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The Bostromian argument for a Peggy Sue timeline [Feb. 1st, 2013|08:41 pm]
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The Bostromian argument for a Peggy-Sue timeline
1. Most timelines contain the potential for enough technology or magic to allow someone to go back in time to fix the mistakes of the present [source: anime and fanfiction]
2. Most times people try this, they will only mess things up worse, sometimes requiring hundreds or even thousands of timelines before they complete their mission [source: ibid]
3. Therefore, the "original" timeline will spin off hundreds or thousands of Peggy Sue timelines, each with about the same population as the original.
4. The vast majority of person-instances will therefore be living in Peggy Sue timelines, rather than the original timeline.
5. Anyone without any special information on whether they are on an original timeline or a Peggy Sue timeline should conclude through anthropic reasoning that they are probably living in a Peggy Sue timeline.

The anti-simulationist corollary
1. Most simulations will not allow separate Peggy Sue timelines, since they require immense computational resources (and in cases where each Peggy Sue timeline allows other characters to spin off their own Peggy Sue timelines, potentially infinite computational resources before resolving).
2. Most Peggy Sue timelines will not allow simulations, as this will mean millions of suffering people being kept deluded, and any true hero or heroine would go back in time to prevent them from being formed.
3. Therefore, Peggy Sue timelines and simulated universes are mostly mutually exclusive.
4. There are few good reasons to run ancestor simulations, but many good reasons to go back in time to fix your past mistakes.
5. The number of simulations is limited by available computing power in the lowest-level universe, but the number of Peggy Sue timelines is limited only by the plucky determination of anime heroines to never lose hope, no matter how dark the path or many failures they have suffered.
6. Therefore, there are more Peggy Sue timelines than simulations.
7. Therefore, you are probably not living in a simulation.

[User Picture]From: maniakes
2013-02-02 05:07 am (UTC)
If we're living in a Peggy Sue timeline, why hasn't anyone killed Hitler yet?
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From: (Anonymous)
2013-02-02 05:43 am (UTC)
Maybe Hitler was the Peggy Sue.
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[User Picture]From: squid314
2013-02-02 08:32 am (UTC)
Using his secret Thule Society knowledge, he returns time and time again. The first time he wasn't even able to gain control of the Nazi Party. Several more times his career ended after the Beer Hall Putsch. After a few hundred iterations, he managed to become Chancellor and take over large parts of Europe, only to be backstabbed by Russia when his troops were on the British front. In our timeline, he experiments with backstabbing Russia first, before they can fully industrialize, but this buys him only a few years. When it becomes clear he can't win, he commits suicide to send himself back to 1920 to try again - this time allying with Poland to attack Russia rather than partitioning it.
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From: (Anonymous)
2013-02-02 09:20 am (UTC)
And in another timeline, he realizes the impossibility of fighting a war on two fronts, and uses his experience with Barbarossa to make the pre-emptive strike on the Soviet Union fully successful. In the pre-war years, he manages to secure an alliance with Franco's Spain, Japan, Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Romania.

In said timeline, Hitler doesn't wait until 1940 to declare war against the Low Countries - troops are marched directly from the newly-conquered Poland and attack en-passant, falling upon France and forcing them to capitulate under Vichy France terms before winter is over.

In early 1940, to everyone's surprise, paratroopers land in Cardiff, and hold off the British long enough for several Panzer divisions to be unloaded in otherwise impossible conditions. Britain's core possessions fall in a couple of months - but the British colonies do not surrender, because USA has joined the war at their request, even though America isn't prepared to wage war yet. Italy decides that Hitler is on the winning team and joins the Axis also.

On schedule, 22nd June 1941, Nazi Germany attacks Soviet Russia, and uses their advanced mobility to completely wipe the floor with the Russians before winter comes - and then continue the offensive against the weakened defenders even during winter. Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrand and Baku fall. Japan seizes Vladivostok. In 1942, Stalin sues for peace. Germany gets their European possessions, while Japan gets eastern Siberia.

What follows is a great long slog along the European colonies. Persia and Iraq join the Axis, and Persia helps the Nazi expeditionary forces secure British India, who then move on to conquer Oceania and Australia. Fostering good relations between the Axis and other like-minded nations, the war between the Chinese and the Japanese is averted.

Several American invasions on the British Isles are fought off decisively. Meanwhile, German intelligence wages a secret war upon their nearly-unassailable enemy, funding every two-bit dissenter they can find - and they find plenty. Around 1944, they finally succeed. A Communist Revolution encompasses almost all of America.

(Blue - loyalist strongholds. Black - communist militia-held.)

Almost immediately, the Nazi agents permeating every layer of the American bureaucracy launch a coup-d'etat. Fritz Kuhn declares himself commander of the few loyalist forces still available, and begs for Nazi aid. Thirty Nazi divisions land in Boston, and are greeted with open arms as saviours against the Commie scum.

World War II ends a few months after that, when Nazi troops cleanse the American lands of communists, and conquer Canada as well.

Sieg Heil!
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From: cronodas
2013-02-03 12:34 am (UTC)
In another attempt prior to this one, he tries ignoring France and attacks Russia first, and ends up with the French army capturing Berlin. Which is why he did the opposite in this timeline, only to fail in the opposite manner.
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From: (Anonymous)
2013-02-02 05:42 am (UTC)


No "epistemic status" note here?
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From: khoth
2013-02-02 10:46 am (UTC)

Re: lol

The "epistemic status" note is just for articles that aren't completely certain.
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[User Picture]From: st_rev
2013-02-02 05:42 am (UTC)
Doesn't follow if Peggy-Sue timelines are limited to the light cone surrounding the time loop, i.e. pocket universes. Peggy-Sue timelines would then be far less populated than the stem universe.

Related: A simulator could easily implement a Peggy-Sue timeline by interpolating around the boundaries of an even smaller neighborhood of spacetime, effectively photoshopping the alternate timeline over the mainline with very little extra expense. Therefore, we are probably living in a simulation of a Peggy-Sue timeline. Or a simulation running in a Peggy-Sue timeline. Or...oh, fuck. THIS IS WHAT GRANT MORRISON WAS TRYING TO WARN US ABOUT

Edited at 2013-02-02 10:09 am (UTC)
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From: (Anonymous)
2013-02-02 06:12 am (UTC)
What if you run simulations to determine the best changes to make once you create your Peggy Sue timeline?
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From: (Anonymous)
2013-02-02 09:25 am (UTC)
Sally Sue is not part of my fantasy. She's part of my real life.

Big Boy Bando
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[User Picture]From: andrewducker
2013-02-02 10:06 am (UTC)
Are Peggy Sue timelines just ones where one simulated person has the code to reload-from-save while keeping their current memory state?
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From: danarmak
2013-02-02 10:35 am (UTC)
Suppose actual back-in-time travel is impossible, or that it would destroy the original timeline and so is unethical. Most would-be Peggy Sues will then turn to simulation as the answer: spending as many resources as possible to simulate, not the actual past, but better versions of it. This is more ethical anyway.

Of course they won't get things just right on the first try, so many variations will be simulated. So if time travel seems impossible, we should anthropically expect to be in a non-historical simulation.
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[User Picture]From: Eliezer Yudkowsky
2013-02-02 10:42 am (UTC)
I swear, you write the same article *every* time. That's it, I'm shutting the whole thing down.
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From: (Anonymous)
2013-02-02 10:55 am (UTC)

Simulation disproven long ago

Simulation was disproven tangentially in physics long ago. There are no hidden variables. You'll have to overturn Bell's Theorem and get it peer reviewed before you can lay any claim to simulation. There, now you can give up trying to think your way out of it :)
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[User Picture]From: mindstalk
2013-02-02 02:56 pm (UTC)

Re: Simulation disproven long ago

You're wrong. There's no *local* hidden variables. Non-local ones, like a cosmic-wide pseudo-random number generator, are fair game.


Plus, in checking, I found this odd bit where arguments against physical determinism seem to rest on assuming experimenter free will:

which read like "Assuming we don't live in a simulation or are otherwise determined robots, then no determinism" which is a rather huge begging of the question.
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[User Picture]From: gwern branwen
2013-02-02 04:29 pm (UTC)

Re: Simulation disproven long ago

The quantish universe in Drescher's _Good and Real_ may also be relevant.
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[User Picture]From: xuenay
2013-02-04 09:47 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: amuchmoreexotic
2013-02-04 12:54 pm (UTC)
So I'm almost certainly living in an anime?

The logical conclusion is that, in order to remain relevant to the anime's creators and not be dropped from upcoming episodes, I should spend as much time as possible hanging out with plucky but troubled teenage girls.
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From: blog.mp3technica.ru
2014-05-21 04:41 pm (UTC)
Да, солидарен с автором поста!!
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