Rainfeeder's Blog

November 3, 2012

Somewhere in the Middle

“You know, I don’t know.  I’m not sure what the truth is.  What do you think?”

“I think the truth is almost always somewhere in the middle.  The thing is, we like to make these absolute statements when we think, then just question whether they’re true or false, as if it could only be one or the other, right?  Not only that, but we also like to think in extremes.  What I think is, is that more possibilities may apply sometimes, that life is not at the extremes of opinion or whatever, but lies somewhere in the middle.  If you drew a straight line and the two ends represented the extremes and the binary possibilities, it’s natural to assume the truth may be at one end or the other.  What I’m saying is, it’s probably in the middle of the line somewhere.  Or you could even draw a triangle and the truth would be somewhere inside the triangle not at the corners or on the lines.”

“Well give me an example, but not God.  I see how this is true what you are saying in that case, that God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent.  Or whether God exists, of course.  Another example, please!”

“Well what if someone called me a liar.  I have been called a liar before.  But I don’t lie all the time, I usually tell the truth, right?  But I’m sure in that other person’s prejudiced mind is stuck the thought that I am a liar.”

“Time makes the difference.  Everyone lies, if not to other people then to themselves, at some stage.  Hopefully you’ve become more honest!  But people are complex.  Give me another example!”

“Well then there’s the concept of the external world, Earth with billions of real people moving around on the planet, and the extreme alternative is that we’re living in a simulated reality, we’re brains in a vat so to speak, perhaps with very few real people or in the most extreme case only ourselves are real in the simulated worlds we live in.”

“If that were true, then we are not really talking here at all!  One of us must be the computer!  But what is the truth somewhere in the middle here?  Half computer generated, half of nature is real?  Are we all living in the same simulation if that’s true, or our own version?  Are parts of all simulations in common but we each have slightly our own version?”

“You see, the danger in making sweeping statements, what you just said?  The problem is both statements may be somewhat true even if they seem opposed at first.  If the truth were somewhat in the middle, I would hazard a guess that parts of nature, you could say, are “external world” to us, but we are still brains in a vat, that there are at least a few real people in this world but that at least some are simulated characters or non-player characters.  I’ve seen glitches in the programming.”

“I’m trying not to think which is better!  Perhaps what’s called “artificial intelligence” always existed in some basic form.”

“I know.  Very Young Earth Theory.  I’ve been thinking about it.  The computer apparatus for the simulation always existed, at least in part.  The simulation began with a date on the calendar somewhere in the mid-1800’s AD, whereas the real date was only in the late 200’s.  The first real people’s parents on Earth weren’t real, they were simulated characters.”

“That’s very shocking.  I’m afraid I can’t recall.”



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