Author Topic: The Case Against Reality  (Read 2568 times)

Cramulus

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The Case Against Reality
« on: April 27, 2016, 06:53:38 pm »
http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/04/the-illusion-of-reality/479559/

This article manages hit some of our favorite check marks:

  [ x ] Inviting a barstool
  [ x ] Because Quantum

but it's still a good read.

Hoffman, a professor of Cognitive Science, asserts that we are not evolved to see "reality" - natural selection has developed sensory and cognitive apparatus suited for fitness and reproduction, not truth.

 

Quote
Gefter: People often use Darwinian evolution as an argument that our perceptions accurately reflect reality. They say, “Obviously we must be latching onto reality in some way because otherwise we would have been wiped out a long time ago. If I think I’m seeing a palm tree but it’s really a tiger, I’m in trouble.”

Hoffman: Right. The classic argument is that those of our ancestors who saw more accurately had a competitive advantage over those who saw less accurately and thus were more likely to pass on their genes that coded for those more accurate perceptions, so after thousands of generations we can be quite confident that we’re the offspring of those who saw accurately, and so we see accurately. That sounds very plausible. But I think it is utterly false. It misunderstands the fundamental fact about evolution, which is that it’s about fitness functions—mathematical functions that describe how well a given strategy achieves the goals of survival and reproduction. The mathematical physicist Chetan Prakash proved a theorem that I devised that says: According to evolution by natural selection, an organism that sees reality as it is will never be more fit than an organism of equal complexity that sees none of reality but is just tuned to fitness. Never.

Talking about what reality "really is" turns out to be a bit of a loop.  He says that according to physics, there is no "public physical objects". Ultimately the article posits that reality is subjective - I think he's claiming that our conscious experience is a type of reality, not merely an interpretation of it.



Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: The Case Against Reality
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2016, 07:01:27 pm »
I would love to see this man hit by a train.
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LMNO

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Re: The Case Against Reality
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2016, 07:30:21 pm »
That dude is conflating so many layers, it's not even funny.

A lot of this is covered on pages 14 and 15 of the BIP.

Cramulus

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Re: The Case Against Reality
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2016, 07:53:04 pm »
yeah I don't think this is NEW info to any of us, but I still think it's interesting to think about... that natural selection of sensory/cognitive apparatus has only tuned us into the features of the universe that are important to our fitness/reproduction.

We've talked a lot here about how perception is impoverished - that we don't see 'reality' but a 'rendering' of it. But it's hard to explain HOW and WHY. The classic argument is that natural selection has made our perception of reality more "high definition" over time.

Bees can see ultraviolet because flowers have UV patterns, etc. Our ancestors got no advantage from seeing UV, so when we talk about what color something "is", UV isn't part of the discussion.


again, nothing terribly mind blowing here after having swung around a few barstools  :p - what caught my attention was that I had never heard the "you can't trust your senses" argument framed by natural selection.

LMNO

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Re: The Case Against Reality
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2016, 08:01:09 pm »
I dunno, it makes perfect sense to me, especially after the board discussions of evolution a few years back.

We are here because we survived.  Sacrifices in clarity must be made when faced with a greater existential risk.

Our perception did develop more clarity, in relation to other terrestrial things like flatworms and cows.  But this is where the conflation comes in.  We have greater clarity in a very narrow range of vibration in which we function.  But since almost everything else that tries to kill us quickly also functions in that narrow range of vibration, we can survive.

LuciferX

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Re: The Case Against Reality
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2016, 11:06:16 pm »
It's the other way around.  Perception is not framed by natural selection; the conceived process of natural(sexual) selection is based on the structure of perception.  Just how the theory of selection is based on reproduction, so is every perceived moment of our experience.  This is not because of some Freudian bullshit interpretation.  The reason is that in order to have an experience of anything, this now must also be taken together with that which was previously experienced:  experience requires that the past be reproduced inside the present for there to be any kind of experience at all, in the first place.  The (conceptual?) biological overlay just permits our interest in the subject to also be surprisingly fun sexy-times :lulz:
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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: The Case Against Reality
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2016, 01:41:17 am »
But since almost everything else that tries to kill us quickly also functions in that narrow range of vibration, we can survive.

Except God, who cheats.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
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Re: The Case Against Reality
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2016, 02:01:11 am »
But since almost everything else that tries to kill us quickly also functions in that narrow range of vibration, we can survive.

Except God, who cheats.

You ain't kidding, Jack.

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: The Case Against Reality
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2016, 02:32:08 am »
But since almost everything else that tries to kill us quickly also functions in that narrow range of vibration, we can survive.

Except God, who cheats.

You ain't kidding, Jack.

2016 has erased any atheistic leanings I may have had following the 2015 experiment.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

LMNO

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Re: The Case Against Reality
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2016, 01:47:50 pm »
David Crosby is still alive. 


Malevolent Deity Theory confirmed.

LuciferX

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Re: The Case Against Reality
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2016, 08:26:53 pm »
A cheating god would have been a superior god if only no one else noticed.  Oh well :lulz:
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Re: The Case Against Reality
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2016, 08:56:40 pm »
A cheating god would have been a superior god if only no one else noticed.  Oh well :lulz:

Superior to what?  He cheats and there's nothing you or anyone can do about it.

" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

Q. G. Pennyworth

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Re: The Case Against Reality
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2016, 08:59:53 pm »
A cheating god would have been a superior god if only no one else noticed.  Oh well :lulz:

Superior to what?  He cheats and there's nothing you or anyone can do about it.

Oh! I have one for this! Gimme a sec...
Overheating Pheremone Pustule of Last Saturday's Jiggle Fun| _xgeWireToEvent: Unknown extension 131, this should never happen.

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Re: The Case Against Reality
« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2016, 09:04:28 pm »
Overheating Pheremone Pustule of Last Saturday's Jiggle Fun| _xgeWireToEvent: Unknown extension 131, this should never happen.

Don't fucking judge me, I've got tentacles for a face.

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: The Case Against Reality
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2016, 09:14:26 pm »
 :lulz:
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.