Saving Civilization: Healthcare, Tech, Democracy (w/Daniel Schmachtenberger)

Daniel Schmachtenberger studies existential risk. Here’s how we might thread an Alt-Middle way to a civilization whose tech, healthcare, social structures, and built environment promote wellbeing rather than divisional apocalypse.

00:00 Intro

01:11 Humans as apex predators in every environment, enabled by technology

05:19 Paleolithic brains with tech that hacks dopamine reward circuits, hypernormal stimuli (porn, sugar, social media)

11:06 Polyamorous societies vs. monogamous societies, closing the “asshole” niche

18:00 Conservative vs. liberal moral intuitions, healthy and unhealthy reward circuits, the marshmallow study, limbic hijack in social media

26:28 The concept of hormesis (how systems increase capacity in response to stress)

30:45 Capitalism & the economics of addiction with regards to social media

38:36 Autopoietic (self-replicating) tech, externalized costs, and catastrophic risk

43:04 Public sensemaking in the age of screens and expert specialization, the role of “steelmanning” in debates

49:41 Education & sense making as central to function democracy

55:01 Naive, Cynical, & Post-cynical stances in discourse

1:04:41 The epidemic of subclinical mental illness in modern civilization

1:23:09 Existential threat to democracy, why China has an advantage, natural tech monopolies bigger than nation-states

1:37:22 Environmental psychology/broken windows theorem, the effect of the plow on civilization

1:48:55 Building tech optimized to better social values

1:53:56 Internalizing externalities, social tech like sweat lodges

2:05:17 Left brain vs right brain, spirituality vs reductionism, dealing with human conflict

2:12:36 These concepts applied to healthcare (environmental effect, sense making, reductionism, the complexity of autoimmune disease, Pharma)

2:21:29 The future of healthcare (toward an integral model of Health 3.0), hospitals as temples

2:26:42 The future of democratic systems, AI, and optimistic vision for the future