Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Sensory Experience As Shortcut In A Multi-Modal User Interface

meaningfulparticipation |  The case against reality by Donald D. Hoffman Subtitled “How Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes”

  • Multimodal user interface (MUI) theory*: MUI theory states that “perceptual experiences do not match or approximate properties of the objective world, but instead provide a simplified, species-specific, user interface to that world.”
Perception is not a window on objective reality. It is an interface that hides objective reality behind a veil of helpful icons.
I take my perceptions seriously, but not literally.
startling “Fitness-Beats-Truth” (FBT) theorem, which states that evolution by natural selection does not favor true perceptions—it routinely drives them to extinction. Instead, natural selection favors perceptions that hide the truth and guide useful action.
Space, time, and physical objects are not objective reality. They are simply the virtual world delivered by our senses to help us play the game of life.
Physics and evolution point to the same conclusion: spacetime and objects are not foundational. Something else is more fundamental, and spacetime emerges from it.
Our senses report fitness, and an error in this report could ruin your life. So our senses use “error-correcting codes” to detect and correct errors. Spacetime is just a format our senses use to report fitness payoffs and to correct errors in these reports.
we differ from rocks in two key respects. First, we experience sensations. Second, we have “propositional attitudes,” such as the belief that rocks don’t have headaches we also have meaning, problem solving capability and enactors
Like a rock, we have bona fide physical properties. But unlike a rock, we have conscious experiences and propositional attitudes. Are these also physical? If so, it’s not obvious: What is the mass of dizziness, the velocity of a headache, or the position of the wonder why Chris won’t call?
Our failure to envision a mechanism does not preclude one. Perhaps we’re not clever enough, and an experiment will teach us what we can’t surmise from an armchair. After all, we invest in experiments because they often repay us in surprise.
Sperry’s explanation was simple and profound. When you fixate on the cross in KEY + RING, the neural pathways from eye to brain send KEY only to the right hemisphere, and RING only to the left. If the corpus callosum is intact, the right hemisphere then tells the left about KEY, and the left tells the right about RING, so that the person sees KEY RING.
What false assumption bedevils our efforts to unravel the relation between brain and consciousness? I propose it is this: we see reality as it is.
::Perception is always relative to WII. WII creates the context and filter for our perception::
::Placebo as example of reality models making reality::
beauty is a perception of fitness payoffs on offer,
The predictions of evolution about beauty are surprising but, as we will see in chapter nine, its predictions about physical objects are disconcerting: objects, like beauty, are in the eye of the beholder and inform us about fitness—not about objective reality.


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