Reality Blind - Vol. 1

productively; a workable interface must make you usefully blind to such complexity.

In a computer, there must be layers upon layers upon layers of interface constructed to massively simplify the reality of the system you’re dealing with. Similarly, this is done by your brain in real time for the entire reality you perceive. The actual physical universe in which you are embedded may have very little in common with that interface, any more than “Windows 10” has with electrons hopping around billions of times each second in a maze of transistors. Going forward we’ll identify a number of known ways in which human belief and perception are distorted, biased and outright wrong versus physical reality. It’s good to bear in mind there are sound evolutionary explanations for this to be the case: We “ evolved to be wrong ” about the physical world in specific ways that supported our survival. TaaL: I hope you don’t find this concept of evolved delusionality to be off- putting, because in most ways there’s not only nothing wrong with delusionality; you wouldn’t be interesting (or happy) without it. On my world, we celebrate our delusions as the most precious of our possessions: on worlds of finite energy and wealth governed by strict physical laws, one can nevertheless find unlimited joy, magic and meaning within one’s personal world. Just a little bit of physical wealth is enough for a brain to produce near-infinite subjective wealth, which is a pretty good candidate for Best Deal Ever. I, personally, have many delusions and biases. I believe in many things which do not actually exist in the physical world, and these beliefs are among my most prized possessions. The difference between my species and yours (at its current state of development), is that we know that our delusions are delusions and that our biases are biases and don’t drag them into physical-world situations where they could muck things up. Learning to do this is the main hurdle to becoming a sentient species that is capable of surviving for a while. Some delusional constructs of the mind are “ eulusional ” (useful delusions) and some are “ dyslusional ” (harmful delusions) to a given context of existence. These are alien terms which I’ve translated into English and invite you to use: as I’ve noted, we don’t consider delusion to be inherently a bad thing at all, quite the contrary. But it must be understood to avoid its dangers.


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