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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

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Flashing Merlin

Virtual reality may be deceptive, but I don't think you can call it an evil deceiver, unless an evil programmer is programming it for evil ends.

René Descartes was trying to establish a basis for his philosophy, and wanted to rule out the possibility of being deceived, thus by doubting everything, he felt he could at least be sure not to be misled into falsehood by his hypothetical demon. He assumes the demon is evil, because it's trying to deceive him.

He goes on eventually to state, "we cannot doubt of our existence while we doubt"

There is therefore, nothing in his arguments to make us suppose VR is an evil deceiver, if it's not in evil hands, and its intent is not deception for evil purposes. It might merely be an entertaining deceiver, or a banal deceiver.

What strikes me about the particular example is that it applies as well to augmented reality, like Magic Leap. Given that VR can cause disorientation, some have suggested augmented reality can avoid this danger since you don't lose touch with the real world, while you experience virtual objects.

The example of trying to sit in a virtual chair proves even augmented reality can be dangerous. Some risks might be worth taking, but we should at least understand what the risks are, so such warnings are well founded.

However, we don't need to make the road harder for the new technologies by labeling them "evil deceivers."

sirhc deSantis

Then again 6% is probably less than the proportion already willingly deceived by, oh lets pull one at random, the Ebil Murdoch....

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