Ep. 5 - Awakening from the Meaning Crisis - Plato and the Cave




my notes

  • 00:00 - recap
  • 2:00 - plato is inexhaustible, individually and culturally, this is a better model for what is sacred, something that is inexhaustibly transformative
  • 3:30 - plato: how did his beloved city, people, kill his beloved friend socrates — socrates was plagued by the gods, plato was plagued by how could people be so foolish?
  • 4:30 - plato will create the psychological theory in history, which is still relevant now
  • 06:00 - inner conflict and self-destructive self-deception - (ben: precursor to cognitive dissonance? - ideal self, should self, actual self?)
  • 09:30 - different parts, different people
    • man in the head* that represents reason that cares about truth/falsity and scope for long term goals and can deal with abstract entities such as health and goals — this is your reason
    • but you don’t do it because there is a monster that is in your stomach and gentiles that represents appetite it doesn’t work in truth/falsity, it works in pleasure/pain and wants it now, very superficial — this is your appetite
      • in many life/death situations, I just need a superficial reaction, is that a tiger? Run for your life! I don’t need a scientific understanding of a tiger.
    • ben: this is dance is every Louis CK routine
    • lion, social/cultural animal, honour/shame, (shame is where you have lost the capacity to gain respect from your peers), achieves socially agreed upon shared mid-term goals, works upon cultural abstract means - this is your thymos, the part of you that is motivated socially
    • ben: left, support groups, eliminate shame for perpetual respect, delusional
    • ben: what we are doing right here, what fountain is about, distributed cognition is the best means for increasing meaning among the population
  • 13:00 - joining groups works to facilitate goals - we aren’t just biological, we are also cultural, with many socio-cultural motivations
  • 19:00 - you want those three parts (lion, monster, man) to get in sync with themselves, if that are desperate, the more self-centred and anxious they are (ben: lion - should self, monster - actual self, man - ideal self)
  • 22:00 - Ainsley - hyperbolic discounting, temporal discounting - exists across species - discounting is how much you are reducing the salience of a stimulus, the less it stands out to you, the less it grabs your attention
  • 24:00 - each leaf of the future, less probable, and the less attention you should give it (ben: like lightning or culture searching for a path)
  • 26:00 - anxiety (ben: related story)
  • 28:00 - ben: personal development tie-in
  • 28:30 - discounting proves you to deception (ben: how, this was not clear?)
  • 30:00 - so what do we need to counter this? abstract thought - the man falls prey to the monster because the man is weak - the lion can be trained - socrates took reason into the social arena, thus training the lion, to inspire people to overcome self-deception (ben: another call for fountain) — optimisation strategy — you want the right coordination of the parts of the society so they can live as harmonious without putting each other in danger (ben: toxic harmony) — plato to experience a fullness of being, a kind of peace, as inner conflict has dropped
  • 35:00 - reducing inner conflict provides clearer vision of reality so you get better at picking up real patterns, you can apply that to yourself to teach the man so he can train the lion and tame the monster
  • 40:00 - plato’s cave - participatory knowing, as I change, the world changes, knowing with the very machinery of myself - plato’s cave is an allusion to what happened to Socrate’s - enlightenment isn’t just an eastern idea, plato’s cave is a enlightenment myth, one of coming into the light, into self-transcendence, blinding light, adjustment, shadows, again - this ascent is anagoge/anagogic
  • 47:00 - ben: John is making another sale’s pitch for Fountain
  • 47:30 - the matrix - neo from neoplatonism (the new man) - all that matrix is plato’s cave with special effects - this story will play throughout human existence
  • 50:30 - the real patterns aren’t just knowing, they are what makes something be what it is
  • 52:00 - when asked what a bird is, they give you a feature list - but if you recreate the features, you don’t have a bird - what is missing is the structural functional organisation (logos), the way the specifically combine together - what makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts (gestalt)
  • 55:35 - when you really know something, you conform to it, you become like it, the pattern you know becomes a pattern you abide by hence the reciprocal relationship with it
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my notes

  • 0m - what we find saliant or relevant is closely bound to what we find true or real. That what is transformative of us, and what is true of the world is meant to be held together.
  • 2m - definition of sacred is something with an inexhaustable fountain that is transformative of us.
  • 4m - The hebrews gave a historical analysis of the two-world hypothesis, moving towards the ideal-world. Plato is instead giving a ‘scientific’ answer, following the natural-philosophers.
  • 5m - plato was the first cognitive psychologist, and his work is still relevant right now.
  • 7m - Dieting has a 95% recidivism rate. (almost like playing the lottery, or an indication that people are being bullshitted)
  • 12m - The reasoning faculty that cares about truth/falsity, and the appetitive faculty that cares about pleasure/pain.
  • 14m - the lower parts is what makes things salient to us, the higher that which makes us understand.
    —two worlds of Being and Becoming.
  • 13m - flow state is the orchestration between short and long term goals and rewards
  • 14m - shame is the loss of the capacity to gain respect from your peers, NOT an emotional state.
  • 15m - the lion who cares about honor and shame. Respect from ones peers. Neither short nor long term, but shared goals/experience.
    –plato saw how these three needed to come into alignment
  • 23 mins - --what is discounting?
  • 49m - myth is not about the past it’s about what is happening with you right here and right now

my commentary