A Simulationist Reflects on the Death of His Cat

Notes From The “Diary of a Simulationist”

Authors note: I have not had any contact with Simulationism or the Simulationist church in over six months. I was beginning to think the entire movement had collapsed or decided to go back underground or maybe even never really existed in the first place. If you look at the volume of articles written about it in any forum (particularly on Medium) there has been a precipitous drop. I do not have the correct tools to do any sort of thorough analysis but it has become topica non grata in the past few months and I have not seen a single mention in any writing on this site or any other in the past two at least. Apparently somebody still believes however as an email showed up in my inbox yesterday with the subject line “Diary of a Simulationist -Excerpts.” The sender was mblover69@(redacted).com. Cute, mb for Mike Bostrom no doubt but the 69 thing is kind of gross. lol! When I tried to respond everyone’s best/most hated friend mailer-daemon got the reply instead and kindly informed me it was undeliverable. Oh well, I tried. The entire thing is a mess of pseudophilosophical statements touching on religion the simulation and evolutionary theory. Throughout it all though is a very (real) human emotion for a widely shared human experience, great sadness at the death of a beloved pet. Like many of us the diarist is looking for a reason behind the seeming purposeless of that terrible loss. The picture was included as an attachment. Apparently our mysterious simulationist is a Stephen King fan, drinks orange juice, and has questionable taste in pajamas. Note that I refer to this person as “him” and “he” in the title and throughout though in truth the gender is unknown.The contents of the message are below in unedited form.

Excerpts from The Diary of a Simulationist

Every cat I have had that has been of the ultra intelligent variety has died early…..

A cat too smart for the “master program” and therefore had to die early, or at least before he could reproduce and pass on that “defective” trait. I mean defective in the sense of counter to the intent of the base program.

…Origin of the nine lives myth..

Allowing evolution to “take its course” but with fail safes built in in the form of “kill switches” if things moving in a “dangerous direction….”

To what end? Would the simulators really care if cats or any animal for that matter became “too smart”? What is so dangerous about that?

They do not seem all that worried about our machines becoming smart? Lol…Of course they could “control’ or have total control over all the machine parts of our world perhaps the animal/biological parts have a “randomness” that the wholly digital parts do not

Getting deep now… biological parts are “special” have a “soul” or “creative spark” absent from the digital. No particular value given to that but it is a difference and theoretically less controllable from a master program perspective. Or from a “God” perspective. Why do all simulator discussions end up as reflections on religion or God? Because they are about how we view ourselves vis a vis a higher/outside power whose methods, purpose, intents/objectives all remain unknown and perhaps unknowable.

Plus the digital are “outside” of evolution. At least for now their is no “natural” selection at play in their changes with time. Is their an artificial selection? hah. Good one, artificial selection vs. natural selection. survival of the fittest v survival of the fastest. No, that’s not right.

….You could say we (simulated humans) are driving the evolution of our machines through the process of preferential selection. We are building machines that do the things we prefer/want/desire/need and building more and better versions of those that do those things the best. Since we are “natural” or at least natural within the boundaries of the simulation it is a “form” of natural selection at least.

…The machine/digital (artificial) being selected for fitness of purpose by man/biological (man) being selected for fitness of purpose by the simulation [Simulator(s)].

But why did my special little guy have to die so young? I mean he was only 4 years old.

In Memorium..Phoenix..I miss you buddy. May the Simulators keep your code safe and warm and fully supplied with hair ties until End Program comes.

Written by

Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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