Red or Blue Pill?

Here are some thought-provoking meditations on Nozick’s “Experience Machine” thought-experiment.

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10 comments
  1. gn said:

    Interesting article, now psychology is getting a little more palatable

  2. Indeed, it seems that Nozick’s experience machine has some description problems that muddy the thought experiment.

    I am quite surprised that 13% would choose life in a maximum security prison over the virtual life the have. Very strange – they must be unduly influenced by the Matrix series!

    • unawoken said:

      Shreesh, I am not sure if it is the Matrix series. I think it is “fear of the unknown” and “preference for the known”

  3. gn said:

    “fear of the unknown” and “preference for the known” – true for the other 87%… no?

    • unawoken said:

      Oh I see. I got Shreesh’s question mixed up. Yeah that 13%. I think some people are diehard realists. I do understand it. Perhaps I should discuss with Shreesh offline.

      @gn. I think it is a lot more than that for the 87%.

      • Shreesh Taskar said:

        Yes, could be. Or they could be just plain wack-o. I have noticed that in surveys about 30% of the respondents tend to behave very unpredictably. Some examples:

        30% of blacks believe AIDS was genetically engineered to destroy them

        http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/30/opinion/30kristof.html

        30% believe that the sun goes around the Earth.

        (Read in sfgate, can’t find reference)

        30% believed Elvis is alive (falling now)

        Look out for this number!

      • unawoken said:

        Hi Shreesh, yep. I was going to say in our offline discussion that part of it is the fact that people respond “lazily” when they know that it is just a questionnaire, so that is part of it. But I guess this cuts both ways, so some of the 87% also is because of this effect.

  4. Anonymous said:

    Do you have any references/links for the ‘lot more’ ?

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