the people you see in your dreams? You can take them for real, interact, and even give your “life”, sometimes (or so you think at the time) for an NPC you think it’s dear to you, when it doesn’t even exist in your waking life!

Disregarding the fact I think different people live in different levels of consciousness, the whole thing could be an inceptive simulation a la Total Recall… The day you die, you could wake up surrounded by all your friends of the Race of Yith, with them laughing at you for having gone back to the carpet store.


Interesting. I wouldn’t define people in dreams or games as people, so they wouldn’t fall into the scope of the question. But I see now where you are coming from.


So what would people be, to you? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Is it a matter of complexity? Lasting experience? Continuity?

How complex an artificial mind’s thoughts have to be for it to be considered a person? There are some interesting followups on the matter of complexity…


Funny thing is, I often think about reality and that we could all just be participants in an MMO… we could just be someone else’s simulation, and then NMS is a simulation, in a simulation…

This makes my head hurt!


Is it solipsistic in here?
Or is it just me?




A person is a human being. So something that resembles a human being, such as an NPC, dream, or AI, would not be a person. I am not speaking in absolute philosophical terms here, but in the context of the survey where the question was asked “Are you more real than other people?” I interpret that question to be asking if I as an individual consider myself more real than other human beings, and not to be asking if I am more real than NPCs or whatnot.

EDIT: Philosophically a person would be an individual instance of an essence which is in relationship to other persons. However, I think arguing for personhood in objects which are not human becomes tricky because of the ethical and emotional connotations of the word as it is used commonly.


Well, I considered it a philosophical question… And a technical one, considering, (fully off-role) I think there are fully operational artificial entities, somewhere… Out there. Who knows if we have crossed the singularity, already. Like… for real, somewhere on some lab, isolated from the main grid, for obvious security reasons, one would hope.

On the working for the singularity, in a proactive way, I could say more, but it would have to be written in paper away from any cameras. Not just a present, but any future transcendent Skynet will have full access to all digital information.


I am just another subroutine in the simulation…just like the rest of you. Which will all come to an abrupt end when a Coronal Mass Ejection from the Sun hits the main computer! -)



VALIS, anyone?


This is how I think about it. If I murder someone, the other beings around me will kill or incarcerate me. Even if I am the only real one here, I am still not the ruler of whatever world I am in. I still have to abide by its rules or I will be unhappy.


Am I more real than myself?


Or is it a matter of just being it? I mean, for me, something can be just as complex as defined in the (simulated) world itself. Complexity has borders. To be “real” something has to behold parts which were brought from the outside of the simulation to the inside. Something that was not created by the simulation itself. So even when something is artificially created to evolve to a undefined limit of complexity, it still acts in the limits of complexity of the simulation itself.



4x = 2cost-cos(2t)
4y = 2sint-sin(2t).