As a minimal definitional requirement, the script for a real-world TV series should be written well. If so, then a man who appeared as a wrestler on ‘WWE’ and has joked about grabbing women by their genitals could never be elected president of the US (nor would someone who did a cameo on ‘Gossip Girl’ be tasked with brokering peace in the Middle East). Such plot twists are the preserve of badly written soap operas.
In a damning sign of the times, one of the most profound things anyone has recently told me was intended as a joke.
We were discussing philosopher Nick Bostrom’s paper Are You Living in a Computer Simulation? Bostrom argues that one of three propositions must be true: either (1) most posthuman civilisations go extinct; or (2) most posthuman civilisations are not interested in running computer simulations of their ancestral history; or (3) we are living in a computer simulation.
Despite popular interpretations of his argument, it is worthwhile noting that Bostrom does not argue that (3) is the case. Actually, Bostrom explicitly states that given “the dark forest of our current ignorance, it seems sensible to apportion one’s credence roughly evenly between (1), (2), and…