Reality around you … : People and Thoughts

Note:

  1. All the research discussed here is a simplified version of research conducted by Donald Hoffman, one of my favorite researchers.

2. This long article is my attempt to simplify my understanding of his thoughts/research to make you understand reality better.

3. Every scientific theory that has evolved since the birth of science, has some base assumptions. Things that can not be proven but assumed for their argument to make sense…

4. This might look boring at first but trust me, you would love reading this going ahead. We need to understand few things in order to get him right. So let’s get back to that first…

5. This whole long article is an argument to the reality that we have been seeing, feeling everyday. It brings us to the conclusion that what we are seeing is not real ( sort of real). It’s something else that we are for …

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When I was a child, I used to confirm if the person that went by me … is he real?

I used to let him pass by and used to quickly turn back to see if he really is there or if he vanished after passing by me …

Most of us believe that we see reality as it is. If we look up and see the moon, it’s because there really is a moon and it would exist even if there’s no one to look at it or not …

Our things like chair, laptop, boxes, tables, those have same properties .. they will remain there even if there’s no one to see them at all …

You know when you play video game, you focus on getting points as fast as you can and then you get to the next level or else you die … Theory of evolution has been this way .The way we as a humans were developed so intelligent is the same…

It’s called game theory. Evolution of natural selection, the game theory has all been nothing but about the strategies that we played better than rest of the animals to get evolved better…. Lemme give you an example.

As hunters and gatherers, we humans went out, co-operate for hunting, we worked hard, came back at the end of the day, If you got more than I then you might share it with me and tomorrow I might share with you…

This strategy of co-operation works very well. But it turns out, that it’s not the only strategy … If you go out and I go out for hunting, I just go down to the river, hide out, relax, come back and say, ‘oooh, I worked so hard today’ and so on …

we share the food and it’s pretty fit strategy in the sense that I did not put my life in danger, I did not really work hard, I relaxed.. but if everyone starts applying that strategy, then no one will bring food at home and we will loose, we will die…

So you get the idea that fitness of strategy depends upon the other strategies that are around.

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So every living being on earth runs after some kind of fitness payoff’s in order to survive. If I do this, I’ll get that .. If I sleep, I’ll better be able to work tomorrow, if I can walk after, I’ll reach out to destination faster, and so on .. every action of every living being is an attempt to survive in the race of evolution for that species ..

We, as a human we are at the top of the game as we are the most advanced species …and that’s where the trouble is !!!

This evolution has shaped up to not to see the truth, the reality as it is. The good analogy is that it gave us a desktop interface. Lemme elaborate on this ..

You see the blue icon on your desktop? It’s blue in color and rectangular icon. Does that mean that the mail inside your computer is blue and rectangular? No! Right ?

The purpose of the interface is to hide the objective reality behind sending the mail.. i.e the circuit boards, the electronics, the magnetic fiels, your wifi cards and what not. You don’t want to deal with that …

If you deal with magnetic fields to write an Email, good luck. You would never be able to write an email. Sending it is the next to impossible.

and that’s what the evolution did with us. It gave us an interface that’s there to hide the truth. Seeing the truth will get in the way. It’s not that we will get the shapes wrong, or the colors wrong … It’s that you just want to send the mail , you send that .. you don’t look at how is it being sent through the circuit.

If you are playing a game of fast race cars in virtual reality and lets say you have two cars, you turn your head on the left and you see a red Ferrari, you turn your head the other way, now you are seeing is the blue Mustang… the red Ferrari is gone… there is no red Ferrari in the computer that’s running the game .. its just being rendered in front of you … it’s just in your mind !!!

You see ! There is a reality but it’s not the Blue Mustang or Red Ferrari, the reality is the computer that is running the game,

Evolution has given us this headset, in which you look up, you see the moon, you turn away, you don’t render a moon so it doesn’t exist .. even if I look in the supercomputer ( your brain ) which is running this, you will not find any moon there ..and no Green, Blue, Red Mustangs or Ferrari .. there’s nothing ..

Now you will say, I don’t believe this, because what I see is not virtual. If I see an object in front of me and if I continue walking, I know I’m gonna bump onto it .. How can it be virtual?

Lemme give you another example.

So when you hold an apple in your hand, a bunch of photons that are reflecting from an apple, enter into your eye, there’s this retina inside on which they are gathered .. it about 120 million photons being bombarded on that retina…

Now if you pause a second, you will know that each cell of the retina, is just reporting the number of photons incident on it. It’s like a 120 Mexpixel camera. At the back of your brain, it’s just receiving a bunch of numbers … you see the complexity?

At that level, there’s no object, no color, no motion, no shape and sizes .. it’s just bunch of numbers and your brain has to create that objects and colors our of those incident photos, out of those numbers. It has to generate that reality …

You can’t tell anything from the stream of numbers, you have to create 3D objects, colors, shapes from those numbers .. and that’s no different than rendering Blue Mustang or Red Ferrari in front of you … as far as bumping into those objects and reality is concerned, its just your sensors responding to that rendered virtual reality …

Your brain, along with all the senses you have, they all are building a VR world…

I mean we open our eyes, and we start seeing this 3D world with objects, shapes and colors …

Whatever the truth is that you see outside, is only in the headset …

So I see a cat in my house and it’s just simple as an icon on my desktop interface. I see you and I just see bunch of skin, hands, hairs … thats all ..

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Oh mannnn … I can’t .. I can’t withstand this .. my mind coming out … I can feel that ….

Lemme stop thinking here…

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