Donald Hoffman: Spacetime is a headset

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Donald Hoffman is the psychologist who worked with physicist Nima Arkani-Hamed. One of Hoffman's ideas is that Spacetime is just a headset. He has found ways of taking simulated Darwinian evolutionary games and then projecting them out of spacetime into timeless structures. What's interesting is that he has examples of equivalence relations where the time-bound image of a structure appears competitive (like Darwinian evolution), but the timeless dual of the same structure is purely static and non-competitive. It's interesting because it touches on psychology, biology and physics. It also provides a weird unexpected synthesis of Creationism and Evolution. The evolutionary story is correct, from the localized points of view from within spacetime, but the creationist story could also be true, from the timeless perspective of the unitary mind (or he calls it the Network of Interacting Conscious Agents, where he defines conscious agents using precise math).

I need to spell this out more, I will have more posts on this in the future. But the basic error that a lot of the old 2000-2010 Religion-vs-Atheism debates had was that both sides never articulated their metaphysics, so they both fumbled around arguing past each other instead of first identifying their philosophies they were starting from.

What I like about Hoffman is how he combines mathematical precision with a stubborn insistence that no neuroscientists or physicists or really any materialist scientist has managed to solve the Hard Problem. He's truly a Renaissance man because he's nominally a psychologist, but he works with mathematicians and physicists, uses computer metaphors and makes a lot of effort to get his ideas out and praise his colleagues (like Prakash and Arkani-Hamed), and he also does a lot of philosophy by fleshing out an alternative metaphysics that is still compatible with physics & biology, but also has space to interpret a lot of spiritual and religious ideas. Very rare combination of characteristics, a unique mind.

One of the primary reasons I started this blog was to write more and develop ideas out in the open. I will have comments working soon, and I hope to subject these ideas to debate. Metaphysics is an incredibly difficult thing to think about, but it's been neglected so often. I would like to make a small step in the direction of addressing that neglect. We need to develop a new idea about what reality even is.

#math #metaphysics #psychology