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A new version of EST?

by Greg Krehbiel on 13 March 2017

In looking through some of my draft posts I decided to clean this one off and post it. I started it last year, but I’ve edited it today.

Start with this short post from Scott Adams: Blowing Your Mind – as Promised. Then read the article he links to: What If Evolution Bred Reality Out Of Us?

The argument is rather pedestrian, in my opinion. (But maybe that’s because I’ve heard versions of this argument for a few decades.) It goes basically thus.

If evolution is all about passing on your genes, there’s no good reason to conclude that it would prefer people who have an accurate understanding of the world. I.e., of reality. In fact, there are lots of reasons to believe the opposite.

[I]magine you have two kinds of creatures living in an environment. The first is tuned to respond directly to objective reality — the actual independent reality out there. The other creature has behavior only tuned to its, and the environment’s, fitness function. The second creature couldn’t care less about what’s really going on in reality. What [Donald] Hoffman’s theorem says is the fitness-tuned critter will — almost always — win the evolution game.

He then goes on with some bit about “conscious realism” which I don’t understand.

Here’s the funny thing. This guy goes around lecturing people about how reality isn’t what they perceive. I find that amusing because it reminds me of conversations at the University of Maryland with EST devotees.

The point of EST (so they told me) was to realize that there is no objective reality, but that you create your own reality.

The Grand Poobah of EST has (so his devotees claim) attained this realization, which leads, I think, to the obvious question about the Grand Poobah’s sanity.

If reality is what you make it, what kind of a dolt would create a reality in which he goes around lecturing deceived people about how they can create their own reality?

Taking it back to Hoffman, what’s the point of saying we might all be deceived about reality?

2017-03-13  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 3

  1. smitemouth
    13 March 2017 @ 8:03 pm

    Yeah, why wouldn’t you create the reality where you have a harem and all the wine you can drink? –Muslim heaven. And, if you have kids they never get sick or disappoint you and you never have to pay taxes or vote for some imbecile?

  2. Greg Krehbiel GregK
    13 March 2017 @ 8:15 pm


  3. Robin R.
    13 March 2017 @ 10:33 pm

    Reality is really a kind of nightmare. You create it, but it comes back to bite ya in the you-know-what.