Donald Hoffman on the fundamental nature of consciousness

“I screamed!”

–Mike Zonta, BB editor

Theories of Everything with Curt Jaimungal July 30, 2020 Donald Hoffman a cognitive psychologist and Professor in the Department of Cognitive Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. The interviewer is Curt Jaimungal, who has a background in mathematical physics, making this an eminently scholarly and technical talk (relative to what exists with Donald Hoffman). Familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of his theory before watching this in order to be maximally edified. Patreon for conversations on Theories of Everything, Consciousness, Free Will, and God: https://patreon.com/curtjaimungal​ Help support conversations like this via PayPal: https://bit.ly/2EOR0M4​ Twitter: https://twitter.com/TOEwithCurt​ iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast…​ Pandora: https://pdora.co/33b9lfP​ Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4gL14b9…​ Google Podcasts: https://play.google.com/music/listen?…0:00​ Introduction 0:35​ Hoffman’s thought on the state of the country during COVID and what it entails about his theories 2:51​ Why he meditates for 3 hours daily, and what type of practice it is 7:26​ Hoffman’s diet and health habits 9:52​ On computational psychology (Hoffman’s initial background) 13:05​ Outlining (technically) the conscious agent model, and the motive force behind the lettering 16:41​ Consciousness as primary to Being, as the impediment for rationalists 26:50​ Why neural correlates aren’t *just* correlates, but instead can play causal role (playing devil’s advocate) and the limits of the “virtual reality” metaphor 38:44​ Nima Armani Hamed’s amplituhedron, and consciousness 40:23​ Local hidden variables / realism may be saved, via loopholes in Bell’s theorem 47:46​ The assumption of uniform probability of fitness functions on cyclic groups, etc. is a problem for a theory that says our perceptions are non-veridical (ie. that they don’t match “reality”) 1:01:44​ Evolution entails that we don’t see the truth / reality as it is 1:05:10​ On the over simplification of evolutionary models (outputting down to the Real Line of dimension 1 without further structure) 1:09:17​ The intensity of meditation, and fear of letting go / fear of the unknown 1:15:25​ “Illusions are failures to guide adaptive behavior.” 1:16:41​ The various philosophical theories on truth (correspondence, pragmatic, deflationary, etc.) 1:27:20​ Spacetime as a data compression tool for conscious agents 1:32:39​ On the nature of causality 1:37:50​ How is reality objective, when in Hoffman’s model it’s predicated exclusively on subjective agents 1:40:00​ What is “you”? What is “identity”? What is the “self”? (Eastern religions vs Western religions) 1:50:15​ How does Free Will fit into a stochastic model? 1:58:59​ Douglas Hofstadter’s “strange loop” model of consciousness & Tononi’s Integrated information theory vs. Donald Hoffman’s 2:14:37​ Where God fits into all of this, as well as Hoffman’s definition of God 2:21:22​ What happens when you die? 2:28:38​ Gödel’s incompleteness theorem’s implications for Hoffman’s model 2:34:35​ John Vervaeke’s other forms of knowledge which aren’t “propositional” 2:37:45​ Landauer’s limit (fastidious critiques) 2:41:29​ On the moon not existing when you don’t look at it 2:48:06​ Do you see the same color red that I see? (and other experiences / qualia) 2:51:31​ The paradox of pursuing truth, though truth is inimical (relative to fitness) 2:56:44​ Where does Deepak Chopra take Hoffman’s message too far + what Jesus meant by “I am the truth / the way / the life” * * * I’m producing an imminent documentary Better Left Unsaid http://betterleftunsaidfilm.com​ on the topic of “when does the left go too far?” Visit that site if you’d like to contribute to getting the film distributed (in 2021) and seeing more conversations like this.

3 thoughts on “Donald Hoffman on the fundamental nature of consciousness”

  1. Mike—thanks for posting; way, way more than I can take in now.

    What did you scream about?

  2. I screamed about Mr. Hoffman’s comparison of what we call reality and virtual reality. That is, for example, the moon exists when we are looking at it, but when we look away, it doesn’t. AAYH!

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