Upcoming interview with Dr. Donald Hoffman

#5
Bruce Campbell says some of the same stuff (the moon isnt really there, just your interpretation of some other thing) and that (the moon dissapears when you aren't looking at it) but he comes from a simulationist +interface perspective rather than purely an interface perspective.

Props to Shermer as well, I've slowly come to respect Shermer more and more over the years.
 
#6
https://www.edge.org/response-detail/26563
But quantum information viewed abstractly, not as embedded in space-time. Space-time and objects somehow emerge from non-spatial and non-temporal dynamics of quantum information. As John Wheeler put it, “It from bit.” But this raises its own questions. Why should information, quantum or otherwise, be the bedrock of reality? And in what sense is it information?
Because consciousness is fundamental. If physical reality is produced by consciousness, information would have to be more fundamental than space, time, matter, and energy.
 
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#8
I think that because Donald is from academia and has already stuck his neck out massively, it might be better to test him out a bit ahead of time. I mean, for example if he won't budge on the idea that evolution by RM+NS is false, then it might be best to use the podcast time some other way.

To me, his work demonstrates that either Neo-Darwinism is false, or we do not observe reality.

David
 
#9
John Wheeler explained what he meant by "It from Bit" chapter 19 of his book "The Search for Links".

http://cqi.inf.usi.ch/qic/wheeler.pdf
It from Bit symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom — at a very deep bottom, in most instances — an immaterial source and explanation; that what we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe.​

Wheeler also said:
I do take 100 percent seriously the idea that the world is a figment of the imagination.​
 
#11
Alex, how does Hoffman compare with Lanza in terms of laying out the post-materialism basis for scientific thought? I get it that Lanza is a bit of a show pony, but he does seem to sum up the post-materialist position neatly, even if bio-centrism is not widely acknowledged. Does Hoffman have a similar coherent position?
 
#12
Alex, how does Hoffman compare with Lanza in terms of laying out the post-materialism basis for scientific thought? I get it that Lanza is a bit of a show pony, but he does seem to sum up the post-materialist position neatly, even if bio-centrism is not widely acknowledged. Does Hoffman have a similar coherent position?
I read Lanza's book, and I felt it was one of those books that promises a lot, but just seemed to be playing with semantics.

Hoffman is a far more interesting individual.

David
Well... that’s that then :D
Maybe, which alternative do you choose?

David
 
#13
I read Lanza's book, and I felt it was one of those books that promises a lot, but just seemed to be playing with semantics.

Hoffman is a far more interesting individual.

David
That's what bugged me about Lanza. However I was less aware that he was playing with semantics and more aware he wasn't taking the theme to where it should go. He seems to have a bit of a thing going about making himself bigger than he actually is. In essence he did a great job of pulling together a bunch of ideas that had been free floating and tied them into a coherent theme - and probably realised that he had to max out on that marketing opportunity, because it really had nowhere else to go.

Alex and I have both tried to contact him and neither of us have had any response. He has either a too precious notion of himself or he figures there's no profit in talking to Skeptiko - or both. That's a pity, because I do think he has something useful to say. But you are either a trader in ideas or part of the community sharing them, and I suspect Lanza of the former. That means he will carve out a devoted following that will diminish over time and he will become irrelevant.

I like the more interesting individuals.
 
#14
I appreciate the way Hoffman applies evolution by natural selection to the experience of consciousness.

However, if I were in his shoes, I would not be comfortable insisting that this idea helps us know the nature of the universe or ourselves in any sort of absolute sense.

If I recall correctly, Hoffman says that our consciousness evolved to be an interface that stands in for something "more real". I think he wants to include everything that we experience EXCEPT the idea that our consciousness evolved to be an interface. In some sense, it seems he wants to claim that this particular piece of experience is excluded from being an interface.

It's the same old paradox that everybody who goes down this road runs into.

The way to avoid the paradox is to hold the theory lightly or provisionally. To work with it by virtue of its usefulness in our time and place without falling into the trap of insisting that THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH OF THE UNIVERSE.

For me, it is useful to consider that our consciousness, our ideas, our theories, our technology, etc are more advanced versions of a chimp using a stick to scoop ants out a hollow in a tree. In this way of looking at things, the chimp doesn't have any ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE OF THE NATURE OF THE UNIVERSE by virtue of its tool usage. In this way of looking at things, no matter how advanced humans become, our knowledge, our tech, and our consciousness itself are always seen to be tools for solving specific human problems in specific contexts.

And by they way, this way of looking at things leaves a lot of room open for NDEs, OBEs, UFOs, paranormal, psi etc. In this way of looking at things, there is A LOT OF ROOM FOR MYSTERY.
 
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#15
Science Salon Podcast: Are people just machines?

"Does [random mutation +] natural selection tell us truths about the natural world? or not?" through the analytics of "Game theory simulations"

(Thank God someone is finally doing this research - as this is a mandatory epistemology BEFORE one can declare what evolution even is...)

Predicates
- organisms that see through reality are not more fit than organisms which are buying it wholesale (hold fitness payoffs).​
- fitness payoffs (what I call fitness assets - fitness is a status, not proven as an achievement)​
- Do 'fitness payoffs' contain information about the structure of the world?​
Foundational Postulate
Evolutionary Game Theory indicates that Fitness Payoffs - DO NOT preserve structures of the world (P<.000009). - This is what David Bailey has been contending.
Hypothesis
"In order to preserve a structure there are certain equations which Fitness Payoffs (Assets) must satisfy"​

This is what I have been calling Detection of Intent = "certain equations"

You will not find Design - but you will find Intent. So, by taking the track, or being forced into the track of 'Intelligent Design' and 'Creation' - this is akin to starting a company named "We Rob Your Bank Account, LLC" or "Rape Your Daughter, Inc." It is failed as an attempt, from the naming onward.

It shows to the whole world that we do not posses the acumen to win the argument, from the very start. We must dispense with these archaic terms.

To wit:

Shermer deems this 'being in the weeds' (it was critical path, so it was by definition 'not in the weeds'). Shermer is forcing, what is called a Brigdman Reduction - a method of sleight-of-hand wherein forcing something to be simple enough to the point wherein the simplicity itself, produces artificial vulnerabilities. It is a mental trick. Accordingly, he declares that 'we must bring this back to simplicity' - in other words, he wants to frame it by means of the Rubric and Buzzword set, with which he is familiar - so that it can be attacked by a canned set of talking points. This is how the fake skeptic substitutes rote argument, for actual acumen. They are not 'solving' the Rubik's Cube per se, rather are looking for familiar patterns which they can then attack with a memorized script. This is how the Shermers of the world work.

Dr. Hoffman is detecting Intent through algorithm, but he is posing it in such a way that the patrol skeptics cannot alert over the requisite buzzwords to attack. A very good strategy. ;;/?
 
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#16
f I recall correctly, Hoffman says that our consciousness evolved to be an interface that stands in for something "more real". I think he wants to include everything that we experience EXCEPT the idea that our consciousness evolved to be an interface. In some sense, it seems he wants to claim that this particular piece of experience is excluded from being an interface.
Interesting notion. I am not familiar with Hoffman's work. I rather think that our consciousness is inherently a fusion of experiences in this physical world and the non-material reality that is inherently the source of who we are. I suppose this could be called an interface - but the extent to which it is and effective interface is another matter.

Our consciousness operates in both the physical and metaphysical domains at the same time. As occupants of a body in the physical domain we are aware of the consciousness that is shaped by, and focused on, physical experience. The ability to be aware of our more holistic consciousness while in the physical body seems to be pretty scarce. That's a special skill.

Our notion of our being is shaped by awareness of being in the physical world. It is the object of many spiritual disciplines to enable awareness of the holistic sense of being while in the physical body - and that is damned hard when you see what has to be undertaken in an effort to achieve it.

The only aspect of our consciousness that can stand in for something more real is that fusion of awareness that links physical and metaphysical aspects of our consciousness - and this is maybe best represented by the simple notion of what we call spirituality.
 
#17
If I recall correctly, Hoffman says that our consciousness evolved to be an interface that stands in for something "more real". I think he wants to include everything that we experience EXCEPT the idea that our consciousness evolved to be an interface. In some sense, it seems he wants to claim that this particular piece of experience is excluded from being an interface.
No, I think that is wrong. He gives the analogy of a computer desktop interface. You have an icon representing a file. You can for example drag it to a trash can (or right click on it and select 'Delete'), or double click on it to open it in some suitable application, etc. However that hides shed loads of things you could conceivably do with that file - such as copying it to another part of the disk, or changing byte 23c to 5c (computer numbers are usually written in hex - base 16), or truncating the file to a smaller size. Such things aren't needed, so they don't appear in the interface. It also hides the question as to what a file really consists of - many people using a computer every day, probably could not give any account of that, and in a way, why should they?

I think his thesis is that we are staring at an interface even if we are working in a laboratory - that we never see bare reality, nor anything that is even close to that reality. However, this is a deduction based on the way evolution by RM+RS is supposed to work. That is why I see a close connection between his work and that of Behe - but whether he can be drawn down that rabbit hole, I don't know!

David
 
#18
No, I think that is wrong. He gives the analogy of a computer desktop interface. You have an icon representing a file. You can for example drag it to a trash can (or right click on it and select 'Delete'), or double click on it to open it in some suitable application, etc. However that hides shed loads of things you could conceivably do with that file - such as copying it to another part of the disk, or changing byte 23c to 5c (computer numbers are usually written in hex - base 16), or truncating the file to a smaller size. Such things aren't needed, so they don't appear in the interface. It also hides the question as to what a file really consists of - many people using a computer every day, probably could not give any account of that, and in a way, why should they?

I think his thesis is that we are staring at an interface even if we are working in a laboratory - that we never see bare reality, nor anything that is even close to that reality. However, this is a deduction based on the way evolution by RM+RS is supposed to work. That is why I see a close connection between his work and that of Behe - but whether he can be drawn down that rabbit hole, I don't know!

David
Have you listened to the interview with Shermer above?
 
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#19
I think his thesis is that we are staring at an interface even if we are working in a laboratory - that we never see bare reality, nor anything that is even close to that reality. However, this is a deduction based on the way evolution by RM+RS is supposed to work. That is why I see a close connection between his work and that of Behe - but whether he can be drawn down that rabbit hole, I don't know!
David, surely reality can't be a state apart. Even 'bare reality' has to be thought of. Can we get away from the proposition that what is 'real' is only real to us? The nature of reality in any absolute sense has to be uncertain until examined. How can you assert that reality is uncertain and still make sense?
Real to whom, and on what basis? We can take the placebo effect and fundamentals of psychology and argue that 'reality' is what we say it is, so long as it generates an effect - because is not real can't generate effect. That may mean that 'reality' is layered, hierarchical - a spectrum rather than an absolute state.

Who is to say what is or is not real? We can argue about what is shared, or agreed upon as a common experience. When I was 16 I was walking near Cradle Mountain in Tasmania solo. It was a clear day, and yet I was struck by something akin to an electrical current. I came to some time later [no idea how long], flat on my back. I remember being zapped, and I remember recovering. There were no witnesses. It wasn't lightening. I don't expect anybody to believe me if I tell them of my experience. Its mine and it happened. It is no less real for the absence of witnesses. If somebody says they do not believe me, I do not give a damn. They weren't there. I was.
 
#20
Evolutionary Game Theory indicates that Fitness Payoffs - DO NOT preserve structures of the world (P<.000009). - This is what David Bailey has been contending.
Yes, I suppose that is a way of framing Behe's argument, which is what I am pushing. If you fix the problem of rampant malarial infection by damaging the haemoglogin gene, you evolve one step down a blind alley.
Dr. Hoffman is detecting Intent through algorithm, but he is posing it in such a way that the patrol skeptics cannot alert over the requisite buzzwords to attack. A very good strategy. ;;/?
Of course, in discussions here, we don't need to be so concerned by patrol sceptics, so for example, I like to use the term "Intelligent Design", because I think it most accurately describes the alternative point of view, and I like to give credit to the people who have researched this idea - even if I don't like their religion.

I am starting to think you could make a university course out of your way of analysing bogus arguments, but I still find it hard to think that way. I suppose you need to devise simple examples of each of these bogus strategies for simple people like me.

David
 
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