EF47 Show Notes

Infinite Regress: Drawing Back The Veil of Perception


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DEDICATION: Episode EF47 is dedicated to Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist specializing in quantum mechanics and, specifically, the “other” hard problem of understanding the nature of reality. As fascinating as this question is, Carroll says he’s one of only about 100 physicists around the world with such a specialization; sadly, researching the most mystical big questions of the universe doesn’t really pay well.

As a science communicator, he also dedicates a significant portion of his career to bringing the complexity of the universe to anyone curious about the universe through his multiple popular science books and his Mindscape podcast. Although nobody can still truly understand quantum mechanics, Carroll is constantly breaking down big concepts to enhance our collective understanding. He also ventures the bold step of asking what does any of this mean for us as humans, by speculating publicly about topics like free will and what it would mean if we were living in one slice of an infinite Multiverse. 

If you know Sean’s platform and his favorite pet theories in Quantum Mechanics, then you’ll likely understand why Episode EF47 was dedicated to him. Perhaps if Carroll and his small but dedicated band of physics inquisitors help get us closer to the truth, humanity might someday arrive upon the true origin of the universe and a true theory of everything. 

Learn more about Sean Carroll:


INSPIRATIONS: Episode EF47 is further inspired by … Nick Bostrom, Giulio Tononi, Jerry Fodor, Richard Panek, Don Hoffman


Sam Payne is a physicist on the verge of discovering the true nature of reality when her project gets shut down abruptly. But a suspicious gift enables her to go underground to an illegal world of virtual work, in order to try and recruit rogue scientists to restart her research. As the risks pile up, Sam realizes what she’s been seeking for the last three decades of her career has been hidden in plain sight all along. But the answer is also far more dangerous than she could have imagined.

We perceive our day to day experience as the one-and-only, true reality. But the truth is, our perception of reality is very different than that of a catfish, bat, or dog; which can respectively taste, hear and smell far more acutely than we could possibly imagine. So what is the true reality, beyond this seemingly impenetrable veil of perception that shrouds human sensory capabilities? Is it something we can even comprehend using the limited wetware of the human brain? Or does such a thing as reality even exist?


Amanda Gefter, The Evolutionary Argument Against Reality. Quantamagazine.org, www.quantamagazine.org/20160421-the-evolutionary-argument-against-reality/ (accessed: November 5, 2019)

Daniel O’Brien, Objects of Perception. iep.utm.edu, www.iep.utm.edu/perc-obj/#SSH2b.iii (accessed: November 5, 2019)

Gerald M. Edelman, Giulio Tononi, A Universe of Consciousness: How Matter Becomes Imagination. 2001, Basic Books.

Jerry A. Fodor, The Modularity of Mind. 1983, Bradford Book.

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EF47 (S2-E8): Infinite Regress: Drawing Back The Veil of Perception

Season Two, Episode Eight: Investigating human limitations beyond the veil of perception is as disconcerting as looking at an image repeating into itself in an infinite regress. What would it mean to have a complete grasp of the entire picture? And would that define for us what is reality?