User interface to reality asked 119 scientists and futurists: “What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?” Two answers impressed me deeply. The first is by Donald Hoffman of UCI (picture), which I excerpt here:

The world of our daily experience—the world of tables, chairs, stars, and people, with their attendant shapes, smells, feels and sounds—is a species-specific user interface to a realm far more complex, a realm whose essential character is conscious. It is unlikely that the contents of our interface in any way resemble that realm.

He goes on to point out that the nature of user interfaces is to simplify and symbolize:

Evolutionary pressures dictate that our species-specific interface, this world of our daily experience, should itself be a radical simplification, selected not for the exhaustive depiction of truth but for the mutable pragmatics of survival.

Nicholas Humphrey, a psychologist at the London School of Economics, contributed this:

I believe that human consciousness is a conjuring trick, designed to fool us into thinking we are in the presence of an inexplicable mystery. Who is the conjuror and why is s/he doing it? The conjuror is natural selection, and the purpose has been to bolster human self-confidence and self-improtance—so as to increase the value we each place on our own and others’ life.

Indeed. If we realized our true significance we’d just walk in front of a bus and forget about it.

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