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The Case Against Reality


Dr. Donald Hoffman




We have no clue how consciousness emerges from 3 pounds of wet goo. Cognitive scientist Don Hoffman takes us deep into his research suggesting we're attacking the problem backwards.


What's up everybody? It's Dr. Zubin Damania, AKA ZDoggMD, and I am just an icon, okay. And,that will be explained, 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. - [Don] Thank you so much, Zubin. It's a 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 been to workshops with you. I've read your book, "The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hides 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, 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 the 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. - [Don] Yes. - Let's start with that. How did you even get interested in studying this? - [Don] Well, I was interested in perception, and artificial intelligence, and the question, “Are we machines?” Are people just machines, or is there something more to us than just machines? And so I was,as a teenager, I was very interested in these questions. I was programming, so I knew what programs could do, a bit, and, but I was also, And then I went to MIT, where I went to the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and what's now the Brain and Cognitive Science department.

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