Reality Blind - Vol. 1

If you go into a wooded area and light a candle, you will soon have moths spiraling towards it, to be ultimately burned alive in the candle flame. This perplexed early human philosophers: why do moths like burning up? Well of course it turns out that they don’t particularly like it at all. Rather, they evolved to navigate by the full Moon circling your planet, flying at a set angle to it to approximate a straight line. Evolution didn’t anticipate the invention of candle s, and it was their introduction which made the moth’s eulusion into a circumstantial dyslusion. A nearby candle is brighter than the moon so is seen by moths AS the moon. However, the moon is not a quarter-million miles away, so flying at a standard angle to a candle produces moth course-corrections which become an inward spiral, and “ pooft .” The very same evolved delusion can thus be useful or disastrous based on how well it matches prevailing circumstances. The potential advantage that my species (and yours) possesses is that we can, in principle, sort out our delusions, correct for our biases, and learn to see our own blind spots. The Bottom Line: We evolved to be “wrong” - the world we perceive is not the physical world which exists. Yet for the first time we have learned this truth and so are not – in principle - absolutely limited by these built in “errors.”

Modular Minds – a Mixed Blessing

Summary: Evolution was about reacting more quickly than those around you. Simple, compact processing systems are faster. So, our ancestral organisms evolved separate physical and functional processing modules – basically single-purpose mini-brains running in tandem for: eating, moving toward or away from light, running or standing still, smelling, etc. To work in the real world, these systems had to all operate, more or less, simultaneously,


Powered by