Author Topic: Jannah, virtual reality, eternity, and boredom  (Read 6520 times)

Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Jannah, virtual reality, eternity, and boredom
« Reply #45 on: January 07, 2018, 11:09:08 AM »
I'll take the VR....  Embodiment sucks!!!!!!

Then keep me company in the poll box, Chestertonian.  I'm all alone up there with the sole "yes" vote.

 :(
 

Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Jannah, virtual reality, eternity, and boredom
« Reply #46 on: January 07, 2018, 11:14:58 AM »
Are book tokens only used in the UK? It seems they could be a good incentive/excuse to get BOOKS, e.g. for a bibliophile, or to encourage young people to read; plus a little convenience. But of course you know more about them than I do.

Book tokens seem to be the same thing as gift cards.  I wonder why Greg hates them so much.  I would think he'd see them as a clever way of businesses making money.  When I was working at a Borders, we were told to push gift cards on the basis that something like ten percent of all gift cards sold either never get redeemed or never get fully used before the expiration date.  Apparently they have a good profit margin due to nothing other than human forgetfulness.  And yet, people do like giving gift cards.  It's a way of saying, "instead of just throwing money at you, I at least took the time to remember that you enjoy shopping at this establishment."  The giver, the recipient, and the establishment are all satisfied.
 

Offline Brighid

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Re: Jannah, virtual reality, eternity, and boredom
« Reply #47 on: January 07, 2018, 11:30:28 AM »
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« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 11:43:21 AM by Brighid »
 
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Offline Jacob

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Re: Jannah, virtual reality, eternity, and boredom
« Reply #48 on: January 07, 2018, 12:02:25 PM »
I voted no.

To quote Antonius Block, "I live in a world of ghosts, a prisoner of dreams."  I spend a lot of time thinking about what if I had done that instead of this, etc.  But even thinking about pleasant fantasies, there's always the nagging voice in my head trying to square things like, how can a 37-year-old man live inside an immature, not fully developed brain, i.e. this is nice, but that's all it is.

A voluntary VR would be very seductive, but in the end it wouldn't be real.  It has no consequence.  Once I'm dead, the system reboots for a new user.  To quote another movie, "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."  The same could be said for real life, but at least out there, one has the chance to affect the future, whether it is being a great man of history or having kids or just knowing that I have interactions with real people.  Not like The Truman Show where one is either acting a role or is the ignorant dupe.
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Offline Lydia Purpuraria

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Re: Jannah, virtual reality, eternity, and boredom
« Reply #49 on: January 07, 2018, 12:49:47 PM »
My response to the following is probably quite a bit of a derail from the OP; so, PdR, would you prefer that I make my reply to this in a new thread?

Well, the bit about crooked teeth and organ donation and medical care are a separate issue to VR.  (VR would resolve any physical issue by allowing the user to create a new physicality).  The slightly Mary Baker Eddy-ish opinions being offered by Max and queen.saints are interesting, but they probably deserve a new thread.  Prosthetics, however, must remain here, as any true VR would be, in essence, a prosthetic worn by the brain (a "prosthetic nervous system," so to speak).

Yeah, I agree about those being a separate issue.  Although the artificial pancreas (or, "closed loop system") could probably be considered somewhat in the realm of VR, I'll make a new thread.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 08:46:50 AM by Lydia Purpuraria »
 
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Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Jannah, virtual reality, eternity, and boredom
« Reply #50 on: January 07, 2018, 02:48:50 PM »
I voted no.

To quote Antonius Block, "I live in a world of ghosts, a prisoner of dreams."  I spend a lot of time thinking about what if I had done that instead of this, etc.  But even thinking about pleasant fantasies, there's always the nagging voice in my head trying to square things like, how can a 37-year-old man live inside an immature, not fully developed brain, i.e. this is nice, but that's all it is.

A voluntary VR would be very seductive, but in the end it wouldn't be real.  It has no consequence.  Once I'm dead, the system reboots for a new user.  To quote another movie, "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."  The same could be said for real life, but at least out there, one has the chance to affect the future, whether it is being a great man of history or having kids or just knowing that I have interactions with real people.  Not like The Truman Show where one is either acting a role or is the ignorant dupe.

Thank you for conceding the seductiveness of the proposition, Jacob.  I will give you some pushback on two of your three objections, though, since I agree it would be impossible to father children in virtual reality.  (One could have children in VR, of course, and they would appear as real to you as any children do in actual reality.  There would be no distinguishing an offspring in virtual reality from a living, breathing, and thinking biological child.  But they would ultimately be A.I., and not true organic minds).  A person who already does have children, though, could go with them into the virtual reality.  Families and even communities could go into the VR together; in fact, the whole of humanity could.  In terms of “having interactions with real people,” there would be no prohibiting that.  You would be able to interact with everyone you currently do (unless they were opt-outs like Max and erin and Kaesekopf.  Which is weird, really, because once you’re on the internet, you’re already in a virtual reality of sorts, however primitive.  As Greg likes to point out, many traditional Catholics were hellfire-and-brimstone against the internet in the early days, until ten years later when the same people suddenly all had blogs).  Some people from real life might choose to look different in the VR, but surely looks can’t be the measure of what makes someone real.  Already we live in a world where people change their looks—whether dyeing or cutting their hair, growing and shaving their beards, legs, and armpits, getting braces and tattoos, or even undergoing plastic surgery.

Consider someone who is perfectly normal and then gets in a fiery car wreck, and the next day is an unrecognizable quadriplegic amputee hairless burn victim.  They’re still the same person we knew.  They’re no less real, even if they appear radically different and talk to us through a Stephen Hawking voice modulator.  In VR they might want to be restored to their previous shell.  Or if someone is plain old Joe in real life and shows up looking like Terence Stamp in the VR, you would just say, “Joe, man, you’re looking really cool,” and then go on an adventure together.  Almost instantly the human race is going to start looking a whole lot better in VR (although of course there will always be the kinds of smart alecks who’ll choose to look like Viking dwarves or flying purple people eaters.  The freaks and trannies and dragon ladies will go hog wild, so there will still be a broad diversity, and doubtless even an explosion of new life forms, but on the whole I think most people will opt to go with either their pre-VR looks or something human).  Meaningful intellectual interactions with other minds would be no less available.

And through these interactions, you would be able to leave a legacy behind.  Assume that since people will want to interact with each other, there would be a “commons VR” where anyone and everyone could interact, and then there would be sub-commons worlds where shared interests and communities would congeal, and it would get more private and less overlapping from there, with family worlds and then individual worlds.  Even the most severe misanthrope who opted out of every single commons and retreated for the rest of his or her life into building a vast, closed-off world of their own invention—such a person would nevertheless be able to stipulate that a portal to their world be made open after their death, to be experienced by anyone who might one day want to enter.  Maybe that misanthrope could create an unexpectedly beautiful world, the way sometimes reclusive artists and poets leave behind work that future generations find fascinating.  I think even with VR technology, for those who don’t waste their whole lives with it on masturbatory inanities, we would still be curious about each other, and want to see what other minds do with it.  No matter how much we can gratify ourselves, we would still have an itch for the unexpected.  So you would not be like Roy.  Those “c-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate” would not be lost to posterity so long as you leave your creation behind.  Stanley Kubrick is dead, but we still have Barry Lyndon.


« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 10:58:27 AM by Pon de Replay »
 
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Offline queen.saints

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Re: Jannah, virtual reality, eternity, and boredom
« Reply #51 on: January 07, 2018, 06:17:24 PM »
.

Brighid officially the best person on the internet.
 
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Offline red solo cup

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Re: Jannah, virtual reality, eternity, and boredom
« Reply #52 on: January 07, 2018, 06:52:31 PM »
I voted yes. Mostly curiosity.To experience VR...not necessarily live there.
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Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Jannah, virtual reality, eternity, and boredom
« Reply #53 on: January 08, 2018, 08:27:19 AM »
.

Brighid officially the best person on the internet.

Post count: one.

Content of post: a lone dot.

I think I’m in love.
 
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Offline Lydia Purpuraria

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Re: Jannah, virtual reality, eternity, and boredom
« Reply #54 on: January 08, 2018, 08:47:42 AM »
.

Brighid officially the best person on the internet.

Post count: one.

Content of post: a lone dot.

I think I’m in love.

 :lol:

« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 08:51:39 AM by Lydia Purpuraria »
 

Offline mikemac

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Re: Jannah, virtual reality, eternity, and boredom
« Reply #55 on: January 08, 2018, 11:16:23 PM »
I voted no.  I assume you are saying that you could go into this VR world and come out of it when ever you want at your own choosing?  Or is it a set time?  Do you determine when you come out, or does someone else have control of that?  I think too many people would get their VR world confused with their real world.  You know, like we have already seen with Columbine and other mass shootings.

I think my main reason for a no vote lines up more closely with Carleendiane's here though.
https://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=19304.msg428779#msg428779
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Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Jannah, virtual reality, eternity, and boredom
« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2018, 11:35:48 AM »
I voted no.  I assume you are saying that you could go into this VR world and come out of it when ever you want at your own choosing?  Or is it a set time?  Do you determine when you come out, or does someone else have control of that?  I think too many people would get their VR world confused with their real world.  You know, like we have already seen with Columbine and other mass shootings.

I think my main reason for a no vote lines up more closely with Carleendiane's here though.
https://www.suscipedomine.com/forum/index.php?topic=19304.msg428779#msg428779

Two of Carleendiane’s criteria (“friends and family”) could be met in virtual reality, as one could still interact with friends and family in the VR.  If anything, it would be a marked improvement in terms of internet friendships.  Already we have funtime threads on this forum that attempt to recreate a virtual atmosphere of “relaxing with friends.”  People will type things like, “can I get you a cup of coffee?” or “I’m bringing out the shrimp tacos!”  And there’s nothing wrong with this, except that the enjoyment is limited to the imagination.  If these interactions took place in a true VR, you could really drink the coffee or eat the shrimp tacos together.  Instead of seeing an eye-rolling smiley, you would see someone actually rolling their eyes.  Internet forums and social media are painfully primitive forms of virtual reality.  And one could still interact with one’s real-life friends and family in the VR; the only snag being that with the ability to recreate our physical bodies there, we might be confused at first at the transformations.  A mother might be disappointed that she can no longer enjoy her freckle-faced daughter’s gap-toothed smile because in VR her daughter has chosen to look like Margot Robbie playing Harley Quinn or Mary Elizabeth Winstead playing Ramona Flowers.  (The whole “garish comic book movie cosplay” trend would be ratcheted up to the nth power).  But then again, many a mother in real life has already gasped at dyed hair, wild haircuts, goth makeup, and nose rings, so there would be nothing new under the sun as far as people altering their appearance goes—only the extent.

But Carleen did raise the most salient objection when she listed “faith” as a key to her happiness.  And indeed, to answer your question, mikemac: for the purposes of this discussion, it would have to be possible for a person to be able to come out of the virtual reality at their own choosing.  This would be of particular importance to Catholics, as a Catholic would be obligated to exit the VR at least once a week in order to attend Mass.

I would only take exception to your point that “too many people would get their VR world confused with their real world.”  I think people like the Columbine goons would never return from the virtual reality back to the real world in the first place.  Let’s face it, most people are pretty animalistic; sorry to be a snob but many people have no appreciation whatsoever for aesthetics or spirituality and are just as dumb as a post and live in squalor.  Consider how popular porn is on the internet, and how perniciously people can be become addicted to violent video games.  I think a great many males would live out the rest of their lives in a macho fantasy in the VR: on an endless loop of having sex, racing cars, flying planes, and shooting things and blowing stuff up.  They would basically live in a hyper “Michael Bay / The Fast & the Furious” kind of action movie with porn scenes and junk food.  My favorite current television show is Westworld, and it has a very pessimistic take on what humans would do if we could build fully realistic androids: basically, it hypothesizes, we would probably build theme parks where a person could do anything they wanted without the prick of a conscience, since the other people they interacted with would be A.I. in a human body.  Anthony Hopkins builds a park that recreates the “Wild West” where people can get into gunfights and sleep with saloon floozies and go on train robbery adventures.  I have little doubt that a virtual reality would be used by many people in the same manner.  It may even be the case that people like the Columbine shooters become so hateful and psychotic because they prefer their fantasy worlds to the real world where they have to do chores and homework, and go to school and get picked on.  I think the shooter at Virginia Tech snapped because he was rejected by a girl.  Better to let such people go off into a VR and get any girl they want without fear of rejection.  Hopefully they would never come back, but I don't know if anyone else would either.  Who would choose to come back, aside from those with religious obligations?  Catholics would have to come back for Mass, and possibly Muslims would have to come back five times a day to pray, considering that facing Mecca in a virtual reality might not be considered as truly turning in the direction of the real and actual Mecca.



« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 01:00:29 PM by Pon de Replay »
 

Offline The Curt Jester

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Re: Jannah, virtual reality, eternity, and boredom
« Reply #57 on: January 09, 2018, 12:48:44 PM »
I voted no.   I've always disliked hypothetical questions so why would I enjoy a virtual reality?  Imagining something that one might do in the future may be amusing for a time (especially if you know you can really do it later), but living in an imaginary world would actually  be a disappointment.
The royal feast was done; the King
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They could not see the bitter smile
Behind the painted grin he wore.

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Be merciful to me, a fool!"
 

Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Jannah, virtual reality, eternity, and boredom
« Reply #58 on: January 09, 2018, 02:13:22 PM »
I voted no.   I've always disliked hypothetical questions so why would I enjoy a virtual reality?  Imagining something that one might do in the future may be amusing for a time (especially if you know you can really do it later), but living in an imaginary world would actually  be a disappointment.

Wouldn’t it only be a disappointment if it never happened?  Anticipating something and not getting it is a let-down, I agree.  Let’s say you and I were on a flight to Tokyo and there was a loud, incessantly crying baby on board.  I might turn to you and say, “hypothetical question, Curt.  Would you enjoy if it I had a way of making that baby stop crying?”  You would probably roll your eyes and say, “yes, I would enjoy that very much.”  And I’d say, “well, too bad, because I don’t have any cure for the crying baby,” and you’d grumble, “I’ve always disliked hypothetical questions.”

But if, instead, I were to take out my iPod and change some settings, and the baby suddenly stopped crying, and if I said, “the truth is, Curt, we are living in a virtual reality and I’ve hacked into the program that runs it, and I can block out the sound of a crying baby as sure as anyone can block out images on their web browser,” I don’t see how you’d be disappointed.  Granted, it is highly unlikely that this would ever happen, but if it did happen, you would not be disappointed.

So how would “living in an imaginary world” be “a disappointment”?  It wouldn’t be any more “imaginary” than this one.  On every sensual front it would be as materially real.  I can understand your objection to the question on the grounds that imagining something but not being able to actually enjoy it is, alas, the frustrating curse of Tantalus, to which you prefer not to be subjected.  But don’t vote “no” on those grounds.  The question isn’t, “do you enjoy being asked to consider this unlikely hypothetical?”  Only vote “no” if you think you would truly not enjoy (or not want to enjoy) experiencing the greatest sensual reality you can imagine.


« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 02:18:18 PM by Pon de Replay »
 

Offline Greg

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Re: Jannah, virtual reality, eternity, and boredom
« Reply #59 on: January 09, 2018, 02:37:21 PM »
I hate book tokens and gift cards for the same reason.

You take a perfectly liquid $100 paper bill and exchange it for a financial instrument that is far less liquid and can only be spent at one type of business.

The receiver of the gift now has a less useful thing, than if you gave them the $100 bill.  You have wasted your time exchanging something more valuable (more liquid) for something less valuable (less liquid).  Only the business that sells it to you gains because of all the unused book tokens and gift cards that are never fully spent or expire or lost.  Those are effectively free cash for them.

Only a complete muggins buys the con that buying a piece of plastic or card somehow makes the gift "more thoughtful".  Ebay is full of giftcards being sold at a discount.

Just give the cash if you cannot think of a present.
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