But if there is information that represents a spoon, and it is consistently perceived as a spoon, then in what way is it not a spoon?
Basically, it doesn’t matter whether the universe is real, fake, simulated, impersistent, in our imaginations, or whatever. The fact is that there is something that is storing the information that we perceive as reality; and there is a consistent 1-to-1 correlation between that information and our perception of it. Saying that the universe might not be “real” is like saying that a vinyl record is more “real” than an mp3 file. You might not be able to point to the part of the hard drive where it’s stored or see the grooves in it, but that doesn’t make it any more abstract.
So Descartes was only a little too hasty when he said “I think, therefore I am”. If there is something that thinks, and it perceives itself consistently to be Descartes, why not call it Descartes?