Chinese New Year's was this week, and I went up to my parents to celebrate. The celebration, as always, focused on food. Many of the dishes are "required" - if you have them, you're supposed to have luck over the next year.
This newsletter is going to be a little different because I read this really interesting article this morning that made me think A LOT. I'm still trying to process, so the following may not make too much sense, but hopefully makes you think a lot as well.
Donald Hoffman has a theory that what you think is reality is actually just an interface between you and the real reality, and this interface is shaped by evolutionary pressure so that you don't actually perceive "real reality" - instead, you perceive what will help you survive.
we realize with a jolt that what we perceive is never the world directly, but rather our brain’s best guess at what that world is like, a kind of internal simulation of an external reality
The world presented to us by our perceptions is nothing like reality. What’s more, he says, we have evolution itself to thank for this magnificent illusion, as it maximizes evolutionary fitness by driving truth to extinction.
If I've made any errors in his theory, please let me know, I still feel confused by it.
Whether his theory is true or not isn't provable. And this is what spun my brain out.
I've always thought that unfalsifiable claims were bugs. But maybe they're a feature. If something is unknowable, maybe it's an opportunity to create your own meaning. What if you just take something as far as it can go? For example, Donald Hoffman's theory implies that reality is malleable. What if you assumed a reality that would benefit you? And as long as it stayed "true" you kept believing it?
It would be like asking the Universe for forgiveness instead of permission.
There's a similar concept, pronoia, which is the opposite of paranoia. Instead of believing that everyone is out to get you, it's the belief that the universe is conspiring to help you. Like Felix Felicis in Harry Potter.
Why is this interesting for me? I find that I go through life restricting myself and unconsciously waiting for permissions to be given. I believe that finding agency is the only way to realizing your potential.
=> Article Here
No English Equivalent
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Have a great week,