Finding a few thought-provoking snippets on the nature of reality lately.

Virtual realities are valid

I recently read part of Reality+, a book by David Chalmers which argues that virtual reality is as real – and has equal possibility for a fulfilling life – as “normal” reality. His central thesis, verbatim:

Virtual reality is genuine reality. Or at least, virtual realities are genuine realities. Virtual worlds need not be second-class realities. They can be first-class realities.

Excerpt pulled from here. I DNF’ed the book because I had to return it to the library before I could finish it (its long!)

Sometimes, simulation > reality

An excerpt from Travels in Hyperreality by Umberto Eco which reflects on the intentional seeking out of simulation for the sake of living out a daydream:

An image of a scanned document that reads: "and a baobab a baobab. When there is a fake-hippopotamus, dinosaur, sea serpent-it is not so much because it wouldn't be possible to have the real equivalent but because the public is meant to admire the perfection of the fake and its obedience to the program. In this sense Disneyland not only produces illusion, butin confessing it--stimulates the desire for it: A real crocodile can be found in the zoo, and as a rule it is dozing or hiding, but Disneyland tells us that faked nature corresponds much more to our daydream demands. When, in the space of twenty-four hours, you go (as I did deliberately) from the fake New Orleans of Disneyland to the real one, and from the wild river of Adventureland to a trip on the Mississippi, where the captain of the paddle-wheel steamer says it is possible to see alligators on the banks of the river, and then you don't see any, you risk feeling homesick for Disneyland, where the wild animals don't have to be coaxed. Disneyland tells us that technology can give us more reality than nature can."