Friday, September 23, 2005

Deadly plague hits Warcraft world

In his death throes Hakkar hits foes with a "corrupted blood" infection that can instantly kill weaker characters.

The infection was only supposed to affect those in the immediate vicinity of Hakkar's corpse but some players found a way to transfer it to other areas of the game by infecting an in-game virtual pet with it.

This pet was then unleashed in the orc capital city of Ogrimmar and proved hugely effective as the Corrupted Blood plague spread from player to player.

(Via Betterhumans.)


A compelling metaphor. If we're inhabiting a simulation, could degenerative diseases be the equivalent to corrupt code or even "bit rot"?

Perhaps when scientists search for the cure for illnesses like cancer and AIDS they're in truth groping for a software patch. Our computational substrate may be diseased or senile, and using our world as a sort of virtual Petri dish in an effort to combat "architect level" decay. Buddhism holds that "life is suffering." If so, maybe the fruits of our suffering are harvested for the greater good of whatever created us; meanwhile, we're lulled into complacency like so many lab rats awaiting the next round of experimental injections.





There's a vein a Judeo-Christian metalogic in this scenario, as it implies that the entity or entities in the "real" universe have a legitimate reason to care about our plight, much like the deities of Western mythology. (Now that I think of it, this strikes me as a plot for some never-written Philip K. Dick novel.)

Personally, I'm not sure I like the idea of existing solely to spawn code for some unseen hierarchical intelligence. I'd like to think we could ultimately transcend to the next level, regardless if it represents "true" reality. (As philosopher Nick Bostrom has noted, we could inhabit a simulation within a simulation -- the total number of spurious realities dependent on the computational might of original reality, assuming such exists.)

18 comments:

KennyJC said...

Yeah, it's been 15 billion years and still no patch to fix the bugs, jeez! I thought Microsoft were lame.

It's hard to think of any kind of intelligence keeping watch over this universe from outside. IF they created the universe, then, well it's a piece of work we can't really see motives for... Unless you call a habitat for life a motive...

My theory is that this universe is used as a door stop in another dimension.

sauceruney said...

hmmm...

think of this

In "The Matrix", Morpheus, Trinity, and eventually Neo, looked at the internal universe of the Matrix and the people within it with detached regard, and to the people within still unaware of their illusory surroundings, I'm sure these super beings might have seemed like abductees are describing their Grey Alien abductors.

JEFM said...

I agree with Kenny. To some point ... what if this is not a "trial" but a game, an actual video-game ... the moment the "kids" or beings playing with us get bored ... puff! end of everything.

I have thought of all this sometimes as nothing but a video-game, with some higher purpose ... for their learning.

W.M. Bear said...

U.D. -- Unintelligent Design?

Mac said...

Sauceruney--

Already thought of that. :-)

Ken said...

Personally, I cannot even begin to recall all the possible postulated reasons for this existence, or the divergent theories of its physical (?) manifestation. Just pick one; it likely doesn't matter. What we've truly got is what we've got, and those are Cogito Ergo Sum, and Now.

Insofar as there are many folk in the world who have little or no brain mass, yet function perfectly well, it is obvious that the brain itself is not requisite for cognition. We are forced then into a deeper level of reality, the quantum level, which I myself cannot begin to understand.

One thing I do know is that the reality we see is an interpretation done by our individual consciousness. In this sense reality is an individualized idealogical construct. Yet, even so, any who saw it would say my house is painted purple. So, there must be some sort of underlying ... agreement (?) as to perceived reality. After all, light has no "color" until we think it does. In any event, there is much more to reality than "meets the eye". *Ahem* :-)

This is all too deep for me. IMO, the Way of Enlightenment comes either by long-term meditation or a few good doses of LSD. And you can't find any good LSD any more! :-(

BTW: No more Blog Spam. Your system seems to work, Mac. Cool.

JEFM said...

Ken

I believe the brain is A MUST for cognition ...

sauceruney said...

Mac,

I'll tell you, things actually start to make sense when you look at it from that perspective.

W.M. Bear said...

One thing I do know is that the reality we see is an interpretation done by our individual consciousness.

If you mean by "reality" our "SENSE of reality," yes. If you mean by "reality" Reality itself (with a -- reluctant -- capital "R") no way. Indeed, the very CONCEPT of reality makes no sense if you regard reality as something purely "subjective." (Philosophy 102) Most of my morally relativistic liberal friends seem to find this notion difficult. I can kind of see why.

I like Phil Dick's definition: "Reality is what doesn't go away when you stop believing in it."

W.M. Bear said...

ken -- On further reflection, I think you meant something similar by the phrase "the reality we see." Exactamondo. My apologies. I'm in my "lecture mode" this afternoon!

Mac said...

BTW: No more Blog Spam. Your system seems to work, Mac. Cool.

Thank Blogger, not me. But yes, weevee seems to have done the trick nicely -- thank god.

Mac said...

I'll tell you, things actually start to make sense when you look at it from that perspective.

I know. Which begs the question: Should I be frightened, enlightened or both?

Ken said...

Well, it all makes me kinda nervous .... I mean, WTF is goin' on? All the paradigms I grew up with, and which are still believed by the vast majority of humanity, are now demonstrated irrelevant. Mostly. Pushing 60 now, and still don't have anything more than a few clues, which I don't really understand. In all likelihood (Iguess!), the answers are within us somewhere. Which is why I'd like to find some pure LSD. Used properly, it can really aid in such questionings. IMO.

Mac said...

Ken--

I think you'd seriously enjoy "DMT: The Spirit Molecule."

Ken said...

Well, as a matter of fact, I've some Phalaris Arundenacea in the back yard and freezer, along with quite specific instructions as to preparing smokeable DMT from that formidable wild grass. However, after reading somewhat broadly on the subject, I'm honestly a bit scared of DMT. Not least because some evidence indicates it just might cause brain lesions with overuse. With no standard of what overuse might be. Talk about rotting your mind!

A wonderful source of info on this and many other entheogens is http://www.erowid.org/ . Truly encyclopedic, and well organized. Name yer poison: they've got something to say that's worth hearing.

So, this gal smokes some DMT, and remembers nothing. So, she tries it again, and meets a large dragon-like creature who says "I thought I told you not to come back."

So, a bunch of maniac dwarves rush in, rotate the tires on the Death Mobile, demand payment, and rush out.

And on and on. But then again, it only lasts about five minutes, so perhaps it's time to buy a separation funnel. ?!? Know where I can get one cheap? :-)

After all, if there really are multiple dimensions, and if our consciousness truly does function on a quantum level, mayhap all we need to "SEE" is a bit of a chemical boost. Long time since I've done such; perhaps it's time to try again. Blow out some cobwebs, as it were.

Mac said...

I suspect some psychedelics facilitate a form of "quantum rapprochement" like that described (peripherally) by Nick Herbert in his essay "Quantum Tantra." However, I also think similar states can be acheived without exo-chemical assistance.

(Of course, this is coming from a nonuser, so I suppose one could argue I really don't know what I'm talking about.)

Weevee: hateobtj (Can someone tell me what an "obtj" is so I can hate it?)

RJU said...

>>"In all likelihood (Iguess!), the answers are within us somewhere"

I think you are on the wrong path here. If there are any answers they are not within us, they are outside of us. The path within leads to nowhere in my opinion. The way to understanding is to broaden your perspective, look at things from all possible viewpoints, learn more. Drugs can lead you to more confusion, detachment from reality, and death.

W.M. Bear said...

Drugs can lead you to more confusion, detachment from reality, and death.

Favorite quote from prescription drug label (Viagra -- not kidding): "Side effects may include death."

Presumably, at least, you'll die happy.