Friday, September 30, 2005

MMO Metaphysics

"Nature itself, even in chaos, cannot proceed except in an orderly and regular manner."
~Immanuel Kant

Metaphysical claims tend to deal with the nature of reality, and by likening reality to an MMO, I've already made a number of bold assumptions which I may or may not be able to justify.

By no means am I claiming that life is another Ultima Online, Everquest, Star Wars Galaxies, World of Warcraft, The Matrix Online, etc. It would be a mistake to equivocate these small packages with the entirety of the universe that we live in. Truly, our world is far more vast and varied than anything that the current MMO genre could have to offer, even put together.

But if MMOs and universal automatism have anything in common, it would be in that both worlds operate on computations at a fundamental level, computations which may or may not be similar, but when activated and set loose in a virtually infinite space with a virtually infinite number of other computations, can create marvelous complexities over time.

What would this entail, perhaps? Here's a couple of things that come to my mind:
  1. The universe was created. By who or what, I do not know. But the infinite combination of computations which we reside in had to have a beginning - a start point from which the various particles and the rules that they behave by could initiate their functions.
  2. We can only describe the things which are possible within our universe. Discussion of anything beyond our universe ultimately fails. We end up projecting our idea of how the universe operates onto something beyond our universe, and make messes in our intellectual shorts. Wittgenstein may have said it best in his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus when he opened with, "The world is all that is the case."
  3. I am part of this universe. I am subject to the same constraints as the other things in this universe, and different only in that the collection of computations which currently designates itself as me chooses to abstract myself.
  4. Time is the fundamental computation which governs the updates of the other computations. By this, I don't mean the way I perceive time. I'm referring to the idea that temporality must be a necessary part of our universe in order for any other computation to function. Particular computations may not always update at the same intervals, but all existing computations are in a simultaneous and ongoing process of updating.

These may or may not be accurate, and I'm certain there are other things which I have not considered in the time that it took me to write this, but it's a start.


Anonymous comp-is-every-thng said...

I like the way you have mapped out your assumptions about the "world" you are exploring.

BTW, no chance for a simulation to model the real world anytime soon. That is, implicitly, why Rudy and others are struggling with the huge computational capability in the stories he has shared with us.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Mr.G said...


I agree that there's no way that simulations can accurately model reality yet, or even in the near future. I think that some things are closer than others though.

I'm hoping that my analogy can try to capture something as complex as life with something much simpler. It may seem reductionistic to a point because of this, but I'm hoping to avoid that by recognizing that in pretty much all cases, life is more complex than is being explained here.

10:57 AM  

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