Donald Hoffman Video on Interface Theory of
A very good presentation with lot of overlap on my views. He proposes
similar ideas about a sensory-motive primitive and the nature of the world
as experience rather than “objective”. What is not factored in is the
relation between local and remote experiences and how that relation
actually defines the appearance of that relation. Instead of seeing agents
as isolated mechanisms, I think they should be seen as more like breaches
in the fabric of insensitivity.
It is a little misleading to say (near the end) that a spoon is no more
public than a headache. In my view what makes a spoon different from a
headache is precisely that the metal is more public than the private
experience of a headache. If we make the mistake of assuming an Absolutely
public perspective*, then yes, the spoon is not in it, because the spoon is
different things depending on how small, large, fast, or slow you are. For
the same reason, however, nothing can be said to be in such a perspective.
There is no experience of the world which does not originate through the
relativity of experience itself. Of course the spoon is more public than a
headache, in our experience. To think otherwise as a literal truth would be
psychotic or solipsistic. In the Absolute sense, sure, the spoon is a
sensory phenomena and nothing else, it is not purely public (nothing is),
but locally, is certainly is ‘more’ public.
Something that he mentioned in the presentation had to do with linear
algebra and using a matrix of columns which add up to be one. To really
jump off into a new level of understanding consciousness, I would think of
the totality of experience as something like a matrix of columns which add
up, not to 1, but to “=1″. Adding up to 1 is a good enough starting point,
as it allows us to think of agents as holes which feel separate on one side
and united on the other. Thinking of it as “=1″ instead makes it into a
portable unity that does something. Each hole recapitulates the totality as
well as its own relation to that recapitulation: ‘just like’ unity. From
there, the door is open to universal metaphor and local contrasts of degree
*mathematics invites to do this, because it inverts the naming function of
language. Instead of describing a phenomenon in our experience through a
common sense of language, math enumerates relationships between theories
about experience. The difference is that language can either project itself
publicly or integrate public-facing experiences privately, but math is a
language which can only face itself. Through math, reflections of
experience are fragmented and re-assembled into an ideal rationality – the
ideal rationality which reflects the very ideal of rationality that it
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