Reality with Donald Hoffman

What is the relationship between your brain and your conscious experiences? This is is the fundamental question of the work of Donald Hoffman, a professor of computer science and cognitive science at UC Irvine.

When Hoffman was a child, he wondered whether there was a cognitive dividing line between humans and machines, and that curiosity has driven him to his current work–building a mathematical framework which we can use to model consciousness.

Humans would like to believe that evolution selects for traits that allow us to understand the world as it is. From his experimental simulations, Hoffman has shown the opposite–that evolution pushes us towards a mistaken version of reality.

For listeners who are interested in theories about whether we live in a simulation, this episode is for you. If you are skeptical of the simulation theory then this episode will also be useful for you, as Hoffman gives one of the most nuanced, comprehensive explanations of reality that I have heard.

Show Notes

TED Talk

The Case Against Reality


To understand how your application is performing, you need visibility into your database. VividCortex provides database monitoring for MySQL, Postgres, Redis, MongoDB, and Amazon Aurora. Database uptime, efficiency, and performance can all be measured using VividCortex. You can learn more about how VividCortex works at

Couchbase is a document database with the flexibility of NoSQL and the power of SQL. With Couchbase Server, you can build a fast, powerful NoSQL database that scales. Running Couchbase in containers on Kubernetes, Mesos, or OpenShift is easy, and at you can find tutorials on how to build out your Couchbase deployment.


Incapsula is a cloud service that protects applications from attackers and improves performance.  Botnets and denial-of-service attacks are recognized by Incapsula and blocked. This protects your API servers and microservices from responding to unwanted requests. To try Incapsula, go to and get a month free for Software Engineering Daily listeners.