The Death of SpaceTime & Birth of Conscious Agents, Donald Hoffman

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Spacetime is doomed. It, and its particles, cannot be fundamental in physical theory, but must emerge from a more fundamental theory. I review the converging evidence for this claim from physics and evolution, and then propose a new way to think of spacetime: as a data-compressing and error-correcting channel for information about fitness. I propose that a theory of conscious agents is a good candidate for the more fundamental theory to replace spacetime. Spacetime then appears as one kind of interface for communication between conscious agents.

Donald Hoffman is a cognitive scientist and author of more than 90 scientific papers and three books, including Visual Intelligence: How We Create What We See (W.W. Norton, 2000). He received his BA from UCLA in Quantitative Psychology and his Ph.D. from MIT in Computational Psychology. He joined the faculty of UC Irvine in 1983, where he is now a full professor in the departments of cognitive science, computer science and philosophy. He received a Distinguished Scientific Award of the American Psychological Association for early career research into visual perception, the Rustum Roy Award of the Chopra Foundation, and the Troland Research Award of the US National Academy of Sciences. He was chosen by students at UC Irvine to receive a campus-wide teaching award, and to be included in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. Hoffman studies visual perception, visual attention and consciousness using mathematical models, computer simulations, and psychological experiments. His empirical research has led to new insights into how we perceive objects, colors and motion. His theoretical research has led to a “user interface” theory of perception—which proposes that natural selection shapes our perceptions not to report truth but simply to guide adaptive behavior. It has also led to a “conscious realism” theory of consciousness—which proposes a formal model of consciousness and the mind-body problem that takes consciousness as fundamental.

#94 One Human Family

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In this episode we present excerpts from the recent conversation (June 2024) as part of SAND’s “Conversations on Palestine” around the premiere of the film Where Olive Trees Weep hosted by the directors of the film and co-founders of SAND, Zaya and

Like The Little Stream

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Intimate Relationship as a Spiritual Crucible

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Living with someone we love, with all the joys and challenges, is one of the best ways

Small Island Nations & Climate Change Models

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An international team of climate change experts says global models which are used to help nations prepare for the impact of climate change are overlooking small island nations

#93 Feminine Resistance in Palestine

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Palestinian women's sumud (steadfast perseverance) against the violence of occupation, patriarchy and dehumanization

Trauma and Awakening for Highly Sensitive People

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There are still several unanswered questions surrounding the relationship between trauma and Highly Sensitive People

Black-Palestinian Solidarity

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Black activists and scholars come together to shed light on the intersection anti-Black racism, Israeli apartheid, patriarchal oppression and predatory capitalism's interconnected plunder

A Wave-Particle Certainty Principle

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The sun rises in merciless contemplation / Silvering a still-sleeping Mediterranean Sea

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