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#32 & 33: The Case Against Reality with Professor Donald Hoffman

#32 & 33: The Case Against Reality with Professor Donald Hoffman


Welcome to episodes #32/33 of “Rewrite the Rules with Alex Starr” Podcast, available for free on iTunes or any podcast app, direct links and audio at the top of the page ↑

Do we see reality as it actually is? Have you ever wondered if what we see around us every day is actually…there?

Is this actually the Matrix?!

Buckle up and take your shrooms for this one…

“We are not evolved to see the truth.”

Donald Hoffman is a Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of California, Irvine. His TED talk “Do We See Reality?” has garnered over 3 million views and takes a dive off the deep end of the consciousness pool as it explores our place in the universe and our perceptions of our very own lives. His Evolutionary Game Theory proposes that we are not seeing what reality actually is but instead a very narrow view of it to allow us to survive.

“We know that what our perceptual systems are designed to show us a tiny fraction of reality”

Ya I was confused already too, luckily he explains things in a way even we can all understand.

As we move into other “realities” through artificial intelligence, drugs, meditation and technology, we may all need help in dealing with the effects it has on our personal lives and perceptions.

With so much stress from this technology and our place in this rapidly changing world, different mechanisms can be utilized to counter-balance our limbic system and help with debilitating anxiety and depression. Mr. Hoffman explains how we can all use different modes of relaxation to combat our programming and why it is even there in the first place.

“Meditation is a way of unplugging from all those evolutionary programs that aren’t needed now”

Hear him explain and me attempt to understand how:

  1. What is evolutionary game theory and how are humans not seeing the actual reality around us?

  2. How are our perceptions similar to the way a computer desktop works?

  3. OK, what does reality ACTUALLY look like then?

  4. Is it possible to tap into the actual reality through meditation/prayer/hallucinogens?

  5. From a scientific point of view and this theory, are we truly capable of altering our consciousness and therefore our objective reality?

  6. How humans have evolved to be great at actively lying and deceiving ourselves

  7. Are we smarter now or in pre-history?

  8. Moving from an individual intelligence to a collective intelligence as a species

  9. Humans creating machines to tap into alternate modes of perception

  10. What percentage of reality do we actually see?

  11. Have you ever used hallucinogenic drugs to enter alternate states of reality and what is your opinion on those who do?

  12. Balancing anxiety and relaxation in the modern world

  13. How to counter-condition your limbic system to alleviate anxiety

Want to rewrite the rules to parts of your own life and create it on your own terms?  Subscribe to my email list on the side or bottom of the page to get weekly updates on inspirational books, ideas, and when to check out the podcast for the freshest episode


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