How Good a Sim are You?

Sims 2 Pauline Aspir and Luis Aspir by Donna of Irony Similitude The Simulation Argument proposed by Nick Bostrom in 2003 remains the single most perplexing answer to the Fermi Paradox yet proposed.

The short version of these two arguments are:
  – Fermi Paradox: Given how many habitable planets there are in the Galaxy and how long they’ve been about… where the hell are all the aliens? They should have over run the place with von Neumann probes already!
  – Simulation Argument: Given that it will become possible in the future to simulate not just individuals but whole populations, it is significantly more probable that we are ancestor simulations being run by our future prodigy rather than real world residents who will first develop that technology.

So SA’s answer to FP is simply: You are a Sim. The simulation does not include the aliens.

Review: Ikigai

Ikigai Book CoverThe very existence of “Ikigai” has come about because the author, Sebastian Marshall, got so pissed off at his treatment by a large publisher that he decided to flip the bird in spectacular fashion and grind out a book in one week.

As you’d expect from a project that was so tightly framed, there are some rough edges to the completed work, but these are not so jarring as the ones that spoiled my enjoyment of How to be the Luckiest Person Alive. This book may have been churned out in about a week, but in that week a designer and an editor were working hard on adding value to the collection of essays gleaned from the blog.

The main rough edge issues are repitition of some sections and also many of the essays were in response to emailed questions or previous discussions and they have not been properly re-framed to take that into account. It’s not hard to see where this is the case and backfill a little yourself, but does leave you feeling that one more week of editing could have made a big difference.

Review: How to Be the Luckiest Person Alive

How to be the Luckiest Person Alive” by James Altucher is the author’s first self published book that he is pushing at the Amazon minimum price of 99c as the object is to get read, not get rich. It is not his first book, he has published through the more traditional route before but I haven’t read any of them for comparison.

I have been an avid reader of his blog for some time now. He is prolific, occasionally produces profoundly insightful gems and has pushed the line so far out on how much honesty one can put into bloging it is amazing. There are a great many blogs by and for wannabe entrepreneurs out there, the ones that standout are not those that claim to purvey fullproof get-rich methods so much as those that discuss their failures as openly as they discuss their successes. James’ blog is stunning in his discussions about and deep honesty in portraying his failings, and yet he is a slightly socially reclusive geek who has made the occasional multi-million dollar success. The journeys from crashed out, penniless failures back to success and happiness, by following his Daily Practice , are entertaining rides indeed.