The Holographic Reality

Donald Hoffman:

If spacetime is not fundamental, then our perception of visual space, and of objects in that space, is not a high-fidelity reconstruction of fundamental reality. What, then, is it? From the theory of evolution we can conclude that our sensory systems have been shaped by natural selection to inform us about the fitness contingencies relevant to us in our niche. We have assumed that this meant that our senses inform us of fitness-relevant aspects of fundamental reality. Apparently, they do not. They simply inform us about fitness, not fundamental reality.

In this case, the holographic principle points to a different conception of our perception of visual space. It is not a reconstruction of an objective, and fundamental, physical space. It is simply a communication channel for messages about fitness, and should be understood in terms of concepts that are standard for any communication channel, concepts such as data compression and error correction. If our visual space is simply the format of an error-correcting code for fitness, this would explain its holographic nature. Error correcting codes introduce redundancy to permit correction of errors. If I wish to send you a bit that is either 0 or 1, but there is a chance that noise might flip a 0 to a 1 or vice versa, then we might agree that I will send you that bit three times, rather than just once. This is a simple Hamming code. If you receive a 000 or a 111, you will interpret this, respectively, as 0 and 1. If you receive a 110 or 001, you will interpret this, respectively, as 1 and 0, correcting an error in transmission. In this case we use a redundant, three-dimensional format to convey a lower-dimensional signal. The holographic redundancy in our perception of visual space might be a clue that this space, likewise, is simply an error-correcting code—for fitness.

What about physical space? Research by Fernando Pastawski, Beni Yoshida, Daniel Harlow, John Preskill, and others indicates that spacetime itself is an error-correcting code—a holographic, quantum, secret-sharing code. Why this should be so is, for now, unclear, and tantalizing.

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Reality is an Illusion

Scott Adams:

In a Hoffman type of reality, where we all experience our own version of the truth, you can see how affirmations might be less about magical thinking and more like a mental tool to edit the movie you are experiencing as your life. When you focus on the future you want, the result is self-persuasion, and perhaps that is enough in a Hoffman universe to write the upcoming scenes in your movie.

That is essentially how I experience my reality. I focus on whatever I want, and I imagine it as vividly as I can, as often as I can, and for some reason it happens. If you know anything about my history, you know it is filled with unlikely events that somehow conspired to get me everything I want. My experience violates everything that humans typically assume about reality. And that’s just the stuff you know about. Trust me when I say my daily experience is so far above normal that I literally can’t tell you about it without being labelled insane.

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