Coleman Hughes on The Power of Gods with Daniel Schmachtenberger S2 [Ep 16]

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Welcome to another episode of Conversations with Coleman.

My guest today is Daniel Schmachtenberger. Daniel is a founding member of The Consilience Project, aimed at improving public sensemaking and dialogue.

His writing is focused on ways of improving the health and development of individuals and society, with a focus on catastrophic and existential risk, civilization and institutional decay, collective action problems, social organization theories, and the relevant domains in philosophy and science. Daniel and I spend a lot of time talking about the effect of new technology on our ability to problem solve as a society, the disadvantages of democracy relative to autocracy, how much of our behavior can be attributed to human nature and how much to culture and much more.

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💬 Comments
Author

I remember thinking a year or two ago that no matter how much philosophy interested Coleman his views on race would continue to be the main attraction for him and he might not have as much to offer outside of that. Boy was I wrong. He gets great guests, asks great questions, and has great conversations across the board. Happy to see him explore intellectually.

Author — Jared Czaia

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A common critique I am seeing discusses how Daniel is not providing solutions but is instead asking questions. To think that Daniel, Coleman, or any other singular person can provide concrete answers to the problems he reviews is very shortsighted. Many of the greatest thinkers also placed a higher importance on spending more time to produce higher quality questions than trying to answer lesser quality ones (e.g. Einstein's phrase of spending 55 minutes on coming up with questions and 5 mins on the answer).

If you want solutions to these problems then they need discussed - at length - with groups, organizations, and other entities that have more than 2 hours to discuss them. In addition to this, from a complexity science perspective, these issues are complex. Meaning they are dynamic, unpredictable, and multidimensional. All that to say you should really reconsider your expectations.

Author — Brad

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I have been looking forward to this one - always great to hear Daniel's perspective

Author — Hugh Davison

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To the people angry at Daniel about asking questions and not giving answers are trying to look past the actual point of what he’s trying to convey. Society rarely even asks the right questions and orients things in the nature of rival based games. These rival based games cause exponential externalities leading society into self destruction. He’s trying to get people to think in a different manner that instead asks questions from a more virtuously abstract standpoint so we as a society can create a close looped system, moving away from the typical distribution curve. The only way to get there is by starting with better knowledge frameworks for more effective public sense making. That’s his exact goal, to ask more precise and better questions.

Author — Zach

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Two of my favorite thinkers. I hate Sunday evenings, but tonight is going to be fun! Thanks, Coleman!

Author — Marc Ulmer

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Always insightful, Daniel Schmachtenberger also speaks publicly with many different public figures to engage with various perspectives, and is generous with his time answering questions. Hope he talks with Jordan Peterson someday!

Author — Thomas Hartley

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Awesome! I’ve been hoping for this conversation to happen ❤️

Author — Aaron Martin

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Thank you for creating such content which triggers profound thought on existentially
important issues.

Author — thenowchurch

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Public school is another way society has been shaped in very narrow way.

Author — Janie Akerlund

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I agree with Schmachtenberger that we need new social tech. Coleman, if you are interested in someone who is trying to develop a social tech at a grassroots level, have you encountered the work of Peter Rollins? He has experimented with social tech he calls “transformance art” and “decentering practices” to get folks to enter into dialectic conversation where doubt of one’s own positions are nutured. Influenced by Hegel, Slavoj Žižek, and Paul Tillich, Rollins is focusing on deconstructing religious communities, but I find his methods could be relevant for society as a whole.

Author — Timo K.

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1:20:03 “& this is is both the arms race & the tragedy of the commons”

Yea, we definitely need our social tech to catch up; wish higher education would give kids the tools for a birds eye view; & replace the deconstructive nonsense they’re currently teaching with some healthier game theory that doesn’t end up reinforcing ideological bubbles & result in an eventual total breakdown or oppressive strongman.

Author — John Buckner

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The main critique of Daniel seems to be he poses a lot of questions but doesn’t provide answers. I think this is intentional - his mantra is finding means of creating shared basis of sense making an decision making, not imposing solutions thought up by an individual.

Author — TpolTime

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Marvin Harris reference! If you haven't read his stuff you gotta get on that.

Author — Zach Ferdinand

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it took 3 sittings but got there in the end. this was good stuff coleman...ty!

Author — Miss H

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The reason that the Singapore situation is stable is the same reason that Amazon uses its diversity policy to prevent employees from unionizing.

Author — Strung Up

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Coleman Hughes is a perfect answer to the people who say philosophy is useless. You can enter any other field and they will tell you what is true in philosophy they tell you how to get to the truth. How to think. What is logic. The foundations of all the other sciences Once you know how to think you can feed your internal curiosity hard questions and you will give wise answers. Philosophy equates to the old saying teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.

I think a lot of subjects that are promoted in school nowadays just give you the fish so to speak, philosophy can give u the net, rod, reel, & tackle

Author — Zach Morgan

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Huh, I played football and never cared about teams (pro or otherwise) either during or after my high school/college career 🤔

Author — RandolphCarter777

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Why is it necessary to resolve differences between tribes in a nation? Why not let each tribe do as they please, insofar as they refrain from imposing their pleasure on others?

Author — Glenn Mitchell

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I think this discussion is the one that led me to understand what Daniel is saying.

Author — Randy Gault

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It's pretty hard to take D-Scmact seriously when he's talking about governance models when he's never mentioned Enterprise Architecture... even though he's part of a company that would have required a documented AE to go IPO and methodologies like TOGAF are open source.

Author — CHGLongStone