Question of the Day ~ 14th December, 2014 ~ REALITY

Could reality (or anything for that matter) have existed before there was a self aware entity present to perceive it?

Of course.

Despite many claims to the contrary, there is no evidence of any need for awareness to be present for reality to exist.

Most of the confusion on this issue arises out of the confusion between what we perceive and what exists in reality – the two are not the same.

The evidence is now overwhelming that what we as self aware individuals experience is not reality directly, but a model of reality developed by the neural networks of our brain.

It seems clear that this model is the only access to reality that any of us have.

It seems that the model is predictive in nature, and is kept entrained with reality via sensory input (which is why it can drift so far when sensory input is disrupted by any means {physical blow, illness, drugs, mental techniques, electrical stimulation, sleep, etc}).

In another sense, the experiential reality that each of us experience is our own personal model, developed by our life experience of the physical world, culture, and the distinctions, abstractions and choices we have made. It seems clear that we have nothing else. Thus when people do genuinely report that they are seeing auras for example, it is highly likely that they are seeing auras, but a lot less likely that the auras exist in reality. It seems far more likely that the auras are a method of the subconscious communicating information gathered from other sources. It seems we each experience the world through our own unique models, and mostly they are very similar, and not always.

And no model is ever the thing itself. In our case, the thing itself is so vast and complex, that we can only ever make any sort of sense of it by making a vast array of simplifying assumptions that work under most ordinary conditions, but often fail under extraordinary situations.

The evidence is overwhelming (for those few interested in looking extensively for themselves) that we have evolved from inorganic matter, through a recursive process of evolution by natural selection, over billions of years, at several different levels.

The evidence is beyond any reasonable doubt that self awareness is an emergent property of many layers of biological complexity, and not any sort of primary (despite many historical claims to the contrary).

[followed by]

Hi Andrew

When push comes to show – all we have is probabilities.

The wave particle duality stuff is a particularly weird interpretation that is not supported by what one actually observes in reality.

We never measure light as waves.

Every time we measure light it is particulate.

It is easy to understand why people think of light as waves, once you get to understand that light is timeless – ie each photon is essentially frozen – with information about the state of its emitter at the instant of emission. Thus a stream of photons passing a point have wave like properties in respect of any rotating property of the emitter.

Sure there is other stuff about QM that really is weird to our “common sense” view of reality.

I do really strongly recommend John Murphy’s Hot Quanta site

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see
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