EPISODE TO BE RELEASED 1st DEC 2023
HOW HAS THE EVOLUTION OF COGNITION LED TO HOMOSAPIENS BEING SUCH EFFECTIVE COLLABORATORS AND HOW IS THE COLLECTIVE KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM OF THE SOCIETY DISTRIBUTED AND PASSED ON TO LATER GENERATIONS? HOW CAN WE APPLY THE AMPLIFIED WISDOM OF DISTRIBUTED COGNITION TO SOLVE SOME OF HUMANITIES BIGGEST PROBLEMS?
Today we have the important fields of Collective Intelligence and how we can use it to solve our problems as a society, to try and get our heads around. We’ll be discussing the relevance of difficulties arising from cognitive science and physics research that for some put into question the consensus story that embodied feelings were fundamental in the development of reasoning and consciousness; We also discuss the relevance of the work of Carl Jung on the Collective Unconscious; of Neuroscientist Anil Seth’s Controlled Hallucination and Don Hoffman’s User interface theory; of Iain McGilchrist’s split brain research and of Michael Levin’s take on cellular cognition.
There is of course only one polymath who can hold that many topics in a single conversation and that’s the Cognitive scientist, and philosopher John Vervaeke. Vervaeke is the director of UToronto’s Consciousness and Wisdom Studies Laboratory and its Cognitive Science program, where he teaches an Introduction to Cognitive Science and The Cognitive Science of Consciousness.
He has been a leading intellectual observer of the modern meaning crisis: the loss of a spiritual worldview in the West, and the decline of wisdom traditions that help individuals find meaning in their lives. His online lectures and practices integrate teachings from many different disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, religion, and cutting edge cognitive science. He is the author and presenter of the YouTube series “Awakening from the Meaning Crisis” and his brand new series, ‘After Socrates.’
What we discuss:
05:35 Losing faith without losing a taste for the transcendent.
15:30 the difference between intelligence and living cognition.
18:40 Relevance realisation: What to attend to in the sea of info available.
21:00 Cognition “cares” because its life is on the line: Salience landscapes.
24:15 Humans VS persons.
30:05 Distributed Cognition explained.
30:30 ‘Reason is monological’ framework.
33:15 The rise of individualism.
33:30 Cognition is computation - Thomas Hobbes.
34:30 Distributed computation and problem solving via the internet.
36:30 ‘Reason is dialogical’ framework.
38:00 Your best self-correction ability is with other people.
39:30 Language is crucial to dialogical success.
42:30 Life builds collective intelligence without language.
45:50 Issues from neuroscience and quantum physics.
50:30 Predictive processing to identify salience.
51:30 The brain is predicting itself.
52:30 The imaginary VS the imaginal.
53:40 Imaginally augmented perception.
58:00 Casuality is not the same as causal relevance: Acausal phenomena.
01:00:30 Determinism VS fractal probability.
01:03:50 A hierarchy of cognitive selves: Michael Levin.
01:06:50 There isn’t just bottom up emergence but top down emanation.
01:07:20 Deep continuity: Sailing between Scylla and Erebus - Evan Thompson.
01:09:30 Hierarchies of selves: Michael Levin.
01:15:30 Could we be part of single selves greater than our individual organisms?
01:17:30 Cognition is a continuum but differences of degree eventually make differences of kind.
01:19:30 Solving collective problems via distributed cognition and practices of connectedness.
01:25:20 Left/right hemisphere considerations for distributed cognition: Iain McGilchrist.
01:30:20 The right hemisphere is great at insights but also jumps to conclusions.
01:32:30 Adaptivity: Self-transcendence VS self-delusion.
01:35:15 Narrative bias and the Left Brain interpreter: Mike Gazzaniga.
01:37:00 Extended naturalism over reductionist materialism and consciousness first.
01:40:24 The Collective Unconscious - Carl Jung.
01:46:25 A lot of the unconscious contents are not narrative like or persona like.
Yuval Harari, “Sapiens: A brief history of Humankind”
Evan Thompson - Deep continuity hypothesis,“Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind”
Seminal books that opened John up in adolescence:
Roger Zelazny, “Lord of light”
Hermann Hesse, “Siddharta”
Robertson Davies, “Fifth business”