Friday 20 June 2008

The Bohmian IMAX as a Computer Game

Has anyone else considered how much the ideas around the Bohmian IMAX can be likened to playing a computer game?

When you first play the game you run through the first level as a completely new experience. You make decisions and attempt things with a degree of success but eventually (rapidly in my case usually) you see those immortal words "Game Over"

Then you start again from the beginning, trying to make adjustments to the first attempt, making choices and trying to improve your expertise. Each time you reach Game Over and try again. Sometimes you know what you should do differently but haven't the skill level to achieve it. (Deja vu?) Eventually you achieve success and move on to the next level where all is new and choices have to be explored. Sometimes you can only achieve things from the advantage of hindsight (eg. collecting items which only have a relevance at a higher level but are crucial to moving the game onward) I likened that to Tony's experience of knowing the song he would hear at his funeral which suddenly had a different significance later.

Eventually the game is completed - which supposes there is a "solution". This may be where the similarity ends. Unless, of course, you imagine the Bohmian IMAX as a game with infinite levels.


Karl Le Marcs said...

Woodsprite: Yes, indeed this had been considered often, it's a very workable analogy.

Tony does also mention it in ITLAD itself:

"This book, its words and ideas and everything around you is an internally generated version of reality, a copy projected in front of you like an unbelievably complex sensurround, virtual reality computer game."

And I am reminded of the Red Dwarf episode "Back To Reality"!

johar said...

This topic has been discussed on previous posts in regard to Alex Shane, I believe.

Unfortunately I can't find the post containing Tony's comments on the computer game analogy, sorry, Woodsprite.

It's definitely a good analogy to use, especially when in discussion with those not familiar with ITLAD.

In this technological age, it offers a simple picture that I have even used to explain to a 10 year old.

Karl Le Marcs said...

Johar: Yes JoJo, you are right.

Here is the original post you mention:

Alex Shane - The Latest ITLADian
[by Tony]

And it is again mentioned here:

Weirdly Symbolic Synchronicity
[by Tony]

and of course, talking of computers, the hardly legendary:

Where Is The Internet? (An Analogy)

But in the computer game analogy, I suppose our Daemon is simply the RAM or the Memory Stick that holds the memory of the last game.

Anonymous said...

Thanks folks! I thought it must have occured to other people too!

Anonymous said...
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Hurlyburly said...

I keep thinking of a very similar episode of "Red Dwarf" in which a very similar thing happens. You may be able to find it on You Tube or somewhere similar.

Anonymous said...

Hurleyburley: I'll look out for it.

BTW I watched "The Science of Sleep" and really enjoyed it. It seems to have got the quirkiness of dreaming just right and the blurring of the dream state and reality is fascinating. It reminded me of "Being John Malkovitch" in that way. I'll certainly watch it again.

Hurlyburly said...

Yes Gondrey is very good at what he does, he also directed Eternal Sunshine of the SPotless mind. If you enjoyed Being John Malkovich i also recommend you check out Adaptation starring Nicholas Cage, you should enjoy that.

Anthony Peake said...

I really like this "Computer game" analogy. A programmer designing a game has to programme in every possible outcome of every action. This is exactly what is suggested in the MWI (MMI) proposition.

As a question - is that how role-playing computer games are programmed? Surely to do so would take up a massive amount of memory? This would involve programming a series of events that would multiply expotentially. Clearly this will work in Space-Time that is possibly infinite but how does it work for a finite computer programme on a CD rom or DVD?

Karl Le Marcs said...

Tony: I've done a fair bit of computer programming in my years and thankfully we have moved on significantly from the days of:

10 Print "Hello Tony"
20 Goto 10


Even Machine Code of the last decade or two looks now like trying to calculate the Dirac Equation with a purple crayon.

So advancements in programming language and increases in hard-drive size, RAM and Processor Speed have greatly helped but even a Role Playing Game (RPG) has limitations; you can't interract with EVERYTHING, nor move EVERYWHERE, and thus the series of event are mapped out in a determined fashion. So this is how it operates in a finite medium, as opposed to 'reality' or a Bohmian IMAX recurrence.

I hope this helps.