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Prof Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero Gravity

Forums Forums Humanism Prof Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero Gravity

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    Okay pals, I been hinting at it for months and I started thinking about it over a year ago at my first listen to Hoffman’s book.

    A Case Against Reality, why evolution hid the truth from our eyes.

    Although, that first listen, …  Sorry, can’t help it, I’ve aways be a serious sort of guy, the kind that had little humor for practical jokes and nasty tricks.  Listening to Hoffman’s story I increasingly felt like I was at the butt end of one of those and he was playing me for the fool and somewhere around “Virtuality #7 I’d had it.  What was so madding is that stories he was telling were for the most part accurate to my understanding, but his conclusions, lordie, lordie. . .

    Then this summer my neighbor whom I like and who’s intellect and awareness I respect, told me about this great little book that I’d really like because it was ‘right up my alley.’  (She’s read Missing Key to Stephen Gould’s “Nonoverlapping Magisteria”)

    Getting home, what a surprise to find I’d already had a copy of the audio and it was that book.  Still, the gauntlet tossed and a book review of some sort was poetically demanded.   My next listen was on a solo drive down to AZ, my way, nice and easy, savoring the changing landscape like a fine wine – I had a chance to listen to all of it, alone, no distraction but for the passing magnificent wide open Four Corners landscape.

    The message didn’t set right by me and I found myself arguing with the author time and time again, and this time slamming the door was no longer an option. As I engaged the internet I was amazed at the following and popularity D.H. and his message has and I think that added energy to my developing my notion to actually devote the time to dissecting it.  My neighbor gave me her second hardcopy and said have at it.  I read through making notes on it and in a notebook.  My ears were not deceiving me, this guy was really saying these things with a serious face.  Then it got real, now my schedule has opened up and I’m off to the races.

    Probably won’t convince anyone of anything – nor am I into trying anymore.  I’ll have the satisfaction of a job well, not to mention all I’ve learning during this process.  Life is good, and then we die.  And it is good.  Destroying the planet for all future generations, that really really really sucks big time.

    Beyond examining Hoffman’s words and tactics, this is about a chance to clearly enunciate my perspective as best I can, (at this point and time).  I’ll admit I hope, and imagine, there are some with whom this will resonate and I hope it can be a sort of tool, for a few,  help em work on developing a better appreciate for their own hunches and feeling towards this Earth (and stand up for it), their lives and our inescapable death.



    Prof Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity – the prelude.

    Citizenschallenge – September 28, 2020



    If Donald Hoffman had categorized his book “The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid The Truth From Our Eyes” as new age literature, metaphysical intellectual entertainment, I’d have no complaints.  It’s his insistence on passing it off as a serious scientific effort that begs a frank detailed response, (even if I’m only a thoughtful spectator and no academic myself.)

    Science is a set of rules and an attitude for observing and striving to understand our physical world, it’s about atoms and molecules, all they create, including biology and our planet’s biosphere, along with the rules all of it follows.  Science strives for objectivity, it demands facts and rejects ego driven conclusions. …



    Prof Donald Hoffman #1 – Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity – Mystery

    Citizenschallenge – October 4, 2020



    Prof Hoffman #2 – Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity – Beauty

    Citizenschallenge – October 8, 2020

    confrontingsciencecontrarians _ blogspot _ com/2020/10/hoffman-zerogravity-beauty-2.html


    Although I’m keeping my powder dry and will wait for the last couple chapters before I share, what I believe to be, a saner perspective towards dealing with our perceptions, evolution and reality.




    I’ve got my first drafts through ch 8, so feeling good about staying the course.  Would be nice if someone gave a damned, but so it goes.  What blows me away is the talks that he manages to line up, and the polite reviews he gets for such a transparent nonsense, worse downright crazy-making.

    And me, during the past couple chapters, the idea of this shit actually being a mental health menace is starting to develop – I mean if you really try to follow his ideas, it leads to utter derangement and disconnect from the physical reality we are embedded with.  Trying to follow the consequences of Hoffman’s logic has had me dizzy a few times.  Be interesting to see if the idea developes into something.

    The other thought, what the hell is the point of it Hoffman?  How is this supposed to enlighten our lives?  Or give anyone a leg up?  What aspect of a human’s life can be improved, through this philosophy, er theorem, (excuse me)?

    I’m trying to hold off on pontificating, right now simply want to introduce his ideas, and then at the end offer a more rational Earth Centrist perspective on evolution, reality and the human interface.


    October 11, 2020
    Prof Hoffman #3 – Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity – (objective) Reality


    I appreciate that many people including scientists use the term “objective” to mean something actually existing independent of the mind –

    still, if you think about it,

    bet you’ll admit that “objective,” or lack thereof, actually exists within our minds – as opposed to Physical Reality which simply IS.


    DH writes:  “If we construct everything we see, and if we see neurons, then we construct neurons.

    But what we construct doesn’t exist until we construct it.  So neurons don’t exist until we construct them.”   (¶7)


    Cc points out:  In order to see an object light needs to first bounce off that object, then travel to one’s eyes,

    then be processed more or less the way Hoffman described, only then can it be perceived by one’s mind.


    The light beams bouncing off that object wouldn’t be entering our eye’s to begin with, if that object didn’t already exist.                             Or ?


    What blows me away is the talks that he manages to line up, and the polite reviews he gets for such a transparent nonsense, worse downright crazy-making. — CC

    It’s amazing how far you can get if you appear to be calm and relaxed, and well, SANE, while you are speaking. You can make a very long speech about a word you just made up, as long as all the other words come from some scientific discipline. People will listen. News people and talk show hosts won’t know what questions to ask. Those in the discipline will know you are full of it, but then, you get to call them gatekeepers, and, then you’re famous.



    October 14, 2020
    Prof Hoffman #4 – Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity – Sensory – Fitness Beats Truth


    … Hoffman conflates ‘perceiving’ with ‘the perceived’ and starts down a troubling path.

    It’s no secret that our visual system edits and composes the moving images our mind’s eye perceives.  Nothing reality shattering about it.  Or is there?

    Hoffman tells us something more important is going on.  That there’s a hidden reality inside of the reality we experience every day.  Something humanity really needs to tap into before we can feel whole.

    Something like what?  Like inside atoms?  Is that justified?  If so?  So what?

    Or, might it be simple escapism that’s driving this Case Against Reality? …




    OCTOBER 17, 2020
    Prof Hoffman #5 – Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity – Illusory



    Professor Donald Hoffman: “As long as our theories are stuck within spacetime, we cannot master what lurks behind.”

    DH:  “ A venerable tradition conscripts the latest technology to be a metaphor of the human mind. …”   (¶3)

    … and history also shows us what a folly this venerable tradition is.

    Gary Marcus: “Science has a poor track record when it comes to comparing our brains to the technology of the day. Descartes thought that the brain was a kind of hydraulic pump, propelling the spirits of the nervous system through the body. Freud compared the brain to a steam engine. The neuroscientist Karl Pribram likened it to a holographic storage device.”

    Instead of taking the hint, Hoffman takes his cue from a Hollywood blockbuster and reduces our sensory interface with reality, down to our interface with a computer screen.

    Chapter five’s opening quote comes from Morpheus in The Matrix:  “This is your last chance.  After this, there is no turning back.  You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.  You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

    Is Hoffman being provocative for the sake of intellectual titillation?

    Is it for the sake of constructive science?  Or what?  Is it tailored to sell to a frivolous audience?

    Can we tell the different between a constructive scientist and a devious salesman?

    Lets find out as I continue my inspection of Hoffman’s words and their implications.

    . . . . . DH:  “… I invite you to explore a metaphor of perception: each perceptual system is an interface, like the desktop computer of a laptop. A laptop shaped by natural selection, …”   (¶3)



    Morpheus in The Matrix:

    “This is your last chance.  After this, there is no turning back.

    You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.

    You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

    It’s moments of insight like this, that keep me at it.  I’ve actually tried to give Hoffman a fair shake.  I’ve seen his CV, I’ve scanned the list of his publications, subject matter aside, I can’t ignore those accomplishments.  I see the amount of talks he gives and the collaborations he’s been involved with.  There must be some substance to the guy.

    But, that quote takes me right back to the world of dealing with off-the-wall climate science contrarians –  and the one weapon they wielded with ruthless efficiency.

    Their sense of superiority and self-certainly and that sneering contempt for anyone who doesn’t fall in line with their sciencie deceptions.

    It’s why so many people shut up their minds and went along with the FORGET ABOUT IT, NO PROBLEM, NO AGW con artists.  It was emotionally easier than facing that constant ridicule.  Take a look around at our Earth and see what that’s done for humanity and our prospects.


    Reading between the lines of that quote from a fantasy movie – I hear Hoffman whispering in our ears if you are so boring that regular macroscopic classical physics satisfies you, fine whatever you sad sap, go to your boring life and lonely bed.  I’ve got the red pill that will reveal the reality within reality, trust me it’s a wonderland.


    Another red flag — he’s afraid to answer simple questions.  Ask him if he’s ever studied, shall I say “wet,” evolution?  Crickets, but I got copies of his papers because he has so many mention of evolution.  I looked at them, no a one had to do with biology or deep time or wet evolution – it was all using “evolution” as a factor in a logic formula.

    Ask him about the reality of sun bouncing off an object before an observer can see it.  And he responds with a story about virtual reality and how iMax makes things look so real.  Ask for some definitions for his “fitness” and “truth” – and, … and, … well guess we’ll see, so far nothing.

    I suspect I won’t hear my last, no matter how polite and succinct I make my inquiries.  He’s got his air tight theorem and is in no mode for questions.

    I don’t doubt it’s solid mathematics, but appropriate for nothing in our living, breathing, down to Earth macroscopic physical reality, where Earth’s three dimensions, and stuff, and time will be a thing to be reckoned with for longer than people will be existing.


    Started going through these. Love this little insight.

    I’ve always thought it a shame we don’t spend more time pondering, absorbing, and learning to appreciate what we already know. –cc

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