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    • CommentAuthorsonoboy
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021 edited
     
    From Wiki

    ---Donald Hoffman is an American cognitive psychologist and popular science author. He is a professor in the Department of Cognitive Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, with joint appointments in the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, and the School of Computer Science---


    He and his team of researchers have determined that consciousness is the fundamental reality and that we evolved a species specific VR headset to present us with a dumb ed down version of what is really true, which is a vast social network of 1 bit conscious 'agents' which are trading experiences. These 1 bit agents are the basic building blocks for higher consciousnesses. He says that not only do we not see true reality as it, which is a vast complex interactive network,, but that we see NONE of the truth. His team found that when they used the mathematics of evolutionary game theory to build evolutionary models, any creature evolving to see the truth goes extinct. Creatures that evolve to maximize 'fitness payoffs' via a type of VR headset are the ones that survive and procreate.

    He says that Space/time emerges from consciousness, not the other way around. I read somewhere that his team have already derived the Schrodinger wave equation based on the 1 bit agent theory. More from wiki:

    ---MUI theory[2] states that "perceptual experiences do not match or approximate properties of the objective world, but instead provide a simplified, species-specific, user interface to that world." Hoffman argues that conscious beings have not evolved to perceive the world as it actually is but have evolved to perceive the world in a way that maximizes "fitness payoffs". Hoffman uses the metaphor of a computer desktop and icons - the icons of a computer desktop provide a functional interface so that the user does not have to deal with the underlying programming and electronics in order to use the computer efficiently. Similarly, objects that we perceive in time and space are metaphorical icons which act as our interface to the world and enable us to function as efficiently as possible without having to deal with the overwhelming amount of data underlying reality.[3]
    Conscious Realism
    Conscious Realism is described as a non-physicalist monism which holds that consciousness is the primary reality and the physical world emerges from that. The objective world consists of conscious agents and their experiences that cannot be derived from physical particles and fields. "What exists in the objective world, independent of my perceptions, is a world of conscious agents, not a world of unconscious particles and fields. Those particles and fields are icons in the MUIs of conscious agents, but are not themselves fundamental denizens of the objective world. Consciousness is fundamental.---
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021
     
    Hello sonoboy! Good to see you around again. And with a lot of material for us to chew on and argue about.
  1.  
    Stripped of the techno-gobbledegook of "one bit agents" and "VR headsets", this is almost exactly the philosophy of Tantra, whereby the mind consists of Citta, Ahamtattva and Mahatattva. This philosophy is millennia old.
    • CommentAuthorsonoboy
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021
     
    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanStripped of the techno-gobbledegook of "one bit agents" and "VR headsets", this is almost exactly the philosophy of Tantra, whereby the mind consists of Citta, Ahamtattva and Mahatattva. This philosophy is millennia old.


    There is no gobbledegook as you call it. They have a testable specific theory with rigid mathematics that has yet to be proven in error.
    • CommentAuthorsonoboy
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021
     
    Posted By: AngusHello sonoboy! Good to see you around again. And with a lot of material for us to chew on and argue about.


    Howdy!
  2.  
    Posted By: sonoboyThere is no gobbledegook as you call it. They have a testable specific theory with rigid mathematics that has yet to be proven in error.
    Link?
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      CommentAuthoroak
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: sonoboyThey have a testable specific theory with rigid mathematics that has yet to be proven in error.

    Curious to see how it's "testable."

    And "yet to be proven in error" isn't saying a lot. The theory that unicorns actually exist (even in the Donald Hoffman universe) is yet to be proven in error.
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021
     
    But what's it all for? (Even in an evolutionary sense)
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      CommentAuthoroak
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021 edited
     
    I think it's just a rehashing of the argument that we live in a simulation. Only this time the simulation is supposedly driven by biological "evolution," bizarrely enough.

    Argued by someone who is neither a physicist nor a biologist.

    https://physicsworld.com/a/reality-check/

    https://medium.com/@paulaustinmurphy2000/the-case-against-prof-donald-hoffmans-case-against-reality-f5fdf692a1c1
  3.  
    Never heard of Karl Popper
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021
     
    Posted By: sonoboyThey have a testable specific theory with rigid mathematics that has yet to be proven in error.


    Somebody tell me what the proposed test is. I could question the very idea of a rigid mathematics of consciousness, but I'll leave that for later.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021
     
    Posted By: loremanEven in an evolutionary sense


    Careful there loreman. That "for" smacks of teleology and purpose. There is no "for" in evolution. It's more of a "hey, look what I can do with my XXX!"
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021
     
    Posted By: Angus
    Posted By: loremanEven in an evolutionary sense


    Careful there loreman. That "for" smacks of teleology and purpose. There is no "for" in evolution. It's more of a "hey, look what I can do with my XXX!"


    But of course, what I was asking, in my endearingly quirky but humorous way, is how did such a state come to be and what would be the evolutionary advantage of it for those inside it?
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021 edited
     
    And it is an excellent question. The counter-shocking philosophical speculation (you can't call this stuff science per KP as Andrew points out) is that consciousness doesn't exist at all, as I have heard argued recently.
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021
     
    Depends what you mean by "exist".
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021
     
    Indeed. As Bill Clinton once argued, it can even depend on what "is" is.

    I think the sense is that we are automatons carrying out reflexive reactions to external stimuli, which we perceive to be voluntary because we think we decide what the reactions are. Some interesting experiments a while back seem to show that you can detect intention in brain waves and can show that intentions are formed before the subject is consciously aware of them. I'm sure al will be able to provide a reference - I am excused from library duty today on account of sore feet.

    As with all of this cyber-solipsism, personally I don't care because there is no way to determine what we mean by "exist". The question of whether we live in a "virtual world" (whatever that might mean) seems to be fundamentally uninteresting.
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      CommentAuthoroak
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021 edited
     
    So everything we see is one big illusion?
    We’ve been shaped to have perceptions that keep us alive, so we have to take them seriously. If I see something that I think of as a snake, I don’t pick it up. If I see a train, I don’t step in front of it. I’ve evolved these symbols to keep me alive, so I have to take them seriously. But it’s a logical flaw to think that if we have to take it seriously, we also have to take it literally.

    If snakes aren’t snakes and trains aren’t trains, what are they?
    Snakes and trains, like the particles of physics, have no objective, observer-independent features. The snake I see is a description created by my sensory system to inform me of the fitness consequences of my actions. Evolution shapes acceptable solutions, not optimal ones. A snake is an acceptable solution to the problem of telling me how to act in a situation. My snakes and trains are my mental representations; your snakes and trains are your mental representations.


    https://www.quantamagazine.org/the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality-20160421/

    I'd enjoy hearing what our friend Sabine would have to say about this.
    • CommentAuthorloreman
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021
     
    Mate, down here a snake's a snake.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021
     
    I listened to his TED talk. He seems to be making mountains out of molehills.

    There is little argument about the contention that the sensorium has to encode and compress what it can get from the external world. We've got pretty lousy bandwidth into the brain. Perceptions are formed from compressed inputs, which can only represent a tiny portion of whatever is actually going on out there. So by experience and evolution we develop perceptions from signals that are not really a result of analysing the situation in the world, but more like stimulating a memory. It's a hack. Nobody is very surprised by this.

    The obvious consequence is that we don't really know what the external world contains because we aren't capable of detecting it all. Duh! X-rays, infrasonics, radio, continental drift. He makes the point himself re the flat earth. That is why we keep inventing new instruments, so that we can see more of reality. And while we keep getting self-consistent ideas about reality using these instruments, it would not suit Occam to conclude that it might be something different. Until we find another inconsistency.

    So - much ado about very little. The evolutionary argument is specious. The computer experiment he mentions is impossible to evaluate without knowing what are the "fitness" property of his evolutionary algorithm and the "awareness" property it defeats.

    Enough ranting.
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      CommentAuthoroak
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2021
     
    I agree with all you said. There is no reason to jump from "perceptions are formed from compressed inputs, which can only represent a tiny portion of whatever is actually going on out there," to the conclusion that "out there" has no independent reality at all. And that our evolutionary biology got us to this point. (!??)