Prof Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero Gravity

Onward, though the last chapter is going to be a bear. Hoffman goes for broke and reaches new heights of fancy, gotta watch out that he doesn’t pull me overboard with his irritating disconnect from reality. Well actually, he’s connect to the money making formula, so there is that. What’s it they say, he’s laughing all the way to the bank.

NOVEMBER 3, 2020

Prof Hoffman #9 - Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity - Scrutiny - Needs, in life and business

https://confrontingsciencecontrarians.blogspot.com/2020/11/hoffman-zerogravity-scrutiny-9.html

 

Hoffman starts chapter nine by repeating his drill:

… DH: “Our sense forage for fitness, not truth. They dispatch news about fitness payoffs: how to find them, get them, and keep them.

Cc: Keep in mind, this according to a theorem that plays out in an idealized mathematical universe of Hoffman’s design. Not in our real universe ! ! !

… DH: “Despite their focus on fitness our senses confront a tsunami of information. …” (¶1-2)

Cc: All that Hoffman reduces to simplistic four-square games with ill defined terms such as “fitness” - “truth” - “hawk” - “dove” - terms that are fundamentally meaningless when it comes to actual evolution on Earth with it’s constant tsunami of information coming at us.

As I’ve worked on this project searching out respectable information and following leads. I’ve been amazed by how much presence Hoffman’s Case Against Reality has attainted on the internet. He truly is a marketing genius.

Seems that many people think this Case Against Reality is fascinating. Time is doomed. Man, how cool is that?!

Me, I’m left wondering, what drives such a desire for this sort of vacuous escapism?

… DH: “For those readers interested in marketing and business, this idea applies to visual advertising. The goal of successful advertising is not merely, and sometimes not even, to present important facts. It is to craft visual message that rivets the foraging eye of the typical shopper. …” (¶12)

Cc: Here Professor Hoffman speaks volumes about his focus, bias and the filter through which he sees the world. Consumer Marketing. …

NOVEMBER 11, 2020
Prof Hoffman #10a - Playing Basketball In Zerogravity - Community - The Network of Conscious Agents

https://citizenschallenge.blogspot.com/2020/11/hoffman-zerogravity-community-10a.html

Cc: Consciousness is an emergent property of biological complexity.

…DH: “The notion of a conscious agent is based on intuitions that are widely shared. It must, however, be made precise and then endure the rough and tumble of science.” (¶9)

Hoffman hasn’t produced anything tangible. A fine tuned ‘theorem’ proven by mathematics within an idealized computer model universe, isn’t tangible.

Hoffman’s notions are the stuff of rough and tumble philosophical debates, not serious scientific inquiry. That is, observing, measuring and learning about tangible stuff.

…DH: “…Evolution shaped our perception to hide the truth and to guide adaptive behavior. (¶3)

…DH : ”A new theory is required, in which spacetime, objects, their properties, and their fiction of cause and effect,…” (¶4)

Besides a tendency to imbue Evolution with agency, Hoffman wants us to believe Conscious Agents act from outside.

Where do Hoffmanian Conscious Agents originate? How would they have been created? Have they ever been observed? Are they God’s twinkle dust holding everything together?

Evolution isn’t a thing, or a program, it’s a label we put on accumulating change over time.

(Image Credit: Allen Institute for Brain Science)
Are These Giant Neurons the Seat Of Consciousness in the Brain?

By Shelly Fan - March 09, 2017

 

I invite you to consider a different kind of “Conscious Agents”?

 

If organisms were to survive upon this four dimensional Earth they needed to perceive and act. Sense organs needed to be invented or nothing would have happened on Earth.

Furthermore, those organs needed to communicate with something; and that something needed to decode the incoming data; that data needed to be communicated to higher authorities for processing; decision making; and inducing action.

“Conscious agents” are the information the brain sends forth to blossom into the thoughts within our mind.

A neuroscientist would correct me, by telling me about “neural correlates of consciousness,” then perhaps they’d point out the recent discovery of three super neurons that cradle a mouse’s mammalian brain, along with the implications and how that’s impacting the direction of current research.

 

Scientists have found that the simplest of creatures have light/visual sensors, implying that they also have some sort of neural connections and data processing where the cloud of awareness (conscious agents, if you like) creates commands and produces actions.

It seems logical to continue searching for consciousness within creatures themselves. But Hoffman believes the answer lies beyond Earth, without any physical evidence whatsoever.

How would Hoffman’s conscious agents experience or learn without ever embodying anything?

How do conscious agents store memories? Are conscious agents assigned to individuals or do they service many people?

… DH: “No mystery of science offers more intrigue, or greater perplexity, than the provenance of quotidian experiences, … That this remains a mystery is not it would seem, due to dearth of data, …For us today, despite the breakthroughs of neuroscience, it remains just as surely unfathomable.” (¶1)

“Just as surely unfathomable” ? Or, is it laziness and lack of imagination?

No doubt, it’s a fascinating mystery with more surprises awaiting us. Still, Hoffman would benefit from reading Isaac Asimov’s “Relativity of Wrong"

That chapter is the real slog, though I get to let my hair down a little.

It required a bunch more reading then some awesome fits of writing, that I know I needed to walk away a little, to let rest a day before going at it again. There’s definitely something of the grappling involved in this kind of writing. Heck only a third of the way through and it might be my longest post of the series. Unlike the previous chapters that has lots of empty distracting filler that was easy to ignore, here he’s The Fat Lady giving it all he’s got with a rafter raising aria - and I’m going to be right there to call him on his manipulative bullshit.

Just a shame no one in that great big world out there seems to get it, or why I’m doing this.

 

This one was a long slog, lots of research, extra reading, digesting. Serious writing is like a roller coaster. For the first week I kept plugging away, but rereads made clear that it was still a chaotic jumble, no flow, very depressing. Then striving to make sense of the self-indulgent philosophizing I was researching, I literally got overwhelming and needed to totally walk away for a couple days. Like over stuffing yourself at Thanksgiving Day dinner and needing lots of time to rest and digest.

Then I got back to working it and worked it and don’t mind saying, once again I surprised myself at how well it’s turned out. I think it flows okay, wish I had some objective feedback, but you know what they say, fuk’em if they can’t take a joke. So doing the best I can with what objectivity I can muster. It’s still worth pursing and who can tell, someday someone with real talent might come across it and wind up doing something of value with the effort. Me, I got the satisfaction of the learning process I’ve been going through and sticking with it long enough to write out the things I want to enunciate. (And yes one could build a college course around of it, sure, sure, junior college, not MIT.)

Two more to go, 10c and his appendix where we’ll get to view the pretty formulas “proving” Hoffmanian Conscious Agents and Professor Hoffman’s best guess at God.

Then a couple posts to feature other’s critiques that I think are worth sharing and one post featuring Sabine Hossenfelder and “How Beauty Leads Physics Astray” - where I might also share some of Hoffman’s canned responses from our correspondence.

Then it will be time to see if I can summarize my conceptions (perspective) in light of my past half year’s worth of preoccupation with Hoffman’s Case Against Reality and his disconnect from physical reality.

 

Prof Hoffman #10b - Community - Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity - Hoffmanian Conscious Agents

https://confrontingsciencecontrarians.blogspot.com/2020/11/hoffman-zerogravity-community-10b.html

Case Against Reality, Hoffman: “I have touted the virtue of precision in a theory of consciousness. …” (Chapter ten, ¶39)

Citizenschallenge: Precisely modeling one’s idea is one thing, accurately reflecting Earth, evolution, human nature, is another.

 

Hoffman’s Case Against Reality is a philosophical/religious thesis, removed from actual nature and physical reality. Hoffmanian Conscious Agents offer nothing to observe, and nothing that can ever be tested, beyond computer games.

The book is a disappointment with little to enhance current neurological, physical, or psychological understanding. It is splendid intellectual entertainment for the sci-fi, woo loving crowd.

To me, it’s another example of the follies that helped create today’s willfully ignorant populous, which in turn enabled the current political degeneration, along with all its horrendous cascading consequences of late.

I’m trying hard to enunciate my thoughts in as coherent and concise a manner as I can. This is because I want to be one of the many many ‘Children Of The Intellectual Enlightenment’ who are needed to stand up for rational sober science; people willing to advocate for respect of the reality of our three dimensions and time; for the fact that matter is substantial and can be measured with astounding accuracy and repeatedly, etc., etc. That serious good-faith science deserves to be respected and trusted.

… I’m just an attentive life long spectator, self-schooled and nearing my end, knowing a fraction of what serious students know. Where are you?? This is my workbook and you are welcome to use any of it, respecting original sources. I’m hoping some might find a bit inspiration.

… Engage to do something to confront the creeping disconnect from Physical Reality and contempt for science that’s infecting so many people out there.

… Show ‘em you have Soul, the kind that emerges out of grasping deep time and Earth’s Evolution through the lens of science.


It occurs to me, that fundamentally what all this is about, is us humans choosing to feel unhappy and cheated because we haven’t figured out everything yet.

Perhaps understandable given our human gluttony for nonstop bigger and better - but that doesn’t make it a wise choice.

A simple guy like me wonders why other’s find it so difficult to live with a bit of mystery while focusing on appreciating the complexities we’ve come to understand.

Why is not knowing every last detail presented as some crisis? It seems contrived.

We’ve discovered so much about this planet, its biosphere, it’s creatures and ourselves, so fast, most people don’t have a clue about a fraction of the fascinating evolutionary stories that scientists have learned about, and how they directly reflects on who and what we are today. That’s the stuff worth studying.

What terrifies me is how many couldn’t care less about their own home planet, or how it came into being. Deep time is filled with scientific wonders enough for all the mystical experiences one I could wish for. While remaining within the bounds of understood physical facts.

Why not slow down to absorb the amazing knowledge we’ve gained this past century, instead of constantly outrunning our headlights?

Biology is all about increasing complexity and efficiency, given good conditions and time, emergent properties are inevitable! No way to get around it.


…DH writes: “(regarding physicalism) We have been taken in." (¶37)

Taken in by sober rigorous open science?

This is why I’m angry at Hoffman and his cynical disingenuous game and the lazy uppity audience that demands such intellectual entertainment and pipe-dreams and mistake them for reality, rather than focusing on the realities of our Earth.

If he wants to write science fiction, who cares? I don’t.

But, to so cavalierly dismiss, nay shit on, physicalism, emergent properties and serious natural sciences, along with the reality of Evolution, that I take deepest umbrage at.

I’m convinced such artfully contrived, ego driven, insults against sober constructive science must be confronted.

Where is someone who agrees?


… (¶49)

Here again, we need to be clear, Hoffman is discussing theoretical jazz: Eigenforms, Interfaces and Holographic Encoding.

Hoffman’s neural networks are not biological, they are digital systems that only very roughly model the neurons in a brain. They have little to do with understanding actual living biological neural networks, or the rules they live by. Especially not when employed with the intention of folding god into science.

Hoffman up’s his bet by invoking a fundamental universal consciousness, aka God.

 

There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I’m convinced a vague sense of something bigger behind all we’ve learned is an all too natural and human response to the incredible complexities we’ve discovered. But, don’t call it science!

Appreciate it for what it is, spiritual, metaphysical, soothing to your spirit and sense of self and place in the world, but don’t call it science!

Both sensibilities can be honored, but lets keep a healthy perspective of the divide between them. …

Well this one went fast, smoother than I thought, guess that during the previous installment I did enough heavy lifting, and went through enough sturm und drang to carry me through. Yippy, one last, perhaps even humorous installment to do. Since we get a chance to look under the hood, so to speak, of Hoffmanian Conscious Agents. At least what exists of them, impressive looking, or is that inscrutable, mathematic formulas.

:slight_smile:

 

Prof Hoffman #10c - Community - Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity - Hoffmanian Conscious Agents (3/3)

https://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2020/12/hoffman-zerogravity-community-10c.html

In Defense of Scientific Realism and Down to Earth Physical Reality.

Consciousness is a Spectrum, Not a Thing.


 

 

..... Donald Hoffman in Case Against Reality: “The rot of entropy is an implacable enemy of life, a purveyor of decay and death.” (Chapter 10 ¶65)

Citizenschallenge: What a profoundly sad way to perceive our reality and indeed the process of life itself? As silly as having an absolute abhorrence of death. Life and Evolution couldn’t exist without death.

Why doesn’t Hoffman appreciate that without entropy the engine of life could never have been created to begin with? No wonder Hoffman’s capable of dismissing physicalism, he’s never learned to appreciate real life processes! It’s ALL philosophy and math to him.

What infuriates me, and which in turn has fueled me completing this tedious project, is his glib dismissal of physicalism which is the cornerstone of sober science for very good reasons.

Why do so many stand by and enable such slander against serious science?

… DH: “Conscious Realism must pay another promissory note. It must from first principles, describe precisely the dynamics of conscious agents, and show how this dynamics, when projected into the interface of Homo sapiens, appears as modern physics and Darwinian evolution. This is a strong empirical constraint on the theory of agent dynamics: Its projected into our spacetime interface must account for all the data that supports modern physics and evolution.” (¶64)


For all his fanciful words, Hoffman never lives up to them.

Also, in real science, an author is expected to be capable of fielding questions in good faith with substantive constructive answers related to said questions.

But, from our correspondence and what I’ve read on the internet, Hoffman acts more like a politician. Consistently forces the dialogue right back onto his train track, or one’s question are ignored altogether.

It’s supposed to be a learning process, but too often Hoffman is busy selling.

 


 

 

 

 

Sometimes I wonder how you stay awake reading Hoffman. I can take him in the small bites you offer, but I would quickly go into numb-mind mode and the words wouldn’t mean much. The comparison to the “hard problem” quote was really helped. Hoffman sneaks in so much woo buried within the sciencey that I can easily miss what he’s doing. I can see why people eat this stuff up. You only need to lack knowledge of certain details and he will insert that knowledge in there to fill the void. For those who don’t want to do the work, or are otherwise willfully ignorant, it works great.

I see my conspiracy theory friends doing this all the time. If you don’t watch their YouTube, they say they are just “interested” and that you should be too, that all ideas have a right to be heard, they turn their ignorance around and say I am the one not listening to facts. You blow that away with:

This is crazy-making! Since when does any self-proclaimed profundity have a “Right” to be taken seriously?

I’m glad you put this in bold. You’ve said similar things in passing,

Humans would do better to slow down and absorb what scientists have learned and stop pretending we can make it up as we go along!
I think that's your theme. Rather than taking a few bits of common knowledge, then going off on tangents about what we "really" are, we would do better to meditate on what is right in front of us. Then, if you want, explore whatever mystery presents itself. For the average non-scientist, there are probably lots of answers to what we think is mysterious, and if we keep clearing those up, don't worry, there's mystery after that.

Thanks Lausten.

Spending a couple decades actively confronting climate science contrarians, helped condition me. Plus dedication.

I know what you mean, my first exposure to the book, I put it down in disgust when barely halfway through. But, then my neighbor resurrected it, and I took the bet, and it took on a life of it’s own and I didn’t want to be a looooser. :slight_smile: But it has been mind bending and when I said strum und drang I meant it. I think besides anger, I was also driven by the amazing amount of popularity he’s amassed on the internet, it’s insane. Figuratively and literally.

Also, it’s about using him as a vehicle to force myself to better enunciate what I think I have brewing inside of me. I believe it’s been a good learning experience, although the real test will be my next essays where I try to summarize the whole of it.

At some point I have to take this to the General Discussion board, to see if anyone besides Lausten notices it. :wink:

 

Prof Hoffman Appendix - The Right to Be Foolish - Case Against Reality Revisited

In Defense of Scientific Realism and Down to Earth Physical Reality.

I didn’t tackle this project because I was under any delusions of being able to help convert professor Hoffman, or any of the others who seem to drink up on this sort of fantasizing. Erich von Daniken and his spacemen has come to mind, even more often was Elizabeth Holmes with her Theranos blackbox that was too good to be true, but in a world with little appreciation for biology, they lapped up the dream, to heck with reality, we’re going to make money. (Why be surprised so many deny the COVID virus.)

Besides my own edification, I’ve spent these weeks and months of effort hoping to produce a document of value for individuals (especially students) who recognize what a deliberate misadventure Hoffman’s Case Against Reality is, but may not have the time to get into the weeds in order to recognize and think about his rhetorical fancy dancing, sleight of hand, and other tactics utilized by the professor.

These past chapters are your road map and since these contrarian sales pitches all follow basically the same script, you’ll find these lessons valuable across the board - scroll to the bottom to find an index. …


 

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

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

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

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

Chapter 1, Mystery: The Scalpel That Split Consciousness

Chapter 2, Beauty: Siren of the Gene

Chapter 3, Reality: Capers of the Unseen Sun

Chapter 4, Sensory: Fitness beats Truth

Chapter 5, Illusory: The Bluff of the Desktop

Chapter 6, Gravity: Spacetime is Doomed

Chapter 7, Virtuality: Inflating a Holoworld

Chapter 8, Polychromy: Mutations of an Interface

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

Appendix, Precisely: The Right to Be (Foolish)

Well Lausten, I’ve made it, finished with the review portion of the project.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cc’s Students’ Guide, a work in progress.

Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-Gravity, a critical review of, The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid The Truth From Our Eyes, by Donald Hoffman, ©2019, W.W.Norton Company

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

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

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

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

 

Chapter 1, Mystery: The Scalpel That Split Consciousness

Chapter 2, Beauty: Siren of the Gene

Chapter 3, Reality: Capers of the Unseen Sun

Chapter 4, Sensory: Fitness beats Truth

Chapter 5, Illusory: The Bluff of the Desktop

Chapter 6, Gravity: Spacetime is Doomed

Chapter 7, Virtuality: Inflating a Holoworld

Chapter 8, Polychromy: Mutations of an Interface

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

Appendix, Precisely: The Right to Be (Foolish)


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

Frontiers in Psychology - June 17, 2014

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

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

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

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

Student Resources - Background:

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

Paul Mealing considers Hoffman’s "Objects of Consciousness.”

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

Sabine Hossenfelder in Defense of Scientific Realism and Physical Reality

Frontiers in Psychology - profits über alles? A closer look. Student Resource.

Physical Origins of Mind - Dr. Siegel, Allen Institute Brain Science, Tononi, Koch.

Can you trust Frontiers in Psychology research papers? Students’ Resource

 

confrontingsciencecontrarians.blogspot.com

Email: citizenschallenge gmail com

Now comes the real challenge.

Diary - But, wait! There’s more. Hoffman’s responses.

Jan 26, 2021

I thought I was finished with the review section of my “Hoffman playing basketball in zerogravity” project.

Then I decided to send Professor Hoffman an email asking if he’d responded to Dr. Mausfeld’s paper and he was kind enough to send me a link to more than I had bargained for: “Probing the interface theory of perception: Reply to commentaries” Hoffman, Singh, Prakash, September 30, 2015. It’s their response to a collection of 10 expert comments. Some critical and some excited about further exploring Hoffman, Singh & Prakash’s Interface Theory of Perception (IT).

So far, I only read through Anderson’s section, because I went off to read the paper in question and it captured my attention. …

 

“Probing the interface theory of perception: Reply to commentaries Donald D. Hoffman, Manish Singh & Chetan Prakash"

Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. volume 22, pages1551–1576(2015)

 

Abstract

We propose that selection favors nonveridical perceptions that are tuned to fitness. Current textbooks assert, to the contrary, that perception is useful because, in the normal case, it is veridical. Intuition, both lay and expert, clearly sides with the textbooks. We thus expected that some commentators would reject our proposal and provide counterarguments that could stimulate a productive debate.

We are pleased that several commentators did indeed rise to the occasion and have argued against our proposal. We are also pleased that several others found our proposal worth exploring and have offered ways to test it, develop it, and link it more deeply to the history of ideas in the science and philosophy of perception. To both groups of commentators: thank you.

Point and counterpoint, backed by data and theory, is the essence of science. We hope that the exchange recorded here will advance the scientific understanding of perception and its evolution. In what follows, we respond to the commentaries in alphabetical order. …

 

Barton Anderson

Where does fitness fit in theories of perception?

doi:10.3758/s13423-014-0748-5

 

Jonathan Cohen

Perceptual representation, veridicality, and the interface theory of perception.

doi:10.3758/s13423-014-0782-3

 

Shimon Edelman

Varieties of perceptual truth and their possible evolutionary roots.

doi:10.3758/s13423-014-0741-z

 

Jacob Feldman

Bayesian inference and “truth”: a comment on Hoffman, Singh, and Prakash.

doi:10.3758/s13423-014-0795-y

 

Chris Fields

Reverse engineering the world: a commentary on Hoffman, Singh, and Prakash, “The interface theory of perception”.

doi:10.3758/s13423-014-0742-y

 

Jan Koenderink

Esse est Percipi & Verum est Factum.

doi:10.3758/s13423-014-0754-7

 

Rainer Mausfeld

Notions such as “truth” or “correspondence to the objective world” play no role in explanatory accounts of perception.

doi:10.3758/s13423-014-0763-6

 

Brian P. McLaughlin and E. J. Green

Are icons sense data?

doi:10.3758/s13423-014-0780-5

 

Zygmunt Pizlo

Philosophizing cannot substitute for experimentation: comment on Hoffman, Singh & Prakash.

doi:10.3758/s13423-014-0760-9

 

Matthew Schlesinger

The interface theory of perception leaves me hungry for more.

doi:10.3758/s13423-014-0776-

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2021 Philo+Sophia, Love of Wisdom, A Student Resource

We’ll finish my ‘Hoffman playing basketball in zerogravity project’ by looking at the serious side of philosophy. It seems only fair considering some of my wise ass remarks in previous segments.

 

I’ll admit to having issues with the showboats who demonstrate little respect for honesty, and constructive learning. As for serious philosophy, that I can relate to on a personal homegrown level.

 

That’s why I’m grateful to Lausten over at CFI for sharing a genuinely insightful talk by Richard Carrier, explaining what philosophy was, is and isn’t. I’ve rerun it a couple times and it keeps improving. It’s a wonderfully fitting closing segment for this review, and I hope Skepticon doesn’t mind me sharing some of Carrier’s posters.

For the complete set see, RichardCarrier.info/philosophy.

Then I came across a 20 minute video by one Dr. Paul Maxwell, a fast paced summary of the development of western philosophical thought. Maxwell did a nice job of defining and weaving together the development of the various strands of philosophical thought. I was impressed. Then came his ending, implying that the evolution of philosophy brings us right back to “god” and the “Doctrine of Revelation.” Didn’t see that coming, at all.

Maxwell’s ending left me wondering about his claim: the impulse to philosophical thought is an extension of our struggle to achieve an authentic encounter with God? Upon further investigation turned out Paul Maxwell is a theologian, “a friend in Christ” is how he signs his name. In other words, another example of being stranded within one’s own Mindscape and blind to the Physical Reality we are embedded within.

Remembering back to my own early decades, I must admit, there was that in me. Seeking an authentic encounter with God. Eventually I achieved as much, the experience of “God’s whisper,” like a breeze against the back of my neck.

Mind you, that’s an infinity away from “knowing god.” Suffice it to say we are at peace with each other, and my god concerns have faded into a dim memory. As for Christ, rather than a friend “in” Christ, I’m okay with being a “friend of” Christ (more on that in some future essay).

The key to liberation from dogma and everyone else’s religious interpretations, was learning about Earth’s fantastical pageant of Evolution, the dance between geology and biology through deep time, unfolding one day at a time. The pageant that ultimately created us, me. That’s where the real “answers” are to be found!

While Maxwell’s review impressed me, I think what Maxwell clings to is sad. That is, the God question remaining a dominant interior mental, spiritual, emotional upheaval, the source of endless inner turmoil.

Then I think of the various topics I’ve read up on at Stanford University’s Plato Encyclopedia of Philosophy, topics that always seem to wind up back at variations of the same theme, our all too human struggles between ego and god.

To me it indicates that a large portion of the learned crowd still hasn’t achieved any fundamental appreciation of the clear divide between our Gods and Physical Reality. Something that, to me, seems akin to mastering crawling before walking is possible.

After all, every one of our myriad gods is the product of our Human Mindscape and is an expression of our own individual egos. While Physical Reality is something else altogether. Something that simply IS regardless of what’s going on within our minds.

Why is that notion so difficult to process?

Being a philosopher?

 

If you’re reading this; if my words resonate; if you’re trying to find the truth beyond your own “me, myself and I”; if it matters to you; if you find yourself spending a good deal of time chewing on the deeper mysteries, trying to formulate questions and hoping to find answers - then you are a philosopher, no matter how you earn your keep.

Some food for thought, for the frustrated. If you’re one of the workers, busy simply keeping up with your day to days, the feeding, clothing and sheltering yourself and perhaps family, you simply don’t have the time to do a lot of reading. Something they tell us all ‘serious’ philosophers require.

Our street level reading comes in spurts and splashes. At times it may feel like a curse, with so much out there and so little time. Some use it as an insult, “Read more!”

Take comfort, you are given the luxury of time to digest those bite sized profundities, through the eye’s of your own day to days with their ups and downs, and monotony, along with welcome and unwelcome surprises. You touch reality with a depth hidden to the inmates of ivory towers.

Do you envy the professional scholar? Consider their lot. Society expects something for their coddling and upkeep. There are demands and deadlines.

The pro is expected to absorb that flood of available information, non-stop. Add to that, they are expected to keep producing. Think about it. That fire hose of information is forced through a filter of personal utility, in a way that the causal philosophical enthusiast doesn’t worry about.

Consider the tourist going it alone, budget style, next to the tourist on a cruise ship hitting all the hot spots. One’s visit is impoverished in one respect, but enriched in another.

Which is which?

It comes down to what one makes of the situation one finds one self within.

Which is better?

That’s a non sequitur.

Sort of like asking how good of a job can this particular tool do?

It’s not the tool, it’s the operator who determines how good a job that tool does.

If your nature drives you to ponder life’s mysteries, then you’re a life long student. No need to register, all that’s required is passionate curiosity, honesty, method, pro-active learning, doing the homework.

Dancing the knife edge between those better angels (and demons) within your mind, and the desires and impulses within your physical body, that you may be noticing is running the show most the time. While those inner voices do their best to keep up with it via their nonstop narrative of interpretations and rationalizations and second guessing.

It’s a matter of integrity and how we handle the slings and arrows of living life.

Seek and ye shall find! The struggle to understand who we are isn’t an easy road, but the payoffs are tremendous, if you stay true during your dance across life’s stages, as Earth’s pageant of Evolution continues onward, to infinity and beyond. :wink:

 

You know what they say, in for a nickel, in for a dollar. Been a good learning process. The “vehicle” I imagined it might be.

All the sweet surprises that would have never come along if I hadn’t taken this walkabout.

For example, just in the past couple days I discovered my first for real big shot woman philosopher. I been wondering where they were. I mean they are the heart of keeping societies going, you’d think their perspective was worth listening to.

Toni Vogel Carey's "Is Philosophy Progressive ?

http_ToniVogelCarey_com/

http_ronininstitute_org/research-scholars/toni-carey/

https_philosophynow_org/issues/59/Is_Philosophy_Progressive


She looks like the real deal. I’m looking forward to listening some of her talks and learning from her.

 

ConfrontingScienceContrarians.blogspot.com

Site Map to Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zerogravity:

 

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▼ February (10)
Philo+Sophia, Love of Wisdom, A Student Resource
Critical Thinking Skills - In Defense of Reality -…
Matthew Schlesinger, is hungry for more (HSP) inte…
Zygmunt Pizlo, Philosophizing cannot substitute fo…
McLaughlin + Green, Are Icons Sense Data? Hoffman…
Jacob Feldman, Bayesian inference and “truth”: a c…
Shimon Edelman, Varieties of perceptual truth, pos…
Jan Koenderink, "Esse est percipi - verum factum e…
Chris Fields, Reverse engineering the world: “The …
▼ January (11)
Jonathan Cohen: Perceptual representation, veridic…
Barton Anderson, Where does fitness fit in theorie…
Diary - But, wait! There’s more. Hoffman’s respon…
Rainer Mausfeld, ‘Truth’ has no role in explanator…
Can you trust Frontiers in Psychology research pap…
4/4_Hoffman, Objects of Consciousness, conclusion
3/4_Hoffman, Objects of Consciousness, questions +…
2/4_Hoffman, Objects of Consciousness, questions +…
1/4_Hoffman, Objects of Consciousness, questions +…
Physical origins of mind, Dr. Siegel, Allen Instit…
▼ 2020 (45)
▼ December (7)
Diary - Closing Out 2020 Defending Physical Reality
“Emergence” - A Handy Student Summary and Resources
Sabine Hossenfelder in Defense of Scientific Reali…
The Case For Reality: Because Apparently Someone N…
Paul Mealing considers Hoffman’s "Objects of Consc…
Prof Hoffman Appendix - The Right to Be Foolish - …
Prof Hoffman #10c - Community - Playing Basketball…
▼ November (4)
Prof Hoffman #10b - Community - Playing Basketball…
Prof Hoffman #10a - Community - Playing Basketball…
Prof Hoffman #9 - Scrutiny - Playing Basketball In…
Prof Hoffman #8 - Polychromy - Playing Basketball …
▼ October (7)
Prof Hoffman #7 - Virtuality - Playing Basketball …
Prof Hoffman #6 - Gravity - Playing Basketball In …
Prof Hoffman #5 - Illusory - Playing Basketball In…
Prof Hoffman #4 - Sensory - Playing Basketball In …
Prof Hoffman #3 - (objective) Reality - Playing Ba…
Prof Hoffman #2 - Beauty - Playing Basketball In Z…
Prof Hoffman #1 - Mystery - Playing Basketball In …
▼ September (2)
Prof Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball In Zero-Gra…
Evolution is not a process. Evolution is a result.

Summary

MARCH 1, 2021
Diary, “Get over it dude, why u so obsessed with Hoffman’s Case Against Reality?”

Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-gravity Review is intended to offer solid information, food for thought, and hopeful inspiration for students concerned with American’s descent into delusional thinking. It is set up to be easily skimmed, contains copious references to expert sources and reporting, along with a few promising gems.

The Question: Why so obsessed with Hoffman’s Case Against Reality?

It’s a fair enough question. Why have I spent a half year thinking about it, then nearly another half year and thousands of words dissecting Donald Hoffman’s book, The Case Against Reality, why evolution hid the truth from our eyes?

I’ll tell you why,

  • It started with Donald Hoffman boasting that he’s doing serious solid science that is relevant to our daily lives. When all he’s doing is sophisticated mathematical games, computer modeling, philosophizing, wrapped in just-so storytelling. But, none of it deserves being called serious science!

  • Getting further into the book, I found my Down to Earth sensibilities and my respect for physical sciences increasingly offended by this man’s glib disregard for natural facts as scientists have refined them.

  • His dismissal of physical sciences and the physicalist paradigm were as laughable, as they were irritatingly disingenuous.

  • His notion that the perceiver composes the perceived, is childish. After all, to begin with, doesn’t light need to reflect off an object before we can perceive it? How does Hoffman justify such gross omissions of physical fact?

  • His constant reliance on computer game analogies to answer questions - is reminiscent of an evangelical’s dependence on their own Bible to make their case, such debate tactics are not acceptable for a scientist.

  • His constant conflation of Objective Reality and Physical Reality, needs a spotlight.

… “Objective” being a product of our minds doing their best to keep subjective human biases out of their observation and learning process.

… Thus, science’s dependence on process and measurements; physical evidence and repeatability; facts at hand driving understanding; a community of experts always looking over each other’s shoulders; constructively learning from mistakes; demand for honesty at all levels of communication; and so on.

  • His tendency to imply that Evolution has agency reveals a limited appreciation for actual “wet” evolution unfolding one day at a time, over the course of deep time.

  • In fact, turns out the only thing Hoffman knows about Evolution, is Evolutionary Game Theory. Realizing that, made Hoffman’s simplistic sweeping pronouncements regarding Evolution that much more galling.

  • Then, his quantum level rhetorical fancy dancing, that disingenuously conflates conclusions from atom smasher experiments with our macroscopic day to day reality, was like listening to nails being scrapped across a chalkboard.

  • He joined the chorus of talking head$, proclaiming “Space-time and Reality (as we know it) is Doomed,” a mere figment of our imagination. Why? Basically because their latest and greatest math breaks down, leaving them with no other conclusion.

  • Then to fill in this contrived void, Donald’s imaginative storytelling comes to the rescue with Hoffmanian Conscious Agents that zip around interpreting reality for us, because the reality we think we are seeing, isn’t really there, says Professor Hoffman. He assures us that he has the math to “prove” it.


Over all I found his writing to be a type specimen of an author who fell so in love with his own ideas, that he got trapped within his own Mindscape, and lost touch with physical reality.  Which is fine for fiction and the what-if world of philosophizing, but to claim one is representing actual factual reality, that’s an insult to intelligence and centuries worth of learning and understanding - and to me.

For me, Hoffman’s sort of delusional parlor games aren’t fun anymore.  Times on this planet are ever more difficult, thanks exactly that sort of mass acceptance of such frivolous flights of fantasy that blind people to our actual evolving biophysical reality, along with crippling their sober decision making ability.

Hoffman provided me with an excellent vehicle for wrestling with and further developing my own notions.  That is, a more down to Earth, (that is built upon a foundation of nature's facts), physical reality respecting, Earth Centrist philosophy.

Neglecting fundamental honestly and Earth’s physical reality has set-up today’s ugly destructive vector that humans have strapped themselves into.  I’ve had enough of the delusional thinking for fun and profit and I can’t help believing I’m not the only one.

If any of this resonates with you, please spend a little time skimming through these Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-Gravity Review project blog posts.  I’m no genius, not offering any grand solutions, but the contents of this project has much to offer, simply skimming through it like some picture book.  It will feed your understanding and imagination, and help you better formulate and organize your own developing understanding of the way people twist the truth, and what you might do to constructively confront it.

One that’s founded on an appreciation of the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide.

<img src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Lj57wH7nZ4M/YD1KEynN6sI/AAAAAAAAE1k/CnuMraJljHETHE9N0HXTrzzG0ZWruOd9gCLcBGAsYHQ/w467-h121/IMG_Candle%2B21-03-01.png" alt="" />

Alrighty then, with so many complaints, I sound like a big grump. But the thing is, I can rationally and factually support those complaints.

That’s why it was important for me to challenge myself with thoroughly dissecting Hoffman’s book from start to finish. I needed to verify and document the deceptions that I found so disturbing. I’ve now stated my case and provided detailed red flags, specific arguments, evidence, along with further resources, in a fairly organized manner - ready for review and response. Being a non-academic I know this project leaves plenty of room for improvement, but I’ll leave that to others with a stronger background.

I invite debate, but even more importantly, I want to offer this as a ‘Student Resource regarding Rhetorical Deception’ for those with whom these concerns resonate.

I’ve no idea how many hours I put into it, all told, it’s in the hundreds. At 65, with an eventful, makes me smile, life under my belt, I managed the spare time to devote to this project. My historic perspective makes me believe and hope that it might be helpful to some sharp activists and students of political deception. Students interested in better understanding the rhetorical arts and their tricks of the trade.

These chapters can also serve as the template for any number of class projects. You are encouraged to share, so long as you respect including citations and original sources.

I want young people to think about intellectual confrontation, challenging, and striving to change minds while waking up, informing, and engaging your own chorus, in the process.

Who would those students be?

Aware, engaged, worried about today’s trends.

Students who want to learn more about the ways of rhetorical deception for fun, and profit, and power.

Students who love Earth and who understand, plus respect the scientific method of studying and learning about our Earth, and our own bodies, and lives.

Students who are fed up with delusional thinking, driven by fraud-based belligerent willful ignorance.

Students who want to be part of confronting the normalization of lies and deception, and who rather encourage a return of respect and appreciation of the need for honesty and truth in learning and public dialogue.

Students who want to push back and demand that honestly facing the facts, is the best way to go forward on this rapidly changing increasingly hostile shrinking planet.

Unless we are changing minds, we are losing.

I’m glad I clicked to your blog, because this summary is much more helpful when you also have the links to what you are summarizing!

Cool. Thanks for mentioning that it’s full of links back to the original relevant posts.

Something that makes this project such a challenge, it’s the one hand clapping or the being trapped within one’s own bubble thing.

I do wonder what all this could have turned into if I’d a found some people who could relate and offer genuine feedback.

 

But it is what it is, and we do the best we can with what we have, so there.

Although, the constant beating myself up over it, walking away from it, and then having providence force me back into it, hasn’t been without some value.

I’ve convinced it has substance and staying power. Just need to figure out how to broadcast it to fertile soils.

Chance favors a prepared mind - and after nearly a year of dealing with “The Case Against Reality,” which, for me, was a collection of maddeningly dreamy philosophizing; disconnected from physical reality; and dismissive of the known facts and Evolution, which are central to my understanding of reality.

Learning is about providing us with tools and concepts we can work with as building blocks towards further developing our overall conceptions. But Hoffman’s FBT theorem and ITP inspired “conscious agents,” was like a bad practical joke, offering little but frustration, luftgeschäft, irrelevance - no place to go with it once it’s done.

As if on cue, YouTube prompted me with a suggestion that I might like this newly released talk: “The Source of Consciousness - with Dr. Mark Solms” posted March 4th and they weren’t kidding. Dr. Solms provides a way back to the solid ground of physical reality and serious science. …


 

Since Dr. Mark Solms, Ph.D. does such an admirable job demystifies Chalmers’ “Hard Problem” of Consciousness, thus highlighting why Hoffman’s “Conscious Agents” are fanciful luftgeschäft, I couldn’t resist sharing a cross section of the man’s work with a collection of three posts. The first featuring a selection of his YouTube videos, then next discussing his surprising family background and his accomplishments as a farmer and humanitarian, and the third featuring a selection of the academic papers and books that this incredible man has published. I’ve only linked the first.

Dr. Mark Solms demystifies Chalmers' "Hard Problem" of Consciousness.

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

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

Okay, it’s May 8th and I managed to kept at it, finishing the last planned installment, although another couple will probably be added, still it feels like time to celebrate a little and add the index to this sad little lonely thread. ?

Cc’s Students’ Resource, an accompaniment to Donald Hoffman’s “The Case Against Reality” <p style="text-align: left;"></p>

Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-Gravity, a critical review of,

“The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid The Truth From Our Eyes”,

by Donald Hoffman, ©2019, W.W.Norton Company


(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)

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)


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

“Probing the interface theory of perception: Reply to commentaries, by Donald D. Hoffman, Manish Singh &amp; Chetan Prakash"

Psychonomic Bulletin &amp; Review. volume 22, pages1551–1576(2015)

&nbsp;

(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, and Prakash.

(3.06)  Chris Fields -Reverse engineering the world: a commentary on Hoffman, Singh, and Prakash, “The interface theory of perception”.

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

(3.08)  Rainer Mausfeld - Notions such as “truth” or “correspondence to the objective world” play no role in explanatory accounts of perception.

(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 &amp; Prakash.

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

 

Student Resources - Background info:

(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


(5.01)  Summary, explaining why I've pursued this project.

Dr. Mark Solms deftly demystifies Chalmers’ “Hard Problem” of Consciousness, while incidentally highlighting why Hoffman’s “Conscious Agents” are luftgeschäft.

(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.


My homemade philosophical underpinnings.

(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.”</blockquote>
&nbsp;

Perused your excellent site and am impressed with the clear dedication to the task. I’ll read more as time goes by.

What I did look for is a reference to Max Tegmark, who proposes that “mind” emerges as a specific pattern. IOW. the pattern itself has an emergent quality over and above it constituent parts. I did notice you mentioned Tononi, which is mentioned by Tegmark in his lectures.

I really like the following little lecture . I’ve posted it before but for new members this may be of interest. It poses some profound questions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzCvlFRISIM