My name is Peter Miesler

and I write under the moniker of citizenschallenge.

Born in 1955, my family immigrated from Germany before I was a year old, I grew up bilingual/bicultural in Chicago, Illinois until 13, then we moved to San Francisco Bay Area where I attended Burlingame High School (class ’73), there I learned about climate science, Earth sciences and about the dawning realization that Earth was finite and that we humans and our burgeoning society was reaching limits to growth - in particular, Earth’s ability to sustain us.

I was a science loving bright eyed tree hugger who participated in the first Earth Day celebrations. I never became a scientist still I never lost my love for science and learning and have proactively kept up on homework and scientific news, so I am familiar with the scientific trajectory and findings of this past century and these past decades, where amazing insight have been achieved.

Here in 2021, our society and Earth is living out my worst fears, and I’m a bit startled that mine and younger generations actually allowed things to go so terribly off the rails. I expected better. Still here we are. Today, in the short term, the one thing I know is that if the Democratic Party doesn’t start changing minds, we will continue losing and watch the corporate oligarch’s well executed decades long hostile takeover of our government consummated.

Constructively confronting off-the-rails thinking will require the “liberal” crowd ( science based rationalists, humanists, pluralists, people of empathy ) to rediscover themselves. To regain enough self-assurance and clarity to enable us to constructively confront the unhinged, honesty hating, corporate money fueled, reactionary extremism of today’s Republican Party.

The Democrat Party needs to worry less about donations and more about helping change minds and engaging citizens to care enough to try to stand up to the ever more scary bullies that the Republicans are brainwashing, grooming and unleashing on us.

The Democratic Party needs to start proactively nurturing a real grassroots community spirit, by helping us concerned individual citizens network with each other, so we can reinforce each other and better develop constructive ways to confront the various Republican campaigns of willful belligerent ignorance.

A healthy democracy demands an informed and engaged citizenry!

But how to change minds if there’s nothing to offer as an alternative?

My experience has been a lifetime of living and working, most of it outdoors in southwest Colorado. All the while learning about Earth’s biosphere, our evolution, the birth of geology, then biology, then the dance of Evolution between the two.

Consider the many startling realizations along the way, beyond stardust, we carry genetic codes and biological machinery within our blood that trace back, not just millions of years, but billions. We are part of an incredible biosphere and web of life and an ongoing adventure, born of wonderful changing environments, that we are only beginning to comprehend.

I’ve discovered there’s a profound difference between hearing that you are an element in the pageant of evolution - yeah, yeah, so what? It’s quite another experience, to have an actual visceral appreciation for the majesty behind the evolutionary reality of who we are inside .

Sure beats the paper thin salvation holy books and pick-pocket preachers offer. Like the difference between a postcard and being there. But, to appreciate all that requires a serious honest curiosity and proactively learning.

I’ve also discovered that a key to understanding the roots of human folly, is recognizing our fundamental inability to get beyond lip service, when it comes to actually appreciating the Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide and its implications.

Rather simple, but quite deep once we start realizing how much western philosophy has been shackled by the age old egocentric blinders that all three Abrahamic faiths straddled western society with.

All that led to the contrived mind/brain problem, which is more of an Ego/God problem than any biological conundrum.

If any of that resonates with you, please explore and share these writing and my student resource: “The Case For Reality” .

I can’t help believing there’s a group of thinkers and writers who are looking for someone like me to join them.

I keep hoping someone will help me find them.

I wrote this a while back, now I have a few days where I’ve promised myself to make an effort to engage, stop my endless procrastination and make another effort.
So this is my warm up.
See if it stirs up anything.

What is Earth Centrism anyways?

Earth Centrism is an Emergent Appreciation, when all those insights one’s collected come together into a tapestry, a pageant of life and circumstance so harmonic and graspable that it blossoms into
a visceral feeling that infuses one’s body.

That’s when Earth Centrism begins to mean something.

I am an element in the flow of creation and it is good.

Earth Centrism , is a perspective on our human condition that’s based on the understanding that Earth is our fundamental touchstone with Physical Reality and that we are creatures of Earth’s own natural processes.

Earth Centrism comes from appreciating the “Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide” and getting a handle on how the Abrahamic traditions, that are fundamentally self-serving and self-obsessed continues dominating philosophical though to this day. The Mind/Brain conundrum, the Hard Problem of Consciousness, are ancient arguments dressed in modern language.

Earth Centrism is founded on the understanding that scientific study of the material world is our best window into understanding physical reality, because Science is, at it’s core, a set of rules for observing and recording and learning about our natural world that strives as much as possible to eliminate the human ego from its deliberations.

Science is founded on an unspoken understanding that we need each other to keep ourselves honest. It’s a community of educated, competitive, skeptical, experts who are constantly looking over each other’s shoulders. With fidelity to honesty being their Golden Rule.

I also contend that science, at its core, offers spiritual/mystical challenges, experiences and resolutions, well beyond the traditions of our human made, ego straddled, religions with their tunnel vision and that resentment towards Earth and learning.

Case For Reality

Because apparently someone needs to make one. Dissecting delusional thinking.

Cc’s Students’ Study Guide for Donald Hoffman’s “The Case Against Reality”

A non-scholars, scholarly effort:

Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-Gravity

A critical review of “The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid The Truth From Our Eyes,”

Donald Hoffman ©2019, W.W.Norton Company. Cc’s Students Resource.

Confronting Science Contrarians: Case For Reality

I intend to be a witness for a fact based, deep time, Evolution appreciating perspective on our human mind, physical reality interface.

Contents

1) A chapter by chapter dissection of Hoffman’s book “The Case Against Reality”

(1.01) The Prelude, Prof Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity

(1.02) Chapter 10a, Community: Network of Conscious Agents (1/3)

(1.03) Chapter 10b, Community: Network of Conscious Agents (2/3)

(1.04) Chapter 10c, Community: Network of Hoffmanian Conscious Agents (3/3)

(1.05) Chapter 1, Mystery: The Scalpel That Split Consciousness

(1.06) Chapter 2, Beauty: Siren of the Gene

(1.07) Chapter 3, Reality: Capers of the Unseen Sun

(1.08) Chapter 4, Sensory: Fitness beats Truth

(1.09) Chapter 5, Illusory: The Bluff of the Desktop

(1.10) Chapter 6, Gravity: Spacetime is Doomed

(1.11) Chapter 7, Virtuality: Inflating a Holoworld

(1.12) Chapter 8, Polychromy: Mutations of an Interface

(1.13) Chapter 9, Scrutiny: You Get What You Need, in Both Life and Business

(1.14) Appendix, Precisely: The Right to Be (Foolish)

2) A closer look at Hoffmanian “Objects of Consciousness”

Hoffman/Prakash’s Objects of Consciousness , Objections and Replies

Frontiers in Psychology - June 17, 2014

(2.01) 4/4_Hoffman, Objects of Consciousness, (conclusion)

(2.02) 1/4_Hoffman, Objects of Consciousness, questions + replies (1-12)

(2.03) 2/4_Hoffman, Objects of Consciousness, questions + replies (13-17)

(2.04) 3/4_Hoffman, Objects of Consciousness, questions + replies (18-21)

3) Student Resource - Ten Learned Responses

(3.01) Diary - But, wait! There’s more. Ten Learned Responses.

(3.01.1) “Probing the interface theory of perception: Reply to commentaries ,

by Donald D. Hoffman, Manish Singh & Chetan Prakash"

Abstract: We propose that selection favors nonveridical perceptions that are tuned to fitness. … We thus expected that some commentators would reject our proposal and provide counterarguments that could stimulate a productive debate. … (HSP)

(3.02) Barton Anderson - Where does fitness fit in theories of perception?

(3.03) Jonathan Cohen - Perceptual representation, veridicality, and the interface theory of perception.

(3.04) Shimon Edelman - Varieties of perceptual truth and their possible evolutionary roots.

(3.05) Jacob Feldman - Bayesian inference and “truth”: a comment on Hoffman, Singh, Prakash.

(3.06) Chris Fields - Reverse engineering the world: a commentary on Hoffman, Singh, Prakash, ITP

(3.07) Jan Koenderink - Esse est Percipi & Verum est Factum.

(3.08) Rainer Mausfeld - Notions such as “truth” or “correspondence to the objective world”

(3.09) Brian P. McLaughlin and E. J. Green - Are icons sense data ?

(3.10) Zygmunt Pizlo - Philosophizing cannot substitute for experimentation: comment on Hoffman, Singh & Prakash.

(3.11) Matthew Schlesinger - Interface theory of perception leaves me hungry for more.

4) Student Resource - Background information

(4.01) Rainer Mausfeld : ‘Truth’ has no role in explanatory accounts of perception.

(4.02) Paul Mealing : considers Hoffman’s "Objects of Consciousness.”

(4.03) The Case For Reality : Because Apparently Someone Needs to Make One

(4.04) Sabine Hossenfelder : in Defense of Scientific Realism and Physical Reality

(4.05) “Emergence” - A Handy Summary and Resources

(4.06) Physical Origins of Mind: Dr. Siegel , Allen Institute Brain Science, Tononi, Koch .

(4.07) Can you trust Frontiers in Psychology research papers ? Student Resource

(4.08) Critical Thinking Skills - In Defense of Reality - A Student Resource

(4.09) Philo+Sophia - Love of Wisdom - A Student Resource

5) Summary of my critique

(5.01) Explaining why I’ve pursued this project.

6) Dr. Mark Solms deftly demystifies Chalmers’ “ Hard Problem ” of Consciousness

(6.01) Dr. Mark Solms demystifies Chalmers’ “Hard Problem” of Consciousness.

(6.02) The Other Side of Mark Solms PhD, farmer, vintner, humanitarian.

(6.03) Students’ Resource: A representative cross-section of Dr. Mark Solms’ scientific publications.

7) Distilling my 66 years worth of wondering at this magnificent pageant unfolding around me:

(7.01) An Alternative Philosophical Perspective - “ Earth Centrism

(7.02) Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide

(7.03) Being an element in Earth’s Pageant of Evolution

(7.04) It’s not a “ Body-Mind problem ” it’s an “ Ego-God problem .”

Sometimes I toss in that bit after mulling over complaints about this being too long to read and tedious at times. Which I can’t deny. But then, that’s how it goes if you want to seriously delve into the depths of a subject.

I originally listened to Donald Hoffman’s book and found it so bizarrely contrived that half way through I’d had enough and walked away convinced Hoffman was a joker playing his audience for fools.

Months later a neighbor who’d just started reading the book challenged me to enunciate the specifics of what was bothering me. That was a bit of a kick in butt, I had to listen to it again willing myself to listen to all of it and see if I wasn’t exaggerating, I wasn’t. Then another listen through followed by getting the hardcover book and reading through it making notes and finally writing up my review, so I do know how tedious it can feel.

But, it was worth it, because now I can defend my opinion and explain specifically why I formed the conviction that the book is the product of an intellectual entertainer for profit, a opposed to any sort of honest effort to understand our human condition within our physical reality.

Ironically after I finished my review, I showed it to her and she laughed, telling me that the book got too weird for her and she’d lost interest and stopped reading it after a few chapters.

Of course, even tedious has it highlight and summaries: