Donald Hoffman

Scientist Exposes Why Your Reality is All a Lie | Donald Hoffman on Conversations with Tom

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Imagine waking up from a simulated reality where everything you know is interpreted and never truly experienced. Is it possible the reality you’ve known for the last few decades is no reality at all? In this episode, Donald Hoffman returns and takes a deeper dive with Tom to discuss the complexities of consciousness perceived in and out of spacetime. Donald shares the possibilities of consciousness and the infinite nature of theories that exist outside of the virtual reality headset he uses to describe the version of reality you may still be experiencing. Take the plunge into this conversation and challenge the consciousness of what you call your true self.

Order Donald’s latest book, ‘The Case Against Reality’:



Consciousness | The theory of reality beyond the physical space and time [1:24]

Spacetime | Donald relates Grand Theft Auto to understanding reality beyond space time [7:48]

Testing Reality | Testable predictions of reality outside of space time and the fundamental nature of consciousness [10:40]

Conscious Agents | Donald introduces conscious agents using the Twitter model [16:00]

Conscious Illusion | How consciousness is not bound to the laws of physics and is created as needed in a simulation [22:00]

Evolution | Why evolutionary theory only exists in space and time within the VR experience [26:34]

The Unknown | The dark side of letting go to explore unknown concepts [33:40]

Spacetime Simulator | Donald takes us through how consciousness is explored [37:33]

Predicted Consciousness | Enjoying experience and predicting the realm of consciousness [49:57]

Girdles Down | The Girdles theorem and why everything can not theoretically be known [54:46]

A.I. Consciousness | How reductionism makes it possible to give rise to consciousness [1:03:54]

Created Consciousness | Donald explains the creation of consciousness from portals [1:10:29]

God Hypothesis | Donald’s hypothesis of science of God as agent of consciousness [1:15:05]

Asymptotic behavior | Long term behaviors from far away that use spacetime theory [1:26:07]

Alien Intelligence | Donald discusses alien intelligence and being in a simulator [1:31:22]

Living vs NonLiving | Being unplugged from VR game and notion of self [1:33:53]

Meditation | Donald shares how meditating to let go and have complete silence transforms his thoughts [1:46:20]



“ Science has not yet been studying objective reality outside of our space time virtual reality, that from an evolutionary point of view, was just evolved as a way for us to play the game of life, and stay alive long enough to reproduce, not to show us the truth.” [8:06]


“That’s what spacetime is. Spacetime, the sun and the moon, physical objects, everything that we see inside of space and time is just our visualization tool. The reality we’re interacting with is nothing like the visualization tool. There’s nothing like space and time. It’s a whole network of interacting conscious agents outside of space time, a vast social network. And we’ve made the rookie mistake of assuming that our headset, VR, our visualization tool, is the final reality.” [17:55]


“no matter how much consciousness explores its possibilities, it could never come to the end of its own possibilities. And so it’s in a never ending self exploration.” [31:22]


“And right now we’re sort of stuck on this little headset, three dimensions, small amount of color that we can see and so forth. Just, we thought it was the whole world. No, it’s just it’s a little headset.” [33:08]


“…we’re chasing that consciousness itself is only about exploring new possibilities of experience.” [35:55]


“So the reason I’m doing this is because I can’t even imagine a specific color that I’ve never seen before, I can’t imagine in four dimensions. In other words, I take it as a given that I’m deeply, deeply limited in my imagination. And I need all the tools I can get to help me step outside of my headset and try to guess, the unfathomable outside of there.” [52:47]


“There seems to be reward for absolute silence, no concept whatsoever, and out absolute precision on the other hand. And there’s no reward for sloppy thinking in the middle.” [1:51:57]


“don’t hold on to anything dogmatically right as that’s the sort of the point explore and then be the first to kill off the things that you know really don’t make sense don’t don’t hold on to them so it’s an anti dogmatic point of view” [1:54:37]









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