Reality for machine intelligence: internal vs consensus



“reality” is an ongoing construct. It is well known that a good deal of your perceived reality is actually re-perception of something that you saw before. As long as it is there every time you need to see it - it exists.

There is a fascinating experiment where they switch up what is in your visual field (out of the foveal area) and oddly enough, most people don’t notice the change. This has been done with both computer imagery and in actual physical settings.

Our mental functioning has evolved around the concept that reality is relatively stable so things that don’t change are not memorized internally.


I found this Amazing Color Changing Card Trick video very cool:


Hi Matt, thanks for the reply! Sorry to be slow here.

I’m thinking along the lines of a split between the physical hardware and logical “software”. By analogy, think of playing a modern 3D or VR video game. The immersive reality experienced by a player of the game is quite different than the reality of the hardware technician soldering a GPU onto the video card. All humans are experiencing their inner reality right now, but almost none (except us) are worried about the neuron firings behind it.

My point is quite pedantic, because obviously, you can study other brains out in external reality, instead of your own. I’m just noticing a possible semantic blind spot, relative to the observer only. It seems worth pointing out since only observers can experience reality.

I think ultimately, we’re onto one of Godel’s strange linguistic loops. It’s hard to define that which creates definitions.

Pedantics aside, I think moving popular culture towards the Internal/External/Social understanding of Reality will be a huge step forward. I wonder if a lot of our ills come from the current popular singular definition.



What you think of as hardware is just software you haven’t learned to modify yet. It’s the substrate you think of as non-optional vs the stuff you can turn on and off through wiggling some wires.

Calling one internal and the other external misses the point that it’s software all the way down.

Whatever an observer or observation IS, there are some universes or realities that lack an observer… we call those basic math. Then there are some that have an observer… we call those universes. The fact that you’re having a difficult time identifying how the observer is structured means that your simulation level is hiding or obfuscating that part of the operating system.

The really cool thing is that since emulations of emulators are basically equivalent, it doesn’t matter how many layers of emulation down you are… you exist on an emulation path that has “observer” somewhere upstream and is using that property as a base operational function of interacting with this particular simulation. That main simulation itself is then cooked, reprocessed and spoon fed to you as an observer by another layer of simulator known as a human brain.

Speaking about “reality” misses the point that you’re an observer sandwiched between two layers of emulation/simulation and that in all likelihood your “observationness” is external to both layers.