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Discussion The experience machine

hierophant

hierophant

protector of the realm
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Joined
Nov 25, 2023
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Robert had been sitting in front of the consent form for two hours and still he did not know whether to sign it or shred it. His choice was between two futures.

In one, his prospects were bleak and the chance of realizing his dreams slim. In the other, he would be a famous rock star guaranteed to be kept permanently happy. Not much of a choice, you might think. But whereas the first life would be in the real world, the second would be entirely within the experience machine.

This device enables you to live the whole of your life in a virtual-reality environment. All your experiences are designed to make you happier and more satisfied. But crucially, once in the machine you have no idea that you are not in the real world, nor that what is happening to you has been designed to meet your needs. It seems you are living an ordinary life in the ordinary world: it is just that in this life, you are one of the winners for whom everything seems to go right.

Robert knows that once he is in the machine, life will be great. But still, something about its phoniness makes him hesitate to sign the form that will take him away to paradise.



What say you on the matter?
 
Personally, I couldn't live in a simulation even if I could have everything I ever wanted. Nothing of it would really last and it would just go on in repeat, for if the reality we live in is reality, the one we are all in, then I would prefer what is real over an illusion.
 
It blurs the line between reality and illusion so much that they are both just as "real". whatever that means.
 
Having someone control your literal reality doesn't seem wise. We're closer to the experience machine than we think, in a way we are in a primitive experiance machine ie social media. Its simulated social interaction and shapes many of us more than we like to admit
 
Personally, I couldn't live in a simulation even if I could have everything I ever wanted. Nothing of it would really last and it would just go on in repeat, for if the reality we live in is reality, the one we are all in, then I would prefer what is real over an illusion.
Oddly, the part that gets me confused is who would want to live in a false world? But then when you ask, how then have you lived the world that you currently reside in? Often life or the society we live in is an illusion, because we do not see it as it is, we often think of life as one being able to do as he pleases so long as it's not illegal or so long as you are making money. In reality, we likely in society live in a false reality. Those that suffer would likely like to leave here for the experience machine simply due to the fact they could live a happy life and no longer endure the hardships of life. Say ask a poor boy in the slums, why would he take it? After all, everything he has learned has been nothing but intense emotional suffering and starvation.
 
Oddly, the part that gets me confused is who would want to live in a false world? But then when you ask, how then have you lived the world that you currently reside in? Often life or the society we live in is an illusion, because we do not see it as it is, we often think of life as one being able to do as he pleases so long as it's not illegal or so long as you are making money. In reality, we likely in society live in a false reality.
Precisely. Much of the reason that many people pursue escapism or would find a false reality (a 'bluepill') enticing is because of the artificiality and false nature of the society that we live in. Thinkers like Marx have characterised modern capitalistic society as a society that turns reality on its head, and where superstition and religion are merely the superstructural outgrowth of an unnatural, mystified base. For instance, man serves a faceless, all-powerful God in capital or money, which directs all human action and sets the agenda for society. This force then seems to direct all material actions, despite not having a true material existence, which was central to his analysis of Hegelian idealism. For Marx, the spooks of the mind arose from the spooks of an artificial and anti-human social structure, where mankind and human creativity is subjugated to faceless, abstract entities that mankind itself created.

I think that, while Marx's analysis was incomplete, he was corect in analysing modern society as full of contradictions and inversions of the real nature of things, in a way which necessarily creates illusions.

Due to that, people might have less resistance to escaping to a false reality, if their own society already feels unreal and false. That's a reasonable suggestion.
 
"people might have less resistance to escaping to a false reality", see here though, this says a million things, if the people as a whole created this, and yet choose not to leave is that not akin to hell were everything is inverted and perverted from what it may originally have been?
 
I'd go with the experience machine provided I could somehow be convinced the experience machine is all it's made out to be -- i.e., that it's better in every way and not just some ersatz reality.
 
"This device enables you to live the whole of your life in a virtual-reality environment. All your experiences are designed to make you happier and more satisfied.", likely it is so.
 

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