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EnomLee t1_j52hage wrote

There's nothing wrong with acting to make the real world a better, more fair and just place for ourselves, collectively. Raise the living standard, make education available to more people, lower the crime rate, shutter environmentally hazardous technology for the sake of cleaner, more renewable alternatives. Despite what pessimists may say, progress is being made on all of those fronts. There are good reasons to believe that, when you remove yourself from the daily news and the current events, that humanity and the Earth are going in the right direction.

But the real world will never be a paradise. It will never be a paradise because the concept of paradise is an inherently personal opinion, and those opinions are too different to avoid causing conflict between different people.

Tell me, what paradise do you intend to build that would satisfy both multiculturalists and ethnic supremacists? What paradise is there that would appeal to both the atheist and the theocrat? What about marxists and randians? What about the anarchists and the authoritarians? Environmentalists and industrialists?

In other words, you will never have your perfect world as long as you are made to share it with other, incompatible people. This is why I believe that individualized, fully immersive virtual reality is the best, most viable path to avoid conflict and give everybody the existence that they want.

What is it that your heart desires? Do you want to be a superhero? A super spy? A king? An intergalactic bounty hunter? Do you want to live in an anime world? A cyberpunk city? The old west? Tatooine? Hogwarts? Maybe you want to be more attractive. Maybe you want to be the opposite gender? Maybe you want to be your fursona. Or a dragon, or a demon, or an angel, or a god, or a devil. Maybe you just want a world that's exactly like the real one, except without the people who make it a miserable place to live.

So what if it isn't real? So what if you're surrounded by philosophical zombies? That just means that they can never judge you, or betray you, or attack you, or mock you, or bully you, or reject you. They will never hurt you without your consent... and it is that peace of mind, born of absolute security and personal validation that will create paradise.


OldWorldRevival t1_j53yw15 wrote

Sounds more like the emptiness that Wittgenstein was alluding to when he more or less said that religion giving life after death doesn't actually solve the problem.


EnomLee t1_j545x5a wrote

Perhaps it wouldn't. Or it would just trade one problem for another. Instead of learning to live with our differences, everyone just silos themselves off into their own virtual spaces where they only know freedom, security and validation and never any real pain or misery. Humanity splinters apart into countless subgroups, each defined by cultures so different from each other that they become incomprehensible and alien to those outside of them.

It's fair for one to see it as a dystopian scenario, but compared to the continuation of business as usual, I think that it could be a lesser evil. What is better? Continuing to let different ideologies struggle against each other, knowing that it will cause political violence? Or is it more civilized to give people their own virtual safe space, knowing that it isn't real?

That said, a theoretical aligned super intelligence could do a lot to lower the temperature on societal tensions without resorting to FDVR. Eliminating poverty would remove many if not most of the factors that drive people to extreme positions in the first place. Space colonization could give people more choices where to live and what ideologies they want to align with.

As great as that would be, you would still have different people with different opinions living together. As long as that is the case, there is the possibility of disagreement, and if there is a disagreement that is important enough, it will have to be solved by either compromise or conflict.


leechmeem t1_j54gjnd wrote

I believe a 'virtual safe space' wouldn't solve any ideological ,religious or political conflict, at all. Those conflicting would know their adversaries' world exist, and because of this awareness, they wouldn't feel content in their personalized landscape, because they know its not the objective reality, they know that whatever idea they try enforcing on the people in their world will not matter. This matter isn't about your fursona, or that you want to be a goddess dragon lord or anime girl or alike. They want a real world to control. They can and will find a way to implement war and violence in a more mental manner. Hijacking one's world to trap them in and give them a personalized hell seems likely to me.

People will always conflict in opinions. We are argumentative in ideas and everything on the internet at this very second, and violent people have found a way to make other people on the internet suffer in their real worlds, all because they don't agree. Why wouldn't this happen in an even more personal experience? In a conceptual future, if everyone has a virtual world, it would become the norm and we would be back to invading each other again, just like how we invade countries.

The sad truth is there will never be paradise, anywhere. Even in your conceived paradise, you most likely won't feel happy and be back to yearning for blissful ignorance once the façade starts disappearing.


OldWorldRevival t1_j55fiap wrote

I do think paradise is achievable in the long term, but it is going to involve more paradigm shifts.


EnomLee t1_j56u79p wrote

I'm not really seeing it, sorry.

The OP asked us to imagine what an aligned, super intelligent artificial intelligence could give us in FDVR that it couldn't provide in the real world. In a world where such an entity exists, there wouldn't be any space for bad actors to operate anymore. Any attempt to interfere with other people's experiences would just be intercepted before they could ever become a threat.

Now if you want to imagine a scenario in which FDVR is somehow achieved before ASI, then sure. Cyber criminals, terrorists and bad actors could be a problem for BCIs, just like they're a problem for smartphones and PCs today. People who go to sketchy websites and download random .exes without thought put themselves at risk of viruses, but most people remain relatively safe.

Governments may try to pass restrictive laws, but thus far the western world has been pretty permissive towards questionable content in virtual worlds, and everybody else can just pirate the content they can't legally get. Also, I think the political class would have a motive to allow FDVR to flourish unchallenged. People happily living in their own heads would have less motivation to vote against the status quo.

The idea of people invading other people's virtual worlds for the sake of it just sounds cartoonishly evil. It's catastrophizing. People who want violence against other people will join virtual worlds that are designed for that express purpose, just like how people play competitive multiplayer games today. When they are tired of it, they will return to their own private worlds where the only real people they'll ever see are the people that they want to have access, if any.