I guess I hadn’t stopped to think that one reason why government seems so insane right now is that the “governing” they’re trying to manage across wealthy, huge institutionalized structures like music, media, money, pharma, education, transportation— are fast becoming super-decentralized. All of them are fast evolving due to a tectonic shift in control. In this way, Governments themselves are just another “Woolley Mammoth System” like them. Like it or not, their Ice Age is ending. We’ve all watched various forms of power-decay impact these systems. Have you stepped back and wondered where all this is headed? That’s not what I anticipated talking about with this week’s guest, Jordan Greenhall. I thought we were going to talk about Nootropics. That’s where we started but Jordan quickly aimed the conversation at the dead center of these trends.
Experiencing time pass has to be one of the weirdest things. It surrounds everything around us yet is incredibly inconsistent. One moment it’s molasses slow, the next it was like it was never there. Scientists and philosophers have tried to explain time, how our brain makes it possible, for ions. Did we invent it? How do we all have such a unified experience with time? Is time passing or are we passing time? “Now” is a squirmy thing, the closer you get to it the harder it is to pin down. Time seems to be a sort of creepy mystery quietly packed with discovery and at least for me, it’s something I work hard at slowing way down.
Before a lot of expensive orthodontic work, my mouth was an accordion of crowded teeth in the front and impacted teeth in the back. I remember being a kid thinking about having my wisdom teeth extracted and thinking how unnatural it seemed. Honestly, it’s not a topic I spent too much time thinking about after I had all my work done. In fact the entire dental marketplace of corrections, straightening, flossing, brushing, invisaligning, headgearing— really the whole category— is something I’ve spent most of my life trying to avoid.
That’s why Peter Ungar’s book, really caught my attention. He’s a professor at the University of Arkansas and he studies the environmental dynamics and anthropological view of teeth over vast stretches of time. The book is, “Evolution’s Bite: The True Story of Teeth, Diet and Human Origins.” It digs into what our ancestors ate, and what their their fossil remains can tell us about their diet and evolution. Not to mention what teeth are like for modern hunter-gatherers compared to ours. Why are they so straight? Why don’t they have the same wisdom teeth problems that we do?
When you boil it down, all of us want super intimate relationships. But how do we get there? Especially with our loved ones? There’s not much out there to model from. Hard to learn from your parents. It’s not like there’s a class in school on how to have intimate relationships or even what to look for. Really, there’s not any kind of guidance. We’re all grasping at straws, feeling our way without much of a map.
And when you live in our culture, there’s some pretty strict rules about what relationships look like. We’re either watching movies like Love Actually, where a guy shows up holding poster-board that says “to me, you’re perfect” or we’re watching hardcore porn of people’s junk. When it comes to intimacy, there’s two types of trained professionals that people pay to get help: Either you’re droning on to a shrink about your problems or you might have some specific sexualized fantasies that you need to exercise. For that, you might turn to a Dominatrix.
Dayna Martin has four children ranging in age from 9yrs -18yrs old and all of them have been unschooled. They’ve never attended ANY school or institutionalized education program. Dayna has become an activist for the unschooling movement, in fact her book, “Radical Unschooling: A Revolution Has Begun,” was a launching pad that landed her on Dr. Phil, CNN, Nightline, 60 Minutes, The Jeff Probst Show, Wife Swap and yes, even Oprah.
It’s hard to imagine the bravery of deciding not to do what everybody else is doing. Can you imagine not sending your kids to school? The commitment? Having people at the grocery store ask you what grade they’re in? You’d have to constantly have to explain to everyone while they all talked behind your back. Those are the topics perfect for this show.
The images we all have when it comes to negotiation are combative lawyers, confrontational car salesman or maybe the pit-sweats we’ve all had when asking our boss for a raise. While it’s true those things are negotiations, all of life is a negotiation. Those people who are closest to us— our spouse, parents, kids or friends— you’re negotiating with them all the time.
Given how prevalent negotiation is, you’d think we’d all be pretty good at it but let’s face it, we suck. Ask most people and just the word “negotiation” sends up their defenses. It would seem mastering negotiation with the people you love the most could really change your life.
Everyday in the media is an article about jobs— how they’re disappearing for the middle class, how robots and artificial intelligence are stealing them, how the Gig-Economy is forcing people to do mundane tasks for less money. How true is it that our jobs are disappearing and how much is technology to blame?
What is the inevitability of the future of jobs and why can’t we imagine what that looks like? It’s hard to imagine talking to anyone better about this, than Kevin Kelly. He’s the co-founder of Wired Magazine (as he calls it the “Senior Maverick”) and he has a recent book called, “The Inevitable” (which has recently been released in paperback). It’s a New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best Seller. What Kevin has done is mapped the 12 major trends that have already made themselves apparent and will definitely shape our future. Kevin is amazing at packaging all those ideas that live within those trends and making those things digestible. As you’ll hear, us humans are pretty horrible at figuring out what’s coming next.
It’s a fact that god created the universe, reality is in three dimensions, India is a developing country, you need to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, that when you meet the right person it will be true love, and if you eat fat you’re going to get fat. These are indisputable facts. There’s no place for opinion, or feelings in any of this, right? If you opened your brain and added up all the time you’ve spent fact-gathering, how much time do you think that would add up to? How much of what’s in your head are anecdotes that you repeat and how much are simply true? Even if they’re not, who’s got time to figure out what the truth is, where to start, and how to see it?
Certainly, Science is true. That’s the bedrock of our culture. It’s always been true and it always will be true. That is, until you look to the past and realize it’s a modern invention not at all shared around the world. It blows up the closer and closer we get to it. That’s not anti-science sentiment just that we do need to take a closer look at ourselves, our minds and how we perceive reality. The closer we look, the more we realize there’s some pretty big gaps.
Love is life’s biggest virus of the mind. We live and die for it. Make major decisions because of it. And completely don’t understand it. “It’s complicated” is an understatement. We’re handed a script about what love really means and should be from the time we’re children. Our fairytales are pretty clear: you’ll meet someone and be swept off your feet, have babies and live happily ever after. But by the time you’re in y our 30s if this hasn’t happened for you, people think you’re misdirected or in the closet. Then by your 40s, the jury is out and clearly something’s wrong with you. Even if you did get married, where the hell are the kids? Let’s face it, we’re all following the same recipe for love— even if it doesn’t fit.
If you’re a regular listener to this podcast you’ve probably heard me bash capitalism a lot. The reality is there’s no escaping it, it’s taken over nearly every corner of the world. That certainly hasn’t stopped me from wincing whenever I travel to a far-away lands and am met with local trinket shops and people peddling their wares. But who am I to judge whether this is good or bad for a society. Oftentimes these are poor, macho communities with substantial pressures on them. They see the money come in and out of their world without them able to touch it. Often these countries also have remote destinations that house incredible archeological sites, but have a community that remains poor and helpless to take advantage of its history. And then there’s the question: should they? And if they do, what would that do to their culture? Would it be a positive or negative thing to suddenly take capitalism and mix it with something like archeology?