Welcome to the Ricci Flow Nutrition Podcast. My name is Cameron Borg, on this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Robert Prentner, PhD.

Robert Prentner, PhD is a Doctor of Philosophy currently at the Center for the Future Mind, Florida Atlantic University, where he conducts research in consciousness studies, molecular physics, natural and artificial intelligence, and philosophy. His current project is “Consciousness and the Emergence of Objects”. Robert and colleagues have been working to explain their theory of consciousness in a mathematically consistent manner. Their group has published several papers on what they refer to as the Interface Theory of Perception using evolutionary game theory and complex mathematics to bring precision to their theories. Prentner’s colleague, Donald Hoffman forwarded this ‘Conscious Realism’ to the mainstream in his popular book, “The Case Against Reality” (2019).

For the sake of making this conversation easier to digest, I’ll do my best to quickly introduce the theory. The Interface Theory of Perception states simply that the reality we experience with our senses is analogous to the desktop interface on your computer. We may see objects in our world and take for granted that our perceptions of that object are a ‘true’ representation of what’s actually there. But in the Interface Theory of Perception, these objects are merely a useful fiction; an icon that bears no resemblance to the true nature of reality, but one that helps our species live on and propagate our genetic information. Much like how a folder on our computer desktop may appear rectangular and blue, we do not assume for a moment that the contents of that folder are indeed rectangular and blue. In fact, the true nature of our computer interface consists of electric fields, magnetic fields, resistors, voltage toggles and more. If we had to interact with the true nature of our computer desktop, we’d never get any work done. Much like how we pay top dollar for interfaces that simplify this reality in our technology, our perceptual systems have evolved not so that we experience reality as it is, but simply as it’s best for us to perceive it. This theory also exists outside of spacetime, meaning that our place in space and time is also just a very useful fiction.

Hopefully this short introduction can give you enough of an idea to engage with our conversation. I absolutely loved speaking with Robert, I sincerely hope you enjoy it too.