Relative Understanding


I found this in response to another theory:


But the link above seems to argue against the notion of a shared reality with some rather…questionable terms.

argue against the notion of a shared reality
Can you define what that's supposed to mean?


Our personal realty is limited by our abilities, awareness, and understanding, and of course the environments we are exposed to. Yeah, so what of it?



What does our personal perspective have to do with the Physical Reality as an consistent entity onto itself.


I found this -- Xain
So, you googled something.
What does our personal perspective have to do with the Physical Reality as an consistent entity onto itself.
Because considering we only have our personal perspective and our senses there isn't really evidence for a physical reality or anything physical for that matter. I mean we don't even have evidence matter exists.

I wacked my head on an open cupboard door the other day. There’s definitely something there.

I wacked my head on an open cupboard door the other day. There’s definitely something there.

Snowy you must be a Republican.

Regarding #335752 and your Quanta Magazine.

I know all about Donald Hoffman wild and crazy ideas,

in fact he’s been taking up a lot of my free time these past few months. It’s finally showing some fruit. And I’ve just about finished with my first go through Chapter One, though that means another hundred or so rereads and editing sessions before it’s cleaned up enough for posting.

Prof Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity - the prelude.

An unauthorized critical review.

I have to say that’s a pretty weak critique of his ideas especially when you have no evidence for physical reality:


Or that you can’t avoid solipsism:

Solipsism is not a choice, human beings or a human being is even in strict scientific terms a subjective entity, a subject, everything that happens to me is in my own subjective bubble. But, this is not where i see where the problem is at. The problem comes when, if you even come to the realization that solipsism is true, and that no event can exist without you consciously being subjectively aware of it, why would a solipsist or any person, put himself inside a simulated reality that basically restricts him in his wishes, fantasies, and absolute freedom. If you are infact first and foremost, outside of the simulated reality and have absolute freedom to do with yourself whatever you want, restricting yourself to a simulation even if it is self imposed, inside one’s own mind is really hard to understand. Because you would basically go into a span of about 80 years, experiencing even suffering, physical or psychological, being restricted in what you can do, example, no absolute control or freedom over matter, or the mind-matter relationship, i agree that it is hard to understand subjectivity and its logic that way. But, still, that does not negate solipsism. Because you also get to experience amazing beautiful things and extend your freedom further to the point of physical liberation or end which results in death, but you only end your own mind simulation. The whole process of solipsism is that every minute, date, month, year and second is a carefully planned event that must ultimately lead to absolute freedom, that is the end point of solipsism, to be able to do whatever you want, and without your subjectivity in that state ever ending.

Was that video supposed to impress?

I won’t argue the formulas, I simply take it down to an Earth evolution appreciating perspective.

Good timing though, look what I finished.

Hoffman Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity #1 - Mystery, The Scalpel That Split Consciousness

Solipsism the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.

Have at it.

I would argue that all the evidence there is clearly shows that “reality” as we know it exists, including matter. There is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that reality as we know it is in any way wrong, so there is no reason to “daydream” that maybe we’re all just in a giant simulation or whatever nonsense would account for consciousness existing but everything we think we know not existing.

I’m sure it’s an interesting thought when you’re stoned and hanging out with your friends, but it’s not as intellectual a thought as some people believe it is. All the evidence we are able to collect points to the conclusion that reality as we know it is “real”. This is nothing more than a “what if?” thought. What if the universe is really a giant fairy fart and matter is just the shit particles contained in it? Just because I can imagine it doesn’t mean it’s an idea worth considering without any evidence to support it whatsoever.

"Just because I can imagine it doesn’t mean it’s an idea worth considering without any evidence to support it whatsoever."
That's one of the reasons I'm not a fan of philosophy; it too often takes itself way too seriously. And even worse, it sucks in some people who think that worthless ideas have value because they can't be proven wrong.

The ‘universe is a fairy fart’ idea is equally as provable as the idea that matter doesn’t exist, and that’s why I spend equal time pondering each one.





And even worse, it sucks in some people who think that worthless ideas have value because they can’t be proven wrong.
Well said.

thank you

I wound up looking at part of that video again and then looked at come comments and found what I was really hoping for, a real physicist, who understand such formulas, weight in. Where π and W give a good general response, shiloh2727 provides some helpful details and lesson to better assess the game going on, so I’m going to add them here. :wink:


shiloh2727 (3 years ago) First off, his simulations for evolutionary fitness using Monte Carlo methodologies. He managed to monitor digital organisms whose perceptual systems are adapted exclusively for "truth" and that got outcompeted by those adapted for fitness, but you can make these simulations optimize for any sort of fitness environment that an experimenter can think of, so this blur between "illusion" and "truth" is still there.

Furthermore, his fitness algorithms are simplified to the point where the “truth” can be the ability to approximate solutions for the fitness of the organism. This is very unlike the world you and I experience, and if I can just change the variables around to fit my perception for fitness being in conflict with truth with no concrete evidence, then that’s not falsifiable.

Second, Hoffman conjectures that his idea presented in his paper can extend to explain the basis for quantum physics and relativity. Are you joking?

Science does not get an obscured view of reality, since the measuring devices are not products of natural selection and evolution, so they don’t have biases built into them. Mathematics and logic are also not evolutionary products, they are axiomatic.

Hoffman is making connections between two very dissimilar subject matters, and his “sufficient” evidence does not stand to snuff if it hasn’t been tested.

As a physicist myself, this irritates me to no end. As an aside, there’s also the idea of how it is even possible to describe how things as they really are? The theory Hoffman proposes would be impossible without the scientific findings for evolutionary theory, and yet if Hoffman’s theory is true then evolutionary theory would be an “illusion” as well.

There are a lot of holes in the logic he presents.



shiloh2727 (2 years ago) I would also add that your defense for science presupposing idealism is flawed.

If you would consider realism, more concisely hypothetical-constructive realism, then science would not need a presupposition, but rather a hypothesis or model construction (kinda like a scientific hypothesis, if you are familiar with the scientific method).

Sure, I might not be able to accurately measure an object based on my perception, but that’s why I use scientific tools, which don’t get an obscure perception of reality.

The point is that this introduces a subject or matter-independent reality that causes experiences for the perceiver, which your video doesn’t account for.



shiloh2727 (1 year ago) Why should it matter if I show my face or not?

The arguments presented, if they are made well, stand on their own merits.

If you want literature to the contrary of what Hoffman has presented in his paper, I will gladly give you that.

I’ve also pointed some flaws in the original paper that are rather glaring: simulating evolution is fine, but ultimately they do nothing but obey the assumptions you put into them, some of the unfounded.

All in all, this paper delves into nothing more than logical necessity in mathematics and giving a long winded discussion on “what if” scenarios that can’t be falsified. I don’t deal with mumbo jumbo.


shiloh2727 (1 year ago) I am unsure where the specific examples of beetles, dragonflies, frogs and birds are, but Hoffman's paper does go over interface games, which I believe is what you are alluding to.

But I reiterate, simulating evolution is fine, but ultimately they do nothing but obey the assumptions you put into them, and are likely not good representations of variables in reality (pun unintended).

And I believe you have it wrong about skeptics: skepticism is the basis for how humanity has advanced from realizing wrongs and untruth to improving our understanding of the world.

Skepticism, by its definition, casts doubt into anything that is put forth as truth.

Science has allowed us to understand the limitations of man: that some animals have better hearing than man, that some animals have better smell than man, some have better taste, sight, hearing, etc. And as we develop better tools to help us understand these limitations, we begin to understand more about how our universe works.

Sure, humanity thought that the Earth was at the center of the universe some time ago, but now we know that is not the case because of instruments like telescopes and satellites that allow us to perceive things we normally can’t just by our own. We also though lightning was god’s way of expressing his wrath whenever storms happened, but we know that’s not the case anymore.

We have special instruments that can measure this weather phenomenon and actually harness its power.



@snowcity I get what you’re saying and found the article interesting. Thanks for being such a positive participant! Our understanding of things as being relative to other things, is at the heart of some of the greatest concepts in scientific history, including special relativity. Tangentially, although it’s not possible to be entirely sure either is or is not the case, I don’t subscribe to solipsism or subjective idealism. I’m closer to being a particularly troublesome variety of physicalist, while at the same time fitting the description of a New Mysterian.

I would add here however that the motto: “To solve the world’s problems let us not fight about what is universally true but rather understand what is true for each other. And accept there’s a lot we don’t know.” should read: “To solve the world’s problems let us not only consider what is universally true but also understand what is true for each other. And accept there’s a lot we don’t know.”

Here’s one of the main pillars of Hoffman’s case against reality:

DH: “If we construct everything we see, and if we see neurons, then we construct neurons.

But what we construct doesn’t exist until we construct it.

So neurons don’t exist until we construct them.” (¶7 - ch 3 - Hoffman’s case against reality)

Please think about what he said there, the light beams bouncing off that object wouldn’t be entering your eye’s to begin with,

if that object didn’t exist in order for the light to bounce off of.

Seems rhetorical fancy dancing at it’s best. Not serious science.

How Crick and others miss that I can’t imagine. Though, I’m left to Hoffman’s account and he’s busy trying to write a best seller.

For me, understanding reality is a matter of context. There’s the subjectively real, and the objectively real. One might argue that there can also be the quasi-real, e.g. a concept car that is only part way through the assembly line, or more controversially, a person at some point after conception. Personally, I’m not entirely comfortable with the notion of quasi-reality, especially quasi-personhood, but nobody said the true state of affairs is always a choice between simple binaries?


New mysterianism—or commonly just mysterianism—is a philosophical position proposing that the hard problem of consciousness cannot be resolved by humans. The unresolvable problem is how to explain the existence of qualia (individual instances of subjective, conscious experience). In terms of the various schools of philosophy of mind, mysterianism is a form of nonreductive physicalism. Some "mysterians" state their case uncompromisingly (Colin McGinn has said that consciousness is "a mystery that human intelligence will never unravel"); others believe merely that consciousness is not within the grasp of present human understanding, but may be comprehensible to future advances of science and technology. (wiki)
Hmmm, what's it do for you? Is it just about thinking the problem is beyond solving?

Then I looked up nonreductive physicalism, wow. The problems we create for ourselves.

Do any of these folk know what they’re really looking for? Does it matter?



By Fiona MacDonald, June 23, 2018