HighExistence Podcast #7: Neurohacking, Evolutionary Philosophy, and the Future of Humanity


Peering into neurophysiology, psychology, ecology, economics, and social science; this conversation takes a journey across many disciplines to paint a picture of systems, complex causality, and the impact of what we call “civilization.”

We discuss the way we relate to one another as individuals and within large scale social dynamics. We explore our relationship to knowledge, learning, and certainty. Lastly, we articulate the accelerating threats that we are driving at the level of the biosphere, & the necessary requirements for a complete shift away from a self-terminating trajectory.

In This Episode We Discuss:

  • Physiology, well-being, and resilience
  • Managing complex systems
  • Reducing complexity toward simplicity
  • Incentives and education
  • Knowledge and bias
  • Communication and signaling mechanisms
  • The scaling of social dynamics
  • Rivalrous vs anti-rivalrous game theory
  • Transcending in-group out-group dynamics
  • Downregulating empathy
  • A discrete phase-shift for humanity

Show Notes:

0:00 Intro
2:42 The mission of Neurohacker Collective
5:02 Increasing homeostatic resilience, with lasting elevation of baseline
7:30 Assessing multifactorial cause and effect within complex systems
13:01 Extracting/de-contextualizing natural elements for economic valuation
15:54 The problem of hyper-specialization in complex systems
20:15 Western industrialized education vs. intrinsic incentivize education
28:28 Ontology (What is real?) and Epistemology (How do we know?)
29:14 Limitations of learning and knowing (the knowable & the unknowable)
33:36 Our subjective relationship to certainty and uncertainty
42:00 Deconstructing belief: Emotional bias leading to cognitive bias
52:00 The role of signaling mechanisms in coherence in culture
59:19 Changing social science axioms, meaningful unification
1:01:33 Evolving from tribes into superpowers within win/lose competition
1:02:55 Approaching infrastructure collapse and biosphere uninhabitability
1:03:48 Win/lose becomes Omni-lose/lose
1:05:12 A chance at Omni-win/win, a complete shift from finite to infinite
1:11:08 “Human nature” as distinct from human conditioning
1:15:25 Systemic advantage vs. differential competitive advantage
1:21:10 The liability side of nature’s balance sheet
1:22:10 World peace and for-profit military industry are mutually exclusive
1:25:00 Naive techno-optimism
1:26:01 Assessment of our existential & catastrophic risks
1:33:20 Unpacking the full shift: requirements for an anti-fragile civilization

Mentioned In This Episode:

Complex systems
Alfred North Whitehead: on hyper-specialization
Machine learning
Intrinsic Incentive
Emotional Bias
Cognitive Bias
Sam Harris and Dan Dennett debate Free Will
The Symbol Grounding Problem
Cultural Appropriation
Game Theory
Finite and Infinite Games, by James  P. Carse
Universal Basic Income
The Paperclip Maximizer

“A post-win-lose game theory, a post-in-group-out-group mentality requires a complete shift of economics, a complete shift of governance, a complete shift of culture, and religion, all the way down to a shift of identity structures.”

– Daniel Schmachtenberger