Re: Objective versus subjective reality: which is primary?

From: Jef Allbright (
Date: Wed Jul 20 2005 - 09:05:50 MDT

Ben Goertzel wrote:

>So basically, you're suggesting that objective reality is "more correct"
>because it's "bigger"....
Well, not really. I intended to avoid the well-known recursive trap of
saying that any subjective POV can be proved to be "correct." Also,
using the simple adjective "bigger" blurs the meaning I intended with
"encompassing". My key point, which has relevance to this group, was
eliminated with the simplification.

My intended meaning was as follows:

    * All agents necessarily operate from a subjective point of view--an
      internal model of themselves within their environment. All
      assessment of value or meaning is within the context of this model
      and knowable (to self or others) only via the behavior (internal
      and external physical changes) of the agent.
    * Ultimately, to say that something is "correct" means only to say
      that it works (achieves the expected outcome) within the given
      context. Even the "truths" of mathematics are subject to
      reassessment upon new discoveries which increase the scope of the
      model doing the assessment.
    * We observe that there is a kind of universal "ratchet effect" such
      that some systems have relatively greater fitness within their
      environment and these systems tend to persist and grow in
      complexity. We (subjective observers) will tend to agree that
      what persists and grows is what "works".
    * This universal ratchet effect applies as well to us subjective
      agents. As we expand our context of awareness (our internal
      model) from the limited subjective to more encompassing shared
      intersubjective awareness, this more encompassing model of reality
      will have been tested within a larger competitive environment and
      the result will tend toward greater fitness, meaning a more
      accurate model (within that environment.)

Bottom line: There is strong asymmetry between subjective and objective
point of view, and there is a universal tendency toward increasingly
objective models.

That said, I have taken the red pill, traveled down the rabbit hole, and
have been reminded that there is no effective way to convince any
subjective agent, without meta-engineering them from outside their
subjective context, that their point of view is other than what they
think it is.

- Jef

>But isn't it the case that this "biggerness" (of objective as compared to
>subjective reality) only exists from the perspective of objective reality?
>From the subjective perspective, subjective reality is bigger than objective
>reality, isn't it? Because the former contains a whole bunch of funky
>patterns in addition to the ones that are "objectively real"....
>It seems to me what which sort of reality is bigger, is also a matter of
>perspective.... No?
>-- Ben

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