Saturday, October 31, 2020

Prof Hoffman #8 - Polychromy - Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity - Mutations of an Interface

DH:  “Color can speak volumes. … Color is a window into fitness - also a jailhouse. … Try to imagine a color you’ve never seen.  Can’t do it. … Color… like perception, is both window and prison.”   (¶1)

Polychromy = “the art of painting in several colors, especially as applied to ancient pottery, …”

We could also say that our bodies are the prison of our mind.  If you really wanted to look at it that way.  But, what’s it get you?  Beyond a reflection into your own psyche?

A review of Donald Hoffman’s, Case Against Reality, 

Chapter 8, Polychromy - Mutations of an Interface

DH:  “As a window on fitness color is not flawless, just adequate to guide our actions that keep us alive long enough to reproduce.  Color, like each of our perception, compresses the complexities of fitness payoffs to bare essentials.”   (¶2)

What gives Hoffman the right to expect some subjective idealized flawlessness from nature?  Seems a bit hubristic to me.

Sure color perception is an important element, among many important sense “elements,” none of them perfect in the best of times, all vulnerable to a galaxy of pathologies and quirks.  Such is life.  That’s why luck often matters as much as fitness.

The fundamental problem with Hoffman’s narrative is that he keeps blaming the perceived object for the quirks and short comings of the perceiving instrument.  It’s silly.

DH:  “(The human eye has 7 million cones and 120 million rods, each carrying compressed information.  The circuitry of the eye then squashes this down to 1 million signal and forwards it to the brain, which must correct errors and decode actionable messages about fitness.”   (¶8)

Thus optical illusions happens. I’m going to skip paragraphs worth of Hoffman’s tour through optics trivia.  I’ll share trustworthy authoritative sources and let them explain the details without Hoffman’s tactical omissions.

A Journey Through the Human Eye: How We See

Bausch and Lomb

Though I do want to share that over the decades of my working years, I've racked up easily two years worth of professional house painting.  Early on I developed a golden rule, “I don’t do colors!”  Meaning, I don’t offer suggestions, or opinions, regarding color picks.  It’s way too subjective.  I’ve seen people going from loving a color they picked out, to hating it, because of someone’s comment, or some other trigger. 


But most dramatically, I was constantly amazed afresh at how the same color looks different on every wall, especially interiors of empty rooms. Usually because of lighting, position of windows and such.  Sometimes dramatically different, there have been times the visual dissonance would drive me to the window to rest my eyes on some landscape for a while.  

The thing is, all of that involved the perceiving instrument (our eyes/mind) and optics - doesn’t have anything to do with the underlying reality of the walls or paints - beyond the physics of optics.  

DH:  “In the process of correcting errors and decoding messages about fitness, we sometimes construct complex icons that integrate objects, colors, and motions. … 

You have, by the end of this process, decoded a message about fitness into the language of your interface - the language of objects with shapes, positions, colors, and motions - a message that can now guide your next acton.”   (¶13)

That's a convoluted way of saying it.  But it works, and no need for conscious agents zinging around.  Of course, lest we forget, Hoffman's 'fitness' is simply a term in a formula.

How brains see

nature video   

Incidentally, how do speculative conscious agents zinging around explain optical illusions?  Hoffman never does.

How the brain recognizes what the eye sees

Salk Institute

What’s wrong with appreciating gazillions of atoms simply making up the stuff of our realm?  

We see that stuff because light reflects off of it.  Eyes are built to collect information and relay it the brain.  Our eyes are evolved optical instruments, no secret extra dimension needed.  

DH:  “… The hat is an icon of your interface whose complex shape encodes information critical to adaptive action.  

Your hand is an icon of your interface, not an objective reality.  You must first decode the shape of your hand, no less than that of the hat.  We don’t know what objective world really is, …”   (¶14-15)

This one is downright unhinged.

I mean, just how much philosophy is required to empower one to think that your hand is just another object like that hat over there?  

Professor, your hand is attached to your body and brain in a myriad of ways the hat over there is not!  Or?  To even suggest an equivalency is utterly stupefying to me.  

It’s also more evidence that there’s nothing to see here beyond Hoffman entertaining a frivolous audience.

Back in chapter five, Illusory - The Bluff of the Desktop, Hoffman explains the difference between 'serious’ and ‘literal' by declaring, he wouldn’t ‘step in front of a speeding Maserati for the same reason he wouldn’t trash an important file on his desktop.’  

Seriously?  That it?  Chew on it a little.

Leaves me wondering if the guy has ever walked close to the edge of a dangerous cliff?  If he’s ever noticed how his body reacts as he steps closer and closer to that edge (what I’ve come to call the vortex of danger)?  Meaning the point where your chance of going over the edge increases exponentially in a flash.  Then you’re over.  Be it cliff, or river, or that spinning blade, or for that matter, psyching yourself up to jump into the vortex of danger in front of a speeding Maserati.

Often our bodies know better than our conscious thoughts.  Math still has no way to incorporate that into imaginative theoretical theorems.

DH:  “As we have discussed, the idea that physical object are just ephemeral data structure that describe fitness payoffs differs sharply from the idea - now standard in vision science - that physical objects are elements of objective reality, and that the goal of vision is to estimate the shapes and other physical properties”   (¶17)

Fact remains, there is no objective fact based support for Hoffman’s claims.  

Just fast talk, along with too little critical thinking on the part of his enchanted audiences.

Hoffman believes physical stuff is “ephemeral data structures,”  I counter that engineering achievements such as CERN’s LHC make for compelling evidence that Hoffman and pals are deluding themselves.

DH:  “These differences are fundamental. … In particular, our bodies are not aspects of objective reality, and our actions don’t give us direct access to preexisting objects in spacetime.   

Our bodies are messages about fitness that are coded as icons in a format specific to our species.  When you perceive yourself… you’re actually seeing  yourself as an icon inside your own data structure”   (¶18)

LET’S BE CLEAR, that is Hoffman’s personal vision, a doctrine of his faith, unsupported by physical facts!  

Hoffman certainly hasn’t provided any physical evidence, beyond his heart felt conviction, and some hand waving about experiments that are utterly beyond our realm of experiences - thus non applicable.

This FBT Theorem is a philosophical stance with religious undercurrents.  Unsupported by the full spectrum of Earth Sciences!  But, it takes some serious homework to fully appreciate why that is.  Eventually I’ll get around to the rest of that story.

Think.  For instance, where did your body come from to begin with? 

DH:  “Specific emotions may be triggered by specific colors …

This list paints with a broad brush. …”   (¶19-20)

DH:  “Nuances of color an trigger nuances of emotion that inform our actions in pursuit of fitness. … Even plants, which have no emotions, use nuances of color to guide a variety of adaptive actions. …”   (¶22)

So what?  I’ve been listening to books on tapes for decades.  Interestingly, when I re-listen to the narrative of a long ago book, my mind can be instantly transported right back to where I was, what I was doing, including the way I was feeling at the time, when I was originally listening to said audiobook. 

Or how about that certain smell that will transport your mind right back to childhood in your grandparents house?   It’s fun and interesting but no big deal.   

Senses; memory; emotions are bunk mates within our brain and mind, it’s no wonder we see various examples of cross chatter.

DH:  “Color perception has deep evolutionary roots. …”   (¶28)

DH:  “…Patches of uniform color are rare in nature.  More frequently are combinations of color and texture, called “chromatures,” which have a richer structure, can encode more data about fitness, and can trigger more precise reactions”   (¶30)

Chromatures (the combination of color and texture) - Curiously I’ve been googling, “chromatures” trying to find some independent viewpoints, yet out of the first dozen relevant google suggestions everyone involves Hoffman.  Reminds me of a tactic I’ve seen within the climate science denying campaign.  A form of Astro-Turfing.

Now I’m wondering if “chromatures” is an ad hoc term that Hoffman coined himself.  Seems like it should have been around before, it’ll be curious to see how long it takes me find untainted information on chromatures, the word itself and what kinds of studies focus on it.  I’ll keep poking around, I’m sure there’s something somewhere.

DH:  “Chromatures do not pontificate about objective reality - about material and surface objects that are presumed to exist even if no one looks.  Instead, chromatures counsel us how to act, and warn us what to expect, as we forage for fitness.”   (33)

“Chromatures counsel us” be it one person or a hundred thousand looking at the same stage?  How does that work?

Even more curious, where, pray tell does this leave experience, memory, learning?

DH:  ““Our perceptions are a user interface that evolved to guide our actions and keep us alive long enough to reproduce.  

About our user interface.  If you want a serious introduction here’s a good one:

Dr. Octavio Choi presents Brain Basics: An Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience - Mar 16, 2017

Presenter: Dr. Octavio Choi, Chief Academic Psychiatrist, Oregon State Hospital Director, Forensic Evaluation Services

Description and Learning Objectives: Neuroscientific evidence is increasingly being encountered in the United States criminal justice system. This session will provide a concise and readily accessible introduction to human brain structure, brain function, and how structure and function are studied through modern neuroimaging techniques.

DH:  “Once we grasp this, and free ourselves from the conceptual straitjacket of assuming that we perceive reality as it is, 

then we can reverse-engineer our interface, understand how it codes information about fitness and guides our actions, and then apply this knowledge to solve practical problems - such as creating chromatures that evoke specific emotions.

It is no small challenge to pull a Houdini and exit our conceptual straitjacket.  Thinking about synesthesia, a fusing of senses, can help with this trick. … ”   (¶40-41)

“Exit our conceptual straitjacket.”  Seriously?  They make LSD for that.

How well we understand, or not, what’s happening inside quarks, or blackholes, won’t impact the fact that we are embedded within a physical reality that we already understand quite well - if only we’d take the time to allow its lessons to soak in. 

It occurs to me that even the structure of our brain is a good counter-argument to Hoffman’s pipe dream theorem.  All that complex brain structure, for what?  What’s the point if you already have conscious agents flying around taking care of everything?

DH:  “In gustatory-tactile synthesis …”   (¶45)

DH:  “This exemplifies the claim of ITP that your perception of physical objects is not a veridical sketch of a preexisting object. … Contemplating Watson’s synesthesia can free our imagination from the chokehold of preexisting objects, from the belief that our object experiences are low-resolution versions of real object in objective reality.”   (¶47)

DH:  “I started this brief tour of synesthesia with the promise that, at the end, it may free us from a straitjacket - the belief that we see reality as it is. …”   (¶57)

“From the chokehold of preexisting objects” - too much contrived drama Donald.  Rhetorical fancy dancing doesn’t change the reality of physical reality!

As for Hoffman’s straitjacket, lets think about it a little.

Releasing us from our straitjackets?  What straitjacket?  The straitjacket of our lives?  That is, our mind trapped within our body and the course of events and time that carry each of us through our lives with the years ruthlessly ticking by and adding up, then we are gone.  Our fundamental human condition?  

How will a new understanding of deeper physics, (within quarks and other minuscule environs down at the teeny tiny edge of knowable physics and universal energy), impact anyone’s day to day!?  

DH:  “We have no grounds for claiming that our interface is veridical and Watson’s an illusions.  In fact, neither is veridical nor an illusion.  Each is an adaptive guide for a critical decision - what shall I put in my mouth.  It is an accident of evolution, not a necessity of veridical perception …”   (¶59)

“It is an accident of evolution” exposes Hoffman’s disconnect from the actual reality of the flow of deep time.  ’Accident’ is an absurd notion when you are discussing evolution.  

Evolution isn’t a train schedule.  

Evolution is change over time.  

It’s all about the run of the mill and the “accident” that changes everything, or just somethings, until a new run of the mill is achieved, awaiting the next accident.

I’ve read and skimmed a dozen reputable articles about Synesthesia and share a few links at the end.  I didn’t see anyone claiming it is an illusion, quite the contrary.  It’s a fascinating window into learning about our brains and consciousness - still, Synesthesia is no window into understanding physical reality or time!

DH:  “The point is: we do not have true or ideal perceptions.  Instead, we inherit a satisfactory interface with a limited variety of formats - smells, tastes, color, shapes, sounds, touches, and emotions.  Our interface evolved to be fast, cheap, and just newsy enough about fitness to enable us to raise our offspring and pass on our genes. … ”   (¶60)

The anthropomorphizing gets to me.  This is childish.

“Limited variety of formats?”  How many does he want? 

How many senses do humans have? - By Steve Draper,   Department of Psychology,   University of Glasgow -  Dec 8, 2019

… Depends on how you want to count…  10, 21, 33, …  

Of course the real answer is that this is the wrong way to look at it. Sensing doesn't cause perception: real perception is all about integrating information across senses, across time, across space if you are (as is normal) moving around partly in order to perceive better.

Why call that ‘limited’ - what’s missing?  

5, 9, 21, 53 … how many senses do we have?

“… Eco-psychologist Michael J Cohen’s point is that we are all sensory creatures and that our human senses are a large part of who we are. Our senses are given to us not to be indulged, to be playthings or for decoration, but are mechanisms originally designed to help us survive and thrive in the natural world. 

Because life in the “developed” world is now so confined (Americans for instance spend an average of 95% of their lives indoors) our senses have little to do and consequently become either atrophied or over-sensitive, which in turn leads to many of the common ailments of today’s existence, such as stress, anxiety and depression.

Next time you’re out and about go somewhere new or take a new route. Concentrate on what you experience, not just the smells and sounds but all the sensations: cold, hungry, expectant, nervous… Go on, forget about indulging your senses and think more about exercising them.”  

Besides being another indication of Hoffman’s disconnect from our real world’s ways and means, it seems to me Hoffman’s flippant attitude towards what people already possess is another manifestation of the too much is never enough mindset that’s permeated our collective thinking.  

DH:  “… The tinkering of evolution can concoct perceptual interfaces with endless format most beautiful and most wonderful; the vast majority of these are to us most inconceivable.”   (¶60)

Much truth in that.  But coming from Hoffman it seems incongruous.

It’s contrary to the notion of his free wheeling “conscious agents” flying about creating what we perceive, as we perceive it.  

On a personal note, as if on cue, during the days of writing this, one evening we had one of our exclusive neighborhood movie nights.  All three families, in our little corner of the world to hang out and watch “My Octopus Teacher” - I never heard of it before.  

It’s about a free diver who wasn’t into breaking records, he spent his time getting to know a very special kelp forest off south Africa - and discovered something small but wonderful.  Talk of “perceptual interfaces’ - it’s a fascinating exploration into the topic, up close and personal.

That documentary perfectly demonstrates what reality looks like to me.  We are part of a process, we have our time now, and shouldn’t take it for granted.  Then we are gone.  

Nothing so complicated as Conscious Agents zinging around holding it all together.  Our solar system could never have happened if it were dependent on Conscious Agents and stuff were ephemeral!


Documentary Emmy nominee Craig Foster did the underwater photography for this film as he bonded with a special octopus.

My Octopus Teacher - A captivating SA documentary -

An amazing documentary about a man's bond with an octopus entitled '' My Octopus Teacher'' is captivating film festivals and competition judges worldwide. The feature documentary is a collaboration driven by the Sea Change Project and NGO raising awareness of the beauty and ecological importance of South Africa's kelp forest. It is also the first Netflix Original Documentary to come out of South Africa.

DH:  “Evolution is not finished tinkering with the perceptual interface of Homo sapiens. ….”   (¶61)

Well don’t look now, but humanity continues poisoning land, ocean, atmosphere.  We’ve wantonly created way the heck too many people.  On top of all that too many of us have no conception of Earth; only gluttonous expectations.  Possessing attitudes that scream: too much, is never enough.  

Fed by shrewd advertising campaigns and psychological manipulation that Hoffman has mastered so well.  As the next chapter demonstrates. 

No time for introspection, or responsibility to society, or learning about Earth, let alone the future.

Hoffman’s line needs to be rewritten:

Evolution wasn’t finished tinkering with the perceptual interface of Homo sapiens -  but half a century of deliberate disregard and unbridled avarice has guaranteed Evolution won’t have that chance.  

It’s out of Evolution’s hands - our Grand Geophysical Experiment has taken over.  She’s in charge now, and we are witness to the beginnings of a fearful epochal climate regime shift to a reality that will have too much hotter, wetter, drier, and wilder.

The biosphere as we’ve known and loved it, won’t survive where Earth's global heat and moisture distribution engine is currently taking our planet and us.  

It didn’t need to be this way, but as they say, coulda, shoulda, woulda.  

About our perceptual interface, check out the bibliography I offer at the end of this post, that's if you want to learn about it.


It will continue to be slow going and I’ll keep plugging away and sharing the results of my homework assignment.  Then, when that’s done, we’ll look at a more rational, dare I say logical way of looking at our human condition.

Allen Brain Observatory: Visualizing the brain in action

Lecture 1: A Walk-through of the Mammalian Visual System

Allen Institute - 56:32


Lecture 2: What is Meant by Computation?

Allen Institute - 55:28


Lecture 3: The Structure of the Neocortex

Allen Institute - 1:02:03


Lecture 4: Cell Types and Computing in the Retina

Allen Institute - 1:07:20


Lecture 5: Optical Imaging of Brains

Allen Institute - 58:25


Lecture 6: Brain Imaging and Visual Cortex

Allen Institute - 1:07:44


Lecture 7: Information Processing in the Brain

Allen Institute - 1:01:19


Lecture 8: What is the Connectome?

Allen Institute - 1:13:17


Lecture 9: Seeing the World in Color

Allen Institute - 1:11:08


Lecture 10: Learning in the cortex

Allen Institute - 1:08:46


Categorization of Synaesthesia

Aleksandra Rogowska - Review of General Psychology

First Published September 1, 2011 Research Article


This article is an attempt to synthesize the current knowledge about synaesthesia from many fields such as literature, arts, multimedia, medicine, or psychology. The main goal of this paper is to classify various types and forms of synaesthesia. 

Besides developmental synaesthesia being likely to play a crucial role in developing cognitive functions (constitutional or neonatal synaesthesia) there are types of synaesthesia acquired during adulthood (e.g., phantom or artificial synaesthesia), momentary synaesthesia triggered temporarily in people who do not show signs of synaesthesia every day (e.g., virtual, narcotic, or posthypnotic synaesthesia), and associational synaesthesia which, semantically speaking, refers to some universal sense relations (e.g., literary, artistic, and multimedia synaesthesia). 

There is a hypothesis that every kind of synaesthesia holds a different function—compensatory or integrative. It was suggested that synaesthesia can be described in one dimension, showing the intensity of this phenomenon. The stronger types of synaesthesia are: semantic, conceptual, intermodal, synthetic, comprehensive, external and bidirectional. The weaker types of synaesthesia are: sensory, perceptual, intramodal, analytic, partial, internal and unidirectional. 

There are huge individual differences in the manner that synaesthesia presents itself. By including a classification of kinds, types, and forms of synaesthesia into future experimental research will ensure a better understanding of the nature of this phenomenon, its mechanisms and the role that it plays in developing cognitive processes.


The Effect of TNS Synesthesia on Everyday Cognitive Processes

Roi Cohen Kadosh, Limor Gertner, in Space, Time and Number in the Brain, 2011

How does TNS synesthesia affect everyday cognitive processes? Is it an advantage or a disadvantage to be a synesthete? Being able to answer these questions can provide us with insights in the functionality of the interaction between these dimensions in non-synesthetes. Recent studies indicate that there are benefits for the explicit representation of these dimensions by TNS synesthetes.  …


Synaesthesia: A Richer Experience of Reality

An Overlook at the Neuroaesthetics Study of Synaesthesia and its Implications in Art Author: Martina Rita Maria Foresta

… Common definitions of synaesthesia state that it is a “joined sensation” (from its Greek etymology: syn - union, aisthaesis - sensation)

2, a “union of the senses,”

3, a “multisensory joining.”

4, Shortly, it consists in a blended and polymodal perception which can concern both senses and feelings. Generally speaking, “synesthesia occurs when an individual receives a stimulus in one sense modality and experiences a sensation in another.”

5, Nonetheless, considering merely its sensory aspect seems quite unsatisfactory. If it is true that the most common forms of synaesthesia regards cross- sensory and bodily experience (e.g. number forms/spatial sequence, coloured graphemes, coloured hearing, etc.)

6, we have to remember that “a variety of nonsensory cognitive traits (such as personality) can couple with various aspects of sensation.”

7, What is more, “synesthetic associations are idiosyncratic.” No two synesthetes experience the same percept, even if the same stimulus is given.

8, This fact entails that an endless list of combinations occurs. …


Acquired auditory-visual synesthesia: A window to early cross-modal sensory interactions

Pegah Afra, Michael Funke, and Fumisuke Matsuo

Psychol Res Behav Manag. 2009; 2: 31–37.

Published online 2009 Jan 15. doi: 10.2147/prbm.s4481


Synesthesia is experienced when sensory stimulation of one sensory modality elicits an involuntary sensation in another sensory modality. Auditory-visual synesthesia occurs when auditory stimuli elicit visual sensations. It has developmental, induced and acquired varieties. 

The acquired variety has been reported in association with deafferentation of the visual system as well as temporal lobe pathology with intact visual pathways. The induced variety has been reported in experimental and post-surgical blindfolding, as well as intake of hallucinogenic or psychedelics. 

Although in humans there is no known anatomical pathway connecting auditory areas to primary and/or early visual association areas, there is imaging and neurophysiologic evidence to the presence of early cross modal interactions between the auditory and visual sensory pathways. Synesthesia may be a window of opportunity to study these cross modal interactions. Here we review the existing literature in the acquired and induced auditory-visual synesthesias and discuss the possible neural mechanisms. …


MIND - Scientific American - Hearing Colors, Tasting Shapes

People with synesthesia--whose senses blend together--are providing valuable clues to understanding the organization and functions of the brain

By Edward M. Hubbard, Vilayanur S. Ramachandran on September 1, 2006, Scientific American

Modern scientists have known about synesthesia since 1880, when Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, published a paper in Nature on the phenomenon. But most have brushed it aside as fakery, an artifact of drug use or a mere curiosity. About seven years ago, however, we and others began to uncover brain processes that could account for synesthesia. Along the way, we also found new clues to some of the most mysterious aspects of the human mind, such as the emergence of abstract thought and metaphor.  …

We began trying to find out whether synesthesia is a genuine sensory experience in 1999. This deceptively simple question had plagued researchers in the field for decades.  …

Synesthesia is a phenomenon in which additional perceptual experiences are elicited by sensory stimuli or cognitive concepts. Synesthetes possess a unique type of phenomenal experiences not directly triggered by sensory stimulation. 

Therefore, for better understanding of consciousness it is relevant to identify the mental and physiological processes that subserve synesthetic experience. 

In the present work we suggest several reasons why synesthesia has merit for research on consciousness. …


What Is Synesthesia and What's It Like to Have It?

By Laura Moss October 20, 2020  -


Eyeball Anatomy - AnatomyZone - August 23, 2016

Lecture 1: A Walk-through of the Mammalian Visual System - Allen Institute




Cc’s Students’ Study Guide for The Case Against Reality

©2020 Peter Miesler
I intend to be a witness for a fact based DeepTime, 
Evolutionary perspective on our “human mind” -“physical reality” interface.


Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-Gravity, a critical review of, The Case Against Reality:  Why Evolution Hid The Truth From Our Eyes, by Donald Hoffman, ©2019, W.W.Norton Company

(1.01)  The Prelude, Prof Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity

(1.02)  Chapter 10a, Community: The Network of Conscious Agents (1/3)

(1.03)  Chapter 10b, Community: The Network of Conscious Agents (2/3)

(1.04)  Chapter 10c, Cmty: Network of Hoffmanian Conscious Agents (3/3)

(1.05)  Chapter 1, Mystery: The Scalpel That Split Consciousness

(1.06)  Chapter 2, Beauty: Siren of the Gene

(1.07)  Chapter 3, Reality: Capers of the Unseen Sun

(1.08)  Chapter 4, Sensory: Fitness beats Truth

(1.09)  Chapter 5, Illusory: The Bluff of the Desktop

(1.10)  Chapter 6, Gravity: Spacetime is Doomed

(1.11)  Chapter 7, Virtuality: Inflating a Holoworld

(1.12)  Chapter 8, Polychromy: Mutations of an Interface

(1.13)  Chapter 9, Scrutiny: You Get What You Need, in Both Life and Business

(1.14)  Appendix,  Precisely: The Right to Be (Foolish)


Hoffman/Prakash’s Objects of ConsciousnessObjections and Replies

Frontiers in Psychology - June 17, 2014

(2.01)  4/4_Hoffman, Objects of Consciousness,  (conclusion)

(2.02)  1/4_Hoffman, Objects of Consciousness, questions + replies (1-12)

(2.03)  2/4_Hoffman, Objects of Consciousness, questions + replies (13-17)

(2.04)  3/4_Hoffman, Objects of Consciousness, questions + replies (18-21)


(3.01)  Diary - But, wait!  There's more.  Ten Learned Responses:

Probing the interface theory of perception: Reply to commentariesDonald D. Hoffman, Manish Singh & Chetan Prakash" 

Psychonomic Bulletin & Reviewvolume 22, pages1551–1576(2015)


We propose that selection favors nonveridical perceptions that are tuned to fitness. Current textbooks assert, to the contrary, that perception is useful because, in the normal case, it is veridical. Intuition, both lay and expert, clearly sides with the textbooks. We thus expected that some commentators would reject our proposal and provide counterarguments that could stimulate a productive debate. ...

(3.02)  Barton Anderson - Where does fitness fit in theories of perception? 


(3.03)  Jonathan Cohen - Perceptual representation, veridicality, and the interface theory of perception. 


(3.04)  Shimon Edelman - Varieties of perceptual truth and their possible evolutionary roots. 


(3.05)  Jacob Feldman - Bayesian inference and “truth”: a comment on Hoffman, Singh, and Prakash. 


(3.06)  Chris Fields -Reverse engineering the world: a commentary on Hoffman, Singh, and Prakash, 

“The interface theory of perception”. 


(3.07)  Jan Koenderink - Esse est Percipi & Verum est Factum. 


(3.08)  Rainer Mausfeld - Notions such as “truth” or “correspondence to the objective world” play no role in explanatory accounts of perception. 


(3.09)  Brian P. McLaughlin and E. J. Green Are icons sense data


(3.10)  Zygmunt Pizlo - Philosophizing cannot substitute for experimentation: comment on Hoffman, Singh & Prakash. 


(3.11)  Matthew Schlesinger Interface theory of perception leaves me hungry for more. 



Student Resources - Background info:

(4.01)  Rainer Mausfeld: ‘Truth’ has no role in explanatory accounts of perception.
(4.02)  Paul Mealing: considers Hoffman's "Objects of Consciousness.”
(4.03)  The Case For Reality: Because Apparently Someone Needs to Make One
(4.04)  Sabine Hossenfelder in Defense of Scientific Realism and Physical Reality
(4.05)  "Emergence" - A Handy Summary and Resources
(4.06)  Physical Origins of Mind - Dr. Siegel, Allen Institute Brain Science, Tononi, Koch.
(4.07)  Can you trust Frontiers in Psychology research papers?  Students' Resource
(4.08)  Critical Thinking Skills - In Defense of Reality - A Student Resource
(4.09)  Philo+Sophia - Love of Wisdom - A Student Resource



(5.01)    Summary, 

explaining why I pursued this project.


Dr. Mark Solms deftly demystifies Chalmers’ “Hard Problem” of Consciousness, while incidentally highlighting why Hoffman’s “Conscious Agents” are luftgeschäft. 

(6.01)  Dr. Mark Solms demystifies Chalmers' "Hard Problem" of Consciousness.

(6.02)  The Other Side of Dr. Mark Solms, farmer, vintner, humanitarian.

(6.03)  Students’ Resource: A representative cross-section of Dr. Mark Solms' scientific publications.


My homemade philosophical underpinning . . . 


(7.01)  An Alternative Philosophical Perspective - “Earth Centrism     
(7.02)  Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide          
(7.03)  Being an element in Earth’s Pageant of Evolution
(7.04)  It’s not a “Body-Mind Problem,”  it’s an “Ego-God Problem.”

Feel free to copy and share

Email: citizenschallenge  gmail  com


Public notice to W.W.Norton Co and Donald Hoffman:


Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-Gravity, 

a critical review:

The Case Against Reality : 

Why Evolution Hid The Truth From Our Eyes

By Donald Hoffman

Published August 13th 2019 

Publisher: W.W. Norton Company

ISBN13: 9780393254693

©all rights reserved

I hereby claim FairUse on the grounds that Donald Hoffman’s “The Case Against Reality” is part of an ongoing public dialogue which Hoffman explicitly encourages others to join.  He invited critique and I accept his challenge. 

I intend to be a witness for a fact based DeepTime, Evolutionary perspective on our “human mind” -“physical reality” interface.  

To do Hoffman’s arguments justice I’m compelled to reprint quite a few of them as I go through his book and I appreciate both W.W. Norton Company and Donald Hoffman’s understanding, and I hope for their consent.


Peter Miesler

aka citizenschallenge

email:  citizenschallenge at gmail


Students Introduction to Reality Based Brain/Consciousness Research

The Mind as a Complex Mathematical System with Emergent Properties, Daniel Siegel

A Scientific Explanation of the Human Mind | Daniel Siegel

Dan Siegel: The Neurological Basis of Behavior, Mind, Brain and Human Relationships, Part 1 to 3 

Allen Institute for Brain Science

Giulio Tononi on Consciousness

Consciousness: here, there and everywhere?  Giulio Tononi and Christof Koch

Video, Giulio Tononi on Consciousness

The Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness, Dr. Christof Koch,

Allen Institute for Brain Science

Allen Brain Observatory: Visualizing the brain in action

Allen Cell Types Database: Understanding the fundamental building blocks of the brain

Allen Institute for Brain Science,  Coding & Vision 101, 12-part undergraduate-level lecture series

Brain Expansion Microscopy, Harvard Medical School,

Lattice light-sheet microscopy

Gut bacteria and mind control: to fix your brain, fix your gut!

New center advances biomedical and brain imagingUniversity of Delaware,

Stunning Brain Map Reveals Tiny Communication Network

Brain Research: New Discoveries and Breakthroughs at UC Davis


Some Elements of an Evolutionary Theory of Perception

Perceptual Systems, Historical Background, Innate And Learned Classical perceptual phenomena, Broad theoretical approaches, Current research/future developments.


Ecological approaches to perceptual learning: learning to perceive and perceiving as learning

Agnes SzokolszkyCatherine ReadZsolt Palatinus, et al., 2019

The Essential Elements of an Evolutionary Theory of Perception

Eric P. Charles, 2017,

The evolution of early symbolic behavior in Homo sapiens

Kristian Tylén, Riccardo Fusaroli, Sergio Rojo, et al. PNAS 2020

The Evolution and Fossil History of Sensory Perception in Amniote Vertebrates, March 21, 2018 

Evolutionary Specialization of Tactile Perception in Vertebrates

Eve R. SchneiderElena O. Gracheva, and Slav N. Bagriantsev, 2016

Evolutionary Psychology and the Emotions

Leda Cosmides & John Tooby, Handbook of Emotions, 2000

The evolution of modern human brain shape

Simon Neubauer, Jean-Jacques Hublin and Philipp Gunz, 2018:

Intrinsic Multiperspectivity: Conceptual Forms and the Functional Architecture of the Perceptual System

Rainer Mausfeld, PhD.

Perceptual Worlds and Sensory Ecology

By: Stephen Burnett, PhD, Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):75

Ch.17. A Hierarchical Model of the Evolution of Human Brain Specializations

H. Clark Barrett

Surroundings and Evolution Shape Human Sight, Smell and Taste

by: Andrea Korte, February 19, 2017


The bottom line, courtesy of:

Mysteries of Modern Physics by Sean Carroll

Jan 29, 2020  -  Darwin College Lecture Series

Sean Carroll,  10:45

. . .  these are the particles that make up you and this table and me and this laptop and really everything that you have ever seen with your eyes touched with your fingers smelled with your nose in your life. 

Furthermore we know how they interact with each other and even better than that, the most impressive fact is that there will not be a discovery tomorrow or next century or a million years from now which says you know what there was another particle or another force that we didn't know about but now we realize plays a crucial role in our everyday life. 

As far as our everyday life is concerned by which I really mean what you can see with your eyes touch with your hands etc we’re done finding the underlying ingredients. That is an enormous achievement in human history one that does not get enough credit, because of course as soon as we do it we go on to the next thing.  

Physics is not done.  I'm not saying that physics is done, but physics has understood certain things and those things include everything you encounter in your everyday life - unless you're a professional experimental physicist or unless you're looking of course outside our everyday life at the universe and other places where we don't know what’s going on. … 

No comments: