WTF Is Going On?

Would you climb into a pleasure machine with Mark Zuckerberg?

The Facebook billionaire has just made himself leader and grand master of an alternate universe called Meta, where happiness is on tap

14 November 2021 - 00:00

Have you ever played with the pleasure machine? And no, get your head out of the gutter — I am not referring to some kind of  super sexy sexbot. The pleasure machine is a thought experiment proposed by  philosopher Robert Nozick in his book Anarchy, State and Utopia.

He was trying to show that, given the choice between living in everyday reality or in a very, very pleasant simulation, people will ultimately choose to return to reality. Because,  as Nozick put it, “Someone floating in a tank is an indeterminate blob”, and who wants to be an indeterminate floating blob? Nozick argued that humans would pick human life as we ostensibly know it, with all its messy trials and tribulations, because experience of these real things is preferable to the pursuit of a constant state of pleasure...

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