[lit-ideas] Re: The World Simulated

  • From: John Wager <john.wager1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 14:19:35 -0500

Robert Paul wrote:

A similar embarrassment turns up in Lewis Carroll's 'Sylvie and
Bruno,' where a map with a scale of one mile to one mile is discarded
as too cumbersome. 'A character notes some practical difficulties with this
map and states that "we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I
assure you it does nearly as well".'

Perhaps those behind the world simulation project have overcome this

Ah, yes, There is indeed a problem of making a map with a scale of 1:1.

But if we make a map with a scale of 1:2, or any other scale other than 1:1,
we run into another unsolvable problem: How do we show the map of the map?

Suppose the "map" or the simulation is half-scale. Somewhere on that map has to be the location of the map, say, on the southern hemisphere (for the map) or in Joe's office (for the computer simulation). But the initial map has to show the 1:2 scale map, to be an accurate map. Of course that means the map would not be accurate unless it showed that the map has a map on it of the map. We're into "Magic Slate" territory; an infinite regress. The same thing has to happen with the computer simulation: The simulation is not an accurate simulation of the whole world unless it includes the simulation as a part of that world, so the simulation has to include the simulation, and so on, and so on, and so on.

"Never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence and ignorance." -------------------------------------------------
John Wager                john.wager1@xxxxxxxxxxx
                                  Lisle, IL, USA

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