Was the Matrix wrong?

Troed made an interesting comment yesterday: statistically there is a high probability that we are all avatars. Welcome to our self-chosen Matrix… Read all about the debate on the simulation argument website

The site is a debate about the possibility that we may be living in a simulation. A brief introduction is in order. The paper on the site argues that at least one of the following propositions is true:

i. It is possible that a civilization could create a computer simulation which contains individuals with artificial intelligence.
ii. Such a civilization would likely run many – say billions – of these simulations (just for fun; for research, etc.)
iii. A simulated individual inside the simulation wouldn’t know that it’s inside a simulation – it’s just going about its daily business in what it considers the “real world”.

Then the ultimate question is – if one accepts that points 1-2-3 are at least possible, which of the following is more likely?

a. We are the one civilization out there in the universe that will eventually develop the ability to run AI simulations? Or,
b. We are one of the billions of simulations that has run? (Remember point iii.)

While you’re at it, take some time to read the simulated reality wiki.

I did get a funny feeling when reading Troeds post on the Matrix … I don’t think I would want to spend my life in a pod, no matter how good the reality. I think I’d end up taking the red pill. But then again … how would I know? (Remember point iii.)

Time for a bore-out?

Irritable when returning home from work? Drained of emotion? Well, then you could be suffering from … bore-out. In this article two researchers describe the phenomenon and how people end up there.

Oh, and the manager is usally to blame. It goes something like this: boss refuses to delegate work, underlings end up with more mind-numbing tasks, stop asking forresponsability after a while, start to just let the good times roll, and do low-intensity tasks while surfing the internet or doing other fun stuff with their new free time at the office. Eventually though, self-esteem goes dow, the boss ends up with a burn-out and some of his underlings end up with a bore-out. No happy end here.

Be sure to ask yourself the 10 questions at the bottom of the article to determine if you suffer from a bore-out. And if you do, it seems you have only 2 options: come clean with the boss or get the hell out of there.

There’s another article here, also at the Times that continues on the same topic. Statisitics suggest that 15 percent are under-challenged, do extremely little and suffer from bore-out. No problem, that means there are still 85 percent top performers there. Well… not really. According to Gallup, “three in five of us are “not engaged” – dutifully turning up to our place of work but lacking any energy or enthusiasm.”

Found in The Times.

Polar Rose versus IDPS (IDentity Protection System)

Everybody puts their pictures online. Picasa, flickr, you just name them. But what if your friend puts a picture with YOU on it online? Cue the IDPS (IDentity Protection System), a sticker you wear that “tells” a camera taking a snapshot of you to blur out your face.
(Found at the YaHoo Design week.)

If it works, this may be a good thing, because at the other side of the spectrum, there is Polar Rose, a browser plugin that lets you discover who is in any public photo. They’re in beta right now, but just imagine someone having a picture of you, and then using Polar Rose to find pictures of you all over the internet (even the ones you don’t know of, and/or don’t want others to know about).