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The Case Against Reality

Donald Hoffman | 1:52:39


Hey, what's up everybody it's Dr. Zuber Nemanja, aka Z Dawg MD and I am just an icon okay. And that will be explained that the by watching this episode I'm here with Professor of Cognitive Sciences at the University of California Irvine and a personal intellectual hero of mine. No bias here. Dr. Donald Hoffman. Professor, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much. Zubin. Pleasure to be here. And thanks for inviting me, man, it's really crazy to have you in my garage. Because I've seen your TED Talk. I've watched I've been to workshops with your I've read your book The case against reality, why evolution hid the truth from our eyes. 

And I have to be honest with you, I'm like, to the extent that a scientist can be a fanboy of another scientist, and I am a fanboy. Because what you've kind of proposed, and again, we may be wrong here. 

But it's the one thing that's actually felt right to me about the nature of reality that we don't see it, as it actually is. In other words, we don't see truth, we see a graphical user interface that is a series of icons that are tuned to keep us alive and reproducing, but not tuned to show us the truth. And the underlying truth. That is there may be much more interesting than we think. So yes. Let's start with that. How did you even get interested in studying this?

Well, I was interested in perception, and artificial intelligence. And the question, are we machines, people, just machines? Or is there something more to us than just machines? And, and so I was, as a teenager, I was very interested in these questions. I was programming so I knew what programs could do about and but I was also, you know, my dad was a fundamentalist minister. 

So there were all these other aspects of spirituality or religion that were interesting about human nature. And I was trying to put all this stuff together. So I would, on the one side with programming and the new kinds of capacities of artificial intelligence, if it was looking like we might be machines and the other hand, they're supposed to be something about us that's beyond the machine. And so I was very, very curious. And so I started, I went to UCLA, and did an undergraduate degree in which I was studying computer science, mathematics, with a major in psychology.

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