The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes by Donald D. Hoffman is an absolutely fascinating book that changed the way I look at the world. It posits theories that assert that the world is not what we think it is. It suggests that every experience we have is like a set of icons on a computer screen, simplifying what’s really happening underneath. Hoffman writes that nothing we sense is real, and goes about proving it in a variety of mind-boggling ways.
According to the theory, as we evolved, the way we perceived our unseen and infinitely complex existence has become a simplified interface because the true nature of our existence is too calorically expensive.
All our perceptions and actions have one goal: “fitness payoffs,” which increase the chances of survival of our DNA. Treading the familiar path of Darwinism, this assures that humans most capable of surviving to reproductive age will be most likely to pass along those traits to the next generation.
The most astonishing claim in The Case Against Reality: Space and time do not actually exist, but serve as a user-friendly canvas on which our efforts to obtain fitness payoffs play themselves out. Being a life-long space-and-time dweller, that concept alone stretches my comprehension to its boundaries and beyond.
These ideas are currently turning the world of physics upside down, perhaps changing everything as we know it in the realm of quantum physics and the so-called “hard problem” of consciousness, as well as the Theory of Everything.
I’m eager to see what becomes of this theory and if the truth of our existence emerges from it. In the meantime, this will require a lot of thought, something I greatly value when reading mind-bending books like this. If you’re up for a wild ride, The Case Against Reality is the book for you. Whew!
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress is Steven Pinker‘s masterpiece. If you choose just one of his books to read, this is the one. He takes an optimistic view of the current political and social upheavals plaguing our world and puts them in context with both recent and ancient history.
In his perfect-pitch prose, Pinker makes the case that although many people decry the times in which we live, he disagrees, in essence saying, “let the good times roll.“ He doesn’t think we’re nearing the end of The Enlightenment, either — he thinks it’s a set of ideas and a way of reasoning that can and should be renewed with each successive generation.
He cites numerous statistics showing how people are richer, wealthier, and live longer than any other time in history. There are hundreds of examples that give ample reason for optimism as we navigate this era of confusion and frustration in U.S. and world politics.
Enlightenment Now is a long and dense book, but be sure to read it all the way to the end, because all through this masterful narrative of our society, there are some of the most profound paragraphs, pages and chapters I’ve ever read.
This is one of my favorite books of all time, perhaps my most favorite. I need a long time to think about and sort out all the ideas in this book. After spending the past month reading and studying it, it’s become clear to me that I need to adjust my point of view on many issues. One thing is certain: I will carry with me the ideas, concepts, and most importantly, the way of thinking that I’ve learned in Enlightenment Now for the rest of my life.
After reading Michael Wolff’s new book Fire and Fury, I’m now certain that Donald Trump is by far the least competent and most insane president to ever occupy the White House.
This blow-by-blow eyewitness account, supported by recordings of most of the conversations, is a shocking tour through the infighting, hate, and total incompetence of the entire staff of the Trump Administration. The only sane people in the building must be the Secret Service agents, kitchen workers and lawn care staff.
After reading this well-written, gripping and true horror story, I can only conclude that our country is in the deepest trouble it’s ever encountered in its 241-year history. I’m also even more disappointed than ever in everyone who was conned into voting for this monster.
Even though I suspect not every word of this book is true, I think most of it is. Page after page, Trump’s true personality makes its loathsome and toxic presence evident. The most frustrating aspect of this is that this pathetic, incredibly stupid individual was completely transparent about what we would be getting if he became president. And he still won the election!
It’s hard to believe that so many people in our society are so gullible, so completely brainwashed and ignorant that they don’t know what they don’t know. Most of the voters described as Trump’s “base” are so filled with hate and confusion that they could correctly be called sociopaths.
If someone as incompetent as Trump can make it to the White House, what else is in store for our battered country? I can only hope the United States can survive this grave error in its electoral process and somehow set things back on course again.
My writing partner John Biggs (TechCrunch, Gizmodo, The New York Times) and I talked with a cool guy the other day. Bob Andelman, known worldwide as “Mr. Media,” asked us about our newly released second edition of Bloggers Boot Camp. We talked about the book and a lot more for the better part of an hour.
It’s your day today if you’ve discovered the Canadian way to pay for the games you love to play with All Slots. With the instadebit casino in Canada, you’ll always have a great way to pay for the games you love.
Bob asked us some great questions about blogging, creating content, and generally being cool on the Internet. Johnny and I talked about our experiences at Gizmodo, NBC Universal, Mashable and TechCrunch, and made each other laugh while we tossed out a plethora of blogging tips.
It was a great treat to be able to hang out with John in our first dual interview. Enjoy!
Watch this remarkable demo of Apple CarPlay, the software that will bring iOS into almost every car. It’s going to change everything. This version, installed in a Volvo concept car at the Geneva Motor Show, is a good example of how easy CarPlay will be to use. Continue reading
The Oscars ceremony is Sunday night (3/2/2014 at 7pm ET on ABC)), and you might be wondering which movies are worth watching before the hardware is handed out in Hollywood. Continue reading
So this is what Samsung thinks the iWatch will look like. It’s calling its newly-announced curved-touchscreen smartwatch Gear Fit, and billing it as a fitness tracker with a watch on board. Continue reading
Super Bowl advertising hit a new high this year. I’ve picked my five favorites, and I’ll bring you my opinions from the standpoint of a 40-year media veteran. Continue reading