“As long as our theories are stuck within spacetime, we cannot master what lurks behind.” Professor Donald Hoffman
DH: “ A venerable tradition conscripts the latest technology to be a metaphor of the human mind. …” (¶3)
... and history also shows us what a folly this venerable tradition is.
Gary Marcus: “Science has a poor track record when it comes to comparing our brains to the technology of the day. Descartes thought that the brain was a kind of hydraulic pump, propelling the spirits of the nervous system through the body. Freud compared the brain to a steam engine. The neuroscientist Karl Pribram likened it to a holographic storage device.”
Instead of taking the hint, Hoffman takes his cue from a Hollywood blockbuster and reduces our sensory interface with reality, down to our interface with a computer screen.
Chapter five’s opening quote comes from Morpheus in The Matrix: “This is your last chance . . . I (will) show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”
Is Hoffman being provocative for the sake of intellectual titillation?
Is it for the sake of constructive science? Or what? Is it tailored to sell to a frivolous audience?
Can we tell the different between a constructive scientist and a devious salesman? Lets find out as I continue my inspection of Hoffman's words and their implications.
DH: “… I invite you to explore a metaphor of perception: each perceptual system is an interface, like the desktop computer of a laptop. A laptop shaped by natural selection, …” (¶3)
Shaped by who’s “Natural Selection”? It gets labeled, but never defined.
Besides, who’s kidding whom, the interface we experience with our laptops doesn’t in anyway correspond to the interface between our minds and our bodies; and then by extension through the senses, our “interface” with physical reality; which we are embedded within; as time relentlessly speeds us forward.
A review of Donald Hoffman’s, Case Against Reality,
chapter 5, Illusory - The Bluff of a Desktop
DH: “The blue icon does not deliberately misrepresent the true reality of the file. Representing nature is not its aim. Its job, instead, is to hide that nature for the complexity inside the computer. …(then into details )… The language of the interface - pixels and icons - cannot describe the hardware and software it hides. … ( and so and so forth )” (¶5)