Great piece but I strongly disagree with this statement and this sentiment. Not only is it factually inaccurate to suggest that people are “confused about reality” it comes off as very condescending. It implies that there is a subset of people (aka yourself and perhaps others you deem “smart” enough to see through the illusions) that are not confused, while the vast majority of persons (the unenlightened masses) are. The only persons truly confused about reality are the clinically insane and certain classes of schizophrenics. The rest of us are, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, always living in and dealing with the cold hard facts of day to day reality. As someone who has written and thought a great deal about the simulation hypothesis I am well acquainted with the arguments that suggest we are all confused on this point, but I have reasoned counter arguments that are convincing enough to allow me to dismiss them. This is not to say that some people have made judgments and developed beliefs that are counter to reality, many certainly have. However, they are not confused, they are simply in error. They have made (in their minds) well reasoned decisions about the way the world is and works that are simply wrong. They are based on incorrect or incomplete information. Confusion is defined as a lack of understanding or uncertainty or the state of being bewildered or unclear in one’s mind about something. The people you suggest are confused do not lack understanding and are definitely not uncertain or bewildered. What they understand may be inaccurate or in error but they are absolutely certain about their position and beliefs. Better to say that the internet has given rise to a promulgation of incorrect assertions about reality (statements of fact that are wrong) that many people erroneously believe are accurate. Of course my neat little discourse leaves out the critical and important question of who or what is the ultimate arbiter of fact and fiction. This is a thorny philosophical topic that will be debated for as long as debate is a thing. A topic for another post I think.

Written by

Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store