Magic Experience Machine

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Saito Hajime, Mar 12, 2015.

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  1. During my Political Science course, we covered the idea of Utilitarianism. Without boring you with the specifics, an anecdote used to argue against the idea of people gaining utility purely from the experience of something (i.e. love, friendship etc) is Nozick's "Experience Machine", which is explained as being a machine that can use drugs or magic or whatever to make you feel like you've experienced something without the actual experience. The argument usually suggest that few to no one would make use of this machine due to the fact that they would rather have a real experience than simply get the feeling of doing something without doing it.

    The question is; would you make use of a machine that let you automatically feel as though you had experienced something (absolutely anything under the sun) with no effort, or would you decide against making use of such a device?
  2. I feel like just knowing its artificially created would cheapen the feeling, so no.
  3. But think about all the people who wouldn't be able to do things because of disabilities, lack of money, other responsibilities, etc.

    Although I agree with you that it may cheapen the feeling a little, I personally think it would be a great machine to use if you didn't have the time, money, or other resources to things you would really want to do.
  4. I'd use it to see what it feels like to die in various ways. Morbid curiosity.

    Oh, I would also use it to fake experience all sorts of weird shit so as to be able to use them for comparisons. For instance, I could say a headache feels like someone is using a tiny jackhammer on my skull and be totally accurate about it.

    And then of course I'd use it to experience copious amounts of fake sex with celebrities, just because whenever those celebrities are brought up I can say "oh yeah, I fake banged her in the magic experience machine, 6/10" or similar.

    Basically, I'd use it but just for weird and frivolous stuff.
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  5. I did consider that, but the question was if I would use it, and I wouldn't :P
  6. In a similar vein of thinking, you could also use it to try out all sorts of drugs without any real consequences, and also presumably without any possibility of addiction.

    ...Unless it's possible to get addicted to the machine, which is an interesting notion.
  7. You can get addicted to anything, so I doubt this machine would be an exception.

    As for what I would do with such a machine? It's unlikely I'll use it for much, but I might possibly use it to fake experience that I lack the courage to do for real, like skydiving. I'd imagine it'd be really good for overcoming major phobias and such, so I probably use it for that purpose too.
  8. So to be clear, this is a machine that makes it feel as if you had experienced something, right? Not a virtual reality machine that lets you fake-experience it in real time?

    If so, the only things I'd see myself using the machine for are matters of training. If it feels like I've spent hundreds of hours training in swordfighting, I may not have the muscles to show for it, but I'd almost certainly have some improved measure of the skill.

    As such, I would use for the purposes of combat training, parkour, drawing, speed-writing, and the such. I also would not be adverse to using it for informative texts like dictionaries and encyclopedias, but not for fiction and other such things that actually bring direct entertainment.
  9. If people want to read the specifics, this has a wikipedia page here.

    As far as I can tell, the machine was intended to induce a mental state that would make you think you've done something. It's up to interpretation whether that would entail an actual virtual reality simulation, or even a mental hallucination generated by the feeling.

    It would be difficult to say if it could reliably give you experiences that would improve your abilities or not simply based on the fact that this machine is more than likely an impossibility to truly produce, especially with the specific criteria of producing the "exact" feeling of doing absolutely anything.

    I probably don't even fully understand the concept myself, so don't expect to get any decent answers from me XD
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  11. For the same reason I don't smoke weed or drink alcohol I probably wouldn't use this machine for the most part.
    I'd rather be in full control of my sober self, and not be influenced by other things.

    I say "for the most part" though because I would use it to simulate conditions such as ADHD, Depression, Schizophrenia, Psychopathy etc.
    That way I could better understand and relate to the conditions, and not be as confused or foreign to them.
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  12. It'd be great for writing: To actually experience the perspective of someone doing something and then duplicating that in a story.

    Mind you, this kind of machine would largely render irrelevant writing: You could create any fantasy you desire...

    This would end well, of course.
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