« Historical Simulations | Main | Milgram Redux »

November 18, 2006

Comments

Ivo Jansch

I don't think I agree with this part: "Where this would end is the crashing of the entire stack of simulations, leaving a real world composed of nothing but inoperable hardware, on which nothing runs."

Have you ever used VMWare? VMWare can be used to completely simulate a pc on your pc. On this simulated machine, you can install VMWare and simulate another pc inside a pc. If, in the pc on the pc on the pc, performance problems arise because the outer pc cannot handle it, the inner pc will just slow down, but it would never destroy your own computer (the master running the outermost pc) or render it useless.

The key idea is here that 'time' place a role. If there aren't enough 'particles' to do the computations, you can just use those that you do have available, but take longer.

Peter S. Jenkins

Ivo - I know the theory behind VMWare, Java Machines, and other Virtual Machines i.e. that they are supposed to be a safe "sandbox" way of emulating and debugging systems without crashing the host system, but nonetheless there seem to be instances where they do crash and/or slow down the host system for various reasons, including memory shortage.

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